May Recommendations

All the books listed here are available at the library. Stop in, give us a call, or use the online catalog to place a hold and check one out.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Check out these nonfiction and fiction titles that have themes surrounding mental health.

Brain on Fire by Susanna Cahalan
The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate and Daniel Mate
Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell
Hello Beautiful by An Napolitano
Baby & Solo by Lisbeth Posthuma

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan: This award winning memoir tells the story of Susanna Calahan’s struggle to recapture her identity after waking up in the hospital with no memory of how she had gotten there. Follow her descent into madness, her families never-ending faith in her recovery, and the diagnosis that eventually saves her life. Available on Libby (audio)

The Myth of Normal: Trama, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté and Daniel Maté: What really is “normal” when it comes to health? This investigation into healthcare systems in Western countries explores issues including adolescent mental illness, trauma, and stress and the pressures of modern-day living. Available on Boundless (e-book) and Libby (audio)

Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell: Wendy Mitchell had a busy job, raised two daughters alone, and spent her weekends exercising. Then, slowly, a mist settled deep inside the mind she once knew so well, blurring the world around her. In 2014, at age 58, she was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s.

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano: While at school on a basketball scholarship, William meets Julia, an ambitious young woman with a loving chaotic family. When darkness from William’s past surfaces, it causes a rift between Julia’s family. Available on Boundless (audio/e-book) and Libby (audio/e-book)

Baby & Solo by Lisbeth Posthuma: When seventeen year old Joel’s therapist tells him he should get a part-time-job, to start getting back to a “normal” life after the Bad Thing happened, he finds himself employed at a video store. He meets Nicole and as they begin a friendship his past begins to catch up with him. Available on Boundless (audio/e-book) and Hoopla (audio)

Celebrate the culture and accomplishments of Asian American authors for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month!

Speak Okinawa by Elizabeth Miki Brina
Exhalation by Ted Chiang
Yellowface by RF Kuang
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (Translated by Ken Liu)
Banyan Moon by Thao Thai
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Speak, Okinawa: a Memoir by Elizabeth Miki Brina: This memoir follows a young woman’s journey to understanding her complicated parents–an Okinawan war bride and a Vietnam veteran. Growing up feeling no connection to her mother’s distant home and also feeling out of place in her own home, but later coming to recognize the shame that haunts her and her mother.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang: If you’re looking for original, short sci-fi stories this is the collection for you. Chiang touches on old questions and brings up plenty of new ones in these stories. Exhalation has been compared to Black Mirror by some people, with lighter themes.  Available on Libby (audio)

Yellowface by RF Kuang: Best-selling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is and she didn’t even write the book she says she wrote. Most importantly she’s not even Asian American like she claims. This darkly humorous novel follows June Hayward (Juniper Song) as she steals the work of her recently deceased colleague to pass off as her own, and the secrets she works to continuously keep covered up. Available on Boundless (audio/e-book), Libby (audio/e-book), and Hoopla (audio/e-book)

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu): This fantastical science fiction with a large cast of characters takes place during China’s Cultural Revolution. If you are a fan of aliens and the fight to take over the world, this might be the book for you! The Three-Body Problem was recently released as a Netflix show. Available on Boundless (audio/e-book), Libby (audio/e-book), and Hoopla (audio)

Banyan Moon by Thao Thai: After the death of her grandmother Minh, Ann has to return home to face her estranged mother Huong, and they both realize that Minh left them the Banyan House. Told in dual timelines, present day in Florida and 1960s Vietnam, this is a deeply moving story of mothers and daughters.  Available on Boundless (audio/e-book), Libby (e-book), and Hoopla (audio/e-book)

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner: Michelle Zauner’s memoir is about growing up as a Korean American woman, losing her mother, and working towards finding her own identity. Explore the connections between food, family, and the Asian-American experience. Michelle Zauner is the lead singer and guitarist of the band Japanese Breakfast. Available on Boundless (audio/e-book

May the Fourth be with you! Fans of Star Wars can find something to love in this list!

Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman
Saga by Brian K Vaughan
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

Foundation by Isaac Asimov: Some people, Isaac Asimov included, believe Star Wars took some inspiration from this series of novels. Scientists and scholars gather on a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for the future and learn from Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory.  Available on Boundless (e-book)

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman: If you love the Mandelorian and are looking for something similar, try the Aurora Rising series. Set in the year 2380, Tyler Jones, star student at Aurora Academy is stuck with a team of rejects for his first mission.  Available on Boundless (audio/e-book)

Saga by Brian K Vaughan: Described as Star Wars meets Game of Thrones, this graphic novel series is beloved by fans and heavily influenced by Star Wars. An epic space opera/fantasy series telling the story of two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war who fall in love and risk everything. Available on Hoopla (e-book)

All Systems Red by Martha Wells: If you’re a fan of the snarky droids in Star Wars you just might become a fan of The Murderbot Diaries series. In a corporate-dominated space-faring future, missions are approved and supplied by the Company. Teams must be accompanied by Company-supplied security androids. One team of scientists is appointed a sarcastic, self-aware unit that refers to itself as “Murderbot.” Available on Boundless (audio/e-book), Libby (audio/e-book), and Hoopla (audio)

The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten: For fans of the sequels or if you’re just a huge Kylo Ren fan, Hannah Whitten was inspired by Star Wars to write The Foxglove King. Lore works for a cartel smuggling poisons and hiding her magic. When something goes wrong and Lore is captured, she gets caught up in King August’s plans where she will need to use her magic to stay alive.