Five Book Friday!

And we wanted to remind you, beloved patrons, that the Friends of the Library are again selling beautiful geranium and impatiens plants, just in time for Mother’s Day and
Memorial Day.  The money raised from these sales will be used to help the Peabody Institute Libraries to offer some of the best programs and services in the area.   You can find the form on our website, in person at the Library, or right here, by clicking this link.

Orders must be prepaid and received at the Main Library by Wednesday, May 8. Plants may be picked up at the Main Library on Saturday, May 11. Make checks payable to: Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries.  You can then deliver or mail the form to any one of our libraries.  Thank you for your assistance, and we sincerely hope your flowers bring you color and joy!

And now, on to the books!

Boy Swallows Universe: Trent Dalton’s debut is being celebrated by authors and critics across the country for its realistic depiction of Australia in the 1980’s, along side a fantastical story about the power of love in its many forms. Eli Bell’s life is complicated. His father is lost, his mother is in jail, and his stepdad is a heroin dealer. The most steadfast adult in Eli’s life is Slim—a notorious felon and national record-holder for successful prison escapes—who watches over Eli and August, his silent genius of an older brother. Exiled from the people who may be able to help him, Eli is just trying to follow his heart, learn what it takes to be a good man, and train for a glamorous career in journalism. Life, however, insists on throwing obstacles in Eli’s path—most notably Tytus Broz, Brisbane’s legendary drug dealer. But the real trouble lies ahead. Eli is about to fall in love, face off against truly bad guys, and fight to save his mother from a certain doom—all before starting high school. A novel about friendship, brotherhood, family, and romance, this is a story that earned a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, who said it “makes the typical coming-of-age novel look bland by comparison…In less adept hands, these antics might descend into whimsy, but Dalton’s broadly observant eye, ability to temper pathos with humor, and thorough understanding of the mechanics of plot prevent the novel from breaking into sparkling pieces…This is an outstanding debut.”

In the Night of Memory: Linda LeGarde Grover’s introduces readers to a new generation of the Gallette family she crafted in her other words, and deals with the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, the trauma of loss, and the long and painful history of Native/American women in the United States in a beautiful and wonderfully accessible manner. When Loretta surrenders her young girls to the county and then disappears, she becomes one more missing Native woman in Indian Country’s long devastating history of loss. Habsence haunts all the lives she has touched—and all the stories they tell in this novel. After a string of foster placements, from cold to kind to cruel, Azure and Rain, Loretta’s two daughters, find their way back to their extended Mozhay family, and a new set of challenges, and stories, unfolds, creating a nuanced, moving, often humorous picture of two Ojibwe girls becoming women in light of this lesson learned in the long, sharply etched shadow of Native American history.  This is a powerful, heart-rending, but ultimately, uplifting book that Ms. Magazine celebrated for the way it “brings together themes of missing women, family and community, complicated histories and collective wisdoms.”

Loch of the Dead: Readers of Oscar De Muriel’s McGray and Frey series can delight in this fourth mystery, which brings a boatload of gothic atmosphere and a fun, twisty adventure for the two sleuths to solve. A mysterious woman pleads for the help of our devoted  Inspectors. Her son, illegitimate scion of the Koloman family, has received an anonymous death threat―right after learning he is to inherit the best part of a vast wine-producing estate. In exchange for their protection, she offers McGray the ultimate cure for his sister, who has been locked in an insane asylum after brutally murdering their parents: the miraculous waters that spring from a small island in the remote Loch Maree. The island has been a sacred burial ground since the time of the druids, but the legends around it will turn out to be much darker than McGray could have expected. Murder and increasingly bizarre happenings will intermingle throughout this trip to the Highlands, before Frey and McGray learn a terrible truth.  Nothing is what is seems in this book, and readers will be hard-pressed to guess what is coming next–or to keep from turning pages to discover the next revelation!  Kirkus Reviews gave this book a stellar review, describing it as “Steeped in history, myth, and medical lore, murky as the deepest loch, miles from the remotest civilizing forces, this provides all the thrills of an amusement-park concession for grown-ups who want to test their limits.”

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming: In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await—food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today. Frightening, but also deeply informative, this book is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation. Indeed, The New York Times called it “the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet.”

Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse RaceAt the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”―an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she decided to enter the race. As she boarded a plane to East Asia, she was utterly unprepared for what awaited her.  Riders often spend years preparing to compete in the Mongol Derby, a course that re-creates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan, and many fail to finish. Prior-Palmer had no formal training. She was driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses. She raced for ten days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each dawn she rode out again on a fresh horse, scrambling up mountains, swimming through rivers, crossing woodlands and wetlands, arid dunes and open steppe, as American television crews chased her in their jeeps.  Told in breathtaking, breathless prose, this is the story of one young woman who forged ahead, against all odds, to become the first female winner of this amazing race.  Kirkus Reviews called this tale “Feisty and exhilarating . . . Horse lovers will adore this inspiring and spirited memoir.”


Until next week, beloved patrons–Happy Reading!

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