Staff Reading Picks

Before I Go

by Colleen Oakley
ISBN:9781476761664

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant 'Cancerversary' with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it's an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. She's terrified of what will happen to her helpless husband when she's no longer there to take care of him. She has to find him another wife.

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Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

by Carrie Brownstein
ISBN:9781594486630

Before Carrie Brownstein co-developed and starred in the TV comedy Portlandia, she was an icon to young women for her role as a musician in the feminist punk band Sleater-Kinney. The band was a key part of the early riot- grrrl and indie rock scenes in the Pacific Northwest, known for their prodigious guitar shredding and their leftist lyrics against war, traditionalism, and gender roles. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is the deeply personal and revealing narrative of Brownstein's life in music, from ardent fan to pioneering female guitarist to comedic performer and luminary in the independent rock world. Though Brownstein struggled against the music industry's sexist double standards, by 2006 she was the only woman to earn a spot on Rolling Stone readers' list of the "25 Most Underrated Guitarists of All-Time." This book captures what it feels like to be a young woman in a rock-and-roll band, from her days at the dawn of the underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s through today.

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The Lake House

by Kate Morton
ISBN:9781451649321

Living on her family's gorgeous lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, clever, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented fourteen-year-old who loves to write stories. One midsummer's eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest son, Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart, leaving their estate as empty as their broken hearts. Nearly sixty years later, having enjoyed a long, successful career as an author, Alice is now eighty years old and living in London. Theo's case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather's house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together.

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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

by Erik Larson
ISBN:9780307408860

It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.

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Black River

by S.M. Hulse
ISBN:9780544309876

A former prison guard and talented fiddler returns to his Montana hometown to bury his wife and confront an inmate who, twenty years earlier, held him hostage during a prison riot.

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The Hidden Life of Trees

by Peter Wohlleben
ISBN:9781771642484

Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.

After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

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A House Without Windows

by Nadia Hashimi
ISBN:9780062449689

Accused by her in-laws and imprisoned for the murder of her husband, Zeba forges bonds with a group of women who have also been locked up for social violations and places her fate in the hands of an Afghan-born, American-raised civil rights lawyer.

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Pancakes in Paris

by Craig Carlson
ISBN:9781492632122

Paris was practically perfect - although for Craig Carlson one thing was still missing: the good ol' American breakfast he loved so much.

Craig was the last person anyone would have expected to open an American diner in Paris. He came from humble beginnings in a working-class town in Connecticut, had never worked in a restaurant, and didn't know anything about starting a brand-new business. But from his first visit to Paris, Craig knew he had found the city of his dreams.

Pancakes in Paris is the story of Craig tackling the impossible - from raising the money to fund his dream to tracking down international suppliers for "exotic" American ingredients, and even finding love along the way. His diner, Breakfast in America, is now a renowned tourist destination, and the story of how it came to be is just as delicious and satisfying as the classic breakfast that tops its menu.

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Loner: A Novel

by Teddy Wayne
ISBN:9781501107894

David Federman has never felt appreciated. An academically gifted yet painfully forgettable member of his New Jersey high school class, the withdrawn, mild-mannered freshman arrives at Harvard fully expecting to be embraced by a new tribe of high-achieving peers. But, initially, his social prospects seem unlikely to change, sentencing him to a lifetime of anonymity. Then he meets Veronica Morgan Wells. Struck by her beauty, wit, and sophisticated Manhattan upbringing, David falls feverishly in love. Determined to win her attention and an invite into her glamorous world, he begins compromising his moral standards for this one, great shot at happiness. But both Veronica and David, it turns out, are not exactly as they seem.

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The Geography of Genius

by Eric Weiner
ISBN:9781451691658

An acclaimed travel writer examines the connection between surroundings and innovative ideas, profiling examples in such regions as early-twentieth-century Vienna, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, and Silicon Valley.

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