Book Buzz: Neuroscience Researchers, Strange Train Encounters, Magical Boarding Schools (No–Not That One), and Naval Military History

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For March, we’re looking at a searing fictional examination of addiction and grief, a suspenseful new thriller, a new series about magic school shenanigans, and an audiobook history of how Allied forces defeated the German navy during WWII.

Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom (2020)*

Gifty is in her fifth year of a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford. Her research focuses on depression and addiction in mice and reflects the struggles with depression and addiction that her Ghanaian immigrant family in Alabama has experienced. She throws herself into her research in an attempt to understand what has happened to her family, but the more she looks, the harder it is to find. Gyasi has won a lot of acclaim for her skill in blending lyrical prose with character-driven plots that engage with larger social issues.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tommy Orange, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Emily St. John Mandel.

*Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.

Lisa Unger’s Confessions on the 7:45 (2020)**

Selena is on her commute home when she and a woman named Martha kill some time by complaining about their lives, compelled to be more honest than normal since they are strangers. Martha reveals that she’s been having an affair with her boss while Selena confesses that she believes her husband has been cheating with their nanny. But then the nanny disappears, and as Selena’s life unravels in the aftermath, she finds herself wondering exactly who Martha was.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Stephen J. Cannell, Paula Hawkins, and Erica Spindler.

**Ebook also available on Libby.

Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education (2020)***

El attends the Scholomance, a school for magicians. The rules at the Scholamance are pretty straightforward–you either graduate or you die. And there are lots of deadly creatures lurking. El has powerful dark magic that poses a threat to the other students and makes them assume that she is an evil sorceress in the making. Meanwhile, her archnemesis Orion Lake wows everyone with his heroic skills. El ultimately decides that the infuriatingly perfect Orion must die. Complications ensue.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Patrick Rothfuss, Leigh Bardugo, and Lev Grossman.

***Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.

Simon Read’s The Iron Sea: How the Allies Hunted and Destroyed Hitler’s Warships (2020)

The audiobook I’m featuring this month is an action-packed nonfiction read that delves into how Allied forces defeated the German Navy during WWII. Beyond the famous Bismarck, the naval history of WWII–especially in the European Theater–is often subordinated to the land battles. But as author Simon Read amply demonstrates in this book, that’s not because this theater of war was any less fascinating.

Recommended for military history buffs.

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! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.

Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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