Staff Picks

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Arsonist

Summary: 
Against the back drop of a series of summer fires in a fictional New Hampshire town, a mother and daughter each work through changes and transitions in their lives. The story unfolds as they come to terms with what is most important for personal happiness and fulfillment. The writing is strong, and the title only somewhat misleading. Themes of community, one's sense of place, and what connects us to each other will both surprise and draw you in.

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All the Light We Cannot See

Summary: 
This story takes place in France and Germany leading up to and including World War II. And what an amazing story! It is well written and powerful. In a nutshell there are radios, a blind French girl, an orphaned German boy, a diamond (with a possible curse!), the invasion of Paris and moral choices. You might want to add your name to the list of patrons waiting to read this book!

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