Staff Selections

The Parkland Library staff is always a good source for book suggestions. The staff selections are usually not current best sellers, so they might be available for loan right now!

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid

September Staff Selection from Elsie


One of the finest crime writers we have, Val McDermid’s heart-stopping thrillers have won her international renown and a devoted following of readers worldwide. In The Vanishing Point, she kicks off a terrifying thriller with a nightmare scenario: a parent who loses her child in a bustling international airport.

Young Jimmy Higgins is snatched from an airport security checkpoint while his guardian watches helplessly from the glass inspection box. But this is no ordinary abduction, as Jimmy is no ordinary child. His mother was Scarlett, a reality TV star who, dying of cancer and alienated from her unreliable family, entrusted the boy to the person she believed best able to give him a happy, stable life: her ghost writer, Stephanie Harker. Assisting the FBI in their attempt to recover the missing boy, Stephanie reaches into the past to uncover the motive for the abduction.
- Review by goodreads.com
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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

September Staff Selection from Shelly

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks on over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters. - Review by goodreads.com
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Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

June Staff Selection from Jan


Verghese turns his formidable talents to fiction, mining his own life and experiences in a magnificent, sweeping novel that moves from India to Ethiopia to an inner-city hospital in New York City over decades and generations. Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a devout young nun, leaves the south Indian state of Kerala in 1947 for a missionary post in Yemen. During the arduous sea voyage, she saves the life of an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, Thomas Stone, who becomes a key player in her destiny when they meet up again at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa. Seven years later, Sister Praise dies birthing twin boys: Shiva and Marion, the latter narrating his own and his brothers long, dramatic, biblical story set against the backdrop of political turmoil in Ethiopia, the life of the hospital compound in which they grow up and the love story of their adopted parents, both doctors at Missing. The boys become doctors as well and Varghese’s weaving of the practice of medicine into the narrative is fascinating even as the story bobs and weaves with the power and coincidences of the best 19th-century novel. (Review from Publishers Weekly)
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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

June Staff Selection from Michele

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. (Syndetics™, a Bowker service)
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The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht


March Staff Selection from Shelly

In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself. (www.goodreads.com)

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Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay

March Staff Selection from Pat

Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon — but has not — in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered. Thomas's brother, Ray, takes care of him, cooking for him, dealing with the outside world on his behalf, and listening to his intricate and increasingly paranoid theories. When Thomas tells Ray what he has seen, Ray humors him with a half-hearted investigation. But Ray soon realizes he and his brother have stumbled onto a deadly conspiracy.
(www.powells.com)
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Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg


December Staff Selection from Jan

Ginsberg has delighted readers with her candor and humor in three popular memoirs, including Raising Blaze (2002). She now brings her wit and pinpoint psychology to fiction in a gleefully caustic tale that is not so much a whodunit as a who-wrote-it. Ginsberg's heat-seeking novel tracks the high-anxiety misadventures of Angel Montgomery, a book lover who becomes a badgered assistant to an extravagantly cruel, histrionic, and elaborately attired literary agent, Lucy Fiamamma. Yes, this is the book-world version of The Devil Wears Prada (2003), albeit more artful. Blind submissions are manuscripts sent in cold to the agency, while Lucy's staff practices a stunned compliance one might describe as blind submission. Angel is learning to hold steady under Lucy's onslaughts, but she is growing alarmed over the creepy parallels between her life and Blind Submission, an anonymously authored mystery set in a literary agency and sent to her in e-mailed installments. Is the author her wannabe writer boyfriend? Her angry, possibly deranged coworker? An affectionate skewering of the ludicrous side of the book business and a claws-out send-up of the perversities of power, Ginsberg's blithe blend of mystery, romance, and satire is smart, classy, and fun. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2006 Booklist
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River's End by Nora Roberts

December Staff Selection from Michele

Olivia's parents had been one of Hollywood's glittering golden couples...until the night the monster came. The monster who destroyed their beautiful home and took her mother away from her forever. The monster with the face of her father... Now a young woman, Olivia finds her memory of that night has faded. Her mother's grieving family spared no effort to keep Olivia safe from the publicity, sending her to grow up in the beautiful natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest. But despite the terror, and the years that have passed, a part of her still yearns to recall those horrifying events, to know the truth about her childhood. With the help of a young writer named Noah Brady, she could have the chance. The son of the police officer who found Olivia cowering in her bedroom closet so many years ago, Noah wants to reconstruct that infamous night -- and tell the story that has become a part of Hollywood history. With Noah, Olivia has the opportunity to confront her tragic past -- and the longings in her own lonely heart. But before she can confront her past, she must safeguard her future. For in this haven of forestland, this remote corner of the country, the monster walks again.... --provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service
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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

September Staff Selection from Tim

Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology that challenged the rational model of judgment and decision making, is one of our most important thinkers. Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities--and also the faults and biases--of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation--each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives--and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.
--provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service
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Outliers by Malcolm Gradwell

September Staff Selection from Jan

Now that he's gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential.
--Review from Publishers Weekly.
Outliers

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt


July Staff Selection from Tim

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city is certain to become a modern classic.
--provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service

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The Once and Future King by T. H. White


July Staff Selection from Julie

White's Arthurian series is the standard by which all serious twentieth-century treatments of the legendary saga are judged. Richly imagined and unfailingly eloquent and entertaining, its appeal is timeless and universal. If a reader reads only one Arthurian tale, let this be it.
--provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service

T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.
--From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association.
The Once and Future King

Last Train to Paradise by Les Standiford


May Staff Selection from Jan

Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean is acclaimed South Florida novelist Les Standiford’s fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West extension of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway. In celebration of the railroad’s centennial, this commemorative hardcover edition is richly illustrated with more than 150 images from the Flagler Museum archives. This well-researched treatise is published by the Flagler Museum and features a sumptuous silver foil embossed cloth cover.
                                                                                                 --provided by www.flaglermuseum.us


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Pilates for Every Body by Denise Austin


May Staff Selection from Margaret

Pilates for Every Body makes this conditioning technique available to anyone, regardless of his or her fitness level. Denise Austin offers readers full-body workouts that require only a mat, chair, and towel or blanket. Austin explains how and why Pilates can benefit everyone in various ways to strengthen, lengthen, and tone muscles; improve flexibility, balance, and posture; control breathing; calm the mind; and give an improved sense of well-being. Austin leads the reader through a series of continuously linked moves, photographed at each stage, making it easy to follow. Along the way, she demonstrates the two breaths in, two breaths out technique she perfected in her practice. For each move, Austin offers visualizations and other tips to achieve the correct posture for each pose. In a feature not found in other Pilates books, Austin includes mini-routines to help readers get into condition fast and target specific problem areas. Also included are special tips for beginners or out-of-shape individuals, or those with back problems or stiff, painful joints and other problems.
                                --provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service
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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson


March Staff Selection from Edenia

You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart. The Major’s brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?

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Walden by Henry David Thoreau


March Staff Selection from Tim


On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into the cabin he had built on the shore of Walden Pond. Thoreau writes, "How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book?" For many readers, Walden is that book. Written a century and a half ago, it grows more meaningful every day, and whether you are reading it for the first time or the hundredth, Walter Harding's insightful comments will open your eyes to the true depths of this masterpiece.




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The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon


January Staff Selection from Julie


In 1968, Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African-American deaf man, are locked away in an institution. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone--Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia--lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.  -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.
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Real Murders by Charlaine Harris


January Staff Selection from Michele

Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side--and crime buffs. One of whom is Aurora Roe Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club. Twenty-eight-year-old Aurora (Roe) Teagarden, professional librarian, belongs to the Real Murders club, a group of 12 enthusiasts who gather monthly to study famous baffling or unsolved crimes. It's a harmless pastime--until one of the Club's members is killed.  -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.


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The Gendarme by Mark Mustian


November Staff Selection from Edenia


What would you do if the love of your life, and all your memories, were lost- only to reappear, but with such shocking revelations that you wish you had never remembered... Emmett Conn is an old man, near the end of his life. A World War I veteran, he's been affected by memory loss since being injured during the war. To those around him, he's simply a confused man, fading in and out of senility. But what they don't know is that Emmett has been beset by memories, of events he and others have denied or purposely forgotten. In Emmett's dreams he's a gendarme, escorting Armenians from Turkey. Mark Mustian has written a remarkable novel about the power of memory-and the ability of people, individually and collectively, to forget. Depicting how love can transcend nationalities, politics, and religion, how racism creates divisions where none truly exist, and how the human spirit fights to survive even in the face of hopelessness, The Gendarme is a transcendent novel.  -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.
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Clapton: The Autobiography

 

by Eric Clapton

November Staff Selection from Tim

"I found a pattern in my behavior that had been repeating itself for years, decades even. Bad choices were my specialty, and if something honest and decent came along, I would shun it or run the other way." With striking intimacy and candor, Eric Clapton tells the story of his eventful and inspiring life in this poignant and honest autobiography. More than a rock star, he is an icon, a living embodiment of the history of rock music. Well known for his reserve in a profession marked by self-promotion, flamboyance, and spin, he now chronicles, for the first time, his remarkable personal and professional journeys. Clapton is the powerfully written story of a survivor, a man who has achieved the pinnacle of success despite extraordinary demons. It is one of the most compelling memoirs of our time. -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.
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The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano


September Staff Selection from Jan


When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others--everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it's a dangerous thrill that Melody can't resist. He's insistent that she's just a pawn in the government's war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?   -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.
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The Gorgeously Green Diet

 

by Sophie Uliano

September Staff Selection from Margaret

The bestselling author of Gorgeously Green returns with a simple and budget-conscious plan for waist management. Green guru and ecolicious consultant Sophie Uliano has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, The View , and other national television shows; her first book, Gorgeously Green , is a New York Times bestseller. And now, with The Gorgeously Green Diet , Sophie shows how to love food, live healthily, lose weight, and save money and the planet. Uliano offers three different lean and green eating plans-Light Green, Bright Green, and Deep Green. Each offers a cornucopia of the healthiest and most gorgeous food you've ever eaten as well as the secret to being healthy and staying that way. You'll learn how to reduce your impact on the environment by following the plan and how the Gorgeously Green Diet will improve your overall health. There are money- saving tips, including how to cook a healthy organic meal for five on less than it would cost to eat at Burger King, as well as nearly one hundred recipes and a gentle exercise plan. Readers can take the pledge to become green and lean, ask questions, and get support. This is the celebration of food, the planet, and healthy bodies that Sophie's many fans have been waiting for. -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.
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The Murder's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers


May Staff Selection from Pat


Lulu and Merry, ages ten and six, respectively, live with parents for whom marriage is a permanent battleground. One summer day in 1971, their father fatally stabs their mother in their Brooklyn apartment near Coney Island. Merry is also attacked but survives. When their father goes to jail, the sisters are shuffled from relatives to a group home to foster care. Lulu forever blames herself for her father's crimes, and Merry inexplicably continues to carry a torch for her father. How will they come to terms with their horrific past? Readers will follow them well into adulthood, hoping for the best. First novelist Meyers draws on the eight years she worked at a batterer intervention program. Much like Janet Fitch's White Oleander or Jacqueline Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean, her book takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Readers, get out your handkerchief and prepare to care. -Keddy Ann Outlaw, Houston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.   
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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

 


May Staff Selection from Jan



If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man.
- Publishers Weekly (May) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
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The Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor


March Staff Selection from Chris


Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice. At least until he meets Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly. An Irish Country Doctor is a charming and engrossing tale that will captivate readers from the very first page—and leave them yearning to visit the Irish countryside of days gone by. -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.

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Love in the Time of Cholera by García Márquez, Gabriel 

March Staff Selection from Margaret



While delivering a message to her father, Florentino Ariza spots the barely pubescent Fermina Daza and immediately falls in love. What follows is the story of a passion that extends over 50 years, as Fermina is courted solely by letter, decisively rejects her suitor when he first speaks, and then joins the urbane Dr. Juvenal Urbino, much above her station, in a marriage initially loveless but ultimately remarkable in its strength. Florentino remains faithful in his fashion; paralleling the tale of the marriage is that of his numerous liaisons, all ultimately without the depth of love he again declares at Urbino's death. In substance and style not as fantastical, as mythologizing, as the previous works, this is a compelling exploration of the myths we make of love. -Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.
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A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

January Staff Selection from Wendy


Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration,A Walk in the Woodsis destined to become a modern classic of travel literature. -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.

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Lottery by Patricia Wood

January Staff Selection from Jan



A first novel told from the perspective of a mentally limited man caught up in forces beyond his control. Perry L. Crandall ("L" for Lucky) isn't retarded—he'll tell you so. His beloved Gram tells him being slow isn't a bad thing; he'll get where he needs to go in his own time. She also warns Perry about whom to trust in the world, and especially to value his own abilities and instincts. After Gram dies, his absent mother and siblings swindle him out of the house she left him. Under the protective eyes of his boss Gary, Vietnam vet Keith and convenience-store clerk Cherry, Perry settles into a new routine on the waterfront in Everett, Wash. He has a job at Holsted's Marine Supply, an apartment over the shop, and he takes weekly trips to the Handy Mart to buy lottery tickets. When one ticket pays off with $12 million, Perry is plunged into a new world of fame, wealth and false friends. Predictably, his avaricious family members plot to get their hands on his fortune, but Perry's well-meaning friends are equally worrisome as they happily help him fritter away his winnings and offer amateurish if well-intentioned advice. Tired of the constant pressure for him to sign his Power, as he calls the power-of-attorney document, Perry makes a surprising decision that settles for good the problem of his family and the money. Wood does a good job of scene setting, and the tension around whether—or when—Perry will be swindled out of his money makes the middle of the book a page turner. At the same time, the narrative voice is rather flat, and some of the developments are unrealistic. A thought-provoking idea imperfectly executed. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison

November Staff Selection from Pat



Jamison's beautifully written debut follows independent young New Yorker Stella and her estranged aunt Tilly as they form some version of a family. Stella is disenchanted with her life and job as a journalist's personal assistant; Tilly is a professional lost soul, a former prostitute, and an unsuccessful recovering alcoholic. To all appearances, Stella is the savior, finding Tilly, who's been shunned by the family, to rescue her; but through alternating first-person accounts, the reader grows to view the two women as equals. Their experiences with men especially mirror one another's; Tilly has merely had worse luck. Stella describes wanting a man, "any man, who could offer his face as a label for my loneliness"; later, recalling men she's been with, Tilly says, "most of them I didn't even like that much, but they seemed like the easiest way to change my own life." The relationship between Stella and Tilly is compelling, as are their relationships with auxiliary characters, like Stella's brother and Tilly's son, but what truly drives the novel is Jamison's gorgeous prose. -Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

November Staff Selection from Julie



Presenting a thrilling new voice in children's literature-a witty, gripping adventure story featuring a boy and his not-so-tame djinni. Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all: summoning the all-powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt. Set in a modern-day London spiced with magicians and mayhem, this extraordinary, funny, pitch-perfect thriller will dazzle the myriad fans of Artemis Fowl and the His Dark Materials trilogy. -distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.
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