Staff Picks August 2014

By: Smith, Andrew (Andrew Anselmo), 1959-
Austin Szerba narrates the end of humanity as he and his best friend Robby accidentally unleash an army of giant, unstoppable bugs and uncover the secrets of a decades-old experiment gone terribly wrong.
By: Ness, Patrick, 1971-
A magical novel, based on a Japanese folk tale, that imagines how the life of a broken-hearted man is transformed when he rescues an injured white crane that has landed in his backyard. Witty, magical, and romantic, The Crane Wife is a story of passion and sacrifice, that resonates on the level of dream and myth. It is a novel that celebrates the creative imagination, and the disruptive power of love.
By: Sotomayor, Sonia, 1954-
An instant American icon--the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court--tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. She writes about her deeply valued mentors, about her failed marriage, about her cherished family of friends. Through her still-astonished eyes, America's infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-discovery and self-invention, alongside Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father
By: Jenkins, Steve, 1952-
Shares facts on over three hundred animals and offers a brief overview of the history of life on Earth.
By: Rowell, Rainbow
In New York Times bestselling author Rainbow Rowell's Landline, Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply -- but that almost seems besides the point now. Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She knows that Neal will be upset with her, but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. Is that what she's supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
By: Duyvis, Corinne
A seventeen-year-old boy finds that every time he closes his eyes, he is drawn into the body of a mute servant girl from another world--a world that is growing increasingly more dangerous, and where many things are not as they seem.
By: Wizenberg, Molly
The Orangette blogger and author of the best-selling "A Homemade Life" describes how her husband's decision to open and run a pizza restaurant sparked a first crisis in their young marriage.
By: Delacourt, Grégoire.
A family woman and fabric-shop owner contemplates the dreams of her youth after winning the lottery, a fortune she decides to keep a secret while she reevaluates her adult choices and makes a list of the things she might want to change.
By: Riordan, Rick
A latest entry in the best-selling series finds the Greek and Roman demigods from the Prophesy of Seven working together to seal the Doors of Death while helping Percy and Annabeth escape the Underworld. By the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
By: Ness, Patrick, 1971-
Todd and Viola are pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron as they set out across New World, searching for answers about their colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing settlers from Old World.
By: Bardugo, Leigh.
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegâe of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.
By: Wein, Elizabeth.
When young American pilot Rose Justice is captured by Nazis and sent to Ravensbrèuck, the notorious women's concentration camp, she finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery, and friendship of her fellow prisoners.
By: Gilbert, Elizabeth, 1969-
A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker-a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. The Signature of All Things soars across the globe-from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters but most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who-born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution-bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas.
By: Stachniak, Eva, 1952-
A reimagining of the early years of Catherine the Great traces the story of a naive German duchess as observed by young Barbara, a servant who watches her mistress's elevation and rises to become one of Russia's most clever royal spies.
By: Lemire, Pascale
Dog owners everywhere have found their outlet in Dogshaming, where they can confess their dogs' biggest (and often grossest!) sins, which turn out to be recognizably universal--complete with snapshots of ridiculously cute but shamed pups who don't seem capable of humping babies, pooping on pillows, or snagging steak straight from a grill. The book follows the format of the blog, and while a handful of the images will be greatest hits from the blog, 90% of the photos are all-new and exclusive to the book.
By: Barr, Luke
Presents a dramatic account of the 1970 gathering in Provence where such culinary luminaries as James Beard and Julia Child debated and inadvertently launched the modern food movement in America.
By: Semple, Maria
When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her in this new novel from the author of This One is Mine.
By: Doig, Ivan.
Hired as a housekeeper to work on the early 1900s Montana homestead of widower Oliver Milliron, the irreverent and perpetually whistling Rose and her font-of-knowledge brother, Morris, endeavor to educate the widower's reluctant sons while witnessing local efforts on a massive irrigation project.
By: Kean, Sam
A text centered around the periodic table explores intriguing tales about every element of the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, evil, love, the arts, and the lives of the colorful scientists who discovered them.