Staff Reading Picks

Moonglow

by Michael Chabon
ISBN:9780062225559

 
A man bears witness to his grandfather's deathbed confessions, which reveal his family's long-buried history and his involvement in a mail-order novelty company, World War II, and the space program.

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Best Boy

by Eli Gottlieb
ISBN:9781631490477

A middle-aged autistic resident of a therapeutic community where he was sent as a young child rebels against changes in his environment by attempting to return to a family home and younger sibling he only partially remembers.

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LaRose

by Louise Erdrich
ISBN:9780062277022

Horrified when he accidentally kills his best friend's five-year-old son while hunting, Landreaux Iron gives away his own young son to his friend's family according to ancient tradition, a decision that helps both families reach a tenuous peace that is threatened by a vengeful adversary.

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The Versions of Us

by Laura Barnett
ISBN:9780544634244

In one moment, two lives will be changed forever ... and forever ... and forever. The one thing that's certain is that they met on a Cambridge street by chance and felt a connection that would last a lifetime. But as for what happened next ... They fell wildly in love or went their separate ways. They kissed or they thought better of it. They married soon after or were together for a few weeks before splitting up. They grew distracted and disappointed with their daily lives together or found solace together only after hard years spent apart.  It is a tale of possibilities and consequences that rings across the shifting decades, from the fifties, sixties, seventies, and on to the present, showing how even the smallest choices can define the course of our lives.

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Valiant ambition : George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the fate of the American Revolution

by Nathaniel Philbrick
ISBN:9780525426783

In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.

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Heat & Light

by Jennifer Haigh
ISBN:9780061763298

Bestselling author Jennifer Haigh returns to the Pennsylvania town and the conflicting forces at its heart - hope and desperation, greed and power, big business and small-town families. Forty years ago, Bakerton coal fueled the country. Then the mines closed, and the town wore away. Now Bakerton has been granted a surprise third act: it sits squarely atop the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas. Told through a cast of characters whose lives are increasingly bound by the opposing interests that underpin the national debate, this novel depicts a community blessed and cursed by its natural resources.

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Behind Closed Doors

by B.A. Paris
ISBN:9781250121004

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call -- so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim? And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows? The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie??

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Christodora

by Tim Murphy
ISBN:9780802125286

In this vivid and compelling novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan's East Village, the Christodora. The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbor, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly and Jared's lives in ways none of them can anticipate. Meanwhile, Milly and Jared's adopted son Mateo grows to see the opportunity for both self-realization and oblivion that New York offers. As the junkies and protestors of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and they, in turn, to the wealthy residents of the crowded, glass-towered city of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them. Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a true response to the AIDS epidemic, to the New York City of the future, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life the ever-changing city itself.

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When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi
ISBN:9780812988406

On the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. Kalanithi chronicles his transformation from a naïve medical student into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

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Girl Waits with Gun

by Amy Stewart
ISBN:9780544409910

Living in virtual isolation years after the revelation of a painful family secret, Constance Kopp is terrorized by a belligerent silk factory owner and fights back in ways outside the norm for early twentieth-century women.

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