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Books With Buzz
Check out these recent releases that are generating buzz in the book world.
The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Söderberg: Breaking her personal code to date a charming patient, Sophie Brinkmann discovers that he is the head of a powerful international crime organization warring against a ruthless German syndicate.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker: Combining elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, this stunning debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures, Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, who form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson: Ursula Todd is born on a cold snowy night in 1910 — twice. As she grows up during the first half of the twentieth century in Britain Ursula dies and is brought back to life again and again. With a seemingly infinite number of lives it appears as though Ursula has the ability to alter the history of the world, should she so choose.
A look at some of the books staff are currently reading and enjoying.
- A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. Fascinated by dragons since childhood, Lady Isabella Trent devotes her time and considerable energy to the study of natural history, thus defying convention in the alternate Victorian England in which she lives, a society that discourages women from pursuing scientific careers. But when her intellect attracts the notice of famed explorer Lord Hilford, who invites her to join his expedition to the mountains of Vystrana in search of rock-wyrms, Lady Isabella will finally have the chance to prove herself to the world. Containing illustrations that enhance the novel's intricate world-building, A Natural History of Dragons artfully combines fantasy, alternate history, and elements of mystery.
- City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster. Nisha lives in the City of a Thousand Dolls, a remote estate where orphan girls in the Empire become apprentices as musicians, healers, and courtesans, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. When girls begin to die, Nisha begins to uncover the secrets that surround the deathers--jeopardizing not only her own future within the City but her own life
- Born on a Mountaintop: On the Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier by Bob Thompson. To many people (thanks mostly to Disney), Davy Crockett was a coonskin-hat-wearing "king of the wild frontier." But he was also a U.S. Congressman who probably didn't wear a lot of animal skins to work. The colorful details of his life (and his death at the Alamo) have been clouded by legends, oral history, and movie-makers, and in Born on a Mountaintop, author Bob Thompson describes his efforts to unearth the real David Crockett. In addition to visiting locations key to Crockett's life (including his Tennessee River Valley home and the Alamo), Thompson consults with experts, reads a ton of written accounts, and even crosses paths with Paul Bunyan and Daniel Boone (or at least their legends). Entertaining and well-researched, this is a great introduction to an American legend.
- World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. World War Z is the ultimate zombiefest. If you want to know what causes zombies, how they spread, what will stop them, and effective strategic warfare methods against them, author Max Brooks provides the best documentary study available, though it's somewhat fragmentary because post-war devastation makes it difficult to interview some of the key people. Keep this "infectious and compelling" (Library Journal) reference on hand for when the next zombie invasion begins. Refer to Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide for more information.
Staff Picks - Non-Fiction 2012
The weather outside is definitely frightful so take the opportunity to curl up with a good book. Not sure what to read? We've put together a list of some of our favorite non-fiction from 2012:
- Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson. The Top Chef: Masters winner and James Beard Award-winning proprietor of Harlem's Red Rooster traces his Ethiopian birth, upbringing by an adoptive family in Sweden and rise to a famous New York chef, sharing personal insights into his challenges as a black man in a deeply prejudiced industry. Read the first chapter.
- The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling by Quinn Cummings. Citing a rising number of homeschooled children in America, a blogger and Oscar-nominated child actor recounts her misadventures in first-time homeschooling, an endeavor marked by her own math aversion, experiments with current trends and a chaperone venture at a home-school prom.
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. A former Wall Street attorney, business coach and creator of ThePowerofIntroverts.com demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in today's culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples to counsel readers on how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations and empower introverted children. Read the first chapter.
Read the complete list.
Staff Picks - Fiction 2012
With the winter weather making its presence known, now is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. Not sure what to read? We've put together a list of some of our favorite novels from 2012:
- Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. A follow-up to the best-selling A Discovery of Witches finds Oxford scholar and reluctant witch Diana and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont in Elizabethan London, where Diana seeks a magical tutor and Matthew confronts elements from his past at the same time the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Read the first chapter.
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred. Read the first chapter.
- The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own. Read the first chapter.
See the complete list.