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February 2024 | View as Webpage

Check out the books and more that we're enjoying! (And some that we're not.)

Looking for some book suggestions? Use our "What's Next?" form and staff will recommend 4-5 titles for you to enjoy.

What Are Cary Staff Reading?


In the Form of a Question by Amy Schneider

I was already a big fan of Jeopardy champion, Amy Schneider, and was glad to get to know her a bit more. Schneider tells her story with a lot of thought and humor. This librarian was also glad to find another person who is not a fan of Ernest Hemingway and I appreciate that she was able to articulate what it is I just don't like about his novels.

Adult Memoir

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors and I can never wait to get my hands on a copy of her latest. This wasn't my favorite of hers (those spots are reserved for Bel Canto, Commonwealth, and Truth & Beauty), but I still enjoyed her usual beautiful prose. I also gained a greater appreciation for the plays Our Town and The Cherry Orchard and was eager to revisit them. (You can watch a production of Our Town, starring Paul Newman as the Stage Manager and the 1999 film version of The Cherry Orchard through our subscription to Kanopy.)

Adult Fiction

The Arsonists' City by Hala Alyan

The Nasr siblings travel to Beirut, along with their parents, when their father announces that he's selling their childhood home. This is my favorite book I have read in 2024, so far. This character driven novel, spanning several locations from Damascus to Beirut to Austin to Brooklyn to (2-4 hours outside of) Los Angeles, deeply explores identity and what that means. Each of the Nasr siblings are fully realized and complex, beautifully flawed, and extremely likable. 

I recommend for anyone looking for an understanding, through fiction, of the history of Lebanon and Syria, first generation immigrant families in the United States, multiple and multi-generational points of view, or just an intricately plotted detailed novel.

Adult Fiction

The Queen of Sugar Hill by ReShonda Tate

A fictional look at the life of Hattie McDaniel, starting with her historic Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actress. This well researched book exhibits a strong sense of place and time. Hattie McDaniel comes alive in these pages and her struggle as a person of color struggling with the prejudices of Hollywood, criticism from others in the Black community for her roles, and her struggles in her personal life were hugely felt by this reader. 

For more about Hattie McDaniel and the history of Black cinema, I recommend reading Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood by Jill Watts and Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World by Wil Haygood.

Adult Fiction

Helen L.

Murder and Mamon by Mia P. Manansala

Adult Mystery

Overdue or Die by Allison Brook

Adult Mystery


Divine Rivals and Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross

The most beautiful YA fantasy duology I have read in a long time! 

Teen Fantasy

My Roommate is a Vampire by Jenna Levine

Adult Romance

Roaming by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Teen Graphic Novel

Sir Morien and the Knights of the Round Table by Holly Black and Kaliis Smith

Children's Picture Book

These Olive Trees by Aya Ghanameh

Children's Picture Book


How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair

Adult Memoir

The Impatient by Djaili Amadou Amal

Adult Fiction

The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer

Adult Fiction

The September House by Carissa Orlando

Adult Fiction

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany Jackson

Teen Fiction

Helen K.

The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith

Adult Mystery

The Mighty Thor: Thunder in Her Veins by Jason Aaron

Teen and Adult Graphic Novel

Hello, Beautiful by Ann Napolitano 

Audiobook read by Maura Tierney: excellent!

Adult Fiction


Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed by Dashka Slater

Slater presents a balanced exploration of meme and internet culture, and its effect on teenagers' mental health and self-perception and raises essential questions about accountability and complicity. 

Teen Nonfiction

Mascot by Charles Waters and Traci Sorell

This is a powerful novel in verse which explores via multiple alternating perspectives of a group of racially diverse students, a fictional school (and town's) division over their racist mascot. Waters and Sorell present a complex portrait of the different reactions and views of the controversy eschewing judgement and including a well rounded discussion including racism, classism, as well as effective allyship.

Teen (Between) Fiction

Bea and the New Deal Horse by L.M. Elliott

This is a great historical fiction novel to hand to fans of The War that Saved My Life, but in also has some Anne of Green Gables vibes as well. Set in the Great Depression, Elliott layers historical events (from the effects of the crash of the stock market, to the veterans march on Washington, to Hoover/FDF presidential campaign) with details of horses and horse jumping into an engrossing story with a plucky and determined heroine.

Children's Fiction

The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine by Katherine Marsh

Marsh's National Book Award Finalist is a powerful and haunting story that alternates perspectives between the beginning of the COVID pandemic and 1930s Ukraine and the Holodomor, a terrible famine that devastated Soviet Ukraine. This story is a page-turner, haunting and timely and explores a largely unknown period of history through a powerful story of family, survival and sacrifice. A must read for fans of historical fiction and author's like Ruta Sepetys and Alan Gratz.

Adult Fiction

Michelle H.

Pay as You Go by Eskor David Johnson

The best novel I've read in awhile. It is a delightfully written odyssey that follows its protagonist, Slide, on his madcap adventures through the great fictional city of Polis on his extended apartment hunt. It's 500 pages, but it's absolutely a page-turner; at every step, I had no idea where it was going next but remained desperate to find out. It comes with a full, bursting-to-life cast of compelling characters (with fabulous names like "Osman the Throned" and "Uglygod") whose stories consistently surprised and moved me, and if you love stories about cities, Polis itself is both an electrically alive setting and the most complicated, thrilling character of all. The prose is always bold and readable, at times hysterically funny, at times so beautiful you have to take a moment out of your adventure to pause. If you have ever loved a city, if you ever have ever spoken of it with alternate reverence, disgust, rage, joy, and "the false boredom of true love" (perhaps all in the same sentence), you need to read this book. Don't walk, run. 

Adult Fiction


Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon by Melissa Savigny

I recommend this. It's the story of two University of Michigan botanists determined to ride the length of the Colorado with a few amateur boatmen in 1938 to catalog the plants growing along the banks. At the time, the river had been navigated only a few times, and with its rapids, sheer cliff walls, hidden rocks, and flash floods it was considered one of the most dangerous rivers in the world. This little band of intrepid boaters became national news during the Depression, with the whole country following their slow progress over forty-three days.

Adult Nonfiction


Artifice by Sharon Cameron

Teen Fiction

Wrath Becomes Her by Aden Polydoros

Teen Fiction


Pay as You Go by Eskor David Johnson

Adult Fiction


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