Staff Picks

The Enigma of the Owl : an illustrated natural history

Summary: 
This fabulous book about owls from all over the world is illustrated with more than 200 exquisitely beautiful photographs. From the tiny elf owl of the southwestern American deserts, to the majestic snowy owl, to the barn owl, this book covers them all. Describing the birds' habitats, their breeding and hunting behaviors and unusual calls, the author Mike Unwin documents the lives of these magnificent creatures with detailed scientific facts. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in birds and natural history.

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Ravenspur: Rise of the Tudors

Summary: 
Conn Iggulden, in this last book of his War of the Roses series, does not disappoint. The Yorkist king Edward IV is driven out of England, his wife and children forced to seek sanctuary from the House of Lancaster. His humiliation at this turn of events drives Edward back to greatness. He lands at Ravenspur, with a half-drowned army and his brother Richard at his side. Though almost all are against them and every city gate is shut, they have come home. The brothers York do not go quietly into banishment Instead, they choose to attack and Edward regains his crown. Yet neither Edward nor Richard realize that the true enemy of York has yet to reveal himself. Far away, across the Channel, in France, Henry Tudor has become a man. He is the Red Dragon—"the man of destiny: who seeks to end the Wars of the Roses. His claim, though tenuous, will carry him to Bosworth Field and the rise of the Tudors. Although I am very familiar with the characters and events described, Mr. Iggulden gives depth and insight into all the principles and events of this turbulent time, such that you gain empathy and insight into their characters and begin to like them I highly recommend this series to all, novices and experts alike.

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Farthing

Summary: 
In alternating chapters a young aristocrat newly married to her Jewish truelove and a Scotland Yard inspector strive to solve a country house murder. The twist is: it happens in an alternative 1949 England that had appeased Hitler, shored up its own moneyed powerful elite and begun an all-too-plausible descent into fascism, while the Reich held Europe, and Charles Lindbergh was the sympatico president of a racist and mercenary USA. Chilling, but so good! Can't wait to get on with the rest of the Small Change trilogy!

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And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer : a novella

Summary: 
This short novel written by the New York Times bestselling author of "A Man Called Ove" is a very moving and compassionate tale about the relationship of an elderly man who is struggling with dementia and his grandson named Noah. Translated from Swedish into English, this is a beautifully written book is a story which will touch your heart.

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HHhH

Summary: 
A page-turner that is as much about the struggle to turn history into an "infranovel" as about a true heroic act of Resistance in WWII Prague, both of which are riveting. The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich led to unexpected tragic results, but also "Hitler will suffer his most devastating defeat in a domain he once mastered...the international propaganda war ...irredeemably lost." p.296

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The Secret Language of Stones: a novel (Daughters of La Lune)

Summary: 
This new novel by M.J. Rose is set in Paris in the summer of 1918, as the first World War rages in Europe and the monarchy in Russia is deposed. Part of a series of novels featuring the daughters of La Lune, a 16th century courtesan and witch - the main character of this story is Opaline Duplessi, a young woman who has apprenticed herself with a Russian jeweler who once worked with the famous artist Faberge. Like her mother, Opaline has the gift of second sight, in her case a form of lithomancy which allows her to translate the energy emanating from precious stones to receive messages from people who have passed on to other realms. This story is filled with romance, mystery and magic, with lots of suspense and a very happy ending.

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Dreaming the Eagle

Summary: 
This is the first in the series about the life of Boudica, the Celtic queen of the Iceni, one of the many such tribes that lived in first century England. She became the last defender of the Celtic culture; the only woman openly to have led her warriors into battle; the only British warrior to have stood against the might of Imperial Rome -- and triumphed. Manda Scott weaves an intricate story of Boudica's life, how she became a Warrior of the Iceni and of the two men in her life: Caradoc, outstanding warrior and inspirational leader; and her half-brother Ban, Roman captive, slave auxiliary and Dreamer - the Druid whose eventual return to the Celts is Boudica's salvation. This book begins in 33AD with Boudica , in her teens becoming a woman and a warrior and finishes 10 years later, fighting the legions of Emperor Claudius' Roman legions. While this book is historical fiction, it is more fiction than history, primarily because there were no written records by the Celtic tribes at time-- only Roman records, that would be biased toward their cause. It was however a good read, especially when the battles began.

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The Messenger

Summary: 
Gabriel Allon—art restorer and spy—is about to face the greatest challenge of his life. An al-Qaeda suspect is killed in London, and photographs are found on his computer—photographs that lead Israeli intelligence to suspect that al-Qaeda is planning one of its most audacious attacks ever, aimed straight at the heart of the Vatican. Monsignor Luigi Donati is the private secretary to His Holiness Pope Paul VII. A young Swiss guard has been found dead in St. Peter's Basilica, and although Donati has allowed the official inquiry to determine that it is suicide, his instinct tells him that it is murder-and that his master is in grave danger. Allon and his colleagues soon find themselves in a deadly duel of wits against one of the most dangerous men in the world—a hunt that will take them across Europe to the Caribbean and back. But for them, there may not be enough of anything: enough time, enough facts, enough luck. Another epic fast-paced thriller from Daniel Silva....couldn't put this book down. On to the next!!!!

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The Little World of Liz Climo

Summary: 
Adorable cartoon animals and 'dad jokes' to brighten your day!

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The Witch of Painted Sorrows

Summary: 
New York Times best-selling novelist M.J. Rose published this title in her Daughters of La Lune series in March of 2015. It takes place in 1890's Belle Epoque Paris, a gothic novel like no other. This book tells the story of Sandrine Verlaine who travels from New York City to her grandmother's mansion in Paris. There she meets an architect named Julien Duplessi. Together they find and open the door to the bell tower of the mansion, which reveals an artist's studio dating back to the 16th century. As Sandrine explores the studio she finds paintings and books which inspire her to take up the life of an artist as well. Love, passion, mystery and magic - this book has it all. It is a wonder-filled thriller you will not be able to put down.

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