What to Read Next
As a staff dedicated to fostering the pure enjoyment of reading and the pursuit of knowledge, we’re eager to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the library. From personalized book lists and programs designed to connect readers with their favorite authors, to providing a wide array of online resources designed to assist in exploring the book world at large, the library is here to get you connected.
The library offers help with discovering new titles by your favorite authors as well as exploring new titles to enjoy. We can also assist with placing holds on items and navigating our digital collections ready for check out via OverDrive/Libby and Hoopla.
Author Match Program
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Library Staff Picks
Looking for what to read next? Check out this list of what library staff are reading, watching and listening to, and enjoying. We love to share!
The Grace Year
The Instant New York Times Bestseller! Kim Liggett's The Grace Year is a speculative thriller in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power.
Survive the year.
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.
“A visceral, darkly haunting fever dream of a novel and an absolute page-turner.” – Libba Bray, New York Times bestselling author
The Violin Conspiracy
GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK! • Ray McMillian is a Black classical musician on the rise—undeterred by the pressure and prejudice of the classical music world—when a shocking theft sends him on a desperate quest to recover his great-great-grandfather’s heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world.
“I loved The Violin Conspiracy for exactly the same reasons I loved The Queen’s Gambit: a surprising, beautifully rendered underdog hero I cared about deeply and a fascinating, cutthroat world I knew nothing about—in this case, classical music.” —Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch
Growing up Black in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian’s life is already mapped out. But Ray has a gift and a dream—he’s determined to become a world-class professional violinist, and nothing will stand in his way. Not his mother, who wants him to stop making such a racket; not the fact that he can’t afford a violin suitable to his talents; not even the racism inherent in the world of classical music.
When he discovers that his beat-up, family fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, all his dreams suddenly seem within reach, and together, Ray and his violin take the world by storm. But on the eve of the renowned and cutthroat Tchaikovsky Competition—the Olympics of classical music—the violin is stolen, a ransom note for five million dollars left in its place. Without it, Ray feels like he's lost a piece of himself. As the competition approaches, Ray must not only reclaim his precious violin, but prove to himself—and the world—that no matter the outcome, there has always been a truly great musician within him.
A Best in Fiction Book for 2023
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK
"Hard to put down, harder to forget." -- Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author
White lies. Dark humor. Deadly consequences... Bestselling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is, she didn't write the book she claims she wrote, and she is most certainly not Asian American--in this chilling and hilariously cutting novel from R.F. Kuang, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Babel.
Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena's a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.
So when June witnesses Athena's death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena's just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.
So what if June edits Athena's novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song--complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn't this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That's what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.
But June can't get away from Athena's shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June's (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.
With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media. R.F. Kuang's novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.
When Women Were Dragons
A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. • The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of.
Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of this astonishing event: a mother more protective than ever; an absentee father; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and
watching her beloved cousin Bea become dangerously obsessed with the forbidden.
In this timely and timeless speculative novel, award-winning author Kelly Barnhill boldly explores rage, memory, and the tyranny of forced limitations. When Women Were Dragons exposes a world that wants to keep women small—their lives and their prospects—and examines what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.
All You Have to Do Is Call
“[A] powerful, thought-provoking novel… not only important and timely, but deeply humanizing.” —Good Morning America
“Remarkable.” —The Washington Post
“Powerful. Dramatic. Insightful…. It’s not only a timely novel, but storytelling at its finest – a must-read.” —NPR
An NPR Books We Love selection for 2023
A gripping and uplifting novel based on the true story of the Jane Collective and the brave women who worked in the shadows for our right to choose, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Paris Bookseller.
Chicago, early 1970s. Who does a woman call when she needs help? Jane.
The best-known secret in the city, Jane is an underground health clinic composed entirely of women helping women, empowering them to embrace their futures by offering reproductive counseling and safe, illegal abortions. Veronica, Jane’s founder, prides herself on the services she has provided to thousands of women, yet the price of others’ freedom is that she leads a double life. When she’s not at Jane, Veronica plays the role of a conventional housewife—a juggling act that becomes even more difficult during her own high-risk pregnancy.
Two more women in Veronica’s neighborhood are grappling with similar disconnects. Margaret, a young professor at the University of Chicago, secretly volunteers at Jane as she falls in love with a man whose attitude toward his ex-wife increasingly disturbs her. Patty, who’s long been content as a devoted wife and mother, has begun to sense that something essential is missing from her life. When her runaway younger sister, Eliza, shows up unexpectedly, Patty must come to terms with what it really means to love and support a sister.
In this historic moment, when the personal was nothing if not political, Veronica, Margaret, and Patty risk it all to help mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. With an awe-inspiring story and appealing characters, All You Have to Do Is Call celebrates the power of women coming together in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Maybe in Another Life
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
A People Magazine Pick * US Weekly “Must” Pick * Named “Best Book of the Summer” by Glamour * Good Housekeeping * USA TODAY * Cosmopolitan * PopSugar * Working Mother * Bustle * Goodreads
A breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.
Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?
In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
She is the very thing he's spent his whole life hunting. He is the very thing she's spent her whole life pretending to be. Only the extraordinary belong in the kingdom of Ilya--the exceptional, the empowered, the Elites. The powers these Elites have possessed for decades were graciously gifted to them by the Plague, though not all were fortunate enough to both survive the sickness and reap the reward. Those born Ordinary are just that--ordinary. And when the king decreed that all Ordinaries be banished in order to preserve his Elite society, lacking an ability suddenly became a crime--making Paedyn Gray a felon by fate and a thief by necessity. Surviving in the slums as an Ordinary is no simple task, and Paedyn knows this better than most. Having been trained by her father to be overly observant since she was a child, Paedyn poses as a Psychic in the crowded city, blending in with the Elites as best she can in order to stay alive and out of trouble. Easier said than done.
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot
"A beautiful debut, funny, tender, and animated by a willingness to confront life's obstacles and find a way to survive. . . . It celebrates friendship, finds meaning in difficulty and lets the reader explore dark places while always allowing for the possibility of light. Lenni and Margot are fine companions for all our springtime journeys."--Harper's Bazaar, UK
A charming, fiercely alive and disarmingly funny debut novel in the vein of John Green, Rachel Joyce, and Jojo Moyes--a brave testament to the power of living each day to the fullest, a tribute to the stories that we live, and a reminder of our unlimited capacity for friendship and love.
An extraordinary friendship. A lifetime of stories.
Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Though the teenager has been told she's dying, she still has plenty of living to do. Joining the hospital's arts and crafts class, she meets the magnificent Margot, an 83-year-old, purple-pajama-wearing, fruitcake-eating rebel, who transforms Lenni in ways she never imagined.
As their friendship blooms, a world of stories opens for these unlikely companions who, between them, have been alive for one hundred years. Though their days are dwindling, both are determined to leave their mark on the world. With the help of Lenni's doting palliative care nurse and Father Arthur, the hospital's patient chaplain, Lenni and Margot devise a plan to create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of the century they have lived--stories of love and loss, of courage and kindness, of unexpected tenderness and pure joy.
Though the end is near, life isn't quite done with these unforgettable women just yet.
Delightfully funny and bittersweet, heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot reminds us of the preciousness of life as it considers the legacy we choose to leave, how we influence the lives of others even after we're gone, and the wonder of a friendship that transcends time.
Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook
New York Times bestselling Series. The first Fix-It and Forget-It book in full color! 250 fully tested recipes to make in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Fix-It and Forget-It is the series of cookbooks responsible for getting slow cookers out of cupboards and back onto kitchen counters, selling more than 11 million cookbooks since the series launched. Now, after years of developing and testing hundreds of recipes, Fix-It and Forget-It is in full color, by New York Times bestselling author, Phyllis Good.
Fix-It and Forget-It NEW Cookbook, with full-color photography throughout, offers 250 new and fully tested recipes to make in a slow cooker, including:
- Slow Cooker Pizza, Barbecued Turkey Cutlets, Balsamic-Glazed Pork Ribs, Ginger Pot Roast, Pasta Vanessa, and Chiles Rellenos (among the Main Dishes).
- Sweet Potato Pudding with Cardamom, Eggplant Creole, Rosemary Carrots, and Party Walnut Broccoli (among the Vegetables).
- Cranberry Almond Bread, Festive Strawberry Loaf, Mexican-Style Cornbread, and Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread (among the Breads).
- Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, Corn and Shrimp Chowder, Curried Chicken Chowder, and Turkey Pumpkin Black-Bean Chili (among the Soups).
- Omelet Camping Casserole, Creamy French Toast with Peaches, and Baked Oatmeal (among the Breakfasts and Brunches).
- Salmon-Stuffed Mushrooms, Hot Wings Dip, Hot Buttered Lemonade, and Rosemary Walnuts (among the Appetizers, Snacks, and Beverages).
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, Mocha Bread Pudding, Slow Cooker Crème Brulee, and Pumpkin Pecan Pie (among the Sweets and Desserts).
- Chicken, Beef, and Vegetable Stocks; Easy Ketchup; Homemade Yogurt; and Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup (among the Everyday From-Scratch Basics).
Each recipe is easy to follow and requires a minimum of ingredients and equipment. Helpful Tips are included with many of the recipes.
Phyllis Good believes that slow cookers are helpful appliances for both beginner and experienced cooks alike. The recipes in the book that require very little prep time or skills are labeled “Quick and Easy.” (Those recipes even have their own Index!). The unmarked recipes are a little more complex, but they aren’t hard to prepare.
Fix-It and Forget-It NEW Cookbook is a big, full-color, useful cookbook, which, in addition to recipes, offers:
Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Good Books and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of cookbooks, including books on juicing, grilling, baking, frying, home brewing and winemaking, slow cookers, and cast iron cooking. We’ve been successful with books on gluten-free cooking, vegetarian and vegan cooking, paleo, raw foods, and more. Our list includes French cooking, Swedish cooking, Austrian and German cooking, Cajun cooking, as well as books on jerky, canning and preserving, peanut butter, meatballs, oil and vinegar, bone broth, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch
Jacqueline Firkins's The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch is a beautiful story of friendship, and second chances at love.
Imogen Finch has just been through her seventeenth breakup. She saw it coming, so she's not as crushed as she might be, but with all seventeen of her exes leaving her for other partners, she's come to believe a prediction her well-intentioned and possibly clairvoyant mother made over twenty years ago: that Imogen would never come first at anything or to anyone. Is her love life failing due to a magical curse? Insufficient effort? Poor timing or personality mismatches? Everyone has opinions on the matter.
Imogen's ready to give up altogether. But when Eliot Swift, her secret high school crush, returns to their small coastal town after a decade of nomadic travels, Imogen has new motivation to try again. Eliot's full of encouragement. He suggests that her curse is not only imagined, it's easily breakable. All they need is one win--any win--and she can believe in love, and in herself again.
From trivia games to swimming races to corn-shucking contests, the pair sets out to snag Imogen her first first. But when victory proves more elusive than Eliot anticipated, and when his deep-seeded wanderlust compels him to depart for far away places, Imogen fears she's destined to remain in second place forever. Fortunately for them both, sometimes magic lingers in the most unexpected places. And love is far from predictable.
Book & Author Programs
Digital Library of Illinois (Libby)
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