April 2022 - Staff Reading Suggestions
by Bonnie Garmus
In this funny and engaging debut novel, set in the 1960's, a young brilliant chemist named Elizabeth Zott finds herself the hit of an afternoon cooking show called "Supper at Six". Trained as a research chemist but thwarted by discrimination at every turn, Elizabeth stumbles on a chance to earn her living while combining the chemistry of cooking with subtle messages encouraging women to ignore societal norms and live their best lives. Full of delightful characters, including an extremely lovable and intelligent dog, this book will make you laugh, cry and marvel at her strength. This is a delightful spring read.
-Lisa D
by Mary Laura Philpott
Mary Laura Philpott is my sister from another mother or my best friend. Not really, but as I was reading her newest memoir, Bomb Shelter, I felt like she was sitting next to me sharing her most recent "can you believe this" stories. Mary is a fabulous teller of tales, and when you read this book you'll want to pretend she's your friend also. This memoir in essays will make you laugh, tear up, fret, but mostly feel optimistic and energized. She is a mom, a daughter, a friend, a sister, and a talented storyteller. I promise that you'll find more than a nugget or two here that will resonate with you and make you smile. This book is for YOU, a friend, a sister, and is perfect for Mother's Day gift giving. When you see Laura C, Kathy or me in the store, we are not gonna let you leave without this in your hands.
By Sally Hepworth
Sisters Rachel and Tully Aston have a lot on their plate. Their mother has late-stage dementia, their father has a new girlfriend, Heather (who is younger than both sisters), and the lunch date planned to meet Heather does not go as the sister’s anticipated when their father announces his intention to divorce their mother and marry Heather. This announcement is the thread that begins to pull at the family’s undoing… I enjoyed this thrilled with twists I did not see coming!
by Karen Joy Fowler
An epic novel about the infamous and ill-fated Booths, a family of thespians, drinkers and dreamers divided by the issue of their day. At times I felt like I was reading a Wikipedia article and at other times I was completely swept away by the family drama and 19th century life as told by three Booth siblings.
by Annie Ward
On a snowy morning at an elite private high school in Colorado, the school's administrative assistant with a history of substance abuse wakes up in her car in the school parking lot with no memory of what she did to end up there. As she retraces her footsteps in the snow to piece together the previous night she discovers two bloodied bodies in the school's gymnasium. The secret lives of the adults, coaches, administration and the over-privileged youth caught in the crosshairs make for a delicious thriller that will keep you entertained until the very end.
by Kathleen West
From the author of Minor Drama & Other Catastrophes comes a funny and poignant look at the world of youth sports, specifically hockey. Susy and Leigh were once female hockey prodigies on the brink of making the Olympic team. Twenty years later their paths overlap again when their kids end up in the same youth hockey program. But a secret that shattered Leigh’s hockey profession and friendship with Susy all those years ago is now threatening to come to light. A glimpse into the pressures put on youth sports, females in sports and how far parents are willing to go to see their children “succeed.”
by Anne Tyler
The latest quintessential Anne Tyler novel starts in a train station as two first cousins accidentally bump into each other. It quickly becomes clear that they barely know each other. How can that be? Tyler then immediately jumps back two generations, and the story of the Garrett family begins. Anne Tyler has a unique ability to use intimate family dynamics to reflect larger societal and emotional issues. As David, the black sheep in the Garrett family, explains to his wife, families are like a french braid in a woman's hair, once it is unwound "the ripples are crimped in forever." Now in her eighties, Tyler once again shows us her enormous talent.
-Laura S
by Emily St. John Mandel
A gorgeous look at what it means to be human, whether life is "real" or not. Mandel begins in 1912 with second son Edwin, who has been exiled from England to Vancouver. He encounters an anomaly while walking in a forest, and oddly, that same anomaly appears again in the 2020's for a young Vincent, who video records it. In the 2400's, Zoey and brother Gaspery work at the Time Institute where they look into the same anomaly via government sanctioned time travel. Gaspery investigates the past, knowing the potential danger he faces with every decision he makes…. Sea of Tranquility gives us a look at how humanity might survive in the face of an uncertain future.
by Maxine Bedat
Author Maxine Bedat hoped to create an environmentally “green" clothing line until she learned how the fashion industry typically works. Bedat shifts to research and takes us deep into a world of the garment industry, from weaving and dyeing, to bleaching and sewing, to buying and discarding. It’s an eye opening look at this troubled industry’s impact on our world, environmentally and socially. Bedat offers hope and a call to action in this important work.
*(A Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Read Between the Ravines pick)
by Georgia Pritchett
Georgia is an award winning comedy and drama writer who has written for Veep and Succession to name a few. She has also fought an anxiety disorder her entire life. Her therapist suggested that Georgia write down a list of things that worried her, the result is this̶̶--a series of vignettes: snapshots into events in her life (big and small) that help the reader understand the true Georgia. At times hilarious, and at other times poignant. This is a quick, insightful read.
-Laura S
by Julie Otsuka
The new novel from the author of Buddha in the Attic is broken into two pieces. The first portion is a witty, satirical and at times comedic look at society told through the lens of a group of nameless swimmers at a public pool. The conclusion takes a wholly different path and is an insightful look at one of those swimmers, Alice, as she tumbles into the world of aging and dementia. Told through the eyes of her daughter, the reader learns of the life of the mother she is losing: a Japanese American child during the war, a wife, a mother, a nursing home resident. Once again, Otsuka's slender volume packs a mighty punch and her prose will cut you to the bone.
-Laura S
by Eliza Knight
Told in alternating timelines, the story revolves around real author Nancy Mitford, a published author and celebrity around the time of World War II. The first timeline – 1938, Nancy Mitford is part of a group called Bright Young Things who consist of elite young adults intent on having fun rather than pursue careers growing up. The second timeline is present day where Lucy St. Clair, a cook curator and huge fan of Nancy Mitford, is working on book acquisitions for a new client and is headed to Heywood Hill, the bookshop where Nancy Mitford worked. As Lucy delves into Nancy Mitford's correspondence and life, the alternate storyline develops around Mitford's marriage, writing, and life during the Blitz.
by Delia Ephron
Oh, how I loved this book! Of course it is about Delia Ephron’s deep love for Jerry, her first husband, and the beautiful, abiding love she found with Peter after Jerry died. As well, it fully immerses us in her battle with leukemia, which her beloved sister Nora succumbed to. To me, it is truly a meditation on connections; with our families and friends, and all those we interact with in our daily lives. For Delia it is her connections with neighbors in her apartment building on Tenth Street, incredibly wise and compassionate doctors and nurses, her hairdresser, a loving caretaker and a host of others carried her through the “tunnel” of leukemia. It will make you laugh and cry and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
by Sascha Rothchild
(Releases April 19, 2022)
Ruby is the murderer you'd want as a friend - she's a therapist who is compassionate, smart and funny. But there are four people who have died within arms reach of her. How likely is it that she had nothing to do with any of these tragedies? Engaging from page one, this thriller is nothing but fun to read.  
by Janelle Brown
(Releases April 26, 2022)
Two identical twin girls playing on a beach in Santa Barbara are discovered by a Talent Agent and their lives change forever. One twin is delighted with their status while
the other is not. As time goes on and the series is cancelled, their stardom turns to estrangement, addiction, unhappy marriage, and cult membership. Throughout the mesmerizing twists and turns of their lives, their saving grace is an abiding love for one another and their ability to play, "I’ll Be You" when it counts. A mystery so spellbinding, you won't want to put it down.

Young Adults Selection
All My Rage
By Sabaa Tahir
At age six, Noor was rescued from the rubble as the only survivor of a devastating earthquake in Pakistan by her uncle and has been living in Juniper, CA with him ever since. Tyrannical and demanding, she works at his liquor store and secretly applies to colleges hoping to leave her life behind forever. Salahudin, a fellow high school classmate, used to be her best friend until their “big fight.” Now Salahudin has taken over his parents' failing motel as his father descends into alcoholism and his mother loses her health battle. Spellbinding, intriguing, heartbreaking…this story will stay with me for a long time. Wow!
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