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Book Review | White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

From the publisher: The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!

White Smoke is about a blended family who moves from California to the Midwest to get a fresh start after main character Marigold’s drug problem messes up their lives. Unfortunately, their new house seems to be haunted, and something – or someone – wants them gone.

Former track star Marigold has a serious phobia of bedbugs, which drives her to obsessively clean every surface of her home, regard all specks of dust or…

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Staff Picks — Luke

Looking for some recent fiction? Luke has you covered. Check out some of his favorite titles below, and make sure to visit the library, give us a call or search the catalog to put one of these great books on hold today.

HOW HIGH WE GO IN THE DARK by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.

Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on earth for…

Adult, by Luke Gorham, Staff Picks

Book Review | The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis

From the publisher: Hannah is a thirty-something wife, home-health worker, and antiwar activist. Her husband, Johnny, is a stay-at-home pothead working—or “working”—on building them a house before the winter chill sets in. They’re currently living and screwing in the back of a truck, hoping for a pregnancy, which seems like it will never come. Legs in the air, for a better chance at conception, Hannah scans fertility Reddits while Johnny dreams about propagating plants—kale, tomatoes—to ensure they have sufficient sustenance should the end times come, which, given their fragile democracy strained under the weight of a carceral state and the risk of horrible war, doesn’t seem so far off. Helping Hannah in her fight for the future is her best friend Gabby, a queer naturalist she idolizes and who adores her. Helping Johnny build the house is Tyler, an off-the-grid conspiracy theorist driven sick by his own cloudy notions of reality…

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Staff Picks — Emily

This week I’m bringing a little variety to the staff picks section, with five diverse titles showcasing my wide range of tastes. From poetry to drama to true crime, there’s something here for everyone! Visit the library, give us a call or search the catalog to put one of these great books on hold today.

A FORTUNE FOR YOUR DISASTER by Hanif Abdurraqib
Hanif’s second poetry collection, a follow-up to The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, is “a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew.” Known for both his poetry and his non-fiction writing, Hanif is one of my favorite writers of all time. His talent for pairing difficult, emotional internal struggles with cultural touchstones (like Michael Jordan, Nikola Tesla, and…

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Book Review | The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

From the publisher: Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

LOVE THIS.

Has the past year and a half-ish broken you into a thousand tiny pieces? Or beaten you down with so much heat and pressure that you wonder how in the world you haven’t turned into a diamond yet? Cool, me too. This book is the perfect warm-fuzzy-feeling-generator to combat that. Follow up question: do you like to play the comparative suffering game? “I should quit…

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Staff Picks — Eileen

Happy 2022! Looking for a good book to kick off your new year? Check out one of these recent favorites of Eileen, Reference Librarian and Grant Coordinator here at the library. If you like literary fiction with a hint of fantasy and history, you’ll find something to love on this list. Happy reading!

THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by Alix E. Harrow
The Once and Future Witches follows the lives of three sisters trying to make their way in 1890’s New England, using witchcraft and sisterhood to further the cause of suffrage. Brought back together under mysterious circumstances after years of not speaking, the three sisters must come together to forge a better…

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Book Review | The Accomplice by Lisa Lutz

From the publisher: Everyone has the same questions about best friends Owen and Luna: What binds them together so tightly? Why weren’t they ever a couple? And why do people around them keep turning up dead? The Accomplice examines the bonds of shared history, what it costs to break them, and what happens when you start wondering if you ever truly knew the only person who truly knows you.

This book has a hook. I still can’t identify what it is, exactly, but once I started reading I wasn’t going to stop. Luna and Owen have a frankly strange relationship. They are very good friends who make Luna’s husband say that he and Owen’s wife Irene “had a similar sense of being the third wheel in our own marriages.” (p. 157 of the Advance Reader Copy)

Luna and Own have both been on the periphery of more deaths than is normal for a…

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Book Review | Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden

From the publisher: Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou. This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak—and a startling revelation about sexual assault—culminating in an exquisite example of human connection.

Tillie Walden weaves a surreal twist on the classic road-trip narrative. Like any road trip, there are slow, meditative moments and there are fast-paced chases that make the reader’s heart race. There are moments that feel so real you pause to reflect on your own memories and surreal, hauntingly creepy forays into a world that can only be described as…

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Book Review | Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough

From the publisher: As an adult, Lauren Hough has had many identities: an airman in the U.S. Air Force, a cable guy, a bouncer at a gay club. As a child, however, she had none. Growing up as a member of the infamous cult The Children of God, Hough had her own self robbed from her. The cult took her all over the globe — to Germany, Japan, Texas, Ecuador — but it wasn’t until her mother finally walked away that Lauren understood she could have a life beyond “The Family.”

Along the way, she’s loaded up her car and started over, trading one life for the next. She’s taken pilgrimages to the sights of her youth, been kept in solitary confinement, dated a lot of women, dabbled in drugs, and eventually found herself as what she always wanted to be: a writer. Here, as she sweeps through the underbelly of America–relying…

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Staff Picks — Meghan B.

Hi ho! Ms. Meghan the Children’s Assistant here to share with you some of the best books I’ve read recently. We’ve got two fantastic children’s books, one historical fiction novel, one murder mystery, and one YA fantasy novel. So let’s get to it! EXCEPT ANTARCTICA by Todd Sturgell An Attenborough-esque narrator begins by explaining that turtles are found on every continent except Antarctica. One turtle takes exception to this and begins the trek to the South Pole, joined along the way by other animals that are found everywhere ‘except Antarctica’. The flustered narrator (who is not getting paid enough for this) chronicles their journey. Additional back matter provides more learning opportunities. Childrens, Picture Books THE GODMOTHERS by Camille Aubray This novel follows four sisters and sisters-in-law in an Italian-American family in Greenwich Village through the decades surrounding WWII. The author deftly handles the shifting POVs as Filomena, Amie, Lucy, and Petrina handle Read more »

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