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Check These Out! Titles to Look for at the Library

Daryl M., Librarian, West Valley Regional Branch Library,
3 new book covers

At Check These Out!, each month you will find a few recently published or upcoming titles that are worth “checking out” from the library. All titles are either currently available or have a record in the catalog where you can place a hold and be among the first to read them when they hit the library's shelves. For many of these titles, you will also find interviews with the author on the LAPL Blog and/or a longer, more in depth review on LAPL Reads.

The Lost History of Dreams: A Novel
Waldherr, Kris

When a famous, and some would claim infamous, poet dies, his final request is to be laid to rest next to his wife in a chapel of stained glass he had built for her when she passed. Robert Highstead, the poet’s cousin, accompanies the body to Weald House, the site of “Ada’s Folly,” as the chapel has become known, and where Isabelle, the poet’s remaining heir, lives in seclusion. She is mysteriously resistant to allow the internment and finally agrees only if Highstead will listen to her recount the life of the poet’s wife and have it published. But, as Isabelle tells her tale, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems and how will Highstead determine the truth in the midst of such strongly guarded secrets? The Lost History of Dreams is a haunted tale of love discovered and lost, and the shackles that can bind those who love together even after death. It is a classic Gothic tale, in the tradition of Wuthering Heights, complete with lush descriptions of the period and locations, along with era perfect poetry. This is a gripping and atmospheric read.

Red, White & Royal Blue
McQuiston, Casey

In her debut novel, Casey McQuiston takes an outrageous idea, what if a romance developed between the First Son of the United States and one of Great Britain’s Royal Princes, and runs with it full tilt! There is a lot to admire here: the nicely drawn and relatable characters; the inclusive and diverse cast; the exploration of how invasive and influential the press, specifically tabloid “journalism”, can be on the US political process (especially when what is being reported is more spectacle than news). But the true bottom line for Red, White & Royal Blue is that it is FUN! It is a page-turning read because McQuiston has hit everything at the perfect pitch.

Red, White & Royal Blue is a fairy tale, with TWO princes, and a very happy ending. While it was the PERFECT summer/beach read this year, it is also an enjoyable read for any time of the year!

Magic for Liars: A Novel
Gailey, Sarah

In their debut novel, Sarah Gailey, author of 2017’s pair of “man eating hippo mayhem” novellas River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, mashes up elements of several disparate genres. Magic for Liars is part noir-mystery, part urban fantasy, part Harry Potter and part Mean Girls and the result is, to pardon the phrase, magical!

Magic For Liars is both a wonderful whodunit and an incredible urban fantasy. It is also a reminder that High School, even one where magic is at the center of the curriculum, is usually a traumatic experience for all involved, and it is one from which we may never fully recover.

If you like this type of advance, or near advance, notice about upcoming titles, you can send a comment through the Contact Us page at LAPL.org and let us know. Also, if you read one of the recommended titles, send a comment and let others know what you thought of the book. In both cases, be sure to put Check These Out! in your message.