After the Last Border by Jessica Goudeau (368 pages, 8 copies)
Available now. Reserved September 19 – October 20, 2023
The story of two refugee families and their hope and resilience as they fight to survive and belong in America.
The welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees have been central to America's identity for centuries--yet America has periodically turned its back in times of the greatest humanitarian need. After the Last Border is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the golden ticket to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas.
Mu Naw, a Christian from Myanmar struggling to put down roots with her family, was accepted after decades in a refugee camp at a time when America was at its most open to displaced families; and Hasna, a Muslim from Syria, agrees to relocate as a last resort for the safety of her family--only to be cruelly separated from her children by a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. Writer and activist Jessica Goudeau tracks the human impacts of America's ever-shifting refugee policy as both women narrowly escape from their home countries and begin the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin--a city that would show them the best and worst of what America has to offer.
After the Last Border situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history--the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies--revealing not just how America's changing attitudes toward refugees have influenced policies and laws, but also the profound effect on human lives.
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (442 pages, 10 copies + Audiobook)
Available now. Reserved April 29 – May 29, 2024
For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye.
In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot's periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot's recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth.
All The Gallant Men by Donald Stratton (306 pages, 8 copies + Audiobook)
At 8:06 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Seaman First Class Donald Stratton was consumed by an inferno. A million pounds of explosives had detonated beneath his battle station aboard the USS Arizona, barely fifteen minutes into Japan’s surprise attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor. Near death and burned across two-thirds of his body, Don, a nineteen-year-old Nebraskan who had been steeled by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, summoned the will to haul himself hand over hand across a rope tethered to a neighboring vessel. Forty-five feet below, the harbor’s flaming, oil-slick water boiled with enemy bullets; all around him the world tore itself apart.
In this extraordinary never-before-told eyewitness account of the Pearl Harbor attack—the only memoir ever written by a survivor of the USS Arizona—ninety-four-year-old veteran Donald Stratton finally shares his unforgettable personal tale of bravery and survival on December 7, 1941, his harrowing recovery, and his inspiring determination to return to the fight.
Don and four other sailors made it safely across the same line that morning, a small miracle on a day that claimed the lives of 1,177 of their Arizona shipmates—approximately half the American fatalities at Pearl Harbor. Sent to military hospitals for a year, Don refused doctors’ advice to amputate his limbs and battled to relearn how to walk. The U.S. Navy gave him a medical discharge, believing he would never again be fit for service, but Don had unfinished business. In June 1944, he sailed back into the teeth of the Pacific War on a destroyer, destined for combat in the crucial battles of Leyte Gulf, Luzon, and Okinawa, thus earning the distinction of having been present for the opening shots and the final major battle of America’s Second World War.
As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack approaches, Don, a great-grandfather of five and one of five living survivors of the Arizona, offers an unprecedentedly intimate reflection on the tragedy that drew America into the greatest armed conflict in history. All the Gallant Men is a book for the ages, one of the most remarkable—and remarkably inspiring—memoirs of any kind to appear in recent years.
Aloha Rodeo by David Wolman (256 pages, 9 copies + Audiobook)
Available after October 18, 2023
In the spirit of The Boys in the Boat comes the captivating true story of the Hawaiian cowboys who changed rodeo and the West forever. In August 1908, three unknown riders arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, their hats adorned with wildflowers, to compete in the world’s greatest rodeo. They had travelled 3,000 miles from Hawaii, where their ancestors had herded cattle for generations, to test themselves against the toughest riders in the West. Dismissed by whites, who considered themselves the only true cowboys, the Hawaiians left the heartland as champions—and American legends.
David Wolman and Julian Smith’s Aloha Rodeo unspools a fascinating and little-known tale, blending rough-knuckled frontier drama with a rousing underdog narrative. Tracing the life story of steer-roping virtuoso Ikua Purdy and his cousins Jack Low and Archie Ka’au’a, the writers delve into the dual histories of ranching in the islands and the meteoric rise and sudden fall of Cheyenne, “Holy City of the Cow.” At the turn of the century, larger-than-life personalities like “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Theodore Roosevelt capitalized on a national obsession with the Wild West, and helped transform Cheyenne’s annual Frontier Days celebration into an unparalleled rodeo spectacle, the “Daddy of ‘em All.”
A great deal rode on the Hawaiians’ shoulders during those dusty days in August. Just a decade earlier, the overthrow of Hawaii’s monarchy and forced annexation by the U.S. had traumatized an independent nation whose traditions dated back centuries. Journeying to the mainland for the first time, the young riders brought with them the pride of a people struggling to preserve their cultural identity and anxious about their future under the rule of overlords an ocean away.
In Cheyenne, the Hawaiians didn’t just show their mastery of riding and roping, skills that white Americans thought they owned. They also overturned simplistic thinking about the “Wild West,” cowboys-versus-Indians, and the very concept of cattle country. Blending sport and history, while exploring questions of identity, imperialism, and race, Aloha Rodeo brings to light an overlooked and riveting chapter in the saga of the American West.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (386 pages, 8 copies + Audiobook)
Available after November 1, 2023. Reserved March 18 – May 3, 2024 and September 23 – November 1, 2024
Lydia lives in Acapulco. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while cracks are beginning to show in Acapulco because of the cartels, Lydia’s life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. But after her husband’s tell-all profile of the newest drug lord is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and Luca find themselves joining the countless people trying to reach the United States. Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (467 pages, 8 copies + Audiobook)
Available after February 17, 2024
The Delaney family love one another dearly—it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .
If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father? This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.
The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?
The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.
One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.
Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala (336 pages, 9 copies)
Available after October 31, 2023. Reserved April 1 – May 20, 2024
When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.
With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…