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April 2021: Spring Reading (Fiction & Non-Fiction)


Suggestions compiled by Cathy Grace, Library Assistant, Elf, and Giver of Stars, Nederland Community Library

Leonora in the Morning Light: a novel
by Michaela Carter

“Michaela Carter invokes the bohemian intrigues of artistic pre-WWII Paris, and the terrors that ensued, in her riveting story of Leonora Carrington’s tumultuous affair with celebrated painter Max Ernst. . . . Vivid and colorful as her canvases, this novel depicts the conflicted heart of an artist, and a survivor who refused to admit defeat.” –C.W. Gortner, internationally bestselling author of Mademoiselle Chanel

Sooley: a novel
by John Grisham

Grisham’s newest, a departure from crime novels, is an intensely moving story centered on a South Sudanese teenage athlete whose homeland — and family —  implode with violence while he is in the U.S. His family’s safety and future come to hinge on his skills and determination on the basketball court.

Turn a Blind Eye (William Warwick #3)
by Jeffrey Archer

“A story that builds in intensity . . . Archer’s numerous fans will appreciate another dramatic, character-driven mystery set in the world of art, police work, and court trials.” — Library Journal (starred review)

First Person Singular: stories
by Haruki Murikami

A riveting new collection of short stories from the beloved, internationally acclaimed author.

The Night Always Comes
by Willy Vlautin

An exploration of greed and opportunism set amidst a rapidly gentrifying city (Portland, Oregon) –a novel taking place over 48 hours in which a young woman must push herself to her limits to get the security she needs for herself and her family.

2034: A Novel of the Next World War
by Ellio Ackerman

“A chilling yet compulsively readable work of speculative fiction . . . Ackerman and Stavridis have created a brilliantly executed geopolitical tale that is impossible to put down and that serves as a dire, all-too-plausible warning that recent events could have catastrophic consequences.” –Booklist, starred review

The Other Emily
by Dean Koontz

“Koontz proves once again to be a master storyteller, well-versed in his craft, honing his already sharp skills. This is not only a stunning thriller, but a trip into the dark side of current scientific exploration.” –Authorlink

How Beautiful We Were: a novel
by Imbolo Mbue

“Imbolo Mbue’s revelatory novel of a fictional African village ruined by Big Oil is a mighty addition to the stacks.” –Elle (most anticipated books of 2021)

Fast Ice: a novel from the NUMA files (Kurt Austin #18)
by Clive Cussler

Kurt Austin races to Antarctica to stop a chilling plot that imperils the entire planet in the latest novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling Grand Master of Adventure. Co-written/finished by Graham Brown after Cussler’s death in February 2020.

The Committed
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

A sumptuous sequel to The Sympathizer . . . The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist captures, with grace and restraint, the foibles of two young men caught in a duel between East and West in the vibrant self-centeredness of 1980s Paris.

We Begin at the End
by Chris Whitaker

Cape Haven, California, is a pretty town of broken souls, and the setting for this heartbreaking, page-turning, swashbuckling thriller.

The (other) You: stories
by Joyce Carol Oates

A stirring, reflective collection of short stories, this is an arresting and incisive vision into alternative realities.

A Bright Ray of Darkness
by Ethan Hawke

From actor Hawke, a brilliant insider’s account of the joys and terrors of acting, the trials of celebrity, and the secrets of Henry IV.

When the Stars Go Dark
by Paula McLain

“McLain weaves together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a touch of the metaphysical in this gripping tale that will keep you up all night, muttering ‘just one more chapter’ to yourself.” –E!


Kimono Mountain
by Mike Parker

A collection of poems by local Ward poet Mike Parker.

The Facts at Dog Tank Spring
by Andrew Schelling

Andrew Schelling’s first book of poetry in seven years.

The Carrying
by Ada Limon

In this highly acclaimed collection, Limon boldly expresses the visceral nature of womanhood and age, and the ties that all keep us together.

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
by Terrance Hayes

A collection of 14-line sonnets, short, dense poetry with incisive social commentary and serious critical acclaim.

by Layli Long Soldier

Soldier uses the past, the present and the page in this stirring collection.



Off the Charts: What I Learned from My Almost Fabulous Life in Music
by Kat Goldman

So you want to make it as a singer-songwriter? Kat Goldman has been there, almost to the very top, and now she’s back with sage advice and hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from a lifetime of toil in the dive bars and legendary venues of the contemporary music scene.

How to Resist Amazon and Why
by Danny Caine

An insightful and well-researched manifesto about the real threat the Amazon monopoly poses to small businesses, warehouse workers, online privacy, and equitable consumerism.

When Women Invented Television: the untold story of the female powerhouses who pioneered the way we watch today
by Jennifer Armstrong

“With crisp, electrifying prose, Armstrong recounts the hard work and struggles of four women trailblazers who shaped the dawn of television….Armstrong deftly illustrates how this quartet of women battled skepticism, sexism, and even the infamous Cold War blacklist to become vital players in the burgeoning days of the small screen.” — Booklist (starred review)

This is How They Tell Me the World Ends: the cyberweapons arms race
by Nicole Perlroth

The untold story of the cyberweapons market–the most secretive, invisible, government-sponsored market on earth–and a terrifying first look at a new kind of global warfare.

The Disordered Cosmos: a journey into dark matter, spacetime, and dreams deferred
by Chandra Prescod-Weinstein

“Celebrated scientist Dr. Prescod-Weinstein uncovers how systematic racism limits humanity’s potential. Using the universe as her classroom, she highlights the value of equality in laboratories and society at large.” — Essence

Extraterrestrial: the first sign of intelligent life beyond Earth
by Abraham Loeb

Harvard’s top astronomer lays out his controversial theory that the solar system was recently visited by advanced alien technology from a distant star.

The Sum of Us: what racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together
by Heather McGhee

One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone–not just for people of color.

Under a White Sky: the nature of the future
by Elizabeth Kolbert

“An eye-opening–and at times terrifying–examination of just how far scientists have already gone in their attempts to re-engineer the planet.” –Gizmodo

The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice
by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

“Fascinating . . . . The inspiring story about the Kurdish women warriors who took on the terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and won.” — Good Morning America

Animal, Vegetable, Junk: a history of food, from sustainable to suicidal
by Mark Bittman

An expansive look at how history has been shaped by humanity’s appetite for food, farmland, and the money behind it all–and how a better future is within reach.

The Search for Why: how five hidden instincts predict everything we do
by Bob Raleigh

A new model for how to understand human behavior, the fundamentals of why we do what we do. The author draws on his experience in market research and public communication strategy and combines that with research in the social sciences, like psychology, cognitive and behavioral sciences, and anthropology.

Appropriate: a provocation
by Paisley Rekdal

“Rekdal picks apart the hotly debated topic of who gets to tell what story as she examines the evolution of cultural appropriation as it pertains to literature. In her scrutinization of authorship, Rekdal points to bigger questions surrounding whiteness, identity and empathy.” –Time

You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War
by Elizabeth Becker

“Elizabeth Becker’s luminous book not only belongs, it demands at last that these daring, resourceful, and pathbreaking women take their rightful place in the history of the Indochina wars and journalists who covered them.” — David Maraniss, author of They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967

In Search of Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms
by Doug Bierend

“Nothing is impossible if you bring mushrooms into your life, and reading this book is a great way to begin your journey.” –Tradd Cotter, author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR
by Lisa Napoli

“Napoli narrates the origin stories of NPR’s female journalistic superheroes … a history filled with so many powerful moments and fascinating details about journalism, perseverance, and gender bias.” –Kirkus Reviews

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