I don’t know about you, but for me there is nothing like opening up a brand-new book for the first time. Not just a new book to me, but one that has barely been read before and has that hot of the presses shiny cover and the new book smell. I still prefer print books for this very reason; the tactile experience is part of what keeps me reading paper books. Join me and crack open a new and shiny book published in 2021 and read along with us for the ReadMHK December topic. ReadMHK is a community-wide reading program aimed at building connections through reading and sharing experiences with each other.
First off here are a couple of new books that I have been looking forward to reading. Out in October, “The Book of Magic” is the newest and final book in the Practical Magic series by Alice Hoffman. If you read the book or watched the movie “Practical Magic,” you will be excited to know that the author has also written a couple of prequels. “Magic Lessons” is the story of the Owens’ ancestor Maria. Set in the 1600s, it gives fans the way back story of how Maria survived the Witch Hunts and went on to become the matriarch of the family. Next, we have “The Rules of Magic” which fills in the story of Aunts Franny and Jet, and introduces us to their brother Vincent. If, like me, you have been waiting for the fourth book in this series, it is here! “The Book of Magic” focuses on Sally’s daughters, Kylie and Antonia while also finishing the stories of Sally and Gillian from the very popular “Practical Magic.”
In keeping with the theme of sisters and magic we have “The Missing Sister” published in June. This is the seventh and penultimate book in The Seven Sisters series written by Lucinda Riley. In this story, the author takes us across the globe while the six sisters use magic to locate their long lost seventh sibling. The series will conclude with an eighth and final book, “Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt,” coming out in 2023 that will feature the story of the sister’s father.
“Black Water Sister” by Zen Cho is a brand-new book published in May. The title may use the word sister; however, the story focuses more on the supernatural with a spirit named Black Water Sister. The author takes us to Malaysia to follow Jessamyn as she hears the ghostly voice of her dead grandmother who used to be a spirit medium. Gods, idols and family treachery will keep you on the edge of your seat until you read the last line of this book. Bravely, after all she has been through, Jess can finally come out to her traditional parents. The author leaves us there but knowing that all will be well.
“Gold Diggers: A Novel” is the debut novel by author Sanjena Sathian. It is another new book and has a gorgeous cover if you judge a book by its cover! It came out in April and tells the coming of age story of Neil and Anita. Both of whom are first-generation Americans growing up in an Atlanta suburb with a large Indian family. The second half of the book takes place 10 years down the road, and we see Neil embrace his heritage. Studying history, he learns we must all embrace where we came from and that all of our stories matter. If not, those in positions of power may erase who we really are.
Stop by Manhattan Public Library’s new book display, grab something that catches your eye and join us for next month’s ReadMHK book discussion night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21. If you need some more suggestions, head over to the Reference desk on the second floor where we have book lists available to help you find your fresh new read.
Julie Mills is the learning and information services supervisor at Manhattan Public Library.