Maame by Jessica George, recommended by Tracie
Maddie finally takes the steps to have a life of her own since her mother plans to come home again from Ghana to take care of her father who is suffering from advanced stage Parkinson’s.  Maddie struggles at work, being the only Black person at a meeting and trying to meet the insufferable demands of a tyrant boss.  She moves in with two other women and jumps into learning how to be a friend, online dating, how to be alone, and being dumped, all while trying to distance herself from her overbearing and demanding mother.  The death of Maddie’s father changes everything.

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes, recommended by Meg

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that delves into the myth of Medusa, challenging the perception of her as a monster. Set against the backdrop of a picturesque Greek island, the story follows three generations of women as they navigate family dynamics, secrets, and the quest for forgiveness. Haynes’ skillful storytelling and evocative prose create an emotionally resonant and captivating narrative, leaving a lasting impression on readers. With its exploration of identity, mythology, and the power of storytelling, Stone Blind is a must-read for those seeking a fresh perspective on ancient legends.

The Crash by Catherine Miller, recommended by Amy

A split-second decision can change everything.  Susan and Mike are on their way back from a trip to revive their relationship and the song that brought the high-school sweethearts together on a dance floor 40 years ago comes on the radio.  A stolen glance as their memories wash over them causes their car to get in a crash. 

After a near-fatal accident, it’s a miracle that Zack survived, and with a life-long heart condition, Chloe didn’t think she would make it past her twenties.  But that day, Chloe and Zack’s lives are saved when they each receive a heart. They don’t know it, but they are inseparably linked. Until Chloe and Zack find one another – two hearts searching for their missing part – their new lives can never begin… Will they be able to find each other before it’s too late?

This was such a beautiful and heartwarming book about a tragedy that led to an amazing love story.  It leaves you with a big smile on your face when you finish it. I highly recommend it!

Odder by Katherine Applegate, recommended by Megan C.

From the author of beloved children’s fiction like The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate will enchant readers of all ages with Odder. Follow the young otter pup Odder as she teaches about ocean ecosystems, otter personalities and preservation, as well as Monterey Bay Aquarium’s otter surrogacy program – all from an otter’s point of view. Although this book is educational, Odder oozes empathy and cheer, while also being entirely written in free verse poetry! A story that will make all ages smile!

The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession by Alexandra Robbins, recommended by Megan S.

In this nonfiction work, author Alexandra Robbins profiles three teachers across the United States over the course of one year. We get to know a middle school math teacher, a special ed teacher, and an elementary school teacher, while the perspectives of quite a few other instructors are shared after each chapter. Each of the teachers struggles with challenges related to their jobs, whether it is a lack of support from administrators, abusive parents, or lack of personal time. Robbins comprehensively explores K-12 education in this book, illustrating why we are facing a shortage of public schoolteachers. You’ll come away with a greater understanding of what teachers face every day, but also how devoted they are to their students.

When the Corn is Waist High by Jeremy Scott, recommended by Dennis

A small rural town in Indiana is experiencing a series of unexplained murders. Town sheriff and Catholic priest Solomon Lancaster oversees the investigation until the FBI shows up and takes charge. Father/Sheriff Lancaster continues the investigation, hoping to solve the case before the FBI does, but he discovers that even the innocents in this town have secrets to hide, him included.  No one wants their secrets revealed. This book is available in audiobook format on Hoopla.