February Bookshelf 2024
The Women, by Kristin Hannah
Raised in the sun-drenched, idyllic world of Southern California and sheltered by her conservative parents, 20-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath has always prided herself on doing the right thing. But in 1965, the world is changing, and she suddenly dares to imagine a different future for herself. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path. As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war. Each day is a gamble of life and death, hope and betrayal; friendships run deep and can be shattered in an instant. In war, she meets — and becomes — one of the lucky, the brave, the broken, and the lost. The real battle lies in coming home to a changed and divided America.
After Annie, by Anna Quindlen
When Annie Brown dies suddenly, her husband, her children and her closest friend are left to find a way forward without the woman who has been the lynchpin of all their lives. Bill is overwhelmed without his beloved wife, and Annemarie wrestles with the bad habits her best friend had helped her overcome. Ali, the eldest of Annie’s children, has to grow up overnight, to care for her younger brothers and even her father, and to puzzle out for herself many of the mysteries of adult life. Over the course of the next year what saves them all is Annie, ever-present in their minds, loving but not sentimental, caring but nobody’s fool, a voice in their heads that is funny and sharp and remarkably clear.
The Atlas Maneuver, by Steve Barry
In the waning months of World War II, Japan hid vast quantities of gold and other stolen valuables in booby-trapped underground caches all across the Philippines. By 1947 some of that loot was recovered, not by treasure hunters, but by the United States government, which told no one about the find. Instead, those assets were stamped classified, shipped to Europe, and secretly assimilated into something called the Black Eagle Trust. Fast forward to the 21st century, when a retired Justice Department operative, Cotton Malone, is in Switzerland doing a favor for a friend. What was supposed to be a simple operation turns violent, and Cotton is thrust into a war between the world’s oldest bank and the CIA, a battle that directly involves the Black Eagle Trust. He quickly discovers that everything hinges on a woman from his past, who suddenly reappears harboring a host of explosive secrets centering around bitcoin. Cotton has to act. But at what cost?
Our Ancient Faith: Lincoln, Democracy, and the American Experiment, by Allen C. Guelzo
Abraham Lincoln grappled with the greatest crisis of democracy that has ever confronted the United States. While many books have been written about his temperament, judgment and steady hand in guiding the country through the Civil War, we know less about Lincoln’s penetrating ideas and beliefs about democracy, which were every bit as important as his character in sustaining him through the crisis. Guelzo, one of America’s foremost experts on Lincoln, captures the president’s firmly held belief that democracy was the greatest political achievement in human history. He shows how Lincoln’s deep commitment to the balance between majority and minority rule enabled him to stand firm against secession while also committing the Union to reconciliation rather than recrimination in the aftermath of war.
This Book Will Make You an Artist, by Ruth Millington
Art can be intimidating, but fret no longer. With an insider’s look at 25 artists and creators including Hilma af Klint, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Claude Monet and Yayoi Kusama, plus DIY project starters, this book will make anyone both an artist and an art appreciator. (Ages 7-10).
All of Those Babies, by Mylisa Larsen
Pufflings, peeps, poults and colts, baby animals are just so darn cute. Celebrate those newborns and watch as they grow in this rhyming read-together perfect for young animal lovers. (Ages 3-6).
Love, Escargot, by Dashka Slater
Oooh la la! Escargot, the adorable French gastropod, is back for another adventure. Today is Snailentine’s Day, and Escargot is (slowly) on the way to a très bonne fête with canapés, crudités, dancing and beautiful cards to exchange with the one who makes you feel magnifique! Silly, fun and just a little French, Escargot is sure to be a giggle-inducing read-together favorite. (Ages 3-6).
Kin: Rooted in Hope, by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrations by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford
North Carolina author Carole Boston Weatherford’s books have been awarded the Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award. Now, Weatherford and her equally award-winning son have collaborated on this stunning collection of poems unfolding the narrative of their family over five generations. (Ages 10 and up). PS
Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.