Staff Picks

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27 07, 2017

Staff Picks: Hamilton and Washington

Lin-Manuel Miranda read "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow on a beach in Puerto Rico and was inspired to create the musical, "Hamilton". The story of Alexander Hamilton is an amazing one. He was born poor in the Caribbean, immigrated to New York City just before the Revolution broke out, and

8 05, 2017

Staff Picks: The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir

When I am helping patrons pick out a new book to read, I am often asked for something “light.” This can be tough, because one person’s “light” is not necessarily another’s. But I get it. Our lives are busy, complicated, and sometimes stressful. Sometimes we need to escape into a

14 04, 2017

Staff Picks: Heart of a Lion

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 2011.

31 01, 2017

Staff Picks: Ugly

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 tumor

29 12, 2016

Staff Picks: The Last Kingdom

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 in

1 12, 2016

Staff Picks: Lolly Willowes

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 sink

3 11, 2016

Staff Picks: In a Different Key

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 social

20 10, 2016

Staff Picks: Dear Mr. M

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 Pool,

22 09, 2016

Staff Picks: The Gallery

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 wealthy

25 08, 2016

Staff Picks: Guantánamo Diary

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 finish