Spot-Lit for July 2016

Spot-Lit

These titles – from established, emerging, and debut authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases for July, based on advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2016 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction
Most Popular Books @ EPL

Spot-Lit for June 2016

Spot-Lit

These titles – from honored, established, emerging, and new authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases for June, based on a consensus of advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

With so many strong debuts again this month, we’re giving them their own space below.

Notable New Fiction 2016 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction.

Spot-Lit for May 2016

Spot-Lit

These titles – from honored, established, emerging, new, and under-the-radar authors – are some of the most anticipated new releases of the month, based on a consensus of advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2016 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction.

Seattle Events in Truth and Fiction

Here are two new book reviews from Sarah about events in the Emerald city. Make sure to check out our Facebook page for more reviews from Sarah and the latest happenings at Everett Public Library.

While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness by Eli Sanders

whilethecitysleptIn 2009, Isaiah Kalebu broke into a home in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, and brutally raped and attempted to kill two women, Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper.  While the women were able to escape, Teresa’s injuries were fatal, and Jennifer survived as the only witness.

This is a true crime story, but journalist Eli Sanders does something more than report the horrific facts. He investigates the backstory of Teresa and Jennifer’s lives, tells how they met and fell in love, and details the planning of their upcoming nuptials.

Sanders then delves into Isaiah’s story. He recounts how his parents’ turbulent and violent marriage dissolved. He talks of family members increased concern over Isaiah’s welfare and ability to deal with reality. Throughout the years there were many attempts at intervention to get Isaiah help for mental instability. As Isaiah grows into a young adult, he is plagued by delusions, possibly inherited from his mother’s side, where many struggled with schizophrenia and other afflictions. He never receives any formal psychiatric intervention.

What Sanders tries to do is to rationalize how Isaiah may have ended up in Teresa and Jennifer’s house. And look at what resources may have been able to prevent such a violent and terrible act.

With reduced budgets, and strained workloads, it’s utterly disturbing to realize the inadequacies of our mental health and court systems. Sanders eloquently blasts the systems that failed to prevent Isaiah from his crimes, and ultimately failed to protect Teresa and Jennifer.

This book is deemed to be an unfortunate new classic in true crime writing, with an overpowering sense of love between two women, and a rational voice for change.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

yourheartisamuscleThis is hands down one of the best books published in 2016 so far.

This book is set against the backdrop of the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, back in 1999. Sunil Yapa invokes empathy and consideration for all sides involved. Victor, a young nomad, is back in Seattle, after traveling the world and objecting to injustice. He’s at the protests to make a statement and sell as much weed as possible. A young anarchist couple, dedicated to treating pepper spray victims, are on the scene to help the wounded. The police chief is in over his head, and two of his on-duty officers interpret the protesters in extremely contrasting ways. One of the WTO delegates, a representative from Sri Lanka, paints a sobering picture of his country’s peril, and of his overwhelming desire to help his constituency.

Yapa’s plot builds substantially, as the violence in the protests escalates. His character’s flaws are revealed with superb timing, and he does a great job of describing Seattle’s downtown core.

Everyone involved in the protests had a valid reason for their participation. Seeing the other point of view is not a simple task, but one he does with grace among a day filled with angst.

Spot-Lit for April 2016

Spot-Lit

These titles are some of the most anticipated new releases coming out in April, based on a consensus of advance reviews and book world enthusiasm. This month’s top pick is Alice and Oliver by Charles Bock, a tale of successful young New Yorkers, new parents of a baby girl, suddenly facing mortality – inspired by Bock’s late first wife’s illness.

Northwest author Jim Lynch has a new book set in Olympia, and for those of you looking for new talent, the last seven titles in the gallery below are all stand-out first novels.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2016 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction.

Spot-Lit for March 2016

Spot-Lit

These titles are some of the most anticipated new releases for March, based on a consensus of advance reviews and book world enthusiasm.

This month’s top pick, Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta, is about three women (two are longtime friends and makers of very different types of films) and the slippery realms of identity, friendship, and artistic expression in our technological times.

Click here to see all of these titles in the Everett Public Library catalog, where you can read reviews or summaries and place holds. Or click on a book cover below to enlarge it, or to view the covers as a slide show.

Notable New Fiction 2016 (to date) | All On-Order Fiction.

The Mad Woman Upstairs

madwomanEnjoy my review of The Mad Woman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell which published today on March 1st.

This book was not something I would normally have read. But the cover said it is a mystery, a love story and a very dark comedy. Since I do normally read mysteries, I thought I’d give it a go. This is Catherine’s first book.

I’m glad I did! It wasn’t the typical ‘who dunnit’ type of mystery. The story is about Samantha Whipple, the last descendant of the Bröntes. All her life her father has read and discussed their novels with her; emphasizing certain passages and family traits, preparing her to find her family’s lost inheritance. She goes off to Old College (Oxford) where her father wanted her to go…. The mystery here is twofold – first, why was it so important for her to go there, and secondly what is the inheritance he wanted her to find? The romance is one-sided (or is it?) between her and her professor.

I admit I haven’t ever read any of the Bröntes’ works, but after reading this book and getting to know them and a little of their history, I feel like I want to read them now!