Staff Picks 2014 January

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Staff Picks January 2014 (1MB)

The KeptThe Kept by James Scott. An unsettling trek through a pitiless world, where goodness is cloaked in shadows and evil walks brazenly in the sun. Twelve-year-old Caleb Howell, his family slaughtered, sets out with his wounded mother on an arduous journey searching for safety and merciless retribution. ~ Alden Graves

A dark historical novel that follows Elspeth, a midwife with a disturbing past, and her son, as they seek revenge for their loss and uncover more than either of them bargained for. An incredible debut! ~ Jess Krawczyk

Full Fathom Five: Ocean Warming and a Father's LegacyFull Fathom Five: Ocean Warming and a Father's Legacy by Gordon Chaplin. A loving depiction of a vanishing undersea wilderness in the Bahamas. Part memoir of growing up collecting and cataloguing specimens with his larger-than-life scientist father while free diving in "gin clear" waters, part reflection on loss and longing for "home." A poignant and fascinating read. ~ Amy Palmer My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of IsraelMy Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit. A third-generation Israeli journalist, Shavit explores the defining events that created the accomplishments and uncertainties of his homeland with personal history and extensive interviews. A fascinating and important insight into a complex and troubled nation. ~ Louise Jones Gabriele d'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of WarGabriele d'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War by Lucy Hughes-Hallett. One of 2013's most acclaimed biographies: about a maniacal writer and celebrity who drove an entire continent into the abyss. An astonishing story, told with the force of a grenade, of how a human force of nature sowed the greatest horrors of the 20th century. ~ Charles Bottomley
The Sting ManThe Sting Man: Inside Abscam by Robert W. Greene. The terrific true story behind American Hustle! With the help of a con man par excellence, Greene unravels the 1970s bust that brought down a score of crooked Congressmen. A hilarious and colorful primer in the real art of the deal. ~ Charles Bottomley
You Herd Me!: I'll Say It If Nobody Else WillYou Herd Me! by Colin Cowherd. All right, I'll admit it: ESPN's Cowherd is a blowhard. But he's passionate. After reading this collection of essays, you'll never watch sports the same way again. ~ Christopher Linendoll Yankee Magazine's Lost and Vintage RecipesYankee Magazine's Lost and Vintage Recipes. Yankee Magazine's editors searched their archives for the best recipes in the magazine's 78- year history; the dishes they compiled are simple, delicious and a step back in time. ~ Sarah Donner
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That HappenedHyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Literally laugh-out-loud funny. Perfectly expresses all the neurosis of today's twenty- and thirty-somethings, all with crude drawings and razor-sharp wit. ~ Christopher Linendoll WaveWave by Sonali Deraniyagala. Christmas, 2004, Deraniyagala was gazing at a wave outside her hotel room in Sri Lanka. Within minutes she and her family were running for their lives from a tsunami. This breathtaking memoir is a stylistically stunning, haunting narration by a woman who lost everything. ~ Amy Palmer The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional WrestlingThe Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling by David Shoemaker. If you remember Macho Man Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect, Junk Yard Dog or Eddie Guerrero, this is the book for you. Shoemaker provides incredible insight into a world few ever know. Frequently, the on-screen drama of pro wrestling has nothing on what's going on backstage. ~ Christopher Linendoll
The GraveyardThe Graveyard by Marek Hlasko. A drunken slip of the tongue costs a proud factory worker everything in this nihilistic dispatch from the heart of the Iron Curtain. A bitterly funny wrecking ball of a book, as relevant in today's post-Edward Snowden world as it was at the height of the cold war. ~ Charles Bottomley Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of WhiskeytownRyan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown by David Menconi. Whiskeytown was poised to become the biggest band in alternative country. That is, before bandleader Ryan Adams began continually firing his band mates, getting blind drunk on stage, and generally becoming a destructive rock star cliché. ~ Christopher Linendoll
The Invention of WingsThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. This novel celebrates the groundbreaking life works and sacrifices of Sarah Grimke, an American feminist and early abolitionist, and renews our awa reness of this legendary figure, whose integrity, bravery and faith altered the course of our history. Compelling, meaningful historical fiction at its very best. ~ Nancy Scheemaker You DisappearYou Disappear by Christian Jungersen. When Mia Halling's husband Frederik is diagnosed with a brain tumor, he rapidly becomes an erratic stranger. She then learns he has embezzled large sums of money. A twisting psychological thriller combined with a study of mind and personality, this is a fascinating read. ~ Amy Palmer
Autobiography of a CorpseAutobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Kick off 2014 with an exciting discovery! Lovers of Poe, Borges and Kafka will savor these extraordinary fantasies, suppressed for decades by the Soviet Union. From a man trying to bite his own elbow to a fugitive hand set loose in the city, this is the stuff of dreams (and nightmares). ~ Charles Bottomley
The Night GuestThe Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane. An elderly widow living in an isolated location is startled when a mysterious woman comes to care for her. Is she being stalked by an otherworldly feral presence, or is her mind playing tricks? This unsettling novel will keep you guessing. ~ Amy Palmer The CircleThe Circle by Dave Eggers. The masterful Eggers has written his most accessible novel in years. A cautionary tale of what can happen if we let social media and Big Brother run our lives. ~ Christopher Linendoll Dreams and ShadowsDreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill. Science fiction isn't 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, spirits and humans, I was drawn in and couldn't put it down! ~ Jess Krawczyk
1/13 Women Read: The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin 1/14 Armchair Explorers (Section A): The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
1/14 History: Wild Swans by Jung Chang 1/15 KnitWits: Knits from an English Rose by Louisa Harding and Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
1/14 Cookbooks: Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi 1/16 Cookbooks: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
1/16 Mystery & Thriller: Double Game by Dan Fesperman 1/21 Armchair Explorers (Section B): The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
2/14 Classic Mystery: The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad and The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers 1/23 Truth & Tales (Sections A & B): Confronting the Classics by Mary Beard
  1/26 Poetry: A Book of Luminous Things edited by Czeslaw Milosz
  1/27 Buddhist Study: How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind by Pema Chodron
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