Library Reads: New Books for June 2018

Looking for some late spring and summer books? Here are 10 novels that librarians across the U.S. are super excited about — and now you can put them on hold.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
Intensifying psychological suspense. Twelve years after Finn’s girlfriend Layla disappeared, a discovery raises new questions. ~Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

There There by Tommy Orange
A large cast of interwoven characters depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. Perfect for readers of character-driven fiction with a strong sense of place. ~ Abby Johnson, New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, New Albany, IN

Us Against You by Fredrik Backmam
The citizens of Beartown are about to lose their beloved hockey team and their rivals could not be happier. The narrator has you wondering who is going to die and why events occur as they do. ~ Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA

The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
A playful commentary on the mystery genre itself and the first in a promising new series. The author, Horowitz, plays the part of the narrator, and gets caught up in solving a murder with Daniel Hawthorne, an out-of-work detective. ~ Amy Whitfield, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
A suspenseful thriller told from multiple perspectives. A Seattle detective must unravel a web of secrets dating back to his high school days. ~ Gail Roberts, Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax, VA

Dreams of Falling by Karen White
Set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, this story does what Southern fiction does best: family, lies, and secrets. For fans of Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe. ~ Leanne Milliman, Charlevoix Public Library, Charlevoix, MI

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
A wonderfully sweet and erotic romance featuring an autistic heroine who hires a hot male escort to teach her how to enjoy sex, but learns so much more. ~ Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
Great storyline that is relevant to issues both facing young people today and the people raising them. The story keeps you guessing. ~ Sarah Trohoske, Erie County Public Library, Erie, PA

Little Big Love by Katy Regan
A portrait of a family and a boy’s search for the father who left them, told from multiple perspectives with authentic, likeable characters. ~ Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis County Library, Austin, TX

How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson
Kate is holding it all together, unemployed husband, kids, and parents. So, she reinvents herself as someone younger to secure a job with the hedge fund. ~ Toni Nako, The Public Library of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

~ posted by Linda J.

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The Feminist and the Axe Murderer

Susan Glaspell was just 24, working her first job out of college as a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News when she was called to the scene of a grisly crime that would shape her artistic destiny. Late on the night of December 1, 1900, John Hossack had been bludgeoned to death with an axe as he lay in bed. Margaret, his wife of 33 years, slept on beside him during the murder, or so she claimed.

Despite her children’s protests, she was arrested and charged with murder. The trial became a sensation, and Glaspell’s reporting on the case and its surprising outcome was eagerly devoured well beyond Iowa. To say that the case became a referendum on domestic abuse would be to rewrite history, but the sympathies aroused by the stoic Margaret Hossack were indicative of a gradual change in the popular understanding of women’s rights and legal status. Continue reading

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Intriguing East Asian Fiction

Did you hear the announcement earlier this year, that the National Book Foundation will be adding a new award for the first time in 36 years, honoring works in translation? With that news, it’s a good time to continue highlighting some interesting international fiction published in 2017-18, this time from East Asia – Japan, Korea and China.

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Seattle Reads Homegoing: Fiction to Read Next

In 2018 Seattle Reads Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Beginning in Ghana, 1760, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of two half-sisters and seven generations of their descendants in Ghana and the United States, in a stunning saga of the African diaspora that illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy. Gyasi will be in Seattle for a series of events May 16-17; find the full schedule here, including book groups, genealogy workshops, and three appearances by Gyasi.

We hope you’ve read, or are planning to read, Homegoing. Perhaps you enjoyed how Gyasi portrayed the sweep of familial generations, or the evocation of families dealing with enslavement and the aftermath. Perhaps you’re wondering – what do I read next? Fret not, our librarians have put together a list of fiction for fans of Homegoing to help you out.

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Seattle Rep’s MAC BETH: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents MAC BETH, adapted from Shakespeare’s play and directed by Erica Schmidt, from May 18 to June 17, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

In MAC BETH, playwright/director Erica Schmidt reimagines Shakespeare’s classic tale of intrigue and poisonous ambition with an all-female cast, as seven young women gather after school to retell the story of Macbeth. Here are a few other books that reframe the story with a focus on female characters and perspectives. Continue reading

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Wordless Comics

In the influential graphic novel Understanding Comics, creator Scott McCloud defines comics as:

“Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in a deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.”

Notice that this definition does not include any specific mention of comics requiring words in order to be considered comics. Words, sure, fit under the generously vague “other images” category, but, at their most unadorned, comics simply need images put together in a particular order to be comics.

These “wordless comics” still require reading, just of a different sort. Images, on a spectrum of realistic to abstract, are associated with each other and meaning is made, just as with interpreting letters and words. Wordless comics use “silence” to their advantage by necessitating a closer reading of the colors, backgrounds, moods, layouts, line-work, and body language of the characters.

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Seattle Reads Homegoing: Nonfiction Titles to Delve Deeper

In 2018 Seattle Reads Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Beginning in Ghana, 1760, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of two half-sisters and seven generations of their descendants in Ghana and the United States in a stunning saga of the African diaspora that illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy. Gyasi will be in Seattle for a series of events May 16-17; find the full schedule here, including book groups, genealogy workshops, and three appearances by Gyasi.

We hope you’ve read, or are planning to read, Homegoing. Perhaps you’re interested in learning more about Cape Castle in Ghana, or in hearing first hand narrative of what it was like to be on a slave ship, or finding true multi-generational stories of families brought to the US via slavery. Perhaps you’re wondering – how do I learn more? Our librarians have you covered with this list of nonfiction for readers of Homegoing.

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