New Thriller and Suspense

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Bullet Train

by Kotaro Isaka

A dark, satirical thriller by the bestselling Japanese author, following the perilous train ride of five highly motivated assassins.

A massive bestseller in Japan, Bullet Train is an original and propulsive thriller that fizzes with an incredible energy and surprising humor as its complex net of double-crosses and twists unwind. Award-winning author Kotaro Isaka takes readers on a tension packed journey as the bullet train hurtles toward its final destination. Who will make it off the train alive—and what awaits them at the last stop?

Survive the Night

by Riley Sager

It’s November 1991. Nirvana’s in the tape deck, George H. W. Bush is in the White House, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the shocking murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father—or so he says.
 
The longer she sits in the passenger seat, the more Charlie notices there’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t want her to see inside the trunk. As they travel an empty, twisty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly anxious Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s jittery mistrust merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?
 
One thing is certain—Charlie has nowhere to run and no way to call for help. Trapped in a terrifying game of cat and mouse played out on pitch-black roads and in neon-lit parking lots, Charlie knows the only way to win is to survive the night.

The Turnout

by Megan Abbott

With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they can remember. Growing up, they were homeschooled and trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents’ death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prized student.

Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible.

Sleeping Bear

by Connor Sullivan

Perfect for fans of Brad Thor and Vince Flynn, this white-knuckled debut thriller follows a former Army veteran seeking solitude in the Alaskan wilderness after her husband’s death—only to find herself a pawn in a deadly game with Russia.

After her young husband’s untimely death, Army veteran Cassie Gale decides to take a few days of solitude in the Alaska wilderness before she starts her new job. But when she fails to show up on her first day and her dog is discovered injured at her wrecked campsite, her father knows that this is much more than a camping trip gone awry.

As it turns out, Cassie’s not the first person to disappear without a trace in Alaska’s northern interior. Bears. Wolves. Avalanches. Frostbite. Starvation. There are many ways to die in here. But not all disappearances can be explained. Cassie’s is one of them, along with a number of other outdoor enthusiasts who have vanished in recent years.

Regaining consciousness in a Russian prison, Cassie finds herself trapped in a system designed to ensure that no one ever escapes alive. It will require all her grit and skills to survive. Meanwhile, her father rushes to outrun the clock, scouring thousands of acres, only to realize she’s been taken by a far more nefarious adversary—one with the power of the Eastern Bloc behind it. Ties to his past life, one full of secrets, threaten to surface. He knows there’s a price to be paid, but he’s determined it won’t be his daughter.

Version Zero

by David Yoon

From the brilliant mind of New York Times bestselling author David Yoon comes a lightning-fast and scorchingly observant thriller about how we can save ourselves from the very real perils of a virtual world.

Max, a data whiz at the social media company Wren, has gotten a firsthand glimpse of the dark side of big tech. When he questions what his company does with the data they collect, he’s fired…then black-balled across Silicon Valley.

With time on his hands and revenge on his mind, Max and his longtime friend (and secretly the love of his life) Akiko, decide to get even by rebooting the internet. After all, in order to fix things, sometimes you have to break them. But when Max and Akiko join forces with a reclusive tech baron, they learn that breaking things can have unintended–and catastrophic—consequences.

Take It Back

by Kia Abdullah

From author Kia Abdullah, Take It Back is a harrowing and twisting courtroom thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page is turned.

Zara Kaleel, one of London’s brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.

When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie’s best friend doesn’t believe her.

But Zara does―and she is determined to fight for Jodie―to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion.

A Man Named Doll

by Jonathan Ames

From the creator of HBO’s Bored to Death, a deliciously noir novel about idiosyncratic private detective Happy Doll and his quest to help a dying friend in a sun-blinded Los Angeles as “quirky, edgy, charming, funny and serious” as its protagonist.

Happy Doll is a charming, if occasionally inexpert, private detective living just one sheer cliff drop beneath the Hollywood sign with his beloved half-Chihuahua half-Terrier, George. A veteran of both the Navy and LAPD, Doll supplements his meager income as a P.I. by working through the night at a local Thai spa that offers its clients a number of special services. Armed with his sixteen-inch steel telescopic baton, biting dry humor, and just a bit of a hero complex, the ex-cop sets out to protect the women who work there from clients who have trouble understanding the word “no.”
 
Doll gets by just fine following his two basic rules: bark loudly and act first. But when things get out-of-hand with one particularly violent patron, even he finds himself wildly out of his depth, and then things take an even more dangerous twist when an old friend from his days as a cop shows up at his door with a bullet in his gut.
 
A Man Named Doll is more than just a fascinating introduction to one truly singular character, it is a highly addictive and completely unpredictable joyride through the sensuous and violent streets of LA.

The Wedding Night

by Harriet Walker

After ending her engagement, a woman decides to go on a much-needed getaway with her friends to clear her head—but she soon realizes her secret may be the one thing she can’t get away from.

When Lizzie calls off her wedding in the south of France only a week before the big day, not even her closest friends know why. But since the château is already paid for, they figure it’s the perfect place to take Lizzie and get her mind off her suddenly single state.

When the group arrives, it’s as if the wedding is waiting for them.

The next day, Lizzie wakes to find her friends have drunkenly reveled in the wedding-that-wasn’t—but not all their antics were benign. Someone is set on tormenting Lizzie, and she can’t figure out who.

The more the friends try to piece together exactly what happened that night, the more secrets start to come out.

The biggest secret of all—the one that must not be revealed—is Lizzie’s. But as intimidating messages appear around the château, it seems that someone intends to pursue her until it is. Will Lizzie ever be able to escape her past, or will it destroy more than one life on this trip?

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Hispanic Heritage Month / Mes de la Herencia Hispana: Part 2

Each year, we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

We’ve put together a selection of adult books and stories in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Reunimos una selección de libros e historias para adultos en honor al Mes de la Herencia Hispana.

In the Dream House: A Memoir

by Carmen Maria Machado

In this memoir Machado tackles difficult and dark subjects with wit and a bold attitude. Using her lyrical writing skills, Machado articulates the complexities of abuse in queer relationships. She embeds cultural criticism and theory into her story, by explaining the ways in which abuse especially among women and lesbians are not represented.

This Thing Between Us

by Gus Moreno

Moreno writes an original horror novel about grief, loneliness and the creepy intrusiveness of technology. Thiago Alvarez suffers the loss of his wife in a tragic murder. The story reads like it’s a letter to his deceased wife Vera, a story recounting their life together and the strange paranormal experiences that ignored. He moves to a remote cabin to escape everything except, he can’t escape the evil that’s chasing him.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

by Julia Alvarez

Alvarez writes a fictional novel of four sisters in a autobiographical account of Alverez’s early childhood in the Dominican Republic and immigrating to New York due to the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. The book gives an in depth look at the immigrant experience and the strong family ties that these sisters and their parents go through from 1989 to 1956.

Passions and Impressions

by Pablo Neruda

100 short prose writing by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The essays and prose poems cover many topics; Chilean history, politics and geography. This is a sequel of Neruda’s memoirs and mostly a testament for his love for Chile.

Postcolonial Love Poem

by Natalie Diaz

Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Natalie Diaz, Diaz shares her indigenous heritage and observations of human nature through her second collection of poetry, Postcolonial Love Poem. She speaks on the issues of justice, race, and the environment.

Open Veins of Latin America

by Eduardo Galeano

Uruguayan journalist Galeano explores political and economic conflict in Latin America through a Marxist perspective. He discusses centuries of Latin American history focusing on the genocide, abuse and exploitation that began with Spanish conquistadors and colonization. He discusses in depth how dictators were imposed and supported by the CIA during the 20th century.

Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America

by Maria Hinojosa

Emmy award winning journalist Maria Hinojosa’s memoir relates history of US immigration policy and her intimate experience growing up on the south side of Chicago. Hinojosa describes the behind the scenes of intersectional and humanized storytelling.

Mexican Gothic

by Silva Moreno-Garcia

This novel takes places in 1950’s Mexico. Socialite, Noemi Taboada is sent off to a small mountain mining town to check up on her ill cousin who has been married to a mysterious and handsome Englishmen. Noemi investigates the town and dig deep as she unearths stories of violence, madness and death

Bless me, Ultima

by Rudolfo A. Anaya

Six-year-old Antonio meets Ultima a curandera, a woman who heals using herbs and magic. Together they try to end the war between good and evil that is getting out of control in their village during World War two.

Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies

by Laura Esquivel

This novel takes place during the Mexican revolution and centers around the La Garza family. The story is told through recipes and home remedies, using metaphors, figurative language and magical realism. The book takes place over a twenty-year period.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Hispanic Heritage Month / Mes de la Herencia Hispana: Part 1

Each year, we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

We’ve put together a selection of youth and teen books and stories in both English and Spanish in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Reunimos una selección de libros e historias para jóvenes y adolescentes tanto en inglés como en español en honor al Mes de la Herencia Hispana.

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina

Mango, Abuela, y Yo por Meg Medina

Mia’s abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city. While they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English, and Mia learns some Spanish, too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn enough words to tell Mia her stories. Then Mia sees a parrot in the pet-shop window and has the perfecto idea for how to help them all communicate a little better. Here is an endearing tale that speaks loud and clear about the love that binds families across the generations.

La abuela de Mia viene a vivir con Mia y sus padres. Cuando Mia eomparte con ella su cuento favorito a la hora de dormir, descubre que la abuela no entiende inglés. Mia la ayuda con el inglés y a la vez ella aprende algunas palabras en español. Pero la abuela no conoce suficientes palabras en inglés para compartir las historias de familia con su nieta. Un dia, Mia ve un loro en una tienda de mascotas y descubre la manera de ayudar a su abuela.

Thank you, Omu! by Oge Mora

¡Gracias, Omu! por Oge Mora

When the aroma of Omu’s homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste until all is gone except for her generous spirit.

¡Todos en el vecindario sueñan con probar el delicioso guiso de Omu! Uno por uno, siguen sus narices hacia el delicioso aroma. Y uno por uno, Omu ofrece una porción de su comida. Pronto la olla está vacía. ¿Ha sido tan generosa que ya no le queda nada?

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Soñadores por Yuyi Morales

Dreamers is a celebration of making your home with the things you always carry: your resilience, your dreams, your hopes and history. It’s the story of finding your way in a new place, of navigating an unfamiliar world and finding the best parts of it. In dark times, it’s a promise that you can make better tomorrows. 

Soñadores es un homenaje a los migrantes y a todo lo que traen con ellos, y aportan, cuando dejan sus países. Es una historia de familia. Una historia que nos recuerda que todos somos soñadores que llevamos nuestros propios regalos donde quiera que vayamos. Bella y poderosa en todo momento, pero especialmente de una urgente premura hoy en día en que el futuro de los dreamers es incierto, esta es una historia actual y eterna.

Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History by Naibe Reynoso

¡Sé audaz, sé valiente! : 11 Latinas que hicieron historia en Estados Unidos por Naibe Reynoso

A bilingual book that highlights 11 Latinas who excelled in their professions and made U.S. History by accomplishing something that hadn’t been done before in various fields including medicine, science, sports, art and politics.

Un libro bilingüe que destaca a 11 latinas que sobresalieron en sus profesiones e hicieron historia en los Estados Unidos al lograr algo que no se había hecho antes en varios campos, incluidos la medicina, la ciencia, los deportes, el arte y la política.

Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de La Peña

Los Deseos de Carmela por Matt de La Peña

When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true–she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make…

Hasta ahora el cumpleaños de Carmela no puede ser mejor. Hoy es lo suficientemente mayor para acompañar a su hermano en su recorrido por la ciudad. Y la tarde que pasan juntos se llena con la magia de lo que ven a su alrededor: desde el brillante sol de los campos hasta las golosinas en la vidriera de la panadería. Pero cuando recoge un diente de león que crece en el concreto, se pregunta qué otra cosa podría desear…y decide entonces salir en busca del deseo perfecto.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

Alma y Cómo Obtuvo Su Nombre por Juana Martinez-Neal

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.

Si le preguntas, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela tiene demasiados nombres: ¡seis! ¿Cómo acabó una persona tan pequeña con un nombre tan grande? Alma se dirige a papá en busca de una respuesta y se entera de Sofía, la abuela que amaba los libros y las flores; Esperanza, la bisabuela que anhelaba viajar; José, el abuelo que fue artista; y otros homónimos también. A medida que escucha la historia de su nombre, Alma comienza a pensar que, después de todo, podría encajar perfectamente y se da cuenta de que algún día tendrá su propia historia que contar.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Renace por Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Esperanza Ortega tiene todos los tesoros que una chica pueda desear: hermosos vestidos, una linda casa llena de sirvientes en México, y la promesa de que un día llegará a presidir el Rancho como su mamá. Pero una tragedia inesperada destruye ese sueño, obligando a Esperanza y a su madre a escapar a California dónde tendrán que trabajar en una finca junto a otros mexicanos. Allí tendrá que olvidar su pasado y enfrentarse a las nuevas realidades de su vida: trabajo duro, aceptación y dificultades económicas. Esperanza descubrirá que la verdadera riqueza está en la familia y la comunidad.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de La Peña

Pocho por Matt de La Peña

Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.

Danny, de dieciséis años, busca su identidad en medio de la confusión de ser mitad mexicano y mitad blanco mientras pasa un verano con su primo y nuevos amigos en los campos de béisbol y callejones del condado de San Diego, California.

Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez

Senderos Frontizeros by Francisco Jimenez

Having come from Mexico to California ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Francisco is still working in the fields but fighting to improve his life and complete his education.

Venido de México a California hace diez años, Francisco todavía trabaja en los campos, pero a la edad de catorce ya está luchando para mejorar su vida y para terminar su educación.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez

Yo No Soy Tu Perfecta Hija Mexicana por Erika Sanchez

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed. But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal

Julia no es la hija mexicana perfecta. Ese era el rol de su hermana Olga. Olga no fue a la universidad, se quedo en casa para cuidar a sus padres, limpiar la casa y trabajar a medio tiempo. Julia tiene grandes suenos y no quiere formar parte del camino de su hermana mayor. Pero un solo error, que ocurre mientras enviaba un mensaje de texto al mismo tiempo que cruzaba la calle mas concurrida de Chicago, resulta en la muerte de Olga, dejando atras a Julia para ocuparse de las secuelas. Sus padres, quienes inmigraron ilegalmente a Chicago desde Mexico en busca de una vida mejor, estan inconsolables. La madre de Julia parece canalizar su dolor para senalar de todas las maneras posibles que Julia no es la hija mexicana perfecta que Olga era. Pero Julia pronto descubre que Olga puede haber tenido secretos, tambien. Con la ayuda de su mejor amiga Lorena, Julia esta decidida a descubrirlo. ¿Era Olga realmente lo que parecia? ¿O habia algo mas en la historia de su hermana? Y de cualquier manera, ¿como puede Julia incluso intentar vivir a la altura de un ideal aparentemente imposible.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

New Memoirs & Biography | August 2021

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or to place a hold, click on the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Steve Kerr: A Life

by Scott Howard-Cooper

Few individuals have had a career as storied, and improbable, as Steve Kerr. He has won eight NBA titles—five as a player and three as a coach—for three different franchises. He played alongside the best players of a generation, from Michael Jordan to Shaquille O’Neal to Tim Duncan, and learned the craft of basketball under four legendary coaches. He was an integral part of two famed NBA dynasties. Perhaps no other figure in basketball history has had a hand in such greatness.

The only coach other than Red Auerbach to lead a team to the Finals five consecutive seasons, Kerr seems destined for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Steve Kerr is his incredible story, offering insights into the man and what it takes to be—and make—a champion. Drawing upon Scott Howard-Cooper’s years covering Warriors, deep archival research, and original interviews with more than one hundred of the central characters in Kerr’s life, this is basketball biography at its finest.

Madam C.J. Walker: The Making of an American Icon

by Erica L. Ball

Madam C. J. Walker—reputed to be America’s first self-made woman millionaire—has long been celebrated for her rags-to-riches story. Born to former slaves in the Louisiana Delta in the aftermath of the Civil War, married at fourteen, and widowed at twenty, Walker spent the first decades of her life as a laundress, laboring in conditions that paralleled the lives of countless poor and working-class African American women. By the time of her death in 1919, however, Walker had refashioned herself into one of the most famous African American figures in the nation: the owner and president of a hair-care empire and a philanthropist wealthy enough to own a country estate near the Rockefellers in the prestigious New York town of Irvington-on-Hudson. In this biography, Erica Ball places this remarkable and largely forgotten life story in the context of Walker’s times. Ball analyzes Walker’s remarkable acts of self-fashioning, and explores the ways that Walker (and the Walker brand) enabled a new generation of African Americans to bridge the gap between a nineteenth-century agrarian past and a twentieth-century future as urban-dwelling consumers.

Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property
and Nazi Treasure

by Menachem Haiser

From a gifted young writer, the story of his quest to reclaim his family’s apartment building in Poland—and of the astonishing entanglement with Nazi treasure hunters that follows 

Menachem Kaiser’s brilliantly told story, woven from improbable events and profound revelations, is set in motion when the author takes up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland. Soon, he is on a circuitous path to encounters with the long-time residents of the building, and with a Polish lawyer known as “The Killer.”  A surprise discovery—that his grandfather’s cousin not only survived the war, but wrote a secret memoir while a slave laborer in a vast, secret Nazi tunnel complex—leads to Kaiser being adopted as a virtual celebrity by a band of Silesian treasure seekers who revere the memoir as the indispensable guidebook to Nazi plunder. Propelled by rich original research, Kaiser immerses readers in profound questions that reach far beyond his personal quest. What does it mean to seize your own legacy? Can reclaimed property repair rifts among the living? Plunder is both a deeply immersive adventure story and an irreverent, daring interrogation of inheritance—material, spiritual, familial, and emotional. 

House of Sticks

by Ly Tran

An intimate, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir recounting a young girl’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to Ridgewood, Queens, and her struggle to find her voice amid clashing cultural expectations.

Ly Tran is just a toddler in 1993 when she and her family immigrate from a small town along the Mekong river in Vietnam to a two-bedroom railroad apartment in Queens. Ly’s father, a former lieutenant in the South Vietnamese army, spent nearly a decade as a POW, and their resettlement is made possible through a humanitarian program run by the US government. Soon after they arrive, Ly joins her parents and three older brothers sewing ties and cummerbunds piece-meal on their living room floor to make ends meet.

Told in a spare, evocative voice that, with flashes of humor, weaves together her family’s immigration experience with her own fraught and courageous coming of age, House of Sticks is a timely and powerful portrait of one girl’s struggle to reckon with her heritage and forge her own path.

The Great Peace

by Mena Suvari

The Great Peace is a harrowing, heartbreaking coming-of-age story set in Hollywood, in which young teenage model-turned-actor Mena Suvari lost herself to sex, drugs and bad, often abusive relationships even as blockbuster movies made her famous. It’s about growing up in the 90s, with a soundtrack ranging from The Doors to Deee-Lite, fashion from denim to day-glo, and a woman dealing with the lasting psychological scars of abuse, yet knowing deep inside she desires so much more from life.

Within these vulnerable pages, Mena not only reveals her own mistakes, but also the lessons she learned and her efforts to understand and grow rather than casting blame. As such, she makes this a timeless story of girl empowerment and redemption, of somebody using their voice to rediscover their past, seek redemption, and to understand their mistakes, and ultimately come to terms with their power as an individual to find a way and a will to live—and thrive. Poignant, intimate, and powerful, this book will resonate with anyone who has found themselves lost in the darkness, thinking there’s no way out. Ultimately, Mena’s story proves that, no matter how hopeless it may seem, there’s always a light at the end.

Mike Nichols: A Life

by Mark Harris

A magnificent biography of one of the most protean creative forces in American entertainment history, a life of dazzling highs and vertiginous plunges–some of the worst largely unknown until now–by the acclaimed author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back

Mike Nichols burst onto the scene as a wunderkind: while still in his twenties, he was half of a hit improv duo with Elaine May that was the talk of the country. Next he directed four consecutive hit plays, won back-to-back Tonys, ushered in a new era of Hollywood moviemaking with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and followed it with The Graduate, which won him an Oscar and became the third-highest-grossing movie ever. At thirty-five, he lived in a three-story Central Park West penthouse, drove a Rolls-Royce, collected Arabian horses, and counted Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Leonard Bernstein, and Richard Avedon as friends.

Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight

by Julia Sweig

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A magisterial portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, and a major reevaluation of the profound yet underappreciated impact the First Lady’s political instincts had on LBJ’s presidency.

In the spring of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson had a decision to make. Just months after moving into the White House under the worst of circumstances—following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy—he had to decide whether to run to win the presidency in his own right. He turned to his most reliable, trusted political strategist: his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. The strategy memo she produced for him, emblematic of her own political acumen and largely overlooked by biographers, is just one revealing example of how their marriage was truly a decades-long political partnership.

Broken Horses

by Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile was born into a musically gifted, impoverished family on the outskirts of Seattle and grew up in a constant state of change, moving from house to house, trailer to trailer, fourteen times in as many years. Though imperfect in every way, her dysfunctional childhood was as beautiful as it was strange, and as nurturing as it was difficult. At the age of five, Brandi contracted bacterial meningitis, which almost took her life, leaving an indelible mark on her formative years and altering her journey into young adulthood.

As an openly gay teenager, Brandi grappled with the tension between her sexuality and her faith when her pastor publicly refused to baptize her on the day of the ceremony. Shockingly, her small town rallied around Brandi in support and set her on a path to salvation where the rest of the misfits and rejects find it: through twisted, joyful, weird, and wonderful music.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

A Few Defining Stories from Olympic Games’ History

As the Summer Olympics (officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad) rapidly approaches from Tokyo, Japan, we’re looking back on historic and defining moments throughout Olympics history — stories of hope, perseverance, bravery, and strength. The Summer Olympics begin July 23rd!

 

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection or are available via SWAN! To see if an item is available to check out or to place a hold, click on the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chariots of Fire

DVD

In the class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a devout Christian born to Scottish missionaries in China, sees running as part of his worship of God’s glory and refuses to train or compete on the Sabbath. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) overcomes anti-Semitism and class bias, but neglects his beloved sweetheart Sybil (Alice Krige) in his quest.

Race

DVD

This excellent bio-drama based on true events focuses on legendary black athlete Jesse Owens and his inspiring journey to overcome racism at home and abroad, culminating in his triumphant track-and-field performance at the 1936 Berlin

The Best of Men

DVD

The story of one remarkable doctor as he transforms the standards of care for paraplegics. Arriving at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1944, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann reinvigorates the lives of his staff and patients : he introduces athletics into the rehabilitation plan of his patients, paralyzed soldiers who have been cast-off and are facing death from neglect. Using sports, his patients learn to build not only physical strength, but self-respect and a sense of fulfillment. Dr. Guttmann established the Stoke Mandeville Games, the sporting event for the disabled that evolved into the Paralympic Games.

Triumph: the untold story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics

Book by Jeremy Schaap

In 1936, against a backdrop of swastikas flying & storm troopers an African-American son of sharecroppers won a staggering four Olympic gold medals and single-handedly crushed Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy. The story of Jesse Owens at the 1936 games is that of a high-profile athlete giving a performance that transcends sports. But it is also the intimate and complex tale of the courage of one remarkable man.

The boys in the boat: nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Book by Daniel James Brown

Traces the amazing story of the rowing team that defeated elite rivals at Hitler’s 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder, and a homeless teen rower.

Fire on the track: Betty Robinson and the triumph of the early Olympic women

Book by Roseanne Montillo

The inspiring and irresistible true story of the women who broke barriers and finish-line ribbons in pursuit of Olympic Gold.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Prawdziwe historie

Masz dość czytania opowiadań? To jest lista książek o prawdziwych wydarzeniach i ludziach!

Wszystkie tytuły z tej listy książek mamy w naszej kolekcji! Aby sprawdzić, czy dany przedmiot jest dostępny do wypisania lub wstrzymania, kliknij zdjęcie okładki lub przycisk po prawej stronie opisu.

Franciszek : papież, który się uśmiecha

“Już od pierwszej chwili gdy pojawił się na najważniejszym balkonie na placu Świętego Piotra – Jego proste i szczere pozdrowienie „dobry wieczór” trafiło do serc milionów wiernych. Choć od tamtego czasu minęło wiele miesięcy – entuzjazm wobec Jego osoby nie słabnie – a wręcz umacnia się, docierając również do niewierzących. To opowieść o Papieżu, który odrzuca wszelki zbytek i blichtr, decydując się na skromne mieszkanie, by nie stracić bezpośredniego kontaktu z wiernymi i który swoim przykładem dał początek reformie Kościoła. To wielki Papież – wysłaniec Ewangelii, który wciąż jednak pozostaje skromnym proboszczem, przyjmując w darze stare renault 4 od pewnego księdza z prowincjonalnej parafii. To w końcu Papież, który się uśmiecha.”–Lubimyczytac.pl

Droga do wolnosci: rdzen nauk buddyzmu tybetanskiego

“Droga do wolnosci” Dalajlamy, otwierająca jego autorską serię \”Ścieżka ku oswieceniu\”, to subtelny i nacechowany wymowną głębią wykład nauk i pouczeń Buddy. Przebywający na uchodźstwie duchowy i polityczny przywódca Tybetu z niezrównaną prostotą i wdziękiem odkrywa istotę buddyzmu tybetańskiego zarówno przed nowicjuszami, jak i oddanymi wyznawcami.Dzieli się spokojnymi, prostymi refleksjami na temat smierci, reinkarnacji, karmy, Czterech Szlachetnych Prawd oraz kultywowania ideału bodhisattwy i dobrych uczynków: szczeroci, cierpliwosci, wysiłku, koncentracji i mądrosci. — nakanapie.pl

Becoming : moja historia

Michelle Obama opisuje doświadczenia, które ją ukształtowały– od dzieciństwa w południowym Chicago, przez lata pracy na kierowniczym stanowisku, kiedy godziła macierzyństwo z karierą, aż do czasu spędzonego w najsłynniejszym domu świata. Pisząc z niebywałą szczerością, odwagą i humorem, odkrywa kulisy swojego życia rodzinnego. Opisuje, jak Obamowie znaleźli się w centrum zainteresowania światowych mediów i jak wyglądało ich życie w Białym Domu przez osiem kluczowych lat, kiedy poznawała Amerykę, zaś Ameryka poznawała ją. To zaskakująco intymny rozrachunek życia kobiety wrażliwej i stanowczej, która konsekwentnie odmawiała spełniania oczekiwań innych i której historia zachęca, by pójść w jej ślady.

W szoku : moja droga od lekarki do pacjentki - cała prawda o służbie zdrowia

Wstrząsająca historia lekarki, która została pacjentką i odkryła skalę lekarskiej znieczulicy. Czego lekarze nam nie mówią? Czy zawsze podają nam właściwe leki? Czy przejmują się naszym stanem? Co tak naprawdę myślą o nas – pacjentach?

Lion : droga do domu

Piecioletni Saroo zostaje sam na dworcu kolejowym Szukajac starszego brata wsiada do przypadkowego pociagu i zmeczonyS zasypia Budzi sie poltora tysiaca kilometrow od domu w pieciomilionowej Kalkucie Nie pamieta skad pochodzi nie wie jak wrocic Walczy o przetrwanie w jednym z najbardziej przerazajacych miast swiata Spi na brudnych ulicach ucieka przed gangami zebrakow Adoptowany trafia do dalekiej Australii Mija dwadziescia piec lat Mysl o odnalezieniu prawdziwej rodziny nie daje Saroo spokoju Ma jednak tylko okruchy wspomnien I technologie XXI wieku ktora przyjdzie mu z pomoca

Sprzedana

“Kiedy Sophie Hayes spotkał tajemniczego nieznajomego bledi i uroczy, wiedziała chciał zmienić jej life– ale nie miała pojęcia, jak dużo. Na początku to było typowe wicher romans. Ale pewnego dnia bledi powiedziała Sophie, że miłość zawsze przychodzi na cena. bledi oszukane Sophie do podróży do Włoch, gdzie przymusowe ją sprzedaje swoje ciało na ulicach, aby pomóc mu spłacić duże zadłużenie. Kiedy odmówiła, bił ją, ukradł jej paszport i zamknął drzwi. Przerażona i zawstydzony Zofia pracowała niebezpieczne włoskie ulice bez reszty, skoro aż 30 klientów w nocy. była całkowicie na łasce bledi za żywności, odzieży i schronienia. bez pieniędzy, bez przyjaciół i bez rodziny, była w pułapce. Ale Sophie znaleźć siłę, by iść naprzód, przywiązanie do życia przez pojedynczą nić nadziei. że w jakiś sposób że ona znaleźć sposób na ucieczkę “

Małżeństwa królewskie. Jagiellonowie

Barwnie napisane dzieje miłości małżeństw dynastii Jagiellonów, wywodzącej się od Władysława II Jagiełły, wielkiego księcia litewskiego i króla Polski. W szczytowym okresie Jagiellonowie byli jedną z najpotężniejszych dynastii w Europie i w państwach, których sprawowali władzę, nastąpił też rozkwit kulturalny i gospodarczy.

Ameryka.pl : opowieści o polakach w USA

Każdy z nich miał własny American dream. Każdy musiał wziąć los w swoje ręce i ruszyć na podbój Dzikiego Zachodu naszych czasów. Uciekinierzy, wariaci, niespokojne dusze– Polacy, którzy w pogoni za marzeniami lub uciekając przed dotychczasowym życiem, wyjechali do Stanów. By spotkać bohaterów tej książki, autorka pokonała tysiące kilometrów amerykańskich dróg. Poznała Sebka, od dziesięciu lat szukającego żony w kastowym środowisku Chicago, gdzie obywatelstwo jest ważniejsze od miłości. Spotkała Marka, niegdyś króla disco polo, obecnie bezdomnego przesiadującego w nowojorskim Starbucksie. Rozmawiała z genialną prawniczką Olą, tropiącą największe błędy amerykańskiego sądownictwa. Odwiedziła właściciela najmodniejszej nowojorskiej restauracji, który w latach 80. przybył tu z Lublina z jednym plecakiem– a dziś, jak głoszą plotki, zdarza mu się odmówić stolika Seanowi Pennowi.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Reads for Fans of the PBS series “World on Fire”

Love World on Fire on PBS? World on Fire is an adrenalized, emotionally gripping and resonant World War II drama that follows the intertwining fates of ordinary people in five countries as they grapple with the effects of the war on their everyday lives. 

 

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection or are available via SWAN! To see if an item is available to check out or to place a hold, click on the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The Only Woman in the Room

by Marie Benedict

Marie Benedict’s novel tells the incredible true story of actress and inventor Austrian born Hedy Lamarr. Leaving an abusive husband in 1937 she fled to Paris and then the United States where she became an acclaimed film actress and inventor of a revolutionary radio guidance system.

Resistance Women

by Jennifer Chiaverini

Resistance Women tells the true story of Mildred Fish-Harnack, who after marrying a German economist, moved to Germany in 1929.  Not willing to be bystanders to the actions of the Nazi party, Mildred and her husband create the Red Orchestra, a group determined to bring down Hitler’s regime from within.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

by Chris Cleave

This war drama, loosely based on Cleave’s grandparents’ story of love and conflicting loyalties, tells the story of three friends Mary, Tom and Alistair living in London during the Blitz.

The Ragged Edge of Night

by Olivia Hawker

This powerful story of a Franciscan friar, turned husband, turned resistance leader is an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about hope, redemption, and one man’s search for light during the darkest times of World War II.

We Were the Lucky Ones

by Georgia Hunter

Based on an inspiring true story, this novel follows the saga of the Kurc family during World War II. Three generations are torn from their home in the wake of the Nazi invasion and they, despite overwhelming hardships, will stop at nothing to be reunited.

The Lost Girls of Paris

by Pam Jenoff

When Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase in Grand Central Station containing the photos of twelve female secret agents during the war, she becomes obsessed with learning their stories and fates.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

Based on the true story of the Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor, Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov.  Fluent in several languages, Lale is made the infamous camp’s tattooist, a position he uses to aid his fellow prisoners. He finds love and vows to survive the horrific conditions of the camp.

The Huntress

by Kate Quinn

In this exciting story, brave Russian bomber pilot Nina Markova and British journalist Ian Graham unite to track down The Huntress one of the most vicious murderers in the Nazi party.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

by Mark Sullivan

Despite Italian teenager Pino Lella’s intention to never become involved in war, he is drawn in after the destruction of his home in Milan. Beginning by assisting Jewish refugees escape through the Alps, Pino is later forced to enlist in the German army and soon takes on the dangerous mission of smuggling information to the Allies.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Rock & Roll Fiction

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or to place a hold, click on the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Daisy Jones & The Six

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

Utopia Avenue

by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue is the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss and guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet, Utopia Avenue embarked on a meteoric journey from the seedy clubs of Soho, a TV debut on Top of the Pops, the cusp of chart success, glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome, and a fateful American sojourn in the Chelsea Hotel, Laurel Canyon, and San Francisco during the autumn of ’68.

David Mitchell’s kaleidoscopic novel tells the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue’s turbulent life and times; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom’s wobbly ladder; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of voices in the head, and the truths and lies they whisper; of music, madness, and idealism. Can we really change the world, or does the world change us?

A Song for a New Day

by Sarah Pinsker

In the Before, when the government didn’t prohibit large public gatherings, Luce Cannon was on top of the world. One of her songs had just taken off and she was on her way to becoming a star. Now, in the After, terror attacks and deadly viruses have led the government to ban concerts, and Luce’s connection to the world–her music, her purpose—is closed off forever. She does what she has to do: she performs in illegal concerts to a small but passionate community, always evading the law.

Rosemary Laws barely remembers the Before times. She spends her days in Hoodspace, helping customers order all of their goods online for drone delivery—no physical contact with humans needed. By lucky chance, she finds a new job and a new calling: discover amazing musicians and bring their concerts to everyone via virtual reality. The only catch is that she’ll have to do something she’s never done before and go out in public. Find the illegal concerts and bring musicians into the limelight they deserve. But when she sees how the world could actually be, that won’t be enough.

Loudmouth

by Robert Duncan

Thomas Ransom, born to a severely dysfunctional southern family transplanted to New York City, is left to his own devices by neglectful parents, and spends his childhood shadowing his criminally-inclined half-brother and roaming the city with hard-drinking teenage pals. He eventually finds an outlet as the flamboyant singer of a downtown rock band, and later as the young editor of the Detroit-based magazine that invented punk, only to return to New York, at the height of the 1970s bacchanal, and crash. But it isn’t music that saves him. It’s a soft-spoken painter, who turns out to be the most outrageous character of all. With echoes of Almost Famous and Just Kids, Loudmouth tracks an impassioned musician and writer out among the punks, hippies, and wild geniuses of rock when music was the center of the world.

A Visit from the Goon Squad

by Jennifer Egan

Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

  • National Bestseller
  • National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
  • PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
  • New York Times Book Review Best Book

Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel

by Jeff Jackson

An epidemic of violence is sweeping the country: musicians are being murdered onstage in the middle of their sets by members of their audience. Are these random copycat killings, or is something more sinister at work? Has music itself become corrupted in a culture where everything is available, everybody is a “creative,” and attention spans have dwindled to nothing?

With its cast of ambitious bands, yearning fans, and enigmatic killers, Destroy All Monsters tells a haunted and romantic story of overdue endings and unlikely beginnings that will resonate with anybody who’s ever loved rock and roll.

Like a classic vinyl single, Destroy All Monsters has two sides, which can be read in either order. At the heart of Side A, “My Dark Ages,” is Xenie, a young woman who is repulsed by the violence of the epidemic but who still finds herself drawn deeper into the mystery. Side B, “Kill City,” follows an alternate history, featuring familiar characters in surprising roles, and burrows deeper into the methods and motivations of the murderers.

Hairstyles of the Damned

by Joe Meno

Hairstyles of the Damned is an honest, true-life depiction of growing up punk on Chicago’s south side: a study in the demons of racial intolerance, Catholic school conformism, and class repression. It is the story of the riotous exploits of Brian, a high school burnout, and his best friend, Gretchen, a punk rock girl fond of brawling. Based on the actual events surrounding a Chicago high school’s segregated prom, this work of fiction unflinchingly pursues the truth in discovering what it means to be your own person.

How to Build a Girl

by Caitlin Moran

What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Bröntes—but without the dying young bit.

By sixteen, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! This is the celebration and recognition of the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

The month of May was officially designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress in 1992. Learn more at asianpacificheritage.gov.

Scroll through the titles below to explore a booklist compiled by our staff that honors AAPI characters, authors, history, and culture! There’s something for all age groups — picture books, graphic novels, fiction, and non-fiction.

Fiction | Adult

Non-Fiction | Adult

Picture Books | Kids

Graphic Novels | Youth and Teens

Fiction | Teens

Fiction | Youth

You can find all of the titles above available in either our collection via the online catalog, or through our digital resources, OverDrive and Axis360.

Celebrating Shakespeare’s Birthday!

Happy 457th birthday to Mr. William Shakespeare! William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover (glove-maker), and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning family. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was baptized on 26 April 1564. His date of birth is unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George’s Day. This date, which can be traced to a mistake made by an 18th-century scholar, has proved appealing to biographers because Shakespeare died on the same date in 1616.

Here we’ve gathered up some the Bard of Avon’s most famous works!

  • All of the titles featured below we have in our collection or within the SWAN consortium.
  • To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image.