New Fiction: Tuesday, Jan. 26

The library has moved to “Grab and Go” service in light of the recent spike of pandemic cases in Wayne County. What does that mean? Basically, the only ones allowed in the library at this time are staff members. To check out books, you’ll go to the online catalog and place holds on the books or other materials you want. Staff members will pull them and leave them in the cabinet outside the library doors. You can find more detailed instructions here.

Here are a few of the new books that have come in to the library recently. We invite you to check them out!

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A House at the Bottom of a Lake

Both seventeen. Both afraid. But both saying yes. It sounded like the perfect first date: canoeing across a chain of lakes, sandwiches and beer in the cooler. But teenagers Amelia and James discover something below the water’s surface that changes their lives forever. It’s got two stories. It’s got a garden. And the front door is open. It’s a house at the bottom of a lake. For the teens, there is only one rule: no questions. And yet, how could a place so spectacular come with no price tag? While the duo plays house beneath the waves, one reality remains: Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home.

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Pianos and Flowers: Brief Encounters of the Romantic Kind

In these stories, inspired by long-lost photographs, the lives of the people in the frame are imagined and then explored, layer by layer. What must have it like to be them? We hold our breath for them. Our heart beats faster for them. We look again at the photograph in a new light, and say Yes, it might have happened just like that. This journey of exploration takes us to some exotic places. We share the lives of three sisters, brought up in Penang. We read of what happened to them, and to their Chinese neighbors caught in the tides of war. We see a group of small boys in a Glasgow slum, their young lives stunted by poverty, and hear how life worked out in contrasting ways for them. We follow a young woman’s search for love in the unlikely realm of Egyptian antiquities. And through all of these photographs, and all of these stories, there runs the same refrain: the possibilities of love, of friendship, of happiness lie before us. At first glance the photographs may seem unexceptional: the mere freezing of a moment in time. But delve deeper and you will realize that these photographs speak volumes.

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The Children’s Blizzard

The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a punishing cold spell. At the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard blew in without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: Keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn’t get lost in the storm? Based on actual oral histories of survivors, this gripping novel follows the stories of Raina and Gerda Olsen, two sisters, both schoolteachers — one becomes a hero of the storm and the other finds herself ostracized in the aftermath. It’s also the story of Anette Pedersen, a servant girl whose miraculous survival serves as a turning point in her life and touches the heart of Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman seeking redemption. It was Woodson and others like him who wrote the embellished news stories that lured northern European immigrants across the sea to settle a pitiless land. Boosters needed them to settle territories into states, and they didn’t care what lies they told these families to get them there — or whose land it originally was.

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