Staff Selections


Let Me Explain You

Let Me Explain you is such an original and  vividly told novel that I could hear the character's voices and see their faces.  Every time I opened the book, they sprang immediately to life, and author Anna Liontas plots this dysfunctional family tale in a way that is fresh and funny.


The Buddha in the Attic
Julie Otsuka

Author Julie Otsuka tells the story of Japanese immigrants in the first part of the 20th century in a unique way.  She describes the experience of the multitude by listing through a single observation of individuals in succession.  It has the effect of a survey, but the detail she has chosen in each case is so telling, the survey forms a rich human tapestry and creates a powerful impression of this historic moment.  Beginning with migrant labor camps and ending with internment camps, she produces a portrait of hopes dashed after a great struggle.  Haunting.


Mary Coin

You know this photograph.  WPA photographer Dorothea Lange took it in the 30s when thousands of Americans migrated from the Midwest to California searching for jobs, any way of surviving during the Dust Bowl crisis.  Who is she?  Did she and her children survive to make lives for themselves?  Her name was Mary Coin and Marisa Silver found out what she could about her and wrote a beautiful novel about America during it’s toughest times.  Do you love The Grapes of Wrath?  Read Mary Coin, thengive it to your teenager.


1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed
Eric H. Cline

A new and very readable account of the collapse of Late Bronze age civilizations in the Western Mediterranean.


The Silent Land
Graham Joyce

While vacationing at a ski resort in France, Jake and Zoe are caught in an avalanche.  After Jake digs Zoe out, they shakily return to the hotel -- only to find it completely abandoned.  Thus begins this eerie tale by Mr. Joyce, an award-winning fantasy writer from England.  (His next novel, Some Kind of Fairy Tale, is a staff pick of my co-worker, Kathleen.)  The Silent Land is a haunting tale, dense and disturbing, as it explores the territory between the real and the unreal, between life and death -- all with a pervading sense of claustrophobia and suppressed panic.  If Rod Serling had written a love story for The Twilight Zone, it might seem something like this.  A rewarding read that will linger with you long after you've finished.