Miss our August Facebook live video? Not to worry! We created the ultimate TBR list for you (plus, a little cosmo recipe on the side)! Find the full video here.
Tony's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
Dragonshadow by Elle Katharine White
Prisoner by Jason Rezaian
Freefall by Jessica Barry
Am I Dying?! by Dr. Christopher Kelly and Dr. Marc Eisenberg
The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
No Exit by Taylor Adams
-Make sure to read the behind the book here.
The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk
Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
The Huntress by Kate Quinn
-Make sure to read the behind the book here.
The Little Book of Sloth Philosophy by Jennifer McCartney
Parkland by Dave Cullen
Hindsight by Justin Timberlake
Backlist available for purchase:
Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani
The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani
The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry by Elizabeth McCracken
The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
The House Girl by Tara Conklin
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
For more book presentations, check out our podcast here.
Don't forget the cosmo! Courtesy of viewer Donna Wilder (pictured below).
Looking for your next read? What's better than a book...about books?
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern: When 15-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary, the judge throws the book at her—literally. She is assigned to do community service at the local library in Riverton, New Hampshire; her “boss” for the summer is the head librarian, Kit, who is herself a refugee from what she thought was a settled, suburban, midwestern life. They're joined by Rusty, a former high flying Wall Streeter in search of his roots (and, maybe, a once-forgotten bank account.) With a cast of supporting characters, Kit and Sunny and Rusty circle around one another, taking measure of each other and of themselves. As the summer progresses, we learn how their lives unraveled, and discover how they can be knit together again. It is appropriate that in a novel that takes place in a library, Sue Halpern—a long-time contributor to The New York Review of Books—reveals her own love of reading, libraries, and librarians.
A wry and observant look at contemporary life and the refuges we find, Summer Hours at the Robbers Library is an unforgettable tale of family, the kind you come from and the kind you create.
The Binding by Bridget Collins: Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice amongst their small community, but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed, and the past is locked away.
An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books—and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic. Be sure to check out The Binding (ISBN: 9780062838094), coming out on April 16, 2019.
Don't forget to share how you are spending your day on social media, using #NationalBookLoversDay.
Calling all fans of brilliant, politically-charged dystopian fiction: Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah, on sale next week, is not to be missed. Bina, a celebrated Pakistani author and journalist, paints a vivid picture of a world torn apart by war and a brave group of women who revolt against being enslaved in multiple marriages. Publishers Weekly, in a rave STARRED review, praises Before She Sleeps as a "haunting dystopian thriller.... Fans of The Handmaid's Tale won't want to miss this one." Today, we welcome Bina to Library Love Fest for a guest post!
"Here, Bina, I’ve bought you a book, but you can’t read it until you’re older, next year."
The year is 1982 and this is not the thing you say to a ten year old girl, a hungry reader, who devours books the way other children eat candy. She haunts the elementary school library like a ghost, checking out so many books that the librarian has to tell her to slow down. But books are her friends, and she wants to spend as much time as she can with them. They tell her the truth about the world, even when adults want to hide it from her. She is hungry for the truth.
You do not leave the girl sitting on a bench in the mall with the book in a plastic bag while you go to explore the clothes and shoes in the department store. Chalk it down to inexperience, trust, or the belief that a mother’s word is law. Never underestimate even the most obedient daughter’s curiosity, especially when you have said those magic words, You can’t read this book. It is guaranteed to have the opposite effect.
As soon as you leave the girl, telling her you’ll be back in half an hour, she plunges her hand into the plastic bag and pulls out the book. Anne Frank, she reads, The Diary of a Young Girl. A girl like me? she thinks. This can’t be true.
The back cover tells her that Anne Frank lived in the Netherlands during World War 2, and that she and her family, Jews, were forced to go into hiding for two years, until they were betrayed and captured by the Nazis. Their hiding place was the Secret Annexe and this book is the diary that Anne Frank wrote from the ages of 13 to 15. And then she died in a notorious concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen, and only her father survived to bring this book to the world.
Anne couldn’t be more different from this girl, a Pakistani Muslim who lives in Karachi, growing up forty years after the events of World War 2. Pakistan can’t be more different than the Netherlands under Nazi Germany, even though a brutal dictator rules the country, repressing the rights of anyone who isn’t a Sunni Muslim male. Still, the girl knows that things are not right where she lives; an undercurrent of bleakness and repression runs through everything. She remembers the day they hanged the Prime Minister; a black day when the roads were empty and the entire country was plunged into mourning.
The words on the back of the diary are already ringing like alarm bells in the girl’s ears. She glances left and right to see if her mother is watching from a secret corner, decides the coast is clear, and begins to read. Dear Kitty, and with just that simple salutation to an imaginary friend, the girl is lost to everything around her. The sounds of the mall fade away, fear of Mother is forgotten (though she keeps one eye out for her mother’s sudden reappearance). The only thing that exists for this girl is the book in her hands and the words on the page.
By the time you return, the girl has already read through one-fourth of the book (she is a fast reader). She keeps dipping into it when you’re not looking, entranced by the tale of the Jewish girl and her family forced into hiding, trying to survive, if not live ordinary lives. It strikes chords in her that she didn’t even know she could hear, living in Pakistan, a country that takes everything from girls and women and gives them little in return.
As the girl grows, leaving childhood behind and becoming a teenager, she too is forced into a type of hiding: from the world of men, from the streets, from public life. She only feels alive at school, the way Anne feels alive when reading a book or writing in her diary.
The girl finishes the book quickly. She thrills to the tale of Anne and Peter’s first kiss, nods vicariously at stories of arguments with mother and sister, misunderstandings with relatives and friends. She is devastated by the ending, even though she knew hw it would turn out before she began reading the book. She has dreams in which she too is a Jewish girl, trapped in a concentration camp. She keeps trying to work out alternative endings where Anne and her family are not captured, or they survive the camps, and Anne grows up to achieve her dream: "When I grow up, I want to be a famous writer."
Later, her mother presents her with the book. "You’re old enough to read it now. I read it when I was in school, and it really affected me. That’s why I wanted you to have it. You’re old enough to understand it now."
But the girl has already understood everything, far beyond what her mother imagines. Because the girl has already started her own diary, addressing each entry, Dear Anne. And she writes, in this diary, "When I grow up, I want to be a famous writer, just like you."
Thanks, Bina! You can pre-order a copy of Before She Sleeps here! The book goes on sale August 7th. Don't miss it!