Staff Selections

Kathleen

State of Wonder
Ann Patchett

State of Wonder is the kind of book you want to take around with you to keep you company when you're stuck waiting places.  Immediately engaging, there is a lot to enjoy about this book.

 

Mary

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole
Benjamin R. Barber

Barber illuminates the issues surrounding our culture of consumption, describing the market mania that misdirects our lives, choking out our more vital concerns as individuals and as a nation. Besides producing a vapid character in the populace, consumer culture acts in direct opposition to the needs of a democratic government. This compelling study makes a convincing case for re-evaluating many recent legislative actions, and for citizens to recognize, speak out and act for our true imperative interests rather than market-manufactured "needs".

Paul

What Is Left the Daughter
Howard Norman

American novelist Howard Norman has made a career of writing beautiful novels set in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. In another of those wonderful books, he gives us Wyatt Hillyer, a seventeen-year old boy, who is orphaned when his parents commit suicide on the same night over their unrequited love for the same woman. A huge pleasure to read.

Terry

Lock In
John Scalzi

A near future thriller.  Scalzi delivers an insightful look into the impact of technology on everyday life and how given enough time even the most bleeding edge tech becomes blasé, all wrapped up in a nifty mystery that keeps the ball rolling.

Tim

The Cradle
Patrick Somerville

Even if you missed seeing Mr. Somerville at last summer's book festival, you won't want to miss reading his exceptional novel The Cradle.  Matthew and his wife are expecting their first child, and she wants the antique cradle from her childhood -- the cradle was one of the few items taken when her mother abandoned the family years earlier.  With almost nothing to guide him, Matthew embarks on this quest, which soon becomes something of a Midwestern odyssey.  Ten years later, Renee, a successful children's author, and her husband say goodbye to their son as he is shipped off to fight in Iraq -- an event that launches Renee into much soul-searching and introspection.  Mr. Somerville spins these two seemingly disparate narratives until they collide in a superb example of love, family and forgiveness.  A truly wonderful read.