Current Year's Books

Girl Guards of Wyoming: The Lost Miltia by Dan Lyon

   In the summer of 1890, an army of teenage women with swords drawn and rifles at the ready marched resolutely toward the state capitol to deliver a message to Governor Francis E. Warren and the nation: women want equal rights. As Company K walked alongside women's suffrage pioneer Esther Morris, one could hear the rhythm of their feet keeping step in perfect cadence. Western history remembers murderers, outlaws, prostitutes and saloon girls but not the famous Girl Guards, whose military precision rivaled that of West Point cadets. Author Dan J. Lyon offers the definitive and evocative account of the young women warriors who defined the Equality State.

 

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

   Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.
   The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?
   As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.
   An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice NetworkThe Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.

 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

   The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
   Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
   As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

 

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

   Who says you can't run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.
   QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?
   ANSWER: You accept them all.
   What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.
   Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story.
   A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

 

Boundary Waters Search and Rescue: Beyond Belief by Joy Harding

 

The Other Side by Mark Leichliter

   How do you start an investigation when you have no evidence that a crime has been committed?

   When a seventeen-year-old girl abruptly disappears, the ensuing investigation probes dead-ends seemingly as deep as Flathead Lake—the geographic and investigative center of The Other Side. In sleepy Lakeside, Montana, Britany Rodgers’s disappearance is as unexpected as the sudden, violent appearance of a storm sweeping off the lake. The search to find her unearths crimes but none that can explain her disappearance, and Detectives Steven Wendell and Stacey Knudson face one empty trail after another. Wendell, unlike the girl for whom he searches, has never quite fit the expected norms of his peers. Meticulous, cerebral, a loner, he has the distinction of being the oldest graduate of the Montana Police Academy. When he and Knudson grow suspicious that Britany has been murdered, they have scant evidence and no body. The investigation to discover what has happened to Britany takes readers into starkly contrasting environments—inside spectacular lakefront mansions and within gritty trailer parks—and into the lives of those who exhibit motivations as murky as the fog-choked Montana woods and mist-shrouded Flathead Lake bays. The Other Side offers readers a tense crime novel with a literary heart.

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