Oh, the Horror! (07/26/2022): Tender is the Flesh

Tender is the Flesh (cover)

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans—though no one calls them that anymore.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—”special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.

Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.


Next Meeting:
July 26th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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The Nail Biters (07/19/2022): 11/22/63

11/22/63 (cover)

11/22/63 by King, Stephen

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.


Next Meeting:
July 19th @ 7:00 PM at Eastgate Library

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Happily Ever After (07/18/2022): The Queer Principles of Kit Webb

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb (cover)

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

Kit Webb has left his stand-and-deliver days behind him. But dreary days at his coffee shop have begun to make him pine for the heady rush of thievery. When a handsome yet arrogant aristocrat storms into his shop, Kit quickly realizes he may be unable to deny whatever this highborn man desires.

In order to save himself and a beloved friend, Percy, Lord Holland must go against every gentlemanly behavior he holds dear to gain what he needs most: a book that once belonged to his mother, a book his father never lets out of his sight and could be Percy’s savior. More comfortable in silk-filled ballrooms than coffee shops frequented by criminals, his attempts to hire the roughly hewn highwayman, formerly known as Gladhand Jack, proves equal parts frustrating and electrifying.

Kit refuses to participate in the robbery but agrees to teach Percy how to do the deed. Percy knows he has little choice but to submit and as the lessons in thievery begin, he discovers thievery isn’t the only crime he’s desperate to commit with Kit.

But when their careful plan goes dangerously wrong and shocking revelations threaten to tear them apart, can these stolen hearts overcome the impediments in their path?


Next Meeting:
July 18th @ 7:00 PM at Harnish Library

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Library Reads (07/21/2022): The Four Winds

The Four Winds (cover)

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”

Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.

By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.
In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.

The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it—the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.


Next Meeting:
July 21st @ 7:00 PM at Harnish Library

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Enjoying the Classics (07/20/2022): The Black Tulip

The Black Tulip (cover)

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

The tulip craze of 17th century Holland has a dark side! Cornelius van Baerle, a wealthy but naïve tulip grower, finds himself entangled in the deadly politics of his time. Cornelius’ one desire is to grow the perfect black tulip. But, after his godfather is murdered, he finds himself in prison, facing a death sentence. His jailer’s lovely daughter holds the key to his survival, and his chance to produce the precious black blossom. Yet he has one more enemy to contend with!


Next Meeting:
July 20th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Unicorns and Spaceships (07/12/2022): Black Sun

Black Sun (cover)

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial even proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created a “brilliant world that shows the full panoply of human grace and depravity” (Ken Liu, award-winning author of The Grace of Kings). This epic adventure explores the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in this “absolutely tremendous” (S.A. Chakraborty, nationally bestselling author of The City of Brass) and most original series debut of the decade.


Next Meeting:
July 12th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Forever Young (07/11/2022): The Good Luck Girls

The Good Luck Girls (cover)

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS
The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls—they know their luck is anything but.
Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings.
Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally kills a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.


Next Meeting:
July 11th @ 7:00 PM at Eastgate Library

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Stranger than Fiction (07/05/2022): A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived (cover)

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species—births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away—until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present.


Next Meeting:
July 5th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Spinecrackers (07/01/2022): All Adults Here

All Adults Here (cover)

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.


Next Meeting:
July 1st @ 10:00 AM at Harnish Library

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Oh, the Horror! (06/28/2022): Jaws

Jaws (cover)

Jaws by Peter Benchley

With the 1974 publication of the novel Jaws and the release a year later of the film based on the book, an American cultural phenomenon was born. Today, the remarkable bestseller by Peter Benchley still towers as a thrilling classic of suspense, drama, and the eternal conflicts of man against nature … and man against himself.

As the movie continues to broadcast all over the world, entire generations may know the Jaws story only through its cinematic rendition. Those unfamiliar with the literary forerunner are in for a wonderful surprise, for the novel contains many twists of plot and character that were omitted in the film. Peter Benchley’s Jaws is an extraordinary experience of its own, a masterpiece as mesmerizing today as it was in 1974, when it first took us into the watery world of a creature designed by nature to kill … and into the terror it brings from the silent darkness of the deep.


Next Meeting:
June 28th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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