Book Corner: Best-selling Books Featured in Spring Author Talks

I get so excited when new authors are added to the lineup of Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s Online Author Talk series. Some authors are ones I’ve read and enjoyed, and hearing them speak brings their works to life. And some authors are ones I haven’t read yet, but hearing their talks inspires me to want to read their books. It is fascinating to experience famous authors as real people (who knew?) and to learn their personal histories and the research they do to write their books. There are a variety of authors and topics, including fiction, biography, parenting, leadership, young adult, and more, ensuring there is a fascinating talk for everyone to enjoy. There are two to three author talks scheduled per month, and you can register in advance to watch the live broadcast or watch the recordings after the fact at no charge. You can even submit questions in advance for the moderator to address to the author, and if you attend the broadcasts live, you can chat with other attendees. All talks, upcoming and past, can be found at, opens a new window

Here are the authors scheduled for late March through May, along with their recent works:

Code Name Sapphire, opens a new window by Pam Jenoff
Tuesday, March 28, 7:00 p.m.
New York Times-bestselling historical fiction author Jenoff will discuss her newest work inspired by true stories of courage and sacrifice during World War II. In 1942, Hannah Martel has narrowly escaped Nazi Germany after her fiancé was killed, ending up with her cousin Lily in Brussels. Hannah is desperate to leave occupied Europe and is drawn into the Sapphire Line, a secret resistance network, in the hopes of finding a way out. Then Lily’s family is arrested and slated for deportation to Auschwitz, and Hannah must decide whether to save herself or rescue her cousin’s family.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, opens a new window by Kate Beaton
Tuesday, April 4, 7:00 p.m.
After growing up in the tightly knit seaside town of Mabou and then attending college, cartoonist Beaton heads west to Alberta to work in the camps owned and operated by the world’s largest oil companies in the hope of paying down student debt. To say Beaton experiences culture shock is an understatement, especially after she moves to an isolated worksite with none of the creature comforts to which she’s accustomed. Life in the oil sands is harsh and trauma is an everyday occurrence. Beaton’s talent as a cartoonist is evident as she draws giant machines and vehicles against the stunning backdrop of Alberta’s wildlife, northern lights, and the Rocky Mountains in her graphic memoir.

Fox Creek, opens a new window by William Kent Krueger
Thursday, April 27, 8:00 p.m.
The latest in a mystery series set in the Northwoods of Minnesota featuring Cork O’Connor, the part Irish, part Ojibwe former sheriff of Tamarack County. In Fox Creek, O’Connor is in a race to save his wife, a mysterious stranger, and an Ojibwe healer from mercenaries whose motives are unclear. As Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux walks the woods, his peace is disturbed by hunters looking for a woman named Dolores Morriseau, a stranger seeking the healer’s wisdom. Meloux guides Morriseau and his great-niece, O’Connor’s wife, to safety deep in the Boundary Waters while trying to outwit the deadly hunters. Meanwhile, in Aurora, O’Connor is frantically working to identify the mercenaries and their motives before time runs out.

Raising Antiracist Children, opens a new window by Britt Hawthorne
Wednesday, May 3, 1:00 p.m.
Nationally recognized teacher and advocate Hawthorne presents a New York Times-bestselling interactive guide to incorporating inclusivity into everyday life and building an antiracist family environment. She breaks this down into four manageable sections filled with questionnaires, activities, and other tools. These include establishing a body-positive home environment, encouraging children to be agents of change, teaching how local shopping can thwart or stimulate a community’s ability to thrive, and recognizing our personal power to implement widespread change. Hawthorne tackles an important, but possibly daunting topic, in a way that empowers parents and caregivers to raise inclusive, antiracist families.

Not Funny: Essays On Life, Comedy, Culture, Et Cetera, opens a new window by Jena Friedman
Wednesday, May 10, 8:00 p.m.
Friedman didn’t set out to be a comedian, but research for an anthropology thesis in college led her to improv, which uncovered a latent funnybone. Today, Friedman has written and produced for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Late Show with David Letterman, as well as becoming an acclaimed stand-up comedian in her own right. In her work, Friedman doesn’t shy away from today’s controversial topics, at one point becoming ostracized from the stand-up community after publishing a research paper on sexual harassment in comedy clubs. Now Friedman presents her incisive humor in the form of essays on everything from cancel culture to women’s rights.

I'm the Girl, opens a new window by Courtney Summers
Saturday, May 20, 2:00 p.m.
While biking to the exclusive resort Aspera to beg for a job, Georgia Avis, 16, is knocked out by a hit-and-run. When she comes to, missing her bag and bike, she stumbles on the body of Ashley James, 13, who was assaulted before her death. Aspera’s owners take George under their wing and give her an admin job, though she really wants to be an Aspera girl--one of the beautiful young women that work more closely with the resort’s glamorous side. Then George befriends Ashley’s older sister, Nora, and the two begin to research Ashley’s assault and death. George is thrown into a world of glamor, privilege, and certain danger as the two draw closer to the truth.

The Online Author Talk series is presented in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium and sponsored by the Friends of Central Rappahannock Regional Library. To become a Friend of the Library or learn more, visit, opens a new window.

Tracy McPeck is the adult services coordinator at Central Rappahannock Regional Library. This column first appeared in the Free Lance-Star newspaper.