PCRBPL Book Picks

PCRBPL Book Picks

Welcome to PCRBPL Book Picks!

By Patty Monaghan

The Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library is proud to present our very own blog, PCRBPL Book Picks! As you may have noticed, we have recently launched our new-and-improved website. With the ever-growing digital age upon us, it is crucial that we devote more time and attention to expanding our online offerings. As always, it is our goal to fulfill the wants, needs, and interests of the beautiful communities we serve.

Have you ever had trouble finding the perfect book to read? Do you want to explore genres that are new to you? Are you looking to discover a new favorite author? All of these questions and more will be answered right here on PCRBPL Book Picks. We look forward to becoming your go-to book recommendation station. Happy reading!

Beach Reads!

By Patty Monaghan

Summer is here, which means it’s time to slather on sunscreen, don your sunglasses, and head outside with a book in your beach bag. Not sure which book to bring along on your sunny excursion? You can’t go wrong with any of these stellar beach reads! Make sure to visit PCRBPL Book Picks again next month for even more beachy recommendations.

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is the undisputed queen of beach reads, and our list of recommendations would not be complete without one of her sweeping tales of family and community. This stunning and suspenseful page-turner surrounds the aftermath of a celebratory bonfire on the beach. Zoe has just received the devastating news that her two children have been in a car accident that has left her daughter dead and her son in a coma. As a life-altering Nantucket summer unfolds, she and the survivors of the accident yearn to understand what happened on that fateful night.

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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

It’s 1983, and Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit Riva are about to throw their annual end-of-summer party. As the four siblings entertain their guests, it quickly becomes apparent that they are each guarding their own secrets about their personal lives. Little do they know, all of their lives will be changed forever over the course of the next 24 hours. Taylor Jenkins Reid demonstrates her immense talent for storytelling in this fast-paced novel about the tangled web of dysfunctional relationships that can exist among the members of one unforgettable family.

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Afterparties: Stories by Anthony Veasna So

If a novel isn’t calling your name, then consider this debut collection of short stories. Late author Anhony Veasna So provides insight into Cambodian-American life in these nine immersive, tenderhearted, and humorous stories. His characters beam with love, life, and longing as they navigate the triumphs and struggles of race, sexuality, friendship, and family. Most notably, hisvivid writing sheds much-needed light on Cambodian-American queer and immigrant communities.

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That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

When suburban wife and mother Daisy Shoemaker starts receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, she finds herself hooked on Diana’s seemingly glamorous single life. When the two women meet and become close friends, however, readers learn that their initial connection may not have been accidental after all. With Jennifer Weiner’s vibrant writing in tow, be prepared to experience a captivating whirlwind of intrigue and secrets with female friendship at its core.

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Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Fifteen years ago, teenagers Eva and Shane spent seven days madly in love. In the present, they are both bestselling Black authors who unexpectedly reunite at a literary event. Their chemistry is undeniable; moreover, they’ve secretly been writing to each other in their books through the years. Over the next seven summer days, Eva and Shane reconnect. Will their love last this time around? Hailed as a “testament to Black joy” by Jodi Picoult, this compelling and steamy novel promises readers a good time as it navigates romance, identity, and contemporary life.

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Get Hooked on Historical Fiction!

By Patty Monaghan

Are you interested in learning about historical time periods, but don’t have the time or energy to bury your nose in a dense work of nonfiction? Try out historical fiction, an ever-expanding genre of fictional stories that are set against a virtually endless backdrop of historical settings. Whether you’re seasoned in the genre or just starting out, these four outstanding works of historical fiction will positively transport you back in time.

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Bestselling author Tracy Chevalier tells the story of a pioneer family on the American frontier in this beautifully crafted novel set between 1838 and 1856. When the Goodenough family settles in northwest Ohio, they decide to buy saplings from Johnny Appleseed and devote their lives to cultivating apple trees. The years of hardship that follow prompt Robert, the youngest of the Goodenough children, to leave his family behind for the excitement and solace of the California Gold Rush. Told through alternating perspectives, Chevalier presents readers with an atmospheric historical drama that is ripe with detail.

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The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

Prentiss and Landry are brothers who were recently freed by the Emancipation Proclamation in this stunning debut novel set in Georgia at the end of the Civil War. Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers who have just returned to their hometown. Both pairs find refuge from the violence of the Reconstruction era on the homestead of George and Isabelle Walker. Readers will find themselves captivated by Harris’ unforgettable cast of characters and the turmoil they endure. Fans of James McBride and Colson Whitehead will absolutely devour this profound novel that is as gripping as it is moving.

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The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Yale Tishman has just hit his stride as the director of a Chicago art gallery when his friends begin dying, one by one. It’s 1985, and the AIDS epidemic is leaving Yale’s world in a state of utter devastation. Thirty years later, his story intertwines with that of Fiona, who is still grappling with the ways in which AIDS has impacted her life. Considered a brilliant work of modern historical fiction, Rebecca Makkai’s masterful novel is immersive, commemorative, and poignant. Makkai’s ability to capture the love, fear, anger, and trauma that was experienced during such a tumultuous – and scarily recent – time makes this book a stunning literary feat.

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Park Avenue Summer by Renée Rosen

It is 1965, and Alice Weiss has just landed a big-city job working for Helen Gurley Brown, the first female editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of the scandalous bestseller Sex and the Single Girl. Upon her arrival at the office, Alice is astonished by the number of employees who would rather see the magazine fail than have it be run by a woman. This realization only provides Alice with the determination to help Helen succeed. Rosen’s compelling writing perfectly captures the early days of Helen Gurley Brown’s career and the road she paved for women in the editorial industry.

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Happy Juneteenth!

By Patty Monaghan

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved people in the United States. While Juneteenth has been celebrated throughout the country since 1865, it has only been a federal holiday since 2021. Are you interested in learning more about this momentous event in American history? Check out these incredible books!

Juneteenth: The Story Behind the Celebration by Edward T. Cotham, Jr.

In this captivating book, you will learn the facts and legends surrounding the celebratory national holiday known as Juneteenth. Author and Civil War historian Edward T. Cotham, Jr. incorporates decades of research into this essential scholarly work. His passion for American history is evident on every page, as is his determination to provide readers with a stronger understanding of this joyous event.

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Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison was arguably one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century. Case in point, he spent four decades perfecting this literary masterpiece. In this magnificent novel, he tells the story of a dying senator and the Black minister that he summons to his deathbed. Through their poignant kinship, the two uncover elements of their identities that had long been buried by painful memories. Ellison powerfully evokes themes of jazz and gospel in this stunning tour de force of classic Black literature.

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Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction by Eric Foner

Using a wide range of long-neglected documents, historian Eric Foner sheds new light on the post-Civil War era in this groundbreaking work of nonfiction. Foner successfully debunks numerous assumptions regarding America’s years of emancipation and reconstruction, many of which had been whitewashed and rooted in racism. His mesmerizing use of easily digestible language is further complemented by the inclusion of historical illustrations.

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On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed

Coming in at just under 150 pages, this slim volume beautifully combines memoir with American history. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed expertly recounts the origin of Juneteenth in her home state of Texas, including its personal impact on her enslaved ancestors. Her eye-opening research provides an illuminating and much-needed perspective on the vital and virtually unknown role that African Americans played in the history of Texas.

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Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month!

By Patty Monaghan

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the monumental achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge how much work still needs to be done in order to attain full equality and representation. Challenge yourself to read the rainbow this month by picking up any of these four fabulous books, all of which revolve around themes of sexual orientation and gender identity.

With Teeth by Kristen Arnett

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Arnett focuses on LGBTQ+ parenthood in this candid and provocative novel. Sammie is determined to have the picture-perfect queer family, but her increasingly absent wife, Monika, and their surly son, Samson, are preventing her from bringing this vision to life. Arnett, a self-described “very happily lesbian” writer, uses her characteristic warmth and wit in this successful portrayal of the challenges of love, marriage, and parenthood.

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Pride: The LGBTQ+ Rights Movement by Christopher Measom

This gorgeously illustrated book serves as a groundbreaking and essential tribute to the LGBTQ+ Pride Movement while also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Covering landmark events and milestones of the past century, writer/photographer Christopher Measom includes more than 120 photographs, posters, ads, and works of art that represent the history of the LGBTQ+ community. Not to be missed are the numerous excerpts from key speeches, articles, and other written media, all of which can be found in the pride-filled pages of this remarkable book.

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The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Gay Uncle “Guncle” Patrick is living a life of luxury in sunny Palm Springs when tragedy strikes, and he suddenly finds himself as the primary guardian of his young niece and nephew. Despite having a set of house rules at the ready, Patrick quickly becomes overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for two children under the age of 10. Through humor and heart, author Steven Rowley soars in this outstanding ode to the power of love, family, and patience.

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Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness

You may know Jonathan Van Ness as the grooming and self-care expert on Queer Eye, the hit Netflix series. In this revelatory and rambunctious memoir, the openly gay hairstylist and TV personality shares never-before-told stories of his midwestern upbringing. Readers will learn how the struggles he endured during his adolescence made him into the radiant human he is today. Van Ness’s writing is heartwarming in its positivity and witty in its comedic delivery.

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Get Your Grill On!

By Patty Monaghan

Independence Day is right around the corner, which means it’s time to dust off that barbecue grill! If you’re not sure what to make for your 4th of July feast, check out these four fantastic cookbooks. From meat and potatoes to fish and veggies, these cookbooks offer some of the best grilling recipes that are guaranteed to meet all of your BBQ needs.

Guy on Fire: Grilling, Tailgating, Camping, and More! by Guy Fieri

While Guy Fieri’s knack for tracking down the best food joints in America has made him a household name, he is also a tremendously successful chef in his own right. In this cookbook, Fieri provides 130 stellar recipes for outdoor cooking that will take you straight to Flavortown. From bacon-wrapped hot dogs and old-school baked beans to smoked chicken tacos and fire-roasted pizza, Fieri ensures that there’s room on the grill to fulfill everyone’s cravings.

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Ultimate Grilling Cookbook by Good Housekeeping

If you’re looking for classic all-American grilling recipes, look no further than the outstanding offerings of Good Housekeeping. The 250 delicious, triple-tested recipes compiled in this book include starters, burgers, meats, sides, sauces, and more! You’ll also find helpful suggestions and advice on meal planning and grilling equipment, as well as easy-to-master grilling techniques from the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen.

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Great Vegan BBQ Without a Grill by Linda & Alex Meyer

Mother-daughter team Linda and Alex Meyer are here to prove that you can still enjoy good BBQ without animal products or a grill! Featuring more than 70 scrumptious plant-based recipes, this cookbook will teach you how to easily replicate the smoky flavors and textures of classic BBQ dishes using a grill pan or cast-iron skillet. The wide variety of meat-free burgers, entrees, sides, and sauces included in these pages will undoubtedly satisfy everyone at your table.

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The Brisket Chronicles by Steven Raichlen

Award-winning cookbook author Steven Raichlen has an undying love for brisket. Hailed as the “Shakespeare of Barbecue,” Raichlen has collected more than 60 mouthwatering brisket recipes in this brilliant cookbook. You’ll learn how to barbecue, braise, smoke, and cure the world’s most epic cut of meat in a variety of delectable dishes, from bacon-smoked brisket and kung pao pastrami to smoked corn beef and double brisket cheeseburgers.

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May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

By Patty Monaghan

Looking to expand your reading horizons? In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, learn about the cultures and experiences of four AAPI authors in these outstanding books. From award-winning fiction to unforgettable memoirs, these reads will be sure to captivate and inspire you.

Tastes Like War: A Memoir by Grace M. Cho

In this raw and exquisite memoir, Grace M. Cho reflects on her Korean-American upbringing and the struggles of navigating adolescence and adulthood with her schizophrenic mother. Cho delves into the impact that racism, xenophobia, and intergenerational trauma have had on her life in an attempt to understand the social and biological roots of her mother’s mental illness. Readers will be transfixed by this heartbreaking account of one family’s immigrant experience.

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My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee

Tiller is an unmotivated college student from New Jersey; Pong Lou is a Chinese American entrepreneur who decides to take Tiller under his wing. When the two embark on a business trip across Asia, Tiller is exposed to a whole new world of cultural immersion. Pulitzer Prize finalist Chang-Rae Lee masterfully alternates between Asia’s effects on a young American man and America’s impact on a Chinese man in this breathtaking and exhilarating novel.

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Asian Americans in the Twenty-First Century by Joann Faung Jean Lee

Journalist Joann Faung Jean Lee compiled the results of 27 eye-opening interviews with Asian Americans of various backgrounds to form this astonishing and candid collection of oral histories. The stories included in this remarkable book touch on nearly every aspect of life for Asian Americans, from work and education to interracial marriage and cross-cultural adoption. The experiences recounted in these oral histories illuminate a rich mosaic of what it means to be an Asian American in modern society.

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Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Winner of the National Book Award, this immensely inventive novel follows Willis Wu, a typical Asian American man who yearns to be more than the stereotypes that are constantly thrown in his face. Author Charles Yu tells Willis’ story in the form of an engaging and wildly original Hollywood screenplay that offers a striking commentary on racism and pop culture in America. Prepare to be hooked on this simultaneously hilarious and heartfelt story.

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May Is Mental Health Awareness Month!

By Patty Monaghan

Mental health is just as important as physical health. No matter what mental health issues you may be struggling with, it’s crucial to know that you are not alone. The following books discuss topics ranging from depression and PTSD to schizophrenia and can provide the comfort and reassurance you may be seeking.

For additional mental health resources, please refer to the following websites:

Crisis Prevention from the NYS Office of Mental Health
NYS Office of Mental Health Information and Resources
Mental Health Service Providers in Westchester County

Psychiatric Tales by Darryl Cunningham

Cartoonist Darryl Cunningham sheds light on the world of mental illness in this groundbreaking collection of 11 graphic stories. Cunningham, who spent many years as a healthcare assistant on an acute psychiatric ward, offers a poignant and sympathetic look at mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Through eye-catching illustrations and minimal language, this powerful book effectively destigmatizes the mental health disorders that afflict 26% of American adults every day.

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The Depression Toolkit by William J. Knaus, Alex Korb, Patricia J. Robinson, Lisa M. Schwab, and Kirk D. Strosahl

If you suffer from depression and need help managing your symptoms, this is the book for you! Written by a team of mental health experts, this slim guide provides tips and strategies that are grounded in mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and behavioral action in order to help you break free from the vicious cycle that depression can have on your daily life. The book’s short chapters offer small and impactful bites of advice that will teach you how to move past your negative thoughts and get motivated to live your best life.

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I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

Dominick Birdsey’s entire life has revolved around caring for and protecting Thomas, his paranoid schizophrenic identical twin brother. Bestselling author Wally Lamb paints an epic portrait of the impact of mental illness on one family throughout the second half of the 20th century in this monumental multi-generational family saga. Deeply memorable characters intermingle with sweeping themes of loneliness, desperation, and survival in this touching and truly unforgettable book that you will not want to put down.

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Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

In addition to being a major literary figure of the 20th century, author Virginia Woolf was also a longtime sufferer of bipolar disorder and a fierce mental health advocate. In this legendary novel, we experience one day in the life of British socialite Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares to host a lavish party. Along the way, readers are introduced to Septimus Warren Smith, a World War I veteran suffering from severe PTSD. Woolf’s portrayal of PTSD is haunting in its accuracy and serves as one of the earliest representations of the debilitating mental illness in literature.

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Spring Into These Great Reads!

By Patty Monaghan

Spring has officially sprung! Flowers and trees all around us are in full bloom, and it’s getting warmer outside. To welcome this rejuvenating time of year, pick up one of these four fabulous books and let the spirit of spring sweep you off your feet.

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank

Holly McNee Jensen is content with her quiet life as a beekeeper and librarian in this warm and heartfelt story. While prepping her hives for spring, Holly catches the attention of Archie, the widowed man next door. As their friendship begins to develop, Holly’s flamboyant sister and mother re-enter her life and upend the serene oasis that Holly has created for herself. Will Holly’s beloved bees provide her with the respite she needs from the chaos surrounding her?

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Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear

The tales of Beatrix Potter have become synonymous with spring. While you may be familiar with Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, how much do you know about the extraordinary woman behind their creation? In this remarkable biography, horticulturalist Linda Lear delves into the life and lesser-known achievements of the artist, storyteller, and countrywoman known as Beatrix Potter. Lear’s outstanding writing presents Potter as a passionate and independent woman who ultimately sought to bring nature back into the imagination.

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Spring: A Novel by Ali Smith

It is said that hope springs eternal, and that is the message at the core of Ali Smith’s contemporary political novel set in modern Britain. From sex trafficking to the refugee crisis, Smith doubles down on these injustices and many more through the perspectives of three unique and memorable characters. As they grapple with society’s seemingly imminent collapse, Mother Nature bursts forth with the determination to provide a fresh layer of greenery over the rubble and ruins caused by humankind.

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Chasing Spring: An American Journey Through a Changing Season by Bruce Stutz

Over the course of three months, acclaimed nature writer Bruce Stutz captured the complete unfolding of an American spring season by traveling from the Gulf of Mexico to the Alaskan Arctic. Along the way, he had thought-provoking conversations with scientists and farmers whose livelihoods not only depend on springtime, but are being threatened by the ever-looming force of climate change. Stutz’s writing is witty and gentle as he observes the ways in which animals and landscapes respond to the call of spring, thus making this book an essential work of armchair travel.

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April is National Poetry Month!

By Patty Monaghan

Are you interested in reading poetry, but don’t know where to start? Have no fear – our list of recommended starting points is free of the mighty intimidators such as Homer and Shakespeare. Take part in National Poetry Month by picking up any of these outstanding and accessible collections by both classic and contemporary poets.

101 Poems That Could Save Your Life edited by Daisy Goodwin

Poems are wondrous when it comes to easing the harsh emotions that life throws our way. Pick up this anthology, and you’ll find beautiful poems that will provide you with warmth, comfort, and reassurance. This collection is guaranteed to boost your mood on any given day. From Emily Dickinson and Lord Byron to Dorothy Parker and Ted Hughes, you will be introduced to a myriad of poets whose work you’ll want to devour.

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Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

As the youngest presidential inaugural poet in US history, Amanda Gorman has already made quite a name for herself. If you were captivated by her moving performance of “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration, then the poems in her debut collection will leave you utterly transfixed. Gorman’s use of language is luminous and timely, offering hope and healing in an unprecedented time.

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The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was undoubtedly one of the most important writers of the Harlem Renaissance. This collection offers some of the greatest poems of the 20th century. Hughes’ words are simultaneously simple, concise, impactful, and inspirational. Illustrations by Brian Pinkney add a profound visual element to Hughes’ poetry, thus creating a well-rounded reading experience.

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Devotions by Mary Oliver

If you consider yourself a nature lover but have struggled to find nature writing that appeals to you, look no further than Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver. This invaluable and treasured collection of her timeless work is the perfect place to start. It contains more than 50 years of Oliver’s poems, all of which revolve around the wonders of the natural world.

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The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath

Though she is most well-known for her novel, The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath was also an incredible poet. This monumental collection is an enchanting meditation on life and death. It is also the only volume of poetry that Plath published before her own death in 1963. The 40 poems contained within this slim volume are startling in their imagery and elegant in their artistry. You won’t be able to stop yourself from picking it up again and again.

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Happy Earth Day: Gardening Books

By Patty Monaghan

Celebrate Earth Day with these great gardening books! Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your garden, start a garden for the first time, or become more informed on plant life, these books will lead you in a greener direction.

Practical Cactus & Succulent Book by Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway

Are you interested in gardening, but don’t have the time or outdoor space to start one of your own? Creating an indoor garden of cacti and succulents may be your solution. This informative book will teach you everything you need to know about these resilient, low-maintenance plants and how best to nurture them. Photographs of over 200 varieties of cacti and succulents are included, as well as helpful tips on the amount of light, water, and soil they each need.

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One Magic Square Vegetable Gardening by Lolo Houbein

Author Lolo Houbein shares four decades of her gardening wisdom in this enchanting guide to vegetable gardening. All you need to get started is a 3-foot-square plot of soil. Houbein expertly intertwines her vast gardening knowledge with personal anecdotes of her experiences. Most notably, this book features over 40 ways to design your 3-foot-square based on what you want to grow, from beans and greens to onions and herbs.

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Native Plants of the Northeast by Donald J. Leopold

Did you know that there are nearly 700 species of trees, wildflowers, shrubs, vines, and grasses that are native to the Northeast United States? This book delves into describing a great number of those species, taking care to include color photographs and practical advice on cultivation and propagation. If you want to add native plants to your garden or learn how to restore native plant habitats, this book is an essential resource.

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Month-by-Month Gardening in New York by André & Mark Viette

Start your garden at any time of year with this immensely resourceful book as your guide. You will learn the ins and outs of caring for all types of plants throughout the year, from bulbs and shrubs to perennials and roses. Concise tips on planning, planting, pruning, watering, and fertilizing are provided for every month and every type of plant. Additional hints and various gardening projects are sprinkled throughout each chapter for even more inspiration on how you can make your garden grow.

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Successful Small Gardens by Roy Strong

Looking to transform your small garden into a backyard oasis? Accomplished gardener and garden writer Roy Strong presents 20 innovative and beautiful garden designs that are organized according to the level of upkeep they require. Stunning photographs and design illustrations of both classic and contemporary gardens fill the pages of this inspiring book. Strong also provides helpful tips on the structure and planting of each garden.

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April is National Humor Month

By Patty Monaghan

There is no better time than National Humor Month to settle down with a book that makes you laugh. Humorous books are abundant in every genre, from fiction and mystery to sci-fi and memoir. There’s something for everyone, so what are you waiting for? Pick up one of these hilarious books, and be sure to have your chuckles ready.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

When Arthur Dent is thrust into the galaxy moments before the total destruction of Planet Earth, he knows that it’s not going to be an ordinary Thursday. Join Arthur on his wild and wacky adventures through the galaxy in this beloved work of comedic science fiction. Douglas Adams’ use of sidesplitting satire and wit will make this reading experience truly unforgettable.

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The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

The 2008 financial crisis has just crushed Charles Wang’s wealth. The patriarch of a fractured Chinese-immigrant family, Charles becomes determined to take his wife and kids back to China in an attempt to reclaim his family’s ancestral land. Debut author Jade Chang takes readers on the road trip of a lifetime using the perfect combination of charm and humor.

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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Meet Thursday Next, a detective who lives in an alternative 1980s Great Britain where time travel is part of everyday life, and people can literally get lost in the pages of a book. When someone kidnaps Jane Eyre from the pages of Charlotte Bronte’s iconic novel, it’s up to Thursday to catch the criminal and restore order to the literary world. You will find yourself grinning from ear to ear as you absorb the delightful wit of Jasper Fforde’s storytelling.

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

You may be familiar with Mindy Kaling’s comedic work on TV sitcoms like The Office and The Mindy Project. In this hilarious collection of autobiographical essays, Kaling reflects on herchildhood, college years, friendships, relationships, and – of course – her career. Kaling’s writing is compulsively readable, utterly relatable, and unreservedly funny.

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Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

No list of humorous books would be complete without David Sedaris. The anecdotes included in this particular collection revolve around the deeply amusing elements of a little thing called love. Sedaris’ uncanny ability to transform everyday events into uproariously funny and moving stories is remarkable. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wheezing with laughter as you attempt to read parts of this book out loud to your friends.

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Women’s History Month: Biographies

By: Patty Monaghan

The accomplishments of women throughout history deserve to be celebrated throughout the year. In honor of this year’s Women’s History Month, we have compiled four biographies of outstanding women who successfully fought for their right to be heard and refused to give up.

All In: An Autobiography by Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King leaves no stone unturned in her intimate and epic autobiography. She details her life as a professional tennis player who successfully fought against sexism and went on to become an out-and-proud activist for LGBTQ+ rights. King’s writing is superb in its candidness, and readers will be left feeling inspired by her unwavering courage.

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Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai

As the first female African environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai is the quintessential embodiment of the power of perseverance and independence. In this gripping and compelling memoir, Maathai recounts her remarkable life, from founding the Green Belt Movement to her ultimate success in saving Kenya’s forests.

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Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells by Michelle Duster

This brilliantly visual biography, which includes numerous photographs and illustrations, examines the fascinating life of suffragist and activist Ida B. Wells. Authored by Wells’ great-granddaughter, this unique book examines Wells’ groundbreaking achievements, from her outspokenness on the harsh treatment of African Americans to co-founding the NAACP.

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If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) by Betty White

It’s only right that we celebrate the sensational life of TV legend Betty White by recommending her 2011 memoir, which is equally funny and sweet. In the book, White demonstrates her signature humor and class by sharing memorable anecdotes from her decades-long career, as well as her reflections on life, love, and friendship.

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Women’s History Month: Adult Fiction

By: Patty Monaghan

Women’s History Month is not only a time to celebrate the achievements of well-known women, but also the triumphs of everyday women. Get ready to settle down with one (or more) of these excellent works of female-driven fiction written by stellar women authors.

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

This dynamic collection of 30 feminist short stories is a fantastically fierce ode to what it means to be a woman in today’s society. These insightful stories provide layers of authenticity and empowerment that will resonate with women readers. Ahern adds whimsical elements of magical realism to the situations presented in each story, making for a truly fun reading experience.

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The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

This vivid page-turner follows the life of Jewish immigrant Addie Baum as she navigates the city of Boston during the early 20th century. Diamant’s writing positively flourishes in this thought-provoking and entertaining novel. Readers will instantly admire Addie’s success in breaking through the barriers that try (and fail) to hold her back.

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Circe by Madeline Miller

When Circe, the formidable sorceress from Homer’s The Odyssey, discovers that she possesses the power of witchcraft, she is banished to a desert island where she must learn to fend for herself. Miller uses mesmerizing language set against the magnificent backdrop of Greek mythology in this epic novel about the strength of one woman in a male-dominated world.

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Alice Love is 29-years-old, happily married, and expecting her first child…or is she? When Alice comes to after suffering a fall, she is stunned to realize that she is actually a nearly-divorced mother of three who is about to turn 40. Readers will delight in Moriarty’s captivating and humorous story of one woman’s unique journey through a lost decade of her life.

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Women’s History Month: Nora Roberts

By: Patty Monaghan

You would be hard pressed to find someone who has never heard of Nora Roberts. Since 1991, she has penned more than 215 New York Times bestsellers, nearly 50 of which lay under her pseudonym, J.D. Robb. According to Roberts’ official website, 27 of her books are sold every minute.

If you feel a tad intimidated by her massive catalog, you are not alone! From contemporary romance and mysteries to paranormal intrigue, there’s a Nora Roberts book that you are bound to love. We’ve compiled some of the best places to start right here:

Blue Dahlia

Welcome to Harper House, the centuries-old Memphis mansion that has long been haunted by a Harper family ghost. When Stella, a young widow, moves into the house and begins working at the property’s nursery, she isn’t intimidated by the mansion’s spooky history. Rather, she quickly settles comfortably into her new life. Follow Stella on her journey as she develops new friendships, balances motherhood with her new job, and falls head over heels for a luscious landscaper named Logan.

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Whiskey Beach

After being falsely accused of murdering his ex-wife, Eli seeks refuge at Bluff House on Whiskey Beach. Upon his arrival, he meets the home’s caretaker, Abra Walsh, who immediately provides him with the nurturing that he so desperately needs. As he tries to solve the mystery surrounding his ex-wife’s death, Eli soon realizes that someone is determined to destroy him. Will Eli and Abra be able to free themselves from the rumors threatening to drag them under?

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The Witness

Following a life-altering traumatic event, Abigail Lowery has built a life for herself based on security and self-control. She lives alone on the outskirts of the Ozarks which, unfortunately, only attracts the attention of Brooks Gleason, the local police chief. He is amazed by her intellect and self-sufficiency, but suspects that she is hiding something behind her determination to keep a low profile. You will be riveted by the events that unfold when Abigail lets Brooks into her life.

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Year One

The end has come. More than half of the world’s population has been annihilated, and the government has collapsed. The power of technology has been reduced to nothing, and magic is taking its place…both good and bad. Embark on the journeys of a group of survivors as they make their way to a western frontier, encountering friends and foes along the way. Fans of fantastical and dystopian fiction will absolutely devour the pages of this utterly suspenseful novel.

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