Beck Cathie. CHEAP CABERNET: A FRIEDNSHIP.
A memoir by a single mom explores the depth of a friendship and the life-changing journey that started with a glass of cheap cabernet and led to a four-year odyssey fraught with adultery, restaurants, illegal travel--and a lasting friendship. (NEO 2012)
Berry, Jedediah. MANUAL OF DETECTION.
Unexpectedly promoted to detective when his predecessor goes missing and a supervisor is killed, agency clerk Charles Unwin struggles with inexperience and nerves during a case in which he encounters bizarre clues and is framed for murder. (NEO 2012)
Bostwick, Marie. THREADING THE NEEDLE.
In New Bern, Connecticut, one woman's marriage is suffering and another is trying to salvage a rundown cottage. The Cobbled Court Quilt Shop will bring them together and help them discover the power of sisterhood to heal old wounds. (NEO 2012)
Burpo, Todd & Vincent Lynn. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A LITTLE BOY'S ASTOUNDING STORY OF HIS TRIP TO HEAVEN AND BACK.
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear. (NEO 2012)
Christie, Agatha. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.
Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of 10 strangers, each lured to Indian Island by a mysterious host. Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets--until they begin to die. (NEO 2012)
Crosby, Molly Caldwell. ASLEEP: THE FORGOTTEN EPIDEMIC THAT REMIANS ONE OF MEDICINE'S GREATEST MYSTERIES.
Follows a group of neurologists in New York as they try to solve the worldwide epidemic of encephalitis lethargic, or sleeping sickness, the bizarre disease which left millions dead or in insane asylums between 1918 and 1927. (NEO 2012)
DeWaal, Edmund. THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES: A HIDDEN INHERITANCE.
The Hare with Amber Eyes is a family memoir by British ceramicist Edmund de Waal. Waal tells the story of his family the Ephrussi, who were once a very wealthy European Jewish banking dynasty centered in Odessa, Vienna and Paris, peers of the Rothschild family.
The Ephrussi lost almost everything in 1938 when the Nazis took over their property. After the war the family never recovered most of the their extensive property including priceless artwork, but an easily hidden collection of 264 Japanese netsuke miniature sculptures was miraculously saved. (NEO 2012)
Ebershoff, David. THE 19TH WIFE: A NOVEL.
The history of polygamy in the Mormon Church intertwines the story of Ann Eliza Young, the nineteenth wife of Brigham Young, and a modern mystery in which a polygamous man has been found murdered and one of his wives is accused of the crime. (NEO 2012)
Eden Barbara & Leigh Wendy. JEANNIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE.
The star of the landmark 1960s television comedy "I Dream of Jeannie" reflects on the challenges she has faced and how she has maintained her humor, optimism, and inimitable Jeannie magic throughout the roller-coaster ride of life's ups and downs. (NEO 2012)
Egan, Timothy. WORST HARD TIME.
The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told until now. (NEO 2012)
Fisher, M.F.K.. HOW TO COOK A WOLF.
The history of polygamy in the Mormon Church intertwines the story of Ann Eliza Young, the nineteenth wife of Brigham Young, and a modern mystery in which a polygamous man has been found murdered and one of his wives is accused of the crime. (NEO 2012)
Foer, Jonathan. EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE.
A new novel by the author of Everything Is Illuminated introduces Oskar Schell, the nine-year-old son of a man killed in the World Trade Center bombing, who searches the city for a lock that fits a black key his father left behind. (NEO 2012)
Franklin, Ariana. THE MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH.
Sent to medieval Cambridge in order to exonerate Jewish prisoners who have been accused of murdering four children, University of Salerno medical expert Adelia discovers that the killer may be a former crusader. (NEO 2012)
Genova, Lisa. STILL ALICE.
Feeling at the top of her game when she is suddenly diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease, Harvard psychologist Alice Howland struggles to find meaning and purpose in her everyday life as her concept of self gradually slips away. (NEO 2012)
Gladwell, Malcolm. OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS.
In this stunning investigation of success, Gladwell asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? Brilliant and entertaining, "Outliers" is a landmark work that will transform the way success is understood. (NEO 2012)
Haigh, Jennifer. FAITH: A NOVEL.
It is the spring of 2002 and a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city's archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayal of the souls in their care. Jennifer Haigh explores the fallout for one devout family, the McGanns. (NEO 2012)
Kimball, Kristin. DIRTY LIFE: A MEMOIR OF FARMING, FOOD AND LOVE.
"The Dirty Life" is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season--complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn. (NEO 2012)
LaPlante, Alice. TURN OF MIND.
A first novel, both literary and thriller, about a retired surgeon with dementia who clings to bits of reality through anger, frustration, shame and unspeakable loss. (NEO 2012)
Larson, Erik. IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: LOVE, TERROR AND AN AMERICAN FAMILY IN HITLER'S BERLIN.
In the Garden of Beasts is a vivid portrait of Berlin during the first years of Hitler’s reign, brought to life through the stories of two people: William E. Dodd, who in 1933 became America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s regime, and his daughter, Martha. (NEO 2012)
McDougall, Christopher. BORN TO RUN: A HIDDEN TRIBE, SUPERATHLETES AND THE GREATEST RACE THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN.
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. (NEO 2012)
Millard, Candice. DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC: A TALE OF MADNESS, MEDICINE AND THE MURDER OF A PRESIDENT.
James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. (NEO 2012)
Morgenstern, Erin. THE NIGHT CIRCUS.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. (NEO 2012)
Nicholson, Juliet. THE PERFECT SUMMER: ENGLAND 1911, JUST BEFORE THE STORM.
Through the eyes of a series of exceptional individuals; a debutante, a suffragette, a politician, a trade unionist, a butler and the Queen; Juliet Nicolson illuminates a turning point in history. (NEO 2012)
Ondaatje, Michael. CAT'S TABLE.
Cat's Table is a spellbinding story about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage. (NEO 2012)
Patchett, Ann. STATE OF WONDER .
State of Wonder is a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle. A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh must step out of her comfort zone when she is sent into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years.
Russell, Maria Doria. DOC.
Mary Doria Russell's fifth novel brings to life an extraordinary cast of historical characters, including Holliday's unforgettable companion, Kate. Doc is John Henry Holliday's story, written with compassion, humor, and respect by one of our greatest contemporary storytellers. (NEO 2012)
Strout, Elizabeth. OLIVE KITTERIDGE.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition – its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires. Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large. (NEO 2012)
Towels, Armor. RULES OF CIVILITY: A NOVEL.
Manhattan in the late 1930s is the setting for this saga of a bright, attractive and ambitious young woman whose relationships with her insecure roommate and the privileged Adonis they meet in a jazz club are never the same after an auto accident (NEO 2012)
Umrigar, Thrity. THE WORLD WE FOUND.
Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and the power of love to change lives, and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India-a nation struggling to bridge economic, religious, gender, and generational divides. (NEO 2012)
Verghese, Abraham. CUTTING FOR STONE.
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles--and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined. (NEO 2012)
Vreeland, Susan. CLARA AND MR. TIFFANY.
For a century, everyone assumed that the iconic Tiffany lamps were conceived and designed by that American master of stained glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Not so- It was a woman! says Susan Vreeland. (NEO 2012)
Wesdin, Howard D.. SEAL TEAM SIX: MEMOIRS OF AN ELITE NAVY SEAL SNIPER .
A book that takes you inside SEAL Team Six – the covert squad that killed Osama Bin Laden. (NEO 2012)
Wickenden, Dorothy. NOTHING DAUNTED: THE UNEXPECTED EDUCATION OF TWO SOCIETY GIRLS IN THE WEST.
A detailed study of two spirited and privileged young women who unexpectedly became a small part of the history of the American West. (NEO 2012)
Ackerman, Diane. ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE: A WAR STORY.
This is the little know but remarkable story of Jan and Antoinette Zablinski, Polish Catholic zoo keepers who rescued more than 300 Jews during WWII by hiding them in the ruined Warsaw Zoo. It reads like a thriller, but sticks to the facts while reminding people about the best part of human nature. (NEO 2009)
Addison Allen, Sarah. GARDEN SPELLS.
Take a pinch of marigold to stimulate affection, add a dash of snapdragon to repel evil influences, finish with a generous helping of rose petals to encourage love, then stand back and let nature take its course. It may be the recipe for Claire Waverley's successful catering business, but when it comes to working its magic on her own love life, she seems to be immune to the charms found only in the plants that have always grown behind the Waverley mansion. Like generations of Waverley women before her, Claire has accepted her family's mysterious gifts, while her estranged sister, Sydney, could not run away from them fast enough. Knowing it's just a matter of time before her abusive boyfriend finally kills her, however, Sydney escapes with her young daughter back home to the only place she knows she'll be safe. (NEO 2008)
Armstrong Kalish, Mildred. LITTLE HEATHENS.
Kalish's memoir of her Iowa childhood, set against the backdrop of the Depression, captures a vanished way of traditional living and a specific moment in American history in a story both illuminating and memorable. Kalish lived with her siblings, mother and grandparents-seven in all-both in a town home and, in warmer weather, out on a farm. (NEO 2008)
Ashenburg, Katherine. THE DIRT ON CLEAN: AN UNSANITIZED HISTORY.
This work follows the history of the constantly changing western concept of cleanliness from Homer’s well-washed Odysseus to the present-day. It is smartly paced and brimming with lively anecdotes. (NEO 2009)
Austen, Jane. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.
The title refers to the two eldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, one of whom (Elinor) embraces practicality and restraint while the other (Marianne) gives her whole heart to every endeavor. When the Dashwoods - mother Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, Marianne, and youngest sister Margaret - are sent, almost impoverished, to a small cottage in Devonshire after the death of their father and the machinations of their brother's wife, they accept their new circumstances with as much cheer as they can muster even though their brother and his wife have taken over the family estate and fortune. (NEO 2008)
Austin, Jane. EMMA.
Emma, when first published in 1816, was written when Jane Austen was at the height of her powers. In it, we have her two greatest comic creations -- the eccentric Mr. Woodhouse and that quintissential bore, Miss Bates. In it, too, we have her most profound characterization: the witty, imaginative, self-deluded Emma, a heroine the author declared "no one but myself will much like," but who has been much loved by generations of readers. Delightfull funny, full of rich irony, Emma is regarded as one of Jane Austen's finest achievements. (NEO-RLS 2006)
Baldachi, David. WINNER.
Fiction. A cut above your average mystery or thriller. A series of weekly lotteries are being fixed. The mysterious mastermind of the plot personally chooses his dubious winner. The consequence of being chosen makes for a gripping page-turner. (NEO-RLS 2002)
Barbery, Muriel. ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG.
Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Renee: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renee lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.
Bartlett, Allison Hoover. THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH.
In the late 1990s, John Gilkey stole his way through a significant number of expensive antiquarian book collections. Ken Sanders, a book collector and security chair for the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, noticed the pattern of thefts and began pursuing Gilkey, whose obsession with his precious old books led him to commit a flurry of other crimes—stealing credit cards and forging checks. Bartlett opens up the quirky world of book collecting fanatics with respect but occasionally too much adulation—a perspective that Judith Brackley is guilty of in her more effusive moments. But on the whole, Brackley's enthusiasm is welcome; she excels when exploring the minutiae and arcana of the book collecting subculture and executes the male voices well, with a clear distinction and depth.
Bender, Aimee. PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE.
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair. Soon, she’s privy to the secret knowledge that most families keep hidden: her father’s detachment, her mother’s transgression, her brother’s increasing retreat from the world. But there are some family secrets that even her cursed taste buds can’t discern. (NEO 2011)
Benioff, David. CITY OF THIEVES.
During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible. (NEO 2010)
Bennet, Alan. UNCOMMON READER.
Bennett sends Queen Elizabeth II into a mobile library van in pursuit of her runaway corgis and into the reflective, observant life of an avid reader. Guided by Norman, a former kitchen boy and enthusiast of gay authors, the queen gradually loses interest in her endless succession of official duties and learns the pleasure of such a common activity. With the dawn of her sensibility... mistaken for the onset of senility, plots are hatched by the prime minister and the queen's staff to dispatch Norman and discourage the queen's preoccupation with books. Ultimately, it is her own growing self-awareness that leads her away from reading and toward writing, with astonishing results. Bennett has fun with the proper behavior and protocol at the palace, and the few instances of mild coarseness seem almost scandalous. (NEO 2011)
Bolano, Roberto. THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES.
This highly stylized novel is ostensibly about two poets, leaders of the Mexican visceral realist literary movement, and their search for an obscure icon of the movement and its repercussions. The book spans a decade and follows the poets from Mexico City to the Sonoran Desert, Guatemala, Barcelona, Paris, Israel, Congo, Liberia, and the U.S. The narrative becomes secondary to the voices of the people who meet these poets as this long novel told through the personal stories--some humorous, some inscrutable, some tragic--of the eclectic assortment of characters they encounter on the way becomes less about the search and more about literature and language. (NEO 2010)
Brenner, Joel. EMPERORS OF CHOCOLATE.
Non-Fiction. Brenner, a former Washington Post financial reporter, tells the stories of how Forrest Mars, Sr. and Milton S. Hershey turned their two companies from small mom-and-pop operations into international forces over the last century. (NEO-RLS 2000)
Brittain, Vera. TESTAMENT OF YOUTH.
In 1914, just as war was declared, 20 year-old Vera Brittain was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later, her life—and that of her whole generation—had been irrevocably changed in a way that no one could have imagined in the tranquil pre-war era. Testament of Youth is Brittain’s account of how she lost the man she loved, nursed the wounded, survived those agonizing years, and emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time. It still retains the power to shock, move, and enthrall readers today. (NEO 2010)
Brooks, Geraldine. MARCH: A NOVEL.
From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has animated the character of the absent father, March, and crafted a story "filled with the ache of love and marriage and with the power of war upon the mind and heart of one unforgettable man" (Sue Monk Kidd). With "pitch-perfect writing" (USA Today), Brooks follows March as he leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause in the Civil War. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, March secures Geraldine Brooks’s place as a renowned author of historical fiction. (NEO-RLS 2006)
Brooks, Geraldine. PEOPLE OF THE BOOK.
Narrated by a conservator who is brought in to repair it, this impelling work follows the story of the Sarejevo Haggadah in ways both real and imagined from its creation in the 15th century to its protection during the Bosnian problems of the 1980’s. Riveting, sad, and beautiful. (NEO 2009)
Bryson, Bill. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID.
Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century—1951—in the middle of the United States—Des Moines, Iowa—in the middle of the largest generation in American history—the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. (NEO 2008)
Burns, Cherie. THE GREAT HURRICANE: 1938.
On September 20, 2008, the Great Hurricane hit communities from Long Island to Providence, RI destroying entire fishing fleets from Montauk to Narragansett Bay and leaving 700 people dead, changing New England forever. ‘Lost’ in history due to Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia at the same time, this book recounts the tales of this harrowing day of heroism, survival, and loss. (NEO 2009)
Butler, Ruth. HIDDEN IN THE SHADOW OF THE MASTER.
In this remarkable book of discovery, art historian Ruth Butler coaxes three shadowy women out of obscurity and introduces them for the first time as individuals. Through unprecedented research, Butler has been able to create portraits of Hortense Fiquet, Camille Doncieux, and Rose Beuret—the models, and later the wives, respectively, of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin, three of the most famous French artists of their generation. The book tells the stories of three ordinary women who faced issues of a dramatically changing society as well as the challenges of life with a striving genius. Butler illuminates the ways in which these model-wives figured in their husbands’ achievements and provides new analyses of familiar works of art. (NEO 2010)
Chesterton, G.K.. THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY: A NIGHTMARE.
Considered to be Chesterton’s best work, this 1908 novel is an outrageous satire about a club of gentlemen in London who have vowed to destroy their turn-of-the-century world. Bursting with Chesterton’s trademark wit and abundant in surprising metaphors about religion, nature and human civilization itself, this work is a delight to read and even greater delight to ponder. (NEO 2009)
Child, Julia. MY LIFE IN FRANCE.
From the moment the ship docked in Le Havre in the fall of 1948 and Julia watched the well-muscled stevedores unloading the cargo to the first perfectly soigné meal that she and her husband, Paul, savored in Rouen en route to Paris, where he was to work for the USIS, Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn’t speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu. (NEO 2010)
Collins, Suzanne. THE HUNGER GAMES.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival. (NEO 2011)
Cooper, Helene. THE HOUSE AT SUGAR BEACH: IN SEARCH OF A LOST AFRICAN CHILDHOOD.
In the tradition of "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight," a world-renowned journalist presents a haunting memoir of a war-torn Liberian childhood and her return to her native country, 20 years after her family's flight, to reunite with the foster sister. The author traces her childhood in war-torn Liberia and her reunion with a foster sister who had been left behind when her family fled the region. (NEO 2011)
Day, Cathy. THE CIRCUS IN WINTER.
The secret lives and loves of circus people and their descendants are revealed in these 11 linked short stories. From 1884 to 1939, the small town of Lima, Indiana, hosts the Great Porter Circus during the winter months. Wallace Porter buys the circus on the eve of his beloved wife's death, claiming he has "seen the elephant." (NEO-RLS 2005)
DeRosnay, Tatiana. SARAH'S KEY.
De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. (NEO 2010)
Diaz, Junot. THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO.
Dominican-American writer Diaz has spun the heartbreak and loneliness of the immigrant experience into literary gold with memorable stories of marginalized outsiders caught between two culture as he tells the story of a sci-fi fan seeking love and acceptance while trying to escape what he believes is a family curse. (NEO 2009)
Doctorow, E.L.. HOMER & LANGLEY.
Homer and Langley Collyer are brothers—the one blind and deeply intuitive, the other damaged into madness, or perhaps greatness, by mustard gas in the Great War. They live as recluses in their once grand Fifth Avenue mansion, scavenging the city streets for things they think they can use, hoarding the daily newspapers as research for Langley’s proposed dateless newspaper whose reportage will be as prophecy. Yet the epic events of the century play out in the lives of the two brothers—wars, political movements, technological advances—and even though they want nothing more than to shut out the world, history seems to pass through their cluttered house in the persons of immigrants, prostitutes, society women, government agents, gangsters, jazz musicians . . . and their housebound lives are fraught with odyssean peril as they struggle to survive and create meaning for themselves
Dosa, David. MAKING ROUNDS WITH OSCAR.
Dosa, a geriatrician with a strong aversion to cats, tells the endearing story of Oscar the cat, the aloof resident at a nursing home who only spends time with people who are about to die. Despite hearing numerous stories about Oscar's uncanny ability to predict when a patient's time is nearing, Dosa, ever the scientist, remains skeptical. (NEO 2011)
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES.
What's the truth behind the legend of the hound of the Baskervilles? Is it really a devil-beast that's haunting the lonely moors? Enter Sherlock Holmes to find the answer, in this, the only full-length novel ever written by the creator of one of the most popular and enduring detective series ever written. (NEO-RLS 2007)
Dunant, Sarah. SACRED HEARTS.
The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God’s protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina’s new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to its core. (NEO 2011)
Essex, Karen. STEALING ATHENA.
The Elgin Marbles have been displayed in the British Museum for nearly two hundred years, and for just as long they have been the center of a raging controversy. In Stealing Athena, Karen Essex chronicles the Marbles' amazing journey through the dynamic narratives of Mary Nisbet, wife of the Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to Constantinople, and Aspasia, the mistress of Perikles, the most powerful man in Athens during that city’s Golden Age. (NEO 2011)
Evans, Richard Paul. THE WALK: A NOVEL.
What would you do if you lost everything—your job, your home, and the love of your life—all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he’s tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he’s known and heads for the farthest point on his map: Key West, Florida. The people he encounters along the way, and the lessons they share with him, will save his life—and inspire yours. (NEO 2011)
Fergus, Jim. ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN: THE JOURNEY OF MARY DODD.
This is a western with a twist: a fictional account of the participation of Mary Dowd and others in the ‘Brides for Indians’ program, a clandestine governmental program to instruct Cheyenne Warriors in the ways of civilization. Written with insight and sensitivity. (NEO 2009)
Flagg, Fannie. CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN.
Octogenarian Elner Shimfissle falls off a ladder after accidentally disturbing a hornets' nest while picking figs. After she dies at the hospital, the novel's bite-size chapters alternate between funny and touching vignettes showing how Elner's death and life has affected dozens of people in town, interspersed with scenes of Elner's laugh-out-loud assent into the hereafter. (NEO-RLS 2007)
Ford, Jamie. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET.
Ford's strained debut concerns Henry Lee, a Chinese-American in Seattle who, in 1986, has just lost his wife to cancer. After Henry hears that the belongings of Japanese immigrants interned during WWII have been found in the basement of the Panama Hotel, the narrative shuttles between 1986 and the 1940s in a predictable story that chronicles the losses of old age and the bewilderment of youth. Henry recalls the difficulties of life in America during WWII, when he and his Japanese-American school friend, Keiko, wandered through wartime Seattle. Keiko and her family are later interned in a camp, and Henry, horrified by America's anti-Japanese hysteria, is further conflicted because of his Chinese father's anti-Japanese sentiment. (NEO 2010)
Gilbert, Elizabeth. EAT, PRAY, LOVE.
At the age of thirty-one, Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant, only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later, after a protracted divorce, she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery, with three main stops: Rome, for pleasure (mostly gustatory, with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai, for spiritual searching; and Bali, for "balancing." (NEO-RLS 2007)
Goldenbaum, Sally. DEATH BY CASHMERE: A SEASIDE KNITTERS MYSTERY.
Izzy Chambers gives up her life as a Boston attorney in order to open the Seaside Knitting Studio in her childhood town. When the woman renting the apartment above it is found dead, Izzy and her knitting group vow to discover who hated her so much to kill her.
Goodman, Allegra. KAATERSKILL FALLS.
In the summer of '76, the Shulmans and the Melishes migrate to Kaaterskill, the tiny town in upstate New York where Orthodox Jews and Yankee year-rounders live side by side from June through August. Elizabeth Shulman, a devout follower of Rav Elijah Kirshner and the mother of five daughters, is restless. She needs a project of her own, outside her family and her cloistered community. Across the street, Andras Melish is drawn to Kaaterskill by his adoring older sisters, bound to him by their loss and wrenching escape from the Holocaust. Both comforted and crippled by his sisters' love, Andras cannot overcome the ambivalence he feels toward his children and his own beautiful wife. At the top of the hill, Rav Kirshner is coming to the end of his life, and he struggles to decide which of his sons should succeed him: the pious but stolid Isaiah, or the brilliant but worldly Jeremy. Behind the scenes, alarmed as his beloved Kaaterskill is overdeveloped by Michael King, the local real estate broker, Judge Miles Taylor keeps an old secret in check, biding his time.. (NEO-RLS 2006)
Graham, Barbara. EYE OF MY HEART: 27 WRITERS REVEAL THE HIDDEN PLEASURES AND PERILS FO BEING A GRANDMAOTHER.
Women who have achieved grandmotherly status will appreciate this engaging, honest volume of essays by 26 writers who articulate shared emotions about their grandchildren. All describe a new form of love different from the love they felt for their own children. (NEO 2011)
Grisham, John. THE CONFESSION.
In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row. Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess. But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man? (NEO 2011)
Gruen, Sara. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS.
An old man tells of his life with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined when he was a young man during the Great Depression. (NEO-RLS 2007)
Hammett, Dashiell. THE THIN MAN.
Nick and Nora Charles are Hammett's most enchanting creations, a rich, glamorous couple who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis. At once knowing and unabashedly romantic, The Thin Man is a murder mystery that doubles as a sophisticated comedy of manners. (NEO-RLS 2006)
Harr, Johnathan. THE LOST PAINTING.
An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries. (NEO 2008)
Hay, Sheridan. SECRET OF LOST THINGS.
Arriving in New York from Tasmania with $300, her mother's ashes and a love of reading, 18-year-old Rosemary Savage finds work in the Arcade Bookshop, a huge, labyrinthine place that features everything from overstock to rare books. In its physicality, the store greatly resembles New York's Strand (where Hay worked), and its requisite assortment of intriguing bookish oddballs includes autocratic owner George Pike and his albino assistant, Walter Geist. Rosemary is suspicious and worried when Walter enlists Rosemary's help to respond to an anonymous request to sell a hand-written version of Herman Melville's lost Isle of the Cross (a novel that in fact existed but disappeared after Melville's publisher rejected it). She confides in Oscar (the attractive, emotionally unavailable nonfiction specialist), which only hastens the deal's momentum toward disaster. (NEO 2008)
Hemingway, Ernest. MOVEABLE FEAST.
Published for the first time as Ernest Hemingway intended, one of the great writer's most enduring works: his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s.
Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. Since Hemingway's personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now this new special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published. (NEO 2011)
Herz, Rachel. THE SCENT OF DESIRE: DISCOVERING OUR ENIGMATIC SENSE OF SMELL.
Drawing on the latest research, Herz breaks down the powerful connection between our nose and our emotions – one that can influence both our choice in a signature scent and in romantic partners. This eminently readable book will appeal to ‘foodies’, Proustian scholars, and popular psychology buffs alike. (NEO 2009)
Hill, Lawrence. SOMEONE KNOWS MY NAME.
This stunning novel spans the life of Aminta Diallo, who was kidnapped at the age of eleven from West Africa by British slavers. Depicting a woman who survives history’s most trying conditions through intelligence and personality, Hill’s book is a harrowing, breath-taking tour de force. (NEO 2009)
Horan, Nancy. LOVING FRANK.
Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney's love story is--as many early reviews of Loving Frank have noted--little-known and often dismissed as scandal. In Nancy Horan's skillful hands, however, what you get is two fully realized people, entirely, irrepressibly, in love. Together, Frank and Mamah are a wholly modern portrait, and while you can easily imagine them in the here and now, it's their presence in the world of early 20th century America that shades how authentic and, ultimately, tragic their story is. (NEO 2008)
Hunt, Linda. BOLD SPIRIT.
In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant and mother of eight children named Helga Estby was behind on taxes and the mortgage when she learned that a mysterious sponsor would pay $10,000 to a woman who walked across America. Hoping to win the wager and save her family’s farm, Helga and her teenaged daughter Clara, armed with little more than a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and Clara’s curling iron, set out on foot from Eastern Washington. (NEO 2010)
Idliby, Ranya; Oliver, Suzanne; Warner, Priscilla. THE FAITH CLUB.
A groundbreaking book about Americans searching for faith and mutual respect, The Faith Club weaves the story of three women, their three religions, and their urgent quest to understand one another. After September 11, Ranya Idliby, an American Muslim of Palestinian descent,faced constant questions about Islam, God, and death from her children, the only Muslims in their classrooms. Inspired by a story about Muhammad, Ranya reached out to two other mothers to write an interfaith children's book that would highlight the connections between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. After just a few meetings, however, the women realized that they themselves needed an honest and open environment where they could admit -- and discuss -- their concerns, stereotypes, and misunderstandings. After hours of soul-searching about the issues that divided them, Ranya, Suzanne, and Priscilla grew close enough to discover and explore what united them. (NEO 2010)
Ishiguro, Kazuo. NEVER LET ME GO.
As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. (NEO-RLS 2007)
Jacobs, A.J. MY LIFE AS AN EXPERIMENT: ONE MAN'S HUMBLE QUEST TO IMPROVE HIMSELF BY LIVING AS A WOMAN, BECOMING GEORGE WASHINGTON, .
A mix of Bill Bryson, George Plimpton, and Malcolm Gladwell, A.J. explores the big issues of our time -- happiness, dating, morality, marriage -- by immersing himself in eye-opening situations. You'll be entertained by these stories -- some of which are new, some of which had their start in Esquire magazine. But you'll also learn to look at life in new ways (NEO 2011)
James, Henry. THE ASPERN PAPERS.
With a decaying Venetian villa as a backdrop, an anonymous narrator relates his obsessive quest for the personal documents of a deceased Romantic poet, one Jeffrey Aspern. Led by his mission into increasingly unscrupulous behavior, he is ultimately faced with relinquishing his heart's desire or attaining it at an overwhelming price. (NEO 2008)
Janzen, Rhonda. MENNONITE IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS.
Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her injured. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda's good-natured mother suggested she get over her heartbreak by dating her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) (NEO 2010)
Jarvis, Cheryl. THE NECKLACE.
One day in Ventura, California, Jonell McLain saw a beautiful diamond necklace in a jewelry store window and wondered: Why are personal luxuries so plentiful yet accessible to so few? What if we shared what we desired? Several weeks, dozens of phone calls, and one great leap of faith later, Jonell and twelve other women bought the necklace together–to be passed along among them all. (NEO 2010)
Jordan, Hillary. MUDBOUND.
Laura McAllen, a college educated Memphis schoolteacher, becomes a reluctant farmer’s wife in 1946 when her husband buys a farm on the Mississippi Delta. Wrought with problems of hardship and racism, this beautifully written work has echoes of As I Lay Dying. (NEO 2009)
King, Laurie. LETTER OF MARY: A NOVEL OF SUSPENSE FEATURING MARY RUSSELL AND SHERLOCK HOLMES.
Sherlock and his scholarly companion Mary Russell are caught in an exciting mystery when an archeologist gives them a papyrus supposedly written by Mary Magdalene. When the archeologist is killed, they become embroiled in a rollicking story filled with political intrigue and highbrow sleuthing. (NEO2009)
Kluge, P. F.. GONE TOMORROW.
George Canaris, an aged professor and formerly famed author, turns up dead from a hit-and-run accident in the midwestern college town where he taught and lived for more than 30 years. Mark May, a fledging academic, is named as his literary executor and is sent to uncover the novel Canaris has supposedly been writing for the past three decades. What he discovers, instead, is the professor’s account of his final year at the college and a remembrance of a lifetime that crossed paths with students and town locals and that spanned the globe to a small spa town in Eastern Europe. (NEO 2010)
Kostova, Elizabeth. THE SWAN THIEVES.
Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlow finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism. (NEO 2011)
Landvik, Lorna. ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS.
The women of Freesia Court are convinced that there is nothing good coffee, delectable desserts, and a strong shoulder can’t fix. Laughter is the glue that holds them together—the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons), an unofficial “club” that becomes much more. It becomes a lifeline. Holding on through forty eventful years, there’s Faith, a lonely mother of twins who harbors a terrible secret that has condemned her to living a lie; big, beautiful Audrey, the resident sex queen who knows that with good posture and an attitude you can get away with anything; Merit, the shy doctor’s wife with the face of an angel and the private hell of an abusive husband; Kari, a wise woman with a wonderful laugh who knows the greatest gifts appear after life’s fiercest storms; and finally, Slip, a tiny spitfire of a woman who isn’t afraid to look trouble straight in the eye. (NEO-RLS 2006)
Leonard, Mike. THE RIDE OF OUR LIVES.
"Today" correspondent Mike Leonard decided to take a month off to accompany his aging parents on a journey to the places of their youth, along with a number of American landmarks. He tells the story of their RV trek with good humor, recalling their fascination with the roadside landscape, as he reveals how his parents, always blunt and unique, deal with the indignities of age and memories of the past. (NEO-RLS 2007)
Levy, Andrea. SMALL ISLAND.
In the shabby remnants of post-blitz London, three near-strangers find themselves in a single house. Queenie Bligh is a spirited Yorkshirewoman waiting for her husband to return from the war and taking in tenants to make ends meet. Gilbert Joseph, a Jamaican R.A.F. veteran, is struggling to establish himself in England, a country that he'd been taught was his motherland but which regards him as an interloper; his bride, Hortense, has just arrived in London and is bewildered that her education and class can't transcend the color of her skin. (NEO 2010)
Lippman, Laura. WHAT THE DEAD KNOW.
After fleeing a car accident, a middle-aged woman with no ID is questioned by both the police and hospital administration. Refusing to reveal her identity (and proof of health insurance), she instead hints that she is the younger of two sisters, Heather and Sunny Bethany, who disappeared the day before Easter in 1975. This gets everyone's attention. She knows both too much and not enough about the case, leading Baltimore police on wild goose chases to Pennsylvania and Georgia, saying just enough to stay out of jail and keep them interested, albeit suspicious. (NEO 2008)
Logue, Mark and Peter Conradi. THE KINGS SPEECH: HOW ONE MAN SAVED THE BRITISH MONARCHY.
It's the eve of World War II, & King Edward VIII has abdicated. Never has the nation needed a leader more. But the new monarch, George VI--father of today's Queen Elizabeth II--is painfully shy and cursed with a terrible stammer. How can he inspire confidence in his countrymen when he cannot even speak to them? Help arrives in speech therapist Logue, who not only is a commoner, but Australian to boot. Will he be able to give King George his voice? The King's Speech tells an inspiring tale of triumph over adversity and the unlikely friendship between a reluctant king & the charismatic subject who saved the throne. (NEO 2011)
Maguire, Gregory. WICKED.
In Maguire's Oz, Elphaba, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West, is not wicked; nor is she a formally schooled witch. Instead, she's an insecure, unfortunately green Munchkinlander who's willing to take radical steps to unseat the tyrannical Wizard of Oz. Using an appropriately brusque voice for the always blunt Elphaba, McDonough relates her tumultuous childhood (spent with an alcoholic mother and a minister father) and eye-opening school years (when she befriends her roommate, Glinda). (NEO 2008)
Millard, Candice. THE RIVER OF DOUBT: THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S DARKEST JOURNEY.
After loosing his 3rd bid for the White House in 1912, Roosevelt accepts an invitation for a journey down an Amazon tributary know as the River of Doubt. This suspenseful book follows as participants deal with poor preparations and injuries even as the author, a former National Geographic writer, reveals the flora and fauna in marvelous detail. (NEO 2009)
Moore, Tim. TRAVELS WITH MY DONKEY.
A man, a donkey, and a very long walk: Moore's latest European adventure (after French Revolutions and others) finds him embarking on an ages-old physical and spiritual pilgrimage across Spain to the famed cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Moore entertains with his snappy one-liners and skewed views of the locals, his fellow pilgrims and his own reasons for undertaking the camino. Against advice to the contrary, he pursues his search for a donkey to accompany him, which "upgraded his camino from big walk to revelatory voyage of self-examination." (NEO-RLS 2006)
Moran, Johanna. THE WIVES OF HENRY OADES.
An English accountant and his two wives are the subject of this intriguing and evocative debut novel based on a real-life 19th-century California bigamy case. A loving husband and attentive father, Henry Oades assures his wife, Margaret, that his posting to New Zealand will be temporary and the family makes the difficult journey. But during a Maori uprising, Margaret and her four children are kidnapped and the Oades's house is torched. Convinced his family is dead, Henry relocates to California and marries Nancy, a sad 20-year-old pregnant widow. When Margaret and the children escape, eventually making their way to California and Henry's doorstep, he does the decent thing by being a husband to both wives and father to all their offspring, a situation deemed indecent by the Berkeley Daughters of Decency. (NEO 2010)
Murphy, Louise. THE TRUE STORY OF HANSEL AND GRETEL.
A provocative transformation of the classic fairy tale into a haunting survival story set in Poland during WWII, Murphy's second novel (after The Sea Within) is darkly enchanting. Two Jewish children, a girl of 11 and her seven-year-old brother, are left to wander the woods after their father and stepmother are forced to abandon them, frantically begging them never to say their Jewish names, but to identify themselves as Hansel and Gretel. In an imaginative reversal of the original tale, they encounter a small woman named Magda, known as a "witch" by villagers, who risks her life in harboring them. The story alternates between the children's nightmarish adventures, and their parents' struggle for survival and hope for a safe reunion. (NEO 2008)
Niffenegger, Audrey. THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE.
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.(NEO-RLS 2006)
O'Farrell, Maggie. THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX.
Iris Lockhart, a young Scottish woman, is informed that she has the power of attorney for her great Aunt Esme, whom she didn’t even know existed. Esme has been locked up in a mental hospital for 60 years, and the hospital is about to close. This is a gripping novel with superbly crafted scenes.
Ogawa, Yoko. THE HOUSEKEEPER AND THE PROFESSOR.
Narrated by the Housekeeper, the characters are known only as the Professor and Root, the Housekeepers 10-year-old son, nicknamed by the Professor because the shape of his hair and head remind the Professor of the square root symbol. A brilliant mathematician, the Professor was seriously injured in a car accident and his short-term memory only lasts for 80 minutes. He can remember his theorems and favorite baseball players, but the Housekeeper must reintroduce herself every morning, sometimes several times a day. The Professor, who adores Root, is able to connect with the child through baseball, and the Housekeeper learns how to work with him through the memory lapses until they can come together on common ground, at least for 80 minutes. In this gorgeous tale, Ogawa lifts the window shade to allow readers to observe the characters for a short while, then closes the shade. (NEO 2010)
Oliveira, Robin. MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER.
Mary Sutter is a brilliant, head¬strong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine - and eager to run away from her recent heartbreak - Mary leaves home and travels to Washington, D.C. to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded. The focus on often horrific medicine and the women who practiced it against all odds makes for compelling reading. (NEO 2011)
Olsson, Linda. ASTRID & VERONIKA.
Veronika, a 30-year-old Swedish writer, rents a home in a remote village to finish work on her second novel. Her only neighbor for miles is Astrid, a reclusive octogenarian who has earned a reputation (perhaps undeserved) as the village witch. Veronika and Astrid gradually become friends, taking long walks and sipping wine made from the wild strawberries in Astrid's garden. Each shares painful secrets along the way. Veronika abandoned a devoted boyfriend to take up with a bartender from New Zealand. They fell passionately in love, then tragedy befell him, leaving Veronika incapacitated by grief. Astrid endured sexual abuse from her father and a long loveless marriage to a man chosen by him. Until now, she has never told anyone the truth about her infant daughter's death. (NEO 2010)
Otsuka, Julie. WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS DIVINE.
With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracination—both physical and emotional—of a generation of Japanese Americans. In five chapters, each flawlessly executed from a different point of view—the mother receiving the order to evacuate; the daughter on the long train ride to the camp; the son in the desert encampment; the family’s return to their home; and the bitter release of the father after more than four years in captivity—she has created a small tour de force, a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion. Spare, intimate, arrestingly understated, When the Emperor Was Divine is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. (NEO-RLS 2006)
Parry, Michael. COOP: A FAMILY, A FARM AND THE PURSUIT OF ONE GOOD EGG.
This is a book about country living filled with humor and sincerity. Perry is a trusted author with entertaining prose and serrated wit. This is a very entertaining memoir and has proven to touch mid-western hearts. This is the Perry family's attempt to reconnect with land, friends, and neighbors in Wisconsin. (NEO 2011)
Picoult, Jodi. NINETEEN MINUTES.
This spellbound novel deals with the truth and consequences of a small town high-school shooting. As with any Picoult novel, the answers to the obvious questions are never black and white, and it is her exceptional ability to blur the lines in the moral landscape that make the author such a captive storyteller. (NEO 2009)
Picoult, Jodie. HOUSE RULES.
Piccoult always deals with cutting-edge issues in society. This volume deals with a teenage boy diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome on the autism spectrum. One out of one hundred children are diagnosed on this continuum. So Piccoult takes up her pen to write a riveting story that gives the reader a glimpse into autism and its effects on the person and his family. (NEO 2011)
Portis, Charles. TRUE GRIT.
Charles Portis has long been acclaimed as one of America's foremost comic writers. It tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father, robs him of his life, his horse, & $150 in cash money. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father's blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory. (NEO 2011)
Roberts, Cokie. FOUNDING MOTHERS: THE WOMEN WHO RAISED OUR NATION.
Cokie Roberts brings to light the stories of the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, sometimes even defending their very doorsteps from British occupation. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their husbands' businesses, ran the farms, and raised their children. These women who sacrificed for the fledgling nation spent months or even years apart from their husbands, at a time when letters were their only form of contact. (NEO-RLS 2005)
Ross, Adam. MR. PEANUT.
David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After thirteen years of marriage, he still can’t imagine a remotely happy life without her—yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect. (NEO 2011)
Russo, Richard. THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC.
For Griffin, all paths, all memories, converge at Cape Cod. The Cape is where he took his childhood summer vacations, where he and his wife, Joy, honeymooned, where they decided he’d leave his LA screenwriting job to become a college professor, and where they celebrated the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. But when their beloved Laura’s wedding takes place a year later, Griffin is caught between chauffeuring his mother’s and father’s ashes in two urns and contending with Joy and her large, unruly family. Both he and she have also brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened? (NEO 2011)
Schenone, Laura. THE LOST RAVIOLI RECIPES OF HOBOKEN: A SEARCH FORFOOD AND FAMILY.
Laura Schenone undertakes a quest to retrieve her great grandmother's ravioli recipe, reuniting with relatives as she goes. She discovers the importance of place, while offering a perceptive voice on immigration and ethnicity in its twilight. (NEO 2011)
Scottoline, Lisa. WHY MY THIRD HUSBAND WILL BE A DOG.
Scottoline, author of several thrillers featuring women and writer of the weekly Chick Wit column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, offers a collection of her published columns and additional commentary on life from a woman’s perspective. Her columns feature the people in her life—mom (aka Mother Mary), brother, daughter, friends, and her pets, including four dogs of long and faithful companionship, thus the title of the book. Minor characters are two ex-husbands she calls Thing One and Thing Two. Among her observations and ruminations: how divorce has led to families having multiple dogs, the virtues of visible panty and bra lines, starting a religion that allows women to have multiple husbands, how women’s magazines ignore women over 40, the bittersweet experience of a child going off to college, and the awkwardness of men determined not to look at women’s breasts, which results in fixed stares.
See, Lisa. SHANGHAI GIRLS.
In 1937 Shanghai—the Paris of Asia—twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree—until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are—Shanghai girls. (NEO2010)
Shaffer, Mary Anne and Annie Barrows. THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY.
A post WW II London author enters into a correspondence with readers from an unusual book discussion group on Guernsey that was founded during the war. We become familiar with the highs and lows of the Islanders’ lives as lasting friendships are formed. Readers who enjoyed 84 Charing Cross Road will love this book. (NEO 2009)
Shors, John. BENEATH THE MARBLE SKY.
This "passionate, lush, and dramatic" (Sandra Gulland) debut novel reveals the story behind the building of the Taj Mahal and the destruction of a royal family. (NEO 2011)
Shorto, Russell. THE ISLAND AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD: THE EPIC STORY OF DUTCH MANHATTAN AND THE FORGOTTEN COLONY .
In a work of history, Shorto presents astonishing information on the founding of our nation and reveals in riveting detail the crucial role of the Dutch in making America what it is today. A history of the Dutch role in the establishment of Manhattan discusses the rivalry between England and the Dutch Republic, focusing on the power struggle between Holland governor Peter Stuyvesant and politician Adriaen van der Donck that shaped New York's culture and social freedoms. (NEO 2011)
Simonson, Helen. MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND.
The Major epitomizes the Englishman with the "stiff upper lip," who clings to traditional values & has tried (in vain) to pass these along to his yuppie son, Roger. The story centers around Pettigrew's fight to keep his greedy relatives from selling a valuable family heirloom. The embattled hero discovers an unexpected ally & source of consolation in his neighbor, the Pakistani shopkeeper Jasmina Ali. On the surface, Pettigrew & Ali's backgrounds and life experiences couldn't be more different, but they discover that they have the most important things in common. (NEO 2011)
Skloot, Rebecca. IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS.
Science journalist Skloot makes a remarkable debut with this multilayered story about faith, science, journalism, and grace. Henrietta Lacks was a 31-year-old black mother of five in Baltimore when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Writing in plain, clear prose, Skloot avoids melodrama and makes no judgments. Letting people and events speak for themselves, Skloot tells a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society's most vulnerable people. (NEO 2011)
Smith, Dodie. I CAPTURE THE CASTLE.
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with poignant entries. Her journals chronicle the great changes that take place within the old castle’s walls, and her own first love. By the time she finishes she has “captured the castle”--and the heart of the reader. (NEO 2011)
Sparks, Nicholas and Micah. THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER.
Who wouldn't want to go on a trip around the world? When best-selling novelist Sparks receives a travel brochure from his alma mater, Notre Dame, he thinks, "If not now, then when?" and asks his brother to join him. They both have family obligations, but this sounds like the trip of a lifetime, and as the reader soon finds out, they both need to relax. As they journey to faraway places, the brothers reminisce about their unusual childhood. (NEO 2010)
Stein, Garth. ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN.
Meet Enzo, the unforgettable canine narrator of this bittersweet and transformative story of family, love, loyalty, and hope. Enzo is a philosopher with a nearly human soul, and he's gained a wealth of knowledge from hours spent in front of the TV. (NEO 2011)
Steinbach, Aline. WITHOUT RESERVATIONS: THE TRAVELS…..
In many ways, I was an independent woman,” writes Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Alice Steinbach. “For years I’d made my own choices, paid my own bills, shoveled my own snow.” But somehow she had become dependent in quite another way. “I had fallen into the habit . . . of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me.” But who was she away from the people and things that defined her? In this exquisite book, Steinbach searches for the answer to this question in some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world: Paris, where she finds a soul mate; Oxford, where she takes a course on the English village; Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to be married. Beautifully illustrated with postcards from her journeys, this revealing and witty book transports you into a fascinating inner and outer journey, an unforgettable voyage of discovery. (NEO-RLS 2006)
Steinbeck, John. CANNERY ROW.
Novel by John Steinbeck, published in 1945. Like most of Steinbeck's postwar work, Cannery Row is sentimental in tone while retaining the author's characteristic social criticism. Peopled by stereotypical good-natured bums and warm-hearted prostitutes living on the fringes of Monterey, Calif., the picaresque novel celebrates lowlifes who are poor but happy. (NEO 2010)
Swanson, James. MANHUNT.
The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness. (NEO-RLS 2007)
Thom, James Alexander. LONG KNIFE: A NOVEL BASED ON THE LIFE OF GEORGE ROGERS CLARK.
Two centuries ago, with the support of the young Revolutionary government, Clark led a small but fierce army to conquer all of the territory between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Here is the adventure, romance, struggle, and betrayal that make up his life. Rich in heroic characters and meticulously researched, this book is simply unforgettable. (NEO 2009)
Thomas, Marlo. GROWING UP LAUGHING: MY STORY.
This book is a memoir, a love story, a thank-you letter to her family, and a personal glimpse into her childhood as one of Danny Thomas' three children. But interspersed with the marvelous, intimate stories (about her drum-playing grandmother, her Catholic family, her acting successes and failures) are interviews with current comics and deeply moving homages to the comics of the past. She makes us laugh, cry, and trip happily down memory lane. (NEO 2011)
Thurbon, Colin. SHADOW OF THE SILK ROAD.
Modern day traveler Thurbon follows the ancient network of trade routes that connected Central Asia with the Mediterranean coast. Traveling third class, he experiences the best and the worst as the Silk Road becomes a metaphor for the mingling of experiences and influences that is the essence of travel. (NEO 2009)
Twain, Mark. THE INNOCENTS ABROAD.
A classic in Mark Twain sytle. This is a story of his first of many overseas trips. As he refers to his countrymen as pumpkins among the more civilized European world. The humor and style of writing make this a good book for those who enjoy a good easy read classic. (NEO-RLS 2005)
Twain, Mark. LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI.
At once a romantic history of a mighty river, an autobiographical account of Mark Twain's early steamboat days, and a storehouse of humorous anecdotes and sketches, Life on the Mississippi is the raw material from which Twain wrote his finest novel-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (NEO 2008)
Umrigar, Thrity. THE SPACE BETWEEN US.
Thrity Umrigar's poignant novel about a wealthy woman and her downtrodden servant, offers a revealing look at class and gender roles in modern day Bombay. Alternatively told through the eyes of Sera, a Parsi widow whose pregnant daughter and son-in-law share her elegant home, and Bhima, the elderly housekeeper who must support her orphaned granddaughter, Umrigar does an admirable job of creating two sympathetic characters whose bond goes far deeper than that of employer and employee. (NEO 2010)
Wallace, Benjamin. THE BILLIONAIRE'S VINEGAR: THE MYSTERY OF THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE BOTTLE OF WINE.
This vintage tale tells the story of a 1787 bottle of Chateau Laffite Bordeaux that sold for $156,000. Is it an elaborate con or truly a bottle from the cellars of Thomas Jefferson? This is a successful and thrilling story. (NEO 2009)
Walls, Jeannette. HALF BROKE HORSES.
Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds—against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn’t fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa or Beryl Markham’s West with the Night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix readers everywhere.
Winspear, Jacqueline. MAISIE DOBBS.
Maisie Dobbs isn’t just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence—and the patronage of her benevolent employers—she works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind. (NEO 2008)
Wynne, Fran. I WAS VERMEER.
In this intriguing biography, Wynne recounts how Dutch forger Han van Meegeren successfully passed off more than a dozen bogus works—including, most famously, The Supper at Emmaus in 1937—as authentic Vermeers, Halses and de Hooches. Van Meegeren, who favored the style of the old Dutch masters just as modernism was hitting its stride, decided to embarrass his forward-looking critics by creating and selling his own "Vermeer." He continued his charade until he was forced to admit his crimes in 1947 while defending himself against a separate charge of treason. (NEO 2011)
Zaslow, Jeffrey. THE GIRLS FROM AMES.
Meet the Ames Girls: eleven childhood friends who formed a special bond growing up in Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to eight different states, yet managed to maintain an enduring friendship that would carry them through college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, a child's illness and the mysterious death of one member of their group. Capturing their remarkable story, The Girls from Ames is a testament to the deep bonds of women as they experience life's joys and challenges -- and the power of friendship to triumph over heartbreak and unexpected tragedy. The girls, now in their forties, have a lifetime of memories in common, some evocative of their generation and some that will resonate with any woman who has ever had a friend. (NEO 2010)
Zusak, Markus. THE BOOK THIEF.
Grade 9 Up–Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers. Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. (NEO 2008)