We are living in an age of inequality and injustice, made worse by an increasingly divisive political atmosphere. Politics aside, some injustices are so ingrained in our society that we are desensitized to them. If they don’t directly affect our lives, we may forget they exist. But, as a society, we should not allow ourselves to forget that injustice is a part of our world and that we cannot sit idly by and allow it to continue.
“[T]he character of our society … cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned. We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation.” — Bryan Stevenson, “Just Mercy”
Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer dedicated to representing those on death row and the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. He may be the best known advocate for compassion and reform within the American justice system. His book, “Just Mercy,” is a powerful examination of the injustice prevalent in our justice system. Stevenson humanizes prisoners, even those who have spent years on death row. He focuses on the case of Walter McMillan, a young black man on death row for a murder he did not commit. Stevenson relays, in heartbreaking detail, the obstacles and challenges in getting an innocent man off death row, a process that takes years. He reveals the biases that influence decisions and the convoluted workings of the courts which keep innocent people trapped in the system. Continue reading “Literary Links: An Age of Injustice”
As we approach the end of the year, publishing slows down and the number of titles by debut authors starts to shrink, but there are still quite a few exciting books coming out in November. Take a look at the ones below, and then head over to our catalog to see a (slightly) longer list of titles coming this month.
“Empire of Sand” by Tasha Suri
In a land inspired by India lives a young woman descended from the desert spirits. Mehr inherited her power from her mother, one of the Amrithi, a people who are outcasts both desired and reviled for the magic of the desert spirits that runs through their blood. When Mehr draws the attention of the Emperor’s mystics, they coerce her into a marriage that binds her to the mystics’ leader and forces her into a conflict that could bring the wrath of the gods down upon them all.
“My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Ayoola has a very bad habit of killing her boyfriends, causing no end of trouble for her sister Korede, who by now has learned the best way to remove bloodstains and dispose of a body. But when her third boyfriend in a row turns up dead, Ayoola sets her sights on the doctor who just happens to be Korede’s crush. Now, Korede is forced to confront what her sister has become and decide if she can protect the man she loves and her sister at the same time.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: November 2018”
Fall is finally here and, more importantly, fall weather! It’s time to welcome the cooler temps by curling up with a hot beverage, a furry pet and a good book. If you’re looking for something to keep you warm, try one of these cozy novels by debut authors. And if cozy isn’t your style, check out our list of all the debut author titles new this month.
“The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa
After several years together, Satoru has determined he needs to find a new home for his adopted stray cat Nana, although Nana is unsure why. The two friends head off on a road trip across Japan, meeting up with friends from Satoru’s past. However, finding an owner who is just the right fit for Nana proves to be an adventure for the two friends. Told through Nana’s sassy point of view as well as flashbacks to Satoru’s past, this charming book is already a bestseller in Japan.
“A Crafter Knits a Clue” by Holly Quinn
Returning to her hometown for her best friend Kate’s funeral, Sammy Kane decides to stay and take over Kate’s craft store. Not long after, Sammy wanders down to the new yarn store opening nearby and finds its owner murdered. The weapon? A knitting needle. Eager to solve the murder, and help out the handsome detective Liam Nash, Sammy resurrects her childhood detective club — the other members being her cousin Heidi and sister Ellie. But even as Liam tries protect her by keeping her out of the investigation, Sammy and her club are well on their way to putting all the clues together and solving the murder.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: October 2018”
As we head into fall, check out these books by debut authors coming in September. If you would like a longer list of debut titles, please visit our catalog.
“The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton
Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered at 11:00 p.m. The next day she dies again.
When the Hardcastle family throws a party, the daughter of the house is murdered. Guest Aiden Bishop finds himself stuck in a time loop where every day is the same and every night Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered.
To break out of the loop and set time moving forward again, Aiden must solve her murder and he only has eight days to do it. For each of those eight days he will inhabit the body of a different guest until he unravels the mystery and finds the killer.
“Intercepted” by Alexa Martin
Determined to prove she can make it on her own after dumping her cheating NFL boyfriend after 10 years, Marlee has vowed to never again date an athlete. But she finds her determination wavering with the arrival of the Mustangs’ new quarterback Gavin Pope, with whom she once shared a passionate night. And Gavin plans to convince Marlee he’s nothing like her ex.
As things between Marlee and Gavin heat up, Marlee must also deal with increased media attention and the judgmental football wives, the Lady Mustangs.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: September 2018”
Summer reading may be over, but don’t let that stop you from checking out these books by debut authors. Please visit our catalog for a complete list of titles.
“Vox” by Christina Dalcher
A governmental decree that women will now be limited to no more than 100 words per day is just the beginning. Fitted with wristbands that tally their words and provide shocks for overage, soon women aren’t allowed to have jobs and girls are not taught to read or write. More restrictions follow.
Dr. Jean McClellan was a highly recognized cognitive linguist before the government began restricting women’s rights. But when the President’s brother suffers an accident that impairs his brain’s speech functions, Jean is given back some of her freedom — and her voice — to work on a cure. And now that she has her voice back, Jean will stop at nothing to keep herself, her daughter and women everywhere from ever being silenced again.
“How Are You Going to Save Yourself” by J.M. Holmes
A coming of age tale for a group of young black men — Gio, Rolls, Rye and Dub — as they navigate being black in America. Gio recounts his friends’ highs and lows as they make their way into adulthood. There’s Gio, who has the best prospects as he attends Cornell. Then there’s Rolls, who pursues a career as a painter. Rye, failing to achieve his dreams of playing for the NFL, becomes a firefighter. And Dub moves around aimlessly as he tries to find his way.
This novel is an unflinchingly honest look at the realities of race, class and family in America.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: August 2018”
Here are some new titles by debut authors to help you get through this heat wave. Best read with a cold glass of lemonade in hand. For a longer list, please visit our catalog.
“City of Lies” by Sam Hawke
Jovan’s uncle is the poison master — responsible for detecting poisons and developing antidotes — for the Chancellor of Silasta. Jovan grew up being slowly poisoned as he trains to fill the same role as his uncle for the Chancellor’s heir, Tain. But Jovan is forced to step into his uncle’s shoes far too soon when an unidentified poison kills both his uncle and the Chancellor. Jovan must now keep Tain alive amid political intrigue, rebellion and betrayal.
“Fruit of the Drunken Tree” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Bogotá, Colombia during the reign of drug lord Pablo Escobar is a violent, dangerous place, but young Chula and her older sister Cassandra live sheltered lives in their gated community. Then their mother hires a live-in maid from the slums — 13-year-old Petrona — and their two worlds collide, exposing Chula and Cassandra to the conflict and danger outside their gates.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: July 2018”
Summer is a great time to discover new authors. Here are some of the titles by debut authors that hit the shelves in June. For more, please visit our catalog.
“The Optickal Illusion” by Rachel Halliburton
Based on a true story of scandal and betrayal in the art world of 1797s London.
Ann Jemima Provis and her father offer American artist Benjamin West a long coveted secret—the formula for master painter Titian’s famous coloring—which they claim to have uncovered in an ancient manuscript. A beautiful young woman and herself a talented painter, Ann demonstrates the technique for Benjamin, drawing him and the Royal Academy of Arts, of which he is president, deep into scandal and fraud.
“A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising” by Raymond A. Villareal
A disease that solidifies the blood has sparked an epidemic of vampirism that begins in the United States and then sweeps across the world. Those who survive the virus are left with an increased lifespan in exchange for a diet of fresh blood. They are called “Gloamings,” and soon people begin to clamor for rebirth as one of the elite, despite the risk of death if their bodies can’t handle the disease.
What follows is a drastic shift in society and the emergence of a Gloaming Crimes Unit, an anti-Gloaming sect, and the first Gloaming candidate for senator all of which are building up to a bloody vampire revolt.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: June 2018”
This time of year brings summer weather and a whole new month’s worth of debut fiction. There are some exciting titles by new authors that came out in May and, as always, you can find a longer list of debut titles in our catalog.
“Song of Blood and Stone” by L. Penelope
The magical barrier—known as the Mantle—separating the enemy lands of Elsira and Lagrimara is about to fall. Both countries face the threat of impending war, but also that of an ancient evil known as the True-Father which seeks to conquer them both.
Gifted with the power of Eathsong, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira where her dark skin marks her Lagrimaran descent. Jack is an Elsiran spy who is trying to warn Elsira about the eminent collapse of the Mantle and the threat of the True-Father. As Jasminda and Jack work together to protect their home and reinforce the Mantle, their professional alliance becomes personal even as they are faced with political and social opposition.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: May 2018”
There are a lot of wonderful debuts coming to DBRL in April, especially if you are a fan of historical fiction! Please visit our catalog for a longer list of authors making their debuts this month.
“Between Earth and Sky” by Amanda Skenandore
After the Indian Wars, the “savage-taming” Stover School was created to assimilate the children of nearby reservations by robbing them of their language, customs, and even their names. Asku — renamed Harry Muskrat — was once the most promising student at the boarding school, but is now accused of murdering a federal agent.
Alma Mitchell, a childhood friend of Asku’s, convinces her lawyer husband to defend him, believing that he could never commit murder, no matter how cold and bitter he has become as an outsider in two worlds — the white world and his own. But to help Asku, Alma must revisit the painful secrets of her childhood.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: April 2018”
There are so many exciting debuts that came out in March that it was difficult to decide which ones to highlight. If you’re interested in the longer list please visit our catalog.
“Tangerine” by Christine Mangan
After the death of her first husband, Alice escapes her past by marrying again and accompanying her new husband to Tangier, Morocco in the early 1950s. But her past finds her again when her former best friend and college roommate Lucy shows up in Tangier.
Upon learning that Alice is unhappy in her new marriage, Lucy is determined to reestablish her relationship — and her control — over fragile Alice, who she had obsessively loved in college. As Lucy begins to manipulate Alice, more about their tragic past is revealed and it’s hinted that an equally tragic future may be in store for them.
Movie rights have already been sold with George Clooney set to produce and Scarlett Johansson to star as Alice. Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: March 2018”