Tuesday, May 28, 2024

New Releases: June 2024 Edition

Check out these highly anticipated new releases featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Click on the title to request a copy or get your name on the waitlist. Don’t forget to watch for more featured releases next month!


Little Library of Banned Books by Kirsten Miller.  Lula Dean, a restless empty nester who’s starved for attention, finds purpose by banning books she deems inappropriate for children, among them Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Furthering her crusade, Lula stocks a makeshift lending library in front of her house with “appropriate” titles like The Southern Belle’s Guide to Etiquette. Lindsay Underwood, a lesbian teen, takes action by sneaking banned books into the lending library under the cover of dust jackets belonging to Lula’s approved books. As various townspeople read the works Lula meant to ban, they start changing their lives and the town for the better (a formerly subservient woman outs her husband for secretly collecting Nazi memorabilia; a high school football star comes to accept his gay older brother; and a group of teens rally against the town’s Confederate monuments). The story climaxes with a heated race for town mayor between Lindsay’s mother, Beverly, who vehemently opposes the book bans, and Lula. WME. (June)  Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly.

The Ballard of Jacquotte Delahaye by Briony Cameron.  Cameron debuts with an exciting and multidimensional story inspired by the women pirates who sailed the Caribbean in the 17th century. Jacquotte Delahaye, who is of Haitian and French descent, defies societal gender norms by learning to become a skilled shipwright in Yaquimo, Santo Domingo. Her occupation nurtures her soul as she copes with an alcoholic father, who has been thrown out of the French aristocracy, and cares for her disabled younger brother, who has trouble sleeping through the night . . . Jacquotte flees with a group of refugees but they are captured at sea by the loathsome Captain Blackhand, who makes them indentured servants aboard his pirate ship The Marauder. Though Jacquotte didn’t choose the life of a pirate, she embraces it as a path toward regaining her freedom. . . This fiery feminist adventure shows what legends are made of.  Agent: Rebecca Wearmouth, PFD. (June) Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly.

The Road to the Country by Chigozie Obioma.  Set in Nigeria in the late 1960s, The Road to the Country is the epic story of a shy, bookish student haunted by long-held guilt who must go to war to free himself. When his younger brother disappears as the country explodes in civil war, Kunle must set out on an impossible rescue mission. Kunle’s search for his brother becomes a journey of atonement that will see him conscripted into the breakaway Biafran army and forced to fight a war he hardly understands, all while navigating the prophecies of a local Seer, he who marks Kunle as an abami eda—one who will die and return to life.  The story of a young man seeking redemption in a country on fire, Chigozie Obioma’s novel is an odyssey of brotherhood, love, and unimaginable courage set during one of the most devastating conflicts in the history of Africa. Intertwining myth and realism into a thrilling, inspired, and emotionally powerful novel. From the publisher.


I've Tried Being Nice: Essays by Ann Leary.  This winning essay collection from novelist Leary (The Foundling) riffs on the trifles and tribulations of her life. The title essay describes her efforts to stop being a people pleaser, offering a comical account of how she worked up the gumption to confront a woman whose off-leash dogs habitually agitated Leary’s. Self-deprecating humor is a near constant throughout, as in “Coming of Age,” where Leary recounts how she temporarily stopped dyeing her gray hair when she was in her early 50s… Leary discusses her alcoholism and discovering as an adult her uncle and grandmother’s troubled pasts, but lighthearted commentary predominates…The humor lands and the lithe prose elevates Leary’s musings on life’s mundanities. This is a gem. Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly.

A Gentleman and a Thief:The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue by Dean Job.  Jobb follows up The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream with a top-shelf work of true crime focused on lovestruck “gentleman thief” Arthur Barry (1896–1981). A con artist since his teens, Barry returned to New York City after serving in WWI and used the city’s Social Register to identify targets for a spate of jewel thefts from 1920 to 1927. During the same period that he was slipping in and out of second-story windows belonging to Manhattan’s rich and famous, Barry met and fell in love with young widow Anna Blake. After the two were married, Blake began assisting Barry in his criminal activities. When authorities finally caught Barry in 1927, he confessed to several crimes Blake had committed in order to spare her jail time. While Barry was incarcerated, Blake was diagnosed with cancer, and he staged a prison riot to escape and be with her until she died. After his subsequent arrest, return to prison, and parole, Barry became a minor celebrity. Jobb tells Barry’s tale with both rigor and pathos, painting a tender portrait of a crook who was never fearsome (one victim described him as “charming”). This is liable to steal readers’ hearts. Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly.

Sing Like Fish: How SoundRules Life Under Water by Amorina Kingdon.  “The ocean is not and has never been a silent place,” ... Delving into the anatomy of underwater hearing… Kingdon’s descriptions are as edifying as they are evocative, as when she writes of her attempts to record the hubbub of Cape Cod’s Bass River: “The cusk-eel chorus rises highest, each voice chattering over another, accompanied by a gentle chorus of toadfish boops, layered like synthesizer notes.” Nature enthusiasts will be troubled by her discussion of how shipping, sonar, and powerful undersea air guns used to search for oil and gas reserves are dramatically disrupting marine life. This will open readers’ eyes, and ears, to a heretofore hidden world. Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly.