A Chain of Thunder by Jeff Shaara

“Mr. Shaara’s main interest is in the people involved in the battle and the effect it has on their lives. His cast of characters includes the general officers commanding, a common soldier, a female resident of Vicksburg, and a former journalist – now government employee – sent to check on rumors of Grant’s drinking. He crafts a story from multiple view points which is broad enough in scope to attract and hold the attention of the casual, curious reader who knows little about the Civil War while at the same time presenting a story robust enough to hold the interest of readers who are Civil War buffs.” – Karen, Circulation

A Chain of Thunder is the second in a series of four standalone books on battles in the Western Theater written for the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War by Jeff Shaara, a three-time W. Y. Boyd Award winner for excellence in military historical fiction. The Vicksburg campaign ran through the spring and summer of 1863 as Union general Ulysses S. Grant sought the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi, the last major Confederate fortress on the Mississippi River. A siege was not Grant’s first choice but became necessary as various other stratagems, including digging a ditch to change the course of the river, went awry. Following weeks of the city’s garrison and civilians living on starvation rations in holes dug in the bluffs due to constant shelling of the town by Union gunboats, Confederate General John Pemberton surrendered the city on July 4, 1863, just one day after the massive battle of Gettysburg back East in Pennsylvania. Being further from the national capital in Washington, D.C., the union victory at Vicksburg has always been overshadowed by Gettysburg even though it could be argued that the fall of Vicksburg had a greater effect on the outcome of the war.

The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep by Allan Wolf

“Very well written and researched, non-judgmental” – Kelly P., Kids Room

The Donner Party like you’ve never heard about it before, told from multiple points of view, including Hunger and the oxen, in addition to the people who suffered through the trip.

 

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

“I enjoy all things royal, so this book was perfect for me. I loved reading about the secrecy surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown, the exquisite embroidery covering the dress, the excitement surrounding the royal wedding, and life in post-war London. I also enjoyed the personal story of Ann and Miriam, the two lead embroiderers on the dress, and the story of their friendship and lives. This is a feel-good, easy to read book that is perfect for historical fiction fans.” – Nancy, Adult & Teen Services

The Gown is a historical novel about two women, Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, who embroidered Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown for her 1947 wedding. Ann is a Londoner who has lost most of her family and Miriam is a Holocaust survivor who has moved from France to London after the war. The novel provides fascinating detail about the making of the royal wedding gown and also insight into life in post-war London.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog

“I’m a married woman in my 30s, and my husband and I (like Nate and Elena) often wonder whether life is merely a series of bills to be paid. Uncharted 4 resonated with me on so many levels. The globe-trotting is thrilling, the scenery is gorgeous, the puzzles and secret passages are atmospheric. There are car chases, cliff-scaling, (non-gore-y) gunfights, consistently funny quips and banter, bro-time with the guys, and romance. It’s Indiana Jones + Tomb Raider + Jason Bourne + Pirates of the Caribbean (the 1st one, of course!) all rolled into one. But more than that, it’s a cinematic story about being yourself while accepting new phases of your life.” – Kelly, Circulation

Nathan Drake is an ex-treasure-hunter who’s been out of the game for years. Though his marriage to journalist Elena is a happy one, the tedium of staying in one place is wearing him down. He eagerly throws himself back into an adventure to help someone from his past… even if that means lying to his wife and putting himself and (fan-favorite) Victor “Sully” Sullivan back into bad guys’ cross-hairs.

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

“I enjoy family fiction, and this is one of the best I have read in some time. I was hooked after a few pages! The story is told from multiple viewpoints, and the characters in the book really come alive. I felt like I knew the characters, warts and all. The Adler family’s love for one another as they grieve the loss of Florence shines through. The setting, Atlantic City in 1934, and the family’s efforts to help family friends get out of Germany as Hitler rises to power add interest to the story.” – Nancy, Adult & Teen Services

It’s 1934 in Atlantic City, NJ. Florence Adler, a star swimmer, drowns while training to swim the English Channel. Her Jewish family goes to great lengths to hide Florence’s death from her sister, Fannie, for fear Fannie will lose her baby. The book focuses on the aftermath of the tragedy and shows how love helps a family heal.

The Pyrates by George MacDonald Fraser

“The Pyrates has a colorful world ranging from dungeon fortresses to desert islands to native villages. In many ways, it seems like a Saturday morning cartoon for adults.” – Max, IT
The Pyrates is a comical sea adventure during the golden age of piracy. It follows a large cast of over-the-top characters as they each pursue their own goals, some of which may be wealth, noble missions, or romance.

A Ceiling Made of Eggshells by Gail Carson Levine

“Medieval Juvenile historic fiction rarely leaves England. I knew very little about the plight of Sephardic Jews and the Inquisition. Gail Carson Levine explores a story that is close to her family’s history and I found it hard to put down.” – Sharon, Kids Room

Paloma, a Sephardic Jew lives Alcala de Henares, Spain in the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Loma is very smart, and her grandfather (Belo) is Don Joseph Cantala, a businessman who is respected by both Jews and Catholics. Loma travels with Belo and learns the art of trading. She also meets Christopher Columbus and Princess Isabella who tries to convert Loma to Catholicism. Loma is clever and loyal and she helps lead her people out of Spain when Jews had three options: leave Spain, convert, or be killed. Ceiling Made of Eggshells is an excellent historical novel.

The Lake House by Kate Morton

“This book really held my interest with a lot of plot twists.” – Mary, Circulation

A riveting story set in two time periods surrounding the disappearance of a young boy. It kept me guessing until the end!

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers

“A classic English mystery, with an eccentric detective, arcane clues, and much ado about bells. It’s like the Moby Dick of bells!” – Fred, Adult & Teen Services

Amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey is pressed into service as a bell ringer in Fenchurch St. Paul when an influenza epidemic decimates the town. But what happens next in the quaint old English village is a crime.

Tomb of the Unknown Racist by Blanche McCrary Boyd

“Ellen’s reckless quest to archaeologize (and maybe redeem?) her family’s flawed and tragic history (and her own role in it) is relentlessly readable. Replete with timeless themes of filial responsibility (“Am I my brother’s keeper,” Ellen asks); the notion of a place beyond forgiveness (literally the land of Nod); and the impenetrability of the past. Quirky and compelling.” – DGPL Staff

Ellen Burns’ brother Royce died ten years ago when the FBI raided his white supremacist compound. Or so everyone thought. But when his daughter shows up on the news claiming he’s kidnapped her children, Ellen impulsively travels to New Mexico to decipher the truth about her brother, and her family’s past.