What to Read This Month: April

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy!

The Ascent by Adam Plantinga. When a high security prison fails, a down-on-his luck cop and the governor’s daughter are going to have to team up if they’re going to escape in this “jaw-dropping, authentic, and absolutely gripping” (Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author) thriller. Kurt Argento, an ex-Detroit street cop, can’t let injustice go–and he has the fighting skills to back up his idealism. If he sees a young girl being dragged into an alley, he’s going to rescue her and cause some damage. When he does just that in a small corrupt Missouri town, he’s brutally beaten and thrown into a maximum-security prison. Julie Wakefield, a grad student who happens to be the governor’s daughter, is about to take a tour of the prison. But when a malfunction in the security system releases a horde of prisoners, a fierce struggle for survival ensues. Argento must help a small band of staff and civilians, including Julie and her two state trooper handlers, make their way from the bottom floor to the roof to safety. All that stands in their way are six floors of the most dangerous convicts in Missouri. Watch this interview with the author on YouTube.

Company: Stories by Shannon Sanders. A brilliantly woven collection of stories about the lives and lore of one Black family. Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2023, Shannon Sanders brings us into the company of the Collins family and their acquaintances. Moving from Atlantic City to New York to DC, from the 1960s to the 2000s, from law students to drag performers to violinists to matriarchs, Company tells a multifaceted, multigenerational saga in thirteen stories. Each piece includes a moment when a guest arrives at someone’s home. In “The Good, Good Men,” two brothers reunite to oust a “deadbeat” boyfriend from their mother’s house. In “The Everest Society,” the brothers’ sister anxiously prepares for a home visit from a social worker before adopting a child. In “Birds of Paradise,” their aunt, newly promoted to university provost, navigates a minefield of microaggressions at her own welcome party. And in the haunting title story, the provost’s sister finds her solitary life disrupted when her late sister’s daughter comes calling.  Buoyant, somber, and sharp, this collection announces a remarkable new voice in fiction. See what The Washington Post has to say about this richly detailed debut.

End Times by Rebecca Priestley. In the late 1980s, two teenage girls found refuge from a world of cozy conformity, sexism and the nuclear arms race in protest and punk. Then, drawn in by a promise of meaning and purpose, they cast off their punk outfits and became born-again Christians. Unsure which fate would come first – nuclear annihilation or the Second Coming of Jesus – they sought answers from end-times evangelists, scrutinizing friends and family for signs of demon possession and identifying EFTPOS and barcodes as signs of a looming apocalypse. Fast forward to 2021, and Rebecca and Maz – now a science historian and an engineer – are on a road trip to the West Coast. Their journey, though full of laughter and conversation and hot pies, is haunted by the threats of climate change, conspiracy theories, and a massive overdue earthquake. Read an excerpt from the book.

How To Hug a Porcupine: Easy Ways to Love the Difficult People in Your Life by Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis. Most of us know someone who, for whatever reason, always seems to cause problems, irritate others, or incite conflict. Often, these people are a part of our daily lives. The truth is that these troublemakers haven’t necessarily asked to be this way. Sometimes we need to learn new approaches to deal with people who are harder to get along with or love. How to Hug a Porcupine explains that making peace with others isn’t as tough or terrible as we think it is—especially when you can use an adorable animal analogy and apply it to real-life problems. Whether you want to calm the quills of parents, children, siblings, coworkers, friends, or strangers, How to Hug a Porcupine provides valuable strategies for your encounters with “prickly” people, such as three easy ways to end an argument, how to spot the porcupine in others, and how to spot the porcupine in ourselves. Be sure to check out this Apple Books review.

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan. A National Bestseller and Good Morning America Book Club Pic! Vanessa Chan weaves the spellbinding story of an ordinary housewife who becomes an unlikely spy.  Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day. Cecily knows two things: this is all her fault and her family must never learn her dark secret. A decade prior, Cecily was desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fujiwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction–and she will do anything to save them. Told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is “a searing historical novel.”–The Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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