Staff Picks

14 04, 2017

Staff Picks: Heart of a Lion

April 14th, 2017|Staff Picks|

The animal kingdom contains many fascinating stories, and one of the best appears in William Stolzenburg’s “Heart of a Lion”. Stolzenburg follows the odyssey of a male mountain lion (aka cougar, puma, or panther) who walked halfway across the continent before being killed by an SUV in Connecticut in

31 01, 2017

Staff Picks: Ugly

January 31st, 2017|Staff Picks|

Exactly how much can your physical demeanor influence your choices and the path you travel, from the moment you are born onward? Robert Hoge explores this question in his autobiography “Ugly,” which covers his life from birth to 17 years old. Hoge was born with twisted legs and a

29 12, 2016

Staff Picks: The Last Kingdom

December 29th, 2016|Staff Picks|

One of my favorite historical periods to learn about and experience vicariously through historical novels is the Danish invasion of England during the late 800s and early 900s AD. There’s something about the Danes and the Vikings that calls to me, and Bernard Cornwell’s “The Last Kingdom”, the first

1 12, 2016

Staff Picks: Lolly Willowes

December 1st, 2016|Staff Picks|

Sylvia Townsend Warner’s “Lolly Willowes” is a funny and delightful, 90-year old British novel about a spinster who becomes a witch. Why recommend this novel now? For one thing, it may be the perfect cozy book to read while savoring the end of autumn and watching the last leaves

3 11, 2016

Staff Picks: In a Different Key

November 3rd, 2016|Staff Picks|

When I first looked at John Donvan and Caren Zucker’s “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” I felt a little intimidated by its 670 pages. But once I started flipping through it, I wanted to read every word. The authors have taken a massive topic – the

20 10, 2016

Staff Picks: Dear Mr. M

October 20th, 2016|Staff Picks|

You might recognize Herman Koch’s name from his bestselling 2012 novel The Dinner. A Dutch writer, Koch is a master at creating unnerving literary thrillers. Dear Mr. M is Koch’s third novel to be translated into English, and like The Dinner, and his last novel, Summer House with Swimming

22 09, 2016

Staff Picks: The Gallery

September 22nd, 2016|Staff Picks|

As the head of household at the famous Sewell mansion in the 1920s,  12-year-old Martha’s Ma quickly hires her as the new kitchen maid; a necessity after Martha smart talks her teacher one too many times and gets kicked out of her local parish school. Mr. Sewell is the

25 08, 2016

Staff Picks: Guantánamo Diary

August 25th, 2016|Staff Picks|

In his memoir, “Guantánamo Diary”, Mohamedou Ould Slahi admits that he fought for an al-Qaida unit in Afghanistan in the early 1990s. But that was when the United States was active in funding al-Qaida because it was fighting against the Soviet Union. Slahi then went back to Germany to

12 08, 2016

Staff Picks: Only Ever Yours

August 12th, 2016|Staff Picks|

“You may have been perfectly designed, but there is always ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.”

This terrifying utterance by the ‘Father of the Euro Zone’ in Louise O’Neill’s excellent young adult novel Only Ever Yours will be with me forever. Only Ever Yours paints the picture of a post-apocalyptic world in which

29 07, 2016

Staff Picks: Recent Mexican Novels in Translation

July 29th, 2016|Staff Picks|

Only around three percent of the books published in the U.S. each year are works in translation. This means many American readers miss out on some great reads—even from our closest Spanish-speaking neighbor.

Here are just three Mexican novelists whose work has recently been translated into English. I chose to