Today's releases include a nuanced look into America's opioid crisis, an endearing debut for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and a senior citizen caper! Learn more about these and all of our picks for the Best Books of the Month.
I thought I understood the origins and impact of America’s opioid crisis. Then I read Dopesick. Beth Macy’s book revealed the greed that drove OxyContin to be America’s drug of choice, and it opened my eyes to the shame of addiction that kept this epidemic hidden until far too late. Opioid addiction has touched nearly all of us in the 20 years since OxyContin came to market, and it’s something that didn’t have to happen. Money--absurdly huge sums of it--encouraged doctors, politicians, and the pharmaceutical industry to accept claims about the safety of this painkiller even when it was in conflict with what they saw in their practices and communities. There were so many warning signs. And there were so many people—particularly in small middle American towns--who cried foul, but no one in power cared to act. Beth Macy is a brilliant investigative journalist and a compassionate human being, and she tells this story like no one else has so far. Dopesick offers just the right blend of personal stories and cold hard facts; it’s a powerful book that incites conversation. There’s so much I want to share from Dopesick, but I guess what I most want to say is this: read it. And then pass it on. --Seira Wilson
Anne Youngson’s debut novel, Meet Me at the Museum, is a book you might find yourself finishing in one go. Mrs. Tina Hopgood is an English farmer’s wife, and Anders Larsen a widowed curator at a museum in Denmark. Though a common interest in one of the museum exhibits brings them together, Anders and Tina soon begin sharing increasingly personal stories and thoughts from their lives, including some never spoken of before. It is touching and uplifting to follow along as their relationship develops, solely through their letters, particularly when Anders notes, “we have both arrived at the same point in our lives. More behind us than ahead of us. Paths chosen that define us. Enough time left to change.” There is much to be charmed by in this epistolary novel, and Meet Me at the Museum is sure to find a welcome home beside bestsellers like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. --Seira Wilson
84-year-old Florence has fallen and she can’t get up. While waiting for rescue from the floor of her assisted living facility, she begins recounting the mystery of its newest resident, a man who looks and acts suspiciously like someone she was glad to see die sixty years ago. Aided by two unbelievably charming and loyal friends, Florence is determined to find out why he’s resurfaced. With dementia setting in, her mind isn’t as sharp as it once was, and the clues are hard to keep straight -- but she refuses to stop until the secrets are uncovered. Pick this up if you love a mystery told by an unreliable narrator, but stay for the friendship story. The bond between this senior citizen trio is heartwarmingly enviable. --Sydney Dale