Staff Picks - April 2017

    • The Burning World
      Isaac Marion

      This is the action-packed sequel to "Warm Bodies," which was made into a major motion picture several years ago.  I like it better than the first novel, because it feels like an action movie that happens to have zombies in it. 

    • Difficult Women
      Roxane Gay

      This is a beautifully written collection of short stories that explores the lives, loves, and struggles of women. Each story is moving and poignant in its own way. The women in these stories have dealt with loss, hardships, discrimination, and more, but they have also found love, hope, and methods of coping. This collection is heartbreaking at times, but Gay’s writing is so good that it’s worth a little sadness. - Amanda

    • Books for Living
      Will Schwalbe

      It’s always a treat to read a book about the power of reading and Schwalbe writes a compelling one. The author of “The End of Your Life Book Club” writes this new book of essays all about how books can help us with specific challenges we face in our modern life. Each essay is a beautifully written testament to the power of books as recipes to change lives. - Cat

    • The Amateurs
      Sara Shepard

      This new YA mystery combines teen detectives, a cold case murder, and a wealthy East Coast town with plenty of scandals to uncover.  I loved this book for its quick pace and quirky characters – plus an ending I kind of saw coming but then didn’t and did again. A mix of Shepard’s  Pretty Little Liars + TV’s Veronica Mars + E. Lockhart’s “We Were Liars”. It’s like a good pizza - super cheesy but thoroughly enjoyable. - Maddie

    • Darth Vader. Vol. 1, Vader
      Kieron Gillen

      The first in a four volume series about Darth Vader. The story begins just after the destruction of the first Death Star, as Darth Vader seeks to restore his good standing in the eyes of the Emperor after this embarrassing defeat. This series is an excellent read for any Star Wars fan, delving into Darth Vader's darkness with ingenuity and providing a fascinating backstory to this portion of the Star Wars story. - Carrie 

    • The Course of Love
      Alain De Botton

      This novel explores romantic love after the first moments of passion and excitement, taking off where the "happily ever after" begins. What happens to love through the alternating dullness and stress of ordinary life?  What does it really take to maintain a marriage? How does love change? This book is intense both emotionally and philosophically, but still approachable. - Carrie

    • The Travelers
      Chris Pavone

      After being seduced by a woman while on assignment overseas, travel writer Will Rhodes is forced to become a CIA asset. What follows is a thrill ride of secrets, intrigue, and a fast-moving plot as Will begins to question everything around him. He wonders…who are his friends, who are his enemies, and who he is really working for? - Stephanie

    • Pachinko
      Min Jin Lee

      Pachinko’s beautiful cover shows a close up of the game for which the novel is named. A game of chance, it is a fitting title as it reflects the many uncertainties surrounding the character’s decisions.  Sunja, young, pregnant and newly married, leaves Korea on the cusp of WWII for Japan in hopes of a better future. The novel explores racial tensions between Koreans and Japanese, the fear and distrust between them. More than its extraordinary historical context, I enjoyed the reimagining of home, family and belonging and the novel’s beautiful and heartbreaking portrayal of their pursuit. - Michelle

    • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
      Gabrielle Zevin

      A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.

    • In This Grave Hour (Maisie Dobbs, bk 13)
      Jacqueline Winspear

      In This Grave Hour combined two things I love – mysteries during World War II and one of my favorite detectives.  If you haven’t read the other Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear, start at the beginning, but if you’ve been a fan for a while, dive right in! - Sandy

    • So You've Been Publicly Shamed
      Jon Ronson

      Scary things happen when people are given a little anonymity – they are empowered to publicly shame others for unfortunate or just plain stupid posts or mistakes that we all have made!  Beware of what you post – it may haunt you for years!  An upcoming AViD program (April 12th).  This book is simultaneously powerful and hilarious. It is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.

    • The Nightingale
      Kristin Hannah

      I don’t normally read historical fiction, but a friend’s recommendation led me to pick this one up. What a powerful, thought-provoking story about the impact WWII had on women and children. Set in France, the book follows two strong sisters on their journey of love and survival. This book changed the way I think of war.

    • A Study in Charlotte
      Brittany Cavallaro

      In this book, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are not fictional characters but a historical detective team. The Holmes and Watson family have turned from trusted allies to bitter rivals as time marched forward, but now their great-great-great grandchildren, Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes find themselves attending the same Connecticut prep school. Charlotte and Jamie plan on keeping their distance from one another until a murder is committed at the school and they are the prime suspects. Charlotte and Jamie must now team up and do what Holmes and Watson do best, solve a murder. - Sarah

    • Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
      Yuval Noah Harari

      With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.  As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century--from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers?

    • Etched in Bone: A Novel of the Others
      Anne Bishop

      In the fifth book of the Others series, humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves.  A New York Times bestseller.

    • The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter
      David Sax

      A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We've begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, records, and stationery have become cool again. Sax's work reveals a deep truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with first-rate reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life-and the robust future of the real world outside it.

    • How to be a Tudor
      Ruth Goodman

      Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions, Goodman serves as our intrepid guide to sixteenth-century living. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this charming, illustrative work celebrates the ordinary lives of those who labored through the era.

    • Attack on Titan (graphic/manga series)
      Hajime Isayama

      If you enjoy zombies, action, mysteries, sci-fi and don't mind a bit of gore, you will enjoy the manga series Attack on Titan! Manga is a type of Japanese-style drawing, and the animation that accompanies it is Anime. If you enjoy reading Attack on Titan, you should also check out the anime; season 1 now streaming!