Bookshelf

February Books

FICTION

Milk Blood Heat, by Dantiel W. Moniz

A livewire debut novel that depicts the sultry lives of Floridians in intergenerational tales that contemplate human connection, race, womanhood, inheritance and the elemental darkness in us all. Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning.

The Unwilling, by John Hart

Gibby’s older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other, Jason, came back misunderstood and hard, and ended up in prison. After his release, and determined to make a connection with his brother, Jason coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine, whisky and two older women. When one of the women is savagely murdered, suspicion turns to Jason; but when later the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother’s hidden life. What he discovers is a truth more disturbing than he could have imagined. Crime fiction at its most raw.

The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah

Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as drought grips the Great Plains. The crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. Elsa Martinelli — like so many of her neighbors — must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. Written by the author of The Nightingale, Winds is an indelible portrait of America during the Great Depression as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

The Nature of Fragile Things,
by Susan Meissner

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. Widower Martin Hocking is mesmerizingly handsome, but Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved. When the 1906 earthquake happens, they are all forever changed.

NONFICTION

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,
by Harriet Jacobs

A perfect book club selection, Incidents is the reissued autobiography of a woman born into slavery in Edenton, North Carolina. A compelling read in modern day, it was written between 1853 and 1858 and published in 1861 under the name Linda Brent.

Walk in My Combat Boots,
b
y James Patterson and Chris Mooney

These are the brutally honest stories usually shared only between comrades in arms. Here, in the voices of the men and women who have fought overseas from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, is a poignant look into what wearing the uniform, fighting in combat, losing friends and coming home is really like.

Romantics and Classics: Style in the English Country House, by Jeremy Musson

In this coffee table book featuring houses of the English countryside, Musson and photographer Hugo Rittson Thomas have assembled a stunning collection of charming homes that reveal a remarkable wealth of taste and style, ranging from classic to contemporary and bohemian. In addition to featuring homes like Haddon Hall, Smedmore, Court of Noke and The Laskett, the book includes essays expanding on the essential components of country style.

The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation,
by Anna Malaika Tubbs

In this groundbreaking debut, Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King and Louise Little, who taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America’s racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families’ safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers who pushed their children toward greatness.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home, by Kathryn Cristaldi

Oh, my goodness, this is the sweetest thing — a perfect read-together that will make you want to cuddle with your favorite 3-year-old and share the yaks in Cadillacs and frogs on big-wheeled bikes. “I will love you till the cows come home, from a trip to Mars through skies unknown, in a rocket ship made of glass and stone . . . I will love you till the cows come home.” (Ages 1-4.)

The Beak Book, by Robin Page

Straining, sniffing, tossing, crushing, cooling, filtering, snapping — beaks are incredibly versatile, and the birds that own them wildly diverse. Budding ornithologists and nature lovers will enjoy learning about the wide world of birds and their beaks in this fun new title. (Ages 3-8.)

Bear Island, by Matthew Cordell

There is no one good way to get through a bad time, but after losing her best dog, Charlie, Louise retreats to a tiny island near her home, where her days are filled with warm sun, quiet animals and time — time to think and be and find a path forward. A lovely story of healing after loss from a picture book wizard. (Ages 3-6.)

The Cousins, by Karen McManus

Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. When they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised and curious. The longer the cousins are on the island, the more they realize how mysterious — and dark — their family’s past is. A fast-paced thriller for fans of Genuine Fraud or We Were Liars. (Age 14 and up.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

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