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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.

Goss, Theodora

Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau and Justine Frankenstein—all the daughters of some of science fiction’s maddest scientists—return from their travels on the continent to rescue Alice, whom Mary thought was simply a scullery maid but who may actually have mesmeric abilities that could threaten the world.

In this third and final entry in The Adventures of the Athena Club trilogy, Theodora Goss takes readers on a wild and wonderful adventure with these “girl monsters, or in some cases monstrous young women.”

Chapman, Clay McLeod

In The Remaking, Clay McLeod Chapman illustrates both how powerful stories can be and how we fuel stories with the power of re-telling. He begins with a horrific story, based on the real events from a small town in Kentucky, and shows how this single occurrence becomes the subject of two feature films and a subject for endless speculation by a worldwide audience. The plot is infinitely plausible because everything that happens seems likely and even, at times, predictable, which makes the horror aspects of the story that much more affecting and terrifying. Chapman also chronicles the changes in how we hear and tell stories over the last half-century, moving from stories told around a campfire to the grindhouse films of the 70s, to the big-budget films of the 90s and on to the podcasts of today. This is a chilling and thoughtful read.

Thomas, Scott

Scott Thomas, author of 2017’s excellent Kill Creek, returns with a new novel that is a bit difficult to pin down. Part of it is about tragedy and grief, how they affect us and how we choose or choose not to, deal with them. Part of it looks at parenthood and how the stakes can be raised on one parent when the other leaves, whether or not by their own choice. And part of it is a horror story, with a small town filled with memorable residents and a sense of foreboding that settles over everything like a shroud.

Violet proves that Kill Creek was not a fluke and that Thomas is a writer to watch, whether in horror or possibly any other genre.

Feret-Fleury, Christine

In The Girl Who Reads on the Metro, Christine Feret-Fleury tells a delightful tale about the love and power of books and the need for all of us to move beyond our zones of comfort. It is a type of literary fairy tale, where many of the mundanities of life are referenced but never focused upon, and there is always time to read another book or spend time talking about a book with a friend over tea. However, like many fairy tales, there is a dark edge to the story, one that firmly grounds it in reality, keeping it from being completely overtaken with whimsy. Feret-Fleury stresses the need for us to become full participants in our world, rather than observers who merely watch as others “do.” This is a charming and enjoyable read.

Thomas, Rhys

In 1989, journalist and documentary filmmaker Rhys Thomas told the fascinating, and mostly unknown history of the world’s most famous shoes in The Ruby Slippers of Oz. Now, thirty years later, Thomas is back with a revised edition that continues this fascinating tale that has spanned over eight decades, chronicling the end of Hollywood’s “studio system” of filmmaking, the rise of the competitive and lucrative market for motion picture props and costumes and the enduring public interest in these iconic shoes.

The Ruby Slippers of Oz: Thirty Years Later is a fascinating and labyrinthine tale that will enthrall fans of The Wizard of Oz, enthusiasts of Hollywood history, or anyone that likes a gripping tale of intrigue and fabulous shoes.

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 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.