Staff Picks

War of the Roses: Stormbird

Summary: 
In 1437, the Lancaster king Henry VI ascends the throne of England Henry is famed more for his gentle and pious nature than his father’s famous battlefield exploits; already, his dependence on his closest men has stirred whispers of weakness at court. A secret truce negotiated with France to trade British territories for a royal bride—Margaret of Anjou—sparks revolts across English territory. The rival royal line, the House of York, sees the chaos brought on by Henry’s weakness and with it not only opportunity in the monarch, but also their patriotic duty in ousting an ineffectual king. As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who or what can save the kingdom before it is too late? The War of the Roses begins. A great read for all 16th Century crazies!!!!

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Empires of the Word

Summary: 
Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great languages. A fantastic, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises. It is surprisingly easy to read and if you are interested in how languages developed over the centuries, a must read!!

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The Lions of the North

Summary: 
William the Conqueror sends Gervase Bret and Ralph Delchard into the lands of Yorkshire to investigate a rogue named Olaf Evil Child, but on the way, they hear rumors of two lions owned by a rich merchant that have been killing people. This is the fourth book of the Domesday Series written by the author about the mysteries that took place as these Royal Commissioners settled land disputes for King William. These are really enjoyable reads and recommended for historical fiction addicts!

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The Kingmaker's Daughter

Summary: 
This a fascinating piece of historical fiction written from the point of view of Anne Neville (and her sister Isobel)daughters of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (The Kingmaker), whose ambition was focused on putting his daughters into positions of power, namely the throne of England, during the turbulent times of the War of the Roses (1455-1485). A great read for all you history buffs, who yearn for a different view on these times!!

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Me Before You

Summary: 
Many people have recommended this novel of the exceptionally ordinary Louisa Clark who takes a job as a personal aide to Will Trainor, former jet-setter now paralyzed after a traffic accident. The story is engaging, funny and heartbreaking. I would like to put in a plug for the exceptionally well done audio version which really brings it to life.

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The World Without You

Summary: 
The Frankel family gathers in Lenox, MA for a memorial service for their son and brother, a journalist who was killed by terrorists a year earlier in Iraq. The book explores family dynamics previous to Leo's death and how they are functioning without him. A well-written family story.

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How the Light Gets In

Summary: 
Penny brings the Three Pines Mysteries featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec to a satisfying conclusion.

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Life After Life

Summary: 
A departure from Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series, Life After Life tells the story of Ursula Todd born on a snowy winter's night in 1910 only to dies minutes later and then be reborn on the same night to the same family. She dies over and over again, each time changing aspects of her life (some large, some small) until the ultimate moment which gives her life purpose. A great story, but also such an interesting construction. After reading it the first time, I read parts of it again to figure out "what just happened there?" Fascinating!

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As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

Summary: 
When I read Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first in Bradley's Flavia de Luce mystery series, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I wondered how Bradley could keep a cozy with an 11-year old sleuth from getting too precious. Seven books into the series, Flavia de Luce remains anything but precious. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust finds Flavia in Canada at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school her mother Harriet attended as a girl. Not in residence for 24 hours, Flavia is thrilled when a mummified body comes tumbling from her fireplace. Our sleuth has more than a few mysteries to solve as she finds her way in new surroundings. Delightful!

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The Gone-Away World

Summary: 
Set in a post-apocalyptic world this novel follows the story of a group of ex-special forces soldiers turned truckers. This science-fiction/military thriller/comedy/kung-fu novel moved into my top-ten of all time list.

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