If you missed Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, this summer is a great time to pick it up. It's a fictional story based on a real situation that is deeply disturbing but important. Through the 1940s, the Tennessee Children's Home Society profited from essentially kidnapping children from poor families and placing them with prominent people. This novel interweaves the story lines of Avery Stafford, a lawyer from a prominent South Carolina family, and Rill Foss, the eldest of five children who were taken from their parents' boat by this unscrupulous orphanage. When you are finished with this title, you can put a hold on Wingate's nonfiction title Before and After: The Incredible Real-life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society. It publishes in October.
Read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho if you are dealing with a hard time in your life or just feeling put down by society. Our staff member who recommended this title said, "This book was extremely uplifting and motivating to me...it was inspiring and reminded me that the universe will put things into place if they are meant to be."
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's work is always powerful, but Americanah is a great read to help you step outside of your life and see what it's like to live in America as an immigrant. A young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, immigrates to the United States to attend university. Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the west. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black in America. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in
London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
Not one, not two, but three staff members recommended Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It's about a young woman who has grown-up living essentially alone in the marshes of North Carolina. She's almost feral. A young man dies and the "Marsh girl" is blamed for the murder. Atmospheric, suspenseful, wistful, and compelling...Crawdads may be the perfect summer read.
Escape Room by debut author Megan Goldin is recommended for thriller fans. Four coworkers are trapped in an elevator. They were on their way to an company-sponsored "escape room" activity and they soon realize the "elevator" is the activity. Then, this fun teambuilding activity becomes deadly. Publisher's Weekly describes it as "a riveting...tale of greed and revenge set on Wall Street." Need another thriller? We recommend Liane Moriarity's Nine Perfect Strangers. Set in a health resort, nine strangers gather there for different reasons, some to lose weight, others to regain their health, or to start over. But, what's really going on? From the author of Big Little Lies.
For the nonfiction reader, try David Spade's memoir David Spade is Almost Interesting. It is entertaining and contains revealing behind the scene information about Saturday Night Live. Are you missing HGTV's Fixer-Upper? The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino tells you how it all began. Download the audiobook, narrated by both Chip and Joanna Gaines as it's even better than the print edition. It's quite an inspiring story.
Read The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders. The title says it all! Minimalism and tidying is a hot topic right now but our staff member loved that this book tackles the real problem. Buying things! The author realizes that it doesn't benefit us to purge our belongings if we just end up acquiring more. By breaking this "acquiring" habit she is able to conquer her debt, find financial peace, and finally achieve goals she never thought possible.