New Books for June 2024

Time to enjoy the warm sunny days reading the latest books!

ADULT FICTION

 

Book Cover for Northwoods by Amy PeaseNorthwoods by Amy Pease ~ Eli North is not okay. His drinking is getting worse by the day, his emotional wounds after a deployment to Afghanistan are as raw as ever, his marriage and career are over, and the only job he can hold down is with the local sheriff’s department. And that’s only because the sheriff is his mother—and she’s overwhelmed with small town Shaky Lake’s dwindling budget and the fallout from the opioid epidemic. The Northwoods of Wisconsin may be a vacationer’s paradise, but amidst the fishing trips, campfires, and Paul Bunyan festivals, something sinister is taking shape. When the body of a teenage boy is found in the lake, it sets in motion an investigation that leads Eli to a wealthy enclave with a violent past, a pharmaceutical salesman, and a missing teenage girl. Soon, Eli and his mother, along with a young FBI agent, are on the hunt for more than just a killer in this thriller that is “not to be missed” (Mindy Mejia, USA TODAY bestselling author).

 

Book Cover for Ella: A Novel by Diane RichardsElla: a Novel by Diane Richards ~ When fifteen-year-old Ella Fitzgerald’s mother dies at the height of the Depression in 1932, the teenager goes to work for the mob to support herself and her family. When the law finally catches up, the “ungovernable” adolescent is incarcerated in the New York Training School for Girls in upstate New York–a wicked prison infamous for its harsh treatment of inmates, especially Black ones. Determined to be free, Ella escapes and makes her way back to Harlem, where she is forced to dance for pennies on the street. Looking for a break into show business, Ella draws straws to appear at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night on November 21, 1934. Rather than perform a dance routine directly after “The World Famous Edwards Sisters” number, the homeless Ella, wearing men’s galoshes a size too big, risks everything when she decides to sing Judy instead. Four years later, at barely twenty-one, Ella Fitzgerald has become the bestselling female vocalist in America.

 

Book Cover for Blue Ruin by Hari KunzruBlue Ruin by Hari Kunzru ~ Once, Jay was an artist. After graduating from art school in London, he was tipped for greatness, a promising career taking shape before him. That was not to happen. Now, undocumented in the United States, having survived Covid, he lives out of his car and barely makes a living as an essential worker, delivering groceries in a wealthy area of upstate New York. One day, as Jay attempts to make a delivery at a house surrounded by acres of woods, he is confronted by his destructive past: Alice, a former lover from his art school days, and the friend she left him for. Recognizing Jay’s dire circumstances, Alice invites him to stay on their property—where an erratic gallery owner and his girlfriend are isolating as well—setting in motion a reckoning that has been decades in the making. Gripping and brilliantly orchestrated, Blue Ruin moves back and forth through time, delivering an extraordinary portrait of an artist as he reunites with his past and confronts the world he once loved and left behind.

 

Book Cover for A House Like An Accordion by Audrey BurgesA House Like An Accordion by Audrey Burges ~ “A woman searches for her missing father in order to reconcile the many strange and fantastical secrets of her past before she loses herself completely in this deeply profound and magical novel by Audrey Burges. Keryth Miller is disappearing. Between the growing distance between herself and her husband, the demands of two teenage daughters, and an all-encompassing burnout, she sometimes feels herself fading away. Actual translucence, though-that’s new. When Keryth wakes up one morning with her hand completely gone, she is frantic. But she quickly realizes two things: If she is disappearing, it’s because her father, an artist with the otherworldly ability to literally capture life in his art, is drawing her. And if he’s drawing her, that means he’s still alive. But where has he been for the past twenty-five years, and why is he doing the one thing he always warned her not to? Never draw from life, Keryth. Every line exacts a cost. As Keryth continues to slowly fade away, she retraces what she believes to be her father’s last steps through the many homes of her past, determined to find him before it’s too late and she disappears entirely”

 

Book Cover for I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons by Peter S. BeagleI’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons by Peter S. Beagle ~ Dragons are common in the backwater kingdom of Bellemontagne, coming in sizes from mouse-like vermin all the way up to castle-smashing monsters. Gaius Aurelius Constantine Heliogabalus Thrax (who would much rather people call him Robert) has recently inherited his deceased dad’s job as a dragon catcher/exterminator, a career he detests with all his heart in part because he likes dragons, feeling a kinship with them, but mainly because his dream has always been the impossible one of transcending his humble origin to someday become a prince’s valet. Needless to say, fate has something rather different in mind…

 

The Heirloom by Jessie RosenThe Heirloom by Jessie Rosen ~ Shea Anderson’s beloved Nonna had endless rules for a happy, healthy life: avoid owls, never put a hat on a bed, and never, ever accept a marriage proposal that comes with an heirloom ring. Happily ever after is hard enough without bad karma in the mix. Naturally, panic sets in when Shea’s boyfriend, John, proposes with an heirloom ring. Yes is her answer, but Nonna’s warning sets Shea on a mission to ensure the ring contains forever energy: She will find its previous owners wherever they may be. With the help of her long-suffering big sister and a nosy journalist eager for a big story, Shea embarks on a journey that takes her from Los Angeles and New York to Italy and Portugal. Sophisticated, cinematic, and full of lively observations, The Heirloom is a diamond-sharp read for everyone who’s ever tried to make their own good luck.

 

Book Cover for A Short Walk Through A Wide World by Douglas WesterbekeA Short Walk Through a Wide World by Douglas Westerbeke ~ Aubry Tourvel is 9 when she and her sisters, Pauline and Sylvie, stumble across a strange well in a courtyard secreted between empty apartment buildings. The well is made of smooth gray stone, and its opening has been carved to resemble a face. The siblings assume it’s a wishing well, and because the papers are full of terrible news, each resolves to sacrifice something precious for the greater good. Pauline drops in a gold chain to stop the socialists from bombing public buildings, and Sylvie gives up her doll so that Dr. Homais might cure syphilis. Aubry intends to ask for Mrs. Von Bingham’s ailing baby to heal, but when the time comes, she refuses to relinquish her prized possession: a wooden puzzle ball she discovered in a dead man’s driveway and that inexplicably finds her whenever they separate. That night, Aubry starts having seizures. She improves en route to the doctor, but upon heading home, begins bleeding from her nose, ears, and mouth. She soon realizes that to stay alive, she must keep moving, never to remain in one location for longer than three days or visit the same place twice.

 

Book Cover for the Switch by Lily SamsonThe Switch by Lily Samson ~ Two couples. One twisted game of love and sex. A dark domestic thriller about the dangerous secrets that come to light when a wild fantasy turns sinister… When young couple Elena and Adam are offered the chance to housesit in their dream neighborhood for a few months, they jump at the opportunity. The leafy South London enclave is a world away from everything they know, complete with grand homes with lush gardens and quaint local coffee shops. Soon, Elena crosses paths with the beautiful and enigmatic artist Sophia and her filmmaker husband Finn, and she and Adam are pulled into their orbit. Sophia is everything Elena isn’t: glamorous, alluring, successful, and Finn exudes a mysterious pull on Elena that she can’t seem to shake. Elena’s infatuation with Finn grows stronger by the day, and when Sophia proposes a thrilling game to her new friend–to swap partners in secret–Elena quickly agrees. It’s not long before Elena experiences a sexual awakening that blossoms into an illicit love affair, but Sophia’s plans are far more dangerous than Elena could ever have imagined…

 

 

ADULT NON-FICTION

 

Book Cover for Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space by Adam HigginbothamChallenger : a true story of heroism and disaster on the edge of space by Adam Higginbotham ~ Based on extensive archival records and meticulous, original reporting, Challenger follows a handful of central protagonists—including each of the seven members of the doomed crew—through the years leading up to the accident, a detailed account of the tragedy itself, and into the investigation that followed. It’s a tale of optimism and promise undermined by political cynicism and cost-cutting in the interests of burnishing national prestige; of hubris and heroism; and of an investigation driven by leakers and whistleblowers determined to bring the truth to light. Throughout, there are the ominous warning signs of a tragedy to come, recognized but then ignored, and ultimately kept from the public.

 

Book Cover for The Came For The Schools by Mike HixenbaughThey came for the schools : one town’s fight over race and identity, and the new war for America’s classrooms by Mike Hixenbaugh ~ Award-winning journalist Mike Hixenbaugh delivers the immersive and eye-opening story of Southlake, Texas, a district that seemed to offer everything parents would want for their children–small classes, dedicated teachers, financial resources, a track record of academic success, and school spirit in abundance. All this, until a series of racist incidents became public, a plan to promote inclusiveness was proposed in response–and a coordinated, well-funded conservative backlash erupted, lighting the fire of a national movement on the verge of changing the face of public schools across the country. They Came for the Schools pulls back the curtain on the powerful forces driving this crusade to ban books, rewrite curricula, limit rights for minority and LGBTQ students–and, most importantly, to win what Hixenbaugh’s deeply informed reporting convinces is the holy grail among those seeking to impose biblical values on American society: school privatization, one school board and one legal battle at a time. They Came for the Schools delivers an essential take on Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, as they demean public schools and teachers and boost the Christian right’s vision. Hixenbaugh brings to light fascinating connections between this political and cultural moment and past fundamentalist campaigns to censor classroom lessons. Finally, They Came for the Schools traces the rise of a new resistance movement led by a diverse coalition of student activists, fed-up educators, and parents who are beginning to win select battles of their own: a blueprint, they hope, for gaining inclusive and civil schools for all.

 

Book Cover for Fight the Night by Paul HendricksonFighting the night : Iwo Jima, World War II, and a flyer’s life by Paul Hendrickson ~ Joe Paul, the son of a Depression-poor Kentucky sharecropper, was fresh out of high school in 1937 when he enlisted in mechanic school in the peacetime Army Air Corps. Eventually, he was able to qualify for flight school. After marriage, and with the war on, the young officer and his bride crisscrossed the country, airfield to airfield, base to Santa Ana, Yuma, Kissimmee, Bakersfield, Orlando, La Junta, Fresno. He volunteered for night fighters and the newly arrived and almost mythic Black Widow. A world away, the carnage continued. As Paul Hendrickson tracks his parents’ journey, together and separate, both stateside and overseas, he creates a vivid portrait of a hard-to-know father whose time in the war, he comes to understand, was something truly heroic, but never without its hidden and unhidden psychic costs.

 

Book Cover for How We Break: Navigating The Wear And Tear of Living by Vincent DearyHow we break : navigating the wear and tear of living by Vincent Deary ~ At the heart of these books is the insight that most of our lives are lived automatically. Consciousness has, on the whole, little to do with daily life. Moment to moment, we rely mostly on the vast store of automated practices that are “the cognitive unconscious” of modern neuroscience. This “cognitive unconscious” is distributed not only through our nerves and muscles, but also through our environment, our social network, and our culture. Human existence is, as such, largely reliant on “scaffolding,” an intricate supporting framework of cognitive prosthetics, both personal and communal. The purpose of the How to Live trilogy is to bring these hidden mechanisms to light and to show them at work beneath our daily life, in all our wounding and our healing.

 

Book Cover for Hits, Slops, And Other Illusions by Ed ZwickHits, flops, and other illusions my fortysomething years in Hollywood by Edward Zwick ~ “I’ll be dropping a few names,” Ed Zwick confesses in the introduction to his book. “Over the years I have worked with self-proclaimed masters-of-the-universe, unheralded geniuses, hacks, sociopaths, savants, and saints.” He has encountered these Hollywood types over four decades of directing, producing, and writing projects that have collectively received eighteen Academy Award nominations (seven wins) and sixty-seven Emmy nominations (twenty-two wins). Though there are many factors behind such success, including luck and the contributions of his creative partner Marshall Herskovitz, he’s known to have a special talent for bringing out the best in the people he’s worked with, especially the actors. In those intense collaborations, he’s sought to discover the small pieces of connective tissue, vulnerability, and fellowship that can help an actor realize their character in full. Talents whom he spotted early include Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Claire Danes, and Jared Leto. Established stars he worked closely with include Leonardo DiCaprio, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Jennifer Connelly. As if that wasn’t enough, he sued Harvey Weinstein over the production of Shakespeare in Love, and won. He shares personal stories about all these people, and more. Written mostly with love, sometimes with rue, this memoir is also a meditation on working, sprinkled throughout with tips for anyone who has ever imagined writing, directing, or producing for the screen. Fans with an appreciation for the beautiful mysteries, as well as the unsightly, often comic truths, of crafting film and television won’t want to miss it.

 

Book Cover for The Mystic Jesus by Marianne WilliamsonThe mystic Jesus : the mind of love by Marianne Williamson ~ For many, Jesus has become a precious relic, revered yet lacking the immediacy of authentic spiritual force. In The Mystic Jesus, Williamson writes of a Jesus who transcends both glib imagery and outdated religious dogma. She writes not only of an historical Messiah but of a spirit alive in all of us today. Williamson brings to The Mystic Jesus her talent at making the densest theological theories relevant to our everyday lives. She merges psychological and religious understanding, presenting Jesus as a guide to another way of thinking, therefore the builder of another kind of world. The Jesus in The Mystic Jesus truly is, in the words of St. Augustine, “ever ancient, ever new.” The Jesus presented here is a radical love, an ever-present teacher, an evolutionary elder brother, and a savior from the fear-based, twisted thinking that dominates our world. The Mystic Jesus is both theological and practical, signature Williamson in both its intellectual clarity and emotional impact.

 

 

Book Cover for Dog Smart: Life-Changing Lessons in Canine Intelligence by Jennifer HollandDog smart : life-changing lessons in canine intelligence by Jennifer S. Holland ~ This delightful narrative takes readers on a powerful search to unlock the secrets of dog cognition, based on evidence from trainers, owners, behaviorists, and the animals themselves. With in-depth reporting and more than a few personal adventures, bestselling author Jennifer S. Holland digs into what intelligence really means. Readers will meet a pack of genius dogs, each of whom embodies a particular kind of smarts. Holland spends time with Cat Warren, who trains cadaver dogs, to learn about “nose intelligence.” To unpack emotional intelligence, she examines an unlikely dog friendship; to unpack task learning ability, she seeks out an agility trainer. She interviews police-dog trainers (volunteering to be attacked by one in the name of science), service-dog trainers, and trainers who rehabilitates “bad” dogs. And she gets to know breeds that are considered especially intelligent—border collies, cattle dogs, and German shepherds—to discover whether they are truly “smarter,” or just more in tune with humans. In between field experiences, Holland spends time with dogs in a variety of settings—a rescue center, a dog park, a boarding facility— while pondering the lessons they teach us about ourselves. And she’ll pose entrancing philosophical How do we define intelligence in another being? Where do “instinct” and “intelligence” meet and diverge?

 

Book Cover for Team: Getting Things Done With Others by David Allen & Edward LamontTeam : getting things done with others by David Allen ~ A groundbreaking book about how to harness the power of collaboration and work most effectively in groups-coauthored by Getting Things Done’s David Allen When Getting Things Done was published in 2001, it was a game changer. By revealing the principles of healthy high performance at an individual level, it transformed the experience of work and leisure for millions. Twenty years later, it has become clear that the best way to build on that success is at the team level, and one of the most frequently asked questions by dedicated GTD users is how to get an entire team onboard. By building on the effectiveness of what GTD does for individuals, Team will offer a better way of working in an organization, while simultaneously nourishing a culture that allows individuals’ skills to flourish. Using case studies from some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, Team shows how leaders have employed the principles of team productivity to improve communication, enable effective execution, and reduce stress on team members. These principles are increasingly important in the post-pandemic workplace, where the very nature of how people work together has changed so dramatically. Team is the most significant addition to the GTD canon since the original, and in offering a roadmap for building a culture of healthy high performance, will be welcomed by readers working in any sized group or organization.

 

YOUNG ADULT

 

Book Cover for The Worst Ronin by Maggie Tokuda-HallThe Worst Ronin by Maggie Tokuda-Hall ~ Being a samurai isn’t easy. Sixteen-year-old Chihiro Ito knows that more than anyone. Her father is renowned among the samurai, but the only thing Chihiro is known for is spending way too much time on her phone obsessing over Tatsuo Nakano, Chihiro’s idol and the first woman to be accepted into Kesi Academy, a prestigious samurai school. So, when Chihiro’s father is conscripted for service and the opportunity arises to work with Tatsuo in his stead, Chihiro jumps at the chance to prove that she’s worthy of a spot at Kesi Academy and the samurai title. Their mission: kill the yamauba demon terrorizing a village. With a legendary samurai like Tatsuo by her side, Chihiro is convinced victory is inevitable. But Tatsuo isn’t at all like the hero Chihiro imagined. Foulmouthed, quick tempered, and a terrible drunk, Tatsuo completely turned her back on the samurai way and is now a ronin working for hire as a means of escaping the grief that haunts her. Forced to work together, the two are thrust on a treacherous journey filled with epic battles and twisted conspiracies as they must put aside their differences to save the village and face the demons of the past.

 

Book Cover for Lie Until It's True by Jessie WeaverLie Until It’s True by Jessie Weaver ~ Amanda Pruitt needs redemption. She is the one, after all, who turned her sister in for murder and anonymously broadcasted her trial to millions on TikTok. And she was wrong. Her sister is innocent, making Amanda the villain—not the hero—all along. So when her childhood best friend’s mom is arrested for murdering an eccentric billionaire and refuses to give a statement, Amanda decides to help solve the crime. This could be her second chance. If she can use her TikTok to get the public on her friend’s side, the police will have to reopen the investigation. The plan? Stay the summer with her aunt who is the concierge at the Summit, a historic (read: haunted) hotel in the mountains that also happens to be the scene of the crime. Investigate the billionaire’s murder. Win back her estranged bestie Vince. Not the plan? See a ghost. Fall for Vince. Black out and lose 15 minutes of her life. Wake up to find the dead body of a frenemy. Amanda and Vince must work together to find the killer, or Amanda risks going down for a murder she isn’t quite sure she didn’t commit.

 

Book Cover for One-Punch Man Vol. 28 by ONEOne-punch man. 28, Into the abyss by ONE ~ Psychos and Tornado’s psychic battle rages on! With Genos’s help, Tornado succeeds in rescuing the scattered heroes from their fight against the monsters, allowing her to unleash a devastating attack that warps the city. Although the outlook appears grim, a group of S-class heroes finds the inspiration to turn the tide of battle!

 

 

 

Book Cover for DeadEndia: The Divine Order by Hamish SteeleDeadEndia: The Divine Order by Hamish Steele ~ In this diverse YA graphic novel, third in the DeadEndia trilogy, Barney, Norma, and friends team up with unlikely heroes to fight a battle for the fate of the universe, all while dealing with their greatest challenge of their love lives. The battle between angels and demons rages on, and Courtney finds themselves restored to former glory in the realm of the angels with a new bring about a new Divine Order and create a fourteenth plane of existence to keep the demons at bay. On the seventh plane, known to us as Earth, Norma Khan and Barney Guttman have allied with the demons in a search for both freedom and peace. There’s just one thing standing in their the Guttman family reunion. Badyah has joined the resistance as well, honing her martial arts skills and getting ready to protect Norma in battle. But Pael, the Divine’s lead angel, has tricks up their sleeve that throw everything into chaos as Norma, Barney, and Badyah learn the truth behind everything. The three friends struggle to stop Pael before their lives are changed forever, and a familiar friend returns with a power that just might save them all in this stunning conclusion to the DeadEndia series.

 

Book Cover for 10 Things I Hate About Prom10 Things I Hate About Prom by Elle Gonzalez Rose ~ A fun, fresh contemporary rom-com that covers all the ways in which prom is overrated, and the biggest ways to sabotage your lovable best friend’s promposals to the school’s most popular girl. The best things in life come in pairs. Peanut butter has jelly, Taylor has Selena, and Ivelisse Santos has Joaquin Romero. They are not only next-door neighbors; they’re platonic soulmates. Ive gets Quin like no one else. At least, she thought she did before Joaquin shocks her by revealing that he wants to ask Tessa Gordon to prom. Tessa freaking Gordon. The same Tessa Gordon who spread the rumor that Ivelisse started the infamous Second Grade Lice Outbreak. Why her ? Tessa and Joaquin are a match made in popular kid heaven. The head cheerleader and the star of the baseball team going to prom together makes more sense than Joaquin and Ivelisse—a member of tech crew—would. But just because it makes sense doesn’t mean it should happen. To make matters worse, Joaquin wants Ivelisse’s assistance planning the grandest, most elaborate promposal Cordero High has ever seen. To win the queen bee over, he’ll have to go bigger than any of their peers have ever gone. Ivelisse would rather wrestle a bear than wingwoman Joaquin. But with senior year coming to an end and their paths diverging, she’ll take all the quality time with Joaquin she can get. So, she swallows her pride. At first.

 

Book Cover for Queerceanera by Alex CrespoQueerceañera by Alex Crespo ~ Joaquin Zoido is out and proud of it. And while he knew his dad and sister, Carmen, would be super supportive, he wasn’t quite ready for them to surprise him with a queerceañera, a coming out party to celebrate him. Between all the talks of tastings and venues, and the chirping of his family’s RSVP texts, the question of who will be his chambelán is on everyone’s minds. What Joaquin is decidedly trying to not think about is whether his mom is going attend or if she’s finally replaced him with her favorite godson, Felix–the boy who made Joaquin realize he was gay and who was his first kiss. But when an impromptu lie snowballs into a full-fledged family-group-chat rumor, every Zoido from Texas to Mexico starts believing that Felix is not only Joaquin’s chambelán but also his brand-new boyfriend. To avoid the pity and sympathies of an ill-timed breakup, Joaquin and Felix strike a deal–they’ll stay fake boyfriends until the party. Yet, as the day draws nearer and old feelings spark anew, Joaquin will have to decide whether a picture-perfect queerceañera with a fake boyfriend is worth giving up the chance of something real.

 

Book Cover for Keepers of the Stones & Stars by Michael BarakivaKeepers Of The Stones & Stars by Michael Barakiva ~ Reed is leading his best life: he’s just kissed the boy of his dreams, his band is finally taking off, and he’s a shoo-in to getting elected as next year’s Student Council president. But he’s ready to give it all up when his suspiciously artistocratic guidance counselor tells him he has been chosen to go on the adventure of a lifetime. Because Reed is the first of five Stone Bearers to be chosen by magical gems and granted extraordinary powers. All he has to do is unite all five and lead them to seal a portal that will release an onslaught of uncontrollable chaotic magical energies and destroy the world as they know it. It’s up to the ruby, sapphire, topaz, emerald, and amethyst Bearers to save the world, fulfilling their roles in a centuries-old cycle that dates back to seventeenth-century Mughal India and the first Keepers of the Stones and Stars.

 

Book Cover for Dust Spells by Andrea LynnDust Spells by Andrea Lynn ~ She thought a dust storm was getting in the way of her dreams, but there are storms more deadly than dust. Ever since the dust storms arrived and turned her world upside down, ambitious. Stella Fischer spends her mornings hiding moonshine in laundry stacks for delivery before returning home to help her sisters—Lavinia and Mattie—run their family home turned boarding house, hoping to make enough money to finally escape to Hollywood. She has no time for distractions, especially from Lloyd, the handsome drifter who works as a hired hand at the boarding house. When the group decides to forage for building materials at an abandoned cider mill, they discover a magical passage that sends them back to the mill in its prime. There, they meet Archie, a man trapped in the realm who can conjure lavish parties and bring back a world of joy and splendor. But Archie isn’t all he seems, and Stella must discover the truth before a storm more deadly than dust destroys her and everyone she loves.

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