Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris, recommended by Debbie

This book tells the story of survival.  People are fleeing Singapore when Norah and her husband John send their daughter, Sally, with Norah’s family on the first ship out.  Norah remains to care for her husband and her parents.  As Singapore begins to fall to the Japanese, Norah and her sister board a merchant ship to escape, only to be captured by the Japanese and held in a POW camp. They are captives for years without knowledge of the whereabouts of their daughter until they are liberated. The author includes photographs and biographies.

Women of Myth: From Deer Woman and Mami Wata to Amaterasu and Athena, Your Guide to the Amazing and Diverse Women from World Mythology by Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy, recommended by Megan S.

The very long subtitle of this book promises lots of interesting stories, and this book doesn’t disappoint. Williamson and McMenemy delve into goddesses from all over the world, going beyond Greek and Roman myths to tell stories we don’t often hear. Sara Richard’s illustrations bring the goddesses to life, conveying their strength, power, and unique aspects. If you’re in the mood for a deep dive into mythological women of power, this book is a great first stop.

The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan, recommended by Leah

This book was perfect in so many ways. Primarily about friendship and family relationships, this book is truly heartwarming. Set in a cozy hotel, this book will leave you wanting to grab your book and curl up by the fire. Although it’s based around Christmastime it’s not the focus of the book and can be enjoyed all year round. It’s my dream to be like these friends and just travel to hotels and read all the time. Can that be my job please?? This made the 5 star list for me.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, recommended by River

A fun and spooky story filled with plenty of twists and turns, plus diverse characters that you can’t help but love.

Breathe by Becky Hemsley, recommended by Karen

Faced with the challenges of trying to be what others expect, a girl turns to the forest when overwhelmed and not sure what to do.  She finds the forest a place where she can be herself, regroup, and breathe, regaining her sense of self.  This is a short but powerful adult poem by poet Beck Hemsley that has been illustrated for children of all ages by artist Siski Kalla.  It’s a great story to introduce or continue a conversation on self-worth and the expectations of others.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab, recommended by Megan C.

Desperate to escape her impending arranged marriage, 23-year-old Adeline ‘Addie’ LaRue makes a Faustian pact to ‘live freely.’ She gains freedom in immortality but forfeits her identity as she’s forgotten by the world. After 3 centuries unacknowledged, Addie’s rhythm is interrupted when a boy in a bookstore remembers her. Sometimes dark, this Sci-Fi read is full of morally ambiguous, complicated yet captivating characters. Truly engrossing, Schwab kept my interest for 500 pages and ends the book on a cliffhanger.

In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune, recommended by Meg

An enchanting exploration of the human experience, masterfully weaving together a tapestry of emotions that captivates from beginning to end. Klune’s skillful storytelling breathes life into characters grappling with identity, love, and the intricate dance of life’s unpredictable strings. One of the most enchanting aspects of the book is its exploration of love in all its forms. Whether it’s the love between friends, family, or romantic partners, Klune portrays these relationships with a poignant and uplifting tenderness. The narrative reminds us that love, in all its manifestations, is a force that transcends boundaries and has the power to heal even the deepest wounds.

Staff Pick: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Our staff pick for this month was a young adult novel, the first in a popular series. We decided that we wanted to continue reading the other books in the series – the shocking twists and short chapters kept our attention. We found the themes of privilege and entitlement interesting, although there were mixed feelings about which brother was our favorite!