Oh no! We have one hour less to read this month! Hopefully our list of favorites will save you time on browsing, so you can have more time for reading.
Mildred Harnack is a young, American woman working on her PhD in 1930s Berlin. She has a front row seat to the rise of Naziism and it isn’t long before she begins holding secret meetings in her apartment, and then recruiting ordinary Germans to perform acts of resistance.
By 1940 she heads up the largest underground resistance group in the city. When war is declared, Mildred becomes a spy and begins to ferry information to the Allies. She was captured while trying to escape the country and consequently sentenced to 6 years in jail. Hitler himself overruled the court’s decision and ordered her execution by guillotine.
Mildred is the only American woman known to have led a German resistance movement, but no one knew her name or her full story. Until now.
Decades after Mildred’s death, her great-great niece, Rebecca Donner, learns pieces of her story and the fuse is lit.
Donner completed extensive research – all of which is meticulously documented in endnotes so as not to disrupt the flow of this astonishing and compulsive page turner. I could not put it down. It reads like a novel, but trust me when I say you could not make this stuff up.
Also: they *have* to make this into a movie.
The Maid by Nita Prose
This month a fellow librarian and friend shared her latest read on Instagram – The Maid by Nita Prose. She explained it was outside her normal genre choices but that she was pleased with it nonetheless. It was not outside the realm of my normal type of book, so when I heard “murder mystery at a fancy hotel,” plus a neurodivergent main character, I was in! This book takes you into the day-to-day life of a hotel maid. This particular maid just so happens to see the world a little differently than those around her and this trips her up as she navigates a world filled with not so trustworthy people. Her recently departed Grandmother still guides her through life by means of the memories she left behind, and there are friends to be had but figuring out who is really a friend and who is really a foe lands our main character right into the hot seat – with numerous charges against her, the biggest being murder! Don’t worry this still has a “cozy murder mystery” vibe and it does have a feel good ending but you will definitely be worried for our girl Molly on many, many occasions!
The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
My staff pick for March is The Island of Missing Trees: An evocative novel that covers topics from generational trauma, nature, love, and grief. Elif Shafak tells the tale of the people and nature of the Cyprus Island on which both Turkish and Greek people reside and have been at battle for centuries. Told partially from the view of a fig tree, this novel is like no other and I had to put it down several times just to fully absorb what I was reading. It is hard to recap what I loved the most about this book because I loved everything about it.
No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunburg
No one is too small to make a difference is the #1 New York Times bestseller full of Greta Thurnberg’s speeches. The nineteen year old Swedish climate and environmental activist is a young lady with a purpose. This quick read lets you sit in the front row at the United Nations, British Parliament, European Parliament, and many more places around the world where she has advocated for future generations.