FEBRUARY READS
FICTION
Perfect Little Children
by Sophie Hannah
(February 4)

Spying on a former best friend she has not seen for over 12 years, Beth is alarmed. As she watches Flora from across the road, she realizes something is terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older, but her children, Thomas and Emily, appear not to have aged at all. How could this be? There’s a mystery here, seemingly sinister, and Beth’s determined to get to the bottom of it. Lots of twists and turns will keep readers guessing right to the last page. A fun and suspenseful page-turner!
Upright Women Wanted
by Sarah Gailey
(February 4)

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing! Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her - a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend recently executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The story unfolds into a wild ride in an alternate future populated with bandits, shootouts and more. An original, with gorgeous writing, high adventure, and authentic, fun characters.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
by Deepa Anappara
(February 4)

This witty, resonant debut tracks a series of child disappearances from an Indian slum through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy. Jai lives with his friends Pari and Faiz in a slum next to a rubbish dump near a crowded bazaar in part of an unnamed city overcome by smog. When Jai and his friends learn that one of their classmates has been missing for several days, Jai, a fan of police shows, decides they will do their own detective work since the police show little interest in the matter. There is an almost Harry Potter-ish vibe to the relationship among the three fearless kids, and Jai's voice is irresistible: funny, vivid, smart, and yet always believably a child's point of view. Engaging characters, bright wit, and compelling storytelling draw together a tale that, though bleak at its core, is profoundly moving and a triumph of suspense.

Weather: A Novel
by Jenny Offill
(February 11)

Lizzie Benson is a librarian torn between spending time with her husband and son and obsessively worrying over her fanatic mother and addict brother. Further, an old mentor requests her help with answering mail she receives in response to her podcast Hell and High Water. Set against the backdrop of Lizzie’s trips to meditation classes, debates with a taxi driver, the 2016 presidential election, and constant attempts to avoid a haughty parent at Eli’s school, Lizzie’s apocalyptic worries are bittersweet, but always wry and astute. Funny, insightful, and wise.
The Mercies
by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
(February 11)

Nearly all the men from a small Norwegian fishing village drown in a freak winter storm. The women who remain manage to survive on their own, inciting ministers of the crown to suspect witchcraft. Spurred by their leader, King James of Scotland, a few of these ministers make their way to the village to rout out and try likely suspects. Two women are courageously drawn together by both necessity and physical attraction: Maren, a village native, and the refined Ursula, the young bride of a cruel government minister seeking to use the witch trials to advance his career. The novel’s strength lies in the richly researched details of primitive Norwegian village life, which illustrate how the women scrape a livelihood from the barren subarctic. Haunting, moving, compelling historical fiction.

The Holdout
by Graham Moore
(February 18)

L.A. defense attorney Maya Seale served on the jury of the high-profile murder trial of a teacher accused of killing one of his students. Maya believed the teacher innocent and swayed fellow jurors to her side resulting in an aquittal. On the anniversary of the trial, the jurors reunite for a true crime documentary. One of the group who has since recanted and is looking for new evidence of the teacher’s guilt is found dead in Maya's hotel room. Now she must use all of her lawyer skills to find out who killed the juror and uncover the secrets in the long-stagnant case. The twists and flashbacks are sharp in this rollicking legal thriller.

The Sun Down Motel
by Simone St. James
(February 18)

Another chilling ghost story from St. James, who seems to surpass the level of shiver with each book. A young woman uncovers old secrets and stirs up vengeful ghosts when she travels to upstate New York in search of an aunt who disappeared 35 years earlier. The story flips back and forth in time and voice, between the aunt in 1982 and that of her niece in 2017. Chilling, high octane suspense, perfect for those that enjoy mystery with solid scare factor.

Apeirogon
by Colum McCann
(February 25)

Bassam is Palestinian, Rami is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their lives, from the roads they’re allowed to travel, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate. Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When the men learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.  Apeirogon is a novel that balances on the knife-edge of fiction and nonfiction. Bassam and Rami are real men and their actual words are a part of this narrative, one that builds through thousands of moments and images into one grand, unforgettable crescendo. A novel for our time.

Children of the Stars
by Mario Escobar
(February 25)

An uplifting story of two Jewish children who cross Nazi-occupied France alone in search of their parents. In 1941, the Nazis control much of France. Brothers Jacob and Moses are left with their aunt Judith while their parents search for a safe place for them to be. The boys are taken in a raid and end up in a velodrome being used as a detention camp housing thousands of Jews. After a guard attacks Moses, the brothers decide they must escape. Thus begins their life on the run. They face unspeakable danger but also encounter people who risk their lives to help the two boys reunite with their parents. This exceptional novel ultimately uncovers hope, heart, and faith in humanity.
NON-FICTION
Brother & Sister
by Diane Keaton
(February 4)

Keaton reflects on her relationship with her younger brother, Randy Hall. Early on, Hall exhibits heightened fears and anxieties intensified by a demanding father and a mother who found it difficult to acknowledge the scope of her son's complexities. A talented creative, he came to withdraw from life altogether, walking out of a job, divorcing his wife, and descending into alcoholism. In an effort to understand his struggles, Keaton unflinchingly examines her brother's life, drawing from excerpts of his poetry and her mother's journals and letters. What results is a cohesive, honest look at an entire family impacted by a troubled individual, as well as how Keaton maintained a bond with her sibling despite tremendous challenges. Immersive and haunting, this is necessary reading for Keaton fans and for those seeking to comprehend the nuances of sibling and family relationships.

Franklin & Washington:
The Founding Partnership
by Edward J. Larson
(February 11)

Franklin and Washington were pivotal leaders of America's journey to independence and the creation of a republic. Their association spanned three decades, from 1756 to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. They represented two powerful colonies, Franklin for Pennsylvania and Washington for Virginia. The contributions they made in their time were consequential centuries after their deaths. The author’s dual biography does not convey a close friendship, but tells a tale of partnership which occurred at intervals during those three decades, whenever significant events of colonial or national consequence required their involvement. A well-written account for readers interested in two key figures of the American Revolution Era.

The Falcon Thief:
A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird
by Joshua Hammer
(February 11)

In the United Arab Emirates, the reward for winning a falcon race can be worth millions of dollars, which is why Irish national Jeffrey Lendrum has persisted for decades in smuggling the eggs of rare raptors. This "Pablo Escobar of the falcon egg trade" now faces another prison sentence after being caught at Heathrow with multiple eggs strapped to his chest. Countering him: Detective Andy McWilliam of the UK’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, determined to protect the world’s glorious and endangered birds of prey. A sleek and winning non-fiction thriller!

American Sherlock:
Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of the American CSI
by Kate Windsor Dawson
(February 11)

Expansive research uncovers the life of Edward Heinrich, who in the first half of the 20th century solved some of the most mysterious and high-profile criminal cases in the United States. Case files include the page-turning stories of a high-profile Hollywood actor accused of murder, the kidnapping and murder of a Catholic priest, and the baffling case of a Stanford professor accused of killing his wife. Readers will learn about a man with a difficult past led to an exciting, unplanned career in the birth of forensic science, and the shifting views of its use in solving crimes. This is a fascinating book worthy of being associated with the title's literary sleuth. Readers will want a follow-up so they can discover more of Heinrich's cases as told through Dawson's great storytelling.

Until the End of Time
by Brian Greene
(February 18)

A breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to understand it. Greene takes us on a journey across time, from our most refined understanding of the universe's beginning, to the closest science can take us to the very end. He explores how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience: in narrative, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and our longing for the eternal. Through a series of nested stories that explain distinct but interwoven layers of reality, from quantum mechanics to consciousness to black holes, Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we’re headed. With this grand tour of the universe, beginning to end, Brian Greene allows us all to grasp and appreciate our fleeting but utterly exquisite moment in the cosmos.