Staff Recommends 2013



You'll find many more ideas in the Reader Services Page, the Fiction Booklist Section and among our previous Staff Recommendations.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Barrie Lewis

The Orchid House by Lucinda RileyOrchid House
This month we recommend two romantic mysteries that will both grab you from the first page and keep you wanting to know more until the end. In The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley, the reader travels back and forth almost effortlessly from the 1930€s to the present, and from England to Thailand, to discover the secrets that have bound together the families of titled British aristocracy and an Asian gardener for decades. This journey for the grandchildren, which begins with the discovery of a diary, is loaded with twists and turns, at times providing many more questions than answers.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate MortonForgotten Garden
The Forgotten Garden, another treasure by Kate Morton, also spans continents, decades, and generations in its pursuit of answers. Nell is abandoned in 1913 as a small child on a ship to Australia, with only a few vague memories and a book of illustrations to her name. As a young adult, when she is crushed by half-truths about her childhood, she leaves her adopted family and country to uncover her true identity in England, a quest that is fulfilled in a large part by her granddaughter.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Jenny Allen

Separate Beds by Elizabeth Buchan
From the author of Wives Behaving Badly comes an examination of aSeparate Beds family hit by the financial crisis of 2008. A jaded middle class couple with high-powered jobs and grown children with varying degrees of independence, are suddenly jolted out of their seemingly enviable existence. The husband loses his prestigious job, and as the children are also affected by the economic down-turn, new senses of self emerge, and the revised living arrangements reflect not only the new economic order but also their rediscovered sense of family.

Casual VacancyCasual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Another comment on the times is J.K. Rowling€s first novel for an adult audience. Casual Vacancy is a none too flattering portrait of life in a small English town. The sudden death of a council member, and the subsequent campaign to fill his seat, lay bare the social and generational conflicts simmering beneath the surface. Not surprisingly, the author focuses on the town€s youth and how the adults€ behavior is less than exemplary.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Emily Donnelly, McAuliffe Staff Member

Center Cannot HoldThe Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks
Elyn R. Saks experienced the first effects of her nascent schizophrenia during childhood. Now a successful professor of law, Saks details her courageous struggle with the grave prognosis that once threatened her career and life.

Diving Bell and ButterflyThe Diving Bell & Butterfly: A Memoir of Life and Death by Jean-Dominique Bauby
In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a massive stroke that left his body paralyzed but his thoughts intact. Unable to move or communicate beyond subtle eye movements, Bauby used his remaining days to compose this powerful memoir, through an interpreter, one letter at a time.

Journal of Best PracticesJournal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch
David Finch is already a grown adult set in his ways when he is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Armed with this new self-knowledge, he sets out to reexamine his life and relationships with wit, warmth, and a great deal of wisdom.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Barrie Lewis, Circulation Staff Member

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
In The Secret Keeper, author Kate Morton weaves togeThe Secret Keeperther two generations into a web of mystery and intrigue that keeps the reader guessing until the last page. Although Dorothy€s memory is fading as she faces the end of her life, her daughter, Laurel, feels compelled to discover her mother€s seventy year old secret. That journey, as well as the secret itself, brings Laurel to a new and invaluable depth of understanding and appreciation for her mother.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Sherry Baker, Assistant Branch Librarian

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie OtsukaThe Buddha in the attic
Writing in eight incantatory sections, Otsuka presents a group portrait of six nameless Japanese €picture brides€ over four decades as they travel to San Francisco in the early 20th century to marry Japanese-American men and pursue the American dream. In a poetical first person plural voice, their varied stories unfold as they endure the harsh boat voyage, difficult working conditions and an unfamiliar culture. The collective struggle sadly culminates with the loss of everything after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Schroder by Amity Gaige
Inspired by the true story of Clark Rockefeller, this beautifully crafted book takes the form of a letter written by a deeply troubled manSchroder explaining to his estranged wife why he kidnapped their six-year-old daughter during a custodial visit. He must also explain that he is really an East German who escaped to America with his father when he was a small child. The Kennedy name and identity he created to more easily fit into his Boston neighborhood served him well until the truth came out when he was arrested. The brilliant letter, a confession and apology written as Schroder/Kennedy awaits his trial in jail, explores themes of identity, alienation and fatherhood.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Laraine Worby, Reference Department

Ordinary people in extraordinary times€
Leon and Louise
Leon and Louise by Albert Capus, translated by John Brownjohn
Leon and Louise meet and fall in love in France at the end of World War 1. They are tragically separated but after many years they are reunited in Germanoccupied Paris. This beautiful story is told in the context of war and hardship, where sacrifices are made for love and family.

A hundred flowers A hundred flowers by Gail Tsukiyama
Set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution of Mao€s reign, this is a deceptively simple tale of an ordinary family facing extraordinary times. With a 6-year-old boy at its center and told through the eyes of various members of a multi-generational family, the story of love and devotion unfolds with a vivid glimpse into the daily life during these oppressive times.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Lisa Taranto
The art forger
The art forger : a novel by B.A. Shapiro
Shapiro, professor at Northeastern University, paints an intriguing story set in Boston. Familiar haunts are mentioned, weaving through the Back Bay on the Silver Line and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where the infamous art heist took place in 1990. The plot centers around this factual robbery.

The chaperone by Laura MoriartyThe chaperone
Moriarty weaves a story around the life of silent film star Louise Brooks. In 1922, Cora Carlise makes an agreement with Louise's mother to chaperone her daughter to New York City where she will attend the Dennishawn School of Dance. Cora has a quest of her own to visit the orphanage where she lived and find her birth mother. Cora is able to help Louise whose painful past comes to surface.

Book Talk: We RecommendHouse Secrets
Recommended by Mary Murphy, Circulation Department

House Secrets by Mike Lawson (Fiction)
This is the 4th book out of 7 in the Joe Demarco series. Demarco is a fixer and a troubleshooter for the Speaker of the House, John Fitzpatrick Mahoney. Politics, journalism and scandal -- this is a first class ride and not to be missed.
iPad Secrets
iPad Secrets by Darren Murph (Non-fiction 004.16 2012)
Darren Murph is a gadget critic, reviewer and author. This book gives you an insider€s guide to apps and accessories for your iPad. As a new iPad mini owner I found this to be an invaluable guide.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Planning for Retirement? Take advantage of these
outstanding resources from Henry K. Hebeler!Your Winning Retirement Plan
- J.K. Lasser€s Your Winning Retirement Plan (332.024 Hebeler)
- Getting Started in a Financially Secure Retirement (332.024 Hebeler)
The premier go-to guy for trustworthy (and mostly free!)
retirement planning advice and help has got to be Henry
€Bud€ Hebeler, retired president of Boeing€s (BA) aerospaceGetting Started in a Finacially Secure Retirement
unit. His website ( contains excellent
articles on many financial topics, downloadable financialplanning
Excel programs, and sage answers to readers€
personal questions. His work is praised and quoted by
many reputable sources including the Wall Street Journal,
and you can check him out for free at the library!

We Recommend:
Barbara Slavin, Reference Department

Where would one go for stories of personal transformation and social commentary? Chain gang movies. We have three of the best. The 1932 precode crime film I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) staring Paul Muni was so gritty and heart-wrenching that it inspired reforms in the prison system in the 1930's. Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier gave great performances in The Defiant Ones (1958) as two escaped prisoners handcuffed together during their escape. The famous line: "What we have here is a failure to communicate" is from the classic chain gang movie Cool Hand Luke (1967), another film with anti-establishment overtones staring Paul Newman and George Kennedy.

You'll find more ideas on the Reader Services Page, the Fiction Booklist Section and among our previous Staff Recommendations.








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Updated on 09/01/2015 09:10 AM
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