Staff Picks

And the Dark Sacred Night

Summary: 
Julia Glass has come up with yet another riveting tale, this time about a man's journey in the search for his biological father. With a complex set of characters, this novel addresses the choices we make as adolescents which shape our futures, the need for forgiveness and the courage we need to face the shadows of our past.

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The Dream Lover

Summary: 
The prolific writer Elizabeth Berg has created a new work, this time a historical novel about the nineteenth-century French writer George Sand. Sand was a passionate, independent person, a woman who fought fiercely against the conventional rules of a patriarchal society. Writing in the first person, Berg is somehow able to inhabit the mind and heart of this brilliant woman and re-create the relationships she had with such famous people as Fredric Chopin and Victor Hugo. This book is a magnificent novel which brings to life a highly courageous person who helped pave the way for unconventional thinkers everywhere, for years to come.

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Bad days in history : a gleefully grim chronicle of misfortune, mayhem, and misery for every day of the year

Summary: 
National Geographic contributor and author Michael Farquhar uncovers an instance of bad luck, epic misfortune, and unadulterated mayhem tied to every day of the year. From Caligula's blood-soaked end to hotelier Steve Wynn's unfortunate run-in with a priceless Picasso, these 365 tales of misery include lost fortunes (like the would-be Apple investor who pulled out in 1977 and missed out on a $30 billion-dollar windfall), romance gone wrong (like the 16th-century Shah who experimented with an early form of Viagra with empire-changing results), and truly bizarre moments (like the Great Molasses Flood of 1919).

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Everything I Never Told You

Summary: 
The novel, set in Ohio in 1977, examines the effect 16-year old Lydia's death has on her family as they try to search for answers. Was it an accident? Murder? Suicide? Did any of them know Lydia as well as they thought they did? Switching between the past and present, family dynamics are viewed from the perspective of each member of the interracial Lee family. How did they get to this point? What affect do parental aspirations have on children? Can we shape our children into the people we wish we could have been? Moving and well written. Would make an excellent choice for a book group.

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Boy, Snow, Bird

Summary: 
Race, gender and identity are refracted through the mirror of the Snow White and Rose Red story, played out in the mid-20th century. A family—wife and mother Boy, stepdaughter Snow, and daughter Bird – struggle to find themselves and fulfill their promise in a society where “passing” was much more than mere appearance. A complex and richly magical novel.

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Euphoria

Summary: 
Three fieldworkers in New Guinea at the dawn of anthropology struggle to understand their tribes, their new science, and ultimately themselves in a challenging climate. Nell Stone’s relationship to both men ignites the passion-filled conclusion. Questions of nature or nurture, culture or personality, understanding or exploitation redound throughout this fascinating novel.

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The Crane Wife

Summary: 
A Japanese folktale set in today’s London, in which a nebbishy American divorcé expat and his volatile daughter are touched by the magic. An allegorical origin story runs parallel, creating an intriguing read. “A story is not an explanation, it is a net through which the truth flows. The net catches some of the truth, but not all, never all, only enough so that we can live with the extraordinary without it killing us.” p.141

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The Glass Kitchen

Summary: 
If you are in the mood for a little light reading, you may enjoy this novel... It is a story of three sisters named Portia, Olivia and Cordelia. As adults they wind up living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The tale is told through the eyes of Portia and a twelve year old girl named Ariel, whose father, a widower, owns the townhouse where Portia lives. Portia has a sixth sense about culinary matters,and her dream is to open a restaurant she will call "The Glass Kitchen". There is also the question of a love interest which develops, as well as the issues which arise among the teenagers in the story. It is a feel-good tale with a happy ending, which includes a great set of characters and lively dialogues. A very entertaining read.

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The Boston Girl

Summary: 
An excellent audio book! I've heard many narrators butcher the Boston accent. Linda Lavin, the narrator of the book, does a great job sounding like a woman from Boston. The book reads like an autobiography of a woman coming of age in Boston during World War I and the 1920's. If you like historical fiction, give this book a try.

The Churchill Factor

Summary: 
This book is a tour-de-force, just like the subject Winston Churchill. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the king to stay out of action on D-Day; he pioneered aerial bombing and few could match his experience in organizing violence on a colossal scale His maneuvering positioned America for entry into World War II. He was a trailblazer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. He is proof that one person—intrepid, ingenious, determined—can make all the difference. A MUST read!!!

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