March 2014

The Martian

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The Martian: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804139021
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Crown - February 11th, 2014

Looking for a man who's smart, funny, and not bad at growing potatoes in a crisis? Look inside. If there's anyone who's perfect for getting stuck on Mars by himself, it's Mark Watney. His wry humor and engineers-can-fix-anything approach to survival drive this interplanetary Robinson Crusoe. (Also, Josh approved.)



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Ball Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547759364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - April 2nd, 2013

THE book for anyone who has ever loved a dog who loved a toy.  Ball! or ball? thinks the obsessive pooch and his world is complete while his young owner is there to throw it for him.  But when she leaves for school he has to amuse himself until she returns - to mixed success.  The drawings of the dog, overweight, highly expressive and drooling, are a masterpiece in the power of a few cleverly placed lines to illustrate emotion and the love in the three way relationship of dog-girl-ball is touching.



Whispers Underground

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Whispers Under Ground (Rivers of London #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345524614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - July 31st, 2012

Starting with Midnight Riot, Aaronovitch has created his own genre of supernatural crime novel, sort of grown up Harry Potter meets CSI: London, and it's really funny and really well done.  Whispers Underground is the third in the series and begins with the death of an American exchange student in the London Underground system. Quintessentially British in its self-deprecating humor and flamboyant one-liners, the narrative voice is fresh but cynical, and the recurring characters both magical and very human.   I for one, want more.



The Secret Rooms

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The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

Downton Abbey this is not, yet neither is the mystery concealed in the gothic castle quite the horror story one expects.  Bailey does a magnificent research job in her quest to go through the copious amounts of never seen letters and material belonging locked away at Belvoir Castle in the early twentieth century and discover exactly what the then Duke of Rutland was trying to conceal.  The lengths this branch of the aristocracy were willing to go to in order to preserve their lineage is a tale of 'class obsession, hypocrisy and constipated emotion' and the narrative is peopled with fascinating characters capable of more depth and deception than Masterpiece Theatre often provides.



Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs, by Paul Koudounaris

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Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500251959
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Thames & Hudson - October 8th, 2013

Worth it for the pictures alone, scholar Koudounaris fleshes out a strange little corner of Catholic history- that of the skeletal remains of martyrs that were dressed and ornamented as a response by the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformation. Read about the skeletons, what they meant to the communities that hosted them and how they ended up. Fascinating!


Jacob’s Folly

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Jacob's Folly: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250043603
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: Picador - February 25th, 2014

Jacob Cerf is an 18th century French peddler who dies and comes back to life as a fly on the wall- literally- in the lives of two modern day New Yorkers- Les, a good guy frustrated with his life, and Masha, an Orthodox Jew struggling with hers. Rebecca Miller brings her characters to live with sparkle and verve. A winner, and one of my favorites of 2013.


An Officer and A Spy

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An Officer and a Spy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385349581
Availability: Hard to Find--Contact us for More Info
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 28th, 2014

Bestselling author Robert Harris (Fatherland) explores in novel form the legendary Dreyfus Affair through the character of George Picquot, a diehard military man who begins to suspect that Dreyfus was framed.  Jewish and wealthy, Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason on trumped up evidence and Picquot’s investigation leads to many disturbing conclusions, both political and social.  C’est honteux!


Painted Cities

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Painted Cities Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938073809
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: McSweeney's - March 11th, 2014

Childlike imagination and gritty gang-filled reality follow and pass each other like speeding cars on a highway in this debut collection of short stories. With a voice that replicate both the deluded machismo of gangsters and the quiet sensitivity of despairing poets considering the desperation of urban poverty, Galaviz-Budzisewski’s stories explore friendship, family, hope, and desperation in vibrant and intoxicating prose. Chicago now has its own Junot Diaz.


The Spinning Heart

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The Spinning Heart: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781586422240
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Steerforth - February 25th, 2014

Squarely in the great Irish tradition of magnificent writing about hardship, rage, longing and fear, this debut novel is set in recession-smitten Ireland about five years ago.  Its 21 chapters are narrated by 21 different characters, each with a unique and piercing voice.  The writing is rhythmic, raw, often comic and always brilliant. The book won a slew of awards in Ireland and the UK, and is just published in the US.



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