Staff Picks January 2015

By: Schroff, Laura.
Presents the true story of a friendship that has spanned three decades, recounting how the author, a harried sales executive, befriended an eleven-year-old panhandler, changing both of their lives forever.
By: Hunt, Laird
Follows the experiences of Ash Thompson, who becomes a folk hero after she abandons her farmer husband and disguises herself as a man to go fight for the South during the Civil War.
By: Simsion, Graeme C.
A socially awkward genetics professor who has never been on a second date sets out to find the perfect wife, but instead finds Rosie Jarman, a fiercely independent barmaid who is on a quest to find her biological father.
By: Eggers, Dave.
The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
By: Wiles, Deborah.
The fearful events of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis are witnessed by 11-year-old Franny, who finds her life and perspectives changing throughout the course of a week that is also marked by difficult family issues. Book 1 of the Sixties trilogy.
By: Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-
Four young cats with wings leave the city slums in search of a safe place to live, finally meeting two children with kind hands.
By: Lohrenz, Carey D., author.
An F-14 fighter pilot’s top lessons for leading fearlessly—and bringing a team to peak performance. As an aviation pioneer, Carey D. Lohrenz learned what fearless leadership means in some of the most demanding and extreme environments imaginable: the cockpit of an F-14 and the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Here, her teams had to perform at their peak—or lives were on the line. Faltering leadership was simply unacceptable. Through these experiences, Lohrenz identified a fundamental truth: high-performing teams require fearless leaders. Since leaving the Navy, she’s translated that lesson into a new field, helping top business leaders, from Fortune 500 executives to middle managers, supercharge performance in today’s competitive business environments. In Fearless Leadership, Lohrenz walks you through the three fundamentals of real fearlessness—courage, tenacity, and integrity—and then reveals fearless leadership in action, offering advice on how to set a bold vision, bring the team together (as wingmen, not Top Gun mavericks), execute effectively, and stay resilient through hard times. Whether you’re stepping into your first leadership role or looking to get out of a longstanding rut, Fearless Leadership will act like your afterburner—rocketing you to ever-higher levels of performance.
By: Anaya, Rudolfo A.
Chronicles the story of an alienated New Mexico boy who seeks an answer to his questions about life in his relationship with Ultima, a magical healer
By: Bell, Cece, author, artist.
A poignant graphic tale based on the creator's own experiences with hearing loss follows the adventures of young Cece, who develops "superpowers" to manage the challenges of making friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid that sometimes lets her hear things she shouldn't. By the Geisel Honor-winning creator of Rabbit & Robot: the sleepover.
By: Weaver, Ashley.
Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who questions her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiance, Gil Trent, not knowing that she'll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband. Amory accompanies Gil to the luxurious Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe, a disreputable ladies' man. Amory sees in the situation a grim reflection of her own floundering marriage. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Amory is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer, despite attempted dissuasion from the disapproving police inspector on the case. Matters are further complicated by Milo's unexpected arrival, and the two form an uneasy alliance as Amory enlists his reluctant aid in clearing Gil's name. As the stakes grow higher and the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim. Murder at the Brightwell is a delicious novel in which murder invades polite society and romance springs in unexpected places. Ashley Weaver's debut is a wonderful testament to the enduring delight of the traditional mystery.
By: Murphy, Kelly (Journalist), author.
Compiles photos and life stories of 50 of history's most alluring men and women, offering insight into their lasting influence while sharing basic statistics, whimsical sidebars and "crushability" rankings for each.
By: Edwards, Selden.
The exiled scion of a prominent Boston banking family, forty-seven-year-old Wheeler Burden is living in 1988 San Francisco until he is mysteriously transported to fin de siècle Vienna, a city that he finds strangely familiar, where he finds a mentor in Sigmund Freud, falls in love with a young American woman, and gains insight into the war-hero father he never knew.
By: Jackson, Shirley, 1916-1965.
The inhabitants of the Rochester house wield a strange power over their neighbors
By: Carrell, Jennifer Lee.
Receiving a mysterious box from her eccentric mentor, who claims it contains a newly found work by Shakespeare, theater director and scholar Kate Shelton is horrified when her theater is burned to the ground and her mentor killed, an event that identifies the work of a calculated murderer who sets up crime scenes to resemble Shakespearean deaths.
By: Hill, Joe.
After his childhood sweetheart is brutally killed and suspicion falls on him, Ignatius Parrish goes on a drinking binge and wakes up with horns on his head, hate in his heart, and a new power which he uses in the name of vengeance.
By: James, Nick, 1983-
In 2095 when a fifteen-year-old slacker discovers that he has the power to control Pearls, fragments of space debris that are a dying Earth's most important energy source, government forces work to capture him.