Staff Picks

Check out this list of books compiled by library staff. 

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Into the Beautiful North
Author: Luis Alberto Urrea

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village—they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men—her own "Siete Magníficos"—to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over. Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.

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Americanah
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home. Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

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A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him 'the bitter neighbor from hell.' But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Annie Barrows

As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.

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Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Brontë

In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall, a country estate owned by the mysteriously remote Mr. Rochester.

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Dare to lead : brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts.
Author: Brené Brown

n her #1 New York Times bestsellers, Brené Brown has taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.

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Rising Strong
Author: Brené Brown

The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. The author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle, Brene Brown writes, can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to a wholehearted life.

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Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change
Author: Pema Chödrön

We live in difficult times. Life sometimes seems like a roiling and turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy the world. Why, then, shouldn't we cling to the certainty of the shore--to our familiar patterns and habits? Because, Pema Chödrön teaches, that kind of fear-based clinging keeps us from the infinitely more satisfying experience of being fully alive. The teachings she presents here--known as the 'Three Commitments'--provide a wealth of wisdom for learning to step right into the river: to be completely, fearlessly present even in the hardest times, the most difficult situations. When we learn to let go of our protective patterns and do that, we begin to see not only how much better it feels to live that way, but, as a wonderful side effect, we find that we begin to naturally and effectively reach out to others in care and support.

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The Year of Magical Thinking
Author: Joan Didion

From one of America's iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage--and a life, in good times and bad--that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later--the night before New Year's Eve--the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.

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All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

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Geek Love
Author: Katherine Dunn

Aloysious and Lillian Binewski, proprietors of a traveling carnival, attempt to reduce overhead by breeding their own freak show, with tragic results.

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Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey

From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, comedian Tina Fey reveals all, and proves that you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

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Bridget Jones's Diary
Author: Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud account of a year in the life of a thirty-something Singleton on a permanent doomed quest for self-improvement. Caught between the joys of Singleton fun, and the fear of dying alone and being found three weeks later half eaten by an Alsatian; tortured by Smug Married friends asking, "How's your love life?" with lascivious, yet patronizing leers, Bridget resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult and learn to program the VCR. With a blend of flighty charm, existential gloom, and endearing self-deprecation, Bridget Jones's Diary has touched a raw nerve with millions of readers the world round. Read it and laugh—before you cry, "Bridget Jones is me!"

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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Author: Fannie Flagg

A folksy, funny and endearing story of life in a small town in Alabama in the Depression and in the 1980s. However, the novel's laughter and tears are interrupted by a strange murder and a still stranger trial.

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Author: Karen Joy Fowler

Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.

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Moon over Madeline Island
Author: Jay Gilbertson

Schedules, bills, errands, the dying water heater in the basement--sometimes running away from it all is a huge temptation. In a wise, wonderful novel that's as sweet, tart, and refreshing as a tall glass of lemonade on a hot day, you'll meet a couple of dear friends who actually take the plunge. Luckily, they've got the best safety net two women could have--each other. Every day in her busy Wisconsin beauty salon, Eve's clients trust her with their hair and their hearts. Unattached and not unhappy about it, she chugs along through life, fueled by coffee, gossip, and the daily round of split-end crises and dye disasters--until long-time client Ruby proposes something completely wild. Maybe it's the perm fumes, but she wants Eve to drop everything and move with her to a rambling, dilapidated cottage way up north at the lake. What's even crazier is that Eve agrees. . . The lure of escaping their ordinary lives for total freedom is too tempting to ignore, although neither one of them expects it to come with a barn full of cobwebs, an eccentric cast of local characters, and a brand-new business to run. The difference is, bare feet, good food--not to mention the time to make it--and the serene beauty of the lake in their front yard make facing each new challenge a lot more fun. If life is what you make of it, Eve and Ruby are bound and determined to make it fabulous. . . Collapse title description text

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The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah

In 1974, a former Vietnam POW, suffering from flashbacks and nightmares, moves his family to Alaska to live off the grid in an attempt to find peace, restoration, and freedom. They will also face dangers, both internally and externally, as they face the ultimate test of the human spirit.

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The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah

With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

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Winter Garden
Author: Kristin Hannah

The dying wish of a loving father ignites a family drama that brings two sisters and their acid-tongued, Russian-born mother together in a story that reaches back to WWII Leningrad.

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These Old Shades
Author: Georgette Heyer

Considered the book that launched Gerogette Heyer's career, These Old Shades features two of Heyer's most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignominy and comes to love and marry. The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy's clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys "Leon" and makes the child his page. "Leon" is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert

Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recruits a mysterious artist to help her establish meaning in her life, before finding herself engaged in reckless but thrilling activities.

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Girl, wash your face : stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be
Author: Rachel Hollis

Drawing from her life experiences as a lifestyle guru, the author presents a guide to becoming a joyous, confident woman by breaking the cycle of negativity and burnout and pursuing a life of exuberance.

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Evvie Drake Starts Over
Author: Linda Holmes

In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button. When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept. They'll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there's always a chance--right up until the last out

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Have you seen Luis Velez?
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong. Not with his mother's new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father's wife. Not at school, where he's an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he's tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who's introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez? Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two. Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there's hope if you have someone to hold on to.

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Stay
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

In the summer of 1969, fourteen-year-old Lucas Painter carries a huge weight on his shoulders. His brother is fighting in Vietnam. His embattled parents are locked in a never-ending war. And his best friend, Connor, is struggling with his own family issues. To find relief from the chaos, Lucas takes long, meandering walks, and one day he veers into the woods. There he discovers an isolated cabin and two huge dogs. Frightened, he runs. And the dogs run with him. Lucas finds unusual peace in running with the dogs, and eventually he meets their owner, Zoe Dinsmore. Closed off and haunted by a tragic past, Zoe has given up. She doesn't want to be saved. She wants out. But Lucas doesn't want her to go, and he sees an opportunity to bring more than one friend back into the light. It's either the best or worst idea he's ever had, but Lucas isn't giving up on Zoe or Connor.

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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal

Nikki lives in West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she's spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community, preferring a more independent life. When her father's death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a 'creative writing' course at the community center in the beating heart of London's close-knit Punjabi community. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected, and exciting, kind.

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At Home in Mitford
Author: Jan Karon

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's sixty years old. Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy about ordinary people and their ordinary lives.

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Lilac Girls
Author: Martha Hall Kelly

On a September day in Manhattan in 1939, twenty-something Caroline Ferriday is consumed by her efforts to secure the perfect boutonniere for an important French diplomat and resisting the romantic advances of a married actor. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. As tensions rise abroad - and in her personal life - Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort in France grows and she eventually comes to hear about the dire situation at the Ravensbruck all-female concentration camp. At the same time, Kasia's carefree youth is quickly slipping away, only to be replaced by a fervor for the Polish resistance movement. Through Ravensbruck - and the horrific atrocities taking place there told in part by an infamous German surgeon, Herta Oberheuser - the two women's lives will converge in unprecedented ways and a novel of redemption and hope emerges that is breathtaking in scope and depth

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Braiding Sweetgrass
Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation." As she explores these themes, she circles toward a central argument: The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.

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Orphan Train
Author: Christina Baker Kline

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to 'aging out' out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life--answers that will ultimately free them both.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo's clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house "spark joy" (and which don't), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo's newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home-and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

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The History of Love
Author: Nicole Krauss

A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness. Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive. But it wasn't always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book. . . . Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family.

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Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
Author: Lorna Landvik

Five women, each with her own story to tell, form a book club they call Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons that becomes the lifeline that sustains them through four decades of joy and sorrow.

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Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Author: Jenny Lawson

In an illustrated memoir, the creator of the Bloggess blog shares humorous stories from her life, including her awkward upbringing in Texas and her relationship with her husband.

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The art of escapism cooking : a survival story, with intensely good flavors
Author: Mandy Lee

In this inventive and intensely personal cookbook, the blogger behind the award-winning ladyandpups.com reveals how she cooked her way out of an untenable living situation, with more than eighty delicious Asian-inspired dishes with influences from around the world.

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Tea and cake with demons : a Buddhist guide to feeling worthy
Author: Adreanna Limbach

In Tea and Cake with Demons, Adreanna Limbach brings secular Buddhist teachings to a new generation by addressing one of the most pressing concerns we all face―authentic self-worth. "Our ambition, goal-setting, self-helping, and even our spiritual practices are often driven by the underlying sense that we just aren’t enough," writes Limbach. "But what if we could accept ourselves just as we are? Open our hearts and invite our demons to tea?" These demons, Limbach teaches, manifest for many of us as a chronic sense of "not-enoughness," inherited through cultural stories that send us conflicting messages: we’re supposed to feel happy and confident, but we’re also never quite worthy of those feelings. Using the Four Noble Truths as a guide, Limbach shares meditation practices, personal anecdotes, and traditional Buddhist tales that help us learn to befriend ourselves―even the more unsavory bits―so we can realize our full potential. A popular mindfulness teacher and emerging voice in modern Buddhism, Limbach brings a playful, fresh, and at times joyfully irreverent tone to walking the Eightfold Path.

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When We Were Vikings
Author: Andrew MacDonald

For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules: 1. A smile means "thank you for doing something small that I liked." 2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect. 3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home. 4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet. 5. Sometimes the most important things don't fit on lists. But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable--and dangerous--methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn't long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.

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Running with Sherman : the donkey with the heart of a hero
Author: Christopher McDougall

From the best-selling author of Born to Run, a heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America.

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Castle waiting
Author: Linda Medley

The story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. This is a modern fairy tale about being a hero in your own home.

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The Butterfly's Daughter
Author: Mary Alice Monroe

Following the migrating monarchs across the United States to Mexico, Luz Avila arrives in San Antonio to find her aunt and meets her mother, who she had always believed dead. Now Luz must face her mother's reappearance in her life and get her grandmother's ashes to Mexico for the Day of the Dead.

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Convenience Store Woman
Author: Sayaka Murata

Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers' style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society's expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko's contented stasis, but will it be for the better? Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much a part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko's thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind. Convenience Store Woman is a fresh, charming portrait of an unforgettable heroine that recalls Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang, and Amélie.

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Born a Crime
Author: Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love.

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The All You Can Dream Buffet
Author: Barbara O'Neal

Popular blogger and foodie queen Lavender Wills reigns over Lavender Honey Farms, a serene slice of organic heaven nestled in Oregon wine country. Lavender is determined to keep her legacy from falling into the profit-driven hands of uncaring relatives, and she wants an heir to sustain her life's work after she's gone. So she invites her three closest online friends--fellow food bloggers, women of varied ages and backgrounds--out to her farm. She hopes to choose one of them to inherit it--but who?

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Going Postal
Author: Terry Pratchett

Arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig never believed his crimes were hanging offenses — until he found himself with a noose around his neck, dropping through a trap door, and falling into ... a government job? Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may be an impossible task. Worse, the new Postmaster could swear the mail is talking to him. Worst of all, it means taking on the gargantuan, money-hungry Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly and its bloodthirsty piratical head, Mr. Reacher Gilt. But it says on the building NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW NOR GLO M OF NI T ... Inspiring words (admittedly, some of the bronze letters have been stolen), and for once in his wretched life Moist is going to fight. And if the bold and impossible are what's called for, he'll do it — to move the mail, continue breathing, get the girl, and deliver that invaluable commodity that everyone requires: hope.

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Village School
Author: Miss Read

The headmistress of a two-room rural school in a tiny English village gives an account of the events of a school year - the daily routines, seasonal activities, and the special programs as a part of the life of the community.

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Delicious
Author: Ruth Reichl

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York's most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine's colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari's, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie's surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine's library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu's letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.

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The Improbability of Love
Author: Hannah Rothschild

In The Improbability of Love we meet Annie McDee, thirty-one, who is working as a chef for two rather sinister art dealers. Recovering from the end of a long-term relationship, she is searching in a neglected secondhand shop for a birthday present for her unsuitable new lover. Hidden behind a rubber plant on top of a file cabinet, a grimy painting catches her eye. After spending her meager savings on the picture, Annie prepares an elaborate birthday dinner for two, only to be stood up. The painting becomes hers, and as it turns out, Annie has stumbled across a lost masterpiece by one of the most important French painters of the eighteenth century. But who painted this masterpiece is not clear at first. Soon Annie finds herself pursued by interested parties who would do anything to possess her picture. For a gloomy, exiled Russian oligarch, an avaricious sheikha, a desperate auctioneer, and an unscrupulous dealer, among others, the painting embodies their greatest hopes and fears. In her search for the painting's identity, Annie will unwittingly uncover some of the darkest secrets of European history—as well as the possibility of falling in love again.

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Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now—reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers—not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke. When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. He can't help being entertained, and captivated, by their stories. But by the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself. What would he even say...?

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bookcover
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Author: David Sedaris

Compared by The New Yorker to Twain and Hawthorne, David Sedaris has become one of the best-loved humorists of our time, writing with perfect pitch about the ludicrousness of our age. In a collection of essays, observations, and commentaries, the humorist describes his recent move to Paris, life as an American in Paris, his struggle to learn French, his family, and restaurant meals.

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bookcover
Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom. When their paths converge in route to the ship that promises salvation, Joana, Emilia, and Florian find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety. When tragedy strikes the Wilhelm Gustloff, they must fight for the same thing: survival.

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