Spring publishing is in full swing with lots of great new books to check out! All of the mentioned titles are available to put on hold in our catalog and will also be made available via the library’s Overdrive website on the day of publication in eBook and eAudiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog.
“Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” by Patrick Radden Keefe (Apr 13)
This is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d’Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions: Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis. “Empire of Pain” chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability. The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama — baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful. “Empire of Pain” is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling. It is a portrait of the excesses of America’s second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed and indifference to human suffering that built one of the world’s great fortunes. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: April 2021”
Editor’s note: This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will be sharing more throughout the year.
I don’t remember how “Harry’s Trees” got on my radar or on my to-read list, or even how it ended up being the next one I read. But oh my, what an enchanting book. How can you not fall in love with a book about trees?
I wasn’t sure at the start — there were some men who turned my stomach in this book and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to continue. But Harry, Oriana, and Amanda won my heart with this story of trying to heal what seems beyond healing. And really, the parallels between fairy tale and real life are just beautiful. Everything is tied together so seamlessly. Truly, a lovely book.
Three words that describe this book: enchanting, heartwarming, affirming
You might want to pick this book up if: you love fairy tales.
Spring is a big time of year for publishing, as evidenced by the many debut novels coming out in April. Here are just a few that have received quite a bit of buzz. For a complete list, please visit our catalog.
“Dial A for Aunties” by Jesse Q. Sutanto
What happens when you mix one (accidental) murder with two thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on three generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family?
You get four meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business — “Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!” — and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.
But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love — and biggest heartbreak — makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: April 2021”
B.K. Boes is a Mid-Missouri author who recently came out with her debut book, “Mother of Rebellion.” The book is the first in her epic fantasy series, The Leyumin Divided Saga, and introduces us to the divided continent of Leyumin, where two nations vie for dominance — one through politics and manipulation, the other through brute force and self-proclaimed pure blood. You can find out more about the book on her website, or follow her through twitter, facebook, and her email newsletter. I emailed some interview questions to her, and she was kind enough to take time to write back some answers. Continue reading “Q&A With B.K. Boes, Author of “Mother of Rebellion””
Join us online to discuss “Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love” by Dani Shapiro. At the age of 54, on a whim, the author submitted her DNA through a genealogy website and discovered that her beloved deceased father was not her biological father. “Inheritance” tells the story of the family secrets that kept one woman’s true biological origins hidden from her for a lifetime and demonstrates how modern science and technology are challenging medical ethics and the human heart’s capacity to heal. This discussion is geared for adults. Please register to receive a Zoom link.
Interested in more books about this topic? Check out these books.
Change is in the air. Spring is beginning to bloom. Baseball season is upon us. There is a new president and administration. People in 2020 protested for change in policing and civil rights matters. Society is adjusting to multi-culturalism, gender issues and calls for equity. The coronavirus is mutating while people scramble to get vaccinated. The BBC reports that the permafrost is melting across the northern hemisphere, and the last decade was the hottest on record. A 2019 report from the United Nations stated that more animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction than ever in human history. It’s a dizzying amount of change. Also, it is a broad topic for a blog post, which I appreciate. There’s a little something for everyone.
Let’s break it down. Continue reading “Change, Change, Change”
Ready to enjoy a craft that is often used for relieving stress? (I would imagine this last year has been stressful for many of us.) Our April Crafternoon-To-Go kit has everything you need to paint a colorful mandala. Traditionally, a mandala has stood for circle or completion. In various cultures and traditions, mandalas are often used as a spiritual guidance and meditative tool. But drawing a mandala is also fun and rock painting has become a popular (and pretty easy) craft activity.
There are instructions and supplies in your kit for painting the dot mandala with examples of other design options. And in honor of National Poetry month (April), we encourage you to write a favorite line of poetry or word on the other side — you can use the permanent marker included in your kit for this. Keep your rock in a place that will remind you to take a breath and relax. Or you can leave it in a place for someone else to find and maybe they will take a needed breath as well. However, I must warn you mandala painting can be addictive; I think my family is worried our house is evolving into one huge mandala. Continue reading “Crafternoon-To-Go: Mandala Rock Painting”
My fondness for survival stories began as a wee lad with a reading of “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. It taught me that a hatchet can be the difference between starving in the woods and having a pretty cool and readable time. Naturally, when I’m inspired to take the air in the wilderness, I always have a suitcase full of hatchets in tow. This allows me to not only to thrive like a fictional boy if I get lost, but also, due to its weight, keeps me from straying too far into the wild. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Rye Curtis”
I’m continuing on my tour of the United States through literature, and I’m now entering the Southwest. These are all books that have a deep sense of place.
I’m starting this portion of my travels in Texas. For convenience sake, I’m including Texas in the Southwest even though you could argue that it belongs in the Deep South or even, in part, in the Great Plains. As a native Texan and an environmentalist, I’m hoping that “Goodbye to a River” by John Graves will tick all of my happy boxes. Graves traveled down the Brazos River to explore the land and reflect on it’s history before a series of dams were erected and irreversibly changed everything. Continue reading “Travel Through Story – The Southwest”
In the 1970s & ’80s, The Ramones asked, “Do you remember Rock ‘n Roll Radio?” Today we ask, “Do you remember attending live music concerts?” I certainly miss seeing shows by my favorite bands and artists like: Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Groovie Ghoulies and Buddy Guy. As live concerts are still quite a few months away, I decided to do some digging into the DBRL collection to find the best (in my opinion) live recorded music. I included titles from our CD collection and our streaming service, Hoopla. So, here are my choices to get lost in the good ol’ days. Disclaimer: I have mostly avoided the MTV Unplugged-type recordings, as they tend to sound a bit too polished. I prefer the “warts and all” approach to concert recordings; give me banter, give me crowd noises, give me mistakes! I want to replicate the concert experience! In the end, I relented and did add some MTV Unplugged performances to the additional titles list. Continue reading “Do You Remember Live Music?”