Off the Shelves – October 6

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit


“Underground Airlines,” by Ben Winters

It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states known as “the Hard Four.” A young black man calling himself Victor, who has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement to work as a bounty hunter, is on the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw. Victor works to infiltrate an abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines but uncovers secrets of the country’s arrangement with the Hard Four that the government will preserve at any cost.

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“First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies,” by Kate Anderson Brower

The First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the operation of countless events at the White House. Former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on an array of untapped, candid sources to tell the stories of ten remarkable women — from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama — who have defined that role since 1960. The stories range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands.


“After the Fall,” by Noah Hawley

On a foggy summer night, 10 privileged people and one down-on-his-luck painter depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Minutes later, the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs — the painter– and a four-year-old boy, the last member of a wealthy media mogul family. The story weaves between the crash aftermath and the back stories of the passengers. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? As Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage, and the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel.