Bookshelf

March Books

FICTION

Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

An impossible-to-put down story of fictional rock musicians and their path to new heights of musical creativity and mega stardom in the 1970s. Written in an interview format, each character tells the unvarnished side of the group’s tangled and talented rise. Juxtaposed to allow for multiple perspectives at the same time, the story comes alive in this riveting piece of writing. This is the most fun, must-read book of spring and summer.

A Woman Is No Man, by Etaf Rum

With tremendous empathy, insight and unflinching honesty, Rum gives voice to a silenced and powerless group of modern women living in a strict Arab world. The novel follows the lives of a family of Palestinian immigrant women over the span of a few decades in Brooklyn. The only options in their limited lives are to marry, to hopefully bear sons, to know their place, while withstanding abuse and the repetitive drudgery of work within the confines of the male world. A remarkable novel with a hauntingly unforgettable first line.

Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams

She is frustrating, misunderstood, lonely, lovable, over-the-top dramatic, funny, filled with good and bad intentions, but above all, so very human. Queenie Jenkins is 25 years old and a journalist of Jamaican heritage in London trying to understand it all. Her white boyfriend wants to take a break and she attracts all the wrong sorts of men from online dating sites. Mistreatment, race and a troubled past can paralyze her, but somehow, she keeps going. Candice Carty-Williams has created an incredibly unforgettable character with an incredibly unforgettable cast of family and friends.

Tomorrow There Will Be Sun, by Dana Reinhardt

Two families, longtime friends and business partners, gather at one of Puerto Vallarta’s most luxurious villas to celebrate a 50th birthday. Meticulously planned and engineered well in advance by Jenna, the wife of the birthday boy, this is to be a seamlessly perfect vacation. Nothing is as it seems despite the best efforts to have a hand on all the controls. When it rains in paradise it pours, and the foundations upon which life is built can crack. Dana Reinhardt projects a smart, wry tone in this entertaining and engrossing novel.

Supermarket, by Bobby Hall

Flynn is stuck, depressed, recently dumped, and living at his mom’s house. The supermarket was supposed to change all that. An ordinary job and a steady check. Work isn’t work when it’s saving you from yourself, but things aren’t quite as they seem in these aisles. Arriving at work one day to a crime scene, Flynn’s world begins to crumble as the secrets of his tortured mind are revealed. Flynn doesn’t want to go looking for answers at the supermarket because something there seems to be looking for him. A darkly funny psychological thriller, Supermarket is a gripping exploration into madness and creativity. Who knew you could find sex, drugs and murder in aisle nine?

NONFICTION

Secret Wisdom of Nature, by Peter Wohlleben

The acclaimed author of the international best-sellers The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: Do life forms communicate across species boundaries, and what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world’s most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe.

See You in the Piazza, by Frances Mayes

The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: These are the sights synonymous with Italy. But landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country’s offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through all 20 regions — from Friuli to Calabria. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks.

Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, by Lynne Olson

The best-selling author of Citizens of London tells the story of a 31-year-old Frenchwoman, a young mother born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour, who became the leader of a vast resistance organization. Her group’s name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah’s Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. The name Fourcade chose for herself was Hedgehog: unthreatening in appearance, yet a tough little animal, that, as she put it, “even a lion would hesitate to bite.” No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence as Alliance.

An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System, by Matt Richtel

A groundbreaking exploration of the human immune system — the key to our health and longevity — from the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and acclaimed author of A Deadly Wandering. In this vivid narrative, Richtel builds on his acclaimed Times stories on immunotherapy, combining the latest science with interviews and engaging anecdotes from the world’s leading researchers to reveal how the body marshals its forces to fight bacteria, viruses, parasites and tumors. He also explains how, sometimes, this wondrous system can become a threat, attacking our organs and other systems.

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, by Clive Thompson

Thompson unpacks the surprising history of the coding field and introduces us to modern crypto-hackers; artificial intelligence engineers building eerie new forms of machine cognition; teenage girls losing sleep at “hackathons”; and unemployed Kentucky coal miners learning a new career. The book illustrates how programming has become a marvelous new art form — a source of delight and creativity, not merely danger. Coders ponders the morality and politics of the field, including its implications for civic life and the economy and how programmers shape our everyday behavior.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Backpack Explorer:  On the Nature Trail

With longer light and warmer days, kids and their special adults will soon be wandering outside to the trails in Weymouth Woods or the Southern Pines Greenway.  On the Nature Trail is the perfect guide to identifying birds, clouds, flowers and small critters seen along the way.  Super-interactive, outdoorsy fun. (Ages 6-10.)

The Perfect Horse, by Elizabeth Letts

A young readers adaptation of Letts’ New York Times best-seller, The Perfect Horse chronicles the bravery of American troops as they venture to save the lives of some of the world’s most precious horses during the final days of World War II. (Ages 10-14.)

Riding Lessons and Saddles & Secrets, by Jane Smiley

Two books in the delightful Ellen & Ned series about a young girl and the ex-racehorse who captures her heart.  From a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and perfect for that young rider. (Age 8-12.)

Because, by Mo Willems

The multi-talented author of such children’s classics as Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and the Elephant and Piggie series offers his ode to artists, creators and music lovers everywhere.  “Because a man named Ludwig made beautiful music, a man named Franz was inspired to write his own.” And because of them, a young music lover is inspired to write and play and share her music.  A touching story that shows how a spark of kindness can awaken a passion in others and help them discover their own special gifts. (Ages 3-7.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally

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