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We Are Not Free
- by Traci Chee
From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II.
Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.
Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.
Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.
In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.
Available in Wellandport.
- by Elizabeth Acevedo
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people...
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.
>And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
- by Imogen Kealey
Hero. Soldier. Spy. Leader. Her name is Nancy Wake.
To the Allies, she was a fearless freedom fighter, a special operations legend, a woman ahead of her time. To the Gestapo, she was a ghost, a shadow, the most wanted person in the world.
But at first, Nancy Wake was just another young woman living in Marseilles and recently engaged to a man she loved. Then France fell to the Nazi blitzkrieg. With her appetite for danger, Nancy quickly finds herself drawn into the underground Resistance standing up to Nazi rule. Gaining notoriety as the White Mouse, with a 5-million-franc bounty hanging over her head, Wake rises to the top of the Nazi's Most Wanted list--only to find her husband arrested for treasonous activity under suspicion of being the White Mouse himself.
Narrowly escaping to Britain, Wake joins the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and parachutes into the Auvergne, where she must fight for the respect of some of the toughest Resistance fighters in France. As she and her maquisards battle the Nazis, their every engagement brings the end of the war closer--but also places her husband in deeper peril.
Available in Smithville.
Girl, Wash Your Face
- by Rachel Hollis
Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own...
Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when 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. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.
- by Chade-Meng Tan
n Joy on Demand, Chade-Meng Tan shows that you don't need to meditate for hours, days, months or years to achieve lasting joy—you can actually get consistent access to it in as little as fifteen seconds. Explaining joy and meditation as complementary things that naturally reinforce each other, Meng explains how these two skills form a virtuous cycle, and once put into motion, become a solid practice that can be sustained in daily life.
For many years, meditation has been taught and practiced in cultures where almost all meditators practice full-time for years, resulting in training programs optimized for practitioners with lots of free time and not much else to do but develop profound mastery over the mind. Seeing a disconnect between the traditional practice and the modern world, the bestselling author and Google's "Jolly Good Fellow" has developed a program, through "wise laziness," to help readers meditate more efficiently and effectively. Meng shares the three pillars of joy (inner peace, insight, and happiness), why joy is the secret is to success, and demonstrates the practical tools anyone can use to cultivate it on demand.
Available in E-Audio.
- by Adele Parks
A When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.
Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.
Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband...
Kim said: "Wow what a great book, from start to finish. As you are reading you keep trying to figure out what next is going to happen, but it throws you for a loop. I never would have guessed how it ended."
- by Danielle Steel
Saint Ambrose Prep is a place where the wealthy send their children for the best possible education, with teachers and administrators from the Ivy League, and graduates who become future lawyers, politicians, filmmakers, and CEOs. Traditionally a boys-only school, Saint Ambrose has just enrolled one hundred and forty female students for the first time. Even though most of the kids on the campus have all the privilege in the world, some are struggling, wounded by their parents' bitter divorces, dealing with insecurity and loneliness. In such a heightened environment, even the smallest spark can become a raging fire.
One day after the school's annual Halloween event, a student lies in the hospital, her system poisoned by dangerous levels of alcohol. Everyone in this sheltered community—parents, teachers, students, police, and the media—are left trying to figure out what actually happened. Only the handful of students who were there when she was attacked truly know the answers and they have vowed to keep one another's secrets. As details from the evening emerge, powerful families are forced to hire attorneys and less powerful families watch helplessly. Parents' marriages are jeopardized, and students' futures are impacted. No one at Saint Ambrose can escape the fallout of a life-altering event.
In this compelling novel, Danielle Steel illuminates the dark side of one drunken night, with its tragic consequences, from every possible point of view. As the drama unfolds, the characters will reach a crossroads where they must choose between truth and lies, between what is easy and what is right, and find the moral compass they will need for the rest of their lives.
Kim said: "Again Danielle Steel does not disappoint the reader. Once she has you hooked you cannot put the book down. The characters are very real and believable."
- by James Patterson
For a trio of colleagues, an innocent night out after class ends in a deadly torture session. They vanish without a clue — until a body turns up. With the safety of San Francisco's entire school system at stake, Lindsay has never been under more pressure. As the chief of police and the press clamor for an arrest in the "school night" case, Lindsay turns to her best friend, investigative journalist Cindy Thomas. Together, Lindsay and Cindy take a new approach to the case, and unexpected facts about the victims leave them stunned.
While Lindsay is engrossed in her investigation, her husband Joe meets an Eastern European woman who claims to have seen a notorious war criminal — long presumed dead — from her home country. Before Lindsay can verify the woman's statement, Joe's mystery informant joins the ranks of the missing women. Lindsay, Joe, and the entire Women's Murder Club must pull together to protect their city and one another — not from a ghost, but from a true monster.
Kim said: "Wow 18 books in, in the Women's Murder Club series, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro do not disappoint taking us on another journey with the Ladies. I look forward to reading #19."
- by Naomi Novik
A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.
There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.
El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.
Lauren said: "It was just a fun world to explore, and from the point of view of a character that others percieve as a villain was great! I checked the release date for the sequel the moment I finished!"
- by T.J. Klune
Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world.
Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
Lauren said: "A charming fantasy story that is perfect for escaping the challenges of the real world. It was just so cozy and magical, I will likely read it again.
Available in E-Book.
- by Katie O'Neill
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.
After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.
Lauren said: "The art, oh the art. Also, I want a tea dragon..."
Available in Smithville.
- by Robin D'Angelo
In this "vital, necessary, and beautiful book" (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and "allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people' (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
Available in E-Book
- by Friedrich Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil confirmed Nietzsche's position as the towering European philosopher of his age. The work dramatically rejects the tradition of Western thought with its notions of truth and God, good and evil. Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in a false piety and infected with a 'slave morality'. With wit and energy, he turns from this critique to a philosophy that celebrates the present and demands that the individual imposes their own 'will to power' upon the world.
Available in E-Book.
- by Terry Fallis
Adam Coryell is your average high-school student--well, except for that obsession with fountain pens--when his life changes forever. Based on a study by a quirky Swedish professor that claims that every human being, regardless of athletic inclination, has a body that is suited to excel in at least one sport, it turns out that Adam is good--very good, in fact--at golf. Even though he'd never even picked up a golf club.
Almost instantly, and with his coach, hard-nosed Bobbie Davenport by his side, Adam and his new-found talent skyrocket to a prodigy-level stardom that includes tournament titles, sponsorship deals, throngs of fans following his every move, and fodder for tabloids.
But here's the catch: Adam doesn't really like golf. And as the life he once knew slips away--including the love of his life, the dream of being a writer, and everyday normalcy--he can't help but wonder if all this success and fame is worth it . . . or if it's enough for him.
- by Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Brimming with humour, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavour to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
- by Michelle Obama
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
- by Kenneth Oppel
It was just rain.
But after the downpour, odd black plants begin to shoot up.
Suddenly— They. Are. Everywhere.
They take over fields and twine around houses. They bloom and throw off toxic pollen—and feed.
Strangely, three Salt Spring Island teens seem immune. Anaya, Petra and Seth. What's their connection? What's their secret? A week ago, they wouldn't have thought they had one.
But they'd better figure it out fast—the invasion has already begun.
- by Samantha Bailey
In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.
Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.
The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.
To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.
- by Charlotte Gray
On an island paradise in 1943, Sir Harry Oakes, gold mining tycoon, philanthropist and "richest man in the Empire," was murdered. The news of his death surged across the English-speaking world, from London, the Imperial centre, to the remote Canadian mining town of Kirkland Lake, in the Northern Ontario bush. The murder became celebrated as "the crime of the century."
The layers of mystery deepened as the involvement of Oakes' son-in-law, Count Alfred de Marigny, came quickly to be questioned, as did the odd machinations of the Governor of the Bahamas, the former King Edward VIII. Despite a sensational trial, no murderer was ever convicted. Rumours were unrelenting about Oakes' missing fortune, and fascination with the Oakes story has persisted for decades.
Award-winning biographer and popular historian Charlotte Gray explores, for the first time, the life of the man behind the scandal, a man who was both reviled and admired - from his early, hardscrabble days of mining exploration, to his explosion of wealth, to his grandiose gestures of philanthropy. And Gray brings fresh eyes to the bungled investigation and shocking trial in the remote colonial island streets, proposing an overlooked suspect in this long cold case. Murdered Midas is the story of the man behind the newspaper headlines, who, despite his wealth and position, was never able to have justice.
- by Amy Tan
Winnie and Helen have kept each other's worst secrets for more than fifty years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything. And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past—including the terrible truth even Helen does not know. And so begins Winnie's story of her life on a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s, and other places in China during World War II, and traces the happy and desperate events that led to Winnie's coming to America in 1949.
- by Bryce Courtenay
In the aftermath of the Great Depression few opportunities existed for working-class boys, but at just eighteen Danny Dunn has everything going for him: brain, looks, sporting ability - and an easy charm. His parents run The Hero, a neighbourhood pub, and Danny is a local hero.
Luck changes for Danny when he signs up to go to war. He returns home a physically broken man, to a life that will be changed for ever. Together with Helen, the woman who becomes his wife, he sets about rebuilding his life.
Set against a backdrop of Australian pubs and politics, The Story of Danny Dunn is an Australian family saga spanning three generations. It is a compelling tale of love, ambition and the destructive power of obsession.
Available in E-Book.
- by Sarah J. Maas
Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
To see what Sarah has to say, check out her book talk.
Romance Book Club Pick
A Royal Holiday
- by Jasmine Guillory
Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.
Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.
Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?
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