Staff Picks

Walk on the Wild Side

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A Walk on the Wild Side: A Novel Cover Image
By Nelson Algren, Russell Banks (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780374525323
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 24th, 1998

Oh, the raw and wonderful goodies to be had in this social realist vaudeville!  Algren's depression Texas & New Orleans was too harsh when it first appeared, but nowadays on the far side of McCarthy, Crews, Bukowski and any number of other poets of the demi-monde (and the weird South), the book stands as a vernacular classic.


Prisoner of Heaven

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The Prisoner of Heaven: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062206282
Availability: Hard to Find--Contact us for More Info
Published: Harper - July 10th, 2012

Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author of the international bestselling novels The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game, has struck again with his latest book: The Prisoner of Heaven.  Threading the two previous novels with his new one, Ruiz Zafon has created a world of dark secrets and unrelenting intrigue bringing light to a hidden history that is both shocking and exciting.


The Moonflower Vine

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The Moonflower Vine: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061673238
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Harper Perennial - March 24th, 2009

The Moonflower Vine is about a family gathering to celebrate their parents’ marriage. Four girls come of age in Depression-era Missouri; author Jetta Carleton lays bare their secrets, their shames and the love that pulses through their veins. She crafts for them rich interior lives showing how each is touched by and wields passions with the power to redefine their lives. It's one of those special books I just want to press into the hands of everyone I know.


A Foreign Country

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A Foreign Country Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312591335
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 7th, 2012

Charles Cumming begins his tale with the newly appointed head of England’s M16, who happens to be the first female chief spy, has gone missing, a young accountant is kidnapped and an elderly couple are tragically murdered.  This is a cunning story with many twists and turns before this highly successful novel comes to an end.  The Scandinavians may currently have all the attention, but this is one terrific English spy caper.

Jane D

You & Me

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You & Me: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062126139
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: Ecco - July 31st, 2012

The utter joy of shooting the breeze on the porch with a couple of crotchety intelligent old codgers. Inventive, funny, and profound, Powell turns phrases like a dervish in this Southern styled ersatz retelling of Waiting for Godot. A wonderful book that perfectly captures kicking back and trying to make sense of and chuckle at the crazy world streaming by.


Yes, Chef

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Yes, Chef: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385342605
Availability: Hard to Find--Contact us for More Info
Published: Random House - June 26th, 2012

Samuelsson's memoir is so much more than a book for "foodies". His unique background (an Ethiopian being raised by white parents in Sweden) sensitizes him to the blending of cultures. His approach is to use flavors to accomplish this. Yes, Chef deals with the culinary world as well as the concept of origins and home and family. It is a very engaging, fast-paced memoir that makes you want to go to Red Rooster immediately and leaves you with great affection for Marcus Samuelsson. Delicious!


The Nun

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The Nun Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609450625
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: Europa Editions - December 27th, 2011

The Nun belongs with Italophiles and historical fiction readers. Agata, in love and confined to a nunnery in the 19th century, struggles with her vocation and desire for worldly engagement while politics and social changes stream around her. Hornby includes colorful detail about convent life, Italian religious celebrations and the social customs of the time. What makes the book is Agata's complexity. Sometimes she finds contentment in ritual and a preordained life; other times, she works hard to find a way out. You'll have to read the book to find out her ultimate fate!


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Cover Image
By William Joyce, William Joyce (Illustrator), Joe Bluhm (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442457027
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - June 19th, 2012

When Mr. Lessmore’s home is upended, he wanders the wide world until “a happy bit of happenstance” sends him in the right direction.  A powerful celebration of books and storytelling, this adaptation of the Academy Award winning film is a great choice for children of all ages.  Even the youngest readers will delight in the gorgeous illustrations—they’re so detailed you can see dust motes floating in the sun beams of Lessmore’s library.


Tiger Lily

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Tiger Lily Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062003256
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: HarperCollins - July 3rd, 2012

A retelling of Peter Pan, but from the perspective of bold, noncomformist Tiger Lily. Tiger Lily belongs to one of the many groups of people living on the island of Neverland. She has always heard that Peter Pan and the Lost Boys are dangerous, but when she and Peter Pan cross paths, the two begin a relationship that runs deeper than friendship. This book casts Barrie's original story in a whole new light.


Outer Dark

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Outer Dark (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679728733
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Vintage - June 29th, 1993

Poleaxed by Blood Meridian?  Outer Dark is from McCarthy's earlier Appalachian cycle (Suttree: the truly shocking Child of God), and there is already the strange integrity of animalistic primitives, prose you can roll around in and a near-mystic, received evil menacing everything.  Possibly the closest of his works to approach Meridian.


Train Dreams

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Train Dreams: A Novella Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250007650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - May 22nd, 2012

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, this novella is a brilliant portrait of the American character in all its complexities and contradictions. Though the story only tells the tiny slice of American life as experienced by Robert Grainier, the language and images of that story paint a beautiful, compelling, and universal picture.