Simply Held November Authors: Clive Cussler and Kat Martin

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction and fiction? You should join Simply Held. Choose any author, celebrity pick, nonfiction and/or fiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from Simply Held. November’s authors are Clive Cussler for fiction and Kat Martin for romance.

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Our November fiction author is Clive Cussler. Clive passed away in 2020, but works continue being written bearing his name with the help of many other authors. He has five best-selling series including Dirk Pitt, NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Fargo. In addition to his fiction works, Clive has also written numerous nonfiction books. His books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. Clive writes primarily thrillers. In addition to writing, Clive is considered an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks. He was also the founder of the National Underwater Marine Agency, (NUMA), a nonprofit organization that works to preserve American maritime and naval history, searching for lost shops of historic significance. They have discovered over sixty historically significant underwater wreck sites.

Cussler’s newest book is The Sea Wolves, published in November 2022. This is book thirteen in the Isaac Bell Adventure series written by Jack Du BRul.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the author:

Detective Isaac Bell battles foreign spies, German U-boats, and an old nemesis to capture a secret technology that could alter the outcome of World War I in the latest adventure in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Clive Cussler.

As New England swelters in the summer of 1914, Detective Isaac Bell is asked to investigate a cache of missing rifles—only to discover something much more sinister. Whoever broke into this Winchester Factory wasn’t looking to take weapons, they wanted to leave something in the shipping crates: a radio transmitter, set to summon a fleet of dreaded German U-boats. Someone is trying to keep American supplies from reaching British shores, and if Bell doesn’t crack the conspiracy in time, the Atlantic Ocean will run red with blood.

Bell must hunt down a new piece of technology that is allowing the Germans to rule the seas from New York to England. With the outcome of the war at stake and Franklin Roosevelt’s orders on the line, Bell will risk everything to stop the U-Boats before they strike again.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Our November romance author is Kat Martin. Kat has written over sixty historical and contemporary romantic suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print. She has been published in over twenty countries. Kat currently lives in Missoula, Montana with her husband, L.J. Martin, who writes westerns. Kat writes romantic suspense, historical romance, and paranormal romance.

Martin’s newest book is One Last Chance, published in November 2022. This is book three in Blood Ties, The Logans series.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin mixes high-octane adventure with sizzling romance for an explosive thriller featuring a dangerous cult, an ex Green Beret, and a female private investigator who will stop at nothing to rescue her missing sister and unmask the high-stakes conspiracy at the heart of the Children of the Sun…

Former Green Beret Edge Logan has made a new life for himself at Nighthawk Security in Denver, using his finely honed skills to neutralize threats of all kinds. When he overhears friend and fellow agent Skye Delaney discussing a new case involving her missing sister and a mysterious cult, he offers himself as backup. With her own military background, Skye is gutsy and more than capable, but a cult like Children of the Sun is too risky for anyone to investigate alone.

Skye is grateful for Edge’s experience, even though she is aware of the attraction simmering between them. Her battle scars make her reluctant to get involved with anyone, much less a coworker—even a warrior like Edge. But infiltrating the cult’s compound is more complicated than expected—and something much more sinister than worship is clearly going on behind its walls. As the pair works against the clock to unearth high-stakes secrets, the personal barriers between them begin to crumble. Together, can they unmask the face of evil before their time runs out?

November’s Celebrity Book Club Picks

It’s a new month which means that Jenna Bush Hager and Reese Witherspoon have picked new books for their book clubs! Reminder that if you join Simply Held, these titles will automatically be put on hold for you.

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Jenna Bush Hager has selected The Cloisters by Katy Hays for her November pick.

Curious what The Cloisters is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

In this “sinister, jaw-dropping” (Sarah Penner, author of The Lost Apothecary) debut novel, a circle of researchers uncover a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This book is also available in the following format:

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Reese Witherspoon has selected Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed as her November pick.

Curious what Tiny Beautiful Things is about? Check out the following description provided by the author.

THE REESE’S BOOK CLUB NOVEMBER PICK • An anniversary edition of the bestselling collection of “Dear Sugar” advice columns written by the author of #1 New York Times bestseller Wild—featuring a new preface and six additional columns. Soon to be a Hulu Original series.

For more than a decade, thousands of people have sought advice from Dear Sugar—the pseudonym of bestselling author Cheryl Strayed—first through her online column at The Rumpus, later through her hit podcast, Dear Sugars, and now through her popular Substack newsletter. Tiny Beautiful Things collects the best of Dear Sugar in one volume, bringing her wisdom to many more readers. This tenth-anniversary edition features six new columns and a new preface by Strayed. Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

Join Simply Held to have Oprah, Jenna, and Reese’s adult selections automatically put on hold for you!

Oprah’s Latest Book Club Pick: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Join Simply Held to have certain celebrity book club picks automatically put on hold for you: Reese Witherspoon, Jenna Bush Hager, and Oprah Winfrey. While Reese and Jenna generally announce a new title each month, Oprah’s selections are more sporadic. She has just announced hew newest selection: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver! Reminder that if you join Simply Held, you can choose to have these titles automatically put on hold for you.

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Oprah Winfrey has selected Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver.

Curious what Demon Copperhead is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Unsheltered and Flight Behavior, a brilliant novel which enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity.

“Anyone will tell you the born of this world are marked from the get-out, win or lose.”

Demon Copperhead is set in the mountains of southern Appalachia. It’s the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Join Simply Held to have Oprah’s adult selections automatically put on hold for you!

October’s Simply Held Nonfiction Picks

We have rebranded our Best Sellers Club to now be called Simply Held! Have you joined Simply Held? If not, you’re missing out! Four times a year, our librarians choose four nonfiction titles for Simply Held members to read: a biography, a cookbook, a social justice, and a true crime title. Below you will find information provided by the publishers on the four titles our selectors have picked for October.

Social Justice pick

No More Police: A Case for Abolition by Marianne Kaba and Andrea Ritchie

In this powerful call to action, New York Times bestselling author Mariame Kaba and attorney and organizer Andrea J. Ritchie detail why policing doesn’t stop violence, instead perpetuating widespread harm; outline the many failures of contemporary police reforms; and explore demands to defund police, divest from policing, and invest in community resources to create greater safety through a Black feminist lens.

Centering survivors of state, interpersonal, and community-based violence, and highlighting uprisings, campaigns, and community-based projects, No More Police makes a compelling case for a world where the tools required to prevent, interrupt, and transform violence in all its forms are abundant. Part handbook, part road map, No More Police calls on us to turn away from systems that perpetrate violence in the name of ending it toward a world where violence is the exception, and safe, well-resourced and thriving communities are the rule.

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True Crime pick

Dangerous Rhythms by TJ English

Dangerous Rhythms tells the symbiotic story of jazz and the underworld: a relationship fostered in some of 20th century America’s most notorious vice districts. For the first half of the century mobsters and musicians enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership. By offering artists like Louis Armstrong, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald a stage, the mob, including major players Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, and Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, provided opportunities that would not otherwise have existed.

Even so, at the heart of this relationship was a festering racial inequity. The musicians were mostly African American, and the clubs and means of production were owned by white men. It was a glorified plantation system that, over time, would find itself out of tune with an emerging Civil Rights movement. Some artists, including Louis Armstrong, believed they were safer and more likely to be paid fairly if they worked in “protected” joints. Others believed that playing in venues outside mob rule would make it easier to have control over their careers.

Through English’s voluminous research and keen narrative skills, Dangerous Rhythms reveals this deeply fascinating slice of American history in all its sordid glory.

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Biography pick

Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman by Lucy Worsley

A new, fascinating account of the life of Agatha Christie from celebrated literary and cultural historian Lucy Worsley.

“Nobody in the world was more inadequate to act the heroine than I was.”

Why did Agatha Christie spend her career pretending that she was “just” an ordinary housewife, when clearly she wasn’t? Her life is fascinating for its mysteries and its passions and, as Lucy Worsley says, “She was thrillingly, scintillatingly modern.” She went surfing in Hawaii, she loved fast cars, and she was intrigued by the new science of psychology, which helped her through devastating mental illness.

So why—despite all the evidence to the contrary—did Agatha present herself as a retiring Edwardian lady of leisure?

She was born in 1890 into a world that had its own rules about what women could and couldn’t do. Lucy Worsley’s biography is not just of a massively, internationally successful writer. It’s also the story of a person who, despite the obstacles of class and gender, became an astonishingly successful working woman.

With access to personal letters and papers that have rarely been seen, Lucy Worsley’s biography is both authoritative and entertaining and makes us realize what an extraordinary pioneer Agatha Christie was—truly a woman who wrote the twentieth century.

Librarian Rachel has the following to say about her pick:

Everyone knows Agatha Christie for her popular mystery books. She is considered to be the best selling novelist of all time and only the Bible and Shakespeare have sold more copies than she has. Her numerous novels include two popular characters, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and each have their own series. So even though many people have read her books and enjoyed her stories, fewer people know the story of the woman writing these novels. Agatha Christie was a fascinating woman as the author Lucy Worsley details. 

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Cookbook Pick

Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture From My Kitchen in México by Rick Martínez

Join Rick Martínez on a once-in-a-lifetime culinary journey throughout México that begins in Mexico City and continues through 32 states, in 156 cities, and across 20,000 incredibly delicious miles. In Mi Cocina, Rick shares deeply personal recipes as he re-creates the dishes and specialties he tasted throughout his journey. Inspired by his travels, the recipes are based on his taste memories and experiences. True to his spirit and reflective of his deep connections with people and places, these dishes will revitalize your pantry and transform your cooking repertoire.

Highlighting the diversity, richness, and complexity of Mexican cuisine, he includes recipes like herb and cheese meatballs bathed in a smoky, spicy chipotle sauce from Oaxaca called Albóndigas en Chipotle; northern México’s grilled Carne Asada that he stuffs into a grilled quesadilla for full-on cheesy-meaty food euphoria; and tender sweet corn tamales packed with succulent shrimp, chiles, and roasted tomatoes from Sinaloa on the west coast. Rick’s poignant essays throughout lend context—both personal and cultural—to quilt together a story that is rich and beautiful, touching and insightful.

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Join Simply Held to have the new nonfiction picks automatically put on hold for you four times a year.

Simply Held October Authors: William Johnstone and Dean Koontz

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction and fiction? You should join Simply Held. Choose any author, celebrity pick, nonfiction and/or fiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from Simply Held. October’s authors are William Johnstone for fiction and Dean Koontz for horror.

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Our October fiction author is William Johnstone. Johnstone is known as a writer of western thrillers, and is most known for writing horror, western, and survivalist novels. He passed away in 2004, but his nephew J.A. Johnstone has kept up his work by continuing writing under his name and his uncle’s name. William was born in 1938 and held a wide variety of jobs before he started writing in 1970. He quit school when he was fifteen, then was in the French Foreign Legion until he was kicked out for being underage. William then joined the carnival, went back to school, worked as a deputy sheriff, joined the army, and then started a career in radio broadcasting. He was on air for sixteen years. Although William started writing in 1970, he didn’t become a full-time writer until late 1979. In his career, he has written over four hundred books spanning many genres: action, suspense, western, science fiction, and horror.

Johnstone’s newest book is Desolation Creekto be published in March 2023. This is book five in the Smoke Jensen series written with J.A. Johnstone.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

Legendary national bestselling Western authors William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone return with the latest gun-blazing installment in their newest Smoke Jensen series.

JOHNSTONE COUNTRY. WHERE DYING AIN’T MUCH OF A LIVING.

Building a ranch takes heart and grit. Smoke and Sally Jensen are more than capable of meeting the challenges of shaping the land, raising the livestock, and establishing their brand. But Smoke wasn’t always an entrepreneur. He’s more apt to settle accounts with a fast draw than a checkbook. And when he learns his old friend Preacher has been ambushed by outlaws, he wastes no time saddling up and hitting the vengeance trail with his fellow mountain men Audie and Nighthawk.

Preacher’s attackers have taken over the town of Desolation Creek deep in Montana Territory. Their scurrilous leader, Vernon “Venom” McFadden, has his men harrassing terrified homesteaders and townsfolk to get his hands on nearby property that’s rumored to be rich with gold. Smoke and his helpmates drift into town one by one with a plan to root out Venom’s gang of prairie rats and put the big blast on each and every one.

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Our October horror author is Dean Koontz. Koontz has written under many pseudonyms and has covered a wide variety of genres: horror, science fiction, thriller, mysteries, and even children’s fiction. He has sold over 500 million copies of his books to date. They have been published in 38 languages. Fourteen of his novels have been number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, an honor very few authors have achieved. Meanwhile sixteen of his books made it to number one in paperback. Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition his senior year of college, that fueled his desire to continue writing. After landing a job at the Appalachian Poverty Program, Koontz was even more motivated to start a career as a writer, writing nights and weekends. When he left that job, he worked as an English teacher in a suburban school district. While working there, his wife offered to support him for five years so he could dedicate himself to his writing career. At the end of those five years, she quit her job to help him manage his writing career. Koontz now lives in Southern California with his wife.

Koontz’s newest book is The House at the End of the World which is to be published in January 2023.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the publisher.

Soon no one on Earth will have a place to hide in this novel about fears known and unknown by #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz.

In retreat from a devastating loss and crushing injustice, Katie lives alone in a fortresslike stone house on Jacob’s Ladder island. Once a rising star in the art world, she finds refuge in her painting.

The neighboring island of Ringrock houses a secret: a government research facility. And now two agents have arrived on Jacob’s Ladder in search of someone—or something—they refuse to identify. Although an air of menace hangs over these men, an infinitely greater threat has arrived, one so strange even the island animals are in a state of high alarm.

Katie soon finds herself in an epic and terrifying battle with a mysterious enemy. But Katie’s not alone after all: a brave young girl appears out of the violent squall. As Katie and her companion struggle across a dark and eerie landscape, against them is an omnipresent terror that could bring about the end of the world.

This book is also available in the following format:

Oprah’s Latest Book Club Pick: ‘That Bird Has My Wings’ by Jarvis Jay Masters

Join Simply Held to have certain celebrity book club picks automatically put on hold for you: Reese Witherspoon, Jenna Bush Hager, and Oprah Winfrey. While Reese and Jenna generally announce a new title each month, Oprah’s selections are more sporadic. She has just announced hew newest selection! Reminder that if you join Simply Held, you can choose to have these titles automatically put on hold for you.

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Oprah Winfrey has selected That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters.

Curious what That Bird Has My Wings is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher.

That Bird Has My Wings is the astounding memoir of death row inmate Jarvis Masters and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the talent of a fine writer. Offering scenes from his life that are at times poignant, revelatory, frightening, soul-stirring, painful, funny, and uplifting, That Bird Has My Wings tells the story of the author’s childhood with parents addicted to heroin, an abusive foster family, a life of crime and imprisonment, and the eventual embracing of Buddhism.

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Join Simply Held to have Oprah’s adult selections automatically put on hold for you!

October’s Simply Held Fiction Picks

We have rebranded our Best Sellers Club to now be called Simply Held! Have you joined Simply Held? If not, you’re missing out! Four times a year, we choose fiction titles for Simply Held members to read from multiple categories: Graphic Novel, Diverse Debuts, Rainbow Reads, Overcoming Adversity, Historical Fiction, Out of this World, Stranger Things, International Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Juvenile Fiction.

Diverse Debuts: Debut fiction novel by a BIPOC author.

Graphic Novel: Fiction novel for adults of any subgenre with diverse characters depicted by color illustrations, sketches, and photographs.

Historical Fiction: Historical fiction novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

International Fiction: Fiction novel originally written in another language with BIPOC main character(s).

Juvenile Fiction: Fiction chapter book with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for children 7-11

Out of this World: Science fiction novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

Overcoming Adversity: Fiction novel with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for adults.

Rainbow reads: Fiction novel with LGBTQ+ main character(s).

Stranger Things: Horror novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

Young Adult Fiction: Fiction chapter book with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for children 14 and older.

Below you will find information provided by the publishers on the titles we have picked for October.

Graphic Novel:

Graphic Novel: Fiction novel for adults of any subgenre with diverse characters depicted by color illustrations, sketches, and photographs.

Crema by Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz with Ryan Ferrier & Alta Hrafney

#1 New York Times Bestselling cartoonist Johnnie Christmas and Prism Award Nominee Dante Luiz bring you a haunted tale of love, ghosts, and coffee beans.

Esme, a barista, feels invisible, like a ghost… also, when Esme drinks too much coffee she actually sees ghosts. Yara, the elegant heir to a coffee plantation, is always seen, but only has eyes for Esme. Their world is turned upside down when the strange ghost of an old-world nobleman begs Esme to take his letter from New York City to a haunted coffee farm in Brazil, to reunite him with his lost love of a century ago. Bringing sinister tidings of unrequited love.

Collects the ComiXology original digital graphic novel Crema in print for the first time.

Diverse Debuts:

Diverse Debuts: Debut fiction novel by a BIPOC author.

What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris

In the vein of Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, a coming-of-age novel told by almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB), as she and her sister try to make sense of their new life with their estranged grandfather in the wake of their father’s death and their mother’s disappearance.

An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through KB’s eyes, What the Fireflies Knew follows KB after her father dies of an overdose and the debts incurred from his addiction cause the loss of the family home in Detroit. Soon thereafter, KB and her teenage sister, Nia, are sent by their overwhelmed mother to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing, Michigan. Over the course of a single sweltering summer, KB attempts to navigate a world that has turned upside down.

Her father has been labeled a fiend. Her mother’s smile no longer reaches her eyes. Her sister, once her best friend, now feels like a stranger. Her grandfather is grumpy and silent. The white kids who live across the street are friendly, but only sometimes. And they’re all keeping secrets. As KB vacillates between resentment, abandonment, and loneliness, she is forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice.

A dazzling and moving novel about family, identity, and race, What the Fireflies Knew poignantly reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up—the realization that loved ones can be flawed and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Rainbow Reads:

Rainbow reads: Fiction novel with LGBTQ+ main character(s).

All the Things We Don’t Talk About by Amy Feltman

A “big-hearted, lively, and expansive portrait of a family” that follows a neurodivergent father, his nonbinary teenager, and the sudden, catastrophic reappearance of the woman who abandoned them (Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author).

Morgan Flowers just wants to hide. Raised by their neurodivergent father, Morgan has grown up haunted by the absence of their mysterious mother Zoe, especially now, as they navigate their gender identity and the turmoil of first love. Their father Julian has raised Morgan with care, but he can’t quite fill the gap left by the dazzling and destructive Zoe, who fled to Europe on Morgan’s first birthday. And when Zoe is dumped by her girlfriend Brigid, she suddenly comes crashing back into Morgan and Julian’s lives, poised to disrupt the fragile peace they have so carefully cultivated.

Through it all, Julian and Brigid have become unlikely pen-pals and friends, united by the knowledge of what it’s like to love and lose Zoe; they both know that she hasn’t changed. Despite the red flags, Morgan is swiftly drawn into Zoe’s glittering orbit and into a series of harmful missteps, and Brigid may be the only link that can pull them back from the edge. A story of betrayal and trauma alongside queer love and resilience, ALL THE THINGS WE DON’T TALK ABOUT is a celebration of and a reckoning with the power and unintentional pain of a thoroughly modern family.

Overcoming Adversity:

Overcoming Adversity: Fiction novel with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for adults.

The Sign for Home by Blair Fell

When Arlo Dilly learns the girl he thought was lost forever might still be out there, he takes it as a sign and embarks on a life-changing journey to find his great love—and his freedom.

Arlo Dilly is young, handsome, and eager to meet the right girl. He also happens to be DeafBlind, a Jehovah’s Witness, and under the strict guardianship of his controlling uncle. His chances of finding someone to love seem slim to none.

And yet, it happened once before: many years ago, at a boarding school for the Deaf, Arlo met the love of his life—a mysterious girl with onyx eyes and beautifully expressive hands which told him the most amazing stories. But tragedy struck, and their love was lost forever.

Or so Arlo thought.

After years trying to heal his broken heart, Arlo is assigned a college writing assignment which unlocks buried memories of his past. Soon he wonders if the hearing people he was supposed to trust have been lying to him all along, and if his lost love might be found again.

No longer willing to accept what others tell him, Arlo convinces a small band of misfit friends to set off on a journey to learn the truth. After all, who better to bring on this quest than his gay interpreter and wildly inappropriate Belgian best friend? Despite the many forces working against him, Arlo will stop at nothing to find the girl who got away and experience all of life’s joyful possibilities.

Historical Fiction:

Historical Fiction: Historical fiction novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

After the Hurricane by Leah Franqui

Reminiscent of Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt, Leah Franqui brings us an engrossing, deeply personal novel with a mystery at its heart as a daughter returns to Puerto Rico to search for her troubled father, who has gone missing after Hurricane Maria.

From the outside, Elena Vega’s life appears to be an easy one: the only child of two professional parents, private school, NYU. But her twenties are aimless and lacking in connection. Something has always been amiss in her life: her father, the brilliant but deeply troubled Santiago Vega.

Born in rural Puerto Rico, Santiago arrived in New York as a small child. His harsh, mercurial father returned to the island, leaving Santiago to be raised by his mentally ill mother and his formidable grandmother. An outstanding student, he followed scholarships to Stanford, then Yale Law, marrying Elena’s mother along the way. Santiago is the shining star of his migrant family—the one who made it out and struck it rich. But he is a haunted man, plagued by trauma, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism. He’s lost contact with Elena over the years and returned to San Juan to wrestle his demons alone.

Then Hurricane Maria strikes, and Santiago vanishes. Desperate to know what happened to the father she once adored, Elena returns to Puerto Rico, a place she loved as a child but hasn’t seen in years. There she must unravel the truth about who her father is, crisscrossing the storm-swept island and reaching deep into his family tree to find relatives she’s never met, each of whom seems to possess a clue about Santiago’s fate.

A compelling mystery unfolds, as Elena is reunited with family, and with a place she loved and lost—the island of Puerto Rico, which is itself a character in this book. It’s a story of connection, migration, striving, love, and loss, illuminated by humor and affection, written by a novelist at the height of her gifts.

Out of this World:

Out of this World: Science fiction novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague—a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice.

In 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika Crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.

Once unleashed, the Arctic plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects—a pig—develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet.

From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resilience of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.

This book is also available in the following format:

Stranger Things:

Stranger Things: Horror novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…

During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.

But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?

Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.

Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.

Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.

This book is also available in the following formats:

International Fiction:

International Fiction: Fiction novel originally written in another language with BIPOC main character(s).

Portrait of an Unknown Lady by María Gainza; translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead

New York Times Notable author María Gainza, who dazzled critics with Optic Nerve, returns with the captivating story of an auction house employee on the trail of an enigmatic master forger

In the Buenos Aires art world, a master forger has achieved legendary status. Rumored to be a woman, she specializes in canvases by the painter Mariette Lydis, a portraitist of Argentinean high society. But who is this absurdly gifted creator of counterfeits? What motivates her? And what is her link to the community of artists who congregate, night after night, in a strange establishment called the Hotel Melancólico?

On the trail of this mysterious forger is our narrator, an art critic and auction house employee through whose hands counterfeit works have passed. As she begins to take on the role of art-world detective, adopting her own methods of deception and manipulation, she warns us “not to proceed in expectation of names, numbers or dates . . . My techniques are those of the impressionist.”

Driven by obsession and full of subtle surprise, Portrait of an Unknown Lady is a highly seductive and enveloping meditation on what we mean by “authenticity” in art, and a captivating exploration of the gap between what is lived and what is told.

Young Adult Fiction:

Young Adult Fiction: Fiction chapter book with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for children 14 and older.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

With four starred reviews, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Juvenile Fiction:

Juvenile Fiction: Fiction chapter book with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for children 7-11

A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Vanderbeekers series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger.

It’s June’s first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren’t enough, she also can’t bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she’s not about to give it up now.

Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door.

Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?

Join Simply Held to have the newest Fiction picks automatically put on hold for you every quarter.

October’s Celebrity Book Club Picks

It’s a new month which means that Jenna Bush Hager and Reese Witherspoon have picked new books for their book clubs! Reminder that if you join Simply Held, these titles will automatically be put on hold for you.

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Jenna Bush Hager has selected The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn for her October pick.

Curious what The Whalebone Theatre is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

A TODAY SHOW #ReadWithJenna BOOK CLUB PICK • A transporting, irresistible debut novel that takes its heroine, Cristabel Seagrave, from a theatre in the gargantuan cavity of a beached whale into undercover operations during World War II—a story of love, family, bravery, lost innocence, and self-transformation.

One blustery night in 1928, a whale washes up on the shores of the English Channel. By law, it belongs to the King, but twelve-year-old orphan Cristabel Seagrave has other plans. She and the rest of the household—her sister, Flossie; her brother, Digby, long-awaited heir to Chilcombe manor; Maudie Kitcat, kitchen maid; Taras, visiting artist—build a theatre from the beast’s skeletal rib cage. Within the Whalebone Theatre, Cristabel can escape her feckless stepparents and brisk governesses, and her imagination comes to life.

As Cristabel grows into a headstrong young woman, World War II rears its head. She and Digby become British secret agents on separate missions in Nazi-occupied France—a more dangerous kind of playacting, it turns out, and one that threatens to tear the family apart.

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Reese Witherspoon has selected Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng as her October pick.

Curious what Our Missing Hearts is about? Check out the following description provided by the author.

From the number one bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, a deeply suspenseful and heartrending novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child in a society consumed by fear

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic—including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.

Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can pretend to ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Best Sellers Club is now Simply Held!

Best Sellers Club is now Simply Held, a service that automatically places you on hold for authors, celebrity picks, nonfiction picks, and fiction picks. Choose any author, celebrity pick, fiction pick, and/or nonfiction pick and The Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! Still have questions? Click here for a list of FAQs.

Fiction Additions

  • Isabel Allende
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Lisa Jewell
  • James McBRide
  • Mary Monroe
  • Lisa See
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Colson Whitehead

Mystery Additions

  • Walter Mosley
  • Louise Penny

Romance Additions (the below are only available in regular print)

  • Jasmine Guillory
  • Helen Hoang
  • Beverly Jenkins