Staff Picks - 2010 October

Staff Picks October 2010
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Staff Picks October 2010 (600KB)
To The End Of The LandTo The End Of The Land by David Grossman

Never before have I been so moved by a work of fiction! David Grossman has brought to life two of the most intense characters, Ora and Avram, who struggle so with the effects of war, love, fear and friendship as they make an epic soul-baring walk through the Israeli countryside. This is an extraordinary, unforgettable story that I am very glad came my way! ~ Liz Barnum

After her son reenlists in the army for a major offensive against the Arabs, an Israeli woman begins a walking trip across Galilee with the thought that, if she cannot be contacted, he cannot die. This is a majestic, moving, and emotionally potent book by a writer who has lived in the shadow of war all of his life and has paid a terrible personal price for it. ~ Alden Graves
The Warmth of Other SunsThe Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Classic example of "big" history explained by focusing on the experiences of just a few individuals. Reads like a novel but the scholarship is impressive. Moving...and important. ~ Bill Lewis
WashingtonWashington by Ron Chernow

Without question the finest full biography of George Washington ever produced. Incisive, complete, and beautifully written. Superlatives too numerous to mention. Simply a masterpiece. Highest Recommendation. ~ Bill Lewis
Inside of a DogInside Of A Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

What's going on in your dog's head? Although we've lived with dogs for thousands of years, we still don't know for sure what or if they think. Behavioral scientist Horowitz answers these questions in an engaging and entertaining style. A staff favorite in hardcover. ~ Louise Jones
The Killer of Little ShepherdsThe Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr

The story of Joseph Vacher, serial killer in France during the early 1890's, and the team of forensic scientists and police that eventually tracked him down. Gruesome accounts of the crimes and detailed descriptions of the newly discovered methods of forensic science. Fabulous. ~ Sarah Teunissen
Fannie's Last SupperFannie's Last Supper by Chris Kimball

You don't have to be a foodie to enjoy this delightful account how Kimball and his staff delivered a 12-course feast based on Farmer's recipes, with a cultural and historical view of Victorian Boston. With modernized recipes and photographs. ~ Louise Jones
The Monuments MenThe Monuments Men by Robert Edsel

As World War II ended, a special force of American and British art experts searched northern Europe, on a misssion to prevent the Germans from destroying the art treasures they'd confiscated. A great read. ~ Louise Jones
Bloody CrimesBloody Crimes by James L. Swanson

The author of Manhunt, about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, turns his attention to the plight of Confederate president Jefferson Davis and the long train journey that brought the body of Abraham Lincoln back home to Illinois. Full of the pomp and pageantry that the nation displayed to pay homage to the man who saved the Union and despair, as a way of life in the South came to an inglorious end. Davis was a fascinating, conflicted, and little-understood man and Mr. Swanson does an admirable job of bringing him to life. . ~ Alden Graves
The Two HendricksThe Two Hendricks by Eric Hinderaker

Pitch perfect introduction to colonial Mohawk history that is crisply written, wears its scholarship lightly, and should encourage further reading (we can help)and even field trips across western New England and upstate New York. Enjoy. ~ Bill Lewis
Twelve by TwelveTwelve by Twelve by William Powers

A down-to-earth spiritual journey of an environmentalist living off the grid. In order to find his place in society, he must step outside of it. William Powers explores what poverty really means, and how living lightly is actually living in abundance. ~ Krysta Piccoli
Duchess Georgiana Duchess of DevonshireThe Duchess by Amanda Foreman

Lady Georgiana Spencer was a distant great aunt of Princess Di and as famous in the late eighteenth century. Married to one of England's wealthiest and most influential men, she founded a political salon, became addicted to gambling, drugs and sexual liaisons. A splendid biography that digs beneath the superficial. ~ Louise Jones
Fall of GiantsFall of Giants by Ken Follett

Follett is a master story teller. He turns his prodigious talents to WW1 in Fall of Giants, deftly weaving together 5 families from different countries as the war unfolds to devastate Europe and ensnare the USA. Full of memorable characters and zesty plot lines, this book is a gem. The backdrop of the war makes brings a richness to the book which keeps it real while adding layers of intrigue and depth. A great read. ~ Chris Morrow
Skippy DiesSkippy Dies by Paul Murray

Paul Murray's novel opens deceptively, with the titular Dublin prep school student dropping dead in a donut shop. The events leading up to his death at first seem to be the typical stuff of school days: petty humiliations, name-calling, sexual frustration. Murray's gift is to treat all this with the wry humor that comes from adult experience. It's a book that grows with its characters and lets the reader do the same... ~ Charles Bottomley
Stranger Here BelowStranger Here Below by Joyce Hinnefeld

This spare yet intense novel will not take up a great deal of your time but it will carve a permanent place in your soul. Strains of old time music and Shaker history frame the story of two friends and the family histories that shape their lives. ~ Karen Frank
Crooked Letter, Crooked LetterCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

You can't spell Mississippi without two crooked letters and it is there in a small town that this terrific writer sets his crooked, noir-ish novel about race relations, family secrets and unsolved murders. A black cop and a friendless white mechanic were classmates and buddies during the 1970's. A girl's murder forced them apart. Now, years later, a new murder causes their paths to cross once again. ~ Stan Hynds
The Good DaughtersThe Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard

Great story! I couldn't stop reading about these "birthday sisters"... how their lives intertwined and diverged. Family dynamics are cleverly woven throughout, and the 1960's rural New Hampshire setting was familiar and comforting. ~ Karen Frank
Kill The DeadKill The Dead by Richard Kadrey

The sequel to Sandman Slim. Slim must act as Lucifer's bodyguard while the Big Bad is in Los Angeles making a movie about his life. Violent, profane and wickedly funny. Not for the younger sci-fi reader. ~ Sarah Teunissen
HypothermiaHypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason

Intense, haunting. Inspector Erlendur retraces the disturbed life of a suicide and reinvestigates two cold cases in this compelling novel that questions our religious and emotional beliefs in life and the afterlife. ~ Louise Jones
BoundBound by Antonya Nelson

This complex novel explores how we free ourselves by assuming new responsibilities. It glides from character to character, circling around then tying them together. I was never able to predict what would happen. The writing is beautiful, moving, incisive. ~ Louise Jones
NemesisNemesis by Philip Roth

Ever since a period of unemployment when I dipped into Portnoy's Complaint and then devoured the Zuckerman trilogy, I've been in the tank for Roth. Part of it comes from his beat. Roth grew up in Newark, not far from where I was born. Part of it comes from his addictive prose style, where every carefully chosen word is used for its maximum emotional effect... ~ Charles Bottomley
Twilight Forever RisingTwilight Forever Rising by Lena Meydan

A Russian bestseller available for the first time in the US. Darel, a vampire empath, must decide how much he is willing to sacrifice for the love of a human. While I enjoyed Darel, it was Meydan's mythology and political intrigue that hooked me. ~ Ben Parker
Waiting for ColumbusWaiting For Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk

I have had a very hard time trying to find the right words to describe how much I loved this wonderful book. Just know that this story has haunted me since I read it and is, quite simply, the best book I have read this season. The two page prologue alone hooked me, and the rest of the novel just kept me enthralled. This is an outstanding debut novel from a masterful writer. ~ Erik Barnum
The Museum of InnocenceThe Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

Museum of Innocence is Orhan Pamuk's most passionate and compulsively readable novel to date. Kemal and Fusun's story takes place at the intersection of East and West, wealth and poverty. As Kemal recounts the loss of Fusun and his struggle to transcend Turkish social constraints in hopes of reclaiming his love, his undying obsession is made manifest in the museum that he erects to the memory of their impulsive and ultimately destructive desire. ~ Cheryl Cornwell
You Were WrongYou Were Wrong by Matthew Sharpe

When Mary Gaitskill calls a book "strange," you know you have something marvelous on your hands. Sharpe's acrobatic sentences and verbose antagonist remind us of the powers and limits of language. This is no mere exercise. Rather, a clever romp through our wild American moment, where even the morning arrives bathed in a curious afternoon light. ~ Emilia B.
Uniform JusticeUniform Justice by Donna Leon

A Venice filled with intrigue, corruption and murder is the setting of this Commissario Brunetti mystery. Brunetti investigates the seeming suicide of the son of a former politico. A well written mystery with well developed characters. ~ Sarah Knight
Brunetti's CookbookBrunetti's Cookbook by Roberta Pianaro & Donna Leon

A cookbook of recipes from Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti mysteries. You too can eat the mouth watering meals so artfully described in these mysteries. Recipes by Roberta Pianaro and food tales by Donna Leon. A great gift. ~ Sarah Knight