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Bad feminist : essays

Gay, Roxane, author.

814.6 GAY

She's earthy, funny, brilliant, and the best friend you always wanted. These essays comment on feminism, politics, and racism in our society, by way of musings on professional scrabble tournaments, her unabashed devotion to Sweet Valley High books, and the worrying recurrence of the "magical negro" in popular literary fiction. Terrific on audio. I'm so glad I read this book-- enjoyed every page. Highly recommended for book clubs.

Suggested by Ruth

Shelter : a novel

Yun, Jung.


I mostly choose "feel-good" books, but I eagerly devoured this dark and, at times violent, book. Jin is drowning in debt, unable to relate to his young son, a puzzling disappointment to his Caucasian wife, an object of scorn and ridicule to his Irish-American in-laws, and unable to live up to the impossible expectations of his traditional Korean-born parents. When a devastating event upends his life, Jin is pushed to more and more desperate actions. The author writes with such compassion, insight, and mastery that I knew I was in good hands; the book never let me down. No wonder it got starred reviews.

Suggested by Ruth

Mr. Mac and me

Freud, Esther, author.


This book is a treasure to be savored, as the author re-creates life in a small English village during WWI. Like a snow globe-- beautifully detailed, enchanting-- as you gaze, you are pulled into another world.

"1914. In the village of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast young Thomas Maggs befriends mysterious Scotsman and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh whom the locals call Mac. Just as Thomas and Mac's friendship begins to bloom, war with Germany is declared and as the war weighs increasingly heavily on the community, the villagers on the home front become increasingly suspicious of Mac and his curious behavior." (Syndetic Solutions)

Suggested by Ruth

Among others

Walton, Jo.


Growing up, Morwenna and her twin Morganna can see and talk with spirits and fairies that dwell in the industrial ruins of Wales. When Morwenna has to defend herself against her witch mother in a magical battle that kills Morganna, and leaves Morwenna crippled, she flees to her father, who enrolls her in an English boarding school. Alone and friendless, in a world without magic, Morwenna’s only comfort is devouring Fantasy and Science Fiction novels. Tempted to use magic to entice a schoolmate to befriend her, Morwenna draws the attention of her mother in a showdown that will decide both of their fates. (Won both the Nebula and Hugo awards for Best Novel.)

Suggested by Ruth

Oleander girl

Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee, 1956-


Enjoying a sheltered childhood with adoring grandparents but troubled by the silence surrounding her parents' deaths, 17-year-old Korobi is prompted by a love note among her mother's possessions and a fiance's shattering revelation to travel from India to post-September 11 America in search of her true identity." (--Syndetic Solutions)

LOVED this on audio! So many insights into Indian and American culture, plus a terrific plot that will keep you turning pages. Suggested by Ruth

The golden mean : [a novel of Aristotle and Alexander the Great]

Lyon, Annabel, 1971-


A bold reimagining of one of history's most intriguing relationships: between legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil, the young Alexander the Great.

This title is also available as an OverDrive eBook.

Suggested by Lindsey

Magic's pawn

Lackey, Mercedes.


Chronicles the story of the most powerful Herald-Mage ever born, tracing his growth from youthful arrogance to a position of power and maturity in the kingdom of Valdemar.

This title is also available as an audiobook and OverDrive eBook.

Suggested by Lindsey

The wild girl

Forsyth, Kate, 1966- author.


Dortchen Wild lives in the small German kingdom of Hesse-Cassel in the early 19th century. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the handsome but very poor fairy tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm. It is a time of tyranny and terror: Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hesse-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, Wilhelm and his brothers quietly rebel by preserving old half-forgotten tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small over the land. As Dortchen tells Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in what will one day become his and Jacob's famous fairy tale collection, their love blossoms.

Suggested by Lindsey

Toy stories : photos of children from around the world and their favorite things

Galimberti, Gabriele, author, photographer.

779.25 GALIMBE

For over a year, the photographer and journalist Gabriele Galimberti visited more than 50 countries and created colorful images of boys and girls in their homes and neighborhoods with their most prized possessions: their toys. From Texas to India, Malawi to China, Iceland, Morocco, and Fiji, Galimberti recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids despite their diverse backgrounds. Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that Galimberti captures is moving, funny, and thought provoking.

Suggested by Lindsey

Silence : the power of quiet in a world full of noise

Nhất Hạnh, Thích, author.

294.3444 NHAT HA

The Zen master and one of the world's most beloved teachers returns with a concise, practical guide to understanding and developing our most powerful inner resource--silence--to help us find happiness, purpose, and peace. Many people embark on a seemingly futile search for happiness, running as if there is somewhere else to get to, when the world they live in is full of wonder. To be alive is a miracle. Beauty calls to us every day, yet we rarely are in the position to listen. To hear the call of beauty and respond to it, we need silence. Silence shows us how to find and maintain our equanimity amid the barrage of noise. Thich Nhat Hanh guides us on a path to cultivate calm even in the most chaotic places. This gift of silence doesn't require hours upon hours of silent meditation or an existing practice of any kind. Through careful breathing and mindfulness techniques he teaches us how to become truly present in the moment, to recognize the beauty surrounding us, and to find harmony. With mindfulness comes stillness--and the silence we need to come back to ourselves and discover who we are and what we truly want, the keys to happiness and well-being.

This title is also available as an OverDrive eBook.

Suggested by Lindsey

Almost famous women : stories

Bergman, Megan Mayhew.


From the acclaimed author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise, a dazzling new collection that explores the lives of unforgettable women in history. The fascinating characters in Megan Mayhew Bergman's new stories are defined by their creative impulses, fierce independence, and sometimes reckless decisions. Almost Famous Women offers an elegant and intimate look at artists who desired recognition. The world wasn't always kind to the women who star in these stories, but through Mayhew Bergman's stunning imagination, they receive the attention they deserve.

This title is also available as an OverDrive eBook.

Suggested by Lindsey


Ahlborn, Ania.


Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Years later, when Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn't divine intervention. The profound evil from his past is back, and it's hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I've always been here, and I'll never leave.

Suggested by Kim

All the ways we kill and die : an elegy for a fallen comrade and the hunt for his killer

Castner, Brian, author.

958.1047 CASTNER

"When Brian Castner, an Iraq War vet, learns that his friend and EOD brother Matt has been killed by an IED in Afghanistan, he goes to console Matt's widow, but he also begins a personal investigation. Is the bomb maker who killed Matt the same man American forces have been hunting since Iraq, known as the Engineer? In this nonfiction thriller Castner takes us inside the manhunt for this elusive figure, meeting maimed survivors, interviewing the forensics teams who gather post-blast evidence, the wonks who collect intelligence, the drone pilots and contractors tasked to kill"--Dust jacket flap.

Suggested by Kim

American hysteria : the untold story of mass political extremism in the United States

Burt, Andrew, 1985- author.

320.0973 BURT

"The American story of blacklists, scapegoating, conspiracies, and cover-ups that have taken over national politics throughout our history when the mainstream has adopted extremist fear that secret networks--from the Illuminati and Freemasons to Communists and Muslim terrorists--have infiltrated society and threatened destruction from within"--Provided by publisher.

Suggested by Kim

Samurai : the last warrior : a history

Man, John, 1941-

952.025 MAN

In Samurai, celebrated author John Man provides a unique and captivating look at their true history, told through the life of one man: Saigo Takamori, known to many as 'the last samurai.' In 1877, Takamori led a rebel army of samurai in a heroic 'last stand' against the Imperial Japanese Army, who sought to end the 'way of the sword' in favor of firearms and modern warfare.

Suggested by Kim

Captive prince

Pacat, C. S.


Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half-brother seizes power, Damien is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave. For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else.

This is one of those titles that sucked me in and didn't let go. Pacat has a talent for weaving intricate plots with plenty of twists, turns, and scandal.

Also available in ebook format through Overdrive.

Suggested by Kim

The barrow

Smylie, Mark (Mark S.)


When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

I was unprepared for the gruesomeness of this book. If you can make it past the prologue, you have a strong stomach and, like me, will enjoy the ride.

Also available in ebook format through Overdrive.

Suggested by Kim

The paper menagerie and other stories

Liu, Ken, 1976-


Presents the author's selection of his best short stories, as well as a new piece, in a collection that includes "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary," "Mono No Aware" and "The Waves."

This is a really fascinating mix of short stories. Liu's ability to bring to life rich and complex societies always amazes me.

Suggested by Kim

Democracy now! : twenty years covering the movements changing America

Goodman, Amy, 1957- author.

320.973 GOODMAN

"A celebration of the acclaimed television and radio news program Democracy Now! and the extraordinary movements and heroes who have moved our democracy forward. This important book looks back over the past two decades of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world. Goodman takes the reader along as she goes to where the silence is, bringing out voices from the streets of Ferguson to Staten Island, Wall Street, South Carolina to East Timor -- and other places where people are rising up to demand justice. Democracy Now! is the modern day underground railroad of information, bringing stories from the grassroots to a global audience."--provided by publisher.

Join Amy Goodman and her Democracy Now! colleague and co-author Denis Moynihan at a talk and book signing May 07, 2016, Saturday 12:00 pm The Lincoln Theatre 712 S 1st St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273.

Suggested by Brian

The silenced majority : stories of uprisings, occupations, resistance, and hope

Goodman, Amy, 1957-

303.484 GOODMAN

""Amy Goodman has taken investigative journalism to new heights of exciting, informative, and probing analysis."-Noam Chomsky. This timely new sequel to Goodman's New York Times bestseller gives voice to the many ordinary people standing up to corporate and government power-and refusing to be silent. The Silenced Majority pulls back the veil of corporate media reporting to dig deep into the politics of "climate apartheid," the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the movement to halt the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, and the globalization of dissent "From Tahrir Square to Liberty Plaza." Throughout Goodman and Moynihan show the power of ordinary people to change their media-and change the world.

Suggested by Brian

Saint Mazie : a novel

Attenberg, Jami, author.


Mazie Phillips, the Truth-telling proprietress of The Venice movie theater, is big-hearted and bawdy. It's the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty, even when Prohibition kicks in, and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets. When the Great Depression hits, Mazie opens her theater's doors the addicts and bums that roam the Bowery. If Mazie won't help them, then who?

This title is also available in large-print, and Overdrive eaudio and ebook formats.

Suggested by Liz

The book of speculation

Swyler, Erika.


Simon Watson is a young librarian about to lose his job. His parents are dead, his sister is a traveling tarot card reader, and the family home is about to fall off a cliff. Oh, and he just received a mysterious package in the mail. Erika Swyler's debut is a fascinating tale about the power of books, family and magic.

This title is also available in large-type, audiobook, and Overdrive eaudio and ebook formats.

Suggested by Liz


Rowell, Rainbow.


Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

This title is also available in print, large-type, Spanish, and Overdrive eaudio and ebook formats.

Suggested by Liz

House of Thurn und Taxis : Princess Mariae Gloria Thurn und Taxis and Todd Eberle

Thurn und Taxis, Gloria von, 1960- author.

728.8209 THURN U

One thousand years of history meets a thoroughly modern family, in these glorious and lush photographs. The Thurn und Taxis family have called the palace of St. Emmeram home for over 200 years. One of Germany’s finest examples of historicist architecture, the Regensburg residence’s myriad rooms trace centuries of distinctive style. From a Romanesque-Gothic cloister built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries to a number of Rococo and neo-Rococo staterooms to a Baroque library frescoed in 1737. Celebrated photographer Todd Eberle a glimpse into the world and glamour of one of the most important dynasties of the European aristocracy.

Suggested by Liz

Scenes from an impending marriage : a prenuptial memoir

Tomine, Adrian, 1974-

646.78 TOMINE

A comic book based on the author's own wedding plans celebrates the absurd aspects of getting married, from taking dance lessons to managing family demands. A warning to those not yet hitched and a trip down memory lane for those who are!

Suggested by Liz

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