Staff Reading Picks
Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home
by Kim Sunee
Traces the South Korean author's personal quest for identity and belonging after being abandoned at the age of three and subsequently adopted by a New Orleans couple in a non-Asian community.
The Empress of Weehawken
by Irene Dische
"At the end of a long and - according to her - extraordinary life, Elisabeth Rother has decided to write her memoirs. Dwelling lovingly on her aristocratic upbringing, she brushes aside her narrow escape from the Nazis with her Jewish husband and their perilous voyage to the New World of Weehawken, New Jersey. The subject that really consumes her - because what is a memoir if not a chance to even old scores? - is the waywardness of her impossible daughter, Renate, and granddaughter, Irene." "Renate persists in falling in love with geniuses who have bad table manners. She snubs a suitable career as a concert pianist to become New York's medical examiner, performing autopsies on the bodies of politicians whom death has harvested in the nighttime arms of their mistresses.Worse, she sleeps on unironed sheets.
Irene brings pickled babies to school for show-and-tell, drops out (or is kicked out) in order to roam the world, refuses to address the problem of her nose with plastic surgery, and shows signs of enjoying sex. What is to be done with such women?" "Written in the voice of the author's very real grandmother, this novel is, in the end, a surprising love letter to the complicated but sustaining bond between mothers and daughters."--BOOK JACKET.Resource Link
Under Enemy Colors
by S. Thomas Russell
His career challenged by a mixed heritage in spite of his loyalty to the king of England, French Revolution-era naval officer Charles Saunders Hayden finds himself aboard an aging frigate that becomes subject to violent crew outbursts and mutiny.
Look me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s
by John Robinson Elder
ISBN: 9780307395986 and 0307395987.
John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits had earned him the label "social deviant." No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings drunk. No wonder he gravitated to machines, which could be counted on. His savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS, for whom he created their legendary fire-breathing guitars. Later, he drifted into a "real" job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose, the more he had to pretend to be "normal" and do what he simply couldn't: communicate. It was not until he was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself--and the world.--From publisher description
by Gordon Campbell
"Phoenix, Arizona, 1973. A beautiful woman, armed with a gun and accompanied by her twelve-year-old daughter, enters a house. Shots are fired. The woman and her daughter leave the house. Inside, her husband lies dead." "The case seems open and shut. The cops, the attorney general's office, and the media are certain the woman is guilty. The only witness to the shooting is in a catatonic state and cannot testify. But the murdered man's wealthy father believes he owes the woman something and hires Dan Morgan, the best lawyer in Phoenix, to defend her." "When the legendary criminal attorney takes on a case, it's to win, no matter what the odds. But for Morgan and his young protege, Doug McKenzie, there are no easy answers, only mysteries, and the question of innocence and guilt takes on a profound new meaning."--BOOK JACKET.
More by Robert Dugoni
In this second harrowing thriller by the author of "The Jury Master", Seattle attorney Dana Hill's carefully balanced world is thrown off kilter when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, she discovers her husband is having an affair, and her twin brother is brutally beaten to death in a apparent robbery.
Love in a Torn Land
More by Jean Sasson
"As a young girl living in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Joanna al-Askari had a dream: to fall in love with a Kurdish freedom fighter and join the battle for Kurdish independence. In Love in a Torn Land, author Jean Sasson tells the true story of how Joanna lived that dream, surviving nightmarish struggles in pursuit of love and her cherished goal of freedom for the Kurdish people." "Raised in Baghdad by an Arab Iraqi father and a Kurdish mother, Joanna spent a childhood filled with fear and uncertainty under the brutal Baathist regime, tempered by joyful summers spent with family in Kurdistan. She shares the girlish excitement of meeting a dashing young Peshmerga fighter at age fifteen, which began a campaign for love that would prove almost as consuming to Joanna as her dream of Kurdish freedom. She also recounts the
gritty details of life as a young Peshmerga wife in Kurdistan during the darkest days of the Iran-Iraq War: the horror of being temporarily blinded from a gas attack by Saddam's forces, the terror of dodging Iraqi patrols as she and her husband tried to flee to safety, and the desperate search for a missing relative in an Iranian refugee camp."
"Again and again, Joanna meets defeat with determination and faces hardship with hope as she navigates the dangers of an Iraq filled with informers, midnight raids, secret police interrogations, and barbaric prisons. Through her eyes and her love for her husband, the splendid world of Kurds and Kurdistan comes alive. From the beauty of the mountains and colorful flowers dotting the roadside to feasts, singing, and dancing, Love in a Torn Land offers a portrait of a land and a culture. Joanna's tale of tragedy and triumph is a testament to the power of love, the strength of the human spirit, and an unflagging will to prevail against the odds."--BOOK JACKET.Resource Link
More by Alice Hoffman
"Arlyn Singer believes in destiny and in love. On the night her father dies, Arlyn is certain that the man she is meant to be with will walk into her life. But fate seems to be playing a trick when John Moody knocks on her door to ask for directions. Cool, practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn's polar opposite. Yet the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are bound to bring each other grief. Their marriage is dangerous territory, tracing a map no one should follow. It leads them and their children to a house made of glass in the Connecticut countryside, to the rooftops and avenues of Manhattan, and to the blue waters of Long Island Sound all in a search for family and identity."
"Walking this path of ruin and redemption are Sam, their son, a brilliant, explosive artist who is drawn to self-destruction and dreams; Blanca, the beautiful loner who tries desperately to protect her brother from his destiny and lives her own life in a world of books; and Will, the grandson, who is left a legacy of broken pieces he needs to put together, an emotional and mysterious puzzle made up of people who don't know the first thing about love."--BOOK JACKET.Resource Link