Staff Picks 2015 July

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Staff Picks July 2015 (1.7MB)
One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard NixonOne Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon by Tim Weiner. Pulitzer Prize and National Book award winning author Tim Weiner examines the ruinous presidency of Richard Milhouse Nixon. With new information available, Weiner’s meticulous research skills, insight, and accessible writing style make this book the one to read if you really want to know the whole story of the calamity that was the Nixon presidency. ~ Erik Barnum
Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate ShipPirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson. Kurson tells of the search for the Golden Fleece, the ship commanded by Joseph Bannister, who suddenly and inexplicably gave up his life as a legitimate naval captain to become a pirate. Although he could rightfully have taken a place alongside Blackbeard, his name has been lost to history. Fascinating. ~ Erik Barnum
Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless AgeWaking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age by Clark Strand. A beautifully written treatise on the consequences of living in this age of artificial light. Humanity in general has lost touch with True Darkness and, with it, the ability to connect with the cosmic energies of creation that only exist in the dark. A prosaic and spiritual speculation, to be treasured on many levels. ~ Maeve Noonan
The Summer Table: Recipes and Menus for Casual Outdoor Entertaining by Lisa Lemke.
Caper and Apple Salsa with Dill
Grilled Guacamole Tortilla with Mozzarella
Potato Muffins with Spiced Cheese
These are just a few of the enticing recipes included in Lisa Lemke’s new cookbook. Simple clear directions and mouth watering photos make this a Must Have for fresh summer cooking. ~ Reviewed by Jennifer Canfield
Andrew Savulich: The CityThe City by Andrew Savulich. In the years between 1980 and the mid-90s, New York was awash in a wonderful sleaziness, but the flashpoint violence that often splayed blood over the dirty sidewalks was a constant reminder of the danger lurking there. Mr. Savulich records the horror and the heartbreak with a gritty immediacy in photographs that are frequently shocking and totally unforgettable. ~ Alden Graves
Modern RomanceModern Romance by Aziz Ansari. If you are baffled by internet dating or just dating in general, this book has some answers. As he does with his stand-up comedy, Aziz offers an intelligently fresh voice to modern romance, a topic we can all relate to, backing his sharp observations with actual research. A perfect read for a person who likes to laugh and/or needs help snagging a partner. ~ Becki Trudell
The Gun by C.J. ChiversThe Gun by C. J. Chivers. This is a thorough and readable account of one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century - the AK-47 assault rifle. Chivers covers the evolution of infantry rifles that culminated in Kalashnikov’s iconic design, as well as its antithesis, the AR-15/M-16. It includes analyses of the AK’s lasting global influence on combat, security, revolution and politics. ~ Reviewed by Nate George
Artful by Ali SmithArtful by Ali Smith. This creative work of literary criticism is dressed eloquently and rendered as fiction. A widow - haunted by the passive aggressive ghost of her scholarly husband - tries to reclaim the space within her head as well as her home, resulting in marvelous diatribes and dialogues of nature, art and literature. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan
I Love You Honeybear by Father John Misty (vinyl) I Love You Honeybear by Father John Misty (VINYL LP). Father John Misty, formerly J. Tillman of the Fleet Foxes, has embraced his alter-ego’s bohemian/sex god/slacker attitude. This album is made up of sarcasm-drenched love songs, with Father John finding love and letting it swallow him whole. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll
Mislaid by Nell ZinkMislaid by Nell Zink. This is a unique novel that poses questions about various stereotypes. A couple unexpectedly comes together and is soon torn apart just as the cover suggests. Encompassing themes that range from coming of age, forming identities, and the desire to remain invisible, Mislaid is a book that most can relate to in one way or another. ~ Nikki Grossfeld
The Cartel by Don WinslowThe Cartel by Don Winslow. When a cop and drug lord play a vicious chess match on the Mexican border, bodies (and heads) are gonna fall. Winslow’s saga of the war on drugs isn’t just Game of Thrones on meth. It might also be the first great crime novel of the 21st century. ~ Charles Bottomley
I, Ripper by Stephen HunterI, Ripper by Stephen Hunter. An extremely clever intermingling of a historically accurate account of the Whitechapel murders in 1888 with a fictitious story about the reporter responsible for giving the killer a name that still towers above all others in the annals of horrendous crimes: Jack the Ripper. Well written and researched, atmospheric, but definitely not for the faint of heart. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I envy anyone who has never read this quietly beautiful novel about a man of principle pitted against a world of injustice. Beneath the endearing story of a widower and his two impressionable young children is a powerful message about the insidious nature of racial intolerance and the courage it takes to confront it. The author expands upon this story in her only other novel, Go Set a Watchman, set for release on July 14.
Bell Weather by Dennis MahoneyBell Weather by Dennis Mahoney. Set in a fantastical 18th century world where rain falls up and color storms wash the land with bright hues, Bell Weather is, at its core, the story of a spirited young woman fighting for the freedom to choose her own path. With darkness in her past and hope for the future, Molly is the perfect guide to an enchanting new land. ~ Reviewed by Amelia Stymacks
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina GeorgeThe Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. If you’re a fan of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry give this one a try! Monsieur Perdu is a literary apothecary (bookseller) on a book barge. When he finally opens a letter from his lost love, he decides to raise the anchor and set sail through the rivers of France spreading literary love and wisdom along the way.~ Reviewed by Jessica Elder
The Book of Speculation by Erika SwylerThe Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. could not put this book down. Alternating between present day and the 1780s, this story follows a family of circus performers seemingly cursed to drown on the same day every generation and a young man trying to save his sister from the same fate. For fans of Night Circus or Church of Marvels! ~ Reviewed by Jessica Elder
The Sunlit Night by Rebecca DinersteinThe Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein. Two New Yorkers end up in Norway via very different routes. Frances, 21, has an art fellowship working with a painter who only uses the color yellow. Yasha, 17, is burying his father at the top of the world. An awkward friendship turns into a tentative romance in the land of the midnight sun. Lyrical writing befits the enchanting setting in this first novel. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds
Bull Mountain by Brian PanowichBull Mountain by Brian Panowich. The Burroughs clan has ruled the roost on Bull Mountain for as long as anyone can remember, adapting to the changing times by switching their business from moonshining to growing pot. This fast-paced, multi-generational story begins with a vicious murder that sets one member of the family on a tortuous path toward redemption. Exciting and unpredictable, it is perfect escapist entertainment. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik BackmanMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman. Elsa is nearly eight-years-old. She has accumulated almost 68 in years of wisdom because her best and only friend is her 80-year-old globetrotting, paintball gunning, lifesaving granny. This insightful, raucous story is a very real adventure for readers of any age. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan
The Book of Strange New Things by Michael FaberThe Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber. As a missionary on a new planet, his wife waiting on Earth, Peter has little trouble introducing Christianity to his alien congregation. The effort to maintain his marriage becomes arduous. This beautifully written novel unfolds slowly to leave a lasting impression. ~ Reviewed by Amelia Stymacks
Hungry by H. A. SwainHungry by H. A. Swain. If you were to stick Legend, The Hunger Games, and Divergent in a blender, this is the book you’d end up with. The One World wants Thalia to drink her Synthamil and be quiet like everyone else. But when Thalia’s stomach starts growling for real - and illegal - food, she must make a momentous decision. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo