Hello and welcome to our monthly look at the new releases that will be hitting your library’s shelves – and hopefully, hitting your holds list. Summer is here, and we love it when we see library books by the pool, or at the lake, or even on the porch. (The kiddos have Summer Reading to do – why should THEY have all the fun?)
First up is a debut novel by Karen Dionne: The Marsh King's Daughter. Taking place in the remote swamps of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this smart, engrossing thriller is about a young woman, Helena, whose mother was a victim of an Elizabeth Smart-style kidnapping by the Marsh King – a psychopath who can navigate the swamps better than anyone. He hid out from civilization for years, raising his daughter with a mixture of love and abuse; a twisted cocktail of emotions to the young woman. Once her father was caught, Helena thinks she was finally free, until years later, after a prison break, she realizes she must track down the Marsh King and protect her family as well as face the true horror of her upbringing. This is a smart, twisty thriller with a strong sense of place and an absolute riveting read that will keep you glued to your seat.
If you’ve read Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist or have read her essays and blog posts, you know that she writes with blazing honesty, humor, and insight. Her latest, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, is an absolute must-read, using her own struggles with overeating and her lifelong insecurities with her body to write a shockingly sincere and thoughtful memoir that not only touches on food and body issues, but sexuality, race, gender, fame, and kindness. Gay understands the tug of war between health and comfort, between self-care and desire. In other words: the hunger that lies within us all. Readers will likely be nodding in agreement as they turn pages – when they’re not laughing, that is.
Midnight at The Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan is a surprisingly delightful mystery revolving around Lydia, who works at a small bookstore and is well-known by the small group of eccentric characters and regular customers who call the Bright Ideas Bookstore their second home. However, when one of those patrons commits suicide in the back room of the store and leaves all of his belongings to Lydia, she is pulled into a mystery when she realizes there were messages and clues that he left behind – and a very special item that ties into her own mysterious past. I called this book a mystery earlier, and it certainly functions as one, but this has immense crossover appeal to fans of gentle reads and literary fiction as well. If you liked The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry or Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, of if you’ve ever wandered around in a bookstore or – y’know – a library, you’ll find something to love here.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, where an aging, reclusive Old Hollywood icon chooses an unknown journalist to writer her memoirs, could be one of the underground hits of the summer. Evelyn Hugo, born poor in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, goes to Tinseltown and scratches, claws, and yes – marries - her way to the top. As she narrates her story to the young star-struck journalist, we discover that both women contain secrets and might be connected in some way. If you’re a fan of the “You Must Remember This” podcast or have a soft spot for TCM marathons, you’ll love this epic, sweeping novel full of dramatic twists and turns that evokes a lost place and time and introduces us to the unforgettable, unshakable charter of Evelyn Hugo: part Greta Garbo, part Rita Hayworth, part Elizabeth Taylor, but wholly her own person.
Finally, we finish our look at the month’s new releases with Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, which has been getting an immense amount of buzz from book reviewers. When you wander in the mystery section of your library, you’ll often find yourself surrounded by pulse-pounding thrillers, gun-toting police detectives, and international spies. For those of you who miss the classic mystery, Magpie Murders is an absolute treat. The novel introduces us to Susan Ryeland, a book editor to a well-known and bestselling mystery author. But looking over his newest manuscript, she notices several chapters are missing - and the news arrives that the author himself has died. Susan suspects the manuscript itself contains clues to the author’s death, and this begins a multi-layered mystery where the reader is drawn into the puzzle. Well-written with a clear love of the classic British mystery, this is sure to be a clever beach read as well as brilliant whodunit.
Thanks for hanging out with us! Be sure to reach out to us on social media to tell us what you are reading, and be sure to say hello when you stop by your local library to pick up your holds. See you next month!