The Unusual Bookshop in Toronto 

Ever heard of an unusual bookshop? The Monkey’s Paw bookshop in Toronto is one rare bookshop selling some of the rarest and most absurd books globally. Some of the books and pieces of work present here are not the type anyone would stumble upon even once or twice in their life.

Moreover, by just stepping into this picturesque store, one will get the 18th-Century Victorian Bookshop vibe and get a chance to escape the reality of simply entering the Bloor street west shop located in downtown Toronto.

Interior of the Monkey’s Paw Bookstore

The interior design of this magnificent bookshop consists of;

• Checkered floors covered with red Turkish carpets,

• Shelves are seemingly decorated and lined with the most colorful aging books, beautiful, macabre, arcane, and absurd.

The only books one can find in this lovely bookshop are those published Before the 1980s. Moreover, most of the books explore topics on psychology, sexuality, and fashion during the olden days.

The Monkey’s Paw allows one to experience a mixture of weird and unique at the same time. Just perusing through the books gives one a different feel of the world’s evolution in writing, thoughts, and experiences.

Some Books from the Store

• Where Did We Come From, Mother Dear

• A Study of Bird Song

• Roller Disco Dancing

• Airline Safety is a Myth

• How to Photograph Women

• Ghosts in Photograph

Thus, even from the title of these books, one can already get what absurd, unusual, and rare means.

In addition, The Monkey Paw’s bookshop offers an ancient feel to eras when thoughts about specific subjects were different from the recent time. Also, the titles suggest that some of the topics were being explored for the first time as they came at the height of new inventions.

Furthermore, most of the books found in this store are not available on any online website or other ordinary bookstores. Thus, if you miss a specific book, the chances are that you might never come across it again.

It even gets better at the very back of the bookstore, where there is a turquoise-colored huge contraption. Fowler, the store owner, calls it the world’s first random book vending machine or otherwise known as The Biblio-Mat. This book vending machine spurts out any randomly selected old book with just a token of $4. Besides, when CTV News Toronto visited The Monkey Paw’s bookshop and used the Biblio-Mat, it popped out a copy of the book titled “A Party of Baccarat” by Donn Byrne, published in the year 1930.

Hearing the machine fumble and clumsily spurt while ejecting a book into your hands brings happiness to its users. Fowler calls this machine a Labour of love as it was made for him by a friend.

Fowler does not sell the $4 books out of a vending machine to get rich, but he uses the machine to keep his customers and book lovers excited. He strives extra hard to ensure all books in the vending machine are those no one has ever heard of or seen before. Fowler adds that the books in his machine can be anything apart from those you recognize.

Nonetheless, Toronto is home to several rare and hidden treasures. Thanks to business owners like Fowler, the world can see and experience such unique treasures. During his 30 years in the book business, Fowler says he finds terrific and, at the same time, weird stuff every single day, yet each time he sees books he has never set his eyes on before. How cool is that!

Books to Prison: Giving the Incarcerated the Gift of Knowledge

Getting books to the incarcerated has long suffered many problems, and things got even more challenging during the pandemic. There are dozens of programs in the United States that work to establish prison libraries to ensure the incarcerated population gets access to books. Most of these programs are supported by donors and volunteers. Carrying out the program is not an easy task since prison systems have varying and ever-changing rules.

Why are the Books to Prison Initiatives so Important

The program’s goal is to transform the role of libraries in the lives of the incarcerated. Many people in prisons will go back to the community, and they need to be able to thrive. Getting these books and education is a vital step to reentering society.

Also, like other people, anyone in prison has a right to education and entertainment. Many activists are fighting to improve the prisons’ conditions, and getting books into the prison is a crucial step. Libraries lower the recidivism rates. According to the Department of Corrections, even basic education may decrease recidivism.

Prison libraries also reduce idleness. Inmates spend quality time reading books. In most cases, idleness leads to involvement in destructive behaviors and violence, and it is most rampant in prisons. Hence, the books to prison initiative help inmates utilize their time studying and reading.

Inmates also get a chance to understand state and federal law through law books and other legal publications. The knowledge they get from the law books helps them receive fair and just judgment or treatment. Some inmates have used the knowledge to overturn their convictions which could not have been possible without prison libraries.

Giving Incarcerated Population the Gift of Reading

A new law school library’s initiative is giving the inmates the pleasure of reading books. The Yale Law School Library program is one of the initiatives that is affording this privilege to inmates. The program that started in 2020 was halted by the COVID-19 but resumed in late February 2022.

The Yale Law Library program led by Julian Aiken, assistant director for Law Library’s access and faculty services, has donated more than 1,300 books to various prisons and correctional centers. Aiken started the books to prison initiative after inspiration from (at that time) a law Ph.D. candidate, Dwayne Betts. Betts was a former prison inmate who understood better a sense of freedom after reading poems while in prison.

Aiken’s first book donation was to the Cheshire Correctional Institute, where 700 books were given. According to Aiken, the initiative delivered recent casebooks to help inmates with appeals and other legal questions. With the help of the senior administrative assistant at Yale Law School, Miriam Benson, the initiative continues to grow. The program has expanded to other local jails, including women’s shelters and homeless service providers in New Haven. Apart from prisons, shelters for domestic violence victims in Ansonia, CT, have benefited from the book’s initiative.

According to the Law Librarian and law professor Femi Cadmus, the books to prison initiative is just one way of breaking the barriers to literacy and access to information, even for inmates. Since they are intended to be temporary living spaces, many prisons have no books for the inmates. People in prisons also have no resources to buy books. That’s why prison libraries are the only way they have to access knowledge and entertainment.

Most Challenged Books of 2021 

The American Library Association recently released its annual State of America’s Libraries Report, detailing the top 10 most challenged books in 2021. Below are the books and the reasons for their bans:

1. Gender Queer: Maia Kobabe

Maia Kobabe writes a memoir about eir journey of self-discovery and life experiences. This story is told in a graphic and detailed manner. It was banned for the graphic sexual content found in the book, with the inclusion of personal sexual experiences.

2. Lawn Boy: Jonathan Evison

Written as a semi-autobiography, Jonathan Evision details the life experiences of Mike Munoz, a young Mexican American who goes through a journey of self-discovery, dealing gender-identity that are coupled with the existing challenge of adolescence and self-identity. The novel also touches on racial prejudices that a brown person experiences in America. This novel was banned by many schools and challenged by parents due to the amount of obscenities and sexual content found.

3. All Boys Aren’t Blue: George M Johnson

Written by journalist Geore M Johnson, All Boys Aren’t Blue is a personal memoir about the challenges that a black queer boy experiences in the society of America. George M Johnson’s story related to many young queer adults who are going through a similar experience. It was banned due to its LGBTQI+ content and explicit content and language.

4. Out of Darkness: Ashley Hope Perez

This novel is one of historical nature in which the author focuses on the romantic relationship between a teenage Mexican American girl and a teenage African American boy in the early 1900s. Challenges from parents and bans from school came because of the sexual content and physical abuse illustrated in the book.

5. The Hate U Give: Angie Thomson

Angie Thomson tells the story a 16-year-old African American girl who witnesses a police officer kill her childhood friend. It’s major themes are police brutality and the racial prejudices in America. It was banned as educational bodies believed that it promoted a certain social and slightly political agenda.

6. The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian: Sherman Alexie

A 1st person perspective of Native American teenager, detailing his childhood. The author touches on bullying, racism and violence. It has been consistently challenged over the last decade due to the presence of homophobic slurs and the amount of violence present in the book.

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Jesse Andrews

A book that received a film adaptation, this novel focuses on the relationship between three high school seniors and the tribulations that they face. The novel faced much criticism due to its misogynistic nature and sexual content.

8. The Bluest Eye: Toni Morrison

A fictional tale of an 11-year-old African American girl, the bluest eye gives an eye-opening perspective of life from a girl who experiences abuse in its different forms. Parents and educational bodies have found the book to be inappropriate due to its sexual content.

9. This Book is Gay: Juno Dawson

As an informative guide, this book aims to educate young people about the LGBTQ community as well as sexual identity. It was banned and challenged for those particular reasons.

10. Beyond Magenta: Susan Kuklin

Susan Kuklin interviews six people that identify as transgender and gender-neutral. These interviews give insight on the experiences of people of the LGBTQI+ community. Parents called for the book to be banned due to the LGBTQI+ content and nature.

ALA will continue to advocate for free speech by launching an “Unite Against Book Bans” campaign.

5 Books to Make You Smarter

People read books for reasons including passing time by keeping them occupied. Some readers have favorite books. However, the choice of a book depends on the taste of the individual. Despite the choice of books, studies show that people who read widely are smarter. This is because reading helps people grow their vocabulary, knowledge of the world and opens up their levels of thinking.

Are lost on the books to read? Here are certain books that will definitely make you smarter:

Einstein’s Fridge: How the Difference Between Hot and Cold Explains the Universe by Paul Sen

This book is not only entertaining but also quite informative. It tells the story of scientists behind the theory of thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is a branch of physics dealing with energy and entropy. The theory explains every aspect of the world for both living and non-living things. Some of the areas covered in the theory include the behavior of cells, the limitation of computing and how the end of the universe. The book gives an account of different scientists in all branches of science including cosmologists, mathematics, engineers, chemists, biologists and physicists. These big names include: French military engineer and physicist Sadi Carnot, Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Emmy Noether, Albert Einstein, Lord Kelvin and James Joule.

Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion and What Makes us Good by Dilip Jeste and Scott Lafee

This book gives research based findings by UC San Diego neuropsychiatrist Dilip Jeste on how you can be wiser. As it turns out from his findings, wisdom is not a gift for the few but anyone can be wiser. The book explores the psychology and neurobiology of wisdom by analyzing both the biological and cognitive aspect. From his multicultural studies, the Doctor unveils the qualities of wise people. Some of these qualities as explained in his book include empathy and compassion among others. The authors also explain how we can use wisdom to overcome the present day challenges such as suicides, different addictions and loneliness. By reading this book you, will learn how you can grow in wisdom and use it to overcome the problems you encounter everyday to achieve your utmost potential.

The code breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

The writer of the book, Walter Isaacson is also the best selling author of the Steve Jobs and Leonardo Da Vinci. The code breaker gives an account of the events behind the works of the Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues. It highlights how they worked towards a revolutionary innovation for curing diseases and fending off viruses.

Seven and Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

The author of this book, Lisa Feldman Barrett is a Renowned neuroscientist. By reading her book, you get to understand where brains originate, and their structure. Also covered in this book is how the different brains work together to bring about feelings and sensation.

Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent IQ and Grit Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness by Craig Wright

The author of this book, professor Craig Wright is also the creator the Genius Course at Yale University. In his book, the professor digs deeper into the 14 traits of geniuses, some of which include maladjustment to obsession and curiosity. From reading the book, you get to understand how you can learn from the brilliant minds that revolutionized the world.

To wrap up, there are so many good books and we just selected a few that would be a major source of knowledge. If you are looking to increase your levels of knowledge on major areas of life, why not try out some of these amazing books?

10 of the Best Books You Read Last Summer

Are you on a vacation this summer and looking for some fresh books to keep you both entertained and occupied? Here are the top 10 new books that might do the trick for you.

This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan

The informative book digs into three plant-based drugs including caffeine, mescaline and opium, and how they affect taboos, customs, laws and cultures surrounding them.

False Witness by Karin Slaughter

This is yet another mystery thriller by the renowned author of ‘Pieces of Her’ and ‘The Silent Wife’. It is based on the story of a recently separated defense attorney, Leigh Collier whose teenage daughter is haunted by a painful past.

The comfort Book by Matt Haig

The author, Matt Haig is also the bestselling author of the ‘Midnight Library’. The ‘Comfort Book’ is a collection of short stories, lists and notes that inspire hope during the darkest moments in life. If you are going through some challenging times, then this book might be what you need to keep moving forward.

Falling by T.J. Newman

This fiction thriller will keep you entertained through the summer. It gives an account of how an airline pilot finds out about the kidnapping of his family just when he was about to fly from New York to Los Angeles. The pilot receives the threat that unless he crashes the plane, he stands to lose his family. Read the book and find out how he manages to keep both the passengers and his family alive.

Everyone in this Room will Someday be Dead by Emily Austin

This book will offer you some dark humor and keep you entertained this summer. It is the story of a lesbian atheist, Gilda, who accidentally lands a job as a Catholic receptionist. The story develops around her obsession with her dead predecessor, Grace. She goes to the extent of impersonating her through emails to her until the police discovery moves her to letting out her true identity.

Dear Miss Metropolitan by Carolyn Farrell

The book unveils the abduction of three girls imprisoned in a house in Queens. Miss Metropolitan is a weekly advice columnist and neighbor. Despite her role in the news, she somehow missed out on the events taking place right under her nose. However, she is determined to give voice to the three girls. Read the book and find out why one girl is still missing and the mystery behind their disappearance.

Carry On: Reflections of a New Generation by John Lewis

The book contains a range of writings by congressman and civil rights leader, John Lewis who passed away in 2020. Among the topics covered in the book include justice, forgiveness, protests, policy, faith and the pandemic. Reading the book will inspire you with power through hope and courage.

The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam

The book tells the story of a feminist Coder Asha and Cyrus, her new husband. It revolves around issues of love, fame and tech. The couple creates a new social media to replace religious rituals with ones of their own which is a huge success. However, like most marriages will theirs survive the pressure?

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

If you enjoy a good thrill then this could make a perfect reading choice this summer. The book tells the story of the ‘final girl’ who survives a bloody massacre. She becomes survivor’s support group, and when one of their members goes missing. The group gets to fight for their lives once more.

While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory

You might also enjoy this new book by the bestselling author of Royal Holiday. It is the story of an ad executive Ben Stephens who has a lot on his plate including casual affairs and family drama. He gets to work alongside Ann, a beautiful Oscar-nominated movie star. But will their Hollywood affair survive?

The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of the Year (So Far)

Book Recommendation: The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books in 2021

The year 2021 has come with new exciting and mind-blowing sci-fi and fantasy books. Readers who love to escape into the world of fantasy are in for a real treat this year. Renowned and upcoming authors have launched amazing books that promise to ensure their avid readers are transported to the wild world of imagination. Readers won’t miss something that suits their fancy, from stories of strange cults, interstellar adventures, fantastical robots, fantasy wonderlands, and much more.

Here are some of the best and most recommended Sci-Fi and Fantasy books this year:

1. Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

The story is about a young pregnant woman named Vern. She makes a desperate attempt to flee the Blessed Acres of Cain, the cult that she has lived in all her life. She retreats deep into a forest and soon has twins. She spends the next four years raising them away from the outside world. But there’s something in the forest that still hunts them… Find out more by buying the book on Amazon or read the excerpt here.

2. The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This happens to be a standalone adventure set in the world of MI5 investigations and in the depths of Bodmin Moor. Following an attack on a government physicist, rumors of monsters, and missing people, the British security forces investigate. When they discover cracks between our world and countless others, it shatters everything they previously thought about the universe. This amazing book is available for your reading pleasure, buy it on Amazon and enjoy!

3. The House of Always by Jenn Lyons

The author had done yet another great job in building a fantasy world. As the novel starts, the Eight Immortals have completely failed to stop Kihrin’s enemies, who are moving forward with their plans to free Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. Kirin has his own ideas about how to fight back, but even if he’s willing to sacrifice everything for victory, the cost may prove too high for his allies. They are faced with choices; to save the world and Kihrin or watch him as he becomes the exact evil they had sworn to destroy. Get the full story when you buy the book on Amazon.

4. Hard Reboot by Django Wexler

For readers who love the sound of giant robots smashing one another, this is it! Zychtykas is conned by Zhi Zero (a robot pilot) of her research budget while on a fact-finding mission to old Earth. To recover her money, she uses her knowledge of ancient Earth technology to rebuild an old battle robot to help Zhi fight hated competitors in the next battle. Buy this book on Amazon.

5. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

The author took us to China in 1345. At the time, the country is ruled by Mongols. In the Central Plains, under those tough conditions, a boy named Zhu Chongba has been preordained for greatness. His unnamed sister pushed off to the side. When their father is killed, and Zhu dies of despair, she takes up his identity. She builds her own path and plans to fulfill her brother’s lost potential. Buy this book on Amazon and enjoy her fantastic story.

The Perpetual Debate on the Book vs. the Film

As the Story Goes

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Does this time-honored axiom hold up in modern cinema? We have watched through the decades as film-making has advanced ten-fold with improved CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) and motion capture technologies. We have even seen classics such as Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” remade and retold in movies countless times since its creation in 1818, but to what end? Surely if you could capture the imagery kindled by a readers imagination on the big screen, we would have done it by now, no?
On the other hand, isn’t it much simpler to experience a story in vibrant colors and imagery without the tedious perusal of paragraphs on paragraphs of visual depictions and adjectives – not to mention keeping track of all of the names and references listed in longer novels?

The Bibliophile or the Cinephile

The Bibliophile

If you have read the book before you’ve seen the movie, already you’ve created a universe of your own imagining, and soared through the narrative arc creating personal meaning and memories of the tale. Each character’s name brings a face and a story of its own; the tragedy, adventure, or turmoil ascribed to them is the reader’s own. You walked with the hobbits through every step of the journey to Mordor, you stood in the court room alongside Atticus Finch, and you rode the dragons with Eragon. How can the experience of a theater buff possibly compare?

The Cinephile

From the movie-goers perspective, though, how could one enjoy a book if they’ve seen the story in IMAX 3D? You could spend a hundred pages to detail one frame of the final confrontation in Avengers: Endgame or almost any moment in James Cameron’s Avatar. The pace of the silver screen is much faster too – you can watch 3 movies in under 4.5 hours, but reading a novel can take days, and the book becomes less of a page-turner when you can see the twists coming (plus you don’t get the convenience of pre-popped popcorn and a large soda in your recliner at home). In addition, the farsighted demographic may have a bias in favor of the cinema

The Conclusion

Undoubtedly, the experience can be left up to the preference of the individual; though it seems more likely for an avid reader to go to see the movie than it is for a theater buff to pick the book up off the shelf. Directors of the silver screen are allowed to impart their own interpretation of a story to the viewer through the various scenes in a movie (whether including or excluding details of events), while novelists leave subjective context for the reader to create their own explication. So which do you prefer? Are you an avid filmaholic or a die-hard bibliomaniac?

Hilarious Books – More than Meet the Eye

Hilarious Books Inspire Insight


Avid readers whose favorite genre is light-hearted comedy often find the hilarious plot offers a realistic drama readers relate to easily. Authors who write books in this genre do so knowing the comedic plot builds to a dramatic climax that holds reader interest to the last page.

The Drama in Funny Books


The seemingly insignificant, vignettes found in funny books with plots based on everyday life create the landscape from which readers draw dramatic conclusions. For example, murder mysteries are not without their funny moments.

Perhaps, the murder has multiple suspects as characters who may unwittingly place a spotlight on their connection to the murder by the simple act of inexplicable, yet humorous whereabouts.

Nearly all characters in funny books are described to meet a cohesive plot. Even police investigating a murder can be portrayed in ways that make their characters appear to be hilarious while they are employing high investigatory drama.

How Hilarity and Drama Work Together


The scene at the funeral of a prominent celebrity is cloaked in drama until tearful mourners arrive graveside and pallbearers with shaking hands accidentally dump the deceased’s coffin upside down into the open grave. Mourners struggle to stifle their laughter while red faced pall bearers grope to right the coffin.

This is funny drama that works for those with a ready sense of humor. There are relatively few life episodes that do not provoke laughter through high drama. Authors who are skilled in blending drama and funny situations understand the delicate balance that exists between these two literary mediums.

A simple trip to market can blend drama and comedy when a grocer uncovers a pilferer loading his pockets with goods. The pilferer hurries for the door just as his pockets empty stolen goods all over the floor and police arrive on the scene to witness the crime.

Reader Visualization


Readers imagine funny characters based on author description. A vicar at a church may be visualized by readers as a rotund, mustached cleric even when the author alluded otherwise simply due to the vicar’s name or his actions.

Children characterized dramatically in hilarious novels fall prey to whims of their interactions with their parents, siblings and playmates.

Readers pick up certain childish nuances that combine drams and funny situations. When seven year old Tommy gets his head stuck in a narrow fence rail as a result of a dare from playmates, the situation is highly dramatic until he recounts the episode to his parents and siblings years later. Drama thus becomes a funny childhood memory readers enjoy and helps remind them of their own childhood and dramatically hilarious experiences.

The Lessons Learned


Of the many benefits of drama and humor blended in books, readers find it easy to see the lessons drama and humor in literature teach. What begins as an enjoyable, funny story for readers provides drama that implies a moral to the story contained within the pages of the book.

This is proof that a well written hilarious book weaves drama and humor with intentional insight into human nature.

Five Perfect Winter Reads

Are you ready for winter? These five books will transport you to the middle of a snowstorm, so have your hot chocolate ready before you turn the first page.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

This classic children’s tale is set in a winter wonderland, where the Pevensie children must battle the White Witch and bring spring back to Narnia. Packed full of sleigh rides, snow-covered woods and frozen waterfalls, this book masterfully evokes the harsh beauty of winter with every page. Sit back, snack on some Turkish delight, and travel back to childhood.

A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin

“Winter is coming.” Has any other modern fantasy series produced a more iconic phrase? Although these epic fantasy novels visit the sun-drenched gardens of Dorne and the blistering hot Red Waste, the Northern sections of Westeros dominate the pages. Whether you’re following along with the young Starks as they huddle by the fire in Winterfell, cheering for the Night’s Watch as they defend the solid ice of the Wall or holding your breath as Jon Snow encounters Wildlings in the freezing cold of the uncharted lands beyond the Wall, you’re never far from a long night of dark, unrelenting cold.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Are grimdark fantasy novels not for you? Do you long for some Christmas cheer to read as you sip hot cocoa beneath a pile of blankets? Try humorist David Sedaris’s collection of holiday-themed short stories, including his beloved, career-launching account of working as a Macy’s elf for one long Christmas season.

The Long Winter by Laurall Ingalls Wilder

Return to a simpler time with the sixth book in the Little House on the Prairie series. The Ingalls family must survive a harsh winter in North Dakota with the help of their neighbors. This realistic story showcases the importance of community and is packed with heart-warming moments like Laura and her sisters learning to make maple syrup candy, settlers sharing food with each other and a much-anticipated Christmas morning in May when the snow finally melts.

The Shining by Stephen King

Winter can be wonderful, but it can also be cruel and isolating. In this horror novel, a suffocating snowfall that traps the Torrance family in an isolated hotel, opening the door for malevolent spirits to torment Jack, Wendy and Danny. With each passing day, Jack grows more insane, and Wendy and Danny have no way to escape. Make sure to read this novel by a bright, crackling fire, or the wind that howls through the pages of this book may echo too loudly in your skull.

Whether you’re looking for a winter-themed read to cool yourself down during a sweltering summer day or a snow-centered adventure to get you through a long day huddled beneath blankets, these five books to read in the cold will take you on a magical journey.

The Top 10 Most Prolific Book Releases of March 2020

The Top 10 Most Prolific Book Releases of March 2020
The Top 10 Most Prolific Book Releases of March 2020

March is set to be a killer month for avid readers. There is an abundance of awesome new tomes to dive into. Here are the top 10 most anticipated book releases of March 2020.

Early March


1. House of Earth and Blood
This novel is the first in a new series by Sarah J, Maas. The story follows Bryce Quinlan as she attempts to avenge the death of her friends with the assistance of Hunt Athalar. The book expertly blends fantasy and romance into one compelling narrative.

2. You Are Not Alone
This psychological thriller is sure to keep you on your toes. The protagonist, Shay Miller, gets caught up in a bizarre plot that may change the course of her life forever. Co-authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are set to recapture the magic from their previous collaborative works.

3. Deacon King Kong
This story takes place in 1960s New York and follows the aftermath of a shooting at the housing projects. James McBride spins a hopeful tale about the community coming together in the face of madness.

Mid-March


4. A Good Neighborhood
Two families will learn what it means to come together in this novel by Therese Anne Fowler. Witness how a burgeoning romance and a rustic oak tree is all people need to set aside their differences.

5. My Dark Vanessa
This book provides an interesting take on the #MeToo movement. A 15-year-old student and a 42-year-old teacher start a relationship behind the scenes. Almost two decades later, skeletons come out of the closet.

6. The Mirror and the Light
This the final installment of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy. The story picks up in 1536, immediately after the prequel ended. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this one.

7. In Five Years
Dannie Cohan has a great career and a wonderful fiance. When she has a dream about being with another man five years later, she chalks it up to a bad dream. Things get interesting when she meets that dream man four and a half years later.

Late March


8. The City We Became
This love letter to New York is the first in a five-part series. Five residents must come together to defend their beloved city from a mysterious evil presence lurking below the earth.

9. Wow, No Thank You
In this collection of humorous essays by Samantha Irby, she recounts her experience of moving from the bustling Chicago streets to a quaint little town in Michigan.

10. The Glass Hotel
This mystery novel is penned by none other than Emily St. John Mandel. When a container ship goes missing off the coast of Mauritania, a Ponzi scheme in New York is set to rattle the lives of everyone involved.