Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini (2022)
Chiaverini extends her impressive historical fiction book list with this engaging novel about the women of the U.S. Signal Corps in World War I. In today's world of instant digital communication, few people realize the crucial role played by these telephone operators. They were recruited for their quick skills, and worked calmly and diligently, under battlefield conditions, to connect essential calls between the commanders (often in both English and French). The lengthy novel highlights this little-known, but fascinating part of WWI history with fictional characters based on actual "Hello girls" of the Signal Corps. The author's research and attention to detail lets the reader see the day-to-day wartime experience of these brave and patriotic women.
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (2022)
The Aurora is a luxury space-liner that disappeared 20 years ago during its maiden voyage. It's never been found - until now. A salvage crew stumbles across its distress signal and decides to investigate. Bad idea. The ship may have been lost, but it's not abandoned. Whispers. Flickers of movement. Ominous messages scrawled on the walls. The salvage crew better figure things out fast because the past… is present.
Any Sign of Life by Rae Carson (2021)
The ominous beginning of this teen novel will be familiar to fans of the Walking Dead, although this apocalypse is quite different. After falling deathly ill, Paige wakes up alone in her house. Everyone she knows is gone. Forced to survive on her own, she soon finds others like her, as well as a new, terrifying threat.
Jenna's Picks for Kids
Boop the Snoot by Ashlyn Anstee (2022)
For the youngest of the animal lovers! Who can resist an adorable snoot to boop? This sturdy board book introduces a wide array of animals, from a stately tortoise to a bouncy hare along with everything in between and begs the question, "can baby boop the snoot?" It is an excellent and engaging read-aloud choice that is sure to have the whole family giggling and booping every snoot in sight.
Don't Hug Doug (He Doesn't Like It) by Carrie Finison (2021)
Hugs are not for everyone, and they are definitely not for Doug in this vibrant and approachable picture book that is an entertaining take on an important issue. This is a great family read that can lead into discussions about setting and respecting boundaries as well as some acceptable alternatives for those friends and family members who are not the biggest fans of hugs. Spoiler alert: there are so many fun and different ways to high-five and fist-bump!
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard by Paul McCartney (2005)
The thirteenth studio album by McCartney and his last on the label EMI. Playing most of the instruments himself, as he tends to do on his solo albums, McCartney primarily worked alone with producer Nigel Godrich to create all fourteen tracks on the album. One song in particular, "Friends to Go," is a tribute to former Beatle, George Harrison. On CD, or stream on hoopla!
Double Fantasy by John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980)
The fifth collaborative effort between Lennon and Ono and Lennon's tenth studio album overall. With tracks written by both artists, the album has a dichotomous feel to it due to their distinct styles. Sadly, this would be the last album released by Lennon during his lifetime as he died three weeks after its release. Unused tracks from the recording sessions would eventually end up on a follow-up album, Milk and Honey, released posthumously in 1984. On CD, or stream on hoopla!
Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
An absurdist science fiction dramedy written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and starring Michelle Yeoh. It tells the story of Evelyn Quan Wang who, while running a struggling laundromat, discovers different versions of herself in parallel universes and must connect with them to prevent the destruction of the multiverse. An experimental movie with a career best performance from Yeoh, this is a film that will likely yield multiple viewings to fully grasp its scope.