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The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

-Summary from amazon.com

The Dutch House
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Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman
Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place.
Anxious People Book Jacket
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Bring Your Own Book!

Would you like to join a book group but find it hard to read a book on deadline? Do you enjoy nonfiction and would like to discover new titles? Then this group is for you! Hoover Public Library's Insatiable Readers monthly book discussion group explores several nonfiction titles based on a different theme. This month we are discussing our all time favorite books - on any topic! The goal is to have fun talking about books, and leave with a few new titles to add to your "To Read" list. Each session meets on a Saturday at 10:30 am in the Fitzgerald Room, unless otherwise noted. We look forward to sharing great nonfiction with you!
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The Night Stalker

By Philip Carlo
Decades after Richard Ramirez left thirteen dead and paralyzed the city of Los Angeles in the 1980s, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture, and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo’s classic The Night Stalker, based on years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined.
The Night Stalker
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Hamnet

By Maggie O’Farrell
England, 1580: The Black Death creeps across the land, an ever-present threat, infecting the healthy, the sick, the old and the young alike. The end of days is near, but life always goes on. A young Latin tutor--penniless and bullied by a violent father--falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family's land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon, she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is just taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever.
Hamnet book jacket
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The Personal Librarian

By Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

New York Times best-selling author Benedict joins with Murray, a four-time NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Fiction, to reimagine the story of Belle da Costa Greene, hired by J.P. Morgan as his personal librarian to curate rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for the new Pierpont Morgan Library. But she has a secret: as the daughter of Harvard's first Black graduate, she is passing as white.

The Personal Libraran Book Jacket
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The Four Winds

By Kristin Hannah

A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa's world is shattered to the winds. Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life.

The Four Winds book jacket
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Surviving Savannah

By Patti Callahan

Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly's research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who, along with her child, was never found. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah's society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions.

Surviving Savannah book jacket
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The Last Thing He Told Me

By Laura Dave

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

The Last Thing He Told Me book jacket
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The Midnight Library

By Matt Haig

Nora, in her mid-30s and living in the small English town of Bedford, suffers from "situational depression"--though, as she wryly observes, "It's just that I keep on having new... situations." After she gets fired from her job and her cat dies, she attempts suicide, only to wake up in a book-lined liminal zone, where she is guided by a librarian: "Between life and death there is a library... Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived." There, Nora discovers what would have happened had she not abandoned her promising swimming career, called off her engagement, or left the rock band she started with her brother. Each time an alternate life disappoints or doesn't feel quite right, Nora exits, reappearing in the library to continue browsing for the perfect story.

The Midnight Library book jacket