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The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy by Arik Kershenbaum

Common conception is that the discovery of alien life (beyond microbes) is unlikely, a one-in-a-trillion chance. But zoologist Arik Kershenbaum is here to dispel that belief, with science! If varying and intelligent life can exist here on Earth, why not on other planets? In his engaging manner, Kershenbaum breaks down the components necessary for intelligent life and explains how and why this process is also possible on other planets, even those with vastly different ecosystems. I found myself reassessing my understanding of evolution and humanity and of my place in space. Instead of asking ourselves if humans are alone in the universe, the more accurate question might be “Are we unique?” A truly fascinating read. — Jade

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The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal About Aliens--and Ourselves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984881960
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Published: Penguin Press - March 16th, 2021

War and Millie McGonigle by Karen Cushman

Newbery Award winner Karen Cushman brings us another wonderful book of historical fiction. Fall in love with Millie as she attempts to find joy on the beaches of San Diego in 1941 but worries about a world where Hitler’s military rages through Europe and the Japanese are about to bomb Pearl Harbor. Millie feels caught in the middle of it all. This hopeful take on a difficult time is excellent for readers who might be struggling with difficulties of their own. — Kathy

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War and Millie McGonigle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984850102
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Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - April 6th, 2021

This Is Ruby Written by Sara O’Leary Illustrated by Alea Marley

Ruby likes an awful lot of things, and that’s the delight of this book. We are the fortunate ones; we hear her ruminations as she goes back and forth in time to imagine dinosaurs and her parents’ first meet-up, and we see the crazy antics the future may hold. For this second outing, This Is Sadie author Sara O’Leary has teamed up with illustrator Alea Markey, who shows us wildly colorful glimpses of Barbados, her childhood home. Meet Ruby! — Michelle

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By Sara O'Leary, Alea Marley (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780735263611
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Published: Tundra Books - May 25th, 2021

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

Having just gotten divorced from her husband of fifteen years, Thea temporarily moves into the cottage her great-uncle has left her in rural Scotland and starts a job at the local bookstore. Charmed by village life, she makes friends quickly except with her standoffish boss, Edward, the estranged brother o the duke whose land her cottage sits on. But as her playful bickering with Edward gets more comfortable, staying in this cozy Scottish town starts to sound like a pretty good plan. — Celeste

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The Bookshop of Second Chances: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593355657
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Published: Ballantine Books - May 4th, 2021

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

It’s been a while since I’ve committed to a book this size, but Great Circle was compelling and absorbing enough to keep me turning the pages. The story moves from the last century to this one, tracing the life of stunt-loving, fiercely independent aviatrix Marian Graves as it affects the career of the claustrophobic, headstrong woman set to play her in a Hollywood biopic. With its complexity and range, atmosphere and characters, the book is one you will want to get lost in. — Chorel

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Great Circle: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525656975
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Published: Knopf - May 4th, 2021

Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman

In Goldman’s latest autobiographical novel, his protagonist Francisco Goldberg returns to Boston to visit his aging mother and a high school girlfriend. Within these five days is a deft yet delightful exploration of self, from his bullied childhood to his time as a reporter, his family’s troubled history and his own biracial identity as American and Guatemalan. Through it all, Goldman maintains such a light and intimate touch that one feels privileged just to be in the conversation. — Melinda

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Monkey Boy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802157676
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Published: Grove Press - May 4th, 2021

First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

Over the past several decades, Murakami has made an indelible mark on world literature by seamlessly blending the mundane with the surreal. Here, in a new collection of stories, Murakami broadens his already expansive territory as he follows characters who find themselves compelled by forces they don’t understand. A man in a sauna at a remote hotel is asked by a monkey if he’d like his back scrubbed. A music fan has a dream in which Charlie Parker offers his thoughts on the meaningless- ness of death. This collection is a mind-bending pleasure. — Rico

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First Person Singular: Stories Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593318072
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Published: Knopf - April 6th, 2021

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Known for her mastery of observation, Jhumpa Lahiri centers this novella on the quiet solitude of a middle-aged woman wandering through the streets of an unnamed Italian city. Lahiri’s first work to be translated from Italian by the author herself explores the nexus between solitude and depression, between connection and transformation. A spellbinding glimpse into one woman’s inner reckoning. — Casey

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Whereabouts: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593318317
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Published: Knopf - April 27th, 2021

With Teeth by Kristen Arnett

Sammie is a married lesbian with a son she doesn’t understand and a suddenly-middle-aged-feeling life that leaves her desperate to find something more. As her son grows up and her marriage deteriorates, she seeks meaning and human connection. This novel is a captivating story that hasn’t quite been told yet; if the literary canon prized midlife crisis novels about queer women as highly as they do those of cis-het men, With Teeth would win every award. — Jess

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ISBN: 9780593191507
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Published: Riverhead Books - June 1st, 2021

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

In Eric Nguyen’s stunning debut novel, Huong and her two young sons are forced to leave Vietnam. They arrive in New Orleans in 1978, and over the next two decades, each must find themselves in their new lives—a single mother with one son reaching back to the heritage of his birth country, the other moving toward his newfound culture. Their diverging identities challenge the family dynamic and its enduring ties, adding an intimate, nuanced voice to the complexity of the experience of being an immigrant from Vietnam. — Melinda

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Things We Lost to the Water: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593317952
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Published: Knopf - May 4th, 2021


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