Stranger than Fiction (04/06/2021): Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster (cover)

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham

Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters.

Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.

Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.


Next Meeting:
April 6th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual Library

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Oh, the Horror! (03/30/2021): Bird Box

Bird Box (cover)

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world—a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there . . .

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.


Next Meeting:
March 30th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

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Library Reads (03/18/2021): The Library of Lost and Found

The Library of Lost and Found (cover)

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the international bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people—though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.
All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend—her grandmother Zelda—who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.
Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.


Next Meeting:
March 18th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

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Enjoying the Classics (03/17/2021): Lucky Jim

Lucky Jim (cover)

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1953. This is the story of Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university who knows better than most that “there was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones.” Kingsley Amis’s scabrous debut leads the reader through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, frauds, and neurotics with whom Dixon must contend in one way or another in order to hold on to his cushy academic perch and win the girl of his fancy.


Next Meeting:
March 17th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

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Happily Ever After (03/15/2021): A Bollywood Affair

A Bollywood Affair (cover)

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

In the tradition of Shobhan Bantwal’s successful Indian American novels, Sonali Dev’s debut captures the colorful spirit and fascinating details of Indian and Bollywood culture—including a lavish wedding—while delivering an emotionally layered and accessible story. Mili Rathod has been bound by marriage since she was four years old. But when her husband shows no sign of claiming her after twenty years of waiting, Mili grabs the chance to leave India and come to America on a scholarship. Playboy filmmaker Samir “Sam” Rathod is Bollywood’s favorite bad boy. He’ll do anything for his big brother—even travel halfway across the globe to take care of the “wife” who just crawled out of his brother’s past. Yet Mili isn’t the simple village girl Sam expected. She’s a whirlwind who sucks him into her roommate’s elaborate elopement and soon has him drowning in her onyx eyes. And though Mili fancies herself in love with his big brother, the husband she has never met, Sam is hoping for a very different ending.


Next Meeting:
March 15th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

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Book Wizards (03/09/2021): The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring (cover)

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

After discovering the true nature of the one ring, Bilbo Baggins entrusts it to the care of his young cousin, Frodo, who is charged with bringing about its destruction and thus foiling the plans of the Dark Lord.


Next Meeting:
March 9th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual Library

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Forever Young (03/08/2021): Crying Laughing

Crying Laughing (cover)

Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin

A tragicomic story of bad dates, bad news, bad performances, and one girl’s determination to find the funny in high school from the author of Denton Little’s Deathdate.
Winnie Friedman has been waiting for the world to catch on to what she already knows: she’s hilarious.
It might be a long wait, though. After bombing a stand-up set at her own bat mitzvah, Winnie has kept her jokes to herself. Well, to herself and her dad, a former comedian and her inspiration.
Then, on the second day of tenth grade, the funniest guy in school actually laughs at a comment she makes in the lunch line and asks her to join the improv troupe. Maybe he’s even . . . flirting?
Just when Winnie’s ready to say yes to comedy again, her father reveals that he’s been diagnosed with ALS. That is . . . not funny. Her dad’s still making jokes, though, which feels like a good thing. And Winnie’s prepared to be his straight man if that’s what he wants. But is it what he needs?
Caught up in a spiral of epically bad dates, bad news, and bad performances, Winnie’s struggling to see the humor in it all. But finding a way to laugh is exactly what will see her through.


Next Meeting:
March 8th @ 6:00 PM at Virtual Library

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Spinecrackers (03/05/2021): The Bromance Book Club

The Bromance Book Club (cover)

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


Next Meeting:
March 5th @ 10:00 AM at Virtual Library

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Cozy Corner (03/03/2021): Antiques Roadkill

Antiques Roadkill (cover)

Antiques Roadkill by Barbara Allan

Part 1 of the Trash ‘n’ Treasures Mystery series
Determined to make a new start in her quaint hometown on the banks of the Mississippi, Brandy Borne never dreams she’ll become the prime suspect in a murder case. . .

Moving back in with her eccentric, larger-than-life mother, Brandy Borne finds small-town Serenity anything but serene. It seems an unscrupulous antiques dealer has swindled Vivian out of the family’s heirlooms. But when he is found run over in a country lane, Brandy becomes Murder Suspect Number One–with her mother coming in a very close second. . .

The list of other suspects is impressive–the victim’s business seems to have been based on bilking seniors out of their possessions. And when the Borne “girls” uncover a few very unsavory Serenity secrets, they become targets for a murderer whose favorite hobby seems to be collecting victims.

Don’t miss Brandy Borne’s tips on antiques!


Next Meeting:
March 3rd @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

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