Staff Picks - 2010 January

Staff Picks January 2010
The January 2010 Staff Picks can also be viewed or printed as a PDF
Staff Picks January 2010(2.76MB)
Cutting For StoneCutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese.

Cutting For Stone is now in paperback. A wonderful book! Wonderful Story! Colorful Characters! Abraham Verghese is a skilled storyteller! Cutting for Stone is about love, family, medicine and the rich cultures of Ethiopia and India. You will not want to put it down. ~ Liz Barnum

Rich and sweeping, intensely personal, a magnificent novel. I felt each word right to my fingertips, was absorbed from the first sentence and became instantly close to the characters and cared deeply about their destiny. ~ Karen Frank
Noah's CompassNoah's Compass  by Anne Tyler. Liam Pennywell, recently fired from his teaching job, wakes up in the hospital, battered but with no memory of being attacked. This funny and wise book shows how Liam changes his life against all odds - including his bossy female relatives. One of Tyler's best. ~ Louise Jones BloodrootBloodroot by Amy Greene. This stunning debut novel tells the story of three generations of a family living deep in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee. Poverty, magic, suffering and redemption abound! You will not want to put this one down! ~ Liz Barnum The Red DoorThe Red Door by Charles Todd. One of the best in this excellent series of mysteries set in England just after WWI. A war-damaged Scotland Yard detective, Ian Rutledge, must connect the murder of a woman outside a rural village with a London family's secrets. ~ Louise Jones
The Swan ThievesThe Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. A psychiatrist becomes drawn into the life of one of his patients, a famous artist who attacked a painting in the National Gallery with a knife. A skilled, centuries-spanning blend of romance and mystery by the author of The Historian. ~ Alden Graves Alice I Have BeenAlice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin. A very engaging novel tracing the myth as well as the shadowy facts surrounding the relationship of young Alice Liddell and Professor Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and the writing of Alice In Wonderland. ~ Karen Frank The Lock ArtistThe Lock Artist by Edgar Award winner Steven Hamilton, is a well crafted stand-alone mystery about Michael, a mute young man with an extraordinary talent for picking locks, from simple doors to enormous safes. In this facinating book, he describes his fall into a life of crime and how he's saved. ~ Sarah Knight
When Will There Be Good News?When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson. The lives of three unrelated characters unexpectedly come together with stunning conclusions. The catalyst is Jackson Brodie, the ex-detective from Case Histories and One Good Turn. Another exceptional, engrossing Atkinson performance. ~ Louise Jones A Reliable WifeA Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. Original and compelling, with unforgettable and authentic characters. The dark richness of the story is enhanced by the sparseness of the writing style. The intensity is palpable but not horrifying, just achingly human. ~ Karen Frank Bone WorshipBone Worship by Elizabeth Eslami. Warm, tender and poignant, this debut novel will touch and amuse you! Eslami explores the relationship of a cross-cultural girl, with her Iranian father and American mother as they navigate through life trying to mesh old traditions with modern ways. ~ Liz Barnum
Quattrocento The Optimist's Daughter Quattrocento by James McKean. A lovely story set in the herb-scented hills of Italy's past and the intriguing art world of present-day New York. The story, showing how individuals exist within the universe, is layered like the glazes and pigments the artists of the Quattrocento period used. ~ Karen Frank

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty. A woman returns to the small Mississippi town where she was raised for the funeral of her father, a man of great local infuence. A warmly humorous chronicle of the collisions of worlds past and present by one of America's most gifted writers. Compare this with Welty's Autobiography, One Writer's Beginnings ($15 pb) ~ Alden Graves
4 Hour Workweek4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. This is a business book, self-help book and dream catcher all in one. If you want to streamline your workday, work remotely or start your own business, read this book. ~ Phiona Lovett Woodrow WilsonWoodrow Wilson by John Milton Cooper, Jr. The wait has been worth it. The finest Wilson scholar now gives us the best Wilson biography ~ ever ~ and it's a trifecta: brilliant scholarship, balanced insight and elegant writing. ~ Bill Lewis ZeitounZeitoun by Dave Eggers. An emotional and amazing true story of Zeitoun, a man who stays in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, first to protect his home, then to help others. One day he disappears and his family, safe from harm, is left wondering what happened. ~ Krysta Piccoli
The Cello SuitesThe Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece by Eric Siblin. An entertaining, many-faceted tale of the enigmatic history of Bach's masterpiece, with fascinating biographies of the composer and Pablo Casals, who brought the suites to prominence. ~ Louise Jones The Great War and Modern MemoryThe Great War and Modern Memory: The Illustrated Edition by Paul Fussell. This groundbreaking work that showed how World War I changed western society and culture was published in 1975. The splendid new edition expands the reader's understanding with 160 photographs, maps and illustrations. ~ Louise Jones My Bread: The Revolutionary No-work, No-knead MethodMy Bread: The Revolutionary No-work, No-knead Method by Jim Lahey. Lahey developed this technique in Tuscany with an outdoor brick-fired oven, then from a converted truck garage in Brooklyn. Flour, water, yeast, patience yield an artisinal rustic loaf - simple and easy. ~ Nancy Scheemaker
A Time of Gifts Between the Woods and the WaterA Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor. In 1933, at age 18 and just expelled from school, Fermor decided to walk from Amsterdam to Constantinople. These are the first two thirds of a remarkable journey by one of Europe's greatest travel writers. We can hope he will finally complete the third volume - he's only 94! ~ Louise Jones The Beak of the FinchThe Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Wiener. Two Princeton biologists working in the Galapagos document how Darwin's finches respond to environmental change. Engaging, evocative, literate, fascinating. A Pulitzer Prize winner. ~ Louise Jones Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman. In this expanded edition of his 2008 bestseller, Friedman shows how human behavior, which is devastating the natural world, also led to our financial crisis. ~ Louise Jones
River Of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest JourneyRiver Of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. A harrowing adventure in the Amazon. Incredible hardships, starvation, Indian attacks, disease, drowning and murder dogged this expedition. An amazing story that will keep you riveted. ~ Erik Barnum Letter To My DaughterLetter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou. Poet, activist and a worthy model for all, Angelou delivers a wondrous collection of essays about her life, personal growth, wisdom and faith. ~ Nancy Scheemaker