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.

A Sudden Light (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781439187036
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster, 9/2014

Fourteen year old Trevor Riddell travels with his father, Jones, to the family's estate in the Pacific Northwest. Overlooking Puget Sound, the Riddell House was built by Trevor's great, great grandfather with the wealth he amassed from his timber company. Bankrupt Jones is returning home after a 23 year absence to help his sister, Serena, put their Alzheimer's stricken father in a nursing home and sell the family estate to developers so that they can receive the profits from the sale. There are, however, mysterious goings on, secret rooms hiding long lost diaries which contain deeply buried stories that need to be told, and the ghostly appearances of relatives who have plans of their own. Trevor discovers that the house won't rest until the truth is told. – Martha

ISBN-13: 9780399167911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel, 10/2014

Oliver Jeffers has created an expanded alphabet book with a story about each letter. Hilarious, wry and visually arresting - this is the perfect read-aloud, read-alone and Christmas gift. I am giving it to each of my nieces this season! – Cathy

Atlantia (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780525426448
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Juvenile, 10/2014

Although Rio and her twin sister, Bay, live in the beautiful underwater city of Atlantia, Rio has always dreamed of going Above, where few people live and struggle for survival. But she’s promised her sister they will stay together in Altantia, and that promise means more after their mother’s sudden, mysterious death. When they turn fifteen, however, Bay chooses Above, leaving Rio in Atlantia, struggling to figure out what happened and how she can join her sister on the surface. This stand-alone novel is perfect for fans of Condie’s Matched series who are in grades 7 and up. – Cathy

The Face of Texas (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780292763135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Texas Press, 10/2014

Newly updated with fascinating stories about everyday Texans, famous Texans, and many in between, this art book will be perfect on the coffee table. The iconic Willie Nelson graces the cover. Get signed copies this week when the author and photographer come to West Houston Community Center as part of an ongoing speaker series. – Valerie

ISBN-13: 9780553418842
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth, 10/2014

​In the very near future, Rev. Peter Leigh is invited by an organization known as USIC to travel to its outpost on a distant planet, Oasis, where he will minister to the native population in a nearby settlement. As he moves in with the Oasans, starts to build a church, and attempts to get to know the human-like beings, Peter comes to understand that his role, as seen by USIC's administration as well as its empathy-lacking, utilitarian-minded employees on Oasis, is something more than teaching Christianity to the natives. – 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

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

Rites of Passage (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780062295194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Teen, 9/2014

Sam McKenna, the only daughter in a famed military family, is among the first class of women entering Denmark Military Academy (DMA). She fully expects the physical hardships as well as the hostility, but she did not expect the brutal hazing and unrelenting threats. When a secret society is determined to drive the women from DMA, it takes everything Sam has to make it through. A tense thriller for grades 8 and up. – Cathy

Backhoe Joe (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780062250155
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins Publishers, 9/2014

Nolan loves big machines and he's always wanted a pet. Enter Backhoe Joe, seemingly without a "home.” Nolan's parents insist that prior to bringing Joe home to live with them, he must be properly trained. Backhoe Joe is a cute little book that your lovers of all things construction will love. Perfect bedtime story for your sweet boy. – Julia

The Paying Guests (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781594633119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 9/2014

After the deaths of her two brothers in WWI and her father shortly afterwards, Frances Wray and her mother are forced, for financial reasons, to let their maid go and to open their London home to lodgers. A young couple moves in, Lillian and Leonard Barber, and over the next few months, Frances finds her life changed by her relationship with them. She and Lillian become friends and then start a secret love affair. Halfway through the novel, an accident occurs, followed by a police investigation, and tension begins to build as this romance novel turns into a taut psychological drama. The sometimes excruciatingly detailed descriptions of the characters' actions contribute to the intensity of the drama that unfolds as Frances and Lillian confront moral and ethical issues that challenge their relationship and their perspectives on right and wrong. Waters writes masterfully about the seamy and sordid things that happen in proper society, and her new novel does not disappoint. Recommended. –Alice

ISBN-13: 9780399162428
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Putnam Juvenile, 5/2014

In Rick Yancy’s follow-up to The Fifth Wave, it’s the dead of winter, and the human survivors are holed up at Cassie and Evan’s pre-arranged rendezvous point just four miles from Camp Haven. Evan has not shown up. Ringer has left to scout out safer living conditions in the caverns nearby and has not returned. Teacup has gone missing. Vosch is still out there. Not only are the Others using the weather to wipe out humanity, they have an even more lethal weapon of destruction. Remember Rule #1: Trust no one. Every bit as exciting as the first book, The Infinite Sea will leave readers 7th grade and above breathless and desperate for book three! —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: 9780385353304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf, 9/2014

Arthur Leander, a thrice-divorced fading movie star, falls dead of a heart attack while performing as King Lear on the Toronto stage. Within days, most of humanity is wiped out by the highly contagious Georgia flu. Thus begins the story of survival for the people who were lucky enough (or not?) to be spared. Switching between post and pre-flu times, most of the characters' lives have some connection to Arthur's. While dangers abound, including many from the cult led by the "Prophet," most people are trying to make their way, by hunting, growing, and foraging in abandoned houses. The Traveling Symphony group moves from one area to the next, performing Shakespeare and symphonic music, and a community has formed at the Severn City airport. Older survivors swap stories of what it was like with cell phones, the Internet, and airplane travel, not to mention electricity and running water. This is not a post-apocalyptic story of warriors but rather a thoughtful character study and a questioning look at what makes a civilization. I loved it! -Cynthia