Staff Picks

Don't forget to check out our staff picks for kids!

November 26, 2012

There But for the

There But for the
by Smith, Ali

Midway through a rather boring dinner party, a guest named Miles Garth quietly gets up from the table without speaking, proceeds to sequester himself in an upstairs guestroom, and refuses to leave.

The hosts, obsessively worried about maintaining the historical character and quality of their home and thus unwilling to call the police, earnestly begin a search for anyone who might know Miles in the hope that they might convince him to depart.

Upon this rather silly premise writer Ali Smith overlays a modern narrative structure, weaving the stories of four different characters around their relationship to Miles.

Smith's ability to wring truth out of this structure is remarkable. The connections between the characters are funny, surprising, traumatic, and powerful. Readers who enjoyed David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas or Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad will feel right at home.

— Recommended by Chris Murray, Haughville Library


November 19, 2012

The Dog Who Knew Too Much

The Dog Who Knew Too Much
by Quinn, Spencer

If there’s a move lovable crimefighter in fiction today, I don’t know who it would be. Chet is a professional through and through and if he occasionally gets sidetracked by a bit of bacon or discarded Big Mac, we really can’t hold that against him. He and Bernie—who tends to be a bit of a bumbler and mumbler at times—work together to make the world a safer place. They almost always get their man and today those perps are breaking rocks in the hot sun. And, really, who can blame Chet if he gets a quick nip in as they’re subduing those perps? Chet and Bernie make a great detective duo and Spencer Quinn—aka Peter Abrahams has nailed Chet’s voice perfectly. This latest entry in the series has Chet and Bernie searching for a lost boy, but their investigation leads them into abandoned mines and corrupt leaders. But with a duo this charming, the plot is almost secondary; hanging out with them is the real pleasure.

— Recommended by Cheryl Holtsclaw, West Indianapolis Library


November 12, 2012

A Quick Bite

A Quick Bite
by Sands, Lynsay

What do you get the vampire girl who has it all for her birthday? Why, a psychologist of course! Lissianna Argeneau has a fear of blood, which makes it impossible for her to feed from bagged blood. Her mother, Marguerite, hopes her gift will help cure Lissianna’s fear, allowing her to live a much more normal life from here on out. Lissianna soon realizes that her mother has not only gifted her with a possible cure to her phobia, but also the gift of a potential life mate. All Lissianna has to do is convince her hunky psychologist that vampires do exist, that she isn’t totally crazy, that they’re meant to be together forever!

A Quick Bite is the first book in Lynsay Sand’s extensive Argeneau vampire series. The author does a fantastic job of creating the Argeneau world, and anyone looking for a different spin on vampire reads will love this series and its sense of humor.

— Recommended by Aimee Bittle, Garfield Park Library


November 5, 2012

My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World

My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World
by Garlin, Jeff
791.45028 Garlin GAR

I had no idea who Jeff Garlin was when I picked up this book (turns out he’s a producer and actor on Curb Your Enthusiasm), but the blurb on the back cover reeled me in: “Let me explain my eating disorder to give you an idea what I’m up against. You can put me in a room. And in that room you have the best pot in the world, the best coke in the world, the greatest glass of wine of all time, and a two-day-old grocery store sheet cake. Guess where I’m going? Half of it could be covered in ants, and I’d eat the other half.” Garlin has tried it all and it all works—until it doesn’t. He chronicles his experiences during the 7th season of filming the show, his efforts to reduce his carbon footprint (Ed Begley is his environmental idol), and reduce his waistline. Mostly funny, sometimes sad, this book was so engaging that I left my latest thriller idling on the shelf while I read about Garlin’s trials and tribulations.

— Recommended by Cheryl Holtsclaw, West Indianapolis Library


October 29, 2012

The Sheltering Sky

The Sheltering Sky
by Bowles, Paul
FIC BOW 1998

At the beginning of The Sheltering Sky, a married couple, Port and Kit Moresby, and their friend Tunner arrive in North Africa shortly after the end of World War II. As New Yorkers in an unfamiliar land, the Moresbys seek adventure together, but more importantly they hope to strengthen their troubled marriage. However, soon after arriving, it becomes apparent that their self-interest, the inclusion of the handsome Tunner on the journey, and the stress of life in a strange land will likely prevent them from achieving their goal.

As in most travel novels, the main characters encounter a host of odd and interesting personalities, but as the trio moves deeper into the Sahara, you begin to see that this novel is not so much about a group experience, but about the individual feelings of loneliness, despair, and dread that can impact a person’s existence. As the story progresses, we find that this is ultimately Kit’s tale and that the feelings of impending doom she has throughout the novel will materialize in ways that neither she, nor the reader, could have ever imagined.

Recommended by Adam Todd, Warren Library