Staff Reading Picks

The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows

by Brian Castner
ISBN: 9780385536202

This work is a powerful account of war and homecoming. The author served three tours of duty in the Middle East. Days and nights he and his team would venture forth in heavily armed convoys from their Forward Operating Base to engage in the nerve-racking yet strangely exhilarating work of either disarming the deadly improvised explosive devices that had been discovered, or picking up the pieces when the alert came too late. But this book is not just about battle itself. It is also an unflinching portrayal of the toll war exacts on the men and women who are fighting it. When the author returned home to his wife and family, he began a struggle with a no less insidious foe, an unshakable feeling of fear and confusion and survivor's guilt that he terms The Crazy. His book immerses the reader in two harrowing and simultaneous realities: the terror and excitement and camaraderie of combat, and the lonely battle against the enemy within, the haunting memories that will not fade, the survival instincts that will not switch off. After enduring what he has endured, can there ever again be such a thing as "normal"?"

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The Last Policeman

by Ben Winters
ISBN: 9781594745768

When the Earth is doomed by an imminent and unavoidable asteroid collision, New Hampshire homicide detective Hank Palace considers the worth of his job in a world destined to end in six months and investigates a suspicious suicide that nobody else cares about.

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Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety

by Daniel Smith
ISBN,: 9781439177303

In Monkey Mind, Daniel Smith brilliantly articulates what it is like to live with anxiety, defanging the disease with humor, traveling through its demonic layers, evocatively expressing both its painful internal coherence and its absurdities. He also draws on its most storied sufferers to trace anxiety's intellectual history and its influence on our time.

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The Beginner's Goodbye

by Anne Tyler
ISBN:9780307957276

In this book the author give us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances, in their house, on the roadway, in the market. Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron has spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, independent  woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly, he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy's unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family's vanity publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.

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The Inquisitor

by Mark Allen Smith
ISBN: 9780805094268

Geiger is a professional torturer with a strict code. A mysterious past. And a dangerous conviction that he can save the life of an innocent child. Geiger's clients count on him to extract the truth from even the most reluctant subjects. Unlike most of his competitors, Geiger rarely sheds blood, but he does use a variety of techniques to push his subjects to a point where pain takes a backseat to fear. Because only then will they finally stop lying. One of Geiger's rules is that he never works with children. So when his partner, former journalist Harry Boddicker, unwittingly brings in a client who insists that Geiger interrogate a twelve-year-old boy, Geiger responds instinctively. He rescues the boy from his captor, removes him to the safety of his New York City loft, and promises to protect him from further harm. But if Geiger and Harry cannot quickly discover why the client is so desperate to learn the boy's secret, they themselves will become the victims of an utterly ruthless adversary.

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