July 2022 - Staff Reading Suggestions
by Kelly Rimmer
(Direct to Paperback)
This book is a thought-provoking historical fiction novel featuring a German woman and an American woman and the choices they made leading up to and during WWII. It is a story of morality and steers the reader into contemplation about the choices people make when forced into impossible circumstances. This story is split into two different timelines. First, we find our characters in the 1930s and the lead up to the war. The characters are faced with moral choices as Sophie and her scientist husband make decisions for their family that will impact them and the lives of others. The second timeline is 1954 when the Germans try to assimilate into life in America and face resentment and anger from the American community.
by Alice Elliott Dark
I am currently drying my eyes after finishing this beautifully written novel. Do not fret, they were happy, sad tears. This is a powerful novel focused on the friendship of two women. Agnes and Polly are in their 80s as the novel opens. Their families are Philadelphia society who have owned summer homes on the Maine coast for generations. Polly has always been the quintessential housewife and mother. Agnes never married and is the author of a famous series of children's picture books. Both love their Maine properties and feel inexorably connected to it. Filled with family secrets, Dark has crafted an examination into family, marriage, love and who is the rightful owner of land in this country.
-Laura S
by Claire Stanford
Evelyn is ready to leave her Ph.D. program behind to pursue a happiness project with a big tech company that she smartly refers to as the third-most-popular internet company. The search for happiness in her world of relationships and work culture, while trying to help develop the "JOYFULL" app, lends for an insightful and delightful debut novel. I knew I was in for fun social commentary when a recent athleisure catalogue arrived with an "Investment in Happiness" stamp on the back! 
by Anthony Marra
(Releases August 2, 2022)
Anthony Marra (longlisted for the National Book Award) has created a new and fresh look at life during WWII. Marra focuses on those who emigrated to the US just prior to the war, primarily centered on Maria, a young woman who has recently escaped Mussolini's Italy. Maria lands a job at a second rate movie studio, Mercury Pictures. The setting is perfect: giving the reader a cavalcade of interesting characters, many of whom are emigres themselves; all trying to reinvent themselves in America. Marra sweeps you along from Hollywood to Sicily; from Germany to the Utah desert--all in a breathtaking ride. This novel will break your heart, make you laugh out loud, and ultimately make you very sorry to finish the last page.
-Laura S
by Ruth Ware
Before Hannah walked in to find her roommate dead on the floor of their dorm room, she couldn't believe her life. She was starting her freshman year at the school of her dreams, Oxford, and her assigned roommate and was the beautiful, wealthy and vibrant April, the girl everyone loved to be around. After April's murder, Hannah's testimony ultimately convicts the killer to life in prison. However, ten years later when the killer dies in jail and reporters begin hounding Hannah, she can't help wondering if she convicted the wrong man. Another thriller from Ruth Ware that you will want tucked into your beach bag.
-Kirsten and Morley
by Jess Walter
This is a wonderful collection, and my favorite from this author thus far. Most notable from Walter are Beautiful Ruins and The Cold Millions. As a bookseller, I prattle on about short stories to anyone who'll listen, but this one is truly a gem. The characters and the situations they find themselves in are very relatable, but Jess Walter's writing is far from mundane-in fact it's superb. If novels are like tomatoes, then these short stories are like the cherry tomatoes called flavor bombs I buy at Jewel: mouthwatering, juicy and they pack a punch.
by Meg Mitchell Moore
A great summer read! While I figured out the secrets early on, this is an engaging family drama with loveable, human characters. The children are the stars of the book. It's a story based around a family's summer home in Maine. Louisa is spending the entire summer there with her three children and parents, while her husband stays in NY for work. Kristie arrives in the small coastal town with a secret that involves Louisa's family. This is a story about families, love, forgiveness and about trying to leave the world better than you found it.
by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
A beautifully written piece of historical fiction featuring four generations of women from Mexican and Indigenous descent who live in the land now known as Colorado: each generation has a female who is the "seer", the one who keeps and recounts the stories. The heart of the story centers on Luz, an 18-year-old girl who lives with her aunt and brother in Denver in the 1930s. Luz has the gift--she can read tea leaves and see the past and the future. Luz's story embodies the poverty and racism of the Depression era, and reflects on the similar stories of generations that have passed--tales of love, loss and family secrets. This novel will sweep you away.
-Laura S
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
In 1973 Civil Townsend is a young nurse working at a family planning clinic in Alabama. Two of Civil’s first patients are ages 11 and 13 and are “benefitting” from government handouts in the form of birth control. The girls are poor, Black, uneducated, and uninformed regarding their birth control choices. Most importantly, neither is sexually active. The situation unsettles Civil and she quickly becomes close to the family…until something unthinkable happens that changes the course of all their lives. Inspired by true events and very timely, I tore through this novel. It would make a fantastic book club read.
by Julie Clark
Full disclosure: I binged Inventing Anna and Tinder Swindler, so con artists are top of mind lately! Julie Clark’s newest twisty thriller will hook you immediately. As a young woman, Meg is living out of her car while trying to figure out how to finance her life. Kat is an eager journalist who suspects Meg is involved in a recent scandal, but tracking her down leads to disaster and derails Kat’s life and career. Years have passed and Meg is back in town and ready to lay another trap, Kat is determined to show the world Meg’s true colors, expose her and re-start her investigative career. The cat and mouse game that ensues will keep you guessing until the end!
662 N. Western Avenue
Lake Forest IL 60045 
Phone: 847-234-4420