Staff Picks July 2015
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old 'human error' are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
When Charles Talent Manx, an unstoppable monster who transforms children into his own terrifying likeness, kidnaps her son, Victoria McQueen, the only person to ever escape his unmitigated evil, must engage in a life-and-death battle of wills to get her son back.
In 1985, Czech Holocaust memoirist, literary translator, and political exile Heda Margolius Kovaly turned her pen to fiction. Inspired by the stories of Raymond Chandler, Kovaly knit her own terrifying experiences in early 1950s Socialist Prague--her husband's imprisonment and wrongful execution, her own persecution at his disgrace--into a gorgeous psychological thriller-cum-detective novel. Set in and around a cinema where a murder was recently committed, Innocence follows the unfolding of the investigation while telling the stories of the women who work there as ushers, each of whom is forced to support herself in difficult circumstances. As the novel brings this group alive, it tells their various life stories that have brought them to this job, the secrets they share with one another, and the secrets they keep. When the detective trying to solve the first murder is found slain by the cinema, all of their secrets come into the light.
Evaluates America's transition to a culture that values self-promotion over humility, explaining the importance of an engaged inner life in personal fulfillment.
Reading a mysterious novel that recounts in haunting detail the day she became the victim of a dark secret, documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft is forced to confront the past to prevent her world from falling apart.
An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
After ordinary, 12-year-old September is told her help is needed in Fairyland, she is instructed by the Marquess to retrieve a talisman from the enchanted woods, which leads her to unexpected adventure and friendship.
Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's creator.
A re-imagining of the Snow White story set in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.
After waking up on an operating table with no memory of how she got there, Noa must team up with computer hacker Peter to stop a corrupt corporation with a deadly secret.
Presents a guide to cleaning and organizing a living space, discussing best methods for decluttering and the impact that an organized home can have on mood and physical and mental health.
A follow-up to the best-selling <IT>Pour Your Heart Into It <RO>describes how the CEO of Starbucks gained new insights into leadership upon resuming his position eight years after stepping down, a comeback he accepted to restore the company's performance and sustainability values. 150,000 first printing.
A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.
In her stunning debut collection, The Wonder Garden, Lauren Acampora brings to the page with enchanting realism the myriad lives of a suburban town and lays them bare. Linked stories take a trenchant look at the flawed people of Old Cranbury, incisive tales that reveal at each turn the unseen battles we play out behind drawn blinds, the creeping truths from which we distract ourselves, and the massive dreams we haul quietly with us and hold close. Deliciously creepy and masterfully complex The Wonder Garden heralds the arrival of a phenomenal new talent in American fiction.
An award-winning journalist and professionally-trained chef describes her love of food and the passion for meals shared by those around her in her adopted country of France. By the author of On Rue Tatin and French Farmhouse Cookbook. Includes 85 recipes. 30,000 first printing.
Presents a story inspired by human love, how people take care of one another, and how choices resonate through subsequent generations.
A collection of linked short stories tracking an ensemble of interconnected characters from 1961 to the present, from the author of Tinderbox.
While tracking down a missing writer who has exposed the true nature of Calcutta society in 1937 India, a young soldier with few prospects, a secret political agent and a master of disguise are drawn into the mysterious Thuggee cult and its even more ominous suppression.
Adopted by his late stunt pilot mother's white partner after a devastating accident, Teo endures discrimination for his dark skin in 1930s America, a situation that is further complicated by his bond with his adoptive white sister.
Chronicles the experiences of several women in Missoula, Montana, who claimed to be raped by University of Montana football players, highlighting the inequities of the law in regard to rape allegations and the treatment of rape victims and perpetrators.
True ladies and proper gentlemen : Victorian etiquette for modern-day mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, boys and girls, teachers and students, and more
Regardless of time period, some things hold true: kindness is timeless. Invasion of privacy; divorce; relationship issues; encounters between people from different places and cultures; new technologies developed at dizzying speeds . . . the hectic pace of life in the late nineteenth century could make the mind reel. Wait a minutethe nineteenth century? Many of the issues people faced in the 1880s and ’90s surprisingly remain problems in today’s modern world, so why not take a peek at some Victorian advice about negotiating life’s dizzying twists and turns? Gathered from period magazines and Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms, a book on social conduct originally published in 1891, this volume provides timeless guidance for a myriad of situations, including: The husband’s duty: Give your wife every advantage that it is possible to bestow. Suggestions about shopping: Purchasers should, as far as possible, patronize the merchants of their own town. (Buy local!) Suggestions for travel: Having paid for one ticket, you are entitled to only one seat. It shows selfishness to deposit a large amount of baggage in the surrounding seats and occupy three or four. Unclassified laws of etiquette: Never leave home with unkind words. This advice is accompanied by watercolors and illustrations throughout. Though these are tips originate from nineteenth-century ideas, you’ll find that they certainly do still apply.