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Daily Staff Recommends of books and other stuff accessible from home during our time of social distancing
The book is about a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau who is put to work as a tattooist, tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. The subject of this book is awful, but it is incredibly well written. I found it to be a page turner and I highly recommend it.
This volume is the first in a Series of 4 graphic novels depicting the memoir of a young boy whose mother is French and whose father is Syrian. Illustrations are great as well as the representation of a clash between two cultures.
Sally Rooney’s second novel, Normal People, is the best kind of book. Engaging and addictive, yet substantial and quietly intelligent. It’s a book you’ll fly through in days, hours even, and one you’ll tell literally everyone to read. With clear, uncomplicated language, Rooney displays a rare understanding of what makes a lasting and memorable coming-of-age story. And for something similar, Conversations with Friends, Sally Rooney’s first novel, is equally excellent.
A two-for-one special here with thought provoking literature from the brilliant mind of George Orwell. 1984, a book that some might call the epitome of the dystopian future genre, and Animal Farm, an allegorical piece about revolution, power, and corruption, have both become extra popular reads in the past few years.
Everyone! Read/re-read this timeless book about family, life, love. Then watch the many movie versions of this story. You can visit virtually the Alcott's Orchard House. And then physically visit the Orchard House in Concord, MA upon it's re-opening.
Staff member 1: For anyone who wanted to read a clever fantasy with some Ocean's 11 hijinks thrown in.
Staff member 2: If you like your thieves as charming as they are clever, and you want to get completely caught up in a new world, you'll be blown away by this book! A must-read for newcomers to the fantasy genre as well as longtime fans.
Find out about: NEW LIFE IN EXILE! - they are not talking about you; be prepared when you finally go to buy that new car; get ideas for your house that you are spending time in; stay on top of the latest fashions even tho you can't walk in those shoes; see what the future holds by reading your horoscope. Magazines offer diverse and interesting information.
This is a comic mashup of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome and Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. It's another of the time-travelling Oxford historian series. This time, travelling to Victorian England. I had to put the book down to roll about laughing at several points.
There is no better author to turn to in a time of crisis than Jane Austen. Austen’s novels are comforting and familiar, and they rarely, if ever, bring the outside world to the forefront of the story. Emma is a full story-full of satire, bright humor, ridiculous characters, and satisfying endings (if you know, those are important to you). The original stand alone text is all you need, however, if you can get your hands on the annotated edition by David M. Shapard, it’s well worth the extra reading!
Time-travelling historians researching an English village in the 14th century. The plot was engrossing, the characters were skillfully evoked. (And me, I loved that the comic-relief impediment was a modern-day change-ringing band from Chicago...)
A few months after the 2016 election, "Uncle Joe" Biden is puttering around his house doing various projects, but feels adrift. When his favorite Amtrak conductor dies in a suspicious accident, Biden leaps into a new role as an amateur detective. He gets help from his friend Barack Obama (code name Renegade) and they delve into the depths of this country's opioid epidemic to solve the murder. This book was a page turner, and I like the fictional new roles of the former President and Vice President.
I love learning about walnut timber, craftsmen, and writings from Leonardo's own notebooks regarding art materials along with an intriguing art dealer's story surrounding the famous Christ as Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
If you want to escape to a different geographical place, this novel is about a young woman who is adrift and grieving her mother’s death. It takes place in Bangalore and Kashmiri and takes on subjects of politics, family dynamics and self-discovery.
I'm a big Stephen King fan, and the Stand is my favorite. It was originally published in 1978, and then in 1990 it was republished as a Complete and Uncut edition. I have only read the latter, and can't imagine reading it any other way. It's epic, Stephen King said himself that he had wanted to write a fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings, but set in America. The plot centers on a pandemic of a weaponized strain of influenza that kills almost the entire world population...so yeah...fair warning, it hits eerily close to home. If you're looking to get swept up, to lose yourself in a book, this is the one for you.