I love living – and being a librarian – in a city of readers, but I won’t lie: the eBook hold queues can be intense. New this month are 170 eBooks that are always available – no holds, no wait! Here are some highlights to get you started.
Book Club Picks
One of the first challenges in picking a book club read is making sure there are enough copies for everyone, but this collection allows for unlimited simultaneous use. Try Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century by Jessica Bruder, the basis for the movie of the same name recently nominated for six Oscars, which profiles older Americans who live in RVs and travel across the country taking temp jobs to make ends meet. Or checkout United States poet laureate Joy Harjo’s 2019 collection An American Sunrise, which plums the past and present for connections to the land.
Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah is literary science fiction for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale. Nicole Dennis-Benn’s Lambda Literary Award-winning Here Comes the Sun follows three women in a Jamaican family striving for better lives through sometimes dire circumstances. A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee consists of five linked narratives set in India, each of which imagine characters living in wildly different circumstances but with connections to be made by the savvy reader. In Divide Me by Zero by Lara Vapnyar, a woman grapples with her mathematician mother’s death and is prompted to reexamine her life, from her childhood in Soviet Russia to her current life in the United States.
Historical romance fans are in luck with a trio of series starters. An Extraordinary Union kicks off Alyssa Cole’s historical romance series featuring free Black women working as spies for the Union during the American Civil War. Project Duchess begins a new Regency romance series by Sabrina Jeffries, while Tempt Me with Diamonds by Jane Feather finds exes sparring over the inheritance to a diamond mine.
Contemporary romance readers can delve into Sonali Dev’s standalone novel A Distant Heart, in which heart-transplant recipient Kimi and police officer Rahul, who were friends as children, are thrown together as adults when Kimi is threatened. Owner of a Broken Heart by Cheris Hodges finds sportswriter Nina Richardson returning to her family’s Charleston, South Carolina B&B after a professional embarrassment, and into the arms of hotel marketing expert Clinton. Paranormal romance fans are in luck with Hot and Badgered, the first in Shelly Laurenston’s new honey badger shifter series.
Cozy mystery readers can enjoy the start of several new series, including The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams, which finds a bookstore owner and her baker friend investigating a suspicious death tied to some shady land developers; and Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah Graves, in which Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree (star of Graves’ Home Repair is Homicide series) opens a new bakery, and immediately stumbles onto a dead health inspector, with her business partner the main suspect. Those who feel fine reading a series out of order can enjoy Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara, as retired L.A. gardener Mas Arai returns to Hiroshima for the first time since he was a boy, and witnesses a crime. Those looking for grittier fare can try two books from Akashic Books Noir compilation series: Manhattan Noir and Havana Noir.
And that’s just a snapshot of the range of the 170-title collection; when browsing, use the filters to find more romance and mystery titles, as well as historical fiction, thrillers, and more general fiction. This collection is available in the Always Available Reading Room through the end of 2021. In that Reading Room, you’ll also find other Always Available collections, including Audio; Reading About Race; Travel Guides; Children’s Fiction and Nonfiction; and more.
~ posted by Andrea G.