Your Library Curated: Best New Books

  • The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani:  Twelve-year-old Nisha and her twin, Amil, know little about their mother, who died while giving birth. But Nisha yearns for her nonetheless, and at night, Nisha pours her feelings into her diary entries, which are written as letters to her mother. At first, she writes of daily events such as Amil’s etchings and their father’s long days working as a doctor. But it’s 1947, and India has just won its independence from Britain, and soon Nisha’s life will change in ways she never could have imagined.  night diary
  • The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty:  Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad–and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there. Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family–and one misstep will doom her tribe… Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid–the unpredictable water spirits–have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried. And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates…and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve. kingdom of copper
  • The Unteachables by Gordon Korman:  After 30 years as a teacher, Zachary Kermit is burned out and ready for retirement. But the superintendent, Dr. Thaddeus, wants him out before he can draw a full pension, so he assigns Mr. Kermit the class called SCS-8, or the Self-Contained Special 8th-grade class. Known as the “Unteachables,” Dr. Thaddeus hopes they drive Mr. Kermit to quit before the year’s end. Mr. Kermit knows it’s going to be rough, but he figures he’ll just keep his head down and coast until May. He is not surprised by the students. There is the slow worker, Parker Elias, social dweeb Mateo Hendrickson, anger-management challenged Aldo Braff, ex-athlete “Barnstorm” Armstrong, potential bully Elaine Okafor, sleep-deprived Rahim Barclay, and new student Kiana Roubini. Through many hilarious and touching escapades, Mr. Kermit figures out that what he really has is a group that just needs help, patience and the recognition that, really, they may be the most teachable of any class. This is a heartwarming story about not giving up on yourself or others. unteachables
  • Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer:  Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world fall apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf–the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum:  if she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes. In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind ever door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up. Otherwise, Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever. echo north
  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi:  In this wonderful book, a crew of young people in an alternate version of belle epoque Paris use their wits and daring to restore their leader to his rightful place. In this world, some have “Forging” power–creative and metamorphic power over matter or minds–which is made possible through fragments of the Tower of Babel. These broken pieces are scattered across the world and safeguarded by the mysterious Order of Babel, which is organized in national factions and then further divided into Houses. Severin Montagnet-Alarie is the heir to France’s House Vanth, but he was denied his Order inheritance years ago and now watches the two remaining French Houses–Nyx and Kore–with envy. But Severin has a plan to claim his right, and a crew of various talents who live with him at his glamorous hotel will help him pull it off. They plot to steal an ancient artifact that will help Severin buy his way back into the good graces of the Order, but the artifact and its owner turn out to be more than they bargained for. gilded wolves
  • Talk to Me by John Kenney:  After news anchor Ted Grayson’s profanity-laced tirade is caught on camera, his reputation and career are destroyed, leaving him without a script for the first time in years. At the time of his meltdown, Ted is estranged from his wife, Claire, and his adult daughter, Franny, a writer for a popular website. Franny views her father’s disgrace with curiosity and perhaps a bit of smug satisfaction, but when her boss suggests that she confront Ted in an interview, she has to decide whether to use his loss as her career gain. And for Ted, this may be a chance to try to find his way back before it’s too late. talk to me
  • No Sunscreen for the Dead by Tim Dorsey:  Serge and Coleman are back on the road, ready to hit the next stop on their list of obscure and wacky points of interest in the Sunshine State. This time, Serge’s interest is drawn to one of the largest retirement villages in the world–also known as the site of an infamous sex scandal between a retiree and her younger beau that rocked the community. What starts out as an innocent quest to observe elders in their natural habitats, sample the local cuisine, and scope out a condo to live out the rest of their golden years, soon becomes a Robin Hood-like crusade to recover the funds of swindled residents. After all, our seniors should be revered and respected–they’ve heroically fought in wars, garnered priceless wisdom, and they have the best first-hand accounts of bizarre Floridian occurrences only Serge would know about. But as the resident’s rally for Serge to seek justice on their behalves, two detectives are hot on the heels of Serge and Coleman’s murderous trail. no sunscreen for the dead
  • Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley:  Alexandr and Christine and Zachary and Lydia have been friends since they first met in their twenties. Thirty years later, Alex and Christine are spending a leisurely summer’s evening at home when they receive a call from a distraught Lydia:  she is at the hospital. Zach is dead. In the wake of this profound loss, the three friends find themselves unmoored; all agree that Zach, with his generous, grounded spirit, was the irreplaceable one they couldn’t afford to lose. Inconsolable, Lydia moves in with Alex and Christine. But instead of loss bringing them closer, the three of them find over the following months that it warps their relationships, as old entanglements and grievances rise from the past, and love and sorrow give way to anger and bitterness. This book explores the complex webs at the center of our most intimate relationships, to expose how, beneath the seemingly dependable arrangements we make for our lives, lie infinite alternate configurations. late in the day
  • The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker:  One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep, and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster. Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams, but of what? dreamers
  • The Neighbors by Einat Tsarfati:  As a young girl climbs the seven stories to her own (very boring!) apartment, she imagines what’s behind each of the doors she passes. Does the door with all the locks belong to a family of thieves? Might the doorway with muddy footprints conceal a pet tiger? Each spread reveals–in lush detail–the wilds of the girl’s imagination, from a high-flying circus to an underwater world and everything in between. When the girl finally reaches her own apartment, she is greeted by her parents, who might have a secret even wilder than anything she could have imagined! neighbors
  • The Au Pair by Emma Rous:  Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother, Danny, were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle. Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through is belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is smiling serenely and holding just one baby. Who is the child, and what really happened that day? au pair
  • An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen:  Seeking women ages 18-32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. Question #1:  Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt? But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. Question #2:  Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about? As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly. Question #3:  Should a punishment always fit the crime?  anonymous girl
  • The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King:  A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times by Jerome Charyn:  Raising the literary bar to a new level, Jerome Charyn re-creates the voice of Theodore Roosevelt, the New York City police commissioner, Rough Rider, and soon-to-be twenty-sixth president through his derring-do adventures, effortlessly combining superhero dialogue with haunting pathos. Beginning with his sickly childhood and concluding with McKinley’s assassination, the novel positions Roosevelt as a “perfect bull in a china shop,” a fearless crime fighter and pioneering environmentalist who would grow up to be our greatest peacetime president. With an operative cast, including “Bamie,” his handicapped older sister; Eleanor, his gawky little niece; as well as the devoted Rough Riders, the novel memorably features the lovable mountain lion Josephine, who helped train Roosevelt for his “crowded hour,” the charge up San Juan Hill. perilous adventures of the cowboy king
  • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma:  A contemporary twist on The Odyssey, this book is narrated by the chi, or spirit of a young poultry farmer named Chinonso. His life is set off course when he sees a woman who is about to jump off a bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, he hurls two of his prized chickens off the bridge. The woman, Ndali, is stopped in her tracks. Chinonso and Ndali fall in love but she is from an educated and wealthy family. When her family objects to the union on the grounds that he is not her social equal, he sells most of his possessions to attend college in Cyprus. But when he arrives in Cyprus, he discovers that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements for him. Penniless, homeless, we watch as he gets further and further away from his dream and from home. orchestra of minorities
  • The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke:  Detective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director. Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it isn’t to congratulate him on his Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Robicheaux has discovered the body of a young woman who’s been crucified, wearing only a small chain on her ankle. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young deputy, Sean McClain, are looking for answers. Neither Cormier nor his enigmatic actor friend Antoine Butterworth are saying much, but Robicheaux knows better. As always, Clete Purcel and Davie’s daughter, Alafair, have Robicheaux’s back. Clete witnesses the escape of Texas inmate, Hugo Tillinger, who may hold the key to Robicheaux’s case. As they wade further into the investigation, they end up in the crosshairs of the mob, the deranged Chester Wimple, and the dark ghosts Robicheaux has been running from for years. Ultimately, it’s up to Robicheaux to stop them all, but he’ll have to summon a light he’s never seen or felt to save himself, and those he loves. new iberia blues
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden:  Now, in the conclusion to this powerful trilogy, Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers-and someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever, determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of this conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of both worlds resting on her shoulders. With her destiny uncertain, Vasya must uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.winter of the witch
  • The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe: Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A Black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas.Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs. Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris…like loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making. But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life–along with the people who have found their way into his heart.field guide to the north american teenager
  • She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge:  On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group–Aurora Jackson–is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other–they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found. Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers–including Aurora–personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever. This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.  she lies in wait
  • The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh:  Determined to protect his wife and daughters from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland, King moves them to an isolated island, lays out barbed wire, and anchored buoys with a clear message: Do not enter. He institutes cult-like rituals and therapies to fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world. When King disappears, they retreat further inward… until the day two men and a boy wash ashore. Sexual tensions and sibling rivalries flare as the sisters confront the amorphous threat the strangers represent.  water cure
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black:  When this book opens, it’s been five months since 17-year-old human Jude planted Faerie Prince Cardan on the Elfhame throne. Now, she’s struggling to maintain her behind-the-scenes power, and it doesn’t help that Cardan is trying to undermine their deal or that her twin sister’s marriage to the duplicitous Locke comes with its own set of challenges. On top of all that, Jude’s stepfather is strategizing behind her back. But when the Queen of the Undersea threatens the Faerie kingdom and Cardan’s rule, Jude must spy and scheme to protect her family and her hold on the throne. But Jude can’t foresee everything, and someone is out to betray her. Despite growing up in a Faerie world, Jude is not one of them. And there’s only so much power a mortal girl can wield when fighting monsters.  wicked king
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