Picks and suggestions from the Library's Book Club
"Baking Cakes in Kigali" is a novel about the real meaning of reconciliation - about how, in the aftermath of tragedy, life goes on and people still manage to find reasons to celebrate.
Krivák, Andrew, author
In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last two left. But when the girl suddenly finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness, which offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.
Chung, Maxine Mei-Fung, author
Alexa Wú's life is complicated. Alexa is manipulated by a series of alternate personas that run her life. There are three people she trusts: her psychiatrist, her stepmother, and her enigmatic best friend Ella. When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentlemen's club, Alexa's world becomes intimately entangled with Ella's, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. Vulnerable and in danger, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her deadliest obstacle.
Moyes, Jojo, 1969- author
In Depression-era America, the story of five extraordinary women and their journey through the mountains of Kentucky. Alice Wright marries American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic. 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 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 Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Based on a true story rooted in America's past.
Joshi, Alka, author
Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. She becomes the most highly requested henna artist -- and confidante -- to the wealthy women. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own. As she pursues her dream, she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow -- a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened.
Thammavongsa, Souvankham, 1978- author
In her stunning debut, Souvankham Thammavongsa captures the day-to-day lives of immigrants and refugees in a nameless city, illuminating hopes, disappointments, love affairs, and above all, the pursuit of a place to belong. An ex-boxer turned nail salon worker falls for a pair of immaculate hands; a mother and daughter harvest earthworms in the middle of the night; a country music-obsessed housewife abandons her family for fantasy; and a young girl's love for her father transcends language. Uncannily and intimately observed, written with prose of exceptional precision, the stories in How to Pronounce Knife speak of modern location and dislocation, revealing lives lived in the embrace of isolation and severed history - but not without joy, humour, resilience, and constant wonder at the workings of the world.
Schwab, Victoria, author
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever - and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
See, Lisa, author
This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story - one of women's friendships and the larger forces that shape them - this book introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.
Hargrave, Kiran Millwood, 1990- author
Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Bergensdatter watches the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Northern town of Vardø must fend for themselves. Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. Absalom sees only a place untouched by God and flooded with a mighty evil. Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1620 witch trials.
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia, author
"The acclaimed author of Gods of Jade and Shadow returns with a darkly enchanting reimagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a spirited young woman discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico"-- Provided by publisher.
Choo, Yangsze, author
Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother's Mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin may finally get the adventure she has been longing for. Eleven-year-old Ren is also on a mission, racing to fulfill his master's dying wish: that Ren find the man's finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths racks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren's increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes.
-- Indian Horse Frank Starlight has long settled into a quiet life working his remote farm, but his contemplative existence comes to an abrupt end with the arrival of Emmy, who has committed a desperate act so she and her child can escape a harrowing life of violence. Starlight takes in Emmy and her daughter to help them get back on their feet, and this accidental family eventually grows into a real one. But Emmy's abusive ex isn't content to just let her go. He wants revenge and is determined to hunt her down. Starlight is a last gift to readers from a writer who believed in the power of stories to save us.
Reid, Kiley, author
Alix Chamberlain is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard accuses her of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. Emira is furious and humiliated and Alix resolves to make it right.
Bennett, Brit, author
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
Isenberg, Nancy, author.
Jacobs, A. J., 1968- author