A lot of people are discovering their library’s online collection for the first time and are still getting used to the process. Most libraries will have all of the newest and most popular books purchased, but there is going to be a wait list. So, while you are waiting for, Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Splendid and the Vile, consider reading something you may have missed a few years ago.
Follow this link if you have questions about accessing your library’s online collection, read the e-book and e-audiobook section.
The following books were published at least two years ago and are available for check-out in all of the library systems that I checked. I cannot promise what may be available to you, but you should have a pretty good chance at getting most of these books right away!
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan – Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.
Underground Railroad by Coleson Whitehead – Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.
News of the World by Paulette Jiles – In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben – Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.
Grownup by Gillian Flynn - On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan's terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore.
Origin by Dan Brown (Series) – Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and the discovery teeters on the brink of being lost. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon uncovers clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with the shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
Silent Corner by Dean Koontz – “I very much need to be dead.” These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Series) – Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella – Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family's farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away--until her ex-boss unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie's future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters. It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him and grows even more terrifying from there. Jason’s abductor injects him with some unknown drug and watches while he loses consciousness. When Jason awakes, he’s in a lab and soon learns that in this world he’s woken up to, his house is not his house. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born.
Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Series) – Young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.
Magicians by Lev Grossman (Series) – Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.
Power by Naomi Alderman – The world is a recognizable place, but something vital has changed, causing lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.
Becoming by Michelle Obama – 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.
Book of Joy by Dalai Lama – Stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu have been tested by great personal and national adversity, and here they share their personal stories of struggle and renewal. They especially want to spread the core message that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others. Follow this link for a No Spoiler Book Review of Book of Joy.
Dead Wake by Erik Larson – On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; and “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”.
Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results.
Originals by Adam M. Grant – Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent.
Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America—majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way—and a couple of bears.
What if? By Randall Munroe – Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his hugely popular site XKCD 'a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language' which offers a witty take on the world of science and geeks. Every now and then, Munroe would get emails asking him to arbitrate a science debate. 'My friend and I were arguing about what would happen if a bullet got struck by lightning, and we agreed that you should resolve it . . . ' He liked these questions so much that he started up What If.
While these books came out a few years ago, they are still great options by popular authors. They may not be, The Boy from the Woods, or Educated, but when these books came out they were just as popular. Now is your chance to enjoy some of the books you have missed over the years.
What books did you read a few years ago that you recommend? Comment below:
Summary excerpts from Goodreads.com
Check back Tuesday for Tips for working from home with kids!