Off the Shelves – July 6

New items are available at the Hancock County Public Library.

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

Adult Fiction

“The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane,” by Lisa See

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Like generations of Chinese before them, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the ritual and routine of tea farming. One day a Jeep appears at the village gate — the first automobile they’ve ever seen — and a stranger arrives. In this remote village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent culture of people. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to embrace new ideas and reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. In the following years, Li-yan emerges from the insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley, her daughter, grows up a privileged California girl. Despite Haley’s happy life, she wonders about her origins, as Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for answers in the tea that has shaped family destiny for generations.

Adult Nonfiction

“Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and creation of Holmes,” by Michael Sims

As a young medical student, Arthur Conan Doyle studied in Edinburgh under the vigilant eye of Dr. Joseph Bell. Doyle often observed Bell identify a patient’s occupation, hometown and ailments from the smallest details of dress, gait and speech. Although Doyle was training to be a surgeon, he began to cultivate essential knowledge that would feed his literary dreams and help him develop the most iconic detective in fiction: Sherlock Holmes. Author Sims traces the circuitous development of Doyle as the father of the modern mystery, from his early days of poverty and violence in Edinburgh, through his escape to university (where he gained terrifying firsthand knowledge of poisons) and to his own medical practice in 1882. Five years later — after only modest success in medicine or literature — the character of Sherlock Holmes emerged in “A Study in Scarlet.” Filled with new details for even the most knowledgeable Sherlockian, “Arthur and Sherlock” is a literary genesis story for detective fans everywhere.