Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, FICTION ZEVIN [AMER]—See New Arrivals Display
Have you ever wondered, or maybe even asked, if you believe heterosexual men and women can be friends, the best of friends, and continue to grow as people and a friend-couple, deepening their connection, without romance ever entering the equation? Gabrielle Zevin’s latest character-driven novel explores this topic, as well as at least another dozen social wonderings, through the lives of longtime best friends Sam and Sadie. After a close attachment during childhood, the two drift apart until they are in their mid-20s and unexpectedly reunite at a subway stop. Here they rekindle their friendship, picking up just where they left off as 12-year-olds, and through a passion for video games, start a business and lifetime adventure together. Zevin’s novels are outstanding, featuring quirky, unpredictable characters that never seem too endearing or trite. This year’s featured MCC Reads author John Green, another master of character-driven plots, called this book “Utterly brilliant…one of the best books I’ve ever read.” If you’re into gaming, pondering relationships between men and women, exploring cultures and social issues, or like a book covering topics you’ve always wondered about but never discussed, this is your novel. While Zevin’s novels are frequently hard to describe, this reviewer would recommend several of her other outstanding titles, The Storied Life of A.J. Firky, Young Jane Young, and Elsewhere. Her writing is a hit with young adults and adults alike.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, BIO 921 MCC—See MCC Reads Display
In this candid and funny memoir with its shocking title, former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy recounts her difficult childhood off camera. Jennette was raised by a mother determined to make her daughter famous at any cost. Like many little girls, Jennette wanted to please her mom more than anything, so she did everything her mom said, from starving herself and jumping on the scale several times a day, to suffering through frequent, lengthy makeovers. She also had to share everything with her mother, from her diary to her income. Sometimes she didn’t even get to shower in private. Jennette lived for many years under her mother’s strict domination, but after her mother’s death, when Jennette finally got some distance from Hollywood and started therapy, she began the long process of discovering who she was and what she, not her mother, wanted out of life. She created and starred in a one-woman tragicomic theater show under the same title as this book, which played in New York and Los Angeles in 2020. She has since retired from acting and now works as a writer, director, podcaster, and singer. This is a quirky, humorous read for anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by the demands of another person—or of society itself—and longed to break free and follow their own dreams.
Welfare to Warden: Autobiography of the First Woman in Michigan to Head a Prison for Male Felons by Pamela K. Withrow, BIO 921 WIT—See MCC Reads Display
What did it take to be the first female warden in Michigan’s prisons? In this autobiography, follow the path of Pam Withrow, who became just that in 1984. She also became the warden of the Ionia Reformatory in 1986, until her retirement in June 2021. Corrections was not Pam’s original plan as a high school graduate. She grew up as a farm girl and planned a future like that of many other rural high school graduates. However, after a traumatic event in college, her path changed, and not long after, she found herself divorced and a single mother. Enrolled at Lansing Community College, she took advantage of free books and tuition through the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration program to pay for the education of police officers. Reluctantly, she also accepted welfare aid so that she could complete her program and provide for her son. Her plans to be a police officer were derailed by her eye exam; however, she made her way into the correctional field, and the rest is history. Pam showed great perseverance in fighting her way through a male-dominated field and networking with other women working in the system; she explains the important lessons she learned, such as the importance of connecting with people at all levels, being willing to take input, and staying strong in one’s commitment to doing the right thing. In each chapter, she also describes her steady rise in the ranks from camp programs counselor and supervisor to eventually warden, as well as her challenges with staff and prisoners and the innovations and improvements made at each location. She ends each chapter with a “lesson learned” and a “correctional story.” Along the way, Pam connected not only with people in the correctional system but also within the larger community. She was even an instructor at Montcalm Community College (1986-87), served on the MCC Advisory committee for 13 years, and spoke at many of the local high schools. This is an inspirational story from a very relatable woman, who took the time and possessed the courage to forge a path not only for herself but also for those behind her. Enjoy this biography and many others available for checkout on the MCC Reads display in the library.
Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Julie Smith, 153.803 SMI—See New Arrivals Display
Dr. Julie Smith, a clinical psychologist, had a euphoric experience when a patient who had previously been fearful of the world and her future realized, after a dozen or so appointments, that she could face her fears. In that short time, the patient had learned skills and tools to help her turn back the self-doubt and cope with situations. The patient asked Smith why she had never been taught these things before. Upon hearing the same thing from numerous other patients, Smith decided to record and share videos on the basics of how the mind and body work together and how people can learn to manage their mental health daily. She has been amazed by how many people assume their strong emotions are the result of a faulty brain or personality, when many times they can be successful once they learn the skills. Smith has had great success in reaching millions with her YouTube videos and now TikToks; however, she felt that such short messages overlook much information. By writing this book, she is able to share more details, while also taking on tough topics like moodiness, motivation, emotions, stress, self-doubt, fear, and even grief, with simple short explanations to help readers understand what is happening, and then gives great practical tools, and even visuals, to help find the way through. This self-help book is unlike so many others. Like a comfortable but real conversation with a trusted friend, it gets right to the details, even giving immediate techniques and tips to try. Although not a replacement for seeking professional help, it is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about how they are feeling and what to do about it.
Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry, BIO 921 PER—See MCC Reads Display
Friends star Matthew Perry, more frequently identified as his fictional character Chandler Bing, shares his unique life, warts and all, growing up as the son of the original “Old Spice” man and his much younger, model wife. Most Americans feel like they grew up with Perry, either during Friends’ initial run or over the years since its finale, as the rerun episodes have never stopped streaming, and it is still one of the most-watched series on TV. Perry’s story begins with the sentence, “Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.” So begins a tale of great fame and wealth, only experienced by the fewest, and an epic fall due to drinking and drug abuse, only to find himself again and struggle against his vices, depression, and physical illness to regain his career, financial security, and most valued of all, renewed relationships with family members, longtime friends, and himself. This is a heartbreaking and humorously told cautionary tale out of Hollywood, filled with familiar celebrities, told by a man who is world famous yet seems like your humble, bumbling, adorable neighbor next door—the guy you cannot stop rooting for.
The Dark Queens by Shelley Puhak, 944.024 PUH—See New Arrivals Display
Though nonfiction, this book would be a great choice for fans of historical novels like The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. The author explores the lives of two little-known royal women from the sixth century, Brunhild and her sister-in-law Fredegund. Both women lived in Merovingian France, but Brunhild was born a princess, while Fredegund was originally born to a life of servitude. Both eventually became important rulers, shaping the future of Europe. They also became bitter enemies and waged a lengthy civil war against each other. History was not kind to either woman, but in this new book, Shelley Puhak attempts to set the record straight by discovering who each of these women truly was, behind the legends and slanders that have attached to their names.
The MCC Collection’s Best Titles
Good Poems, American Places, selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor, 811.008 KEI
Short on time for reading? In long or short spurts, enjoy this collection of poetry that shares the differences and commonalities of America. Filled with writings not only from well-known poets such as Emerson, Whitman, and Longfellow, it also introduces unknowns from all over the United States, including some Michigan natives. Travel throughout the U.S. through verse as the landscape of America is covered from east to west. Along the way, visit the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, cross Kansas by train—you can even explore a few readings from Detroit. As Americans, we share much more than geography, and this volume gives words to the things we share. A warm summer with the sound of crickets, neighborhoods with their blend of personalities, or even the weather, with beautiful skies or rain and storms. Throughout, readers will feel a vast range of emotions and often a deep appreciation of how our lives are all interrelated. Take a few moments to read this great collection of the places Americans visit, gather, and live. It also includes a short biography of each author and full indexes by author and title so that you can easily find the poems and places that interest you most.
Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony by Lee Miller, 973.21 MIL
For centuries, scholars and history-loving gumshoes have tried to puzzle out what happened to the first settlers who crossed the ocean with their eyes towards settling the land we now know as Virginia. Instead of reaching their intended geographic target, 115 men, women, and children landed on the shore of a small island, Roanoke, off the coast of the Carolinas, and set about establishing a settlement, a place to call home and welcome others to. In the fall of 1587, others followed them, looking for their kin and countrymen. What they found instead was an empty, primitive village, with absolutely no sign of life, and carved into a tree the only message from the English that had once been there, the word CROATOAN. What a mystery! Everyone vanished without a trace! Author Lee Miller’s volume on Roanoke goes beyond the early theories that settlers were removed by the native people inhabiting this area and instead contends that the seeds of their disappearance, ultimately their destruction, were set in motion before they even left England, by opposing political forces in their home country. Full of photos and a history of England and the politics of the time, Lee’s book is engaging and reads like a script from a series on the History Channel, with elements of conspiracy theory and disturbing disregard for human endeavor and life. Lee makes a great case for her solution to what happened to those who briefly lived in Roanoke but leaves enough loose threads to this story to ensure this fascinating sliver of American history will continue to intrigue history fans for years to come.
Sea Wolf by Jack London, FICTION LONDO [AMER]
Jack London is best known for White Fang and Call of the Wild, novels that center around canine characters and the Arctic wilderness, but he wrote a variety of adventure novels and short stories, including Sea Wolf, a novel that explores both physical survival from shipwreck and psychological survival in the face of human cruelty. The protagonist, Humphrey van Weyden, is a bookish, retiring man who is afraid to stand up for himself. One day, he is on board a San Francisco ferry when it strikes another ship in the fog and sinks. Van Weyden is then rescued by a seal-hunting schooner named Ghost. The captain, Wolf Larsen, is Jack London’s depiction of the Nietzschean superman—cold, brutal, totally self-centered and focused on dominating and humiliating Van Weyden and everyone else on the ship to increase his own sense of power. Not too surprisingly, some of the crew members are plotting a mutiny, and Larsen’s brother is secretly planning to destroy the rigging and set Larsen adrift. Van Weyden finally manages to escape by stealing a raft from the ship, but Larsen, after being set adrift, ends up on the same deserted island. No longer able to hide in his books, Van Weyden must find a way to overcome the tyrannical, murderous captain for good—and, in the process, to avoid becoming like him.
More New Books (See New Books Display)
- Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—and How You Can Too by Dave Ramsey, 332.2 RAM
- Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain, 158.4 CAI
- Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott, BIO 921 PHI
- The Carbon Almanac: It’s Not Too Late, 551.6 CAR
- Crying in the Bathroom by Erika Sanchez, BIO 921 SAN
- Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper Jones, BIO 921 JON
- The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World by Jonathan Freedland, 940.531/52 FRE
- In the Houses of Their Dead: the Lincolns, the Booths, and the Spirits by Terry Alford, 973.709/491 ALF
- Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon, 942.084/3 CAR
- Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life by Delia Ephron, BIO 921
- Lost and Found: Reflections on Grief, Gratitude, and Happiness by Kathryn Schulz, 155.937 SCH
- Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis’ Fortress Prison by Ben Macintyre, 940.547/1 MAC
- River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard, 932 MIL
- Sacred Medicine: A Doctor’s Quest to Unravel the Mysteries of Healing by Lissa Rankin, 615.3 RAN
- Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons by Ben Riggs, 794.809 RIG
- So Help Me God by Mike Pence, 973.934/1 PEN
- Solito by Javier Zamora, BIO 921 ZAM
- Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson, 523.1 TYS
- The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander, 305.822 ALE
- Uncultured by Daniella Mestyanek Young, BIO 921 MES
- Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes, 364.152/154 HOL
- Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions by Temple Grandin, 616.898/2 GRA
- We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu, BIO 921 LIU
- What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo, 616.852/1 FOO
- The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow, FICTION GLASG [AMER]
- Book Lovers by Emily Henry, FICTION HENRY [AMER]
- Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith, FICTION GALBR [BRIT], book 3 of Cormoran Strike
- Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks, FICTION SPARK [AMER]
- The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn, FICTION QUINN [AMER]
- A Taste of Poison: A Snow White Retelling Entangled with Fae by Tessonja Odette, FICTION ODETT [AMER]
- A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee, SF/FAN CHEE [AMER]