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Check It Out Blog

New Fiction in May

New Fiction in May

May brings a bouquet of spring reading options, especially if you adore spending time with fellow book lovers, being immersed in tense thrills, or dreaming of summer romance. Settle into a sunshine view and enjoy a promising read from the spotlights below or broaden your choice with the expanded New Fiction in May list.

Looking for more personalized suggestions? Fill out this form for titles curated just for you, or feel free to give us a call at 847/590-4070. 

Messy Lives of Book People book cover

The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

Landing her personal hero and mega-best-selling author Essie Starling as a client, housecleaner Liv Green forms an unlikely friendship with this infamous reclusive, but when Essie suddenly dies, leaving her an astonishing last wish, Liv discovers a connection between them that changes Liv’s own life story forever.

If you are in the mood for…Feel-Good Charm

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Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone

Waking up in Lisbon alone, her husband gone with no warning, no note, not answering his phone, Ariel Price, sensing something is wrong, realizes she knows so little about her new, much younger husband, and discovers just how far she’ll go when everything is on the line.

If you are in the mood for…International Intrigue

Remarkably Bright Creatures book cover

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

A luminous debut novel about a widow’s unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium-and the truths she finally uncovers about her son’s disappearance 30 years ago. For fans of A Man Called Ove.

If you are in the mood for…Poignant and Heartwarming

By the Book book cover

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing after college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, still living at home, and the only Black employee at her publishing house. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to prove her worth and finally get the recognition she deserves.

If you are in the mood for…A Fun Modern Take on Beauty and the Beast

Hacienda book cover

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

In the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence and the execution of her father, Beatriz accepts Don Rodolfo Solorzano’s proposal of marriage and is whisked away to his remote country estate where she is faced with a malevolent presence linked to his first wife’s death.

If you are in the mood for…Gothic Chills

Last White Rose book cover

The Last White Rose by Alison Weir

Saved from the clutches of her uncle, the notorious Richard III, by Henry Tudor, Elizabeth of York, the oldest daughter of the late King Edward IV, becomes the first queen of the Tudor line–a blessed union that results in the unification of the warring houses of Lancaster and York.

If you are in the mood for…Sumptuous History

My Wife Is Missing book cover

My Wife Is Missing by D.J. Palmer

When a woman disappears with her two children, her husband will do anything to find them – even confront the secrets of his own past.

If you are in the mood for…Twisty Suspense

National Poetry Month: Staff Favorites from the Young Adult Collection

Collections of poetry, free form, or novels-in-verse: we’ve got all your tastes covered! Celebrate National Poetry Month this April by reading lyrical, beautiful poetry from our Young Adult collection. Browse our curated lists below or pick up a staff favorite.

other words for home book cover

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

A beautiful and hopeful free-verse novel about a girl who tries to adjust to a new home after she emigrates from Syria with her mother while also worrying about her father and brother still in Syria. Jude’s emotions ring clear though the verse and catch the reader. I highly recommend the audio version as well!

-Abby, Teen Librarian

Ain't Burned all the Bright book cover

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds & illustrated by Jason Griffin

This stunning and unique book is a blend of art and text in a journal-like format that captures the frustration and anxiety of a Black boy overwhelmed by the onslaught of bad news — COVID, racism, police brutality, and more — and the way he finds solace and hope in the embrace of his family.

-Andrea, Teen Librarian

Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance book cover

Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes

What a unique read! Grimes creates one-of-a-kind poems from the words of little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. The poems are enhanced by incredibly beautiful full-page illustrations. A glorious and refreshing celebration of women creators!

-Al, Readers’ Advisor

long way down book cover

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The book is an eye opening look at grief, gang violence, and family. The verse is melodic and intense yet very approachable! Heartbreaking yet oddly hopeful. A must read!

-Denise, Readers’ Advisor

You Don't Have to be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves book cover

You Don’t Have to be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves by Diana Whitney

Featuring a diverse tapestry of poets such as Amanda Gorman, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Mary Oliver, this compilation of poetry speaks to the emotional experiences of growing up. Interwoven between some of the more intimate or tough parts of growing are the joys and highs of life, ultimately leaving a message of hope behind.

“If you cannot believe that things will soften, trust that I believe for you.”

-Jenny, Program Librarian-Supervisor

March Madness in the Teen Space: And the Winner is…

Sixteen titles went head-to-head in a bracket-style, four-round tournament of champions voted on by MPPL teens. Only one was crowned the coveted 2022 Favorite Teen Read Winner.

And the winner is…

They Both Die at the End book cover

WINNER:

They Both Die at the End

by Adam Silvera

Loved the top four bracket finishers? Want more reads like those? Here are our suggestions for readalikes!

A good kind of trouble book cover

If you liked Dress Coded,

try A Good Kind of Trouble.

Native American Gardening

This week we had an amazing time learning about gardening, harvesting, recipes, and history from award-winning Ojibwa author and speaker Kim Sigafus. Missed the program? Watch the recorded version anytime through April 27th.

If you are interested in reading about Native American experiences or about gardening, check out our staff recommendations:

braiding sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants book cover

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise.

*Nonfiction read

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Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.

the garden of small beginnings book cover

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Rendered a single mom after her husband’s fatal car accident, textbook illustrator Lillian recruits her young daughters and supportive sister to help her do research for a boutique vegetable guide at the Los Angeles Botanical Garden, where a patient instructor and quirky gardeners help her grieve and find healing.

there there book cover

There There by Tommy Orange

A novel which grapples with the complex history of Native Americans; with an inheritance of profound spirituality; and with a plague of addiction, abuse and suicide, follows 12 characters, each of whom has private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow.

*Featured in our Book Discussion Collection!

blue dahlia book cover

Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts

Centering around three courageous women, who meet for the first time at a crossroads in their lives, this first installment in a new trilogy follows Stella as she casts aside her fears and finds a special love that she will do anything to protect.

the night watchman book cover

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

A historical novel based on the life of the author’s grandfather traces the experiences of a Chippewa Council night watchman in mid-19th-century rural North Dakota who fights Congress to enforce Native American treaty rights.

The Garden of Evening Mists book cover

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Seeking solace in the Malaysian plantations of her childhood after grueling World War II experiences, criminal prosecutor Yun Ling Teoh discovers a Japanese garden and its enigmatic tender, an exiled Japanese royal gardener who reluctantly accepts her as an apprentice.

Winter Counts book cover

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

A vigilante enforcer on South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation enlists the help of an ex to investigate the activities of an expanding drug cartel, while a new tribal council initiative raises controversial questions.

Rules for Visiting book cover

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane

A talented but reclusive gardener is inspired by her love of classic literature to embark on a female odyssey to reconnect with her four once-close friends through simple activities and digital encounters that unexpectedly catapult her into viral fame.

*Also available as a Books-to-Go Discussion Kit!

Funny Fiction for Adults

Belly laugh, guffaw, chuckle, slap your knee, cackle, chortle, snicker, snort, or simply smile from these funny fiction reads sure to lift your spirits.

Bridgerton: The duke and I (Daphne's story) book cover

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

Banter-filled / Sarcastic

In an effort to keep himself footloose and single in spite of the efforts of the town’s matchmakers, Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, begins a sham courtship with Daphne Bridgerton.

The Sellout Book Cover

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Satirical

A young black man grows up determined to resegregate a portion of an inner city, aided by a former Little Rascals star who volunteers to be his slave. This illegal activity brings him to the attention of the Supreme Court, who must consider the ramifications of this (and other) race-related cases. Readers who can handle provocative language and racial stereotypes will appreciate the glee that Paul Beatty brings to his critique and questioning of black identity. 

Finlay Donovan is Killing It book cover

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Farcical comedy of errors / Tongue-in-cheek

When struggling suspense novelist and single mom Finlay Donovan is mistaken for a contract killer, she inadvertently accepts the offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet, discovering that crime in real life is a lot harder than fiction.

The Woman Who Died A Lot book cover

The Woman Who Died a Lot: Now with 50% Added Subplot by Jasper Fforde

Wacky / Absurd

Forced into semi-retirement after an assassination attempt, Thursday Next finds her recuperation challenged by the personal and professional struggles of her children and Goliath’s constant attempts to replace her with synthetic duplicates.

Dial for Aunties book cover

Dial A for Aunties Jesse Q. Sutanto

Witty banter / Slapstick

Accidentally causing the death of a blind date, Meddy is persuaded by her meddlesome Chinese-Indonesian mother and aunts to dispose of the body, which upends a billionaire’s wedding and Meddy’s reunion with a former flame.

No sunscreen for the dead book cover

No Sunscreen for the Dead by Tim Dorsey

Quirky / Dark humor

Serge’s visit to a scandal-tainted Florida retirement village turns into a Robin Hood-like crusade to save the residents’ stolen funds, an effort challenged by two nosy detectives.

been there, married that book cover

Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie

Wry / Over-the-top

Agnes Murphy Nash is the perfect Hollywood wife – she has the right friends, the right clothes and even a side career of her own as a writer – until her bigshot producer husband decides it is time to end their marriage.

sourdough book cover

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Parody

Enduring a virtually solitary existence working for an ambitious software company, an exhausted coder is bequeathed a sourdough recipe from sibling bakers who are forced to close their shop, a gift that leads to a new vocation, a legal dispute and a venture into a secret market that fuses food with technology.

Anxious People book cover

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Amusing

Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers—including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages and a plucky octogenarian—discover their unexpected common traits.