Staff Reading Picks

And West is West

by Ron Childress
ISBN:9781616205232

Winner of the prestigious PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, This is an inspired novel about the devastating power of new technology to corrupt innocent lives.

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Astonish Me

by Maggie Shipstead
ISBN:97803079662904

Joan is a ballerina whose life has been shaped by her relationship with the world-famous dancer Arslan Ruskov, whom she helps defect from the Soviet Union to the United States. While Arslan's career takes off, Joan's slowly declines, ending when she marries her longtime admirer, PhD student Jacob. As the years pass, Joan settles into her new life in California and watches her son Harry become a ballet prodigy. But when Harry's success brings him in contact with Arslan, secrets are revealed.

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The Secret of Raven Point

by Jennifer Vanderbes
ISBN:9781439167007

Volunteering as a World War II Army nurse after receiving a letter from her missing-in-action soldier brother, Juliet finds her search hindered by field hospital work and the court-martial of a wounded deserter who may hold answers.

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Home is Burning

by Dan Marshall
ISBN:9781250068828

The author recounts how he and his four siblings cared for their parents after their mother experienced a cancer relapse and his father was diagnosed with terminal ALS.

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The Muralist

by B.A. Shapiro
ISBN:978161203573

Auction-house employee Danielle Abrams investigates the unsolved disappearance of her famous-artist great-aunt when she discovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind Abstract Expressionist works created decades earlier.

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Knocking on Heaven's Door

by Katy Butler
ISBN:9781451641974

"Once upon a time we knew how to die. We knew how to sit at a deathbed.” In this sad yet valiant and exacting memoir, Butler, an award-winning science writer for the New Yorker and other venues, recounts the plight of her elderly father and the toll his many afflictions exacts on herself and her mother. He suffers a stroke followed by progressive dementia, speech difficulty, visual loss, and incontinence. An injury during WWII already cost him an arm. Before undergoing hernia surgery, a permanent cardiac pacemaker is implanted. As his mind and body further deteriorate, Butler and her mother plead with doctors to deactivate the device to no avail. When he finally dies from pneumonia, the pacemaker continues functioning inside the dead man’s chest, a chilling reminder of “our culture’s idolatrous, one-sided worship of maximum longevity.” About a year later, his physically and emotionally exhausted wife expires. Butler looks at the strain on caregivers, feelings of guilt and grief, the untapped utilization of palliative care, and the haziness between “saving a life and prolonging a dying.” --Tony Miksanek Booklist

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Loyalty

by Ingrid Thoft
ISBN:9780399162121

Protecting the interests of her managerial father and dysfunctional family business by working as a private investigator, Fina tackles the most challenging case of her career when her sister-in-law goes missing.

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A Circle of Wives

by Alice LaPlante
ISBN:9780802122346

Small-town detective Samantha Adams investigates the murder of a well-known and well-liked plastic surgeon who turns out to have been a closeted polygamist when his three wives show up at his funeral.

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Truth in Advertising

by John Kenney
ISBN:9781451675542

Struggling with encroaching middle age, advertising agent Finbar Dolan is forced to cancel his Christmas plans to tackle a last-minute assignment, only to learn that his estranged father has taken ill and that his siblings are unwilling to help.

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The Bird Skinner

by Alice Greenway
ISBN:9780802121042

Forced to abandon his ornithology work after being wounded in combat, World War II veteran Jim Carroway secludes himself on a tiny island off the coast of Maine, where an old friend's captivating daughter draws him out of isolation during the month before she starts college.

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