Staff Picks - 2012 February

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Staff Picks February 2012 (2.5MB)
QuietQuiet by Susan Cain

A wonderfully important book which may help the human race survive and thrive. Clear and readable, combining emerging science and sociological perspective as well as deep empathy and intelligence, Cain has done a superb job of making us think. Readers will recognize behaviors at both ends of the introvert/extrovert personality spectrum and everything in between and feel empowered to find their own comfort level for living. ~ Karen Frank

American EmperorAmerican Emperor by David O. Stewart

In 1804 Vice-President Burr killed Alexander Hamilton, fled murder indictments from two states, socialized in Washington D.C. and presided over a Senate impeachment trial. A rather busy year - but for the fascinating Burr, things were just getting started. Incredible story delivered by a careful historian with smooth writing skills. ~ Reviewed by Bill Lewis


The Sinner's Grand TourThe Sinner's Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe by Tony Perrottet

The subtitle explains it - indulge your inner libertine and read this book! ~ Sarah Teunissen
Pacific CruciblePacific Crucible by Ian W. Toll

The tumultuous year following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is chronicled in this meticulously researched book. Although America was caught totally unawares on December 7, 1941, its fleet of carriers was at sea. It would prove to be a decisive factor in the Battle of the Coral Sea and at Midway the following year. Mr. Toll recounts the conflict from both the American and Japanese perspectives and presents a harrowing and hellish picture of warfare at sea. ~ Alden Graves
The End: The Defiance And Destruction Of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945The End: The Defiance And Destruction Of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw

Why in the name of common sense and simple humanity did Germany fight on long after the war was hopelessly lost ? An absolutely brilliant study of fanatical and delusional Nazis, a cowed military, and of course a weary, fearful, citizenry just hoping it would all end. Kershaw's finest work since his unexcelled biography of Hitler. ~ Bill Lewis

Poison: An Illustrated HistoryPoison: An Illustrated History by Joel Levy

Poisons surround us and any substance can be lethal with the correct dosage. In this lovely book you will meet poisoners, their preferred methods and their victims. "Poison File" pages highlight specific poisons with symptoms, overviews and antidotes, if any. A joy! ~ Sarah Teunissen
Richard M. Ketchum
Scholar & Friend
With a mixture of appreciation, admiration and sadness the staff of the Northshire Bookstore notes the passing of Richard M. Ketchum. For the entire thirty-six year history of the Northshire, Dick Ketchum's many superlative history books about the American Revolutionary era have graced our shelves and at last count had sold well over 2,500 copies. His most recent titles, Saratoga and Victory at Yorktown, continue to appeal to readers who appreciate superb scholarship, elegant writing and masterful insight. To recommend Ketchum's books has been (and continues to be) a pleasure. But Richard Ketchum was much more than an admired and respected historian. He was our valued customer, our familiar neighbor and our good friend. He will be missed throughout our community - but nowhere more than at the Northshire. - Bill Lewis

The Balfour DeclarationThe Balfour Declaration by Jonathan Schneer

Thoroughly researched, even handed and superbly written, this history explains the origins and importance of the document, signed during the tumult of World War I, that reshaped the Middle East for the next century. An important and fascinating look at the people involved and their politics and warring philosophies. ~ Louise Jones
The Flight of Gemma HardyThe Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

Literature is full of orphans and atmosphere and Livesey makes great use of both in this absorbing story of a young woman in 1960's Scotland who strives to define her true self and find her path in a life fraught with peril. A great book for curling up and indulging in a bit of intelligent romance. ~ Karen Frank
The House of SilkThe House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

It's 1920 and WW 1 veteran Inspector Ian Rutledge has one single clue into the investigation of the body of a murder victim found floating in the Thames. What starts as a search for the man's true identity leads to the discovery of two additional mysterious deaths at the beginning of The Great War. Once again Todd weaves a splendid tale of intrigue and murder. ~ Sarah Teunissen
The Orphan Master's SonThe Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

How can a novel set in North Korea, one of the dreariest places on earth, be so good? Under the eye of Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il, a romance blooms whose unlikeliness boggles the mind even as its ultimate triumph moves the heart. ~ Charles Bottomley
Instruments of DarknessInstruments of Darknessby Imogen Robertson

This page turner set in 1780 has plenty of twists and turns, murders and shady characters. The first in what is sure to be a nail-biting series. I loved this book! ~ Sarah Teunissen
Ten Thousand SaintsTen Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson

One of The New York Times favorite books of 2011 is one of mine, too. A wonderful story about a Vermont misfit who discovers an unlikely family in the underbelly of 1980s Manhattan. ~ Charles Bottomley

RatkingRatking by Michael Dibdin

The first Aurelio Zen mystery exposes the institutional corruption and violence endemic in Italian society. Zen, the rare honest cop, questions authority as he searches for the kidnappers who snatched a wealthy industrialist. A fine introduction to Dibdin. ~ Louise Jones

Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

This Valentine's Day, give Downton Abbey a rest and experience British passion at its wildest. True forces of nature, Heathcliff and Catherine are the lusty poster children for every bodice-ripper since. This Bronte sister knocks that wishywashy Jane Eyre into a chamber pot ~ Charles Bottomley

The Beekeeper's ApprenticeThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King

The inimitable Sherlock Holmes returns! King's take on the history of Sherlock Holmes, this time with a fifteen-year-old girl as a partner, is witty, inventive and utterly enjoyable from start to finish. King deftly creates an underworld of villainy and a sleuthing duo worthy of Doyle himsel ~ Cheryl Cornwell

All The King's MenAll The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

It takes a few pages to get used to Warren's writing style, but once you do, you'll realize that this novel was well deserving of the Pulitzer it won. Visceral and extremely well written. ~ Chris Morrow