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Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

In his book (also a hit YouTube series) Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho seeks to answer a lot of the questions that white people have about black people but are afraid to ask. Acho's well-crafted answers are insightful and shine a light on the systemic racism and racist views that are still prevalent in society today. This is a must read for everyone.

Acho's conversations are available to watch on the Uncomfortable Convos website.

Available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).



Vanished

Nick Heller is a Special Forces veteran and private detective. He doesn't get along with his brother Roger. When Roger's wife gets attacked and Roger disappears, Roger's 14-year-old stepson asks Nick to help. Nick learns some shocking secrets about Roger and there is, of course, a secret Blackwater-style conspiracy.  There are twists and turns in this mystery thriller that will keep you reading. Some of the action is a little incredible, but this is fiction after all. Vanished by Joseph Finder is the first book in the Nick Heller series and the audio version won the Earphone Award. 

The reader, Holter Graham, is really good keeping the suspense suspenseful, but makes 14-year-old Gabe sound kind of arrogant and whiny. I have to think that's how Joseph Finder envisioned Gabe. Listen today via Hoopla to see what you think. 

Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).




Little Secrets

This twisty thriller centers on Marin, a mother whose world is shattered after her young son is kidnapped while out shopping one day. Sixteen months later, the FBI still has no leads and the case goes cold. Marin, refusing to give up, hires a private investigator to pick up where the police have left off. During her investigation, the P.I. discovers that Marin's husband has been having an affair with a younger woman. Marin, a shell of herself since her son's disappearance, snaps back to life with rage. She's not about to lose her husband after everything and will do whatever it takes to get his mistress out of the picture. Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier is a gut-wrenching story with stunning twists, and Hillier writes with unforgettable emotional depth.


Check out the eBook and eAudiobook on your browser through eMediaLibrary.



The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is amazing. This book is labeled under teen, but I think that the story is for everyone. A fantasy adventure that has you gripping the book to find out how the characters will survive. 

You can listen to the eaudiobook through eMediaLibrary (Libby).




The Wife Upstairs

The Wife Upstairs (2020) by Rachel Hawkins is a modern retelling of the classic gothic novel Jane Eyre (with even more twists and secrets). It centers on Jane, a broke dog-walker in the esteemed neighborhood of Thornfield Estates. She doesn't enjoy her job, but she does like stealing trinkets from her wealthy clients every now and then. Her mundane life gets thrown for a loop when she meets Eddie Rochester, a recent widower in Thornfield Estates. His wife Bea drowned in a boating accident along with her best friend, but their bodies have never been recovered. Jane and Eddie grow closer and fall in love, yet Jane feels threatened by Bea's powerful legacy and image. As Jane looks into Bea's past, she discovers secrets that startle her; Eddie is also acting increasingly strange, and soon Jane finds some things are not adding up. Despite the characters you love to hate, this is an engrossing and suspenseful domestic thriller that will have you hooked.

Available as both an eBook and eAudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).




A Rare Interest in Corpses

In 1864 London, destitute Lizzie Martin has accepted a paid position as companion to her godfather's widow, Mrs. Perry. Lizzie gets curious about Mrs. Perry's previous companion, Madeline, who had abruptly disappeared. Her inquiries lead her to Benjamin Ross, a childhood friend and now a Scotland Yard Inspector. Ben and Lizzie find adventure, danger, and more, exploring the fate of the unfortunate Madeline.

A Rare Interest in Corpses (2007, alternate title The Companion) is the first of the seven book Lizzie Martin mystery series. The books can be read in any order, but it's best to start with this one since it sets the background for Lizzie and Ben. Ann Granger takes the time to make the reader feel and see Victorian England in detail. I think this is one of the great strengths of this series and this author.

Start the series by checking out the ebook on Hoopla today. 


Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was a powerful and thought-provoking book that is definitely considered a classic for a reason. The four women of the Joy Luck club meet regularly to play mahjong, eat traditional Chinese food, and share the dreams and struggles they've had leading up to raising their four respective daughters in America. The founder of the club, Suyuan Woo, has recently passed and her daughter, Jing Mei, is taking her place at the mahjong table. In doing so, she learns of the hardships her mother faced to give Jing Mei her life in the US. The impactful stories of the other three women and their daughters are also told - beginning in rural China and ending in San Francisco.

The book reads almost like a collection of short stories that seamlessly shift from light-hearted to deeply impactful and back. A rich and meaningful read no matter where your family comes from. It's a beautiful illustration that the stories that shape us are not just our own. Reading this book was an emotional and moving experience that I wish I could experience again for the first time. I put down the book with more thought towards the stories and struggles of my own family (which sounds kind of dramatic but is totally true lol). 

Available on eBook and eAudiobook on eMediaLibrary.



Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close

In a world where romantic and familial relationships are at the center of conversations about meaningful connections between people, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman posit that friendships can be just as vital and enriching, if not moreso. Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close reveals the highs and lows of the "big friendship" shared by the two writers and offers strategies for how other friends can cultivate fulfilling long-term friendships. This book is conversational and reflective, and is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever participated in a big friendship of their own.

Also available as an eAudiobook and eBook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).



The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel

The Eyre Affair introduces us to the alternate reality where Thursday Next, a female detective assigned to the literary department, exists. This first book of eight finds Thursday trying to find out who is plucking characters right out of the pages of famous novels. Fforde's writing is both imaginative and outlandish making this series fun yet suspenseful. With time travel and the ability to leap into books both possible, Fforde's series can take a turn in any direction. You will fall in love with Thursday Next.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is available on eMediaLibrary as an eBook and eAudiobook.



In Five Years

I don't normally binge read a book in one sitting, but In Five Years by Rebecca Serle had me continuously flipping to the next page to find out what would happen next! Such a great storyline that makes you think about your future.

In Five Years is available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

Five years ago, high school student Sal Singh murdered his girlfriend before killing himself. At least, that's what everyone in town believes. Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. Even though the case is closed, she dedicates her capstone senior project to clearing Sal's name and uncovering the truth. The more she snoops around, the riskier things become. Someone in town doesn't want Pippa to expose long-kept secrets, and they'll stop at nothing to bring her down. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (2019) by Holly Jackson is a fast-paced, engaging, and jaw-dropping teen thriller. The ending is so good you'll never see it coming!

This is the first in a series. Check out Good Girl, Bad Blood (2020) and As Good As Dead (2021) for even more heart-pounding thrills.

Available as an eaudiobook and ebook on eMediaLibrary (Libby). 


It Devours!

It Devours! is a standalone novel from the creators of the popular fiction podcast Welcome to Night Vale. The story follows two main characters - Nilanjana, a scientist, and Darryl, a member of the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God - as they seek to discover the truth behind the rumblings in the desert. It Devours! blends science fiction, mystery, horror, and even a little (highly bureaucratic) romance to create a totally original narrative stuffed with quirky characters, clever dialog, and a compelling storyline. Familiarity with the Welcome to Night Vale podcast will enrich the story for readers, but is by no means a requirement to enjoy this book.


Also available as an ebook on Hoopla.


The Black Widow

Israeli master spy Gabriel Alon is called on to find and stop the mysterious ISIS terrorist Saladin in this suspense thriller. Following a deadly ISIS attack in Paris, Alon recruits Natalie Mizrahi, a Jewish female doctor, to infiltrate ISIS, then locate and identify Saladin. Posing as Leila Hadawi, a Palestinian doctor with a vengeful rage against Israel, Natalie becomes the black widow.

The Black Widow (2016) by Daniel Silva is the sixteenth book in the Gabriel Alon series, but it was my first. You don't need to read any of the previous Alon books to be absorbed by this one.

George Guidell narrates the audiobook in just under 14 hours, but the very intense action and surprising twists make it seem much quicker. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and award-winning George Guidell is one of my favorite readers.

Visit eMediaLibrary to read the book or listen to the audiobook today.


City of Girls

In Titanic fashion, 95-year-old Vivian remembers a period of time in her life that forever impacted her and narrates her memories that date back to the 1940s, beginning when she got kicked out of college. From there, her tale carries the reader to Manhattan where her parents sent her to live with her Aunt Peg, the owner of an eccentric theater called the Lily Playhouse. Exposed to an array of people and lifestyles, Vivian eventually finds herself in a scandal that rocks her world and causes her to reconsider the life she's living, moving her to create the future she desires. A wildly beautiful coming-of-age story, Elizabeth Gilbert's vivid writing will leave a lasting impression and has the potential to move to the top spot of your list of favorite books.


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary.


Strange Planet

Strange planet: [imagine pleasant nonsense] by: Nathan W Pyle is an easy read graphic novel that has funny themes to it. The aliens are put in a human position and know a little bit about our everyday items and how we live, but are still very funny guessing them and how they work.

Available as an ebook on Hoopla.