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!
Swipe Up for More! Inside the Unfiltered Lives of Influencers by Stephanie McNeal. If you’re anything like journalist Stephanie McNeal—aka, a millennial woman—you spend hours every day indulging in Instagram’s infinite scroll. The influencers on the platform aren’t just providing eye candy; these tastemakers impact how we cook, consume, parent, decorate, think, and live. But what exactly is going on behind the curtain of the perfectly curated Instagram grids we obsess over the most? Through intimate, funny, and vulnerable reporting, McNeal takes us through the looking glass and into the secretive real world of three major influencers: fashion and lifestyle juggernaut Caitlin Covington of Southern Curls & Pearls, runner and advocate Mirna Valerio, and OG “mommy blogger” Shannon Bird. This audiobook is narrated by the author, and you can read an excerpt on Glamour.
American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795 by Edward J. Larson. New attention from historians and journalists is raising pointed questions about the founding period: was the American revolution waged to preserve slavery, and was the Constitution a pact with slavery or a landmark in the antislavery movement? Leaders of the founding who called for American liberty are scrutinized for enslaving Black people themselves: George Washington consistently refused to recognize the freedom of those who escaped his Mount Vernon plantation. And we have long needed a history of the founding that fully includes Black Americans in the Revolutionary protests, the war, and the debates over slavery and freedom that followed. We now have that history in Edward J. Larson’s insightful synthesis of the founding. To find out more, read this NYT review or watch this discussion with the author hosted by the National Archives.
This Bird has Flown by Susanna Hoffs. Jane Start is thirty-three, broke, and recently single. Ten years prior, she had a hit song–written by world-famous superstar Jonesy–but Jane hasn’t had a breakout since. Now she’s living out of four garbage bags at her parents’ house, reduced to performing to Karaoke tracks in Las Vegas. Rock bottom. But when her longtime manager Pippa sends Jane to London to regroup, she’s seated next to an intriguing stranger on the flight–the other Tom Hardy, an elegantly handsome Oxford professor of literature. Jane is instantly smitten by Tom, and soon, truly inspired. But it’s not Jane’s past alone that haunts her second chance at stardom, and at love. Is Tom all that he seems? And can Jane emerge from the shadow of Jonesy’s earlier hit, and into the light of her own? In turns deeply sexy, riotously funny, and utterly joyful, This Bird Has Flown explores love, passion, and the ghosts of our past, and offers a glimpse inside the music business that could only come from beloved songwriter and Bangles co-founder Susanna Hoffs. You can read this NPR review or this Los Angeles Times review.
Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World by John Vaillant. In May 2016, Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada’s oil industry and America’s biggest foreign supplier, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster melted vehicles, turned entire neighborhoods into firebombs, and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. Through the lens of this apocalyptic conflagration–the wildfire equivalent of Hurricane Katrina–John Vaillant warns that this was not a unique event, but a shocking preview of what we must prepare for in a hotter, more flammable world. With masterly prose and a cinematic eye, Vaillant takes us on a riveting journey through the intertwined histories of North America’s oil industry and the birth of climate science, to the unprecedented devastation wrought by modern forest fires, and into lives forever changed by these disasters. John Vaillant’s urgent work is a book for–and from–our new century of fire, which has only just begun. You can find out more with this Washington Post review or this Guardian review.
Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs. In this spellbinding debut novel, two estranged half-sisters tasked with guarding their family’s library of magical books must work together to unravel a deadly secret at the heart of their collection–a tale of familial loyalty and betrayal, and the pursuit of magic and power. For generations, the Kalotay family has guarded a collection of ancient and rare books. Books that let a person walk through walls or manipulate the elements–books of magic that half-sisters Joanna and Esther have been raised to revere and protect. All magic comes with a price, though, and for years the sisters have been separated. Esther has fled to a remote base in Antarctica to escape the fate that killed her own mother, and Joanna’s isolated herself in their family home in Vermont, devoting her life to the study of these cherished volumes. But after their father dies suddenly while reading a book Joanna has never seen before, the sisters must reunite to preserve their family legacy. In the process, they’ll uncover a world of magic far bigger and more dangerous than they ever imagined, and all the secrets their parents kept hidden; secrets that span centuries, continents, and even other libraries. Read an interview with the author or read this review to learn more.