The miraculous account of the man who survived alone and adrift at sea longer than anyone in recorded history. For fourteen months, Alvarenga survived constant shark attacks. He learned to catch fish with his bare hands. He built a fish net from a pair of empty plastic bottles. Taking apart the outboard motor, he fashioned a huge fishhook. Using fish vertebrae as needles, he stitched together his own clothes. Based on dozens of hours of interviews with Alvarenga and interviews with his colleagues, search and rescue officials, the medical team that saved his life and the remote islanders who nursed him back to health, this is an epic tale of survival.
Recommended by: Monique (5/18)
In this stunning collection of new poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life’s work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature.
Herons, sparrows, owls, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry, and impermanence. Whether considering a bird’s nest, the seeming patience of oak trees, or the artworks of Franz Marc, Oliver reminds us of the transformative power of attention and how much can be contained within the smallest moments
Recommended by Diane (6/18)
An assured debut that alternates between 1986 and 2016 with unpredictable twists. The Chalk Man fits well with other stories about troubled childhoods such as Stephen King’s novella ‘Stand by Me’… Tudor never misses a beat in showing each character as both a child and an adult while also exploring the foreboding environs of a small town.
Recommended by Sara (6/18)
A married couple is traveling cross-country by car when an officer pulls them over just outside a small town in Nevada called Desperation. Others find themselves being pulled over and jailed by the same officer, who manipulates passerby and terrorizes his victims. The fate of the town and its inhabitants will be left to a young boy whose spiritual powers and faith will be tested like no other. Narrated by the excellent Kathy Bates, this stark tale will stick with the reader long after it's over.
Recommended by: Melissa (5/18)
Fascinating memoir of a girl with a very non-traditional upbringing. As a child the author,Tara Westover, did not attend school, did not visit the doctor and rarely socialized outside of her small, fundamentalist community. I sometimes cringed while reading this disturbing true account, but I could not put it down! This book is for anyone who is inspired by true survival stories.
Recommended by: Karla (5/18)
"The village of Saint-Ferdinand has all the trappings of a quiet life: farmhouses stretching from one main street, a small police precinct, a few diners and cafes, and a grocery store. Though if an out-of-towner stopped in, they would notice one unusual thing--a cemetery far too large and much too full for such a small town, lined with the victims of the Saint-Ferdinand Killer, who has eluded police for nearly two decades. It's not until after Inspector Stephen Crowley finally catches the killer that the town discovers even darker forces are at play. When a dark spirit reveals itself to Venus McKenzie, one of Saint-Ferdinand's teenage residents, she learns that this creature's power has a long history with her town--and that the serial murders merely scratch the surface of a past burdened by evil secrets."-- Publisher provided
Recommended by Sara (4/18)
A fantastic imagining of the days surrounding Willie Lincoln's death told in prose that contains everything from actual excerpts of historical documents, to conversations of surreal ghost forms haining on in the cemetery.
Recommended by Cindy (6/18)
When single mother Mia Warren and her teenage daughter, Pearl, find rent in the upper part of a house owned by the Richardsons, both families lives become tangled in ways that cannot be undone. Pearl soon befriends all four of the Richardsons teenage children, while Mia is offered a housekeeping position with Mrs. Richardson. Things become complicated when a local couple try to adopt a baby whose estranged mother wants her back. As the Richardsons and the Warrens take different sides to this legal battle, Mrs. Richardson learns about Mia's controversial past while making false assumptions Pearl and her own children.
Recommended by: Melissa N. (5/18)
Brings us the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America--a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record. In 1527, the conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez sailed from the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda with a crew of six hundred men and nearly a hundred horses. His goal was to claim what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States for the Spanish crown and, in the process, become as wealthy and famous as Hernán Cortés. But from the moment the Narváez expedition landed in Florida, it faced peril--navigational errors, disease, starvation, as well as resistance from indigenous tribes. Within a year there were only four survivors: the expedition's treasurer, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca; a Spanish nobleman named Alonso del Castillo Maldonado; a young explorer named Andrés Dorantes de Carranza; and Dorantes's Moroccan slave, Mustafa al-Zamori, whom the three Spaniards called Estebanico. These four survivors would go on to make a journey across America that would transform them from proud conquis-tadores to humble servants, from fearful outcasts to faith healers.
Recommended by: Linda B (5/18)
An early morning adventure out stealing horses leads to the tragic death of one boy and a resulting lifetime of guilt and isolation for his friend, in this moving tale about the painful loss of innocence and of traditional ways of life that are gone forever.
Recommended by Amy (4/18)
This is by far the best audio book I've listened to in the last year. Duhigg provides an insightful and scientific look into the effect that habits have on the human brain. With true-life stories woven throughout to highlight this new information, Duhigg takes the reader on an engrossing journey that truly has the power to not only inspire, but to transform our own lives.
Recommended by Melissa (6/18)
The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.
Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.
Recommended by Diane (6/18)
In this third installment of Louisa Clark's adult life, Louisa finds herself in the hustle and bustle of New York City life. Her plans of starting a brand new job, while holding down a long-distance relationship back in Great Britain, are put into jeopardy a few months into her stay in America. Despite it all, Louisa pushes forth as she always does, never knowing just which way life will take her.
Recommended by Melissa N. (3/18)
A light-hearted summer read that highlights the dysfunction in everyone's family. A high-powered NYC family goes on a two-week vacation and have to grapple with mistakes they've made with each other to find a way back to a happy ending.
Recommended by Erin L.
In this inspiring self-help read, author Jen Sincero tells it like it is and tells the reader just what they need to do to start living the life of their dreams. Her own stories, wake-up calls, and advice are both animated and humorous.
Recommended by: Melissa N. (5/18)