Introducing The Friday List! Every week, new books are arriving at RLB Library and to keep you up-to-date on what has come in, we’ll be posting the most recent 30 days of arrivals every Friday. The link below will take you to a catalog listing so that you can explore and find titles that interest you. Be sure to check back regularly to see what else has arrived!
If you want some ideas on what to read, here are some highlights:
Prom mom : a novel, Laura Lippman, 2023
Amber Glass has spent her entire adult life putting as much distance as possible between her and her hometown of Baltimore, where she fears she will forever be known as Prom Mom–the girl who allegedly killed her newborn baby that no one knew about, especially not her date, Joe Simpson, who had abandoned her that night to pursue the girl he really liked. But when circumstances bring Amber back to the city, she realizes she can have a second chance–as long as she stays away from Joe, now a successful commercial real estate developer, married to a plastic surgeon, Meredith, to whom he is devoted. The problem is, Amber can’t stay away from Joe. And Joe finds that it’s increasingly hard for him to ignore Amber, if only because she remembers the boy he was and the man he said he was going to be. Against the surreal backdrop of 2020 and early 2021, the two are slowly drawn to each other and eventually cross the line they’ve been trying not to cross. And then Joe asks Amber to help him do the unthinkable…
Alone : Reflections on Solitary Living, Daniel Schreiber, 2023
At no time before have so many people lived alone, and never has loneliness been so widely or keenly felt. Why, in a society of individualists, is living alone perceived as a shameful failure? And can we ever be happy on our own? Drawing on personal experience, as well as philosophy and sociology, Daniel Schreiber explores the tension between the desire for solitude and freedom, and the desire for companionship, intimacy, and love. Along the way he illuminates the role that friendships play in our lives—can they be a response to the loss of meaning in a world in crisis? A profoundly enlightening book on how we want to live, Alone spent almost a year on Germany’s bestseller list.
Half American : the epic story of African Americans fighting World War II at home and abroad, Matthew F. Delmont, 2022
Over one million Black men and women served in World War II. Black troops were at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge, serving in segregated units and performing unheralded but vital support jobs, only to be denied housing and educational opportunities on their return home. Half American is American history as you’ve likely never read it before. In these pages are stories of Black heroes such as Thurgood Marshall, the chief lawyer for the NAACP, who investigated and publicized violence against Black troops and veterans; Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., leader of the Tuskegee Airmen, who was at the forefront of the years-long fight to open the Air Force to Black pilots; Ella Baker, the civil rights leader who advocated on the home front for Black soldiers, veterans, and their families; James Thompson, the 26-year-old whose letter to a newspaper laying bare the hypocrisy of fighting against fascism abroad when racism still reigned at home set in motion the Double Victory campaign; and poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a war correspondent for the Black press. Their bravery and patriotism in the face of unfathomable racism is both inspiring and galvanizing. In a time when the questions World War II raised regarding race and democracy in America remain troublingly relevant and still unanswered, this meticulously researched retelling makes for urgently necessary reading.
Conspiracy : why the rational believe the irrational, Michael Shermer, 2022
In Conspiracy, Michael Shermer presents an overarching review of conspiracy theories―who believes them and why, which ones are real, and what we should do about them. Trust in conspiracy theories, he writes, cuts across gender, age, race, income, education level, occupational status―and even political affiliation. One reason that people believe these conspiracies, Shermer argues, is that enough of them are real that we should be constructively conspiratorial: elections have been rigged (LBJ’s 1948 Senate race); medical professionals have intentionally harmed patients in their care (Tuskegee); your government does lie to you (Watergate, Iran-Contra, and Afghanistan); and, tragically, some adults do conspire to sexually abuse children. But Shermer reveals that other factors are also in play: anxiety and a sense of loss of control play a role in conspiratorial cognition patterns, as do certain personality traits.