Read, Listen, Watch
Staff Picks and Suggestions
by Amitav GhoshSuggested by Will Wakeling I’m just finishing Amitav Ghosh's River of Smoke, the 2nd volume of the historical trilogy begun with the wonderful and exotic Sea of Poppies. Everything you ever wanted to know about the early 19th century opium trade into Canton and southern China. A great way to learn the basics of Chinese Pidgin English, too – worth a "look-see."
by Hilary MantelSuggested by Ethan Bren I read Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. It’s the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Both books are really terrific pieces of historical fiction that I enjoyed immensely.
by Kristin CashoreSuggested by Krishna Patel My vote would be for Graceling and its sequel, Bitterblue, and the companion as well, Fire – all of which we own! Written by a local (squee!), it's a beautifully crafted fantasy tale about two delightfully strong and unorthodox ladies in a Tolkien-meets-King-Arthur sort of way. I’ve been suggesting them like a crazy person to anyone who asks, and I’ve not had bad feedback yet. Take that, Twilight!
Canada by Richard FordSuggested by Jamie Dendy It carries one away through a riveting plot, yet drops one on the ground from time to time to ponder issues of crime and inheritance.
Dogma by Lars IyerSuggested by Karen Merguerian Lars joined us for one of our Meet the Author Talks in Spring 2012! Watch the video here.
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard MlodinowSuggested by Jen Ferguson What I'm loving about it: Who knew that a book about probability could be so engaging? Now go forth and capture some quality summer days! Soak up the weather, drink something sweet and cold, and read your book way too fast.
- Total Recall / Paul Verhoeven
Adapted from a Philip K. Dick story, a re-make with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston will be released in August 2012. Be sure to see the 1990 original with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, or read the Philip K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale": the re-make promises to be very different than the Verhoeven version.
- Bring Up the Bodies / Hilary Mantel
"Its great magic is in making the worn-out story of Henry and his many wives seem fascinating and suspenseful again... [not] nostalgic, exactly, but it’s astringent and purifying, stripping away the cobwebs and varnish of history, the antique formulations and brocaded sentimentality of costume-drama novels, so that the English past comes to seem like something vivid, strange and brand new. -- New York Times
- That Deadman Dance / Kim Scott
"It is an extraordinary work, both realist and visionary, a historical-lyrical recreation of early encounters between black and white on the south coast of Western Australia... That Deadman Dance is a novel to read, recite, and reread, to linger over as Scott peels back layer after layer of meaning, as he slides unapologetically across time and between cultures and ways of being, seeing and understanding. -- Sydney Morning Herald
- Home / Toni Morrison
"Part of Morrison’s longstanding greatness resides in her ability to animate specific stories about the black experience and simultaneously speak to all experience. It’s precisely by committing unreservedly to the first that she’s able to transcend the circumscribed audience it might imply. This work’s accomplishment lies in its considerable capacity to make us feel that we are each not only resident but co-owner of, and collectively accountable for, this land we call home." -- New York Times
- Are You My Mother? / Alison Bechdel
"Alison Bechdel is still not the household name she deserves to be... Well, rectify that without delay because her latest volume of ravishingly drawn, brilliantly written autobiography is her biggest crowd-pleaser to date.... [T]his deceptively light book is in fact a serious excursion into the meaning of identity and how our selves are created through early interactions with our mothers." -- The Telegraph
- 2312 / Kim Stanley Robinson
"His boldest trip into all of the marvelous SF genres—ethnography, future shock, screed against capitalism, road to earth—and all of the ways to thrill and be thrilled. It's a future history that's so secure and comprehensive that it reads as an account of the past." -- Slate