NOVEMBER 2018 STAFF READING SUGGESTIONS

ROAD TO DISASTER
by Brian VanDeMark

An examination of the cataclysmic decisions of those young stars in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations that led to so much suffering during the Vietnam War. VanDeMark, a teacher at the Naval Academy, draws on decades of research including previously unheard recordings by Robert McNamara and Clark Clifford. A must read for history fans.
-Kathy Petray
KINGDOM OF THE BLIND
by Louise Penny
(Releases November 27, 2018)

Fans of Louise Penny will be thrilled with her new book, Kingdom of the Blind. While suspended from the Sûreté, Inspector Gamache and Myrna Lander learn they are the executors of a stranger's will. The mystery deepens when one of the beneficiaries winds up dead and the two of them are drawn into the investigation. Parallel to the story unfolding in Three Pines, the police in Montreal continue to search for a large shipment of opioids, challenging Gamache's previous decisions and throwing his future into question. Louise Penny seems to be pushing her characters in new directions and deepening self-discovery. This book is an absolute delight.
-Lisa Dietrich
THE SOUTHERN LIVING PARTY COOKBOOK
by Elizabeth Heiskell

A beautiful cookbook filled with southern elegance and great ideas for entertaining. The book is divided by entertaining genres like cookouts, brunches, cocktail parties, receptions and lastly celebrations. The perfect gift for the cook and entertainer in your family.
-Eleanor Thorn
WASHINGTON BLACK
by Esi Edugyan

A tale of high adventure and scientific endeavor, Washington Black is a sweeping novel of slavery, freedom and what it means to belong. Set in the 1830's, a period of rapid scientific discovery, this is an exquisitely written story of travel, exploration and art. Born a slave in Barbados, Washington Black is chosen by the plantation owner's brother, Titch, for a different life. Sometimes searingly painful and at other times beautiful and lighthearted, the reader follows Wash as he tries to answer the question, Why me? Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this is a great book to give to yourself or others.
-Lisa Dietrich
VIRGIL WANDER
by Leif Enger

In his first novel in over ten years, Enger engages the reader in a portrait of a forgotten town in the Upper Midwest. After Virgil survives a plunge into the icy waters of Lake Superior, and suffers a lapse in memory and language, he sees his down on its luck industrial town from a new perspective, as well as its wonderfully charismatic residents. This character-driven saga is a heartwarming look at real people doing the best they can with the cards they were dealt. Pour yourself a cup of tea, light a fire and take a trip to Greenstone, Minnesota. You won't be sorry!
-Maxwell Gregory
WINTER COCKTAILS: MULLED CIDERS, HOT TODDIES, PUNCHES, PITCHERS AND COCKTAIL PARTY SNACKS
by Maria Del Mar Sacasa & Tara Stiano

Hot Toddies, check. Cider drinks, check. You don't want to miss this collection of entertaining inspirations for the holidays and cozy nights by the fire. A perfect hostess gift too!
-Diana Wettermann
PRAGUE SPRING
by Simon Mawer


It's 1968, and the Iron Curtain hangs solidly over Eastern Europe. British students James and Ellie flip a coin, and decide to hitchhike north across the Iron Curtain into Prague, not fully understanding the implications of their trek. At the same time, Czech British Embassy employee Sam meets beautiful and intelligent Lenka at a protest. The stories of the two couples intertwine when Sam and Lenka pick up James and Ellie at the border crossing, and safely shepherd them into Prague. Together, they enjoy the freedom of falling in love during the Prague Spring. They live life in the relative calm of the Prague Spring quickly followed by the turmoil of the Soviet invasion. Beautifully written with political intrigue and lots of history!
-Beth Mynhier
A LADDER TO THE SKY
by John Boyne

 
And now something totally different from John Boyne! Boyne has crafted a biting satire on the publishing industry featuring a Machiavellian character extraordinaire. Maurice Swift is consumed by his desire to become a world renown author and will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve his goal. Boyne has created Swift as an attractive, yet reprehensible protagonist. Readers will laugh with him and hate him, but not be able to put him down!
-Laura Skinner
MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
(Releases November 20, 2018)

A spare debut novel that is the story of two sisters, one of which is a serial killer. Korede is the older sister who quite literally cleans up after Ayoola, the younger, more beautiful sister, whose boyfriends keep turning up dead. The dynamic between the sisters is complicated, yet compelling and their issues with each other grow more critical when Ayoola sets her sights on a man that Korede secretly loves. Quirky and entertaining.
-Di Grumhaus
LIFE ON EARTH
by David Attenborough

David Attenborough has updated and added to his original work and produced a stunning book filled with amazing photography and stories of both plants and animals from around the world. He has had a distinguished career of over 60 years and has given us a perfect Christmas book that will delight any nature lover.
-Eleanor Thorn
LITTLE
by Edward Carey

An unforgettable story of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and rebels, who transforms herself into Madame Tussaud. From the start, readers will cheer for "Little" and be drawn into her amazing story. For the reader looking for something a little different!
-Kathy Petray
BURNING DOWN THE HAUS: PUNK ROCK, REVOLUTION, AND THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL
by Tim Mohr

Mohr's work is a fascinating look at how the punk rock culture played a pivotal role in bringing down the Berlin Wall. During the 1980s East German youth who gravitated to the subversive punk rock music scene were continuously victimized and persecuted by the government. Yet they persevered--facing down political suppression. A musical, lively look at a piece of Cold War history. Perfect for both history buffs and music lovers!
-Laura Skinner
GMORNING, GNIGHT! LITTLE PEP TALKS FOR ME & YOU
by Lin-Manuel Miranda 

The perfect gift for everyone on your list this holiday! Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, has gathered little bits of inspiration to start your morning off right and another to complete your day. Full of comfort, each saying uplifts your day and tucks you in at night.
-Maxwell Gregory
YOUNG ADULT & MIDDLE SCHOOL SELECTIONS
MIDDLE SCHOOL:

THE RECKLESS CLUB
by Beth Vrabel

Five eighth graders, one bad last day of school, and a chance to redeem themselves by volunteering at an assisted-living residence. The Drama Queen, the Flirt, the Athlete, the Rebel, and the Nobody, don't know that much about one another other than what their school reputation represents. On this one day together at the assisted living center where they are to atone for their inexcusable last day of school behavior, they not only learn about each other's fears and insecurities, but how to join forces and bond for the good of the group and each other.
-Katha Plack
YOUNG ADULT:

THE ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE
by MT Anderson & Eugene Yelchin

A completely unique middle grade fantasy. This amazing book contains it all: spy story, mystery, adventure, gorgeous illustrations--all wrapped up in a timely and creative examination of prejudice. I can't recommend this enough!! Please don't miss.
-Laura Skinner
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