All Staff Picks

The Kingdom
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This is another fine adventure with the husband and wife team Sam and Remi Fargo which involves a Texas oil baron who wants them to search for his missing father. To do this they end up traveling through Tibet, Nepal, Bulgaria, India and China. During their search an ancient chest becomes a clue and puts them in the arena of a black market for fossils. There seems to be a mystery inside another historical mystery full of exciting events that become clear over the course of the teams travels.
Your Medical Mind
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Why we make the kinds of medical treatment decisions that we do can be understood better by knowing whether we are doubters or technology embracers, minimalists or maximalists. Numerous anecdotes allow us to see the factors that influence decisions including statistics, rapport with the doctor, knowing someone with the same health issue, deep rooted beliefs, and gut feelings. Autonomy, coping, regret, and satisfaction are covered in a fascinating look at why there often is no one best treatment option for every person.
Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth
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Illustrated by Kevin and Zander Cannon this effectively simplified and light-hearted account of scientific understanding of the steps of evolution upon Earth is an excellent teaching tool for readers who would like to learn about the whole picture. The lesson is learned and taught by the Glarglians, inhabitants of an imaginary planet to each other while studying the planet from afar. The graphic design used to describe the Professors outline work well for older students of life.
Miss New India
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The main character in this tale of Modern India is Anjali Bose who lives in a small Northern town called Gauripur with her parents. She has almost exhausted the educational opportunities in the area with one American teacher Peter Champion as her mentor. Now is the time to take a matchmaking picture in order to meet with a prospective marriage partner with her parent’s approval. Or should she travel far away to the south to Bangladore and become a professional in a call center business opportunity? Much about the transition from Old to New India is interesting though not always a positive thing for this bright young woman.
Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey
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This is a story told from a young cartoonist point of view of discovering his ancestral roots and stories from Vietnam. His father was an artist during the Vietnamese War and the perspective of people living fleeing and relocating during this conflict from the Vietnamese point of view is illuminating. Many hard decisions were made dividing family through time and lack of communication channels both external and internal with beautifully done illustrations.
Revolution 2.0
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During the Egyptian uprising in the summer of 2010 a thirty year old Google executive anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one man at the hands of security forces. This page expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement. For his efforts he was held for interrogation giving a tearful speech on national television, four days later the president of Egypt was gone. This is a heroic journey made using social media.
The Time in Between
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The main character Sira has been raised by a single mother while learning the skills of a seamstress in Madrid. The political climate changes moving through the end of the Spanish Civil War into World War II as she falls in love then ends up in Morocco. New friendships and dangers in her life multiply making this an exciting time. Well-heeled espionage becomes a necessary survival skill as challenges complicate her life.
It Was A Wonderful Life
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This documentary was filmed in Los Angeles sharing the stories of six women who became homeless. These are women who are not on welfare were working and will work whenever possible. One is a retired teacher who fell and broke her hip, now living in a broken-windowed old car. With music by Melissa Etheridge and narration by actress Jodie Foster the women portrayed are mothers, hard workers and just people with a bad run of luck that offer an honest awareness, bringing compassion and understanding to the problem instead of enforcing negative misconceptions of what becoming homeless means.
Drop Dead Healthy
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After an unexpected life-threatening medical crisis this middle-aged author decided to try to achieve a better shot at longevity. His two young sons and wife, who also did not want to be a young widow, were strong motivators as well. He goes through a wide variety of approaches from fitness and diet to environmental cleansing and neurofeedback. A humorous approach in writing through his discoveries offers helpful ideas painlessly with the same style used in his other books including The Year of Living Biblically.
Love in a Nutshell
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Kate Appleton has moved into an old house formerly owned by her parents to open a B & B in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. To keep up with repairs who invents a job for herself at a local brewery. Strange and dangerous acts of sabotage are happening there and she plans to get to the bottom of this as well as hopefully get her poodle Stella back in her life. This is a fun and romantic book to read including a set of interesting locals in the town to investigate.
Drawing American Pop Culture
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During the 1950s some of the well known cartoons and advertisements came from the talented pen of this artist essentially a cartoonist extraordinaire. Follow his life in pictures through stints with comics, Mad magazine and TV Guide, album covers and movie posters including It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and a select group of scary tale covers. It’s a walk through the past following popular iconic culture.
The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens
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A simply told informative look at the basic general information the chicken keeper might want to know with beautiful photos. From selecting and housing a flock to raising chicks and using artistic techniques to decorate excess eggs this book is a fun read about this interesting trend. The authors’ backgrounds include radio shows, magazine articles and interviews with both academic and common sense 4H hand-on training and experience.
The Ballad of Tom Dooley: A Ballad Novel
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Do you ever wonder where some of the old-time folk song lyrics came from in history? The author proceeds to combine historical research and her own account of what may have transpired behind the words to “Hang down your head Tom Dooley…” and it makes a compelling tale told partly from the personal story of Pauline Foster an unwed and unhappy young woman in 1866 around Wilkes County, North Carolina following the Civil War.
Oz : around Australia on a Triumph
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This is an amusing adventure with the motorcycle riding team of Colin a journalist and Geoff an award winning UK travel writer traveling along a road that is over 15,000 miles long circumventing the country of Australia. They write in the tone of their own accents so provide a glossary that aids in interpreting such words as dunny, ridgi-didge and drongo just to name a few. For folks that would enjoy traveling along Down Under this is a delightful and exciting romp through the Outback and more as the team travels.
The Dog Who Danced
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We start off traveling in an 18-wheeler towards Boston with Justine Meade and her dog Mack Blue Merle Shetland Sheepdog. Events transpire that cause them to be separated and the story of the bond between them and healing power of unconditional love as they navigate back towards each other is wonderfully told. What can we learn about ourselves and our relationship to the world through partnerships with animals is touchingly explored.
Madame Xanadu: Disenchanted
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The main character in this tale of Modern India is Nimue Inwadu a sacred keeper of the forest who becomes a paramour of the wizard Merlin during the days of Camelot. This ends badly and begins a magically destructive pattern when a mysterious stranger appears to give her advice. Her life becomes complicated when having the potion based power of immortality she moves through time becoming acquainted with Genghis Khan, Marco Polo, Marie Antoinette and brushing shoulders with Jack the Ripper and historic London ending up finally in New York.
Goliath
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This book is a new take on the historic victim in the Bibles Old Testament. We end up having great sympathy for him whose skill is in being an administrator. Without revealing the ending of this humorous tome, I advise you to keep your eye on his nine year old shield bearer.
The Beginner's Goodbye
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Anne Tyler has written her nineteenth novel in the same bright style that pulls the reader into the heart of her characters in this story. Aaron is a middle-aged editor who undergoes a traumatic widowhood. He must try to see past the event and find his footing in an unclear world. While his house is being remodeled and repaired so must also be feelings regarding his wife and those who are still actively remaining in his small neighborhood of friends and family.

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