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This Week’s Reads at the East End Library

Hello, Church Hill readers! As May warms up and spring gets ready to leave, we hope more of you will be swinging by your local library to pick up something to read as you beat the summer heat! Whether it’s a beach read or something to go with that cold glass of sweet tea while you sit in the shade, we have a lot of new materials coming in every week.

In fact, this week we got so many excellent new titles, I have a few extras that I want to highlight for you! Normally I try and pull a few reviews for CHPN readers, one each for fiction, non-fiction, young adult, and juvenile readers; this week I have so many titles that I am excited about, I hope you’ll indulge the extras.

We received nearly 40 new titles this past week, and here are a few of the ones that I thought everyone in the East End should see: Adult Fiction Annie’s Bones by Howard Owen (Adult Fiction) Local author! A thrilling mystery set in Virginia, Annie’s Bones takes the reader on a dark adventure through time and our own back yard: Richmond. Passing back and forth between 1968 and 2016, this story follows Grayson Melvin after the remains of the girl he loved and lost are unearthed. The narrative does a good job of weaving the past and the present together, keeping the reader hooked as Grayson tries to clear his name and find out who killed his beloved Annie. If you haven’t tried many mysteries or thrillers before, this may be the one to get you into the genre; nothing quite as fun as reading about familiar places in a compelling book!   Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson (Adult Fiction) It’s not often we get new science fiction titles at the East End Library, so I wanted to bring this one up for any of our sci-fi fans. Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach takes readers to 2267AD, as humanity begins to emerge from underground sanctuaries called Hells and rehabilitate a destroyed world. Minh, the main character of the novel, has an opportunity to travel 4,000 years back in time, in order to study the Fertile Crescent and eventually restore the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to their former glory. Crossing timelines and paths with interesting characters from millennia ago, Minh is faced with the choice of whether to repair the future or surrender to the relative ease of the past.   Going For A Beer by Robert Coover (Adult Fiction) Short story collections are one of the best ways to get a taste for an author you may not have otherwise read; in addition, if you don’t have the time to finish a book but want to get into something with a bit of meat on it, short stories are the way to go! I was stunned by some of the stories in this collection of Robert Coover, since they display complexity and depth with so few words. For example, in “The Goldilocks Variations,” he takes an overdone fairy tale and instills a freshness into it by breaking the narrative down to its very essence, then gently breathing wisps of life into the pieces until you have an excitingly fresh take on the old story. If you’ve never read any of Coover’s work before, this is the perfect place to start. Slave Old Man by Patrick Chamoiseau (Adult Fiction) Honestly, this may be some of the most beautiful writing I’ve seen in a while. This short novel was first published in French and Martinique Creole in 1997, and is now finally available in its English translation. Linda Coverdale, the translator, captured some of the beautiful linguistic interplay from its original text by leaving scattered Creole words throughout the passages. Because of the authenticity of the language is easy to become fully immersed in this story of slavery and the Caribbean, and as you follow the story of the “slave old man,” the vivid imagery is startling in its beauty and viciousness. The novel is painfully short, but unforgettably powerful.    Other Adult Fiction Census by Jesse Ball Exit Strategy by Charlton Pettus If We Had Known by Elise Juska Paris Metro by Wendell Steavenson The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop Adult Non-Fiction Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neal Hurston (Adult Non-Fiction) In the 1920s, Zora Neale Hurston was an unknown anthropologist and ethnographer who had the opportunity to interview Cudjoe Lewis, the last known survivor of the Transatlantic slave trade. Finally, after nearly a century, the manuscript has been published and readers have a chance to delve into his rich tale. Hurston was criticized for writing the book in “dialect,” writing out Lewis’s speech phonetically, but she was uncompromising, insisting on keeping that aspect. Unfortunately, both copies that we have at the East End Branch are checked out at the time of writing! Remember that you can always put holds on books that are either checked out or unavailable at the East End Branch, and you will be contacted as soon as they are available at our location!   The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli If you never thought science could be beautiful, I challenge you to read The Order of Time. Carlo Rovelli is an Italian theoretical physicist and a New York Times bestselling author, and he elegantly combines philosophy, science, and literature in what could have been a dense and inaccessible book. Lines from the Roman poet Horace, Hindu descriptions of Shiva, and Albert Einstein’s theories share space on the page, tied together by moving questions about what makes time so fascinating and yet so unknowable.   West Like Lightning: The Brief Legendary Ride of the Pony Express by Jim DeFelice (Adult Non-Fiction) If you like Nathaniel Philbrick’s take on history, I urge you to try Jim DeFelice’s West Like Lightning. Written in gripping prose, this book takes the reader into the West on the eve of the Civil War, and allows you to rub shoulders with famous pony express riders like “Wild Bill” Hickok while navigating a adventurous countryside. Far from a dusty, monotone lecture, West Like Lightning gives you context while also putting you in the thick of the action; it reads more like a movie than a history book!   Other Adult Non-Fiction A Higher Loyalty by James Comey (Large Print) Brown by Kevin Young (Poetry) Change Here Now: Permaculture Solutions for Personal and Community Transformation by Adam Brock I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy by Chris Beam Me and My House: James Baldwin’s Last Decade in France by Magdalena J. Zaborowska The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook: Over 150 Delicious Recipes to Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases by Amy Myers, MD The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics By Salena Zito and Brad Todd Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir by Ng?g? wa Thiong’o Juvenile Non-Fiction Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters (Juvenile Non-Fiction) Easily one of the most important and moving books of poetry I’ve read, this book effortlessly sets the stage for an exploration of what makes us the same and what makes us all unique. When two kids – one white and one black – are assigned to work together on a school project, they discover more about each other than they ever knew. The different perspectives on a range of topics, portrayed through poems on facing pages, are just as important for adults as they are for kids, as we think about the world and communities we live in.   Other Juvenile Books Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone by Alice Brière?Haquet Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson Bird and Squirrel: On Fire! by James Burks Bird and Squirrel: On The Run by James Burks Boy Bites Bug by Rebecca Petruck (Young Adult Fiction) Sunny by Jason Reynolds Pokémon: Deluxe Essential Handbook by Scholastic Corporation Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Sue Hood A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker I Got It! by David Wiesner Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love The Pond by Nicola Davies Remember that a library card with the Richmond Public Library is FREE if you’ve never had one with us before, and only costs a dollar to replace (for those who may have permanently “misplaced” their card). We now also offer an e-card, so you can get access to e-books, e-audiobooks, and stream movies and tv shows through our online resources. You can get the e-card here, and can get a free library card at any location as long as you bring your photo ID that has your current address on it (or proof of your address, like a bill or a lease).

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