Staff Picks 2015 September

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Staff Picks September 2015 (.4MB)
Early WarningPurity by Jonathan Franzen. Franzen digs his sharp-edged spade into the modern world of cyber "truthing" in the personage of the charismatic and possibly troubled Sunshine Project founder, Andreas Wolf. Pip Tyler (Purity) is the young, wandering, wondering heart of this book, struggling to make her way while the mysteries of her parents' past cast shadows on her life. Franzen's ability to create full-bodied characters deeply enmeshed in the societal ills of any era is as keen as ever. ~ Jon Fine
The Fish Ladder: A Journey Upstream by Katharine Norbury. This is a wonderful mix of memoir, travelogue, and nature journal. Using nature and place as a meditative, Norbury takes us on journeys from the sea and along rivers, hoping that she will be drawn to the source. She uses these excursions as a way to cope with grief, tapping into the power of nature to heal. ~ Becky Doherty
Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown. History that reads like a mystery with subjects ranging from Viking lore, women’s studies, archaeology, chess, art techniques, and walrus hunting – Viking style. Brown investigates not only where these chess pieces were created, but by whom. ~ Maeve Noonan
I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist by Betty Halbreich. The author gives us a long look back at her life which provides the clues as to why she’s so good at what she does. In rich detail she, she provides a custom-made cultural history lesson of New York City and Chicago from her birth to the present. She writes as well as she dresses! ~ Cris Muias
Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild by Novella Carpenter. This tale seamlessly leads readers from an urban farm in inner city Oakland to a ramshackle homestead in rural Idaho and back again. A poignant and engrossing memoir that is also a detective story about the author’s search for her back-to-the-land, hippie father. ~ Lily Ringler
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Madeline is allergic to the world. Diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency at a young age, she's spent most of her life in her house with her doctor mom and a nurse. One day, a new couple moves in next door and their teenage son catches Maddy’s attention. They strike up an online relationship, and Maddy starts to wonder if there’s more to life than mere survival. The perfect one-sitting read. ~ Paige Mushaw
School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough. Evan Quick has wanted to be superhero all his life. When he starts developing powers shortly after his thirteenth birthday and is sent to an elite training academy, he discovers that he’ll need to learn to rely on new friends to make sense of the world of heroes and villains. This adventure story has a real heart, and a terrific cast of characters. ~ Rachel Person
Coloring books for adults are the latest “hot items” at the Northshire. We have a large selection of them in our Art-Color Doodle section. Gardens, geometric designs, Mandala designs, city scenes, and animals are just a few of the subjects to color. Reviewed by Sarah Knight

Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined by Steve McDonald. Wonderful with different levels of complexities of drawings to color. My favorite!
The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People by Emma Farrarons. A small format book with lots of floral, abstract designs and animal illustrations to color. Relaxing.
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford. The award-winning illustrator created beautiful garden designs that allow one to color, draw, and play.
Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson. Six superlative stories by the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Orphan Master’s Son. Johnson’s intriguing tales range from bittersweet recollections by the wife of the “biggest lunkhead to ever win a Pulitzer,” to the sanitized memories of an East German prison guard, to a story set on familiar ground for this author, South Korea. ~ Alden Graves
The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. Now retired and living in Three Pines, Inspector Gamache is asked to investigate the disappearance of a young boy known for telling tall tales. An object found deep in the woods leads to murder, an old crime, a past betrayal, and to the cranky old poet, Ruth Zardo. Was one of the tall tales true? Well written, suspenseful, and highly recommended. ~ Sarah Knight
The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu. Few books are as sweeping in nature and compelling in content as The Dark Forest, the second book in Liu’s Three-Body Problem trilogy. As Earth prepares for an imminent alien invasion, it is up to the Wallfacers, an eclectic group of men tasked to use manipulation and deceit to confuse the enemy, to save Earth from certain destruction. ~ Cheryl Cornwell
The Incarnations by Susan Barker. This is the story of the spirit of Wang Hu, his 6 incarnations (thus far), and the myriad of characters he loves and hates through a time period that extends from 660 B.C. to the present. Wang Hu is seeking the answer to a question: Is fate what life is after you make your choices or is the spiral truly unbreakable? Beautiful and haunting and often raw but always brilliant. ~ Maeve Noonan
Trust No One: A Thriller by Paul Cleave. When a writer’s mind begins to dim with the onset of Alzheimer’s, questions arise as to whether or not he actually committed the crimes he spent his life writing about. A riveting plot that takes you to the very last page in order to discover the truth. ~Nikki Grossfeld
The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. A paranormal thriller from the author of The Winter People. In 1950’s Vermont, Ruth and Sylvie live in the remote Tower Motel. Sylvie vanishes in 1961. Thirty years later, Ruth’s daughter Amy and her two best friends begin to investigate the mystery. What they discover leaves their friendship in ruins. In 2013, Amy and her young family are living at the derelict motel when the sinister past shatters the lives of all three women. ~ Sarah Donner
The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks. When the ever passive Caroline Jacobs tells off the president of the PTA with a four letter word, no one is more shocked than she is. But this outburst seems to release 25 years of pent up emotion. Acting on impulse, Caroline decides to drive to her hometown and confront her childhood bully with her teenage daughter in tow. Written with genuine wit and charm. ~Jess Elder
The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louise De Bernieres. From the author of Corelli’s Mandolin, this is a quietly moving & poignant story about the lives and loves of one family and how they were changed forever by The Great War. With a colorful cast of characters, de Bernieres has created a totally immersive story of hope and survival in the face of such enormous tragedy. ~ Liz Barnum
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Revised Edition: An Account in Words and Pictures by Phoebe Gloeckner. A coming of age story like no other! This diary combines words, pictures, music, and comic strips to reproduce the experiences of a teenager growing up in 1970s San Francisco. The portrait of the artist as a mixed-up kid is both ecstatic and harrowing, but always inspiring. An absolute joy. ~ Charles Bottomley
Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz. 1891: The Holmes and Moriarty Reichenbach Falls tragedy has left London’s crime sector in turmoil. Pinkerton Agent Chase has tracked an American villain to England and teams with Inspector Athelney Jones to find the man whose goal is to unite his illicit network with the late Moriarty’s. Suspense at its best! ~ Sarah Donner