What’s new on our shelves? Find out from long-time library patron Jennifer Gerholdt! Each month, Jennifer will highlight several of her favorite books that have been recently added to our collection.

Meet Jennifer: Jennifer works remotely for Native, a Burlington, VT based carbon projects developer and offsets provider, helping companies find their best course of climate actions. She has a master’s degree in environmental sciences and policy from The Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from New Mexico State University. Jennifer lives here in Shepherdstown with her husband Rhys. In her free time Jennifer enjoys hiking, kayaking, biking, traveling, and, of course, reading.


New Arrivals:

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took On A World At War by Deborah Cohen
“Effervescent,” Last Call at the Hotel Imperial tells the ambitious and riveting story of a band of celebrated American reporters who brought to vivid life a world at war. Told up close through the eyes of foreign correspondents, we gain a deeper understanding of the rise of dictators and failed democracies – lessons that remain relevant today.

Mecca by Susan Straight
“A stunning epic tracing the intertwined lives of Native Californians fighting for life and land,” Susan Straight offers a richly layered portrayal of a people navigating perilous life journeys through love, death, racism, wildfires, COVID, ICE raids, loss and grief. A moving hymn to the southern California landscape and its people.

Ocean State by Stewart O’Nan
“A Shakespearean tragedy told in spare, poetic, insightful prose,” O’Nan’s latest thriller illuminates the challenges of working class life in America, told through the lens of a murder. From the very first page, we learn a high school student in Rhode Island was murdered, and who did it. The story of the build up to the murder and its aftermath unfurls through the alternating perspective of four women, and showcases the tragic lengths we go to for love.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
“Exceedingly clever” and a highly anticipated release of 2022, Lucy Foley’s latest whodunnit transports readers to a Paris apartment building where everyone is a suspect and everyone has something to hide. If like me you loved Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, you’ll enjoy cozying up with this suspenseful and stylish escapism that will keep you guessing until the fast-paced end.

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart
From Booker-prize winning Shuggie Bain (an amazing debut!), Stuart’s much anticipated sophomore novel vividly portrays working class life in Glasgow, Scotland in the 1990s, and a young gay man trying to live his authentic self in the face of intolerance, prejudice, and family dysfunction. It is a heartbreaking story of pushing the boundaries of masculinity, violence faced by those who don’t conform, and the dangerous first love between two men.

The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton
“A sweeping tale of perseverance and courage set against the backdrop of Nazi-era Europe,” The Postmistress of Parisis historical fiction at its best – a riveting and haunting story of one woman who helps artists hunted by Nazis escape war-torn Europe. Perfect for fans of Lisa Wingate, Kate Quinn, and Kristin Hannah.

Shackleton by Ranulph Fiennes
“The definitive biography of a legendary adventurer,” Fiennes – a world renowned explorer himself – brings to life one of the giants of the heroic age of polar exploration. This biography chronicles Shackleton’s life through stories and exploits of his adventures and discoveries on and off the ice. This is a timely read with the recent discovery of Shackleton’s lost ship Endurance found off the coast of Antarctica. Perfect armchair travel reading next to a cozy fire.

Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh
Jennifer Haigh’s new novel explores the disparate lives of women at Mercy Street, a clinic that offers women a range of services related to physical and mental health issues, addiction and recovery. Through a wide and vividly drawn cast of characters, Mercy Street explores a woman’s right to choose, which continues to be one of the most divisive issues of our time.

Lost in the Valley of Death by Harley Rustad
“One of the most haunting books of recent times,” Lost in the Valley of Death is about one man’s journey to find himself. Justin Alexander Shetler quits his job and sets out on a global journey, across the U.S., South America, the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, and eventually to the Parvati Valley in the Indian Himalayas. There he sets off on a journey to a holy lake – never to return. Perfect for those who love narrative nonfiction such as Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Carolina Built by Kianna Alexander
“A beautiful, heartfelt story of an extraordinary woman too long forgotten to history,” Carolina Built brings to life real estate magnate Josephine Leary, who is determined to build a life of her own while also focusing on her marriage, her children, and being a supportive daughter and granddaughter. This is a novel filled with passion and perseverance, and how one woman teaches herself to be a businesswoman and build her legacy from the ground up.

All Day Is A Long Time by David Sanchez
All Day Is A Long Time is Sanchez’s debut novel about a coming of age in the drug-riddled Gulf Coast of Florida. It’s a powerful account of growing up and fighting – against every challenge – to carve out a place for oneself and overcome insurmountable odds. At a young age, David becomes hooked to crack cocaine, and over the next decade is in and out of jail and rehab, navigating his way through tenuous sobriety. When he takes a literature course at a community college, his life takes another turn. A nod to the transformative power of the written word.

Oceans of Grain by Scott Reynolds Nelson
Oceans of Grain runs a fine-toothed comb through history to tell an unexpected tale of what caused some empires to crumble while others survived and thrived: grain.” Nelson illustrates how cheap American grain toppled the world’s largest empires and changed the world. In the 1800s, Russia was the primary source of Europe’s grain. After the U.S. Civil War, American grain flooded the market, plummeting prices, leading to the rise of Italy and Germany, and decline of the Ottomans and the Hapsburgs. This was a critical factor in the start of the Russian Revolution and WWI.