Susan’s Recommendations

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of A Fist

Your heart is a muscle the size of a fist : a novelBy Yapa, Sunil author.
The setting is Seattle , November 30, 1999, at the protest to shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit meeting. The narrative follows Victor, a disaffected young man who has left home after the death of his mother, and has been living off the grid for three years. His Dad is Police Chief Bishop, charged by the Mayor with keeping 50,000 protesters contained so the WTO meeting can begin.... Read more
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Rebel Souls

Rebel souls : Walt Whitman and America's first bohemiansBy Martin, Justin
Designed for general readers of historical nonfiction, this book centers on the circle of rebellious writers, performers, and experimenters that gathered in Pfaff's Saloon in New York City in the years before the Civil War.... Read more
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Stamped From the Beginning : The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Stamped from the beginning : the definitive history of racist ideas in AmericaBy Kendi, Ibram X, author.
In this deeply researched, provocative narrative, Kendi offers a comprehensive history of anti-Black racist ideas: their origins in fifteenth-century Portugal, their arrival in England in the mid-sixteenth century, and their blossoming in the United States, where they became the founding principles of our nation’s institutions and guarantors of its power. (PUB)
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The Fireman

The fireman : a novelBy Hill, Joe author.
A chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.(PUB)
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Cool Summer Reads for Adults (7 items)

The fireman : a novelBy Hill, Joe author.
"Horror buffs will take note of this latest offering by the Bram Stoker winner." Library Journal May 2016
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HaymakerBy Schuitema, Adam
A 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Haymaker is a short novel about three years in the life of a small Upper Peninsula town, which has been identified by a group of down-state libertarians as the perfect place to establish their model town called Freedom Community. Although many of the hardscrabble local Haymakes have similar views about living life the way they want, they deeply resent this invasion of folks who intend to take over their town.... Read more
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The Plant Recipe Book

The plant recipe book : 100 living arrangements for any home in any seasonBy Chapman, Baylor
Baylor Chapman’s plant expertise and Paige Green’s photography combine for a gorgeous and informative how-to book for creating table-size living plant container gardens. Chapman gives you a list of exactly what is needed for each arrangement (her “ingredients”) starting with one of the 40 featured plants (and includes variations using additional plants in the arrangement).... Read more
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The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects

The backyard homestead book of building projectsBy Carlsen, Spike, 1952-
Want to extend the growing season of your vegetable garden, keep that lawn/garden brown bag standing up while you fill it, make your own concrete planters, walkway or a backyard chicken coop? How about a bat house or beehive? This is the book for you: not only does the author explain all the tools, materials and safety tips, but gives you clear how-to drawings to build any of 76 projects for the backyard gardener to the small scale homesteader.... Read more
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This Census-Taker

This census-takerBy Miéville, China
Wildly inventive author Miéville’s newest book starts out with a young boy running down the hill from his isolated house to the village below, screaming that a murder has taken place. A nameless narrator is looking back at his childhood and what he remembers seems to vacillate from fantasy to reality...when the authorities take him back, his father tells them that his mother left them, but the boy knows what he saw.... Read more
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The Buried Giant

The buried giant : a novelBy Ishiguro, Kazuo, 1954-
Ishiguro is the renowned author whose books include The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. His newest, The Buried Giant takes place in rural Arthurian England just as the Saxons have invaded and there is a fragile peace. An elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, undertake a journey to visit their son; along the way they meet the warrior Wistan and his young charge Edwin, as well as an ancient Sir Gawain.... Read more
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Child 44

Child 44By Smith, Tom Rob
Child 44 is a grim, violent story of life in Soviet Russia in 1953, where it is understood: “there is no crime in Paradise.” We meet Leo Demidov, a top secret police agent, and his wife, Raisa, a schoolteacher. The lack of investigation into a possible murder case, dismissed as an “accident” by the police, shows how such cases are regularly “solved”: arrest an undesirable citizen and coerce a confession.... Read more
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How to Watch a Film

How to watch a movieBy Thomson, David, 1941-
David Thomson has been called “the greatest living film critic and historian”. His new book will help all those who really love the cinema to get more out of their viewing by understanding a bit about the nuts and bolts the movie makers use to put together the films we see.... Read more
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Another Woman's Daughter

Another woman's daughterBy Sussman, Fiona
This simple yet affecting story takes place in South Africa and London between the years 1959 and 1985. Celia works as a cook and housekeeper for Rita and Michael Steiner, returning nightly to the townships where she lives. The Steiners are a deeply troubled couple, childless after several miscarriages, who become frightened at the growing unrest fomenting around the issue of apartheid.... Read more
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Part of our Lives : A People's History of the American Public Library

Part of our lives : a people's history of the American public libraryBy Wiegand, Wayne A., 1946-
Celebrated library historian Wayne A. Wiegand, a former library science professor and author of many articles and books over the course of his career, gives us a very readable and interesting look at the institution that has played such an important part in most lives: the American public library. He traces their growth and progress from private lending collections to the modern community-oriented information centers we know and love.... Read more
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She's Leaving Home

She's leaving homeBy Shaw, William, 1959-
Shaw’s debut novel is a British police procedural which takes places in 1968 London, when popular culture was in a frenzy over the Beatles. Veteran Detective Sergeant Breen is assigned a murder case (a young woman strangled and dumped beside a locked garage) and the old curmudgeon is put off by being teamed with a young female novice policewoman who is super-excited about working with him.... Read more
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The Quiet Girl

The quiet girl [sound recording]By Høeg, Peter, 1957-
Peter Hoeg (author of Smilla’s Sense of Snow) creates a brilliant character in Kasper Krone, a professional clown, psychic and classical musician with a preternatural ability to “hear” another person’s sounds.... Read more
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The Muralist

The muralist : a novelBy Shapiro, Barbara A., 1951- author.
B. A. Shapiro, the author of 2012’s well-received The Art Forger, brings another fine historical fiction, this time about beginnings of Abstract Expressionism in America. The novel takes place in the Depression Era, when many young artists were employed to create art by the WPA.... Read more
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In the Language of Miracles

In the language of miraclesBy Hassib, Rajia
The Al-Menshawys are an Egyptian-American Muslim family living in suburban New Jersey. Samir and Nagla have three children, Hosaam, Khaled and daughter Fatima; joining the household is Nagla’s mother, Eshan. The family is facing the one-year anniversary of a terrible tragedy—troubled eldest son Hosaam killed his... Read more
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The Affinities

The affinitiesBy Wilson, Robert Charles, 1953-
Multiple award-winning author Wilson’s latest book speculates that in the future of this technology-heavy, inhospitable world, people will want to take advantage of advanced screening programs that will sort and assign them to one of the 22 affinity groups. Once in your Affinity family, you will find new social relationships, cooperation and love with people more attuned to how you really are.... Read more
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If the oceans were ink : An unlikely friendship and a journey to the heart of the Quran

If the oceans were ink : an unlikely friendship and a journey to the heart of the QurʾanBy Power, Carla, author.
Journalist Carla Powers, with an Oxford degree in Middle Eastern Studies and many years of residence in several Asian/Middle Eastern countries, narrates this well-written and completely engrossing memoir of the year she spent reading and studying the Qur’an with Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. Powers met Nadwi at Oxford, in residence to write a multi-volume biography of Muslim women scholars, as well as lecturing.... Read more
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The Gap of Time

The gap of time : a novelBy Winterson, Jeanette, 1959-
Hogarth is publishing a new line of books comprised of rewrites of Shakespeare’s plays. Jeanette Winterson tackles “A Winter’s Tale” in her latest novel, The Gap of Time, which, to Winterson’s credit, can be thoroughly enjoyed without having read the play. That said, if you are familiar with “A Winter’s Tale” you will find pleasure in discovering its renamed characters and newly invented plot.... Read more
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Liar's Bench

Liar's benchBy Richardson, Kim Michele
Richardson’s debut novel, Liar’s Bench, takes place in early 1970’s Peckinpaw, Kentucky. Mudas Summer’s 17th birthday is shockingly marred by the discovery of her mother Ella’s body, quickly ruled a suicide. Mudas knows her mother would never kill herself, and is determined to uncover the murderer’s identity.... Read more
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Mrs. Engels

Mrs. EngelsBy McCrea, Gavin, 1978-
Mrs. Engels is an absorbing historical fiction which gives memorable voice and form to all-but-forgotten Lizzie Burns, “Proletarian, Irish rebel, and model Communist” who was the common-law wife of Frederick Engels, co-author of The Communist Manifesto. Lizzie and her sister, Mary, workers at Engels’ Manchester mill, both lived with Engels—Mary as his lover until her death, and Lizzie as their housekeeper.... Read more
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Everything I Never Told You

Everything I never told you : a novelBy Ng, Celeste
Ng’s debut novel is the absorbing story of a multiracial family living in 1970’s Ohio. The parents, Marilyn and James, met in school. Although Marilyn was looking forward to a promising medical career, she gave it up to marry James, who had just finished his PhD. She becomes a homemaker, who projects her missed ambitions on her eldest daughter, Lydia.... Read more
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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
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