Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Medical Bag


Upcoming programs:

Friday, April 5th 6pm-8pm ages 21+ only: Space Prom, more info here:

Saturday, April 13th 9am-noon: Crafterday, more info here:

Tuesday, April 30th 6:30-7:30pm Books & Beyond: Novels Set in Alabama, more info here:

For reading suggestions of novels set in Alabama, scroll down to the Books & Beyond row on our Shelf Care page:


Last night, Books & Beyond met to discuss medicine, health, etc.  Here’s a recap of our discussion! (book descriptions from Amazon, film descriptions from Rotten Tomatoes)

The Asylum Confession Files series by Jack Steen

My name is Jack Steen, and for those who arrive on my 'death' ward at the Asylum, I'm the last face many will see before they die. I am the night nurse at an Asylum for the Criminally Insane, and most of my patients know me as their Angel of Death. I know them as mass murderers, rapists, and serial killers - among other things. Here's what happens: they come on my floor, they give me their deathbed confession, and I help to make their death less painful. There's a catch, though: I want the real story, the one they haven't told anyone else. The majority of these killers are expert manipulators. They could be playing their final game with me by messing with my head. Now, maybe they're messing with yours too.

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber

Cullen's murderous career in the world's most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals. Time and again he was fired or allowed to resign. But Cullen continued to work and kill, shielded by a hospital system that, by accident or design, successfully protected the institution while failing to protect patients. The Good Nurse is a searing indictment of a crushing and dehumanizing for-profit medical system, and an inspiring human story of the previously unknown individuals who chose to risk their jobs and lives to do the right thing. Mesmerizing and irresistibly paced, this book will make you look at hospitals and the people who work in them in an entirely different way.

The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura

Elizabeth Blackwell believed from an early age that she was destined for a mission beyond the scope of "ordinary" womanhood. Though the world at first recoiled at the notion of a woman studying medicine, her intelligence and intensity ultimately won her the acceptance of the male medical establishment. In 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive an M.D. She was soon joined in her iconic achievement by her younger sister, Emily, who was actually the more brilliant physician. Exploring the sisters’ allies, enemies, and enduring partnership, Janice P. Nimura presents a story of trial and triumph.

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Filled with writing so vivid, lucid, and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling, The Song of the Cell tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. Told in six parts, and laced with Mukherjee’s own experience as a researcher, a doctor, and a prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate—a masterpiece on what it means to be human.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of―or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists―who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire by Susan P. Mattern

Galen of Pergamum (A.D. 129 - ca. 216) began his remarkable career tending to wounded gladiators in provincial Asia Minor. Later in life he achieved great distinction as one of a small circle of court physicians to the family of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, at the very heart of Roman society. Susan Mattern's The Prince of Medicine offers the first authoritative biography in English of this brilliant, audacious, and profoundly influential figure.

A History of Present Illness by Anna Deforest

This “brutal and brave” (Booklist) novel transmutes the practice of medicine into a larger exploration of humanity, the meaning of care, and the nature of annihilation—physical, spiritual, or both.

Hunger: An Unnatural History by Sharman Apt Russell

Every day, we wake up hungry. Every day, we break our fast. Hunger explores the range of this primal experience. Sharman Apt Russell, the highly acclaimed author of Anatomy of a Rose and An Obsession with Butterflies, here takes us on a tour of hunger, from eighteen hours without food to thirty-six hours to seven days and beyond. What Russell finds-both in our bodies and in cultures around the world-is extraordinary.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

From the New York Times bestselling author comes a gripping historical mystery inspired by the life and diary of Martha Ballard, a renowned 18th-century midwife who defied the legal system and wrote herself into American history.

Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected by Nnedi Okorafor

A powerful journey from star athlete to sudden paralysis to creative awakening, award-winning science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor shows that what we think are our limitations have the potential to become our greatest strengths.

Bleeding Blue and Gray: Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine by Ira Rutkow

A landmark chronicle of Civil War medicine, Bleeding Blue and Gray is a major contribution to our understanding of America’s bloodiest conflict. Indeed, eminent surgeon and medical historian Ira M. Rutkow argues that it is impossible to grasp the harsh realities of the Civil War without an awareness of the state of American medicine at the time.


The Vagina Bible by Jen Gunter

So many important questions, so much convincing, confusing, contradictory misinformation! In this age of click bait, pseudoscience, and celebrity-endorsed products, it’s easy to be overwhelmed—whether it’s websites, advice from well-meaning friends, uneducated partners, and even healthcare providers. So how do you separate facts from fiction? OB-GYN Jen Gunter, an expert on women’s health—and the internet’s most popular go-to doc—comes to the rescue with a book that debunks the myths and educates and empowers women. From reproductive health to the impact of antibiotics and probiotics, and the latest trends, including vaginal steaming, vaginal marijuana products, and jade eggs, Gunter takes us on a factual, fun-filled journey.

Murder by Lamplight by Patrice McDonough

For fans of Andrea Penrose and Deanna Raybourn, and anyone who relishes riveting, well-researched historical fiction, this inventive and enthralling debut mystery set in Victorian London pairs the unconventional, trailblazing Dr. Julia Lewis with a traditional and skeptical police inspector, as they try to stop a wily serial killer whose vengeance has turned personal.

Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, this New York Times bestseller is “an extraordinary achievement” (The New Yorker)—a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

“Mukherjee expresses abstract intellectual ideas through emotional stories…[and] swaddles his medical rigor with rhapsodic tenderness, surprising vulnerability, and occasional flashes of pure poetry” (The Washington Post). Throughout, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—reminds us of the questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In riveting and dramatic prose, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

For two thousand years, cadavers – some willingly, some unwittingly – have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They’ve tested France’s first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender confirmation surgery, cadavers have helped make history in their quiet way. “Delightful―though never disrespectful” (Les Simpson, Time Out New York), Stiff investigates the strange lives of our bodies postmortem and answers the question: What should we do after we die?

The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator by Tim Winegard

A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate.

Some of Tess Gerritsen’s early books:


For Dr. Abby DiMatteo, the long road to Boston’s Bayside Hospital has been anything but easy. Now, immersed in the grinding fatigue of her second year as a surgical resident, she’s elated when the hospital’s elite cardiac transplant team taps her as a potential recruit. But Abby soon makes an anguished, crucial decision that jeopardizes her entire career. A car crash victim’s healthy heart is ready to be harvested; it is immediately cross-matched to a wealthy private patient, Nina Voss. Abby hatches a bold plan to make sure that the transplant goes instead to a dying seventeen-year-old boy who is also a perfect match. The repercussions are powerful and swift and Abby is shaken but unrepentant—until she meets the frail, tormented Nina. Then a new heart for Nina Voss suddenly appears, her transplant is completed, and Abby makes a terrible discovery: Nina’s heart has not come through the proper channels.

Life Support

When an elderly patient with a critical, viral infection of the brain mysteriously vanishes from the emergency room, ER resident Toby Harper finds her job and home life coming under intense scrutiny, while her search for the missing patient uncovers a frightening epidemic and a nightmarish conspiracy.


Gerritsen again weaves frighteningly realistic medical detail into heart-stopping suspense, as a small-town doctor races to unravel the roots of a violent epidemic -- before it destroys everything she loves.


A NASA doctor conducts a deadly race against time to destroy a lethal microbe as it multiplies in the International Space Station.

Terminal Choice (film) (Not available in JCLC, view on Youtube here)

A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, show
ing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate.

Lorenzo’s Oil (film)

True-life drama of a father and mother who battled against the odds to save their son's life. Augusto and Michaela Odone are dealt a cruel blow by fate: five-year-old Lorenzo is diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease, but the Odones' persistence and faith leads to the cure which saves their boy and re-writes medical history.

Andromeda Strain (film)

Chilling tale about a US research satellite carrying a deadly extraterrestrial microscopic organism that crashes into a small town in Arizona. A group of top scientists are hurriedly assembled in a bid to identify and contain the lethal stowaway. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton.

The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter

In the quaint religious town of Seagate, abstaining from food brings one closer to God.  But Beatrice Bolano is hungry. She craves the forbidden: butter, flambé, marzipan. As Seagate takes increasingly extreme measures to regulate every calorie its citizens consume, Beatrice must make a choice: give up her secret passion for cooking or leave the only community she has known. Elsewhere, Reiko Rimando has left her modest roots for a college tech scholarship in the big city. A flawless student, she is set up for success...until her school pulls her funding, leaving her to face either a mountain of debt or a humiliating return home. But Reiko is done being at the mercy of the system. She forges a third path—outside of the law. With the guidance of a mysterious cookbook written by a kitchen maid centuries ago, Beatrice and Reiko each grasp for a life of freedom—something more easily imagined than achieved in a world dominated by catastrophic corporate greed. A startling fable of the entwined perils of capitalism, body politics, and the stigmas women face for appetites of every kind, Chana Porter’s profound new novel explores the reclamation of pleasure as a revolutionary act.


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Libby Book Awards


Libby by Overdrive has announced the winners of the inaugural Libby Book Awards. The titles on this list represent the best books of 2023, as selected by an expert team of OverDrive librarians, and voted on by over 1700 public librarians and library staff. 

Many of the titles on this list are still experiencing surges of popularity and may be checked out, with some still experiencing hold lists!

Best Fiction Book of the Year Winner

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride


Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

The Fraud by Zadie Smith

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward

(Honorable Mention) Tom Lake by Anne Patchett


Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Winner 

The Wager by David Grann


The Best Minds by Jonathan Rosen

Master Slave Husband Wife by Ilyon Woo

Monsters by Claire Dederer

When Crack Was King by Donovan X. Ramsey 


Best Young Adult Book of the Year Winner

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross


The Blackwoods by Brandy Colbert   

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis    

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

(Honorable Mention) What the River Knows by Isabel Ibanez


Best Audiobook of the Year Winner

I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai


All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby. Read by Adam Lazarre-White

King: A Life by Jonathan Eig. Read by Dion Graham

Poverty, By America by Matthew Desmond

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron 


Best Book Club Book of the Year Winner

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang


Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Maame by Jessica George

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Wellness by Nathan Hill


Best Comic/Graphic Novel of the Year Winner

The Talk by Darrin Bell


Batman — One Bad Day: Riddler by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

A Guest in the House by Emily Carroll

Roaming by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Shubeik Lubeik by Deena Mohamed


Best Debut Author of the Year Winner

Ana Reyes, author of The House in the Pines


Alice Winn, author of In Memoriam

Marisa Crane, author of I Keep My Exoskeletons toMyself

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Chain Gang AllStars

Selby Wynn Schwartz, author of After Sappho


Diverse Author of the Year Winner

Michelle Min Sterling, author of Camp Zero


Annalee Newitz, author of The Terraformers

Chana Porter, author of The Thick and the Lean

Stephen Kearse, author of Liquid Snakes

Victor LaValle, author of Lone Women


Best Fantasy Book of the Year Winner 

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros


A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose

Witch King by Martha Wells


Best Historical Fiction Book of the Year Winner 

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward


Beyond the Door of No Return by David Diop

The Great Reclamation by Rachel Heng

Loot by Tania James

North Woods by Daniel Mason


Best Mystery Book of the Year Winner

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto


Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman

Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb


Best Romance Book of the Year Winner 

Georgie All Along by Kate Clayborn


Ana Maria and theFox by Liana De la Rosa

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel by K.J. Charles

(Honorable Mention) We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian


Best Romantasy Book of the Year Winner

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett


The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

Mortal Follies by Alexis Hall


Best Science Fiction Book of the Year Winner 

System Collapse by Martha Wells


The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei

Infinity Gate by M.R. Carey

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Translation State by Ann Leckie


Best Thriller Book of the Year Winner 

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll


All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby

The Centre by Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi

Pet by Catherine Chidgey

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron


Best Cookbook of the Year Winner 

Start Here by Sohla El-Waylly


Portico by Leah Koenig

Still We Rise by Erika Council

Tenderheart by Hetty McKinnon

(Honorable Mention) Let’s Eat by Dan Pelosi


Best Memoir of the Year Winner 

Pageboy by Elliot Page


Doppelganger by Naomi Klein

How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair

My Name is Barbra by Barbra Streisand

You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Hot Books of Spring

Spring is a time for renewal and growth — and it’s bringing tons of buzzy new titles to add to your reading list! From thought-provoking literary fiction to page-turning historical novels to gripping suspense, here are some titles we’re looking forward to reading this spring.  Many may have already been published and some are forthcoming, so get on the waitlist today!

The Women by Kristin Hannah
Nursing student Frankie’s sheltered life is upended when her brother is sent to Vietnam, and she decides to follow him by joining the Army Nurse Corps. 

The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson by Ellen Baker
In 1924, four-year-old Cecily Larson is dropped off at an orphanage in Chicago, with her mother promising to come back. But she never returns, and the young girl is sold to a traveling circus. Now at 94 years old, an unexpected DNA test exposes secrets Cecily has kept hidden for decades, the revelation calls into question everything she thought she knew about her family — and everything her family thought they knew about her.

The Fury by Alex Michaelides
Every year, reclusive former movie star Lana Farrar invites her celebrity friends to vacation on her private Greek island. But even paradise can’t keep old resentments from bubbling to the surface… and soon, they result in murder. 

The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins
Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore was an infamous heiress with a vast fortune and plenty of secrets. After her death 10 years ago, she left her entire estate to her adopted son, Cam — but Cam wanted nothing to do with the McTavish fortune or the rest of the family. Now his uncle has died and Cam, along with his wife, Jules, have come back to Ashby House… and this time, Jules intends for her husband to claim his rightful inheritance. 

The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn and Janie Chang
Two beloved authors return with a historical novel that will whisk you from California’s 1906 earthquake to the halls of Versailles. Singer Gemma and embroideress Suling both find themselves drawn to railroad magnate Henry Thornton, who possesses a famed relic. When Thornton vanishes, the women think the Phoenix Crown lost for good… until it reappears near Paris, five years later.

Random in Death by J. D. Robb
When a 16-year-old girl attends a crowded concert, she winds up dead from a needle’s jab. But who would want to kill a teenager? As Lieutenant Eve Dallas digs into the case, she starts to worry the killer might be set on taking people out with no rhyme or reason.

The American Queen by Vanessa Miller
It’s 1869, and Louella’s hate turns to hope when she marries Reverend William and they build a new life with the formerly enslaved people of the Montgomery Plantation. Building a community based on freedom and dignity for all, William and Louella become the king and queen of a kingdom that promises a better way of life. 

The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes
When CIA agent Kane is sent to the borders between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to extract a vital informant, his mission will bring him face-to-face with one of the deadliest foes he’s ever come across.

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid
College senior and resident assistant Millie Cousins is focused on graduating and starting her future. So, when visiting professor Agatha Paul offers her an unorthodox opportunity, she willingly agrees. But as Millie is thrust deeper into the throes of Agatha’s invasive project, she realizes the danger of her involvement with the educator.

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams
Ricki Wilde, the black sheep of a prominent Atlanta family, seeks a new life away from her socialite sisters. When a fateful opportunity presents itself, Ricki moves to Harlem to realize her dream of opening a flower shop. As she immerses herself in the remnants of the Harlem Renaissance, a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger sets her on a path of life-changing experiences.

Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange
When a survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 is brought to Fort Marion Prison Castle, he’s forced to learn English and convert to Christianity. His son attends the brutal Carlisle Indian Industrial School. And in 2018, Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield strives to protect her family and her nephew while he tries to connect to his Cheyenne heritage.

The Book of Doors by Gareth Brown
Cassie Andrews lives a quiet life in New York City, working in a bookshop and chatting with its customers. When one of her favorites, a sweet old man, dies in front of her, she takes possession of the last book he was reading as a memento. Soon, she’s accosted by a man named Drummond Fox who informs her that the strange book is actually The Book of Doors, a magical relic that can turn any door into a magical portal.

One Wrong Word by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Arden, a crisis management expert, has just been accused of sleeping with a client. To save her reputation, she stakes her entire career on helping a shattered family work through a drunk driving incident. But could she be protecting a killer in the process?

Familia by Lauren E. Rico
Gabby DiMarco’s unwavering belief in facts is shattered when a genealogy test reveals a sister, Isabella, whose existence defies everything Gabby knows. In San Juan, artist Isabella yearns for the sister she lost long ago. When they hesitantly meet, they embark on a quest for the truth, uncovering a past full of life’s surprises and uncertainties. 

The Last Days of Lilah Goodluck by Kylie Scott
When Lilah saves a witch from being hit by a car in a busy LA intersection, she’s given five predictions as an unexpected thank-you. But the excitement of winning the lottery and the promise of meeting her alleged soulmate are tempered with the news that apparently she only has one week left to live!

The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo
In 1908 China, the death of a courtesan sets off a chain of events that puts a cunning detective and a determined mother on the path for the truth — and justice. The author pens a story that weaves ancient folklore into a compelling story about second chances and maternal love. 

Wolves of Winter by Dan Jones
In 14th-century Normandy, the Essex Dogs have barely made it through the Battle of Crécy when they are sent to attack the fortress of Calais for King Edward.

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
An Ireland set in the near future is on the brink of unraveling. Eilish Stack is shocked to open her front door to secret police officers who are there to question her trade unionist husband. When he disappears, Eilish is left to navigate the fallout, determined to protect her family in this tyrannical new world… no matter the cost.

The Queen of Sugar Hill by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
In bringing to life the inimitable Hattie McDaniel, the first African American woman to win an Academy Award against the backdrop of her segregated times, The Queen of Sugar Hill introduces readers to the important, inspiring, heart-wrenching story of the legendary actress whose legacy deserves to be fully understood and celebrated,” says author Marie Benedict.

The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez
The construction of the Panama Canal comes alive in this breathtaking novel that alternates perspectives between a local fisherman, a teenage girl, and a scientist hoping to cure malaria.

The Extinction of Irena Rey by Jennifer Croft
When famed author Irena Rey goes missing, eight of her translators converge on her house on the edge of a Polish forest. They’re looking for clues about her whereabouts, but the longer they spend together the more secrets they discover about the woman whose work they all admire.

Anita de MonteLaughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez
In 1985, rising art star Anita de Monte was found dead in New York City, and in just a few decades, she’s been forgotten. When Raquel — a first-generation student at an Ivy League college — stumbles across Anita’s story, she’s fascinated. As a student of color, Raquel feels like an outsider at her school, and as a woman in a relationship with a well-connected, older student, she feels connected to Anita’s similar story. 

The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger
It seems like an answer to all of their financial problems when Rosie and Chad Lowan inherit a luxury apartment in New York City’s historic Windermere building. But the Windermere has a dark history — and when one of their neighbors turns up dead, Rosie sets out to uncover the truth about their new home.

The House of Hidden Meanings by RuPaul
The drag superstar delivers a poignant memoir about growing up as a queer, Black kid in San Diego, and how his relationships with family and loved ones over the years shaped the person he is today.

Becoming Madam Secretary by Stephanie Dray
When Frances Perkins arrives in New York City, filled with ideas of changing the world and solving social injustice, she immediately finds herself at odds with confident young lawyer Franklin Delano Roosevelt. However, over the course of 20 years, their initial antagonism will turn into a rock-solid political partnership.

The Princess of Las Vegas by Chris Bohjalian
Crissy makes a living as a Princess Diana impersonator in Las Vegas, a glamorous one-woman act that masks the more unsavory aspects of her life. But when her boss at the Buckingham Palace Casino is murdered, Crissy finds herself in very real danger.

The Lost Book of Bonn by Brianna Labuskes
Following the war, librarian Emmy Clarke is sent by the Library of Congress to Germany to inventory books that were stolen by the Nazis. A handwritten dedication in a book of poetry sends Emmy on a journey that will reveal the horrors of war as well as the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle
Daphne Bell’s romantic encounters come with a mysterious twist: a slip of paper predicting each relationship’s duration. After years of fleeting connections, she meets Jake, except this time, there’s only a name and not a number.

In a Not So Perfect World by Neely Tubati Alexander
After accepting a dream job at a video game company, Sloane somehow promises her employer she’ll stay single to focus on the job. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done — especially after her gorgeous neighbor, Charlie, asks her to pose as his girlfriend for a trip to an island resort.

A Great Country by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
For Ashok and Priya Shah, moving to an affluent suburb of southern California is all they’ve dreamt of. But their optimism and hope is crushed when their 12-year-old son is the target of police brutality. 

American Daughters by Piper Huguley
Portia Washington, daughter of Booker T. Washington, grows up loyal to her father’s principles and eager to achieve her own mark on the world. Spirited Alice Roosevelt both blooms in and is stifled by the role of First Daughter during her years living in the White House while her father, Theodore Roosevelt, serves as president. Though born from very different backgrounds, the two women develop a lifelong bond that will strengthen and challenge both of them through the years.

While We Were Burning by Sara Koffi
Reeling from the mysterious death of her best friend, Elizabeth hires a personal assistant to help get her life back on track. Brianna is everything Elizabeth could have asked for, and the two women soon come to rely on each other. But both of them are holding secrets close to their chests…

A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci
A Black lawyer from Chicago joins forces with a white lawyer from Virginia to save a Black man from wrongful conviction and death in this gripping legal thriller.

Funny Story by Emily Henry
Stranded in Waning Bay, Michigan, after her fiancé falls for his childhood friend Petra, Daphne starts anew as a children’s librarian living with Petra’s ex, Miles. Polar opposites, Daphne’s pragmatic ways clash with Miles’s penchant for listening to heartbreaking ballads. As a friendship forms, the pair decide to take part in a little ruse, posting misleading photos of their summer adventures.

Mind Games by Nora Roberts
Raised by her grandmother since her parents’ deaths, Thea is able to read minds — but her gift often feels like more of a curse, especially because it’s shared by her parents’ killer. And he’s not finished with Thea yet… 

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware
Five couples are stranded on an island when a storm strikes. Lyla’s there with her boyfriend — though their relationship is shaky — after they auditioned to join a reality show called One Perfect Couple. It was supposed to just be a game, but this show is turning deadly…

Camino Ghosts by John Grisham
Bookseller Bruce and novelist Mercer are thrown together to help save a deserted island from developers — an island that’s rumored to be cursed.


Moon of the Turning Leaves by Waubgeshig Rice 
Ten years ago, society completely collapsed after a blackout, leaving people to create new societies to replace the old. After settling a new community, Evan Whitesky now faces fresh trouble: The hunting and fishing are poor, and it’s becoming clear that his people must move to a better location if they are to survive.

Lucky by Jane Smiley
As a kid in St. Louis, Jodie Rattler won big at the racetrack — and the luck doesn’t seem to have run out since. Now a successful folk musician, Jodie travels all over the country and rubs elbows with fellow artists like Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell. But despite her fame, talent, and luck, Jodie can’t shake the feeling that there’s something missing.

The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan
Tan’s sympathetic look at birds and what they can teach us about life is a poignant meditation on finding meaning during turbulent times.

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan
With his financial future in jeopardy thanks to reckless spending, Rufus Leung Gresham is cajoled by his mother into attending his sister’s wedding with the aim of seducing a wealthy woman to become his wife. But should he follow through with the scheme, or risk it all and profess his love to Eden, the girl next door?


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Going West


(Men pose in a Wild West saloon. Date and location unknown. Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

The next Books & Beyond (BAB) meeting will be on Tuesday, March 26th at 6:30pm and the topic up for discussion will be medicine, health, and related subjects.  If you need inspiration, the BAB section of our Shelf Care page is updated with suggestions:

If you live within the city limits of a municipal library that subscribes to Kanopy, that service is hosting a Western March campaign, making available some true gems of film! Download the free app today and saddle up for the ride!

This week, BAB met to discuss westerns!

Cowboys & Aliens by Joan D. Vinge
1875.  New Mexico Territory.  A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution.  The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist.  What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde.  It’s a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky.  Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.  As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force.

Call of the Wild by Jack London
First published in 1903, this adventure novel is set in the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. The novel follows the story of a domesticated dog named Buck, who is stolen from his home in California and sold as a sled dog in the Yukon Territory. Against all odds, Buck adapts to his hostile environment and thrives as a sled dog, eventually becoming the leader of a wolf pack. Through his experiences, Buck learns to embrace his animal instincts, developing a strong and primal connection to the wilderness. The novel follows his journey of self-discovery as he learns to survive in the wild and embrace the call of nature.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford by Ron Hansen
Jesse James was a fabled outlaw, a charismatic, spiritual, larger-than-life bad man whose bloody exploits captured the imagination and admiration of a nation hungry for antiheroes. Robert Ford was a young upstart torn between dedicated worship and murderous jealousy, the "dirty little coward" who coveted Jesse's legend. The powerful, strange, and unforgettable story of their interweaving paths—and twin destinies that would collide in a rain of blood and betrayal—is a story of America in all her rough, conflicted glory and the myths that made her.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
The Pulitzer Prize­–winning American classic of the American West that follows two aging Texas Rangers embarking on one last adventure. An epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.

Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman
Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times...but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days. Only two people know of Carol's eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune and - when she lapses into another coma - plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her...alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol's dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.

Cosmic Crush by Clio Evans (not available in JCLC or by Interlibrary Loan)
Mari is a famous star in her intergalactic troupe. As headliner at the Comet Canyon Saloon, the last thing she expected to go wrong was being lassoed off stage by a chaps-wearing outlaw. Raider’s name has been tarnished by his good-for-nothing brother. The only way to clear it is by kidnapping the precious burlesque gem, Little Miss Mercury. After being stranded together during a desert storm, Mari and Raider discover that there’s more between them than a hostage situation gone wrong…

Wichita Slim and Gospel Bill (tv show)
A trilogy of Christian Westerns centered around US Marshall and ex-gunslinger Wichita Slim. It was a spin-off of the evangelical children's series The Gospel Bill Show and shared several characters and settings. It series was also known as The Faith Adventures of Wichita Slim.

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules -- a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders -- a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman -- have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes -- and save himself in the process -- before Lark's long-simmering racial fault lines erupt. 

Two Rode Together (film, not available in JCLC)
For a fee, hard-drinking Texas marshal Guthrie McCabe (James Stewart) agrees to help Army officer Jim Gary (Richard Widmark) search for a group of whites who were abducted years earlier by Comanche warriors. After rescuing two of the abductees, McCabe and Gary find that the former captives have fully adopted the culture of their American Indian captors and are barely recognizable. Cultures collide as they attempt to return the settlers to their original -- and now long-forgotten -- lives.

This Land podcast
This Land is an American political podcast  hosted by Rebecca Nagle. The podcast debuted on June 3, 2019 and follows the United States Supreme Court case Sharp v. Murphy (previously known as Carpenter v. Murphy). In addition, the podcast discusses various Native issues such as land rights, sovereignty issues, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Heaven’s Gate (available on Kanopy)
Harvard graduate James Averill (Kris Kristofferson) is the sheriff of prosperous Jackson County, Wyo., when a battle erupts between the area's poverty-stricken immigrants and its wealthy cattle farmers. The politically connected ranch owners fight the immigrants with the help of Nathan Champion (Christopher Walken), a mercenary competing with Averill for the love of local madam Ella Watson (Isabelle Huppert). As the struggle escalates, Averill and Champion begin to question their decisions.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
A twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history, from the author of TheWager and The Lost City of Z, “one of the preeminent adventure and true-crime writers working today."—New York Magazine 

American Hippo by Sarah Gailey
Years ago, in an America that never was, the United States government introduced herds of hippos to the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This plan failed to take into account some key facts about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two. By the 1890s, the vast bayou that was once America's greatest waterway belongs to feral hippos, and Winslow Houndstooth has been contracted to take it back. To do so, he will gather a crew of the damnedest cons, outlaws, and assassins to ever ride a hippo. American Hippo is the story of their fortunes, their failures, and his revenge.

Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton
"A brutal, incredibly bizarre exploration of insanity, guilt, love, and the darkness inside all of us . . . This novel is a hybrid monster that's part Lovecraftian nightmare and part literary exploration of evil." —Gabino Iglesias, NPR

Last of the Breed by Louis L’Amour
U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack is a man born out of time. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in Russia and he escapes a Soviet prison camp, he must call upon the ancient skills of his Indian forebears to survive the vast Siberian wilderness. Only one route lies open to Mack: the path of his ancestors, overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But in pursuit is a legendary tracker, the Yakut native Alekhin, who knows every square foot of the icy frontier—and who knows that to trap his quarry he must think like a Sioux.

The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill
In this dark and gripping sci-fi noir, an exiled police detective arrives at a lunar penal colony just as a psychotic android begins a murderous odyssey across the far side of the moon.


White Fang by Jack London
Considered both a companion and mirror to The Call of the Wild, this stirring adventure of friendship and survival reveals the conflicts between domesticity and instinct, as well as society and the natural world. Wronged by human and beast alike, White Fang has endured through brazen ferocity. An enemy of his kind, he is sold to a dogfighter who pits him against other canines to the death—until a Yukon gold hunter comes to his rescue and provides an opportunity for a new life. As the wolf in White Fang sleeps, kindness and compassion allow him to understand what it means to be in the confidence of man.

The Revenant by Michael Punke
The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier.

The Tourist (tv show, streaming on Netflix)
A man wakes up in the Australian Outback with no recollection of who he is, and he must try to piece together his memory as merciless figures from his past pursue him.

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
After her breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won acclaim from major publications and respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first—a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier.

Atlas Obscura: “Inside Laredo, the Secret, Members-Only WildWest Town in England" (4/15/2016)
Its founders have spent weekends re-enacting American frontier life for over 30 years.

John Ford's landmark Western revolves around an assorted group of colorful passengers aboard the Overland stagecoach bound for Lordsburg, New Mexico, in the 1880s. An alcoholic philosophizer (Thomas Mitchell), a lady of ill repute (Claire Trevor) and a timid liquor salesman (Donald Meek) are among the motley crew of travelers who must contend with an escaped outlaw, the Ringo Kid (John Wayne), and the ever-present threat of an Apache attack as they make their way across the Wild West.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Questions arise when Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) attends the funeral of a local man named Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) in a small Western town. Flashing back, we learn Doniphon saved Stoddard, then a lawyer, when he was roughed up by a crew of outlaws terrorizing the town, led by Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). As the territory's safety hung in the balance, Doniphon and Stoddard, two of the only people standing up to him, proved to be very important, but different, foes to Valance.

High Noon
Former marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is preparing to leave the small town of Hadleyville, New Mexico, with his new bride, Amy (Grace Kelly), when he learns that local criminal Frank Miller has been set free and is coming to seek revenge on the marshal who turned him in. When he starts recruiting deputies to fight Miller, Kane is discouraged to find that the people of Hadleyville turn cowardly when the time comes for a showdown, and he must face Miller and his cronies alone.

When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel workers post a reward for their murder, much to the displeasure of sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), who doesn't allow vigilantism in his town. Two groups of gunfighters, one led by aging former bandit William Munny (Clint Eastwood), the other by the florid English Bob (Richard Harris), come to collect the reward, clashing with each other and the sheriff.

Brokeback Mountain
In 1963, rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and ranch hand Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) are hired by rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) as sheep herders in Wyoming. One night on Brokeback Mountain, Jack makes a drunken pass at Ennis that is eventually reciprocated. Though Ennis marries his longtime sweetheart, Alma (Michelle Williams), and Jack marries a fellow rodeo rider (Anne Hathaway), the two men keep up their tortured and sporadic affair over the course of 20 years.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. 

Centennial by James Michener
Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story of Colorado—the Centennial State—is manifested through its people. In Centennial, trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold seekers, ranchers, and hunters are brought together in the dramatic conflicts that shape the destiny of the legendary West—and the entire country.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Black Voices


Recent books (and some forthcoming titles) by and about Black voices!

Neighbors and Other Stories by Diane Oliver
A remarkable talent far ahead of her time, Diane Oliver died in 1966 at the age of 22, leaving behind these crisply told and often chilling tales that explore race and racism in 1950s and 60s America. In this first and only collection by a masterful storyteller finally taking her rightful place in the canon, Oliver’s insightful stories reverberate into the present day.

Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America by Joy-Ann Reid
Joy-Ann Reid's triumphant work of biography repositions slain Civil Rights pioneer Medgar Evers at the heart of America's struggle for freedom, and celebrates Myrlie Evers's extraordinary activism after her husband's assassination in the driveway of their Mississippi home.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows.

A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson
Sometimes two cooks in the kitchen are better than one in this swoony romantic comedy from the author of I’m So (Not) Over You.

How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir by Shayla Lawson
Poet and journalist Shayla Lawson follows their National Book Critics Circle finalist This Is Major with these daring and exquisitely crafted essays, where Lawson journeys across the globe, finds beauty in tumultuous times, and powerfully disrupts the constraints of race, gender, and disability.

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward
Let Us Descend describes a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation. A journey that is as beautifully rendered as it is heart wrenching, the novel is “[t]he literary equivalent of an open wound from which poetry pours” (NPR).

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due
A gripping, page-turning novel set in Jim Crow Florida that follows Robert Stephens Jr. as he’s sent to a segregated reform school that is a chamber of terrors where he sees the horrors of racism and injustice, for the living, and the dead.

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams
In this enchanting love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Seven Days in June, a free-spirited florist and an enigmatic musician are irreversibly linked through the history, art, and magic of Harlem.

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid
It's 2017 at the University of Arkansas. Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant, wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house. So when Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and writer, offers Millie an easy yet unusual opportunity, she jumps at the chance. But Millie's starry-eyed hustle becomes jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue.

Radical Reparations: Healing the Soul of a Nation by Marcus Anthony Hunter
Profound and revolutionary, trenchant and timely, Radical Reparations provides a compellingly and provocatively reframing of reparations' past, present, and future, offering a unifying way forward for us all.   

The Queen of Sugar Hill: A Novel of Hattie McDaniel by ReShonda Tate
Bestselling author ReShonda Tate presents a fascinating fictional portrait of Hattie McDaniel, one of Hollywood’s most prolific but woefully underappreciated stars—and the first Black person ever to win an Oscar for her role as Mammy in the critically acclaimed classic film Gone With the Wind.

Lone Women by Victor LaValle
Crafted by a modern master of magical suspense, Lone Women blends shimmering prose, an unforgettable cast of adventurers who find horror and sisterhood in a brutal landscape, and a portrait of early-twentieth-century America like you’ve never seen. And at its heart is the gripping story of a woman desperate to bury her past—or redeem it.

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor
In the shared and private spaces of Iowa City, a loose circle of lovers and friends encounter, confront, and provoke one another in a volatile year of self-discovery. A novel of friendship and chosen family, The Late Americans asks fresh questions about love and sex, ambition and precarity, and about how human beings can bruise one another while trying to find themselves. It is Brandon Taylor’s richest and most involving work of fiction to date, confirming his position as one of our most perceptive chroniclers of contemporary life.

Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi (publishing June 18, 2024)
Aima and Kalu are a longtime couple who have just split. When Kalu, reeling from the breakup, visits an exclusive sex party hosted by his best friend, Ahmed, he makes a decision that will plunge them all into chaos, brutally and suddenly upending their lives. Ola and Souraya, two Nigerian sex workers visiting from Kuala Lumpur, collide into the scene just as everything goes to hell. Sucked into the city’s corrupt and glittering underworld, they’re all looking for a way out, fueled by a desperate need to escape the dangerous threat that looms over them.

Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror edited by Jordan Peele
The visionary writer and director of Get OutUs, and Nope, and founder of Monkeypaw Productions, curates this groundbreaking anthology of all-new stories of Black horror, exploring not only the terrors of the supernatural but the chilling reality of injustice that haunts our nation.

Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Two top women gladiators fight for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from America’s own in this explosive, hotly-anticipated debut novel.

This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets by Kwame Alexander
A breathtaking poetry collection on hope, heart, and heritage from the most prominent and promising Black poets and writers of our time.

Dear Black Girls: How to Be True to You by A’Ja Wilson
Dear Black Girls is a necessary and meaningful exploration of what it means to be a Black woman in America today―and a rallying cry to lift up women and girls everywhere.

Night Wherever We Go by Tracey Rose Peyton
A gripping, radically intimate debut novel about a group of enslaved women staging a covert rebellion against their owners.

The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa
A “breathtaking space opera” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) about a young tea expert who is taken as a political prisoner and recruited to spy on government officials—a role that may empower her to win back her nation’s independence—perfect for fans of N.K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor.

Ours by Phillip B. Williams (publishing February 20, 2024)
In this ingenious, sweeping novel, Phillip B. Williams introduces us to an enigmatic woman named Saint, a fearsome conjuror who, in the 1830s, annihilates plantations all over Arkansas to rescue the people enslaved there. She brings those she has freed to a haven of her own creation: a town just north of St. Louis, magically concealed from outsiders, named Ours.

Dazzling by Chikọdịlị Emelụmadụ
Treasure and her mother lost everything when Treasure’s father died. Haggling for scraps in the market, Treasure meets a man who promises to change their fortunes, but his feet are hovering just a few inches above the ground. He’s a spirit, and he promises to bring Treasure’s beloved father back to life if she’ll do one terrible thing for him first. Ozoemena has an itch in the middle of her back. It’s an itch that speaks to her patrilineal destiny, an honor never before bestowed upon a girl, to defend the land and protect its people by be
coming a Leopard. Soon the girls’ destinies and choices alike set them on a dangerous collision course. Ultimately, they must ask themselves: in a world that always says no to women, what must two young girls sacrifice to get what is theirs?

Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon by Wole Talabi
A mythic tale of disgruntled gods, revenge, and a heist across two worlds, perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Neil Gaiman, Marlon James, and Karen Lord.

The Blue, Beautiful World by Karen Lord (not yet available in the JCLC)
As first contact transforms Earth, a team of gifted visionaries races to create a new future in this wondrous science fiction novel from the award-winning author of The Best of All Possible Worlds.