Staff Picks

The Eagle Has Flown

Summary: 
The last in the Liam Devlin series continues the story of the first book The Eagle Had Landed. Paratroop officer Steiner survived "Operation Eagle", and is now a POW somewhere in London. Himmler wants him back, ordering his top espionage agents to take charge of the perilous rescue mission. IRA assassin Liam Devlin, who is hiding out in the bars of Lisbon, playing piano, is persuaded to return to Britain in an attempt to effect the escape of German soldier Kurt Steiner from the Tower of London and return with him to Berlin. One more time Jack Higgins provides us with a fantastic tale of action and death, with sufficient twists and turns to keep the reader turning the page until the very end. A thoroughly riveting read..........

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Goodbye, Vitamin

Summary: 
Dumped by her fiancé, depressed millennial Ruth quits her job and heads home for a year to mind her father’s descent into Alzheimer’s. His record of her early childhood matches her diary of their days together in a poignant, often funny, meditation on memory and presence.

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Clock Dance : a novel

Summary: 
The prolific writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Tyler has come up with a new novel. The story of a woman named Willa begins in 1967 when she is a young schoolgirl, then fast-forwards to 1977 when she is in college. Then the narrative moves to 1997 when she is a young widow coping with the loss of her husband in a car accident. Then in 2017, at the age of sixty, she is longing to become a grandmother. How she finds a new family in Baltimore is the kind of story Anne Tyler tells best.

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A Red Herring Without Mustard

Summary: 
This is yet another charming and delightfully amusing tale featuring the clever and unflappable eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. This precocious young chemist with an amazing knowledge of poisons always finds herself in the midst of murders and other misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop's Lacey. This mystery begins with a Gypsy fortune-teller, a missing baby, and a corpse in Flavia's own backyard. All the while Flavia sorts through all the red herrings to solve these crimes, she delights in exacting revenge on her two hateful sisters, Feely (Ophelia) and Daffy (Daphne). I thoroughly enjoy reading these lighthearted tales of mayhem and revenge. Flavia is hilarious!

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Young Bloods

Summary: 
The first book in the Revolutions series looks at the early life of Arthur Welsey and Napoleon. Europe in the late eighteenth century was a tumultuous place, with war and rebellions breaking out on many fronts. Young Arthur Wesley (later Wellington) and Napoleon Bonaparte grow up worlds apart yet both immersed from youth in a culture where a military career is a natural choice for men of ambition. While Wellington is blooded in Ireland and Flanders, Napoleon is caught up in the dramas of the French Revolution and war with Prussia, Britain and Holland. This is well-written book shifts from the life story of one to the other seamlessly, developing the characters of both men, their thoughts and ambitions in life and careers. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even though it is over 500 pages in length, I could not put it down. On to the next in the series……….

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Check Me Out

Summary: 
This novel features a twenty-something young woman named Greta who works as a library assistant in the small town of Franklin, Ohio. When the library is threatened with closure Greta leaps into action. She arranges a fund-raising musical contest and a visit from a beloved children's book author. She also stages a controversial protest which gets the whole town talking. In addition to her work at the library, the story covers Greta's important relationships: her best friend Will, his cousin Mac, and a university student named Marigold. If you are looking for an easy-going, humorous summer read, this book might be for you!

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The Trick

Summary: 
In 1934 Prague a rabbi’s son falls in love, joins a circus, and eventually becomes the great Zabbatini, with a spell for eternal love. In the 20-aughts a boy faces his parents’ divorce along with his 11th birthday, and needs that spell. This humorous and poignant saga brings them together and tells the story of the 20th century with verve.

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Alternate Side : a novel

Summary: 
New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen has come up with another fabulous novel - this one about a young couple, Nora and Charlie Nolan, living on the upper west side of Manhattan. The well-to-do block they live on is like a very small insular village unto itself, where everyone knows and cares for one another. Then one terrible morning an incident occurs which threatens the very foundation of the small neighborhood, as well as all their relationships, including the Nolans' marriage. Written with many insightful observations about class, race, family and work; this novel is a very enjoyable and eye-opening read. Anna Quindlen at her best.

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The Rembrandt Affair

Summary: 
In this 10th entry of the Allon saga, Gabriel has retreated with his wife Chiara to the seclusion of the rugged Cornwall coast, where he is interrupted by Julian Isherwood, an eccentric art dealer with a problem. An art restorer has been murdered and a portrait by Rembrandt stolen. Gabriel is persuaded to follow the trail of clues to find the painting and those responsible. From Amsterdam to Buenos Aires and finally to Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Gabriel uncovers the deadly secrets associated with this artwork:from Swiss bank accounts laden with money stolen from the Jews by the Nazis to illegal shipments of centrifuges to Iran to enrich uranium for its undercover nuclear program. With so many plot twists it is tough to keep up, this great fast-paced read also reminds us that evil men will do almost anything for money.

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After On

Summary: 
An excellent near future, speculative fiction story which explores what might happen if artificial intelligence "wakes up". This book tackles weighty themes such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and nihilistic terrorism in an amusing, and sometimes bizarre way. Highly recommended. As a bonus, the author has an excellent podcast that you can find at https://after-on.com if you find these ideas interesting.

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