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'Chew' On These New Adult Fiction Titles @ JCPL!


“Outside of a dog, books are man’s best friend; inside of a dog it’s too dark to read,” quips comedian, Groucho Marx. Groucho, in all of his wisdom, sounds like he knows all about dogs. Groucho, in all of his wisdom, must know Harley, the black-lab-with-an-iron-gut-who-will-eat-anything, and I’m not kidding. Harley mostly loves stuffed stuff; that means that all of the kids’ toys are fair game and edible to her. Paper is second only to stuffed stuff in Harley’s favorites list. It doesn’t matter if it’s paper toweling, tissue paper or just plain paper; Harley loves it all. That means that books are part of the all-you-can-eat buffet. If only osmosis worked. If osmosis were a possibility, we could feed Harley a dog training book and the words would travel throughout her system, and she’d be trained in one fell swoop. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here, then, is a list of new adult fiction that Harley may or may not enjoy; you be the judge when you check them out from your local branch of JCPL!

Two women, both from very different walks of life, are bound by a chance relationship in “Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule” by Jennifer Chiaverini. Julia Grant, the beloved wife of Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant, held two secrets close to her heart; she was nearly blind, but had the gift of prophetic sight. Jule, Mrs. Grant’s devoted slave, kept these secrets close to her own heart, traveling with the Grant’s everywhere they went. When the Emancipation Proclamation became effective, Jule embraced her freedom, leaving the Grant’s and becoming a prominent businesswoman in her own right, eventually taking on the honorary title of ‘Madame.’ This biographical work of fiction chronicles a time in history when the battles of war were fought for freedom and justice, and the stakes were high for all involved.

A terrible home accident that took the life of his younger brother leaves Kevin and his grieving mother traumatized. In order to escape the horror, the pair of them is sent to live with Kevin’s grandfather, deep in the heart of a small southern town in Appalachia. Their new hometown, Medgar, Kentucky, is under siege by a mountaintop removal operation that involves blowing up the hills and backfilling the hollows, and although the woods are a magnificent playground for Kevin and his new friend, Buzzy Fink, the two young boys ultimately witness a hate crime that is so brutal that they become victims themselves, struggling to overcome the dangers of the mountains that they loved so dearly in “The Secret Wisdom of the Earth” by Chris Scotton.

Life changes for nine year old Peter when his father dies and his mother decides to move him from his city home to a home on the countryside. Peter is now the new kid in school, and feels every bit the outcast that he is. The natural course of events when you are an outcast is to find others who share your position, so Peter befriends overweight Tommie and too-smart-for-her-own good Anna Marie. As this charming coming of age story is told, however, we come to realize that school is not the only place that outcasts can be found, and that society itself is filled with them in “Everlasting Lane” by Andrew Lovett.

A night of drinking at the Black Bull ends badly for Buddy Hinton when he disappears only to surface in a stock tank, DOA. Buddy had no enemies to speak of; he was just a good old boy who liked to spend his time and money at the local Black Bull. As Sheriff Virgil Dalton and his deputy, Jimmy, begin to investigate, retracing the last steps of the dead man, it appears that the threat of more violence is right before their eyes,and they must act fast to catch the murderer of murderers before the bodies begin to pile up in “Death at the Black Bull” by Frank Hayes.

Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, similarly, you can’t judge the pedigree of a dog by the books he does or does not eat. I know from experience that when it comes to paper products, it’s pretty much equal rights among the ranks of chewable ‘stuff.’ My grandkids would be telling the truth if they said, “The dog ate my homework,” but I’m hoping that these brand new books from the Jasper County Public Library remain ‘unchewable!’