April Adult Reading Challenge
More Than Meat and Raiment
Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson returns with a poetic collage that draws on imagery from the African American South and the South Side of Chicago, storytelling, the Black Arts Movement, and Hausa folklore. Deftly intertwining narrative and free verse, she expresses the complexities, beauty, and haunts of the multilayered Black voice. The speakers of these poems reflect on memory and saga, history and legend. Voices recall evenings spent catching fireflies with a younger sister, the aroma of homemade rolls, the father who squeezes papers into his wallet alongside bills in order to appear wealthy (“a flock of green birds rustling inside / to get out for some extravagance”). Lauded as one of American poetry’s most vivid voices, Jackson continues her reign among the country’s foremost wordsmiths. This sublime collection delves deep into the porch stories and folktales that have carried the Black voice through all its histories.
Blood Weather, Alice Friman’s sharply etched new collection of poetry, reminds readers that times of reckoning are marked by blood: the knife, the sword, the cutting word. Blood runs through our history, stories, religion, and art, and we cannot help but play our part by adding to the storm of “fang and claw” and its inherent sorrow. Friman traces this unending path through biblical tales, the war of the sexes, the continuum of art, and her own family and personal life. Her poems reflect on figures ranging from Lady Macbeth—whom Friman sees in the blood-red tree outside her bedroom window—to Cain and Abel in the biblical account of the first murder, through Judge Judy’s frustrations when faced with the death of a marriage, to the poet herself as a child learning to read “the ancient writing of the butcher block / streaked with cuts and sacrifice” and the butcher’s hands, “blunt-fingered and stained.” By turns stark and resilient, the poems in Blood Weather draw on tragic themes and painful memories to evoke the tumult of human nature.
100 Poems to Break Your Heart
In 100 Poems to Break Your Heart, poet and advocate Edward Hirsch selects 100 poems, from the nineteenth century to the present, and illuminates them, unpacking context and references to help the reader fully experience the range of emotion and wisdom within these poems.
For anyone trying to process grief, loneliness, or fear, this collection of poetry will be your guide in trying times.
After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. In Obit, Chang writes of "the way memory gets up after someone has died and starts walking." These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died ("civility," "language," "the future," "Mother's blue dress") and the cultural impact of death on the living. Whereas elegy attempts to immortalize the dead, an obituary expresses loss, and the love for the dead becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living.
In the Lateness of the World
A tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life and death. The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives and “there is nothing that cannot be seen.” In the Lateness of the World is a revelation from one of the finest poets writing today.
In her remarkable and assured debut, Alexandria Hall explores the boundaries and limits of language, place, and the self, as well as the complicated space between safety and danger, intimacy and isolation, playfulness and seriousness, home and away. With a keen eye for the importance of place, Hall shows us daily life in rural Vermont, illuminating the beauty and difficulty inherent in the dichotomies of human language and experience.
Perfect Black is a book of poems and legends about ancestry, culture, and the terrain of a Black girl becoming. It is a narrow and spacious terrain that enters the bloodstream of this black writing girl's body early. It is a country that she never truly exits even though different zip codes continue to fly through her wild, wondrous, winding life.
The Best American Poetry 2020
Since 1988, The Best American Poetry anthology series has been “one of the mainstays of the poetry publication world” (Academy of American Poets). Each volume in the series presents some of the year’s most remarkable poems and poets.
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (LOA #333)
Across a turbulent history, from such vital centers as Harlem, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and the Bay Area, Black poets created a rich and multifaceted tradition that has been both a reckoning with American realities and an imaginative response to them. Capturing the power and beauty of this diverse tradition in a single indispensable volume, African American Poetry reveals as never before its centrality and its challenge to American poetry and culture.
How to Fly (in Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)
In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. She begins with "how to" poems addressing everyday matters such as being hopeful, married, divorced; shearing a sheep; praying to unreliable gods; doing nothing at all; and of course, flying. Next come rafts of poems about making peace (or not) with the complicated bonds of friendship and family, and making peace (or not) with death, in the many ways it finds us. Some poems reflect on the redemptive powers of art and poetry itself; others consider where everything begins.
Closing the book are poems that celebrate natural wonders--birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, deadly deserts, and thousand-year-old beech trees--all speaking to the daring project of belonging to an untamed world beyond ourselves.
Altogether, these are poems about transcendence: finding breath and lightness in life and the everyday acts of living. It's all terribly easy and, as the title suggests, not entirely possible. Or at least, it is never quite finished.
Living Nations, Living Words
Joy Harjo, the first Native poet to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate, has championed the voices of Native peoples past and present. Her signature laureate project gathers the work of contemporary Native poets into a national, fully digital map of story, sound, and space, celebrating their vital and unequivocal contributions to American poetry.
Most Checkouts in March 2022 - For Adults
Jane in Love
Bath, England, 1803. At 28, Jane Austen prefers walking and reading to balls and assemblies; she dreams of someday publishing her carefully crafted stories. Already on the shelf and in grave danger of becoming a spinster, Jane goes searching for a radical solution--and as a result, seemingly by accident, time-travels. She lands in...
Bath, England, present day. The film set of Northanger Abbey. Sofia Wentworth is a Hollywood actress starring in a new period film, an attempt to reinvent her flagging career and, secretly, an attempt to reinvent her failing marriage. When Sofia meets Jane, she marvels at the young actress who can't seem to "break character," even off set. And Jane--acquainting herself with the horseless steel carriages and seriously shocking fashion of the twenty-first century-- meets Sofia, a woman unlike anyone she's ever met before. Then she meets Fred, Sofia's brother, who has the audacity to be handsome, clever, and kind-hearted.
What happens when Jane, against her better judgement, falls in love with Fred? And when Sofia learns the truth about her new friend Jane? And worst of all, if Jane stays with Fred, will she ever achieve her dream, the one she's now seen come true?
The Wrong Family
Have you ever been wrong about someone?
Juno was wrong about Winnie Crouch. Before moving in with the Crouch family, Juno thought Winnie and her husband, Nigel, had the perfect marriage, the perfect son--the perfect life. Only now that she's living in their beautiful house, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade are too deep to ignore.
Still, she isn't one to judge. After her grim diagnosis, the retired therapist simply wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace. But that peace is shattered the day Juno overhears a chilling conversation between Winnie and Nigel...
She shouldn't get involved. She really shouldn't. But this could be her chance to make a few things right. Because if you thought Juno didn't have a secret of her own, then you were wrong about her, too.
Plain Bad Heroines
Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary's book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever--but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.
Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the "haunted and cursed" Gilded Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled--or perhaps just grimly exploited--and soon it's impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.
The Midnight Library
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig's enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
News of the World
Now a Major Motion Picture
It is 1870 and Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.
In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forging a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.
Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember--strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become--in the eyes of the law--a kidnapper himself. Exquisitely rendered and morally complex, News of the World is a brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
The Archive of the Forgotten
In the second installment of this richly imagined fantasy adventure series, a new threat from within the Library could destroy those who depend upon it the most.
The Library of the Unwritten in Hell was saved from total devastation, but hundreds of potential books were destroyed. Former librarian Claire and Brevity the muse feel the loss of those stories, and are trying to adjust to their new roles within the Arcane Wing and Library, respectively. But when the remains of those books begin to leak a strange ink, Claire realizes that the Library has kept secrets from Hell--and from its own librarians.
Claire and Brevity are immediately at odds in their approach to the ink, and the potential power that it represents has not gone unnoticed. When a representative from the Muses Corps arrives at the Library to advise Brevity, the angel Rami and the erstwhile Hero hunt for answers in other realms. The true nature of the ink could fundamentally alter the afterlife for good or ill, but it entirely depends on who is left to hold the pen.
White Trash Warlock
Not all magicians go to schools of magic.
Adam Binder has the Sight. It's a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam's life, that power has been a curse, hindering friendships, worrying his backwoods family, and fueling his abusive father's rage.
Years after his brother, Bobby, had him committed to a psych ward, Adam is ready to come to grips with who he is, to live his life on his terms, to find love, and maybe even use his magic to do some good. Hoping to track down his missing father, Adam follows a trail of cursed artifacts to Denver, only to discover that an ancient and horrifying spirit has taken possession of Bobby's wife.
It isn't long before Adam becomes the spirit's next target. To survive the confrontation, save his sister-in-law, and learn the truth about his father, Adam will have to risk bargaining with very dangerous beings ... including his first love.
My Hero Academia, Vol. 24
Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.
What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?
A new player emerges in the underground world of villains in the form of the Meta Liberation Army. Led by the CEO of the Detnerat Corporation, the MLA is preparing for a new metahuman revolution. In their eyes, the League of Villains is an obstacle to be removed, but Tomura and his band of miscreants aren’t about to go down quietly. It’s army versus league in all-out war, and dominance must be established.
Charlie didn't think Nick could ever like him back, but now they're officially boyfriends. Charlie's beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you.
Nick's been feeling the same, but he's got a lot on his mind - not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.
As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means.
This is the fourth volume of Heartstopper, which is soon to be a live-action Netflix series.
A Stranger at the Door
Rachel Marin is in a good place. After years of struggle, the single mother has found both a stable, loving relationship and a new purpose: putting her investigative skills to work solving crimes for the local PD. But just as the pieces of her life are finally starting to fall into place, her teenaged son's teacher is gruesomely murdered, starting a domino effect that shatters her peaceful existence.
When Rachel discovers an ominous email the teacher sent to her just before his death, she knows she must help bring his killer to justice. But soon a figure from her past reappears, threatening to expose Rachel's darkest secrets if she doesn't tread lightly. And when her son is recruited by a shadowy businessman who may be connected to the murder, Rachel knows this has just gotten very, very personal.
Someone out there is dead set on keeping this grisly cover-up good and buried, which means if Rachel's not careful, it's only a matter of time before her dream life becomes her worst nightmare.
What's Worth Keeping
The day her doctor says the one word that no one wants to hear, Amy Bergstrom discovers a secret that her husband of 25 years has been keeping from her. Now that the months of treatment and surgeries are behind her, she escapes her claustrophobic life seeking healing, peace and clarity in an ancient forest in Washington State, a forest that holds memories of her childhood summers.
After dropping off his daughter at Amy’s Aunt Rae’s horse ranch in the mountains of New Mexico, Officer Paul Bergstrom visits the fixer-upper he had bought years ago as a place to retire with his family. Although it appears fine on the outside, the inside is a disaster—just like his marriage. When he finds himself with more off-duty time than he expected, he lovingly repairs his dream home, building the future he so desperately wants.
Witnessing her mother’s health crisis had been terrifying enough, but learning the cause was genetic leaves Carly with the sense that all of her dreams are pointless. With the help of her eccentric great aunt and a Clydesdale named T. Rex, Carly just may find her faith in her future again.
Amy, Paul, and Carly discover that love and family are worth keeping in this powerful, emotional, and hopeful novel.
Girls of Brackenhill
When Hannah Maloney's aunt dies in a car accident, she returns to her family's castle in the Catskills and the epicenter of a childhood trauma: her sister's unsolved disappearance. It's been seventeen years, and though desperate to start a new life with her fiancé, Hannah is compelled to question the events of her last summer at Brackenhill.
When a human bone is found near the estate, Hannah is convinced it belongs to her long-lost sister. She launches her own investigation into that magical summer that ended in a nightmare. As strange happenings plague the castle, Hannah uncovers disturbing details about the past and startling realizations about her own repressed childhood memories.
Fueled by guilt over her sister's vanishing, Hannah becomes obsessed with discovering what happened all those years ago, but by the time Hannah realizes some mysteries are best left buried, it's too late to stop digging. Overwhelmed by what she has exposed, Hannah isn't sure her new life can survive her old ghosts.
Where the Crawdads Sing
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens.