Your May Reading List

Emily Calkins of the King County Library System offers binge-able titles that will keep you enthralled through May. Check out a digital copy of these titles and more here. With modified in-building services being offered at some KCLS libraries now, physical copies can either be picked up inside or outside at a contactless Curbside to Go location or 24/7 lockers. See what’s available near you here.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

Walton’s rollicking debut chronicles the career of Opal Jewel, a ’70s-era rock icon who shot to fame after a tragic incident at a concert. Opal is Black, and her bandmate, Nev, is white. Walton uses their story to explore race, music, and fame. The novel is framed as an oral history project led by magazine editor Sunny Shelton, who has a personal connection with Opal. When an interview sheds new light on the tragedy that defined Opal and Nev’s career, the novel shifts gears, asking readers to consider the cost of collaboration.

Northern Spy by Flynn Berry

New mother Tessa is a BBC producer in modern-day Belfast, where her life is mostly untouched by the ever-present violence between the IRA and loyalists. But everything changes when her beloved sister Marian is caught on camera participating in an armed robbery with known IRA members. This is a taut thriller about the importance of family.

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig

In 1917, a group of Smith College alumnae sailed for France to offer relief to villages devastated by World War I, which continued to rage just miles away. Willig bases this historical novel on real letters sent by members of that unit. She vividly captures complex relationships between the women and the heartbreaking consequences of war.

EMILY CALKINS is the readers’ services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.

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