This Month in Adult Books: April 2024

Reading recommendations for adults
April 12, 2024
What We're Reading
Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World by John Vaillant
When you live in the West, the threat of wildfire is constant. Each fire season seems to be supplanted by the next in severity too, which makes the topic of this book so interesting. Vaillant goes back to 2016 to a disaster that is only a vague memory, the Fort McMurray fire in Alberta, Canada. It was one of the first fires that truly demonstrated how things were about to change as it spread with rapid and destructive force that shocked everyone, requiring the total evacuation of a city of nearly 100,000 people. The fire is the central character in the book, a living and breathing malevolent entity that you follow as it literally vaporizes neighborhoods. This isn’t a straight narrative of the fire, though. The book also puts that fire into the context of climate change, centered by the ironic fact that the entire reason for Fort McMurray’s existence is petroleum. It’s an incredibly compelling read on multiple levels. A 2023 National Book Award finalist and NYT Best Book of the Year, this book is must reading for nonfiction readers and pretty much anyone living in the western US.

What's Hot This Month
Looking for a romance novel that leaves something to the imagination? Check out this list of closed door romances.

Featured Title
The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley
In the near future a civil service employee is awarded a job in a mysterious new government agency. Her task is to act as a “bridge,” living with and assisting an expat from the past to help determine whether or not time travel is feasible. Her new roommate is Commander Graham Gore, who as far as history is concerned, died on an expedition to the Arctic in 1847. He’s a bit mystified by things like washing machines and the very idea of the fall of the British Empire, but he is also eminently adaptable and soon adjusts to his new world. By the end of their year together their relationship has deepened, and they must confront difficult questions about history, preserving the future, and what we owe each other in a changing world.

What's New This Month
May is not quite summer, but it’s a great time to get a jump on your summer reading! There are big name nonfiction titles out this may including the latest from Erik Larson, The Demon of Unrest: a saga of hubris, heartbreak and heroism at the dawn of the Civil War. It’s a “twisty and cinematic account” (PW) of the bombardment of Fort Sumter and the events leading up to it. Also of interest this month is the long awaited memoir from TV star Tom Selleck, You Never Know.
Fiction readers can relax with the latest from Helen Simonson, The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club, a tale of British men and women adjusting to the new normal in the aftermath of WW I. Simonson is well known for her tales of British village life and this one is not to be missed. In the aftermath of WW II, China is swept by revolution. Daughters of Shandong by Eve J. Chung tells the tale of women left behind in a small village to face the Communist army. It’s a powerful story about the resilience of women in war and the love between mothers, daughters and sisters.  
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