Staff Picks - 2013 March

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Staff Picks March 2013 (1.8MB)

Benediction by Kent Haruf.

Haruf brings his Holt, Colorado trilogy to an elegiac ending in this beautifully written novel. A dying man reflects on his life as a husband, father and local businessman as his family members and neighbors confront their own regrets and crises. ~ Stan Hynds

A lovely, nuanced story that seems simple at first, but reveals the inner devils that torment, and the angels that delight, a group of ordinary people in a small town. ~ Louise Jones
Sugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and EmpireSugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart. Beautifully written, pitch perfect introduction to the story of English colonization of the Caribbean Sugar Islands, which produced immense wealth but destroyed African lives in numbers and ways that beggar description. Should encourage further study of a historically important time and place. ~ Bill Lewis

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The Man Who Saved the UnionThe Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H.W. Brands. A superb look at the self-effacing man and general whose unparalleled leadership helped shape the course of the Civil War. ~ Sarah Teunissen
Storm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado ChasersStorm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado Chasers by Lee Sandlin. Lively, highly readable account of these terrifying storms and the people who have tried to understand them starting with Benjamin Franklin, many of them eccentric and wrong-minded. Early settlers called the violent funnels whirling through the sky "storm kings." ~ Louise Jones
Sarah Osborn's WorldSarah Osborn's World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America by Catherine A. Brekus. Powerfully affecting biography that brilliantly illuminates the 18th century American clash of enlightenment possibilities versus Calvinist conservatism. Unforgettable. ~ Bill Lewis
On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World LooksOn the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks by Simon Garfield. One way we define ourselves is how we draw our maps. An examination of maps and what they mean, from Ptolemy to the digital age. Engaging, althoug h Anglo-centric. ~ Louise Jones
The Amazing Case for Tablets ($40.99 in faux-leather) This perfect traveling case hangs conveniently from the airplane seat in front of you or sits comfortably on your shoulder, keeping you looking stylish as it safely cradles your tablet and accessories. ~ Jessica Krawczyk

March 12th Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow - First paperback edition

March 19th The Gate Thief by Orson Scott Card - Sequel to The Lost Gate March 26th The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout - By the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge
April 2nd Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - New in paperback by the Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences
The Obituary WriterThe Obituary Writer by Ann Hood. This fine story, set in San Francisco during the great earthquake and Kennedy-era Virginia, shows grief is as personal as it is inevitable. A woman suffering a crushing loss writes obituaries for others; characters lives are connected and bound by strong ties of love and loss. ~ Karen Frank The Third BulletThe Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter. Can an ex-sniper retiree with a bum hip figure out who really killed JFK? Well, all-around badass Bobbie Lee Swagger is in with a shot, no matter what the Russian mob thinks. Hunter spins fact and theory into an extremely entertaining thriller. ~ Charles Bottomley Dreams and ShadowsDreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill. Not my usual cup of tea, but between the story of a childhood wish spiraling out of control, the universal quest for love and belonging and epic battles between Hell, fairies and humans in the name of revenge, I was drawn in and couldn't put it down!  ~ Jessica Krawczyk
SchroderSchroder by Amity Gaige. Young German immigrant Erik Schroder invents an identity, fashioning an imaginary life. During a custody dispute, he flees with his young daughter on an ill-advised road trip. A multilayered novel about transformation, narrated by a flawed but profoundly sympathetic protagonist. ~ Amy Palmer Little ElvisesLittle Elvises by Timothy Hallinan. Career burglar Junior Bender is fast becoming LA's private eye for other criminals. In this second in the series, he's intimidated into proving that an elderly 1960s music promoter of "Little Elvises" is innocent of murdering a ruthless tabloid reporter. Well written, interesting character, lots of laughs. ~ Sarah Knight Little Known FactsLittle Known Facts by Christine Sneed. A famous movie star/director, his ex-wives, his two adult children and their friends and lovers try to understand the effects their actions, often unheeded, have on those around them - and what they really want from life. Very human characters defined with sensitivity and wit. ~ Louise Jones
The Man from Primrose LaneThe Man from Primrose Lane by James Renner. Shattered by his wife's suicide, a bestselling author believes that a recluse's mysterious death may have altered reality itself. A brainy beach read, a mind-melting page-turner - this is good. ~ Charles Bottomley The BoyfriendThe Boyfriend by Thomas Perry. The marvelous Perry is at it again with a vivid pair of protagonists – a killer for hire in the mold of his unforgettable Butcher's Boy and a compassionate retired cop hot on the trail – and a compelling plot that will hold you to the very end. ~ Louise Jones
The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Fifty years ago, this was published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" due to its resemblance to Plath, her friends and family. Esther Greenwood mirrors Plath's talent and ambition - as well as her deeply rooted depression, hospitalization and shock therapy. Still a must-read! ~ Jessica Krawczyk
The Beautiful IndifferenceThe Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall. These stories about women are raw and sensual, the prose bewitching and visceral, tinged with violence and sexuality. Whether ill, broken, bored or triumphant, their voices will resonate long after the stories have ended. ~ Amy Palmer The ExpatsThe Expats by Chris Pavone. Do we ever reveal all of ourselves, public and private, even to those closest to us? In this unusual spy novel, each character is hiding a secret life that moves the twisting plot to a satisfying conclusion. A terrific read! ~ Louise Jones
Tales Designed to Thrizzle, Volume TwoTales Designed to Thrizzle, Volume Two by Michael Kupperman. Another cornucopia of comic craziness courtesy of Kupperman! Features such laughout-loud oddities as The Human Meatball and America's favorite crime-fighting duo Twain & Einstein! ~ Charles Bottomley