Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Wallace Price is an awful man and nobody much cares when he unexpectedly dies. Well, nobody except for Wallace. But before he can go to his afterlife he is taken to the Ferryman, a quirky and compassionate tea shop owner named Hugo who assists souls in crossing over. Wallace has seven days to come to terms with his new situation and discover all that he missed. This is a book about grief and death, but it's also a book about love, life, and what it means to live well. Although it's not a sad book, it'll make you cry and it's an early contender for best book of the year.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Come for the murder, stay for the four friends at the retirement village who decide to solve it themselves. Osman could have so easily turned this into another generic cozy mystery peopled with caricatures, but his affectionate and wry observations about life, aging, and friendship make this book a real charmer. Steven Spielberg apparently agrees, because it's soon to be made into a movie!
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson (2018)
The book begins with nineteenth-century naturalists' collecting expeditions but quickly moves to contemporary London where a young American breaks into a natural history museum. What would drive a music conservatory student to steal bird specimens? When rare and colorful feathers used in the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying appear for sale online, the police are tipped off. Johnson's own link to the investigation weaves the storylines together and highlights why we should care about such a theft.
The Plot: A Novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2021)
Jacob, a struggling novelist-turned-writing-teacher, faces a moral dilemma when one of his students shares the plot of the novel he intends to write. The idea is new and fresh and will make a terrific novel in the hands of a skilled writer. Jacob waits for the novel to come out in print, but it doesn't. The surrounding mystery and unanswered questions unfold to make for a thrilling read.
The Late Show by Michael Connelly
Are you missing Harry Bosch? From the opening pages of "The Black Echo," Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective Harry Bosch entertained mystery readers for decades. He may be retired now, but never fear: he has unofficially teamed up with detective Renee Ballard in their own thrilling series, beginning with "The Late Show." The series continues with: "Dark Sacred Night," "The Night Fire," and "The Dark Hours." Better yet, this series is available in many formats: regular print, large print, book on CD, and playaway in the library, as well as e-book and downloadable audio on the Libby app. If you haven't met Harry and Renee yet, don't delay another minute!
Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper
I enjoyed listening to this book, narrated by Anderson Cooper, that delves into a family dynasty that although filled with wealth and glamour, was complex and not necessarily happy. Cooper provides a fresh, objective perspective.
Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
Franny Stone is able to love but unable to stay. She is intent on following the final migration of the Artic terns to Antarctica starting from Greenland on a fishing boat. But as her life begins to unspool (love affair, absent family and a devastating crime), it is evident that Franny is chasing more than birds.
Steve Gadd Band by Steve Gadd (2018)
The eponymous fifth studio album of the cover band led by its namesake, legendary drummer, Steve Gadd. A fusion of jazz and Latin grooves, this almost entirely instrumental album (save for the penultimate track) is an escape of easy listening combined with Gadd's effortless playstyle. With his extraordinarily extensive discography, it's hard to keep track of all the work Gadd has done, both as a bandleader and as a prolific session musician over the years. That being said, with albums like this, you'll never be short on material to listen to.
Brother Bear: An Original Walt Disney's Records Soundtrack by Phil Collins (2003)
From one drummer to another, this album serves as the spiritual successor the wildly popular Tarzan soundtrack four year prior. A combination of pop songs written by Collins and a score composed by Mark Mancina (who also collaborated on Tarzan), this album perfectly captures the essence of the film through its music. It might not be among Collins' most recognizable work, but it certainly ranks up there among his best.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Directed by brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, this crime film stars Adam Sandler in a rare dramatic role as Howard Ratner, a jewelry store owner and gambling addict. Other supporting characters include newcomer Julia Fox and Boston Celtics' own Kevin Garnett, who plays a fictionalized version of himself. An edge-of-your-seat thriller, this movie proves that Sandler has much more depth as an actor than just the comedies he is known for. In my opinion, it's by far the best film of his career.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
April is poetry month and I found this novel in verse to be timely and beautifully written. Jude and her mother travel to Cincinnati to live with relatives while her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence. She never thought she would have to leave her beloved older brother and father behind a world so far away. Will Jude be able to keep up with such as fast-paced America? Themes of emigration, immigration, self-acceptance, making new friends, and kindness flow from this poetic 2020 Newbery Honor book. Recommended for age 8 and up.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
In recognition of poetry month, I highly recommend this humorous, quirky collection of poems by one of my favorite poets. You just might have the opportunity to take a ride in a flying shoe, find a pair of dancing pants, and discover there is such a thing as a big blue ox... at least among these pages! Stop by the library to tell Ms. Jen what poem you enjoyed most of all! Recommended for all ages (adults too).