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Daily Staff Recommends of books and other stuff accessible from home during our time of social distancing
Part history, part biography, and part animal husbandry - The Ravenmaster is the best audiobook to listen to as you sit back and relax with a cup of tea while diving into London's history and learning about the curiously intelligent minds of ravens.
If you miss baseball and want to hear from a Brooklyn Dodgers fan or if you just want to learn about growing up in the post-war 1950s here is the memoir for you. Told through memorable stories of the wonderful people who helped shape her personality and interests, Doris Kearns Goodwin is at her best.
This is one of the best mystery series I have read (listened to!) in a very long time. There are 4 novels in the series so far (more to come - yay!), and each one was as riveting as the last. Not only are they complex compelling mysteries, but the inner lives of the main characters are as edge of your seat good as the mystery itself. The reader for the audio books is Robert Glenister, and he's an absolute master. The Audiobook review publisher, AudioFile says, "Glenister infuses gruff charm and a poignant edginess into Rowling's wonderfully original detective hero, Cormoran Strike. Glenister's character accents are terrific, and he's a genius with women's voices, which he softens without caricature. Glenister is just right in this noir-ish mystery with a hard-boiled softie at its center". I couldn't agree more!
Based on the true story in the 1960s, of a juvenile reform school in Florida that was a sadistic, abusive "school" for delinquent boys. A heart wrenching, powerful account of two young boys, Elwood and Turner, who were Nickel Boys.
This book is about a traveling circus during World War II and the friendship that develops between two women with harrowing stories of their lives during the war. One woman was impregnated by a Nazi soldier and forced to give up the baby. She then steals a baby from a boxcar of Jewish infants bound for the death camps. She joins a circus and befriends the lead aerialist. This book is very well written and it's a great story. It has a bit of a surprise ending.
Born during apartheid to a Swiss-German father and black Xhosa mother, Noah shares stories from his formative years, perceiving himself more as an outsider than the comedic star he is today. What truly puts it over the top is Noah’s engaging narration of his life finding humor and love even in the worst of times while still deploying his trademark wit.
Psychological thriller. Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard. As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie has to figure out whodunnit to stay.
Kitchen Confidential is the story of Bourdain's unlikely rise in the culinary world, detailing his experiences behind the scenes in various kitchens and recounting a cast of characters he's met along the way. I absolutely recommend the audiobook, listening to Bourdain narrate his own story - while crude at times - is unparalleled in candor and humor. This audiobook is also inspiring me in the kitchen to be a better cook and look into new recipes and techniques of food preparation. If you enjoy this audiobook, I recommend following up with another Anthony Bourdain audiobook - Medium Raw, also narrated by the author and available on Overdrive.
This is the first of the Peter Grant books. (Ben Aaronovitch is on record as having no plans to stop writing these.) Quite a good police procedural set in the modern-day London where magic is real. The characters are engaging and funny. The narration of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is astonishing.
Caught in a creative slump? Then this book will pick you right back up again! In this collection of published speeches, poems, and creative manifestos from the illustrious author, Neil Gaiman, you will find the inspiration to continue your craft, or maybe even start a new one!
This book is so creatively well written as an oral history and with detailed interviews with the characters that I had to Google it to find out if this band ever existed in real life. It is the story of a successful rock band in the 70s that rises from obscurity to fame and ultimately falls apart. The characters are extremely well drawn and interesting. This is the kind of book that is fascinating and unlike any other book you’ve ever listened to. The audio version brings the characters to life with various actors narrating.
A technically great police procedural written with crackling, invoke-all-the-senses writing. The characters are real and endearing and exasperating. The local color is fabulous, and the Irish accents are delicious. There's bound to be a wait for these, especially as Starz has just released it as a miniseries, but it's worth it.