Bookshelf

January Books

FICTION

The Maid, by Nita Prose

A charmingly eccentric hotel maid discovers a guest murdered in his bed. Solving the mystery will turn her once orderly world upside down in this utterly original debut novel. Molly Gray struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others, but her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette make her delight in her job as a hotel maid. Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she finds infamous and wealthy Charles Black dead in his bed. Her unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. This Clue-like, locked-room mystery explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and, yet, entirely different.

The Final Case, by David Guterson

From the award-winning, bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars comes a moving father-son story that is also a taut courtroom drama and a bold examination of privilege, power and how to live a meaningful life. A girl dies one late, rainy night a few feet from the back door of her home. The girl, Abeba, was born in Ethiopia. Her adoptive parents are conservative, white fundamentalist Christians and are charged with her murder. The Final Case is an astute examination of justice and injustice.

Mouth to Mouth, by Antoine Wilson

In a first-class lounge at JFK airport, our narrator listens as Jeff Cook, a former classmate he only vaguely remembers, shares the uncanny story of his adult life — a life that changed course years before, when he resuscitated a drowning man, a renowned art dealer, and begins to surreptitiously visit his Beverly Hills gallery. The dealer does not recognize him but casts his legendary eye on Jeff and sees something worthy. He takes the younger man under his wing, initiating him into his world, where knowledge, taste and access are currency; a world where value is constantly shifting and calling into question what is real, and what matters. The paths of the two men come together and diverge in dizzying ways until the novel’s staggering ending.

How High We Go in the Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu

A spellbinding debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague. From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resilience of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.

Violeta, by Isabel Allende

This sweeping novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea tells the epic story of Violeta Del Valle, a woman whose life spans 100 years and bears witness to the greatest upheavals of the 20th century. Her life is marked by extraordinary events. The ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth. She tells her story in the form of a letter to someone she loves above all others, recounting times of devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy.

NONFICTION

The Vanished Collection, by Pauline Baer de Perignon

It all started with a list of paintings — the names of the masters whose works once belonged to her great-grandfather, Jules Strauss — Renoir, Monet, Degas, Tiepolo and more. Pauline Baer de Perignon knew little to nothing about Strauss, or about his vanished, precious art collection. But the list drove her on a frenzied trail of research in the archives of the Louvre and the Dresden museums, through Gestapo records, to a consultation with Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano. What happened in 1942? And what became of the collection after Nazis seized her great-grandparents’ elegant Paris apartment?

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Show the World!, by Angela Dalton

It’s a powerful thing to have even one person believe in you. A gift of this powerful little book would encourage anyone to make the world their canvas. (Ages 4-7.)

Dinosaurs on Kitty Island,
by Michael Slack

Awwwww! The kitties on Kitty island are so cute . . . or are they? When the dinosaurs come to play, they’ll see just who is cute and cuddly after all. This perfect read-aloud will have everyone giggling. (Ages 3-6.)

Twisty-Turny House, by Lisa Mantchev

Everyone has their proper place in the twisty-turny house. The cats are upstairs and the dogs are downstairs until one day a bold cat ventures down the stairs and opens the door for everyone to discover the wonders the whole house has to offer. A sweet story of sharing, misconceptions and new experiences. (Ages 4-7.)

Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne

January is a great time to snuggle up with a classic, and this stunning new edition of the stories of a silly old bear is the perfect choice. The complete text of the 1926 classic is accompanied by full color versions of the original illustrations by E. H. Shepherd. (Ages 4-10.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

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