What We're Reading...

New and popular additions to our collection.

The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear

From the book jacket:  When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting

on the war in Europe, is found murdered in he London digs, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. He is accompanied by an agent from the US Department of Justice - Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie escape Hitler's Munich in 1938. MacFarlane asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon's death.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

From the book jacket:  When Jessica Farris signs up a psychology study

conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she'll have to do is

answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions

grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings

where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she beings to feel as though Dr.

Shields may know what she's thinking...and what she's hiding. As Jess's

paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is

real, and what is one of Dr. Shield's manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

From the book jacket: "With deft storytelling and convincing scholarship, Cara

Robertson does the seemingly impossible by bringing new life to perhaps our

oldest true crime saga: the Gilded Age case of Lizzie Borden. By giving us Fall

River, Massachusetts, in full and in context as well as the panoply of characters

who made the trial so sensational, Robertson has written that rarest of things: a

page-turner with a point." -Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of  America

​​​The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Review contributed by Mary Briggs

A portrait of one Mexican-American family and the American Dream.

The author is a great storyteller - recounting the tales that have

become family lore. Big Angel's story is that of first generation

immigrants with hopes and dreams that are not unlike those of all families present and past. Brilliantly written.​​

 

The Library Book by Susan Orlean.

From the publisher, Simon and Schuster:

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the

larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries

across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan

charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings

each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

From the publisher, Crown Publishing Group

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama

invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her

childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands

of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With

unerring honestyand lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both

public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own

terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of

soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

From the publisher, MacMillan  Publishers

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse,

the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named

him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache

accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller

from Three Pines, and a young builder.

None of them had ever met the elderly woman.

The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane?

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

But it isn’t the only menace Gamache is facing.

The investigation into what happened six months ago—the events that led to his suspension—has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip through his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.

Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers.

As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.

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