March 2021 - Staff Reading Suggestions
by Patricia Engel
Infinite Country is the story of two Columbian teenagers, Mauro and Elena, who fall in love, start a family and decide to leave the violence of Columbia for the U.S. They quickly discover that the U.S. is not the land of dreams that they had hoped. One mistake causes Mauro to be deported, thus dividing the family between the two countries. Their story of love, hope, regret and the price they pay to find a place to belong will keep you reading to the end. This is a story you won't soon forget!
by Walter Isaacson
For the armchair scientist fascinated by genetics, this study by famed biographer Walter Isaacson explains CRISPR and its broad implications for the future of genetics. Isaacson introduces us to Jennifer Doudna and her partner Emmanuelle Charpentier, each of whom received the Nobel Prize in 2020 for their groundbreaking work. The third wave of inventiveness in the last 100 years is here - the scientific, health, and moral issues surrounding gene editing.
by Emma Duffy-Comparone
I just googled it so I know it's not just me: COVID-related short attention span. I have it. I still want to read, (not the news) and so I found myself a new short story compilation that I really like. Comparone's tales are funny, sharp, and uncomfortable at times, but they focus on women with a "day-in-the-life" kind of feel to them. Truth is, I've always been a huge fan of short stories. Most folks get glassy-eyed when I try to sell them a collection. However, I've also had readers thank me for opening their eyes to how fantastic short stories can be. Sometimes less is more.
by Alexandra Andrews
Lisa and Di's pick:

Florence Darrow is a low-level publishing employee who believes that she's destined to be a famous writer. When she stumbles into a job as the assistant to the brilliant, enigmatic novelist known as Maud Dixon—whose true identity is a secret—it appears that the universe is finally providing Florence’s big chance.

The arrangement seems perfect. Maud Dixon (whose real name, Florence discovers, is Helen Wilcox) can be prickly, but she is full of pointed wisdom--not only on how to write, but also on how to live. Florence quickly falls under Helen’s spell and eagerly accompanies her to Morocco, where Helen’s new novel is set. 

But when Florence wakes up in the hospital after a terrible car accident, with no memory of the previous night — and no sign of Helen—she’s tempted to take a shortcut. Instead of hiding in Helen’s shadow, why not upgrade into Helen's life? Not to mention her bestselling pseudonym.

Taut, twisty, and viciously entertaining, Who is Maud Dixon is a stylish psychological thriller about how far into the darkness you’re willing to go to claim the life you always wanted.
by Rebecca Hardiman
Set in Dublin, this novel about 3 generations of the Gogarty family is delightful. At times poignant and hilarious, this story follows Millie, an aging grandmother who gets a rush out of minor shoplifting and her angry granddaughter, Aideen who is being sent away to boarding school while her 3 siblings seem to float happily through the process of growing up. As Millie and Aideen struggle with the heart-breaking stages of old-age and adolescence, an American caretaker enters the picture and catapults the family into crisis and true self-discovery. You will fall in love with these characters and this book full of hope, laughter and life.
-Lisa and Laura S
by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Katha, Eleanor, Kirsten, and Laura C's pick:

It grips you from start to finish. Who knew girls could go to such lengths and be so very mean to one another? The answer is in the reading!
by Elly Griffiths
Lisa's pick:

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should not be suspicious. Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing out of the ordinary when Peggy’s caretaker, Natalka, begins to recount Peggy Smith’s passing.

But Natalka had a reason to be at the police station: while clearing out Peggy’s flat, she noticed an unusual number of crime novels, all dedicated to Peggy. And each psychological thriller included a mysterious postscript: PS: for PS. When a gunman breaks into the flat to steal a book and its author is found dead shortly thereafter—DS Kaur begins to think that perhaps there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all. And then things escalate...

Murder leaps off the page when crime novelists begin to turn up dead in this intricate new novel by internationally best-selling author Elly Griffiths, a literary mystery perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz and Agatha Christie.
by Mateo Askaripour
Black Buck tells the story of what happens when a 22-year-old Starbucks employee gets offered a sales position at a start-up, as the only Black individual at the company. A satire on the diversity issues in corporate America, as well as a heart-warming, heart-wrenching, heart-racing story, Askaripour’s debut is not to be missed! 
by Chris Whitaker
All Staff pick:

With resonances that readers will feel in their bones, We Begin at the End looks at family--the ones we are born into and the ones we create. It shows how revenge and justice are often two very different things. It reveals how doing right can easily be wrong. Chris Whitaker's characters--Dutchess, Walk, and everyone they love and whose hearts they break, who deserve so much more than life serves them--will sear your own heart. This novel is a modern-day masterpiece.

(Direct to Paperback)
by Kate Quinn 
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female codebreakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over. The story oscillates between 1940 and 1947, where the world is anticipating the wedding of the Century between Princess Elizabeth and Phillip of Greece, who happens to be the ex-boyfriend of one of the Bletchley Park codebreakers. Wrought with historical facts, this novel has it all: drama, love, wartime heartache, secrecy and real-life characters with brilliant minds who, to this day, are credited with shortening WWII by at least two years. I really enjoyed this novel!
by SJ Bennett
In this first in a new series, Queen Elizabeth II is appalled by the murder of a young Russian pianist at Windsor Castle and discreetly takes matters into her own hands when she decides that MI5's investigation is heading in the wrong direction. She's helped by her assistant private secretary, Rozie, a British Nigerian who recently served in the Royal Horse Artillery. Perfect for fans of The Crown! -Laura S and Beth
by Alex Finlay 
When a true crime documentary airs with his brother Danny as the focus, Matt Pine does not share his family’s beliefs that his brother is innocent in the murder of Charlotte, Danny’s high school girlfriend. Years later, studying at NYU film school, old wounds become new again when Matt’s entire family is found dead while vacationing in Mexico. With Danny in prison, it is up to Matt to find out the truth. Was his families death really a freak accident like the police say, or is there more to it? This thriller, told from past perspectives of the Pine family and present day Matt, tells the story of what really happened the night Charlotte was found dead, and the tragedy that followed years later in Mexico. 
by Chelsea G. Summers
Ellie's pick:

Food critic Dorothy Daniels loves what she does. Discerning, meticulous, and very, very smart, Dorothy’s clear mastery of the culinary arts make it likely that she could, on any given night, whip up a more inspired dish than any one of the chefs she writes about. Dorothy loves sex as much as she loves food, and while she has struggled to find a long-term partner that can keep up with her, she makes the best of her single life, frequently traveling from Manhattan to Italy for a taste of both.

But there is something within Dorothy that’s different from everyone else, and having suppressed it long enough, she starts to embrace what makes Dorothy uniquely, terrifyingly herself. Recounting her life from a seemingly idyllic farm-to-table childhood, the heights of her career, to the moment she plunges an ice pick into a man's neck on Fire Island, Dorothy Daniels show us what happens when a woman finally embraces her superiority.
by Abigail Dean
This stunning debut is a heart-wrenching, heart-breaking, beautifully written story of a family in extreme crisis. A taut, psychological examination of sibling bonds. -Laura S
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