Susan’s Recommendations

The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions

The inner life of cats : the science and secrets of our mysterious feline companionsBy McNamee, Thomas, 1947-
"The Inner Life of Cats is filled with shining prose, moments of sheer cat joy--and intimate, careful scientific observation. Thomas McNamee's naturalist's eye, combined with his humor and heart, brings the always wild, yet domesticated cat into delightful, insightful focus." --cover annotation by Cat Warren, author of What the Dog Knows
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I We Were Villains

If we were villainsBy Rio, M. L. author.
"Much like Donna Tartt's The Secret History, M. L. Rio's sparkling debut is a richly layered story of love, friendship, and obsession. Expertly plotted, beautifully written, If We Were Villains will keep you riveted through its final, electrifying moments."-cover annotation
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Lola

Lola : a novelBy Love, Melissa Scrivner author.
"A propulsive, intensely gripping crime thriller about murder, ambition, and an unforgettable woman unlike anyone else in fiction."-jacket annotation
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A Colony in a Nation

A colony in a nationBy Hayes, Christopher L.,
"A Colony in a Nation is a highly original analysis of America's arbitrary and erratic criminal justice system. Indeed, by Hayes's lights, the system is not erratic at all--it treats one group of Americans as citizens and another as the colonized. This is an essential and groundbreaking text in the effort to understand how American criminal justice went to badly awry." -Ta-Nehisi Coates, from the jacket
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The Witch of Painted Sorrows

The witch of painted sorrows : a novelBy Rose, M. J., 1953-
"Effortlessly absorbing and richly imagined, with sumptuous detail and spellbinding suspense, The Witch of Painted Sorrows conjures the brilliance and intrigue of Belle Epoque Paris and illuminates the fine line between explosive passion and complete ruination."-jacket
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The Mortifications : A Novel

The mortifications : a novelBy Palacio, Derek, 1982-
"Derek Palacio's stunning, mythic novel marks the arrival of a fresh voice and a new chapter in the history of 21st century Cuban-American literature. Breathtaking, soulful, and profound, The Mortifications is an intoxicating family saga and a timely, urgent expression of longing for one's true homeland." PUB
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Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy's button boxBy King, Stephen, 1947- author.
"The novella follows Gwendy through high school and beyond, capturing the golden-hued joy of childhood and the wonder of friendship and first love, all under the shadow of temptation. This bite-size gem of a story packs quite a punch, and the only complaint readers will likely have is that it isn’t longer. " PW Review 4/17
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Himself

Himself : a novelBy Kidd, Jess author.
"A rollicking tale of a hero's return...breaking down the barriers between mystery story and comedy of manners, mixing magical realism and crime fiction." -The Guardian (UK)
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Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power

Requiem for the American dream : the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & powerBy Chomsky, Noam
"Noam Chomsky in Requiem for the American Dream directs the fierce light of his intellect on the utopian ideology of neoliberalism..." -Chris Hedges, from the jacket
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IQ

IQBy Ide, Joe
"Joe Ide's IQ is a wondrous double helix of mean-street savvy entwined with classical detection, like Conan Doyle as channeled through Martin Scorsese. It's a terrific book".-Stephen Hunter, cover annotation
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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

Churchill and Orwell : the fight for freedomBy Ricks, Thomas E.
"It is the agreement that objective reality exists, that people of good will can perceive it and that other people will change their views when presented with the facts of the matter". -Thomas Ricks, p. 270
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House of Names

House of names : a novelBy Tóibín, Colm, 1955- author.
"From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Toibin comes a retelling of the Greek myth of Agammemnon, Clytemnestra and their children--a spectacularly audacious, violent and riveting story of family and vengeance." [Publisher jacket annotation]
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He Calls Me By Lightning : The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice and the Death Penalty

He calls me by lightning : the life of Caliph Washington and the forgotten saga of Jim Crow, southern justice, and the death penaltyBy Bass, S. Jonathan author.
"This absorbing chronicle of deep injustice reveals how the Jim Crow South protected racial humiliation with distorted law and organized terror. Written with insider knowledge and analytical power, the book engages our senses to experience repression and challenges our intellect to appreciate the courage of resistance." -Ira Katznelson (Fear Itself)
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The Humane Gardener : Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife

The humane gardener : nurturing a backyard habitat for wildlifeBy Lawson, Nancy, 1970- author.
"In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces." Publisher annotation
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Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Locking up our own : crime and punishment in black AmericaBy Forman, James, 1967- author.
“I think of it as a 239-page rebuttal to the claim that black people and their elected leaders only care about crime when it’s [committed by] the police,”... “If there’s one thing that I hope the book does, it’s demolish that lie.” -James Forman, Jr., in an interview with The Guardian, April 29, 2017
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Borne

BorneBy VanderMeer, Jeff author.
"Named one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Book Riot, Chicago Reader, The Week, and Publishers Weekly.[publisher annotation]
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Miranda and Caliban

Miranda and CalibanBy Carey, Jacqueline, 1964- author.
"Miranda and Caliban is bestselling fantasy author Jacqueline Carey’s gorgeous retelling of The Tempest. With hypnotic prose and a wild imagination, Carey explores the themes of twisted love and unchecked power that lie at the heart of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, while serving up a fresh take on the play's iconic characters." Publisher annotation
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Imagine Wanting Only This

Imagine wanting only thisBy Radtke, Kristen
"Riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect; in Kristen Radtke's hands, nonfiction becomes poetry. A tremendous achievement." -Tom Hart, author of Rosalie's Lightning
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Same Family, Different Colors : Confronting Colorism in America's Diverse Families

Same family, different colors : confronting colorism in America's diverse familiesBy Tharps, Lori L.
"...the first book on colorism to take us inside African American, Latino, Asian, and interracial families as they speak candidly about how the politics of skin color shape their family dynamics and lives. Lori Tharp explores this taboo and urgent subject with courage, vision, and great sensitivity." -Michael Eric Dyson (from the cover)
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White Tears

White tearsBy Kunzru, Hari, 1969-
"An indelible portrait of obsession, music, insanity, and race that draws us into a dark underworld of blues record collecting, haunted by the ghosts of a violent past." (Publisher note, book jacket)
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Comic Books and American Cultural History

Comic books and American cultural history : an anthologyBy Pustz, Matthew (EDT)
"A highly original collection of essays, demonstrating how comic books can be used as primary sources in the teaching and understanding of American history." -NBN
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Christodora

Christodora : a novelBy Murphy, Tim, author.
"Murphy has written The Bonfire of the Vanities for the age of AIDS, using the same reportorial skills as Tom Wolfe to re-create the changing decades, complete with a pitch-perfect deployment of period detail...A powerful evocation." -Publishers Weekly, from the jacket... Read more
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The Summer Before the War

The summer before the war : a novelBy Simonson, Helen
"This novel is just the ticket for fans of Simonson's debut, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, and for any reader who enjoys leisurely fiction steeped in the British past." (jacket-Booklist review) "A bright confection of a book morphs into a story of dignity and backbone.....This book is beautifully plotted and morally astute." (jacket-Kirkus review)
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Age of Anger : A History of the Present

Age of anger : a history of the presentBy Mishra, Pankaj
" Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other". -from the jacket
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The Dark Flood Rises

The dark flood risesBy Drabble, Margaret, 1939-
"A heartfelt rumination on the process of ageing and [the] inevitability of death.....In this novel, the dark flood is death itself, but trust Margaret Drabble to take even the most worrisome of topics and make it witty, relatable and, most importantly, readable". -Rebecca Monks, from the jacket
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Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2015 Prize in Literature
Svetlana Alexievich

National Book Award

2015 Prize for Fiction
Fortune Smiles
by Adam Johnson

2015 Prize for Nonfiction
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Newbery Medal
2016 award
Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña

Caldecott Medal
2016 award
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
b
y Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Printz Award

2016 award
Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
The Last Mile
, by David Baldacci
The Obsession
, by Nora Roberts
Stuck-up Suit, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Bounty, by Kristen Ashley
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins
 

New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sale)
The Rainbow Comes and Goes, by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
The Sleep Revolution, by Arianna Huffington
When Breath Becomes Air
, by Paul Kalanithi
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaegar
Alexander Hamilton
, by Ron Chernow

 

More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award