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Bookjacket for  Almost Everything: Notes On Hope Bookjacket for  Bitterroot: A Salish Memory of Transracial Adoption Bookjacket for  Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life And Mysterious Genius Of Edward Gorey Bookjacket for The crooked staircase Bookjacket for  Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country Bookjacket for The dumb things smart people do with their money Bookjacket for The hot country Bookjacket for The Lake Bookjacket for  Lethal White Bookjacket for The Library Book Bookjacket for The Lost Children Archive Bookjacket for  Nomadland: Surviving America In The 21st Century Bookjacket for  Our souls at night Bookjacket for The Pandora Room Bookjacket for The Portable Veblen Bookjacket for  Prisoners Of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About The World Bookjacket for  Sing, Unburied, Sing Bookjacket for  This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage Bookjacket for  Unsheltered Bookjacket for The wanted Bookjacket for  Who slays the wicked Bookjacket for The Witch Elm

Bookjacket for  Almost Everything: Notes On Hope

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Almost Everything: Notes On Hope Almost Everything: Notes On Hope / Anne LaMott

 In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward. Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.

Recommended by Kindra (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Bitterroot: A Salish Memory of Transracial Adoption

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Bitterroot: A Salish Memory of Transracial Adoption Bitterroot: A Salish Memory of Transracial Adoption / Susan Devan Harness

 Compelling, courageous, and raw in its honesty, this memoir pulls no punches as the author searches for answers and understanding as a transracial adoptee. Excellent!

Recommended by Terri (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life And Mysterious Genius Of Edward Gorey

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Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life And Mysterious Genius Of Edward Gorey Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life And Mysterious Genius Of Edward Gorey / Mark Dery

 The definitive biography of Edward Gorey, the eccentric master of macabre nonsense. From The Gashlycrumb Tinies to The Doubtful Guest, Edward Gorey's wickedly funny and deliciously sinister little books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways, from the works of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman to Lemony Snicket. Some even call him the Grandfather of Goth. But who was this man, who lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, who roomed with Frank O'Hara at Harvard, and was known--in the late 1940s, no less--to traipse around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard? An eccentric, a gregarious recluse, an enigmatic auteur of whimsically morbid masterpieces, yes--but who was the real Edward Gorey behind the Oscar Wildean pose?

Recommended by Sara (5/19)


Bookjacket for The crooked staircase

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The crooked staircase The crooked staircase / Dean Koontz

"I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead." Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she's breathing, she'll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom--and free will--of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane's husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane's enemies are determined to see her dead. or make her wish she was. Jane's ruthless pursuers can't stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Recommended by: Louise (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country

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Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country / Pam Houston

 On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all.

Recommended by Erin (5/19)


Bookjacket for The dumb things smart people do with their money

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The dumb things smart people do with their money The dumb things smart people do with their money / Jill Schlesinger

Do you have a "friend" who is super smart, has a great career, holds a graduate degree, has even saved a chunk of money for retirement, but who keeps making the same dumb mistakes when it comes to money? Is this "friend" you? After decades working as a Wall Street trader, investment adviser, and money expert for CBS, Jill Schlesinger reveals thirteen costly mistakes you're probably making right now with your money without even knowing it. Drawing on heartfelt personal stories (yes, money experts screw up, too, Schlesinger argues that it's not lack of smarts that causes even the brightest, most accomplished people among us to behave like financial dumb-asses, but simple emotional blind spots. Recommended by: Becky (3/19)


Bookjacket for The hot country

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The hot country The hot country / Robert Olen Butler

In The Hot Country, Butler introduces us to Christopher Marlowe (Kit) Cobb, an early 20th century American newspaper war correspondent. Cobb is in Mexico in April and May of 1914, during that country's civil war, the American invasion of Vera Cruz and the controversial presidency of Victoriano Huerta, El Chacal (The Jackal). Covering the war in enemy territory and sweltering heat, Cobb falls in love with Luisa, a young Mexican laundress, who is not as innocent as she seems.

The intrepid war reporter soon witnesses a priest being shot. The bullet rebounds on the cross the holly man wears around his neck and leaves him unharmed. Cobb employs a young pickpocket to help him find out the identity of the sniper and, more importantly, why important German officials are coming into the city in the middle of the night from ammunition ships docked in the port. 

Butler won the Pulitizer Prize for Fiction in 1993 for this short story collection A Good Secent from a Strange Mountain.

Recommeneded by: Becky (5/19)


Bookjacket for The Lake

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The Lake The Lake / Lotte and Soren Hammer

 Konrad Simonsen uncovers a world of trafficking, prostitution and violence after a young woman, never reported missing, is discovered in a lake in North Copenhagen.

Recommended by Sara (4/19)


Bookjacket for  Lethal White

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Lethal White Lethal White / Robert Galbraith

 When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott, once his assistant, now a partner in the agency, set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

Recommended by Rebecca (5/19)


Bookjacket for The Library Book

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The Library Book The Library Book / Susan Orlean

 On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Recommended by Ashley (5/19)


Bookjacket for The Lost Children Archive

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The Lost Children Archive The Lost Children Archive / Valeria Luiselli

A mother and father set out with their kids from New York to Arizona. In their used Volvo--and with their ten-year-old son trying out his new Polaroid camera--the family is heading for the Apacheria: the region the Apaches once called home, and where the ghosts of Geronimo and Cochise might still linger. The father, a sound documentarist, hopes to gather an "inventory of echoes" from this historic, mythic place. The mother, a radio journalist, becomes consumed by the news she hears on the car radio, about the thousands of children trying to reach America but getting stranded at the southern border, held in detention centers, or being sent back to their homelands, to an unknown fate. But as the family drives farther west--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, unforgettable adventure--both in the harsh desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations.

Recommended by Cindy (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Nomadland: Surviving America In The 21st Century

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Nomadland: Surviving America In The 21st Century Nomadland: Surviving America In The 21st Century / Jessica Bruder

 From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon's CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves "workampers." In a secondhand vehicle she christens "Van Halen," Jessica Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying her irrepressible protagonist, Linda May, and others, from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy--one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable "Earthship" home, they have not given up hope.

Recommended by Currie (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Our souls at night

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Our souls at night Our souls at night / Kent Haruf

This is a well-crafted story told primarily through simple dialogue between the two protagonists, widow Addie Moore, and widower Louis Waters in fictional Holt, Colorado. It is a tale of small town living and two lonely elderly neighbors that develop a relationship to fill in their last years with companionship. Part of the beauty of the story is they decide they are of an age where they no longer care what anyone thinks about them spending time together at night, including their friends, neighbors, and even their children. They spend time talking of their past, spouses, offspring, their hopes and losses, or rather simply put, their lives past, present, and future. 

Recommended by Karen (3/19)


Bookjacket for The Pandora Room

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The Pandora Room The Pandora Room / Christopher Golden

 In one ancient variation on the myth of Pandora's Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister, Anesidora. One contained all the blessings of the gods, the other all the world's curses. Now, in a subterranean city in Northern Iraq, archaeologist Sophie Durand has discovered a secret chamber covered in writing that confirms that version of the tale-a chamber which contains a single jar. "Weird shit" expert Ben Walker joins Sophie's team just as the mystery deepens and grows ugly. Those who believe the myth want to know which jar has been found in the Pandora Room, the one containing blessings, or the one full of curses. Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren't waiting for the dust to settle. Whatever the jar contains, they want it, no matter who they have to kill?or what will emerge when they open it. For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.

Recommended by Sara (5/19)


Bookjacket for The Portable Veblen

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The Portable Veblen The Portable Veblen / Elizabeth McKenzie

 A young couple on the brink of marriage--the charming Veblen and her fiancé Paul, a brilliant neurologist--find their engagement in danger of collapse. Along the way they weather everything from each other's dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive pharmaceutical heiress, to an intimate tête-à-tête with a very charismatic squirrel. Veblen (named after the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen, who coined the term "conspicuous consumption") is one of the most refreshing heroines in recent fiction. Not quite liberated from the burdens of her hypochondriac, narcissistic mother and her institutionalized father, Veblen is an amateur translator and "freelance self"; in other words, she's adrift. Meanwhile, Paul--the product of good hippies who were bad parents--finds his ambition soaring. His medical research has led to the development of a device to help minimize battlefield brain trauma--an invention that gets him swept up in a high-stakes deal with the Department of Defense, a Bizarro World that McKenzie satirizes with granular specificity.

Recommended by Cindy (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Prisoners Of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About The World

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Prisoners Of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About The World Prisoners Of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About The World / Tim Marshall

 All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. In “one of the best books about geopolitics” (The Evening Standard), now updated to include 2016 geopolitical developments, journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the US, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.

Recommended by Terri (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Sing, Unburied, Sing

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Sing, Unburied, Sing Sing, Unburied, Sing / Jesmyn Ward

 Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she's high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie's children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

Recommended by Currie (5/19)


Bookjacket for  This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage

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This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage / Ann Patchett

 Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments-- to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband-- creating a resonant portrait of her life.

Recommended by Erin (5/19)


Bookjacket for  Unsheltered

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Unsheltered Unsheltered / Barbara Kingsolver

Unsheltered is the story of two families, separated by two centuries, who live in the same house in Vineland, New Jersey. The town was founded in the 1880s by Charles Landis in his desire to create his own alcohol-free, utopian society based on agriculture and progressive thinking. Free-lance journalist Willa Knox is the matriarch of the present day family who has played her cards right throughout life, and along with her family, is suddenly plunged into troubled waters. They find themselves in the thrall of instability, unpaid bills, and an inherited house that is crumbling down around them. Recent changes have put her family near financial ruin, along with several crises in her family -- a newborn grandchild whose post-partum depressive mother dies by suicide and a near-perfect son who is now at loose ends with massive amounts of school debt and doesn't know the first thing about parenting.

To repair the dilapidated house, Willa begins researching the historical status of the domain. She discovers a previous owner a century prior, Thatcher Greenwood, was good friends with a real-life biologist Mary Treat, a known Darwinist. That family that resides at this same address 100 years earlier also faces many obstacles including a crumbling house. Kingsolver weaves chapters to tell the story of both families and provokes thought as to what "shelter" really is to most of us.

Recommended by Karen (3/19)


Bookjacket for The wanted

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The wanted The wanted / Robert Crais

When single mother Devon Connor hires private investigator Elvis Cole, it's because her troubled teenage son Tyson is flashing cash and she's afraid he's dealing drugs. But the truth is devastatingly different. With two other partners in crime, he's been responsible for a string of high-end burglaries, a crime spree that takes a deadly turn when one of them is murdered and Tyson and his girlfriend disappear. They stole the wrong thing from the wrong man. Determined to get it back, he has hired a team that is smart and brutal, and to even the odds, Cole calls in his friends Joe Pike and Jon Stone. But even they may be overmatched. The hired killers are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. A few more won't make any difference. 

Recommended by: Becky (3/19)

 


Bookjacket for  Who slays the wicked

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Who slays the wicked Who slays the wicked / C. S. Harris

When the handsome but dissolute young gentleman Lord Ashworth is found brutally murdered, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is called in by Bow Street magistrate Sir Henry Lovejoy to help catch the killer. Just seven months before, Sebastian had suspected Ashworth of aiding one of his longtime friends and companions in the kidnapping and murder of a string of vulnerable street children. But Sebastian was never able to prove Ashworth's complicity. Nor was he able to prevent his troubled, headstrong young niece Stephanie from entering into a disastrous marriage with the dangerous nobleman. Stephanie has survived the difficult birth of twin sons. But Sebastian soon discovers that her marriage has quickly degenerated into a sham. Ashworth abandoned his pregnant bride at his father's Park Street mansion and has continued living an essentially bachelor existence. And mounting evidence--ranging from a small bloody handprint to a woman's silk stocking--suggests that Ashworth's killer was a woman. Sebastian is tasked with unraveling the shocking nest of secrets surrounding Ashworth's life to keep Stephanie from being punished for his death.

Recommended by: Becky (4/19)


Bookjacket for The Witch Elm

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The Witch Elm The Witch Elm / Tana French

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life--he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden--and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

Recommended by: Becky (3/19)

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