With starred reviews from publications including Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers WeeklyLibrary Journal, and AudioFile—your patrons will want to read these much-anticipated books that reviewers are raving about.


FICTION:

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

An artist stumbles upon a naked duke and an unlikely love story begins in this captivating Victorian historical romance.

“Impeccably researched, Lowell’s latest emphasizes justice. This love story tackles weighty issues but remains suspenseful and spellbinding.”—Library Journal, starred review

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Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin 

For fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” a young woman juggles pursuing her dream job in radio while helping her family compete with the new halal restaurant across the street, in this sparkling new rom-com by the author of Ayesha at Last

“Readers won’t be able to put this Own Voices Muslim romance down. Highly recommended for most public library collections.”—Library Journal, starred review

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The Penguin Book of The Modern American Short Story by John Freeman

A selection of the best and most representative contemporary American short fiction from 1970 to 2020.

“This anthology sets itself apart by providing an inclusive starting point for readers interested in discovering the power of the short story; it is golden for those who already recognize that power.”—Library Journal, starred review

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May 4, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


Tiny Tales: Stories of Romance, Ambition, Kindness, and Happiness  by Alexander Mccall Smith

It is often said that the best things in life come in small packages; anyone in search of proof need look no further than the stories in this collection: brief, utterly engaging tales that offer lasting surprise and delight.

“Quirky and delightful.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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May 4, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Large Print Editions


We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker

From award-winning author Sarah Pinsker comes a novel about one family and the technology that divides them.

“As Pinsker tells their story, issues of discrimination, ableism, transparency, and more weave together to create an intricately told cautionary tale.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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May 11, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.

“Henry’s latest will appeal to readers who are drawn to stories with emotion, poetic language, and a strong sense of place, like Kate Clayborn’s Love Lettering.”—Library Journal, starred review

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May 11, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


Angel & Hannah: A Novel in Verse by Ishle Yi Park

The sweeping, unforgettable story of an interracial couple in 1990s New York City who are determined to protect their love against all odds—a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet.

“With an energy and attitude closer to Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights than West Side Story, the spoken-word style of Park’s wildly creative rendition will entrance readers.” —Booklist, starred review

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May 11, 2021 | Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions


Katharine Parr, the Sixth Wife: A Novel by Alison Weir

Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir brings her Tudor Queens series to a close with the remarkable story of Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife, who manages to survive him and remarry, only to be thrown into a romantic intrigue that threatens the very throne of England.

“This wide-ranging novel expertly showcases katharine’s courageous, eventful life and many noteworthy accomplishments.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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May 11, 2021 | Hardcover and eBook Editions


Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

“Highly recommended both for fans of cho’s earlier work and for anyone interested in fantasy that features queer protagonists or non-western settings and influences.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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May 11, 2021 | Paperback and eBook Editions


Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty: A Novel by Lauren Weisberger

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada and When Life Gives You Lululemons comes a highly entertaining, sharply observed novel about sisters, their perfect lives . . . and their perfect lies.

“Weisberger (When Life Gives You Lululemons, 2018) never loses her trademark beach-read breeziness as she tackles weighty problems of familial trust with a pitch-perfect blend of humor and poignancy.” —Booklist, starred review

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May 15, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions


The Living Sea of Waking Dreams: A Novel by Richard Flanagan

From the author of the Man Booker Prize-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep North comes a wrenching novel of family, climate change, and the resilience of the human spirit—an elegy to our disappearing world.

“Like Richard Powers’ The Overstory (2018), this is a timely, unforgettable work of climate fiction, unrelenting in focusing on the horrors of climate change, but one that also offers some hope.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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May 25, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


Scorpion: A Novel by Christian Cantrell 

As the world changes faster than humanity can adapt to it, a government insider chases a serial killer who makes her question what it means to be a hero in this electrifying novel from the author of Containment.

“There’s snappy dialogue, sharp observation, and compelling characters in Quinn, Ranveer, and Henrietta; the technology sings, the physics is plausibly presented, and the suggestion of time travel fascinates.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Readers entering without preconceptions—but with patience and loads of time—will relish it all.”—Booklist, starred review

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May 25, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly

A transporting, all-consuming, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy—perfect for fans of Beautiful Ruins or Under the Tuscan Sun.

“Bly writes with a Prosecco-fizzy wit that is simply irresistible, but what will equally resonate with readers is her richly nuanced characters and their embrace of life in all its glorious messiness.” —Booklist, starred review

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June 1, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


Rabbits: A Novel by Terry Miles

A deadly underground game might just be altering reality itself in this all-new adventure set in the world of the hit Rabbits podcast.

“A twisty, timey-wimey roller coaster that morphs seamlessly from treasure hunt to conspiracy thriller to escape room.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

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June 8, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


Pack Up The Moon by Kristan Higgins

Every month, a letter. That’s what Lauren decides to leave her husband when she finds out she’s dying. Each month, she gives Josh a letter containing a task to help him face this first year without her, leading him on a heartrending, beautiful, often humorous journey to find happiness again in this new novel from the New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins.

“This warm, bighearted story about grief, family, and the redemptive power of love will appeal to fans of Katherine Center and Jennifer Weiner.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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June 8, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


This Shining Life: A Novel by Harriet Kline

A boy struggling to process an unexpected loss believes he has been given a series of clues to the biggest puzzle of all—the meaning of life—in this deeply felt debut novel.

“With every hard-earned realization, Kline offers a sense of awe, which is so necessary in this fraught time.” —Booklist, starred review

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June 22, 2021 | Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions


Rock the Boat: A Novel by Beck Dorey-Stein

Old friends discover how much has changed (and how much has stayed the same) when they reunite in their seaside hometown for one unforgettable summer—a clever and poignant debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of From the Corner of the Oval.

“This first novel from former White House stenographer Dorey-Stein (From the Corner of the Oval, 2018) is a witty and endearing escape, a summertime must-read.”—Booklist, starred review

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June 29, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions


Wayward: A Novel by Dana Spiotta

A moving, funny, engrossing novel about mothers and daughters, and one woman’s midlife reckoning, from the renowned author of Stone Arabia and Eat the Document.

“At once a love letter to the Salt City and a smart and introspective device for illuminating the present through the very recent past, this novel flattens the American desire for self-realization in the face of catastrophe.”—Library Journal, starred review

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July 6, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions


Steel Fear: A Thriller by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

An aircraft carrier adrift with a crew the size of a small town. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who must track him down . . . The high-octane debut thriller from New York Times bestselling writing team Webb & Mann—combat-decorated Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and award-winning author John David Mann.

“For readers who can’t resist a bureaucracy-battling action hero, there’s a new kid on the block (or boat).” —Booklist, starred review

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July 13, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions

NONFICTION:

Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing: Essays by Lauren Hough

Searing and extremely personal essays, shot through with the darkest elements America can manifest, while discovering light and humor in unexpected corners.

“Although presented in essay format, this reads as a poignant, gripping memoir. A page-turning account of belonging and not belonging, and what it means to start over.”—Library Journal, starred review

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A Short History of Humanity by Johannes Krause and Thomas Trappe 

“Thrilling . . . a bracing summary of what we have learned [from] ‘archaeogenetics’—the study of ancient DNA . . . Krause and Trappe capture the excitement of this young field.”—Kyle Harper, The Wall Street Journal

“Scientific yet accessible, this original book offers much insight to readers of European history.”—Library Journal, starred review

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The Third Pole by Mark Synnott

“Did Synnott and his team solve mountaineering’s greatest mystery? No spoilers here, but this is a must-read for outdoor enthusiasts and readers of Everest and exploration history.”—Library Journal, starred review

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Hearing Homer’s Song by Robert Kanigel

From the acclaimed biographer of Jane Jacobs and Srinivasa Ramanujan comes the first full life and work of arguably the most influential classical scholar of the twentieth century, who overturned long-entrenched notions of ancient epic poetry and enlarged the very idea of literature.

“Scholars will appreciate the technical aspects of parry and lord’s accomplishment as “literary archaeologists,” but readers of all sorts will value the personal drama.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard

From the world’s leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest–a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery.

“A masterwork of planetary significance.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President by Ronald C. White

From the New York Times bestselling author of A. Lincoln and American Ulysses, a revelatory glimpse into the intellectual journey of our sixteenth president through his private notes to himself, explored together here for the first time.

“Students of Lincoln will find a deep background disclosing the personal thoughts that generated great national actions.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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Sacrifice : A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth by Michelle Black

The shocking and affecting memoir from a gold-star widow searching for the truth behind her Green Beret husband’s death, this book bears witness to the true sacrifices made by military families.

“A compelling, heartrending story of ultimate sacrifice.”—Booklist, Starred Review

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Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer by Steven Johnson

As featured in The New York Times Magazine, and on an upcoming PBS documentary series: the surprising and important story of how humans gained what amounts to an extra life, from the bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From.

“Johnson, as in his previous works, digs into his subject to highlight new connections and interrelated facts that produce fascinating and sometimes unexpected insights. A smoothly written book of medical wonder that pays specific attention to racial disparities in health care.”—Library Journal, starred review

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May 11, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions


 Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey across America by Elizabeth Letts

The triumphant true story of a woman who rode her horse across America in the 1950s, fulfilling her dying wish to see the Pacific Ocean, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Horse and The Eighty-Dollar Champion.

“Upbeat and touching, Wilkins’ story is the perfect pandemic escapist read.” —Booklist, starred review

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June 1, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, Audio, and Large Print Editions


Happy Not Perfect: Upgrade Your Mind, Challenge Your Thoughts, and Free Yourself from Anxiety by Poppy Jamie

A clear path to overcoming uncertainty, perfectionism, and fears of rejection so you can finally find peace with the past and create a happier, healthier future.

“Jamie’s popularity provides this self-help plan with a ready audience, and her solid, commonsense advice makes this a worthy read.” —Booklist, starred review

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June 8, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles

In a display case in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture sits a rough cotton bag, called Ashley’s Sack, embroidered with just a handful of words that evoke a sweeping family story of loss and of love, passed down through generations.

“Filled with rare, archival photographs of objects from the era, this volume is a natural choice for book clubs and a must-buy for public and academic libraries alike.” —Booklist, starred review

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June 8, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter by Kai Bird

An essential re-evaluation of the complex triumphs and tragedies of Jimmy Carter’s presidential legacy—from the expert biographer and Pulitzer Prize–winning co-author of American Prometheus.

“Incisive…Bird is a keen biographer of political figures, and he offers a welcome reminder that Carter’s liberal impulses were correct while his missteps were often the result of events he could not fully control… [The Outlier is] the best study to date of the Carter era and a substantial contribution to the history of the 1970s.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A readable, masterful biography of a complex leader… Bird does a magnificent job characterizing the many strong and fiery personalities in the Carter administration, making them all individuals with virtues and flaws.”—Booklist, starred review

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June 15, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions


Projections: A Story of Human Emotions by Karl Deisseroth

A groundbreaking tour of the human mind that illuminates the biological nature of our inner worlds and emotions, through gripping and at times harrowing clinical stories.

“His pondering of any possible evolutionary role for mental illness is compelling, as is his elucidation of the emotional burden for healers who take on devastating psychiatric situations.”—Booklist, starred review

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June 15, 2021 | Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions

COOKBOOKS:

Dada Eats Love to Cook It: 100 Plant-Based Recipes for Everyone at Your Table by Samah Dada

100+ indulgent meals and treats from the vegan- and keto-friendly rising star, all made with whole, unprocessed ingredients, including viral hits like brookie (brownie/cookie) pie and chocolate chip tahini cake.

“This is an undeniably fun and exciting ode to flavorful, plant-based goodness.” —Booklist, starred review

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June 8, 2021 | Hardcover and eBook Editions

AUDIOBOOKS:

The Ratline: The Exalted Life and Mysterious Death of a Nazi Fugitive by Philippe Sands; Read by Philippe Sands, Katja Riemann, and Stephen Fry

From the author of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning East West Street: A tale of Nazi lives, mass murder, love, cold war espionage, a mysterious death in the Vatican—and “the Ratline,” the Nazi escape route to Peron’s Argentina.

“Two uniquely matched voices tell the story of Nazis escaping Europe through Rome’s “Ratline” after WWII. Familiar as the voice for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, Fry is a close voice match for Sands, who is himself an accomplished narrator.” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir by Sherry Turkle; Read by Jill Larsen

MIT psychologist and bestselling author of Reclaiming Conversation and Alone Together, Sherry Turkle’s intimate memoir of love and work.

“Narrator Marin Ireland delivers an emotionally charged performance in this story of postpartum depression.”—Audiofile Earphones Award Winner


Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty by Maurice Chammah; Read by Kevin R. Free

A deeply reported, searingly honest portrait of the death penalty in Texas—and what it tells us about crime and punishment in America.

“Kevin Free’s approachable narration of Chammah’s multifaceted historical investigation of the death penalty makes the topic easier to bear while simultaneously delivering a gut punch as one realizes the horror of it all . . . Free expresses the myriad complicated emotions with empathy and nuance.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


The Push by Ashley Audrain; Read by Marin Ireland

A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family—and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for—and everything she feared.

“Narrator Marin Ireland delivers an emotionally charged performance in this story of postpartum depression.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


Tom Stoppard: A Life by Hermione Lee; Read by Stephen Crossley

One of our most brilliant biographers takes on one of our greatest living playwrights, drawing on a wealth of new materials and on many conversations with him.

“British actor Stephen Crossley is the right narrator for this intense, informative biography. . .From ROSENKRANTZ AND GILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (1966) to TRAVESTIES (1974), each play is given careful scrutiny, and, thanks to Crossley’s narration, each is approachable. Listeners will want to take time to savor each morsel.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


My Broken Language: A Memoir; Written and Read by Quiara Alegría Hudes

A Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright tells her lyrical story of coming of age against the backdrop of an ailing Philadelphia barrio, with her sprawling Puerto Rican family as a collective muse.

“The audiobook is a gorgeous mix of English and Spanish, open and musical, full of laughter and sighs, a spoken-word celebration as vibrant and overflowing with life as the stories she tells.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


Winter in the Blood by James Welch; Read by Darrell Dennis

A contemporary classic from a major writer of the Native American renaissance — “Brilliant, brutal and, in my opinion, Welch’s best work.” —Tommy Orange, The Washington Post

“Dennis expresses the audiobook’s humor and pathos, as well as the tension of Native American life on and off the reservation.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


Dangerous Women by Hope Adams; Read by Fenella Woolgar

Nearly two hundred condemned women board a transport ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive.

“With an impressive command of voices and accents, Woolgar flawlessly delivers the women’s shared stories of abuse and feelings of anguish over leaving their children.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


Ocean Prey by John Sandford; Read by Richard Ferrone

Fan-favorite heroes Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers join forces on a deadly maritime case in the remarkable new novel from #1 New York Times-bestselling author John Sandford.

“Ferrone is masterful at performing the witty dialogue, which includes a timely discussion about police-instigated violence. Fans of the series will get all the expected surprises.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York by Alexander Nemerov, Read by Alison Fraser

A dazzling biography of one of the twentieth century’s most respected painters, Helen Frankenthaler, as she came of age as an artist in postwar New York.

“Narrator Fraser enlivens this impressive study of the New York avant-garde art scene in the 1950s.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner


Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive by Carl Zimmer, Read by Joe Ochman

We all assume we know what life is, but the more scientists learn about the living world—from protocells to brains, from zygotes to pandemic viruses—the harder they find it is to locate life’s edge.

“This evenhanded discussion will appeal to listeners on all sides of these issues for its unique perspectives on fundamental questions.”—AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Starred Reviews: April, 2021

Category: Reviews
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