The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, recommended by Meg
Revenge is a dish best served cold, or in some cases, in a little blue vial.
It’s 1791 England, two of our main characters’ lives first intertwine when Nella, a talented no questions asked apothecary, meets a young girl Eliza appears at her door asking for an elixir to kill her master’s husband. Through the tangled web of lies and secrecy, we end up in present-day London, where we meet an American, Caroline, who is running away from her own betrayal and secrets of the past. Caroline unearths a piece of history that unites these three women’s lives forever; The Lost Apothecary is filled with revenge, jealousy, heartbreak, loss, and a connection that binds these three women beyond time itself.
Your Thoughts: A patron said they would recommend this book and added, “Love going back and forth thru years.”
The New York Times Book Review: 125 Years of Literary History edited by Tina Jordan with Noor Qasim, recommended by Vicki
Bibliophiles rejoice! Mining material from its first issue in 1896 to the present, the publication’s editors compiled an insightful and fascinating look at the evolving literary world. This isn’t a book to read straight through, it’s to pick up and savor. In addition to reviews of notable works from Henry James to Colson Whitehead, there are editorials (including what not to include on a book plate), lists, decade benchmarks, timelines and pages of arresting book jackets and Review covers, archived photos and artwork. A timeless treasure from cover to cover.
The Honeysuckle Cookbook by Dzung Lewis, recommended by Leah & Megan C.
If you’ve ever wanted to try Vietnamese food but didn’t know where to start, The Honeysuckle Cookbook should be your next checkout! Lewis features a wide variety of modern healthy dishes, some authentically Vietnamese, as well as countless recipes from all over the globe. With 100 recipes ranging from Cheesy Everything Bagel Biscuits to Bánh Mì Sandwiches, Miso Udon Carbonara, Squash Tacos, and even Smoky Slow-Cooker Chili, there’s no shortage of diversity within these pages. Straight from our library cooking show, Biblio Bites, this cookbook is sure to impress at any table!
Your Thoughts: When asked if they had a favorite part, a patron responded, “No, the whole cookbook was amazing – text, pictures, I’m a cookbook reader, and just kept wanting to keep reading.”
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi, recommended by Megan S.
Do you ever feel like reading a book that’s the equivalent of sitting down with a huge bowl of popcorn and a movie? The Kaiju Preservation Society is just that. In some ways, it’s a wish-fulfillment novel, as our main character goes from being a meal delivery driver to “lifting things” for a secret organization tasked with monitoring, studying, and preserving kaiju. What are kaiju? Think Godzilla and Gamera come to life. It’s an incredible opportunity for Jamie Gray, but it’s not without its challenges. Scalzi has penned an adventure that’s fun, quick-paced, and just right.
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd, recommended by Dennis
An odd story of a hidden city that exists only on a map and the impact it has on a group of college friends. The book repeatedly asks the question, “What is the purpose of a map?” The answer is repeatedly given as, “To bring people together.” The map with the hidden city does not do that for the group of college friends. Instead the map brings deaths, secrets and betrayals.
While not a new release, staff member Amy read The Book of M by Peng Shepherd, the author of The Cartographers, and recommends it!
You have no idea how important your shadow is until it’s gone… Book of M is a different take on an apocalypse story. You have to worry about more than losing others – you also have to worry about losing yourself.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, recommended by Megan C.
A must-read for Shakespeare aficionados, this historical fiction is based on the possible roots of one of William Shakespeare’s most renowned plays – Hamlet. The story follows an unnamed tutor turned playwright (Shakespeare) and his family in the years leading up to the production of his great play. But the plot doesn’t focus on Shakespeare, instead his 11-year-old son Hamnet (a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain) takes the spotlight. In this dazzling portrayal of the play’s plausible roots, O’Farrell engages the imagination and allows readers to empathize with William Shakespeare and his wife Agnes (Anne). And as the bubonic plague rages in the background, this novel can’t help but be timely in our post-pandemic world. A story that starts slow but surprises with lyrical and meaningful prose, “Hamnet” is unique and really doing something different than most contemporary fiction. A heartbreakingly beautiful portrait of love and loss that had me aching to believe every line.
Nothing to Lose by J.A. Jance, recommended by Trish
Beau is settling into the house-husband role but a surprise visit from his deceased partner’s son, Jared, arrives on his doorstep looking for help. The old Beau is back and helping Jared find his missing brother. His investigation uncovers missing bones, old cold-case murders and elder abuse all in the wilds of Alaska. Good to see the old J. P. Beaumont back in action.
Your thoughts: A patron who read Nothing to Lose said, “It was a good story, a quick read. I did figure it out before the author revealed it all. I really prefer a mystery that I can’t solve!” Another shared that their favorite part was “The whole book. Love J.P. Beaumont.”