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What Are You Reading Wednesdays? WRURW

Are you as curious as we are to know what everyone is reading while spending so much time at home? Look no further! Welcome to "What R U Reading Wednesdays." Please continue to submit your responses via the linked form below. #mvcclibraryonline2020

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Image source: eReadIllinois

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East of West / by Jonathan Hickman, writer ; Nick Dragotta, artist. Image Comics, 2013-.

"This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life, lies in DEATH."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Image Comics

Pilgrim's Progress in Today's English / by John Bunyan ; retold by James H. Thomas ; illustrated by John M. Cadel. Moody Press, 1964.

"The best allegory ever written is rewritten in modern English, making it clearer and more forceful to the modern reader. With more than 100,000 in print, this retelling by James H. Thomas follows Christian as he leaves his home in the City of Destruction and begins a long journey to the Celestial City. His adventure is full of encounters with interesting people, such as Faithful, Hopeful, and Ignorance. Traveling through places such as Vanity Fair and the Valley of the Shadow of Death, he reaches his heavenly home but learns rich lessons during the journey. The story has immediate application to everyday life. Later on, Christian's wife, Christiana, decides to join her husband in the Celestial City. As she travels, Christiana comes upon a different set of people, such Greatheart, Mercy, Honesty. Her story illustrates how Christians follow different paths but with the same destination: eternity with Jesus."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Moody Publishers

The Broken Earth Trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky) / by N. K. Jemisin. Orbit, 2018.

"This is the way the world ends for the last time... A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Amazon.com

Save Yourself / by Cameron Esposito. Grand Central Publishing, 2020.

"Cameron Esposito wanted to be a priest and ended up a stand-up comic. Now she would like to tell the whole queer as hell story. Her story. Not the sidebar to a straight person's rebirth--she doesn't give a makeover or plan a wedding or get a couple back together. This isn't a queer tragedy. She doesn't die at the end of this book, having finally decided to kiss the girl. It's the sexy, honest, bumpy, and triumphant dyke's tale her younger, wasn't-allowed-to-watch-Ellen self needed to read. Because there was a long time when she thought she wouldn't make it. Not as a comic, but as a human. 'SAVE YOURSELF' is full of funny and insightful recollections about everything from coming out (at a Catholic college where sexual orientation wasn't in the nondiscrimination policy) to how joining the circus can help you become a better comic (so much nudity) to accepting yourself for who you are--even if you're, say, a bowl cut-sporting, bespectacled, gender-nonconforming child with an eye patch (which Cameron was). Packed with heart, humor, and cringeworthy stories anyone who has gone through puberty, fallen in love, started a career, or had period sex in Rome can relate to, Cameron's memoir is for that timid, fenced-in kid in all of us-and the fearless stand-up yearning to break free."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Grand Central Publishing

The Last Wish: introducing The Witcher (Ostatnie życzenie) / by Andrzej Sapkowski. Orbit, 2008.

"Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good…and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Hachette Book Group

The Extraordinaries / by TJ Klune. Tor Teen 2020.

"Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune's YA debut, 'The Extraordinaries,' is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves. Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right? After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City's mightiest hero (and Nick's biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he'll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick's best friend (and maybe the love of his life)."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Macmillan Publishers

The Monkey Wrench Gang / by Edward Abbey. HarperCollins, 2006 (Originally published, 1975).

"Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke has returned from war to find his beloved southwestern desert threatened by industrial development. Joining with Bronx exile and feminist saboteur Bonnie Abzug, wilderness guide and outcast Mormon Seldom Seen Smith, and libertarian billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, M.D., Hayduke is ready to fight the power--taking on the strip miners, clear-cutters, and the highway, dam, and bridge builders who are threatening the natural habitat. 'The Monkey Wrench Gang' is on the move--and peaceful coexistence be damned!"--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Night Boat to Tangier: a Novel / by Kevin Barry. Doubleday, 2019.

"In the dark waiting room of the ferry terminal in the sketchy Spanish port of Algeciras, two aging Irishmen--Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redmond, longtime partners in the lucrative and dangerous enterprise of smuggling drugs--sit at night, none too patiently. It is October 23, 2018, and they are expecting Maurice's estranged daughter, Dilly, to either arrive on a boat coming from Tangier or depart on one heading there. This nocturnal vigil will initiate an extraordinary journey back in time to excavate their shared history of violence, romance, mutual betrayals and serial exiles, rendered with the dark humor and the hardboiled Hibernian lyricism that have made Kevin Barry one of the most striking and admired fiction writers at work today."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Underland: a Deep Time Journey / by Robert Macfarlane. W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.

"In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller 'The Old Ways,' Macfarlane takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through 'deep time'--the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present--he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk 'hiding place' where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through Macfarlane's own travels are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers, all of whom have been drawn for different reasons to seek what Cormac McCarthy calls 'the awful darkness within the world.' Global in its geography and written with great lyricism and power, 'Underland' speaks powerfully to our present moment. Taking a deep-time view of our planet, Macfarlane here asks a vital and unsettling question: 'Are we being good ancestors to the future Earth?' 'Underland' marks a new turn in Macfarlane's long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart. From its remarkable opening pages to its deeply moving conclusion, it is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: W. W. Norton & Company

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies / by Jared Diamond. W.W. Norton & Co., originally published in 1997.

"In this 'artful, informative, and delightful' (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion--as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war--and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, 'Guns, Germs, and Steel' chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: W. W. Norton & Company

Viral Modernism: the Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature / by Elizabeth Outka. Columbia University Press, 2020.

"The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 took the lives of between 50 and 100 million people worldwide, and the United States suffered more casualties than in all the wars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries combined. Yet despite these catastrophic death tolls, the pandemic faded from historical and cultural memory in the United States and throughout Europe, overshadowed by World War One and the turmoil of the interwar period. In 'Viral Modernism,' Elizabeth Outka reveals the literary and cultural impact of one of the deadliest plagues in history, bringing to light how it shaped canonical works of fiction and poetry. Outka shows how and why the contours of modernism shift when we account for the pandemic's hidden but widespread presence. She investigates the miasmic manifestations of the pandemic and its spectral dead in interwar Anglo-American literature, uncovering the traces of an outbreak that brought a nonhuman, invisible horror into every community. 'Viral Modernism' examines how literature and culture represented the virus's deathly fecundity, as writers wrestled with the scope of mass death in the domestic sphere amid fears of wider social collapse. Outka analyzes overt treatments of the pandemic by authors like Katherine Anne Porter and Thomas Wolfe and its subtle presence in works by Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and W. B. Yeats. She uncovers links to the disease in popular culture, from early zombie resurrection to the resurgence of spiritualism. 'Viral Modernism' brings the pandemic to the center of the era, revealing a vast tragedy that has hidden in plain sight."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Columbia University Press

The Poet X: a Novel / by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2018.

"Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers--especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can't stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: HarperCollins Publishers

A Brief History of Seven Killings: a Novel / by Marlon James. Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2014.

"On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven unnamed gunmen stormed the singer's house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but rumors abounded regarding the assassins' fates. 'A Brief History of Seven Killings' is James's fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica's history and beyond. Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters--assassins, drug dealers, journalists, and even ghosts--James brings to life the people who walked the streets of 1970s Kingston, who dominated the crack houses of 1980s New York, and who reemerged into a radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Brilliantly inventive, 'A Brief History of Seven Killings' is an 'exhilarating' (The New York Times) epic that's been called 'a tour de force' (The Wall Street Journal)."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Tiny But Mighty: Kitten Lady's Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines / Hannah Shaw ; photographs by Hannah Shaw and Andrew Marttila. Plume, 2019.

"Hannah Shaw, better known as Kitten Lady, has dedicated her life to saving the tiniest felines, but one doesn't have to be a professional kitten rescuer to change--and save--lives. In 'Tiny but Mighty,' Hannah not only outlines the dangers newborn kittens face and how she combats them, but how you can help every step of the way, from fighting feline overpopulation on the streets to fostering unweaned kittens, from combating illness to combating compassion fatigue, from finding a vet to finding the purrfect forever home. Filled with information on animal welfare, instructional guides, and personal rescue stories of kittens like Chloe, Tidbit, Hank, and Badger--not to mention hundreds of adorable kitten photos--'Tiny but Mighty' is the must-have kitten book for cat lovers, current-and-future rescuers, foster parents, activists, and advocates."--Publisher description.

Unfortunately, "Tiny But Mighty" is not available through Hoopla or eReadIllinois. However, Meet Kitten Lady above on YouTube!

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World / His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. Viking, 2016.

"Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships--or, as they would say, because of them--they are two of the most joyful people on the planet. In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness's eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life's inevitable suffering? They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy. This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecedented week together, from the first embrace to the final goodbye. We get to listen as they explore the Nature of True Joy and confront each of the Obstacles of Joy--from fear, stress, and anger to grief, illness, and death. They then offer us the Eight Pillars of Joy, which provide the foundation for lasting happiness. Throughout, they include stories, wisdom, and science. Finally, they share their daily Joy Practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. The Archbishop has never claimed sainthood, and the Dalai Lama considers himself a simple monk. In this unique collaboration, they offer us the reflection of real lives filled with pain and turmoil in the midst of which they have been able to discover a level of peace, of courage, and of joy to which we can all aspire in our own lives."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

The Stand / by Stephen King. Anchor, 2011 (originally published in 1978).

"A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge--Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious 'Dark Man,' who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them--and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Gramercy Books

A Hero of France: a Novel / Alan Furst.

"1941. The City of Light is dark and silent at night. But in Paris and in the farmhouses, barns, and churches of the French countryside, small groups of ordinary men and women are determined to take down the occupying forces of Adolf Hitler. Mathieu, a leader of the French Resistance, leads one such cell, helping downed British airmen escape back to England. Alan Furst's suspenseful, fast-paced thriller captures this dangerous time as no one ever has before. He brings Paris and occupied France to life, along with courageous citizens who outmaneuver collaborators, informers, blackmailers, and spies, risking everything to fulfill perilous clandestine missions. Aiding Mathieu as part of his covert network are Lisette, a seventeen-year-old student and courier; Max de Lyon, an arms dealer turned nightclub owner; Chantal, a woman of class and confidence; Daniel, a Jewish teacher fueled by revenge; Joëlle, who falls in love with Mathieu; and Annemarie, a willful aristocrat with deep roots in France, and a desire to act. As the German military police heighten surveillance, Mathieu and his team face a new threat, dispatched by the Reich to destroy them all. Shot through with the author's trademark fine writing, breathtaking suspense, and intense scenes of seduction and passion, Alan Furst's 'A Hero of France' is at once one of the finest novels written about the French Resistance and the most gripping novel yet by the living master of the spy thriller."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

The Life We Bury: a Novel / by Allen Eskens. Seventh Street Books, an imprint of Prometheus Books, 2014.

"College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Iverson is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder. As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory. Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl's conviction. But by the time Joe discovers the truth, it is too late to escape the fallout."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Seventh Street Books

The Beauty of Your Face: a Novel / by Sahar Mustafah. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2020.

"A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, 'The Beauty of Your Face' navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter--radicalized by the online alt-right--attacks the school. As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother's dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father's oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam. 'The Beauty of Your Face' is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman's life in a nation at odds with its ideals, an emotionally rich novel that encourages us to reflect on our shared humanity. If others take the time to really see us, to look into our face, they will find something indelibly familiar, something achingly beautiful gazing back."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: W. W. Norton & Company

Breakfast at Tiffany's / by Truman Capote. Originally published by Random House, 1958.

"Of all his characters, Capote once said, Holly Golightly was his favorite. The hillbilly-turned-Manhattanite at the center of Breakfast at Tiffany's shares not only the author's philosophy of freedom but also his fears and anxieties. For Holly, the cure is to jump into a taxi and head for Tiffany's; nothing bad could happen, she believes, amid 'that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets.'"--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy / by Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko. Originally published by Longstreet Press, 1996. 

"'Why aren't I as wealthy as I should be?' Many people ask this question of themselves all the time. Often they are hard-working, well educated middle- to high-income people. Why, then, are so few affluent. According to the authors, most people have it all wrong about how you become wealthy in America. Wealth in America is more often the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means than it is about inheritance, advance degrees, and even intelligence. [The book] identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. You will learn, for example, that millionaires bargain shop for used cars, pay a tiny fraction of their wealth in income tax, raise children who are often unaware of their family's wealth until they are adults, and, above all, reject the big-spending lifestyles most of us associate with rich people. In fact, you will learn that the flashy millionaires glamorized in the media represent only a tiny minority of America's rich. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don't live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue--they live next door."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Rowman & Littlefield

Diary of an Oxygen Thief / Anonymous author. Originally published by NLVI Publishers, 2006. Most current edition published by Gallery Books, 2016.

"Hurt people hurt people. Say there was a novel in which Holden Caulfield was an alcoholic and Lolita was a photographer's assistant and, somehow, they met in Bright Lights, Big City. He's blinded by love. She by ambition. Diary of an Oxygen Thief is an honest, hilarious, and heartrending novel, but above all, a very realistic account of what we do to each other and what we allow to have done to us."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Simon & Schuster

The Eyes of the Dragon / by Stephen King ; with illustrations by David Palladini. Viking, 1987.

"Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Delain, King Roland is murdered and his son and heir, Peter, is framed for the crime. Peter and his loyal friends must battle an evil wizard and Peter's usurper brother, Thomas, for the throne. Imprisoned in a tower, Peter conceives an escape plan that will take him years to execute before taking on Flagg, the powerful sorcerer who has masterminded this coup."--StephenKing.com

Book cover image source: Stephen King's Official Website

One Door Away From Heaven / by Dean Koontz. Bantam Books, 2001.

"Michelina Bellsong is on a mission. She is following a missing family to the edge of America...to a place she never knew existed--a place of terror, wonder, and shattering revelation. What awaits her there will change her life and the life of everyone she knows--if she can find the key to survival. At stake are a young girl of extraordinary goodness, a young boy with killers on his trail, and Micky's own wounded soul. Ahead lie incredible peril, startling discoveries, and paths that lead through terrible darkness to unexpected light."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Front Row at the Trump Show / by Jonathan Karl. Dutton, 2020.

"An account like no other from the White House reporter who has known President Donald Trump for more than 25 years. We have never seen a president like this…norm-breaking, rule-busting, dangerously reckless to some and an overdue force for change to others. One thing is clear: We are witnessing the reshaping of the presidency. Jonathan Karl brings us into the White House in a powerful book unlike any other on the Trump administration. He's known and covered Donald Trump longer than any other White House reporter. With extraordinary access to Trump during the campaign and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Karl delivers essential new reporting and surprising insights. These are the behind-the-scenes moments that define Trump's presidency--an extraordinary look at the president, the person, and those closest to him. This is the real story of Trump's unlikely rise; of the struggles and battles of those who work in the administration and those who report on it; of the plots and schemes of a senior staff enduring stunning and unprecedented unpredictability. Karl takes us from a TV set turned campaign office to the strange quiet of Trump's White House on Inauguration Day to a high-powered reelection campaign set to change the country's course. He shows us an administration rewriting the role of the president on the fly and a press corps that has never been more vital. Above all, this book is only possible because of the surprisingly open relationship Donald Trump has had with Jonathan Karl, a reporter he has praised, fought, and branded an enemy of the people."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Crazy Rich Asians / by Kevin Kwan. Doubleday, 2013.

"When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country's most eligible bachelor. On Nick's arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

The Book of Dust. Volume 1, La Belle Sauvage / by Philip Pullman. Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.

"Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, are used to overhearing news and the occasional scandal at the inn run by his family. But during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm finds a mysterious object--and finds himself in grave danger. Inside the object is a cryptic message about something called Dust; and it’s not long before Malcolm is approached by the spy for whom this message was actually intended. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he begins to notice suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl--just a baby--named Lyra. Lyra is at the center of a storm, and Malcolm will brave any peril, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through it."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Everywhere You Don't Belong: a Novel / by Gabriel Bump. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2020.

"In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude isn't dangerous or brilliant--he's an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home. Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights-era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Algonquin Books

The One and Only Bob / by Katherine Applegate ; illustrations by Patricia Castelao. Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2020.

"Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family. Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of 'The One and Only Ivan' hits theaters in August 2020!"--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Black Girl Unlimited: the Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard / by Echo Brown. Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2020.

"Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, 'Black Girl Unlimited' fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age story... Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic... everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Macmillan Publishers

Educated: a Memoir / by Tara Westover. Random House, 2018.

"An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Life After Life: a Novel / by Kate Atkinson. Reagan Arthur Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, 2013.

"What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she?"--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Little, Brown and Company

The Giver of Stars / by Jojo Moyes. Pamela Dorman Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2019.

"Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

The Book of Longings / by Sue Monk Kidd. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2020.

"Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything. Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome’s occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

The Dutch House: a Novel / by Ann Patchett. Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2019.

"At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. The story is told by Cyril's son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Baccano! [English translation of Bakkāno] / original story by Ryohgo Narita ; art Shinta Fujimoto ; translation Taylor Engel. Yen Press World, an imprint of Yen Press, 2015-

"New York, 1927. In a corrupt city where crime rules the streets, Firo Prochainezo is Camorra, an Italian criminal syndicate distinct from the mafia. A member of the relatively small Martillo family, Firo's nevertheless got big ambitions and is determined to make his mark. But while the Martillos may not be the biggest bad guys on the block, they've got some distinct advantages working in their favor. Does Firo have what it takes to become a made man? Let the crazy ruckus begin!"--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Yen Press

Criminal (2019-) Series / by Ed Brubaker ; illustrated by Sean Phillips, Jacob Phillips. Image Comics, 2019.

"In this double-sized debut issue, Teeg Lawless is back in town. But he finds himself in more trouble than ever, thanks to his delinquent teenage son--and this time, fists and bullets may not be enough to solve his problems. A perfect introduction to CRIMINAL and its dark, exciting world, this series will also include back page art and articles to bring readers more fully into the noir experience."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Image Comics

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time Series) / by Robert Jordan. TOR, 1990.

"In the Second Age, The Dragon subdues the Dark One and his disciples in a mystical prison. The Third Age has begun and the Dragon is gone, but reborn in a boy who doesn't yet know his supreme calling. Time is precious, for the prison degenerates and the Dark One can soon work his evil. Only the boy, Rand, can stop him. From his prison, the Dark One wills his warriors to destroy the Rand's village. But Moiraine, a servant of The Dragon, comes with her Protector. They fight off the warriors and whisk away Rand. He's destined for Tar-Valon, the island city of the Aes Sedai, where he'll discover his power. Can the Dark One stop his journey?"--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: TOR/Macmillan

Dune / by Frank Herbert. Originally published by Chilton Books, 1965.

"Set on the desert planet Arrakis, 'Dune' is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the 'spice' melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for. When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul's family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI / by David Grann. Originally published by Doubleday, 2017.

"In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

Flights [English translation of "Bieguni"] / by Olga Tokarczuk. Originally published by Riverhead Books, 2018.

"From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, 'Flights' interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin's heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart, and a young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear. Through these brilliantly imagined characters and stories, interwoven with haunting, playful, and revelatory meditations, 'Flights' explores what it means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion not only through space but through time. Where are you from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you going? We call to the traveler."--Publisher description.

Book cover image source: Penguin Random House

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Created by Moraine Valley Community College Library (Updated July 21, 2020)

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Created with an image by Olia Gozha - "Knowledge enlightenment"