What We're Reading Now

We're always on the lookout for wonderful new books, from picture books to adult, from light to literary.  Take a look at some of our current favorites, featured on the What We're Reading table this month.

That Part Was True (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781455573653
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing, 2/2014

When Englishwoman Eve Pentworth writes a fan letter to author Jackson Cooper, she begins a friendship that endures his romantic travails as well as her daughter's impending marriage. Both have struggled to find a relationship -- he, by holding himself apart, and she, almost literally shutting herself away in the family home. Through their letters, they provide each other understanding and affection. A charming story! – Cathy

ISBN-13: 9780399256677
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books, 8/2014

While we may not be preparing to hibernate, we can relate to the journey of friendship between Beatrice the bunny and her friend Bear. Beatrice hates the thought of not seeing her friend for such a long time, so she hatches a plan on how to capture her time away from him. Adorable illustrations make this a very sweet read-aloud. – Valerie

Lucky Us (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781400067244
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House, 8/2014

“My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.” And suddenly Iris’s and Eva’s lives become forever entwined as each discovers the half-sister she never knew. As WWII rages in the background, the teenaged girls embark on a cross-country journey that takes them from the glamour of Hollywood to the golden mansions of Long Island. Along the way, the girls cling to one another in a newly forged friendship that allows them to survive bitter disappointment, searing betrayal, crushing failures and exhilarating triumphs. Readers can’t help but be swept up into the journey as the vivacious, tenacious sisters pursue their dreams with reckless abandon. – Martha

The Young World (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316226295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 7/2014

It’s post-apocalyptic New York, and “The Sickness” has killed adults and children; only the teens survive. Think Lord of the Flies in Manhattan. When his brother turns 18 and dies, Jefferson takes the lead in his tribe, located in Washington Square Park. He and a few friends hear rumors of a cure, and they journey through the city to determine whether the rumors are true. Weitz’s skills as a film director and screenwriter come into play as he creates a believable world that leaves readers begging for more! For grades 9 and up. – Cathy

ISBN-13: 9780804136631
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown, 7/2014

Philby was an upper class, Cambridge educated journalist who decided, at age 21, to devote his life to communism. Landing a job with the British intelligence service during WWII, he embarked on a long and successful career as a double agent, gathering intelligence for the British and forwarding it on to the Soviets. MacIntyre focuses on the British class system and the old boy network that pervaded M16 in the middle of the 20th century, exploring the careers of several of Philby's friends in the British secret service, those who refused for a long time to believe that one of them could have betrayed his country as Philby did. This is an amazing story, gripping and well-written, that tries to answer the questions: How could an intelligent person believe so strongly and with such discipline in Soviet Communism? And how did he get away with his double life successfully for so long?-- Alice

ISBN-13: 9781596439092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press, 6/2014

In the small town of Healy, Texas, rumors fly and grow exponentially after Alice Franklin is linked romantically with both Tommy Cray and local football hero Brandon Fitzsimmons and allegedly causes the latter’s death in a car accident. Told through the perspectives of Brandon’s best friend, his on-and-off-again girlfriend, his nerdy next-door neighbor, and Alice’s former friend, each character justifies their actions and inaction in the ostracizing of Alice, and from there, the whole truth about Alice unfolds. This fabulous debut is from local author Jen Mathieu, and is best for grades 9 and up. – Jennifer

ISBN-13: 9780545525527
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books, 5/2014

Jackson Greene is known for his antics, but he’s been on his best behavior now for four whole months. He is one act away from being expelled from school, and more importantly, Gaby de la Cruz hasn’t spoken to him since his last stunt. However, when it becomes apparent that the Student Council election is rigged and the budgets for their favorite clubs are at risk, Jackson comes out of retirement to assemble a crack crew and concoct an elaborate plan to expose the culprit…and maybe win the girl. For grades 5 and up. – Jennifer

Conversion (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780399167775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Putnam Juvenile, 7/2014

Senior year at St. Joan’s Academy in Danvers, Massachusetts, is incredibly stressful. A top choice for high-achieving girls, there is a constant competition for class rank, college admission and boys. One day, Clara collapses in a seizure, and within weeks more girls exhibit the same symptoms, seemingly without a cause. Howe weaves a tense thriller, alternating between current day and 18th century Salem, Massachusetts. It’s a rich story and a very worthwhile read for grades 8 and up. – Cathy

ISBN-13: 9780316070294
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 7/2014

Bobby has a problem at school. His teacher, Ms. Kirby, is a monster. Of course, the fact that he's mischievous has something to do with it. One day, Bobby is at the park and sees Ms. Kirby. After he helps her find her hat, he begins to realize that maybe she's not as much of a monster as he thought. Peter Brown masterfully illustrates a story familiar to any student! For ages 4 and up. – Cathy

Em and the Big Hoom (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780143124764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 6/2014

The 17-year old narrator and his older sister, Susan, live with their parents, Imelda and Augustine (Em and the Big Hoom), "in a small flat in a city of small flats" in India. Em is bipolar, and, with a certain degree of regularity, she changes from a loving, quirky, fun-loving woman to a hateful, grotesque and suicidal stranger. As he tries to deal with his mother's double nature, the narrator explores -- through letters and questioning his mother in her more lucid moments-- his mother's early relationship with his father. This is a very touching story, told with the lovely language of Indian English, the quirkiness of which belies the poignancy of the narrative. Recommended. –Alice

ISBN-13: 9780062008190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books, 5/2014

Sand, the son of a blacksmith, wakes up in the fireplace of the Sundered Castle, a castle surrounded by impenetrable thorns, a castle the villagers have long since forgotten about, a castle in which every bit and piece has been rent into pieces and in which nothing grows…except the thorny hedge that prevents escape. Frightened and alone, Sand sets to putting the castle to rights when Princess Perrotte—who died twenty years ago—appears. Together they must unlock the secrets of the castle’s curse. – Jennifer

Dog vs. Cat (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316238014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 5/2014

Mr. Button brings a dog home. Mrs. Button brings a cat home. The two must (hilariously) work together. And you can guess what will happen when the Buttons bring someone else home. Great illustrations make this a delightful story. – Valerie

One Plus One (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780525426585
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pamela Dorman Books, 7/2014

Jess has been working two jobs since her husband left two years ago, so she has little time to spend with her daughter Tanzie and stepson Nicky. Tanzie is a bit awkward, but she has a gift with math equations. Nicky, meanwhile, has a Goth look and keeps getting beat up by the Fischer boys. They meet Ed Nicholls, who has a successful software company but is dealing with some major issues of his own. When Ed, on a whim, offers to drive the family, including slobbering dog Norman, to Scotland for Tanzie's Math Olympiad, things get crazier but somehow better for everyone involved. At least for a while. JoJo Moyes writes a heartwarming tale about love, decisions--and math. – Cynthia