Staff Selections

Kathleen

High Dive
Jonathan Lee

 

Jonathan Lee reminds me of what I like so much about contemporary British writing.  This novel is full of dynamic, sympathetic characters in 1984 Northern Ireland and England and the plot is both gripping and thoughtful.  This is a deep book with just enough of that great subtle British humor I love.

Mary

Dreaming in French
Alice Kaplan

Many have observed that travel sharpens self-awareness.  This effect occurs for me with Alice Kaplan's triptych of young women from mid-century America, a compelling history of the transformative effects of a student year abroad in Paris.  Because these three influential women--Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis--are from three successive generations and diverse social spheres, a broad picture of the era emerges, exploring women's history and social class mobility and mores.  For personal history and feminist history fans, not to be missed.

Paul

Laidlaw
William McIlvanney

Scottish noirist, William McIlvanney wrote a series of mysteriesfeaturing hard-drinking philosopher/detective, Jack Laidlaw.  They were popular in the 70s and 80s when they were published, then disappeared.  Europa has brought them back with urging from the likes of Val McDermid, Denise Mina, and Ian Rankin and they are as fresh, intelligent and witty as they were when they first came out.  Laidlaw, the first of the series isdark and beautiful as is The Papers of Tony Veitch, just out last week.  Don’t miss this guy.

Terry

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War
Max Hastings

 Covering the period in 1914 from the events leading up to war until the famous Christmas Truce, Max Hastings offers up once again a well written and thoroughly research volume with his characteristic mix personal accounts from participants, both high and low, civil and military;  vivid accounts of battle and penetrating analysis.

Tim

Three Graves Full
Jamie Mason

A year ago, Jason Getty buried a body in his back yard.  Too paranoid to do any yardwork, he finally hires a landscaping company to clean up his front yard only.  But Jason's greatest fear is realized when the crew discovers a body in his yard -- it's just not the one he buried.  From this unexpected beginning, Ms. Mason takes on a wild ride of corpses, confessions, secrets and misassumptions.  Her characters include the bumbling Jason, a grieving girlfriend, a clever sheriff, a bitter twin and one hysterical and heroic German shepherd.  This debut novel is one of the most unpredictable and funniest crime stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading.  Don't miss out on the fun!