Books

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State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Dr. Marina Singh is a research scientist at a pharmaceutical company in Minnesota. Her latest work-related task is to travel to the Amazon to find out how one of her colleagues died, and what progress, if any, another colleague has made in developing a new fertility drug. Rich descriptions and vivid prose make this book a stunning read--even if the subject matter sounds less than appealing. Check Our Catalog

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." From "The Unexpected Party" in the Shire to "The Last Stage" home again we journey with the far-wandering Mr. Bilbo Baggins across Middle Earth as he is reluctantly caught up in the quest for unimaginable treasure. With thirteen dwarves the hobbit faces bickering trolls, evil orcs, terrifying Wargs, hideous spiders, deception and, finally, the dragon Smaug. Bilbo is chosen by the wizard Gandalf as the burglar necessary to complete the expedition to the Lonely Mountain.

Earthbound by Joe Haldeman

Hugo and Nebula award winner Haldeman's space opera trilogy (Marsbound, Starbound) arcs to its stunning conclusion. The god-like Others (for reasons only they can fathom) have destroyed the earth's moon and created a barrier to human space travel. Humanity pushes back and the Others turn off the power. All of the power. In the blink of an eye. Aircraft drop out of the sky. Telecommunication disappears. Civilization rapidly begins to unravel.

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

In her profoundly moving second memoir, Fuller returns to capture a lifetime of loss and failure in southern Africa experienced by her parents. Only somewhat forgiven by her mother for writing the excellent "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" (that Awful Book) we are the beneficiares of a ruthlessly lucid love story of a daughter for a mother who has Lived Life in Capital Letters.

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman

This debut is more than a suspenseful psychological crime thriller. It's also an indictment of the way factory farming poisons rural America and a searing expose of violence against women, an everyday occurence conveniently denied and repressed by the residents of the small town of Haeden, N.Y., as it is by most of the rest of us most of the time.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a great comedy writer, and this book is no exception. While there are plenty of laugh out loud moments, what made this book so enjoyable was the insightful, behind the scenes look at working for SNL, and Fey's Sarah Palin transformation, juxtaposed with Fey's struggle to be a woman in the male dominated comedy world and a working mother. Fans will enjoy this book, but it will appeal more to female readers.

It's So Easy: And Other Lies by Duff McKagan

If you're looking for a racy, behind the scenes rock n' roll chronicle this isn't it.  This engaging memoir by Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan is more of a reflection on his substance abuse, and overcoming it, with his life in music as a background.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

In Whitehead’s post-apocalyptic thriller, the world is divided into two types:  the infected and the uninfected.  The world has been hit by a plague, but now it is receding and the uninfected are slowly taking back their cities.  Mark Spitz is a heavily armed civilian volunteer who is helping to eliminate remaining infected individuals.  He and his team are on the island of Manhattan cleaning out Zone One, trying to set up the base for resettlement.  Whitehead’s description of a devastated NYC is as frightening as the scenes remembered by his characters. 

The Complete Game: Reflections on Baseball, Pitching and Life on the Mound by Ron Darling

Starting pitcher for the New York Mets from 1983 to 1991, Darling eloquently describes the beautiful cruelty of our national pastime. This is less a technical description of the mechanics and tactics of pitching (though you will find plenty of that, too) than an insightful and captivating exploration of what goes on inside the mind of the man who occupies this uniquely strategic position. Rich with fascinating anecdotes and notes on the subtler aspects of the game, Darling provides a marvelous expose on the inner life of pitchers. Great preparation for spring training!

The Rope by Nevada Barr

Looking to get as far away as possible from Manhattan after the death of her husband, Anna Pigeon takes a job as a seasonal ranger at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on Lake Powell.  One day on a hike in the canyons she comes across three men attacking a woman; the next thing she knows she is waking up in a 20-foot deep hole in the ground.  How Anna saves herself from this predicament and others provides the back story for this long-running series character's decison to become a National Park Service Ranger.  As always, Barr provides a twisty mystery in a gorgeousl

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