Staff Picks

The Book of Dreams

Summary: 
This novel tells the story of Sam, a thirteen-year-old boy in London, whose father Henri, a former war correspondent, lies in a coma at a medical clinic. Told from the point of view of various characters, the narrative weaves through time in a period of forty-six days, as Henri's spirit floats within dreams somewhere between life and death. Through his father's voice we learn that Sam is a synesthete - he has more sensory receptors than other people and experiences a constant barrage of impressions that exists only on the edge of others' perceptions. Sam's senses have a thousand more eyes and ears than most humans and he assigns colors to sounds and numbers, as well as emotions. This novel features other characters as well - Sam's mother Marie-France, his pal and best friend Scott, Henri's lover Edwina, and a young girl named Madelyn who is also in intensive care. All in all this wise story takes the reader on a wild journey through space and time, exploring some of life's intriguing mysteries.

Recommended By: 

Perfectly You : Embracing the Power of Being Real

Summary: 
This book - part autobiography and part self-help- tells the true story of a thirty-something young woman from Venezuela, who realizes her dream of becoming a journalist. Graduating from Columbia University School of Journalism, she first finds a job working for a Spanish language network in Miami and eventually becomes a bi-lingual news correspondent for national TV. Covering such stories as a devastating earthquake in Mexico City to the migrant crisis at the Mexico/US border, to the papal visit, Mariana shares her unique perspective of our world. The premise she teaches is that we must each embrace what makes us unique; our flaws as well as our strengths, and in celebrating our differences, we can paradoxically find the common ground that makes us all human.

Recommended By: 

Rules for Visiting

Summary: 
A botanist with more feelings for plants than people sets out at age 40 to deepen her friendships and find a new way forward. Having lived in books and her head and gardening after deep grief, English major May reflects on trees, her life, and friendship eloquently with many literary echoes.A quietly enchanting and perfect novel-- and funny too.

Recommended By: 

American Spy

Summary: 
An African American FBI agent is recruited for a vague job in Burkina Faso with many unintended consequences which reveal much about her nation’s spycraft, geopolitics and her own family, pitting her moral values against her own survival. It’s a meaty suspense story a mother tells her twin sons before she must leave them.

Recommended By: 

The Fire Court

Summary: 
'The sequel to 'The Ashes of London', set in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London in 1666, is built around the The Fire Court with 3 judges set up by the king to get London rebuilt, resolving land and property disputes that have have arisen due to the fire. James Marwood is financially much better off with two clerkships with two different masters, and Sam and Margaret, his servant and housekeeper. His regicide and religious father, Nathaniel,suffering from his years in prison,now afflicted with dementia, thinks he is following his dead wife, Rachel, to the Clifford's Inn, in the very place where the Fire Court sits. Then his father is run down and killed. Accident? Or another murder? Determined to uncover the truth, Marwood turns to the one person he can trust – Cat Lovett, the daughter of a despised regicide. Marwood has helped her in the past. Now it’s her turn to help him. But then comes a third death… and Marwood and Cat are forced to confront a vicious and increasingly desperate killer whose actions threaten the future of the city itself. This is a great story and a very informative, compelling book, difficult to put down.

Recommended By: 

On Dangerous Ground

Summary: 
The third in the Sean Dillon series doesn't disappoint. In 1944. just outside Delhi, a British Dakota crashes, taking lives and destroying a clandestine treaty signed by Lord Mountbatten and the Communist leader, Mao Tse-tung, an historic agreement, one set to change the course of history concerning the proposed handover by the British of Hong Kong in 1997. Sean Dillon enters the fray when a death-bed confession from a Mafia kingpin reveals the answers to the secrets about the treaty. Both British and Chinese governments would pay dearly for its destruction. With the backing of the British Government Dillon goes up against the uncompromising violence of the Mafia and, of course, the enticing dangers of a beautiful woman. The explosive climax of this book plays out in the wild scenery of the Highlands of Scotland. A great, fast, action-packed read whose roguish but deadly main character Sean Dillon, I'm beginning to like.

Recommended By: 

Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica

Summary: 
The authors, better known as the "Men in Blazers", have for more than a decade, stood at the center of Americans' growing national obsession with soccer or as an Englishman, I would say 'football. Hundreds of thousands of fans, including myself, tune in weekly to their podcast and television broadcast to get their analysis of the previous week's matches and soccer/football news. Rog and Davo fill in all the gaps with this hugely entertaining and idiosyncratic guide to the sport that America is beginning to love. Growing up in England, I have followed football and my team for almost 50 years. This humorous and informative book on the culture of English football will only serve to educate the American fan. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Recommended By: 

Tombland

Summary: 
I was extremely excited when C.J. Sansom returned to his famous lawyer Matthew Shardlake for book #7. In 1549, the nominal king, Edward VI, is eleven years old; his uncle, Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford, rules as Edward's regent and protector in turbulent times. Matthew Shardlake works in the service of Henry's younger daughter, the lady Elizabeth. A gruesome murder of one of Elizabeth's distant relations, rumored to be politically motivated, draws Shardlake and his companion Nicholas to the lady's summer estate, where a second murder is committed. The kingdom erupts into rebellion, peasants are taking up arms all over the country as a result of the abuses imposed on them by the greedy lords and barons. Nicholas is imprisoned for his loyalty, and Shardlake must decide where his loyalties lie -- with his kingdom, or with his lady? A fascinating book. I learned so much about the Peasants Revolt of that time and as well as trying to solve the murder that Shardlake had been tasked by the lady Elizabeth to investigate. A wonderful read!

Recommended By: 

Raven, Tell a Story

Summary: 
Local author Anne Donaghy tells the story of Tessa Ravenwing, a young woman who lives in a village in the mountains of Alaska. Raised by her grandmother, she learns the role of healer and storyteller at a very young age. The story begins in the year 2091 when a military weapons manufacturer controls the US government for its own profit. At seventeen Tessa decides to become an underground resistance fighter. Can she and other kindred spirits with unusual psychic gifts overthrow violent tyranny without using violence? This book weaves together indigenous mythology and exquisite descriptions of nature with a riveting story line and much suspense. It will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page.

Recommended By: 

Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates

Summary: 
Ever wondered what pirates were actually like? Did they bury treasure? Have parrots on their shoulders? Make innocents walk the plank? Most of what you think you know about pirates is far from the accurate historical record. However, Dolin reveals Blackbeard, Captain Kid, Edward Low, and dozens of other pirates lived lives a million times more fascinating than any fictional representation. Dolin examines the complex relationship pirates had with society over time. The American colonies at one point loved pirates and protected them from arrest because they offered cheap goods and valuables. Dolin presents an engaging history and argues the significance pirates had on history is greater than anyone could imagine.

Recommended By: