Looking for something new to read? Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!
The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty. Blandine isn’t like the other residents of her building. An online obituary writer. A young mother with a dark secret. A woman waging a solo campaign against rodents — neighbors, separated only by the thin walls of a low-cost housing complex in the once bustling industrial center of Vacca Vale, Indiana. Welcome to the Rabbit Hutch. Ethereally beautiful and formidably intelligent, Blandine shares her apartment with three teenage boys she neither likes nor understands, all, like her, now aged out of the state foster care system that has repeatedly failed them, all searching for meaning in their lives. Set over one sweltering week in July and culminating in a bizarre act of violence that finally changes everything, The Rabbit Hutch is a savagely beautiful and bitingly funny snapshot of contemporary America, a gorgeous and provocative tale of loneliness and longing, entrapment and, ultimately, freedom. Learn more about this National Book Award Winner in The New York Times Book Review.
Yellowface by R.F. Kuang. Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts impulsively: 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 work? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller is? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree. But June can’t escape 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 how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves. With its immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, cultural appropriation, and the terrifying alienation of social media.
The Measure by Nikki Erlick. Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice. It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, a small wooden box is waiting for you. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise? As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge? The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another. Enchanting and deeply uplifting, The Measure is a sweeping, ambitious, and invigorating story about family, friendship, hope, and destiny that encourages us to live life to the fullest. Read more in The New York Times Book Review. This intriguing novel was selected as this year’s reading for first-year students Duke Common Experience.
The Forgotten Girls: A Memoir of Friendship and Promise in Rural America by Monica Potts. Growing up gifted and working-class poor in the foothills of the Ozarks, Monica and Darci became fast friends. The girls bonded over a shared love of reading and learning, even as they navigated the challenges of their tumultuous family lives and declining town. Monica left Clinton for college and fulfilled her dreams, but Darci and many in their circle of friends did not. Years later, working as a journalist covering poverty, Potts discovered what she already intuitively knew about the women in Arkansas: Their life expectancy had dropped steeply—the sharpest such fall in a century. This decline has been attributed to “deaths of despair”—suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses—but Potts knew their causes were too complex to identify in a sociological study. In this narrative, Potts deftly pinpoints the choices that sent her and Darci on such different paths and then widens the lens to explain why those choices are so limited. Learn more in this All Things Considered NPR interview.
Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati. A stunning debut follows Clytemnestra, the ancient world’s most notorious villainess, and the events that forged her into the legendary queen. As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts. Because this was not the first offense against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot. But when your husband returns triumphantly, you become a woman with a choice. Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands into the game of retribution. A blazing novel set in Ancient Greece, this is a thrilling tale of power, prophecies, hatred, love, and an unforgettable Queen who fiercely dealt death to those who wronged her.