Bookshelf

June Books

FICTION

It All Comes Down to This, by Therese Anne Fowler

The Geller sisters — Beck, Claire and Sophie — are a trio of strong-minded women whose pragmatic, widowed mother, Marti, will die soon and take her secrets with her. Marti has ensured that her modest estate is easy for her family to deal with once she’s gone — including a provision that the family’s summer cottage on Mount Desert Island, Maine, must be sold. Beck, the eldest, is a freelance journalist whose marriage looks more like a sibling bond than a passionate partnership. The Maine cottage has been essential to her secret wish to write a novel. Despite her accomplishments as a pediatric cardiologist, Claire, the middle daughter, has always felt like the Geller misfit. Her secret, unrequited love for the wrong man, is slowly destroying her. Youngest daughter Sophie appears to live an Instagram-ready life, filled with glamorous work and travel. In reality, her existence is a cash-strapped house of cards that may crash at any moment. Enter C.J. Reynolds, an enigmatic Southerner and ex-con with his own hidden past who complicates the situation. All is not what it seems, and everything is about to change.

 

Jackie & Me, by Louis Bayard

In the spring of 1951, débutante Jacqueline Bouvier, working for the Washington Times-Herald, meets Jack Kennedy, a charming congressman from a notorious and powerful family, at a party in Washington, D.C. Young, rebellious, eager to break free from her mother, Jackie is drawn to the elusive young politician. Jack, busy with House duties during the week and Senate campaigning on the weekend (as well as his other now-well-known extracurricular activities) convinces his best friend and fixer, Lem Billings, to court Jackie on his behalf. Only gradually does Jackie begin to realize that she is being groomed to be the perfect political wife. Sharply written by the bestselling author of Courting Mr. Lincoln, this historical novel draws a picture of Jackie as never before seen, in a story about love, sacrifice, friendship and betrayal.

 

Woman of Light, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Luz “Little Light” Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, is left to fend for herself after her older brother, Diego, a snake charmer and factory worker, is run out of town by a violent mob. As Luz navigates 1930s Denver on her own, she begins to have visions that transport her to her Indigenous homeland in the nearby Lost Territory. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion. Woman of Light is a transfixing novel about survival, family secrets and love, filled with an unforgettable cast of characters.

 

Horse, by Geraldine Brooks

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Brooks braids a story that sweeps from antebellum racetracks to the vibrant post-World War II art scene in Manhattan, all the way to the Smithsonian’s high-tech osteology labs. Kentucky, 1850 — A bright bay foal, Lexington, and his enslaved groom forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. An itinerant young artist who makes his name from paintings of the horse takes up arms for the Union and reconnects with the stallion and his groom on a dangerous night far from the glamour of any racetrack. New York City, 1954 — Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a 19th century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance. Washington, D.C., 2019 — As a Smithsonian scientist studies the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, an art historian seeks the lost history of the Black trainers and grooms often depicted with the horse. Leaning heavily on Lexington’s remarkable true story, both on the track and during the Civil War, Brooks highlights the unsung contribution of the Black horsemen on whose expertise vast fortunes relied.

 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Bearnard Writes a Book, by Deborah Underwood

Bearnard the bear wants Gertie the goose to have her very own book. Their adventure in writing comes complete with dragons, volcanoes and rampaging monsters. This adorable adventure story even has a literary surprise ending. (Ages 4-7.)

 

Pineapple Princess, by Sabina Hahn

Any old princess can have a sparkly, bedazzled crown but it takes a warrior queen to fully embrace a more . . . natural option. Move over Fancy Nancy, there’s a new girl in town, and she’s, well, a little bit sticky. (Ages 3-7).

 

Gardens Are For Growing, by Chelsea Tornetto

There’s a special bond between daddies and daughters, and this adorable picture book celebrates that together time through the seasons in a family’s garden. Perfect for Earth Day, Father’s Day or graduations. Fans of Love You Forever will declare this a must have. (Ages 3-6).

 

The Curious Book of Lists, by Tracy Turner

What’s the world’s slimiest creature? Which are the deadliest snakes? How many countries exist with no coastline? Find out all this and more in The Curious Book of Lists. This would be a fun one to keep on the dinner table. (Ages 8-12).   PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

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