Current Year's Books

Beloved by Toni Morrison

   Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad, yet she is still held captive by memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Meanwhile Sethe’s house has long been troubled by the angry, destructive ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
   Sethe works at beating back the past, but it makes itself heard and felt incessantly in her memory and in the lives of those around her. When a mysterious teenage girl arrives, calling herself Beloved, Sethe’s terrible secret explodes into the present.
   Combining the visionary power of legend with the unassailable truth of history, Morrison’s unforgettable novel is one of the great and enduring works of American literature.

 

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

   After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.
   Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors--until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.
   Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.
   Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

   Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…
   Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

 

Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina

   A young Native girl's hunt for answers about the women mysteriously disappearing from her tribe's reservation lead her to delve into the myths and stories of her people, all while being haunted herself, in this atmospheric and stunningly poignant debut.  
   Anna Horn is always looking over her shoulder. For the bullies who torment her, for the entitled visitors at the reservation's casino...and for the nameless, disembodied entity that stalks her every step--an ancient tribal myth come-to-life, one that's intent on devouring her whole.
   With strange and sinister happenings occurring around the casino, Anna starts to suspect that not all the horrors on the reservation are old. As girls begin to go missing and the tribe scrambles to find answers, Anna struggles with her place on the rez, desperately searching for the key she's sure lies in the legends of her tribe's past.
   When Anna's own little sister also disappears, she'll do anything to bring Grace home. But the demons plaguing the reservation--both ancient and new--are strong, and sometimes, it's the stories that never get told that are the most important.
   Part gripping thriller and part mythological horror, author Nick Medina spins an incisive and timely novel of life as an outcast, the cost of forgetting tradition, and the courage it takes to become who you were always meant to be.

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