Red, White & Royal Blue
Book Club Pick for June 23, 6:30 pm, Board Room
Book Club Pick for June 23, 6:30 pm, Board Room
Book Club Pick for May 26, 6:30 pm, Board Room
Book Club Pick for April 28, 6:30 pm, Board Room
Book Club Pick for March 24, 6:30 pm, Board Room
Book Club Pick for February 24, 6:30 pm
Berlin 1939. The city is blanketed by snow and ice. In the distance, the rumble of war grows louder. In the shadows, a serial killer rises...
As the Nazis tighten their chokehold on the capital, panic and paranoia fester as blackout is rigidly enforced. Every night the city is plunged into an oppressive, suffocating darkness--pitch perfect conditions for unspeakable acts.
When a young woman is found brutally murdered, it's up to Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke to solve the case quickly. His reputation is already on the line for his failure to join the Nazi Party. If he doesn't solve the case, the consequences could be fatal.
Schenke's worst fears are confirmed when a second victim is found. As the investigation takes him deeper into the regime's darkest corridors, Schenke realizes danger lurks behind every corner-- and that the warring factions of the Reich can be as deadly as a killer stalking the streets.
The medical term is prosopagnosia. The average person calls it face blindness--the inability to recognize a familiar person's face.
When Eleanor walked in on the scene of her capriciously cruel grandmother, Vivianne’s, murder, she came face to face with the killer—a maddening expression that means nothing to someone like her. With each passing day, the horror of having come so close to a murderer—and not knowing if they’d be back—overtakes both her dreams and her waking moments, thwarting her perception of reality.
Then a lawyer calls. Vivianne has left her a house—a looming estate tucked away in the Swedish woods. The place her grandfather died, suddenly. A place that has housed a chilling past for over fifty years.
Eleanor. Her steadfast boyfriend, Sebastian. Her reckless aunt, Veronika. The lawyer. All will go to this house of secrets, looking for answers. But as they get closer to uncovering the truth, they’ll wish they had never come to disturb what rests there.
In November 1970, a storm set a collision course with the most densely populated coastline on Earth. Over the course of just a few hours, the Great Bhola Cyclone would kill 500,000 people and begin a chain reaction of turmoil, genocide, and war. The Vortex is the dramatic story of how that storm sparked a country to revolution.
Bhola made landfall during a fragile time, when Pakistan was on the brink of a historic election. The fallout ignited a conflagration of political intrigue, corruption, violence, idealism, and bravery that played out in the lives of tens of millions of Bangladeshis. Authors Scott Carney and Jason Miklian take us deep into the story of the cyclone and its aftermath, told through the eyes of the men and women who lived through it, including the infamous president of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan, and his close friend Richard Nixon; American expats Jon and Candy Rhode; soccer star-turned-soldier Hafiz Uddin Ahmad; and a young Bengali revolutionary, Mohammed Hai.
Thrillingly paced and written with incredible detail, The Vortex is not just a story about the painful birth of a new nation but also a universal tale of resilience and liberation in the face of climate emergency that affects every single person on the planet.
Erika Krouse has one of those faces. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this,” people say, spilling confessions. In fall 2002, Erika accepts a new contract job investigating lawsuits as a private investigator. The role seems perfect for her, but she quickly realizes she has no idea what she’s doing. Then a lawyer named Grayson assigns her to investigate a sexual assault, a college student who was attacked by football players and recruits at a party a year earlier. Erika knows she should turn the assignment down. Her own history with sexual violence makes it all too personal. But she takes the job anyway, inspired by Grayson’s conviction that he could help change things forever. And maybe she could, too.
Over the next five years, Erika learns everything she can about P. I. technique, tracking down witnesses and investigating a culture of sexual assault and harassment ingrained in the university’s football program. But as the investigation grows into a national scandal and a historic civil rights case, Erika finds herself increasingly consumed. When the case and her life both implode at the same time, Erika must figure out how to help win the case without losing herself.
In C. T. Salazar's striking debut poetry collection, the speaker is situated in the tradition of Southern literature but reimagines its terrain with an eye on the South's historic and ongoing violence. His restless relationship with religion ("a child told me there was a god / and because he was smiling, I believed him") eventually includes a reclamation of the language of belief in the name of desire. "I felt myself become gospel in your hands," the speaker tells his beloved. And, as the title poem asserts, a headless body "leaves more room for salvation."
Though Salazar's South is not a tender place, the book is a petition for tenderness, revealing in both place and people the possibilities for mercy, vulnerability, and wonder. The lyric I, as it creates an archive of experience, is not distanced from the poems' subjects or settings, but deeply enmeshed in a tangled world. In poems with lush diction, ranging from a sonnet crown to those that explore the full field of the page, Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking seeks--and finds--where the divine resides: "Praise our hollow-bell bodies still ringing."
It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.
That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph's first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.
Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel--hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.
When the rallying cry "Black Lives Matter" was heard across the world in 2013, Andre Henry was one of the millions for whom the movement caused a political awakening and a rupture in some of his closest relationships with white people. As he began using his artistic gifts to share his experiences and perspective, Henry was aggrieved to discover that many white Americans-people he called friends and family-were more interested in debating whether racism existed or whether Henry was being polite enough in the way he used his voice. In this personal and thought-provoking book, Henry explores how the historical divides between Black people and non-Black people are expressed through our most mundane interactions, and why this struggle won't be resolved through civil discourse, diversity hires, interracial relationships, or education. What we need is a revolution, one that moves beyond symbolic progress to disrupt systems of racial violence and inequality in tangible, creative ways. Sharing stories from his own path to activism-from studying at seminary to becoming a student of nonviolent social change, from working as a praise leader to singing about social justice-and connecting those experiences to lessons from successful nonviolent struggles in America and around the world, Andre Henry calls on Black people and people of color to divest from whiteness and its false promises, trust what their lived experiences tell them, and practice hope as a discipline as they work for lasting change.
Berlin, 1989. Protests across East Germany threaten the Iron Curtain and Communism is the ill man of Europe. Anne Simpson, an American who works as a translator at the Joint Operations Refugee Committee, thinks she is in a normal marriage with a charming East German. But then her husband disappears, and the CIA and Western German intelligence arrive at her door. Nothing about her marriage is as it seems. She had been targeted by the Matchmaker—a high level East German counterintelligence officer—who runs a network of Stasi agents. These agents are his "Romeos" who marry vulnerable women in West Berlin to provide them with cover as they report back to the Matchmaker. Anne has been married to a spy, and now he has disappeared, and is presumably dead. The CIA are desperate to find the Matchmaker because of his close ties to the KGB. They believe he can establish the truth about a high-ranking Soviet defector. They need Anne because she's the only person who has seen his face - from a photograph that her husband mistakenly left out in his office - and she is the CIA’s best chance to identify him before the Matchmaker escapes to Moscow. Time is running out as the Berlin Wall falls and chaos engulfs East Germany. But what if Anne's husband is not dead? And what if Anne has her own motives for finding the Matchmaker to deliver a different type of justice?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.