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Best of Recently Read by Staff

Our favorite picks are listed below:

Saga by Brian Vaughn. Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds.  Written by a best selling author, this graphic novel series is "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make." 
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley.  The first time Julia asy Greywethers she was only five, but she knew it was her house.  And now that she's at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.
Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung. On the night Janie waits for her sister, Hannah to be born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter each generation, so Janie is charged with keeping Hannah safe.
Shadow On the Mountain by Margi Preus.  In Nazi-occupied Norway, 14 year old Espen joins the resistance movement, graduating from deliverere of illegal newspaper to courier and spy.
American Vampire, Volume 2 by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque.  It's Las Vegas circa 1935, and Skinner Swee and Pearl are about to learn the hard way that the bloodsuckers in Hollywood were nothing compared to what awaits in Sin City.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie. Should you focus on earning a living, pursuing your passions, or devoting yourself to the causes that inspire you? The surprising truth is that you don’t have to choose.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann.  A blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon.
Memoirs of An Invisible Man by H.F.Saint. After he is caught in an explosion at a high-tech research facility, Nick takes a look in the mirror-and finds that he is invisible. Creative and imaginative.
Mother Sister Husband Dog: Etc by Delia Ephron. A series of autobiographical essays about life, love, sisterhood, movies, and family.

In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols.  The chief of police in a small town becomes suspicious of the new woman in town, Miranda.  He discovers she has no history, then he finds a baby picture of his niece in her possession...
If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother by Julia Sweeney.  A compilation of stories about family life by Saturday Night Live performer, Julia Sweeney.
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin.  A young woman has an epiphany about her life one day while riding on the bus.  From that point on, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.  This book is a lively and compelling account of that year and what she learned. 
Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin.  A tribe is any group of people who are connected to one another, a leader and an idea.  For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes.  The Internet and social media are making it easier to make connections, but who is going to lead us?
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).  After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator.  He is down to one client and creditors are calling.  He has broken up with his girlfriend and living in his office. Then he learns his sister, the legendary supermodel, known to friends as the Cuckoo, has fallen to her death.  
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel: A Novel of War and Survival by Louise Murphy.  In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest.  Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed 'Hansel' and Gretel.' 
The Ocean At the End Of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole thier car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.  Dark creatures from the world are on the loose...
Among Others by Jo Walton. Startling, unusual, and irresistibly readable, this is the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood.  A brilliant diary of first encounters with great novels of modern fantasy and sci-fi and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout.  Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children.  Jim and Bod Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.  From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister Violet knew they were unlike everyone else.  They were born with peculiar 'senses'-innate psychic abilities concerning future events.  Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them...
Midnight At Marble Arch by Anne Perry.  Newest in the historical fiction featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt.
The Blood Gospel by J.  Rollins & R. Cantrell.  Really liked this one.  If you like Dan Brown, you will like this.
View From Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman.  Interesting characters and lots of humor.  A very enjoyable read.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  Jacob V. says, "A very slow read at first; however, with each page, I'm starting to see why this book is held in such high regard!"
Elephant Run by Roland Smith.  This is a historic adventure in the jungles of Burma that explores the events of the WWII Japanese invasion and fascinating facts about wild timber elephants.
Somebody's Daughter by Julian Shen.  An eye-opening tale of the reality of sex trafficking in America.
Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the War of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood. "While the events of the War of the Roses are usually described in terms of the male leads who fought and died seeking the throne, a handful of powerful women would prove just as decisive as their relatives clashing armies.  These mothers, wives, and daughters were locked in a web of loyalty and betrayal that would ultimately change the course of history."-Amazon

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.  If the world as you knew it was going to end, how would your life change?  This is the situation faced by Hank, a small-town policeman trying to solve a murder as the rest of society prepares for a comet to strike Earth.  Some people drop everything and pack in as much of the good life as they can; others prepare for the worst, everyone thinks Hank is crazy to try and solve the murder. This is a gripping and creative murder mystery.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler.  "Fowler renders rich period detail in this portrayal of a fascinating woman both blessed-and cursed-by fame." - Booklist
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers.  The novel opens in 2004, when two soldiers, meet in boot camp on the eve of their departure to Iraq. The older of the two takes the younger under his wing, bound by the promise to his mother to guide the younger man home safely.
The Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey  Delve into some great post-apocolyptic fiction with realistic characters and a tense social setting.  The story is set in an underground silo where a small community has been living for years.  Everything changes when their leader decides to break the rules and go outside.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.  Delve into some classic Dickens for a great plot, memorable characters (with fantastic names!) and beautiful language.
My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulos .  The main character in this novel spends his time documenting why people are unhappy, while remaining blythly upbeat and detached from the ridiculous situations in his own life. Recommended for those who like quirky characters, dark comedy, and humorous social commentary. 
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini.  The author describes the true story of Mary Todd Lincoln and her lasting friendship with her seamstress, Lizzy Keckley, a former slave.  Recommended for lovers of historical fiction, anything Lincoln, or fans of Jennifer Chiaverini.
How It All Began by Penelope Lively.  The author explores how small, random events can alter the paths of our lives and how intertwined we truly are.
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.  It's been 50 (!) years since this book was published.  Sadly, many of the topics discussed by Ms. Friedan are still with us today.  The writing is still fresh, sometimes funny, and relevant to nearly all social interactions.  Recommended for anyone who hasn't read it, or for those who haven't read it in 50 years.
A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn.  Chet and Bernie save the day once again.  Chet, the dog narrator, manages to be true to his nature, but not too sappy, in this quirky mystery series.  A perfect read for anyone who has a goofy dog.
Backyard Parables by Mararet Roach. Gardening from the head and the heart.  There are garden lessons here, but also a few about life and how to live well. Recommended for gardeners and anyone who wants a bit of calm in their lives.
My Ideal Bookshelf / Art by Jane Mount; edited by Thessaly La Force.  Creative people from all walks of life describe the books they can't live without.  Each bookshelf illustration is accompanied by a short essay by the person who loves those books.
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg. A contemporary Jewish family with an extremely obese Mom and the turmoil her health issues cause. Super-sized dysfunctional!
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.  Once again, McEwan dazzle us in this deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love and the invented self.
The Girl Who Fell To Earth: A Memoir by Sophia Al-Maria.  A wry coming of age memoir about growing up in the intersection of American and Arab cultures.
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.  A mystery about a black-listed, but very talented young artist, and the painting she is hired to copy.
So Far Away by Meg Mitchel Moore. An angsty teen, problems at home, problems at school, problems with friends.  A century-old diary provides mystery, escape and a glance into a lost life.
One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball by Tony LaRussa  After 33 seasons managing Major League Baseball, Tony L Russa thought he had seen it all - that is, untilt he 2011 Cardinals.
The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March Family members reforge broken bonds after watching and discussing Meryl's movies. 
Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon  Book Three by Zafon connects characters from previous novels and takes us back to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  Beautifully written
The Diviners by Rick Moody  Young Evie has been sent to live with her uncle in New York and soon finds glamour.  The only catch is that her uncle is the curator of the "The Museum of the Creepy Cawlies."  When a rash of occult based murders begins, Evie and her uncle are in the thick of the investigation. 
The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell  A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada.  Somehow, the only evidence has made it's way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, 2000 miles away. 
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon  As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy and Nat are still hanging in there - longtime friends, bandmates and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Bereley and Oakland.
Conquistador Hernan Cortez, King Montezuma, and The Last Stand of the Aztecs by Buddy Levy.  The story of a lost kingdom, a relentless conqueror, and a doomed warrior, Conquistador is history at its most riveting. 
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  Harold Fry is determined to walk 600 miles from home to a hospice because he believes, as long as he walks, a woman from his past will live.
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz.  In this definitive, wonderfully affectionate biography, the Julia we know and love come vividly - and surprisingly - to life.
Tales of the Otori Book 1 by Lian Hearn.  In his fortress, a warloar surveys his famous nightingale floor.  Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard...  
Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disasters by Rebecca Solnit.  The most startling thing about disasters, according to the author, is not merely that so many poeple rise to the occasion, but that they do so with joy.
The Heart Broke In by James Meek.  Fron the award winning author of The People's Act of Love, comes a rich and intricate novel about everything that matters to us.
Broken Harbor by Tana French.  The mesmerizing 4th novel of the Dublin murder squad by best selling author Tana French.
One Last Thing Before I Go by Johnathan Tropper.  A hilarious and heart-rending tale about one family's struggle to reconnect.

Juliet: A Novel by Kathryn Cushman.  A young woman travels to Italy to discover the hidden past about her family, a treasure, and the real story behind Shakepeare's Romeo and Juliet.

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen Carter.  What if Lincoln survived the assasination attempt and Congress impeached him?  Great mix of history, politics and mystery.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Walker.  The earth's rotation slows down and the world begins to change in oh so many ways.  A woman recounts her childhood during this turbulent time.

Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories by Megan Bergman.  This collection of stories explores our relationships, the choices we make, and the influence of the natural environment around us.

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