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Here's the buzz about books at the Peoria Public Library this July

 Exterior of a Peoria Public Library building, showing artwork

The Peoria Public Library has a new collection development librarian specialist, but she's a familiar face to patrons of the McClure branch.

In her new role, Sarah Couri decides which books the library stocks.

"I really just try and look for things that sound exciting or interesting or intriguing. I try and really stay on top of the known and expected authors," she said. "But I also think it's a really important part of my job to look for people who are debuting, who are just starting out in their careers, or at least relatively young in their careers."

One of the books Couri is recommending this summer is Pardon My Frenchie, a contemporary romance that she says serves as a good entry point for Farah Rochon's books.

"She's very funny. She has such a tight grasp of her characters, and she's really so on top of her plotting that, you know, a romance can feel a little bit familiar. It's got those very familiar beats, but she makes that feel really fresh, because she's just such a master of the craft," Couri said.

Little Rot is another book Couri said was highly anticipated ahead of its June release. She said Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi's books often fall in the "love them or hate them" category.

"They really will run their characters through the ringer, and they're not afraid to have characters who are very unlikable, who do things that are sort of shocking and amazing, and really sort of allow the audience who's reading to sort of dig through and get to the core of that character and really come to understand them," Couri said.

Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley was also hotly anticipated, Couri said. Bradley is a new author who started getting a lot of attention before the book was even released.

"I think its appeal is, at least in part, because it's really a mash up of a lot of different genres. There's fantasy in it, or science fiction. There are romantic elements in it, but it also feels like a piece of literary fiction," she said. "There's also spy-thriller pieces, there's fish out of water comedy, and also a little bit of a part that feels like a workplace comedy as well. It just kind of all gets smashed together into this really beautiful, really compelling package."

You can pick up a copy of these books, or the Book Buzz list that includes these titles and others, at any Peoria Public Library branch.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.