Staff Picks - December 2018

    • The Bonanza King
      Gregory Crouch

      A readable book telling the life of a penniless Irish immigrant who became one of the richest men in America, but kept a common touch. Great insights into the Gold Rush, telegraph and railroad development, as well as the boom-and-bust Comstock Lode. - Richard

    • Cherry
      Nico Walker

      A young middle-class man falls in love, goes to war, comes home, becomes a heroin addict, and starts robbing banks to pay for his fix. This is a work of fiction, but Walker wrote it while in prison after his life followed a similar path. This timely novel explores, in raw, often unsettling detail, the horrors of war and the horrors of drug addiction, and how the deep traumas of both can overlap in a modern America seemingly unprepared to deal with either.

    • Circe
      Madeline Miller

      A retelling of the Greek tale of the banished witch daughter of the Titans. With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense,Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

    • City of Ink
      Elsa Hart

      Forced to return home to unravel the mystery surrounding his mentor's execution, Li Du confronts painful memories while investigating a double murder, the secrets of several Beijing residents and threats against his safety. An enthralling mystery set in 18th century China, the third in the Li Du series.

    • The Cold Dish
      Craig Johnson

      This is the first book in the series which is the basis for Longmire, the hit Netflix drama. After twenty-four years as sheriff, Walt, along with Deputy Victoria Moretti and lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, is embroiled in the most volatile and challenging case of his career. He might be the only thing standing between three boys and a Sharps .45-70 buffalo rifle. Wyoming resident Johnson fills the vast emptiness of the high plains with a cast both tragic and humorous and brings a unique landscape and its people to life with mesmerizing authenticity.

    • Fight or Flight
      Samantha Young

      I don't normally read contemporary romance, but when I do it is usually a Samantha Young novel. Her latest romance did not disappoint. Tempers fly as the protagonists meet in an airport after their flight has been cancelled. Antagonism turns to chemistry as a series of chance encounters after the plane lands leads to a new romance. – Sarah L.

    • Her Body and Other Parties
      Carmen Maria Machado

      Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction. Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction.

    • The Invention of Wings
      Sue Monk Kidd

      This book, told over a period of thirty-five years, alternates between the viewpoints of Sarah, daughter of a Charleston plantation owner, and Hettie, the slave gifted to her as a personal servant. Sarah struggles with being the black sheep of the family. Hettie struggles with wanting to be free. This is a very moving book about the horrors of slavery and the unlikely friendship of two girls. - Katy

    • Palaces for the People
      Eric Klinenberg

      An eminent sociologist explains how the resilience of communities can be found not only in shared values but in such shared spaces as libraries, child-care centers, and gardens that enable life-transforming human connections. Offers an inspiring blueprint for rebuilding our fractured society – and safeguarding democracy.

    • The Ravenmaster
      Christopher Skaife

      Legend has it that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, the city will fall. So, the title of Ravenmaster is an important one. This is the first behind-the-scenes account of life with the legendary ravens from the man who cares for them. Skeife shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the birds while shining a light on their behavior and the tricks they play. The result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.

    • The Secrets She Keeps
      Michael Robotham

      An unlikely friendship between two pregnant women from different sides of the social spectrum asks the question “how far would you go to create the perfect family?”. The secrets they hold are shocking and life changing. This was a dark, twisted, heart wrenching thriller that I couldn’t put down. It lifted me out of my book slump and I’ll be reading more of Mr. Robotham! - Bekki

    • The Sun Does Shine
      Anthony Ray Hinton

      I just finished listening to this on audiobook and it was amazing. It’s a powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man's freedom, but you can't take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

    • Theft of Swords
      Michael J. Sullivan

      I recently read the entire Riyria Revelations series which begins with this collected volume of the first two books. When a pair of talented and entertaining thieves are accused of murdering a king, they end up collecting a lively band of heroes to save the world of humans. Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun.

    • Transcription
      Kate Atkinson

      In WWII era London, Juliet Armstrong is working as an espionage monitor for MI5. Ten years later she suddenly finds herself targeted by dangerous individuals from her past. For fans of smart, witty, suspenseful, historical or spy fiction and authors like Tana French, Laurie R. King, and John Le Carre.