“Christmas at the Restaurant” by Pamela Kelley — “Nantucket’s famous Christmas Stroll is always the first weekend of December and this year sisters Mandy and Emma, and Paul, the executive chef, want to do something extra special for Mimi’s Place, the restaurant they co-own. It will be Emma and Paul’s first Christmas together as a couple and Mandy’s first holiday as a newly single and divorced mother of two. Although Mandy does have a promising new relationship, she wants to take things very slow. Their sister Jill and her new husband, Billy, are planning to spend the whole month of December on Nantucket too, juggling working remotely for the executive search firm they own together in Manhattan and relaxing and spending time with family and helping out at the restaurant too. And Gina, one of their best servers and bartender, is spending her first winter on Nantucket and it’s a bit of an adjustment. Winters on Nantucket are so much quieter than the city life she was used to. She’s even more confused when someone she had a major crush on back in the city moves to Nantucket. Suddenly her boring winter is starting to look a lot more interesting.” — Amazon.com
“Fifty Words for Rain” by Asha Lemmie — Daughter of a married Japanese aristocrat and her African American GI lover, Nori struggles to seek acceptance in post-World War II Japan, even as she is hidden away in the attic of her grandparents’ imperial estate and forced to take chemical baths to lighten her skin. The arrival of her half-brother provides her with an unexpected ally. In-house excitement over this debut.” — LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2020.
“Mistress of the Ritz” by Melanie Benjamin — “This impeccably researched, lyrically told historical about a brash American woman and her French husband during WWII is a remarkable achievement. . . . Benjamin skillfully weaves in a host of historical figures—including Coco Chanel, alleged to be a Nazi sympathizer, and Ernest Hemingway—whose vibrant presences make Benjamin’s protagonists and engaging group of supporting characters shine all the more. Even readers who aren’t big fans of historical fiction might be swayed by this outstanding tale.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The Hotel” by Pamela Kelley — “The Whitley was Nantucket’s most exclusive hotel. …If you worked in the hospitality industry, landing a job at The Whitley was the ultimate goal. Many of the staff had lived and worked there for years. There were strict rules about the staff keeping their distance from both the guests and the family. But sometimes, rules were broken. No one is more surprised than Paula Whitley when her grandfather, Wynn Whitley, the founder of the hotel and many other business holdings, makes two big announcements. He is promoting Paula from her quiet behind the scenes role handling the accounting, to being in charge of everything. The rest of the family, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and parents, are stunned and not everyone is happy about it. And the second big announcement–she’s expected to work closely with a newly-hired consultant, a turnaround expert in luxury hotels. Paula dislikes David Connolly immediately. He’s arrogant and bossy and annoyingly right most of the time. She’d be loving her new role, if it wasn’t for him. And everyone, family and staff are wondering–what is grandfather’s goal? Is he looking to sell The Whitley?” — Baker & Taylor
“The Maid” by Nita Prose — “Prose threads a steady needle with the intricate plotting, the locked-room elements of the mystery, and especially Molly’s character. . . . The reader comes to understand Molly’s worldview, and to sympathize with her longing to be accepted—a quest that gives The Maid real emotional heft.”—The New York Times Book Review
“The Restaurant” by Pamela Kelley — “Three sisters. An inherited Nantucket restaurant. One year before they can sell.Mandy, Emma and Jill are as close as three sisters who live hundreds of miles apart can be…. When their beloved grandmother, Rose Ferguson passes peacefully in her sleep a week before her ninety-ninth birthday she leaves them quite a surprise. In addition to her Nantucket home, they learned that she was the silent owner of Mimi’s Place, one of Nantucket’s most popular year-round restaurants. There is of course, a catch–she left the restaurant equally to Mandy, Emma, and Jill–and also to Paul, the chef for the past twelve years.And before they can sell, all three girls need to work at the restaurant for a period of one year–or else their shares will go to Paul–who was also Emma’s first love. Three sisters inherit a Nantucket restaurant and must work together for a year–or lose their shares to the chef. Paul was Emma’s first love, and now he’s their business partner.” — Amazon.com
“The Trees” by Percival Everett — “Everett has mastered the movement between unspeakable terror and knockout comedy.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“The Violin Conspiracy” by Brendan Slocumb — “[A] gripping debut. . . . Slocumb sensitively portrays Ray’s resilience in the face of extreme racism. The author is off to a promising start.” — Publishers Weekly
“To Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara — “We are given a patriarch, wealth, children; there is an arranged marriage, an inheritance, a true love, a class divide and a significant twist. Deftly paced and judiciously detailed, the tale makes hay with the conventions of the 19th-century novel. But that’s not all. With breathtaking audacity Yanagihara rewrites America….Yanagihara masterfully repurposes themes, situations and motifs…This ambitious novel tackles major American questions and answers them in an original, engrossing way. It has a major feel. But it is finally in [its] minor moments that Yanagihara shows greatness.” – Gish Jen, The New York Times Book Review(cover review)
“Violeta” by Isabel Allende — “Another gift of epic storytelling . . . A Long Petal of the Sea is a love story for these times.” —NPR
“Bee People and the Bugs They Love” by Frank Mortimer — “…it is an achievement to convey so much knowledge so accessibly without once seeming overbearing. The main reason it all works is the honest descriptions of friendships that spring up around a shared, all-absorbing interest in bees. And Mortimer intersperses useful facts about his passion in a successful and funny book that is sure to swell the ranks of the world’s beekeepers.” –New York Times
“Greek Myths: A New Retelling” by Charlotte Higgins — “Chief culture writer at the Guardian and winner of the Classical Association Prize, Higgins takes a fresh look at Greek myths, retold throughout the millennia given their unerring understanding of the human condition. Higgins works from the perspective of women, from goddesses to witches to wives, mothers, and daughters, as if they were weaving these stories together into one grand tapestry. Illustrator Ofili has exhibited at the Tate Britain and New York’s New Museum. Big in-house love.” — Barbara Hoffert. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2021.
“The Monastic Heart: 50 Simple Practices for a Contemplative and Fulfilling Life” by Joan Chittister — “[An] impeccable guide . . . Filled with many suggestions for ways to forge greater connections with one’s community and God’s will, Chittister’s program will serve as a powerful corrective to those looking to slow down.” —Publishers Weekly
“Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery” by Mark Charles — “This sobering critique presents a disturbing yet welcome analysis of how the Doctrine of Discovery has split American church and society along racial lines, and makes a powerful argument for engaging in national dialogue around issues of class, gender, and race.” — Publishers Weekly, October 14, 2019
“Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America” by John McWhorter — “Honest commentary about racial controversies is rare, and John McWhorter is a writer who can be counted on to provide it. Woke Racism is a heartfelt evisceration of the sloppy thinking that forms the foundation of so much social justice activism today. It’s an essential contribution to our national discussion about racial inequality, and McWhorter’s willingness to put unvarnished truth above politically correct niceties deserves our gratitude.”—Jason L. Riley, Wall Street Journal columnist and author of “Maverick”
“Bird” by Zetta Elliott — “Bird, an artistic young African-American boy, expresses himself through drawing as he struggles to understand his older brother’s drug addiction and death, while a family friend, Uncle Son, provides guidance and understanding.” — Atlas Publishing