Staff Reading Picks

Provence, 1970 : M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste

by Luke Barr
ISBN:9780307718341

Presents a dramatic account of the 1970 gathering in Provence where such culinary luminaries as James Beard and Julia Child debated and inadvertently launched the modern food movement in America.

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West of Sunset

by Stewart O'Nan
ISBN:9780670785957

 
In 1937 F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in ruins, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. By December of 1940, he would be dead of a heart attack. Those last three years of Fitzgerald's life, often obscured by the legend of his earlier Jazz Age glamour, are the focus of Stewart O'Nan's gorgeously and gracefully written novel.

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Not Fade Away

by Rebecca Alexander
ISBN:9781590516515

Born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III, Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a child, and she was told that she would likely be completely blind and deaf by thirty. Rebecca tells her extraordinary story, by turns harrowing, funny, and inspiring. She meditates on what she’s lost—from the sound of a whisper to seeing a sky full of stars, and what she’s found in return—an exquisite sense of intimacy with those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything she still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice. 

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Em and the Big Hoom

by Jerry Pinto
ISBN:9780143124764

Meet Imelda and Augustine, or as the young narrator calls his unusual parents, Em and the Big Hoom. Most of the time, Em smokes endless beedies and sings her way through life. She is the sun around which everyone else orbits. But as enchanting and high-spirited as she can be, when Em's bipolar disorder seizes her she becomes monstrous, sometimes with calamitous consequences for herself and others. Set in Bombay, India this is a rare story of love, pain and laughter.

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Goodnight June

by Sarah Jio
ISBN:9780142180211

June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby's estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children's bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amid the store's papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown, and steps into the pages of American literature.

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Vanished : the sixty-year search for the missing men of World War II

by Wil S. Hylton
ISBN:9781594487279

On September 1, 1944, a massive American bomber carrying eleven men vanished over the tiny Pacific archipelago of Palau, leaving behind a trail of mysteries. For more than sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the archipelago for clues with cutting-edge technology and unyielding determination. Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true tale of the missing men, their final days, the loved ones left wondering, and the broad sweep of world events that converged upon their last mission.

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Diary of the Fall

by Michael Laub
ISBN:9781590516515

Years after a prank leaves the only Catholic boy in an elite Jewish school in Porto Alegre terribly injured, one of his classmates revisits that episode, trying to come to terms with his own story, and those of his father and grandfather.

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My Salinger Year

by Joanna Rakoff
ISBN:9780307958006

Traces the author's experiences in 1990s New York as the assistant to the agent of J.D. Salinger, a job that contrasted with her threadbare personal life and was enriched by the famous writer's fan letters.

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Death of a Nightingale

by Lene Kaaberbol
ISBN:9781616953041

Protecting the young daughter of an illegal immigrant who has escaped police custody in the aftermath of a brutal murder, Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg struggles with a belief in the woman's innocence as she learns more about her violent past.

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