Weyward by Emilia Hart, recommended by Megan C.

There couldn’t be a better time to read this chilling, gothic debut by Emilia Hart than during the month of October. Combining historical fiction, women’s fiction, and magical realism, Weyward follows Altha in 1619, Violet in 1942, and Kate in 2019. Though separated by five centuries, these three women are connected by blood and their abnormal bond with the natural world. Follow their interwoven journeys to decide if the Weyward women are indeed witchy. Be warned, this dark book contains triggers of abuse and neglect.

A Natural History of Dragons, A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan, recommended by Dennis
Available on Libby or cloudLibrary

This is a different approach to “Dragon Fiction.” In this story, dragons are depicted as a normal part of the animal world. The story is a recounting of her experiences on an expedition to learn about dragons.  Lady Trent is fascinated by dragons and manipulates her way onto an expedition to study them.  Once the expedition arrives at their study location, they are told and experience firsthand, that dragons have been attacking the people in the area.  This is a new behavior. To help alleviate the tension their presence has caused, they make a promise to discover why this is happening.  Her investigations lead her to a mysterious set of ruins and the unleashing of what the locals believe is a half man, half dragon like creature that appears to be angered by her visit. It seems its displeasure is being taken out on the community.  To complicate matters she encounters a group of smugglers who are displeased she has found them.  These plot lines, along with her meticulous studies of the dragons, make an interesting, fun read.  This is the first book in a series.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James, recommended by Tracie

“Am I bitter or am I sweet?  Ladies can be either” is a quote from Beth’s mother concerning Beth and her stepsister Lily.  Beth was accused of killing her father and was found not guilty.  Two new murders and Shea Collins, true crime blogger, wants to find out more.

Lone Women by Victor Lavalle, recommended by Megan S.

It’s 1915 and the Wild West still feels wild, especially the empty spaces of Montana. Adelaide has fled her home state of California in shame and fear, hoping that a homestead in the middle of nowhere will give her solace. Unfortunately, she carries her guilt around with her in the form of a mysterious, looming, heavy steamer trunk. Over the course of this novel, we meet hardscrabble Montana residents and learn of their own secrets while Adelaide comes to terms with her past. I enjoyed the moody, mysterious nature of this book and the way the plot played out over the unforgiving landscape.

Staff Book Club – Fuzz by Mary Roach

Our book club choice for this past month is a darkly humorous look at the ways that humans and animals coexist – or, in some cases, don’t. Roach continues her trademark hands-on research and willingness to go where the story is, meeting people from all walks of life and listening to their perspectives. Staff members enjoyed her conversational tone and lighthearted footnotes, but appreciated the information that Roach passed on. We recommend this book for anyone looking to get a broader understanding of the ways that different countries and cultures handle coexisting with wild animals.