The library has recently purchased many new books. You can view a handful of them here along with descriptions or go to the library catalog to see the full listing.


Book coverThe New Possible: Visions of Our World Beyond Crisis edited by Philip Clayton, Kelli M. Archie, Jonah Sachs, and Evan Steiner
The uprising of 2020 marked a new phase in the unfolding Movement for Black Lives. The brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and countless other injustices large and small, were the match that lit the spark of the largest protest movement in US history. This urgent and incisive collection examines the “pre-existing conditions” that led us to this moment and helps us imagine an abolitionist future.

Book coverThe Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again by Robert D. Putnam
This is the worst of times; but we’ve been here before. During the Gilded Age of the 1800s, America was highly individualistic, unequal, polarized, and fragmented, just as it is today. As the 20th century opened, America became more egalitarian, cooperative, generous, focused on our responsibilities to one another and less on our narrower self-interest. Sometime during the 1960s these trends reversed, leaving us in today’s disarray. What brought us from an “I” to a “We” society and then back again?

Book coverAll That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles
In the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is a rough cotton bag, called “Ashley’s Sack,” embroidered with a handful of words. In 1850s South Carolina, just before nine-year-old Ashley was sold, her mother gave her a sack filled with just a few things as a token of her love. Historian Tiya Miles carefully follows faint archival traces back to write a unique, innovative history of the lived experience of slavery in the United States. The contents of the sack–a tattered dress, handfuls of pecans, a braid of hair, “my Love always”–speak volumes.

Book coverThe Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 by Dan Buettner
Building on decades of research, longevity expert Dan Buettner has gathered 100 recipes inspired by the Blue Zones, home to the healthiest and happiest communities in the world. Each dish uses ingredients and cooking methods proven to increase longevity, wellness, and mental health. Innovative, easy to follow, and delicious, these healthy living recipes make the Blue Zones lifestyle even more attainable, thereby improving your health, extending your life, and filling your kitchen with happiness.

Book coverBallpark: Baseball in the American City by Paul Goldberger
An exhilarating, splendidly illustrated, entirely new look at the history of baseball told through the stories of the vibrant and ever-changing ballparks where the game was and is staged. Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger makes clear the inextricable bond between the American city and America’s favorite pastime. Goldberger shows the way baseball’s history is concurrent with our cultural history and how the site details and the requirements of the game–the diamond, the outfields, the walls, the grandstands–shaped our most beloved ballparks.

Book coverThe Ever-Changing Past: Why All History is Revisionist History by James M. Banner, Jr. MD.
History is not, and has never been, inert, certain, or beyond reinterpretation. Taking readers from Thucydides to the origin of the French Revolution to the Civil War and beyond, Banner explores what historians do and why they do it. Banner shows why history is so essential to individuals’ awareness of their location in the world and to every group and nation’s sense of identity and destiny.

Dark Side of the Mitten: Crimes of Power & Powerful Criminals in Michigan’s Past & Present by Tom Carr
Book cover
Michigan’s past has a more sinister side than what’s commonly displayed on roadside historical markers. In Dark Side of the Mitten: Crimes of the Powerful and Powerful Criminals in Michigan’s Past and Present, author Tom Carr presents a wide array of stories about Michigan’s gritty and gruesome past, all told with his signature humor and irreverence.


Book coverThe Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
The swimmers are unknown to each other except through their private routines (slow lane, fast lane). For one swimmer, Alice, the pool was a final stand against the darkness of her encroaching dementia. Without the fellowship of other swimmers and the routine of her daily laps, she is plunged into dislocation and chaos, swept into memories of her childhood and the Japanese internment camp in which she spent the war. The Swimmers is a searing, intimate story of mothers and daughters, and the sorrows of implacable loss, written in spellbinding, incantatory prose.

Book coverThe Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright
An explosive, previously unpublished novel about race and police violence by legendary author Richard Wright written between his landmark books Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945). By special arrangement with the author’s estate, the full text of this incendiary novel is published in the form that he intended, complete with his companion essay, “Memories of My Grandmother.” Malcolm Wright, the author’s grandson, contributes an afterword.

Book coverHomeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, blending fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. A new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives, the gods of finance rule, immigrants live in fear, and the nation’s unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world.

Book coverBlack Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past–a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake. Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.


Summaries adapted from publishers.