Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For February, we’re looking at a tense suburban family drama, an investigative nonfiction book about modern American nomads, and a contemporary Amish romance.
Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (2017)
The well-to-do, successful Richardson family is the quintessentially perfect suburban family. Their friends and neighbors also consider them the best representation of their own quintessentially perfect 1990s Ohio suburb. Mrs. Richardson ostensibly believes in helping the unfortunate and to that end she rents out a house to newcomers to the community, a rebellious artist named Mia and her teenaged daughter. Mrs. Richardson, however, is alarmed by how quickly her own children are drawn to the newcomers and infuriated at Mia’s interference in a local family’s adoption. Mrs. Richardson takes it upon herself to unearth Mia’s past and manages to destroy any semblance of community or familial perfection in the process.
Recommended for those who enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.
Jessica Bruder’s Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century (2017)
Nomadland is about a recent phenomenon in migrant labor in the United States: Aging Americans, nearing or past the retirement age, who downsize to RVs and travel the country not because they want to travel but because they are on a quest for seasonal jobs to pay their bills. Journalist Jessie Bruder went on her own nomadic quest as she followed “workampers,” who ranged from former professionals to former cocktail waitresses, as they work in jobs as varied as campgrounds, Amazon fulfillment centers, and beet farms. Bruder blends an intimate look at her subjects’ lives with sociological and economic discussion of the workamper trend.
Recommended for those who enjoyed J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed.
Amy Clipston’s A Place at Our Table (2017)
The first in a projected series, A Place at Our Table follows Jamie Riehl, an Amish farmer and volunteer firefighter. He falls in love with a local woman named Kayla. However, Kayla is still traumatized by her brother’s death in a fire and battles her own doubts of whether she could ever handle the stress of being married to someone who fights fires. Will she be able to set aside her own doubts and fears and give love a chance? You’ll have to read the book — and maybe the sequels 😉 — to find out.
Recommended for those who enjoy Wanda E. Brunstetter’s work.
As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog to learn more about any of these items and to place holds.
What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments!