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Jade's Reviews

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

This is the story of the American Dream gone awry. Don and Mimi Gilbert want only the best for their 12 children. But in adolescence their eldest, golden son begins exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia, and it’s only a matter of time before several of his brother’s follow suit. Fascinating and heart-wrenching, Kolker’s interviews with the family and his research on the topic illustrate just how little is understood about an illness that afflicts so many. — Jade

This book is part of our Spring Reading Challenge. Read more here.

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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525562641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - March 2nd, 2021

Four Lost Cities by Annalee Newitz

Much has been written about the destruction of Pompeii, the “discovery” of Angkor; but what of those cities in their prime? What about the people who lived there? Newitz spent years traveling the world, researching, excavating, and speaking with experts in order to glean a deeper understanding of ancient cities and the lives of their citizens. Educational and engaging, Four Lost Cities is both an enjoyable history lesson and a call to take care of the cities of today, before they too fall into ruin. — Jade

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Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393652666
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 2nd, 2021

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

Young, fun, and ambitious, Jaoud’s entire world was knocked from its axis when she was diagnosed with leukemia at just 22 years old. Thrust into a life of grueling treatment, confinement, and total dependence, her struggle didn’t end with the remission of her disease. Taking to the road, she embarked on a post-cancer road trip to visit people who wrote to her during her illness, looking for a new sense of self along the way. A gifted writer, Jaoud’s story is immersive and her descriptions of grief and loss are profoundly moving. — Jade

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Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399588587
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 9th, 2021

The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

I had high expectations for this book, and I was not disappointed. Thanh Nguyen is back with the dark wit, clever writing, and deeply flawed characters he’s so good at. Picking up where The Sympathizer left off, we follow our still nameless narrator to Paris, where he quickly begins a life of crime. Besieged by multiple personalities and haunted by ghosts from his past, our narrator is not necessarily reliable, but he is chock full of philosophical commentary. —Jade

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The Committed Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802157065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - March 2nd, 2021

One by One by Ruth Ware

In this latest offering, Ware employs her winning formula: an isolated setting, a diverse cast of characters, and a narrator with a secret. A company retreat goes horribly awry when an avalanche traps the vacationers in their chalet. Cut off from the rest of the world, their predicament quickly worsens as people start to turn up murdered. It becomes clear that one of the people trapped in the chalet is the killer, and with no clear suspect, the vacationers don’t know who to trust. Ware’s engaging writing and clever plot twists had me on the edge of my seat once again. — Jade

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One by One Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501188817
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - September 8th, 2020

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper

In January 1969, Harvard graduate student Jane Britton was found murdered in her apartment. Despite several leads, the case was still unsolved when Becky Cooper happened upon it 50 years later. Though she had no training or special connections to speak of, Cooper dedicated the next decade of her life to finding Britton’s killer. Extraordinarily well researched and thoughtfully told, this book has all the thrill and suspense that characterize true crime while managing to steer clear of the sensationalism and insensitivity that often cheapen the genre. — Jade

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We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538746837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 10th, 2020

Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema by Lindy West

Like many of us, Lindy West loves pointing out plot holes and picking movies apart almost as much as she loves watching them. Unlike many of us, West used to be a professional film critic, lending merit to her commentary. Each chapter focuses on a different classic and often beloved film, summarizing the plot while also pointing out everything that’s wrong with it. This might sound like a bit of a negative premise, but it’s all in good fun and West makes some truly hilarious observations. The book isn’t groundbreaking but it will make you laugh A LOT. — Jade

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Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316449823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - October 20th, 2020

How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America Edited by Sara Sinclair

This collection of narratives illustrates the diverse experiences of indigenous North Americans and the many obstacles they face. Sinclair has accumulated remarkable stories from indigenous people across the continent—at Standing Rock, at Yale, and beyond. While the statistics in many Native communities are grim, the people are not. The individuals featured in this book have accomplished much despite the institutional racism, neglect, and poverty doled out to them by the powers that be. I came out of this book enraged and inspired.  — Jade

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How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America (Voice of Witness) Cover Image
By Sara Sinclair (Editor)
ISBN: 9781642592719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - October 13th, 2020

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Twenty-eight-year-old Gifty is a brilliant grad student at Stanford with a promising career ahead of her. Raised in poverty in Alabama and the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, Gifty projects the image of an American success story. But when her depressed, elderly mother comes to stay with her, painful memories begin to resurface and cracks start to emerge in her stoic facade. Flitting between past and present, Gyasi tackles some very heavy themes; death, abandonment, racism, and the opioid crisis all come into play. Beautiful and heart wrenching, Gyasi’s sophomore novel does not disappoint. — Jade

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Transcendent Kingdom: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525658184
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Knopf - September 1st, 2020

An Onion in My Pocket by Deborah Madison

Beloved cookbook author Deborah Madison, famous for her vegetarian cooking, has influenced generations of home cooks. Madison takes a deeper dive with this memoir, sharing scenes from her childhood, her time as a Zen practitioner, and the years she spent as a chef. She also muses about the importance of food throughout her life and what vegetarianism means to her.  Madison’s writing is transporting and deeply nostalgic, offering a look back at the genesis of the slow food movement, of eating locally, and of course, of vegetarian cooking. — Jade

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An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525656012
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - November 10th, 2020


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