Staff Picks - May 2017

    • Lincoln in the Bardo
      George Saunders

      One of the most original and compelling books I’ve read in quite some time. It’s a blend of actual history with some pretty wild fantasy, so I would recommend it to adventurous readers with open minds. Readers who enjoy reading about Abraham Lincoln would find it especially interesting.

    • The Girl Before
      J P Delaney

      This is another thriller in the age of books with "girl" in the title, and it's just as compelling as its predecessors. The book alternates between the past and present, telling the tale of two different women who choose to move into a house with an eccentric architect and strange rules. As the story builds, we find both women inadvertently following the same dangerous path. This was a book I did not want to put down, and the unpredictable ending made it all the more enjoyable. - Amanda

    • Manuscript Found in Accra
      Paulo Coehlo

      This book was given to me as a birthday present a couple of years ago. It was my first book by this author and I have loved him ever since! It offers insights and life lessons that I could quote over and over again--worthy of being printed and hung on the walls in my home. I recommend it for any Coehlo lovers; for those that have never read the author, this is a great place to start! --Marlu

    • The Handmaid's Tale
      Margaret Atwood

      Offred, a handmaid living in a near-future time, endures life in a society in which women able to bear children are used for procreation. They have no rights and are completely dependent upon men. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.... The seminal work of speculative fiction from the Booker Prize-winning author, soon to be a Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, and Joseph Fiennes. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.

    • Chains
      Laurie Halse Anderson

      Chains is the start of an historical fiction trilogy.  Isabel is an enslaved teenager in Revolutionary era New York.  She tries to protect her younger sister, and spies on the British forces through the family that owns her.  This first volume is told in her own words.  Forge, the second volume is told in the words of Curzon, a boy who helps her and who tries to understand what freedom is about as a Black soldier at Valley Forge.

    • Mississippi Blood
      Greg Iles

      An epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present, Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making--one that has kept readers on the edge of their seats. With piercing insight, narrative prowess, and a masterful ability to blend history and imagination, Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a highly atmospheric and suspenseful novel that delivers the shocking resolution his fans have eagerly awaited.

    • Without Warning: a J.B. Collins Novel
      Joel Rosenberg

      A New York Times war correspondent is on a quest to stop a terrorist, Abu Kahlif.  Non-stop action and a very surprising ending.  Great reading. - Tim

    • Midnight Crossroad
      Charlaine Harris

      This book is the first in a relatively new series by Charlaine Harris, author of the popular Sookie Stackhouse and Aurora Teagarden novels. Psychic Manfred Bernardo moves to the mysterious town of Midnight, Texas in search of a secluded place to do his work and soon discovers that there is more to the town than meets the eye. It's part mystery, part fantasy, and a little bit romance. While the plots are interesting and engaging, what I enjoyed the most was the many vibrant characters and the great world Harris creates, which is like our own, but not quite. - Carrie

    • Astonishing X-Men. Vol. 1, Gifted
      Joss Whedon

      Do you love the X-Men movies but have no idea where to start with the comic books? Look no further than the Astonishing X-Men series by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. This series makes for an easy entrance into the comic book world and has fantastic writing and art that will draw you into to the X-men world. - Sarah L.

    • Just Fly Away
      Andrew McCarthy

      Yes, this is the same Andrew McCarthy-former teenage heartthrob from the 80's.  This is his debut novel and is in the Teen genre.  Due to a 15 year old girl discovering that her father has a child from a brief affair, she questions everything she has ever known about her home life.  She begins an escape plan to visit her estranged Grandfather to try and learn from him the family's secrets and lies. - Luann

    • Magic for Nothing: an Incryptid Novel
      Seanan McGuire

      A witty urban fantasy series that follows the Price family, cryptozoologists who've spent generations studying the "monsters" of the world, working to protect them from humans -- and humans from them.  There are three children in this generation and the first five titles focused on the older two (Verity and Alexander).  This sixth book features the youngest, Antimony, as she goes undercover to infiltrate the secret society dedicated to destroying all monsters and who want to track down and destroy the Prices too.  I'd recommend starting at the beginning of this amusing series with Discount Armageddon.  Each sibling is unique and the stories are fast, funny and snarky. - Carla

    • The Wars of the Roses: the Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors
      Dan Jones

      The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets , celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors.  Some of the greatest heroes and villains of history were thrown together in these turbulent times, from Joan of Arc to Henry V, and Richard III. This was a period when headstrong queens and consorts seized power and bent men to their will. With vivid descriptions this dramatic narrative history revels in bedlam and intrigue. It also offers a long-overdue corrective to Tudor propaganda, dismantling their self-serving account of what they called the Wars of the Roses.  This is the historical backdrop to the Game of Thrones series.

    • Cardboard
      Doug TenNapel

      Cam's dad is down on his luck and can only give his son a cardboard box for his birthday.  They use the box to sculpt a boxer named Bill, who comes to life since the cardboard is magic.  When the local bully steals the cardboard generator he uses it to create monsters who threaten the neighbood, including their creator.  This is an exciting, action-packed graphic novel with plenty of humor and heart.  And the art, by the creator of Earthworm Jim, is detailed, colorful, and just unbelievably good. - Cat

    • Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories
      Mariana Enriquez

      Enriquez weaves together fear of the supernatural with the true horror of a country living in political and social unrest, to create a truly eerie tapestry of short stories. This book kept me up at night for two reasons: it was creepy and I couldn't put it down. The author writes with such heart and compassion for her characters, even amidst the most gruesome of situations.

    • Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel
      Kimberly Willis Holt

      I just finished this children's fiction book.  It was very good!  It is about a 13-yr. old girl who loses her parents in an accident, and has to go live with her grandfather in a different state.