Friends, Family and Enemies

Friends, family and enemies are usually very different people, but occasionally these roles overlap. These new August releases focus on relationships and how they evolve.

1. Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

“There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first thing is that she’s my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third thing…might take a bit more explaining.”

Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her apartment. As she waits to be rescued she has time to think. Florence wonders if a terrible secret she shares with her childhood friend Elsie is about to be exposed. Why does the charming new resident look exactly like a man who died 60 years ago?

“Breathes with suspense, providing along the way piercing, poetic descriptions, countless tiny mysteries, and breathtaking little reveals… a rich portrait of old age and friendship stretched over a fascinating frame.” —Kirkus (starred review)


2. Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins

On their last day of “fat camp,” best friends Emerson, Marley and Georgia list things they’ll do when they are finally thin – eat dessert in public, hold hands with a cute boy, other activities they feel their weight prevents them from doing. Now in their 30s, all three still struggle with weight. When Emerson dies suddenly, Georgia and Marley are left with her final wish – to fulfill the list they made as teenagers. As Georgia and Marley set out to complete their tasks, they learn what is really important for finding happiness. Georgia must come to terms with her disapproving, fat-shaming mother and brother, revisit the reason for her divorce and face a lifelong eating disorder. Marley, seemingly the most well-adjusted of the three, works toward grieving losses, loving herself and accepting love from others. Both find that the list made by naïve teenagers takes them to healing and self-acceptance. Higgins (Now That You Mention It) writes with her trademark heart, humor and emotion, addressing the serious and somber subject of body image and how weight has become the obsession of many women and how all too often judgment reigns supreme. —Library Journal

“Wholly original and heartfelt, written with grace and sensitivity, Good Luck with That is an irresistible tale of love, friendship, and self acceptance—and the way body image can sabotage all three.”—Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author of The Life List


3. Ohio by Stephen Markley

In a small town in northeastern Ohio—a region ravaged by the Great Recession, an opioid crisis, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—four former classmates converge on their hometown one summer night in 2013. Each of them is on a mission fueled by the ghosts of their shared histories.

Ohio is that rarest of unicorns, a novel that swings for the fences, and actually tries to explain just what the *#!* happened to this country after the towers fell, and how we got to this awful particular moment. Stephen Markley goes for the universe with every single sentence he writes. That the universe answers him as often as it does makes for a hugely impressive first novel.”—Charles Bock, New York Times bestselling author of Alice & Oliver


 4. Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison

From a blazing new voice in fiction, a gritty and lyrical American epic about a young woman who disguises herself as a boy and heads west.

In the spring of 1885, 17-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family’s homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess’s quest lands her in the employ of the territory’s violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah — dead or alive.

Wrestling with her brother’s outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right.

“A thunderclap of originality, here is a fresh voice and fresh take on one of the oldest stories we tell about ourselves as Americans and Westerners. It’s riveting in all the right ways — a damn good read that stayed with me long after closing the covers.” —Timothy Egan, New York Times bestselling author of The Worst Hard Time


 5. The Other Sister by Sarah Zettel

“Sarah Zettel’s The Other Sister is as dark and twisted as they come; a compelling and sinister psychological thriller in which every character is deeply flawed, their desire for revenge understandable and relatable. With its intricate web of secrets long buried, readers won’t be able to stop turning the pages!” -Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

Everyone thought reckless Geraldine Monroe was the bad sister when she fled town 25 years ago.

Marie Monroe knows the truth. She witnessed their father’s cruel punishments, manipulations and lies. Everyone thinks she’s the perfect daughter. No one would suspect her of anything.

Geraldine’s home and she and Marie are planning revenge.


I’m the library’s fiction selector and I’ve been suggesting new books to library and bookmobile customers for over 17 years. I keep up on all the new book reviews, and my favorite question is “What are you reading?” I love to talk about books and to read books. I like to tell library customers, “Try something new. If you don’t like it, at least the price is right!”