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What's New in February?

Quite a few new books have arrived and been shelved during the month of February so far. As always, patrons can come into the library and browse new books displayed on the 10-day shelves across from the circulation desk. Or they can inquire what’s new and popular. Here are a handful to see if any pique your interest.

There’s nothing wrong with starting with a mix from an American Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Toni Morrison. The book is The Last Interview and Other Conversations edited by Melville House with an introduction by the poet Nikki Giovanni. I didn’t realize there’s a whole “last interview” series, thirty-four so far. Morrison covers a wide range of topics not only as a writer, but as a teacher and publisher. She also talked about her family history which deeply informs her writing.

Rosa Brooks gives us another non-fiction book with Tangled Up in Blue – Policing the American City. Brooks takes an unusual approach to her research on policing. She is a journalist and a tenured professor of law at Georgetown University who decided to become a “sworn, armed reserve police officer” in Washington D.C. She wanted a perspective that could only be gained from being on the job. Her conclusions make good reading. She feels there’s a lot that can be improved and approaches the topic from a far more complicated way than seeing the police as a group that can do nothing wrong or nothing right. A more nuanced analysis is necessary to improve lives for the police and the policed.

A book that examines another social issue in the United States is Sara Jaffe’s Work Won’t Love You Back. Jaffe examines what she sees as a “bill of goods” when people are told and convinced that a passion for a job is enough motivation to compensate for being underpaid and takes a look at unpaid interns, underpaid teachers, and non-profit workers – those for whom work is a “labor of love.” She encourages fairer pay and workers to work less but get paid more equitably for the work they do.

Popular author Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds is already attracting plenty of readers. This historical fiction piece focuses on one woman’s struggles during the Great Depression in the Dust Bowl. It is a book of hope, showing that people can overcome great struggles – that toughness and fragility can go together. We can overcome tough times because we’ve done it before is the timely theme of Hannah’s story.

Elizabeth Little’s Pretty as a Picture is on the Wall Street Journal’s 2020 Best Mysteries list and described as “funny, fast-paced, and a pleasure to read.” The protagonist is Marianne Dahl, a film editor, who takes a job on an island off the coast of Delaware with a famous director, Tony Rees. While dealing with the difficult Tony on a murder mystery movie, art and reality blend. This book, as opposed to the first four books I’ve mentioned, sounds like excellent escape. (And I was noting that we aren’t in the habit of thinking of islands as being off the coast of Delaware but why not.)

Anna North’s Outlawed is set in the 1894 American West. The protagonist, married at 17 and happy enough as an apprentice to her midwife mother, ends up fleeing her marriage and town to become a “Hole in the Wall” outlaw run by “Kid.” The outlaw gang she joins has created a refuge for women on the run for one reason or another. Outlawed is a bit of feminist revision of the wild west.

The library has many new books this month plus all its other books. (After all, if we haven’t read it, it’s new to us.) Give our librarians a chance to help you find the perfect books to keep you informed and entertained.

See you at the Library!

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