Oh, the Horror! (07/30/2024): Silver Nitrate
Book Clubs

Oh, the Horror! (07/30/2024): Silver Nitrate

Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood.
Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives—even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed.
Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse . . . but Montserrat soon notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins seeing the ghost of his ex-girlfriend.
As they work together to unravel the mystery of the film and the obscure occultist who once roamed their city, Montserrat and Tristán may find that sorcerers and magic are not only the stuff of movies. […]

Fiction Addiction (07/18/2024): The Vibrant Years
Book Clubs

Fiction Addiction (07/18/2024): The Vibrant Years

When sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai inherits a million dollars, she’s astounded–and horrified. The windfall threatens to expose a shameful mistake from her youth. Desperate to keep the secret, Bindu quickly spends it on something unexpected: a condo in a posh retirement community in Florida. The impulsive decision blindsides Bindu’s daughter-in-law, Aly. At forty-seven, Aly still shares a home with Bindu even after her divorce from Bindu’s son. But maybe this change is just the push Aly needs to fight for the segment she’s been promised for years at the news station where she works. As Bindu and Aly navigate their new dynamic, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing the business that made her a tech-world star. The only way to save it is to deliver a new idea to her investors–and of course they want the half-baked dating app she pitched them in a panic. Problem is, Cullie has never been on a real date. Naturally, enlisting her single mother and grandmother to help her with the research is the answer. […]

Nail Biters (07/16/2024): The House in the Pines
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Nail Biters (07/16/2024): The House in the Pines

Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed. . . .

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin. . . .

Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home. […]

Happily Ever After (07/15/2024): Where The Lost Wander
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Happily Ever After (07/15/2024): Where The Lost Wander

The Overland Trail, 1853: Naomi May never expected to be widowed at twenty. Eager to leave her grief behind, she sets off with her family for a life out West. On the trail, she forms an instant connection with John Lowry, a half-Pawnee man straddling two worlds and a stranger in both. Even as John and Naomi are drawn to each other, the trials of the journey and their disparate pasts work to keep them apart. John’s heritage gains them safe passage through hostile territory only to come between them as they seek to build a life together. When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually… make peace with who they are. […]

AAPLD Hosts Writing Industry Pros
Library Programs

AAPLD Hosts Writing Industry Pros

The Algonquin Area Writers Group and Algonquin Area Public Library invite the community to a free Summer Writing Workshop Series for writers of all genres and experience levels, ages 14 and over. Hear from editors with Sourcebooks, and Albert J. Whitman Publishing; learn improv techniques to bring your characters to life, and get your creativity flowing. Discover the top 10 […]

Unicorns and Spaceships (07/09/2024): Annihilation
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Unicorns and Spaceships (07/09/2024): Annihilation

The Southern Reach Trilogy begins with Annihilation, the Nebula Award-winning novel that “reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world” (Kim Stanley Robinson).

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything. […]

Forever Young (07/08/2024): Love & Gelato
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Forever Young (07/08/2024): Love & Gelato

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping New York Times bestseller filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more. […]

Spinecrackers (07/05/2024): Fair Rosaline
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Spinecrackers (07/05/2024): Fair Rosaline

The most exciting historical retelling of 2023: a subversive, powerful untelling of Romeo and Juliet by New York Times bestselling author Natasha Solomons

Was the greatest ever love story a lie?

The first time Romeo Montague sees young Rosaline Capulet he falls instantly in love. Rosaline, headstrong and independent, is unsure of Romeo’s attentions but with her father determined that she join a convent, this handsome and charming stranger offers her the chance of a different life.

Soon though, Rosaline begins to doubt all that Romeo has told her. She breaks off the match, only for Romeo’s gaze to turn towards her cousin, thirteen-year-old Juliet. Gradually Rosaline realizes that it is not only Juliet’s reputation at stake, but her life .With only hours remaining before she will be banished behind the nunnery walls, will Rosaline save Juliet from her Romeo? Or can this story only ever end one way?

Shattering everything we thought we knew about Romeo and Juliet, Fair Rosaline is the spellbinding prequel to Shakespeare’s best known tale, which exposes Romeo as a predator with a long history of pursuing much younger girls. Bold, lyrical, and chillingly relevant, Fair Rosaline reveals the dark subtext of the timeless story of star-crossed lovers: it’s a feminist revision that will enthrall readers of bestselling literary retellings such as Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese. […]

Stranger than Fiction (07/02/2024): How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures
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Stranger than Fiction (07/02/2024): How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures

A fascinating tour of creatures from the surface to the deepest ocean floor: this “miraculous, transcendental book” invites us to envision wilder, grander, and more abundant possibilities for the way we live (Ed Yong, author of An Immense World).

A queer, mixed race writer working in a largely white, male field, science and conservation journalist Sabrina Imbler has always been drawn to the mystery of life in the sea, and particularly to creatures living in hostile or remote environments. Each essay in their debut collection profiles one such creature, including:

·the mother octopus who starves herself while watching over her eggs,

·the Chinese sturgeon whose migration route has been decimated by pollution and dams,

·the bizarre, predatory Bobbitt worm (named after Lorena),

·the common goldfish that flourishes in the wild,

·and more.

Imbler discovers that some of the most radical models of family, community, and care can be found in the sea, from gelatinous chains that are both individual organisms and colonies of clones to deep-sea crabs that have no need for the sun, nourished instead by the chemicals and heat throbbing from the core of the Earth. Exploring themes of adaptation, survival, sexuality, and care, and weaving the wonders of marine biology with stories of their own family, relationships, and coming of age, How Far the Light Reaches is a shimmering, otherworldly debut that attunes us to new visions of our world and its miracles. […]