A biweekly selection from our shelves, as curated by your favorite SPL librarians!
|Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents.
"A stunning work of art that reminds readers Alvarez is, and always has been, in a class of her own." --Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Poet X.
|The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda
Selected by NYT as one of Most Notable Books of 2020
On a stormy summer day the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer's, and the physician's bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury.
|Aria by Nazanine Hozar
An extraordinary, cinematic saga of rags-to-riches-to-revolution that follows an orphan girl coming of age in Iran at a time of dramatic upheaval.
Nazanine Hozar's stunning debut gives us an unusually intimate view of a momentous time, through the eyes of a young woman coming to terms with the mysteries of her own past and future.
|Frying Plantain: Stories by Zalika Reid-Benta
Set in the neighbourhood of "Little Jamaica," Frying Plantain follows a girl from elementary school to high school graduation as she navigates the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation immigrants experiencing first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity in a predominantly white society.
|Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
"A stellar debut . . . about an unconventional family, fear, hatred, violence, chasing love, losing it and finding it again just when we need it most."-- The New York Times Book Review.
In vibrant, addictive Trinidadian prose, Love After Love questions who and how we love, the obligations of family, and the consequences of choices made in desperation.
|The Queen's Bargain by Anne Bishop
To restore his reputation, Lord Dillon needs a handfast - a one-year contract of marriage. He sets his sights on Jillian, a young witch who he believes has only a flimsy connection to the noble society that spurned him. Unfortunately for Dillon, he is unaware of Jillian's true connections until he finds himself facing Lucivar Yaslana, the volatile Warlord Prince.
|Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev
From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition--this time, with a twist on Persuasion.
Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn't a complete screw up?
|Self-Portrait with Russian Piano by Wolf Wondratschek
Rhapsodic and melancholic, with shades of Vladimir Nabokov, W. G. Sebald, Hans Keilson, and Thomas Bernhard, Wolf Wondratschek's Self-Portrait with Russian Piano is a literary sonata circling the eternal question of whether beauty, music, and passion are worth the sacrifices some people are compelled to make for them.
|Sleep Well My Lady by Kwei Quartey
In the follow-up to the acclaimed series debut The Missing American , PI Emma Djan investigates the death of a Ghanaian fashion icon and social media celebrity, Lady Araba.
To solve Lady Araba's murder, Emma must not only go on an undercover mission that dredges up trauma from her past, but navigate a long list of suspects with strong motives. Emma quickly discovers that they are all willing to lie for each other--and that one may still be willing to kill.
|The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell
A stunning blend of vivid fantasy and political drama, The Vanished Queen is the timely story of a young resistance fighter working to overthrow a totalitarian ruler's regime of terror and lies.
"[G]ripping...this is the novel the world needs now" -- Kate Hearfield, Nebula Award-winning author of Armed in her Fashion.
|Vanishing: Five Stories by Cai Emmons
A new mother is bewildered when her house appears to belong to a stranger; a young artist must look past stereotypes to what really matters; a filmmaker visiting a childhood friend with dementia realizes how quickly shared history vanishes; an isolated young woman forms a manipulative friendship with a mother whose daughter has died; a middle-aged office manager discovers she isn't central in the lives of her adoring young male employees. These women's lives highlight the difficulty of honing a strong identity in a culture that consistently devalues women.
|We Hear Voices by Evie Green
An eerie horror debut about a little boy who recovers from a mysterious pandemic and inherits an imaginary friend who makes him do violent things... We Hear Voices is a gripping near-future horror novel that tests the fragility of family and the terrifying gray area between fear and love.
|20 to Craft: Kawaii Charms in Polymer Clay by Ruth Thompson
Create twenty cute, tiny trinkets from polymer clay. As well as learning how to colour the clay and add super-cute expressions, there's also advice on how to turn your charms into wearable jewellery. From adorable sushi earrings to panda paperclips, there's something sweet to suit everyone!
|Baby Hats to Crochet by Kristi Simpson
Every baby deserves a cute hat! From pom-pom hats and beanies with flowers to adorable animals like an elephant, puppy, owl, giraffe, and others, there is a hat for every baby in this book. Each pattern includes clear instructions and photo illustrations of any special stitches used. Skill levels are given to make it easy to decide which patterns to make.
|Botanical Art Techniques by American Society of Botanical Artists
This definitive guide is the most thorough how-to available on every major technique of botanical artistry.
The experts at the American Society of Botanical Artists offer step-by-step projects that move from introductory to advanced--so any level of artist can build on acquired skills.
|The Caring Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence by The Care Collective
The Care Manifesto puts forth a vision for a truly caring world. The authors want to reimagine the role of care in our everyday lives, making it the organising principle in every dimension and at every scale of life. We are all dependent on each other, and only by nurturing these interdependencies can we cultivate a world in which each and every one of us can not only live but thrive.
|Chile Peppers: A Global History by Dave DeWitt
In Chile Peppers: A Global History, Dave DeWitt, a world expert on chiles, travels from New Mexico across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, chronicling the history, mystery, and mythology of chiles around the world and their abundant uses in seventy mouth-tingling recipes.
|Dog flowers : a memoir by Danielle Geller
A daughter returns home to the Navajo reservation to retrace her mother's life in a memoir that is both a narrative and an archive of one family's troubled history.
"An honest, intimate, and heart-wrenching memoir that explores the fractured family, the damaging effects of alcoholism and poverty, and what it means to seek healing from the legacies of trauma." -- Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of the National Book Award finalist Sabrina & Corina.
|Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.
|Our Time is Now by Stacey Abrams
A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack.
The book compellingly argues for the importance of robust voter protections, an elevation of identity politics, engagement in the census, and a return to moral international leadership.
|Pie Academy by Ken Haedrich
"Fear of pie? Ken Haedrich to the rescue. Pie Academy takes you through everything pie related -- perfect crusts, fillings, crimping techniques, blind baking, lattice toppings and more." -- Kathy Gunst , coauthor of Rage Baking and resident chef for NPR's Here and Now.
Trusted cookbook author and pie expert Ken Haedrich delivers the only pie cookbook you'll ever need: Pie Academy . Novice and experienced bakers will discover the secrets to baking a pie from scratch, with recipes, crust savvy, tips and tutorials, advice about tools and ingredients, and more.
|Separated: Inside an American Tragedy by Jacob Soboroff
The award-winning NBC News correspondent lays bare the full truth behind the Trump administration's systematic separation of families at the US-Mexico border. In this essential reckoning, Soboroff weaves together these key voices with his own experience covering this national issue--at the border in Texas, California, and Arizona; with administration officials in Washington, D.C., and inside the disturbing detention facilities. Separated lays out compassionately, yet in the starkest of terms, its human toll, and makes clear what is at stake in the 2020 presidential election.
|They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers by Sarah Scoles
An anthropological look at the UFO community, told through first-person experiences with researchers in their element as they pursue what they see as a solvable mystery--both terrestrial and cosmic.
Funny and colorful, and told in a way that doesn't require one to believe, Scoles brings humanity to an often derided and misunderstood community. After all, the truth is out there...
|Who Ate the First Oyster by Cody Cassidy
With a sharp sense of humor and boundless enthusiasm for the wonders of our ancient ancestors, Who Ate the First Oyster? profiles the perpetrators of the greatest firsts and catastrophes of prehistory, using the lives of individuals to provide a glimpse into ancient cultures, show how and why these critical developments occurred, and educate us on a period of time that until recently we've known almost nothing about.