Off the Shelves – November 30

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

“A Good Country,” by Laleh Khadivi

Alireza Courdee, a 14-year-old straight-A student, chemistry whiz and son of Iranian immigrants, takes his first hit of pot. In as long as it takes to inhale and exhale, he is transformed from high-achieving into a happy-go-lucky stoner. He loses his virginity, takes up surfing and sneaks away to all-night raves. For the first time, he feels like an American teen. Life is smooth, and even lying to his strict father comes easily. But then he changes again, falling out with the bad boy surfers and into a group of kids more awake to the world around them. they share his background, but their ideas fill him with a very different sense of purpose. Within a year, Reza and two friends are on their way to Syria to join in the fight. “A Good Country” is a meditation on religious radicalization and a young man caught among vastly different worlds.

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Adult Nonfiction

“Where the Past Begins,” by Amy Tan

Amy Tan, the bestselling author of “The Joy Luck Club” reveals the truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction by delving into memories from her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother. Through spontaneous storytelling, Tan explores truths uncovered by family memorabilia, the real reason behind an IQ test she took at age six, why her parents lied about their education, mysteries surrounding her maternal grandmother — and her complex relationship with her father who died when she was 15. With candor and humor, “Where the Past Begins” takes readers into the workings of her writer’s mind on a journey through memory, imagination, and truth.