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BKM Adult Summer Reading Challenge: Home
Your 2020 Travel Plans
Africa: 12 votes (19.35%)
Asia: 7 votes (11.29%)
Australia: 2 votes (3.23%)
Europe: 15 votes (24.19%)
North America: 19 votes (30.65%)
South America: 7 votes (11.29%)
Total Votes: 62
Click on the continent to view the eBook & eAudiobook options in the Overdrive catalog.
Classic Literature: 9 votes (15%)
Mystery: 9 votes (15%)
Romance: 5 votes (8.33%)
Fantasy: 1 votes (1.67%)
Sci-FI: 3 votes (5%)
Young Adult Fiction: 3 votes (5%)
Nonfiction: 13 votes (21.67%)
Historical Fiction: 14 votes (23.33%)
Horror: 2 votes (3.33%)
Western: 1 votes (1.67%)
Total Votes: 60
Click on the genre to view it in the Overdrive (eBook & eAudiobook) catalog.
For the 2020 adult summer reading challenge, let's travel around the globe while staying at home! To keep track of your travels, print out the map below and color in the continent (or country, if you want an even greater challenge) where the book you just read took place. The key provides a different color for each genre so you can keep track of how many different ones you read. For example, if you read a mystery that took place in France, color Europe yellow or if you read a biography about someone who lived in Maine, color North America black. Below the map are several suggestions by continent of eBooks and/or eAudiobooks if you want some suggestions. Just click on the cover to check it out from our online library. There are also various links in the poles on the side if you prefer browsing. For a information on how to use Overdrive/Libby to checkout our eBooks and eAudiobooks, click here. Feel free to read books if you'd rather, the digital options are just another tool for when you get bored with your own collection. Happy reading!
Genre: Historical Fiction
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it--from garden seeds to Scripture--is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa. The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.
Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor--not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of tea. Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn't it be nice to be a detective? This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious. When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn't always right. She also learns how to be a detective.
Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.
Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing--she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But as she's finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them combat a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs? World Fantasy Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor blends magic and adventure to create a lush world.
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
When the home of Alex Cross's longtime friend, Ellie Cox, is turned into the worst murder scene Alex has ever seen, he is devastated. As Alex and his girlfriend Brianna Stone begin the hunt for the villain responsible for the killings, they quickly find themselves entangeled in the deadly Nigerian underworld of Washington D.C.. What they discover is shocking: a strongly organized gang of teenage thugs headed by a powerful, diabolical man-The Tiger. As the killing spree escalates, Alex and Brianna realize they are not dealing with any ordinary killer, but one who has brought his personal war of vengeance to America's capital. But just when the detectives think they're closing in on the elusive murderer, the Tiger disappears into thin air. Unable to let the killer get away with this narrow escape, Alex travels to Nigeria, where he discovers a world where justice is as foreign as he is. Unprotected and alone in a strange country, bombarded on all sides by the murderous threats of The Tiger, Alex must draw on his fiercest instincts just to survive in a lawless world.
Genre: Adventure, Classical Literature
The Yellow God, originally published in 1908 features many elements of the fantastic, such as a magic mask and fetish objects, a lost race, reincarnation, and an immortal woman whose many husbands she has preserved as mummies. It certainly deserved a place alongside Haggards other African novels and more than stands its own as a thrilling adventure novel.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle's dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast's booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia's descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
In this breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi's "most-everything girl," might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
Genre: Magical Realism, Classic Literature
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India's independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India's 1,000 other "midnight's children," all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts. This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people-a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight' s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Profoundly moving and gracefully told, Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life. So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
Everywhere, waters are rising--and that's just the beginning of the world's peril unless the NUMA crew can beat the clock in this thrilling #1 New York Times-bestseller from the grand master of adventure. An alarming rise in the world's sea levels--much larger than could be accounted for by glacier melt--sends Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala, and the rest of the NUMA scientific team rocketing around the globe in search of answers. What they find at the bottom of the East China Sea, however, is even worse than they imagined: a diabolical plan to upset the Pacific balance of power--and in the process displace as many as a billion people. A rare alloy unlike anything else on earth, a pair of five-hundred-year-old Japanese talismans, an assassin so violent even the Yakuza has disowned him, an audacious technological breakthrough that will become a very personal nightmare for Kurt Austin - from the shark-filled waters of Asia to the high-tech streets of Tokyo to a forbidden secret island, the NUMA team must risk everything to head off the coming catastrophe.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple. Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate--the first automobile any of them have seen--and a stranger arrives. In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.
Genre: Historical Fiction
A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love. Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival. A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.
Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. This time in Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity. Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book.
Genre: Historical Fiction
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a "gift from God," and against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
Genre: Classic Literature
Trapped on her parents' farm in the hardscrabble Australian outback, sixteen-year-old Sybylla Melvyn loves the bush but not the toil it brings. She longs for refinement, and most of all she longs to achieve great things. Suddenly she falls under the gaze of wealthy, handsome Harry Beecham . . . and finds herself choosing between the conventional path of marriage and her plans for a 'brilliant career'.
The international bestselling romantic comedy featuring the oddly charming, socially challenged genetics professor, Don, as he seeks true love. The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who's decided it's time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is "quite intelligent for a barmaid"). But Don is intrigued by Rosie's own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don't find love, it finds you.
Genre: Science Fiction
Jason M. Hough's pulse-pounding debut combines the drama, swagger, and vivid characters of Joss Whedon's Firefly with the talent of sci-fi author John Scalzi. In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet's refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator--created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders--emits a plague-suppressing aura. Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow "immunes," he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura's edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped--along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma--to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.
Small, perfect towns often hold the deepest secrets. From the outside, Essie's life looks idyllic: a loving husband, a beautiful house in a good neighborhood, and a nearby mother who dotes on her grandchildren. But few of Essie's friends know her secret shame: that in a moment of maternal despair, she once walked away from her newborn, asleep in her carriage in a park. Disaster was avoided and Essie got better, but she still fears what lurks inside her, even as her daughter gets older and she has a second baby. When a new woman named Isabelle moves in next door to Essie, she is an immediate object of curiosity in the neighborhood. As the two women grow closer and Essie's friends voice their disapproval, it starts to become clear that Isabelle's choice of neighborhood was no accident. And that her presence threatens to bring shocking secrets to light. The Family Next Door is at once a deeply moving portrait of family drama and a compelling suburban mystery that will keep you hooked until the very last page.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Thriller
Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She's immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn't even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer - or should she run while she still can? Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
A masterpiece of narrative biography, this is the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine's family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies--all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.
Stone Barrington returns in the new edge-of-your-seat thriller from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. When he's apprised at the last minute of a mandatory meeting abroad, Stone Barrington rushes off to Europe for a whirlwind tour of business and, of course, pleasure. But from the start the trip seems to be cursed, plagued by suspicious "accidents" and unfortunate events, and some of Stone's plans go up in flames--literally. Not a believer in coincidence, Stone sets out to learn the true source of his curious misfortune and finds that what appeared to be bad luck may, in fact, have been a warning. From the chic streets of Paris to Italy's spectacular Amalfi Coast, Stone is pursued from all sides . . . but when the tables turn, the hunted may become the hunter . . .
Genre: Historical Fiction
France, 1939 - In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France ... but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can ... completely. With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingaletells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki--son of a giant--blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman's deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forever." The evening's host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist, and one of Langdon's first students. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch's precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced to flee. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch. They travel to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret. Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade an enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain's Royal Palace. They uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch's shocking discovery...and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Abigail Westcott's dreams for her future were lost when her father died and she discovered her parents were not legally married. But now, six years later, she enjoys the independence a life without expectation provides a wealthy single woman. Indeed, she's grown confident enough to scold the careless servant chopping wood outside without his shirt on in the proximity of ladies. But the man is not a servant. He is Gilbert Bennington, the lieutenant colonel and superior officer who has escorted her wounded brother, Harry, home from the wars with Napoleon. Gil has come to help his friend and junior officer recover, and he doesn't take lightly to being condescended to--secretly because of his own humble beginnings. If at first Gil and Abigail seem to embody what the other most despises, each will soon discover how wrong first impressions can be. For behind the appearances of the once-grand lady and the once-humble man are two people who share an understanding of what true honor means, and how only with it can one find love.
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. But when Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of drug cartel Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia--trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier's reach doesn't extend. Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has been sent to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
One secret could bring down the government when the President's memorable affair becomes a nightmare he longs to forget in this page-turner from James Patterson that will keep you up reading all night long. Sally Grissom is a top Secret Service agent in charge of the Presidential Protection team. She knows that something is amiss when she's summoned to a private meeting with the President and his Chief of Staff without any witnesses. But she couldn't have predicted that she'd be forced to take on an investigation surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the First Lady -- with strict orders to keep it a secret. The First Lady's absence comes in the wake of the scandalous, public revelation of the president's affair, so at first it seems as though she is simply cutting off all contact as she recuperates at a horse farm in Virginia. What begins as an innocent respite quickly turns into a twisted case when the White House receives a ransom note along with the First Lady's finger.
Genre: Contemporary Classic
In Margaret Atwood's dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead's commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid's Tale is a modern classic. Includes an introduction by Margaret Atwood
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. And don't miss On the Come Up, Angie Thomas's powerful follow-up to The Hate U Give.
An eleven-year-old boy's violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens--Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King's story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.
Genre: Literary Fiction
The Overstory, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of--and paean to--the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers's twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours--vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
David McCullough rediscovers an important chapter in the American story that's "as resonant today as ever" (The Wall Street Journal)--the settling of the Northwest Territory by courageous pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would define our country. McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler's son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood--where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage--and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Genre: Classic Literature, Fantasy
Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations. Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different--and far more satisfying--than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
The life of a paid mercenary makes sense to Special Forces Officer Winslow Grange. The jungles of South America may make his former job as a ranch manager for his friend Jay Pendleton look like a cakewalk, but it's nothing that the former Green Beret can't handle. A woman's heart, however--that's dangerous territory. Back in Texas, Grange's biggest problem was avoiding Peg Larson and all the complications being attracted to the daughter of his foreman would entail. Now Grange will need all his training to help General Emilio Machado gain control of the tiny South American nation of Barrera; when Peg arrives unannounced, she's a distraction he can't avoid. She's determined to show Grange she can be useful on and off the battlefield. Once she breaks through his armor, traversing the wilds of the Amazon will prove an easier task than defending himself against her winning charms....
In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called "The Lost City of Z." In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett's quest for "Z" and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Classical Literature
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
What happens when an unadventurous adventure writer tries to recreate the original expedition to Machu Picchu? In 1911, Hiram Bingham III climbed the Andes in Peru and 'discovered' the famed archaeological site. While history recast Bingham as a liar and a thief, Mark Adams set out to retrace the explorer's perilous path in search of the truth; the only problem was he had written about adventure far more than he had ever actually lived it. In fact, he had never even slept in a tent. Adams' acclaimed account will thrill all as he travels through these remote and historic hills
Genre: Western, Historical Fiction
The lush South American lowlands known as the Pampas have been the site of a tense tete-a-tete between the indigenous communities and the descendants of European settlers for centuries. Gustave Aimard's Last of the Incas is set against this backdrop, and recounts a period during which the tensions between the two groups boiled over.
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Eight years ago, a man walked five-year-old Hannah out the front doors of her school and spirited her over the Mexican border, taking her into the world of a cult known as The Chosen. For eight years, followers of The Prophet have hidden the child, moving her from country to country, shielding the man who stole her. Now, those who've searched the longest know where to find her. They are childhood survivors of The Chosen, thirty-somethings born and raised inside the cult who've managed to make lives for themselves on the outside. They understand the mindset, the culture within that world, and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help, knowing that the only possibility of stealing Hannah back and getting her safely out of Argentina is to trust someone who doesn't trust them, and get Munroe on the inside. Tautly written, brilliantly paced, and with the same evocation of the exotic combined with chilling violence that made The Informationist such a success, The Innocent confirms Taylor Stevens' reputation as a thriller writer of the first rank.