Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.
Looking at real estate isn't usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can't fix their own marriage. There's a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can't seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment's only bathroom, and you've got the worst group of hostages in the world. Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them--the bank robber included--desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.
Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra.
The March sisters-reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth-have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger. Meg appears to have the life she always planned-the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you've ever wanted isn't all it's cracked up to be. When their mother's illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they'll rediscover what really matters. One thing's for sure-they'll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.
A Better Man by Louise Penny.
It's Gamache's first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter. As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father. Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel..., he resumes the search. As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.
Running on Red Dog Road by Drema Hall Berkheimer.
Gypsies, faith-healers, moonshiners, and snake handlers weave through Drema's childhood in 1940s Appalachia after her father is killed in the coal mines, her mother goes off to work as a Rosie the Riveter, and she is left in the care of devout Pentecostal grandparents. What follows is a spitfire of a memoir that reads like a novel with intrigue, sweeping emotion, and indisputable charm. Drema's coming of age is colored by tent revivals with Grandpa, poetry-writing hobos, and traveling carnivals, and through it all, she serves witness to a multi-generational family of saints and sinners whose lives defy the stereotypes. Just as she defies her own.
Family Road Trip Trivia: Genius Edition by Bradley Blake.
Everyone loves a road trip! One of the best ways to pass time on your adventure and keep the whole family entertained is to spark a little competition. Divide into teams or take these questions on one at a time, keep score, and turn your next road trip into an epic trivia match-up. You can play one chapter at a time and see who wins the most chapters, or you can go for the big win and see who wins the most questions total. It's up to you! Have fun! Before you know it, you will be pulling into your destination, and this may turn out to be one of your favorite memories from the trip.
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis. YA
Katrell can talk to the dead. And she wishes it made more money. She's been able to support her unemployed mother--and Mom's deadbeat-boyfriend-of-the-week--so far, but it isn't enough. Money's still tight, and to complicate things, Katrell has started to draw attention. Not from this world--from beyond. And it comes with a warning: STOP or there will be consequences. Katrell is willing to call the ghosts on their bluff; she has no choice. What do ghosts know of having sleep for dinner? But when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go. Only magic isn't free, and dark forces are coming to collect. Now Katrell faces a choice: resign herself to poverty, or confront the darkness before it's too late.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Here We Make Our Stand by Al Ewing. GN
The new age of space is here! As old tensions explode in the far-off Earth system, the political map of the galaxy is being radically redrawn. Meanwhile, old friends and lovers must redraw the maps of themselves - or tear them up entirely. He used to be the Human Rocket. Now he's a human wreck. Is there any coming back for Nova? And in the wake of EMPYRE, it's time for a nice, peaceful diplomatic conference. As the new ambassador for the Utopian Kree, Marvel Boy makes a solemn promise to be on his best behaviour. So how come his fellow diplomats are being murdered one by one - and it looks like he's the killer?
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