Staff Choices

Posted by SherriT on 03/12/19
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Told in the style of an oral history, Daisy Jones & the Six chronicles the tumultuous relationships behind the music of a famed '70s rock band. Real-life drama, fame and fortune, tabloid gossip, drugs and addiction - everything you want in a music biography, this book has them in spades. Inspired by VH1’s Behind the Music series, Taylor Jenkins Reid shares the band’s untold fictional story in a way that makes it feel like nonfiction.

Daisy Jones & the Six gives you a backstage view of the epic rise, and agonizing fall, of one beloved rock band.

Since there is no narrator in this story, you are hearing everything from the characters themselves and that gives it a sense of authenticity.  The fact that I wanted this to be a real band and even Googled them says a lot about the charisma of these characters and the rich, vivid detail. I devoured this book in 2 days!  I was thrilled to learn that Reese Witherspoon is producing a TV miniseries based on the book that is set to consist of thirteen episodes and will air on Amazon Video. For those of you who loved the recent movies A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody-- read this book immediately!
Posted by LucyS on 03/06/19
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The Radium Girls is a tragic and true story that unfolded for decades. In the early 1900's radium was touted as a curative and elixirs were sold over the counter to those who could afford it. Another lucrative business developed when a scientist created a radium paint formula used extensively for glow-in-the-dark watch and aircraft dials. The young women hired to paint these dials were instructed to use the unusual technique of lip-pointing to paint the watch dials causing them to ingest this toxic ingredient. Once the companies learned of the harmful effects, little to nothing was done to protect its female workers. This began the next chapter as the women banded together to battle their former employers in court to fight for worker rights and against injustice and corporate greed.
In her research, author Kate Moore walked the same streets as the women to inhabit their lives and to better portray a sense of who these women were. She delved deep into library and newspaper archives to bring us a book that humanized these workers. We learn their names and something of their daily routine; how, despite their suffering and subjugation to corporate and legal battles, their character persevered.
Join us on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm at the historic Banta House located on the Historical Museum grounds at 514 North Vail at Euclid, just across the street from the library for light refreshments and the first Paging Through History Book Discussion of The Radium Girls.
Posted by NealP on 03/05/19
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Nico Walker’s debut novel Cherry is a raw and devastating account of war, addiction, and love.  His writing is bleak, insightful, explicit, and unsettling. 
The novel follows an unnamed narrator who goes to college, falls in love, drops out of college, and joins the army.  As a medic in Iraq, he sees the effects of the war on both the civilian and soldier populations where he witnesses many of his friends die.  When he returns home, his PTSD is so profound he turns to heroin to escape his pain.  Eventually, he begins robbing banks to feed his and his wife’s addiction.   
Walker is currently in prison for bank robbery related to his own heroin addiction.  He wrote Cherry while serving his time and has used money made from the publication of the book to pay back the money he stole.   Cherry is a challenging novel in terms of language and subject matter.  Nevertheless, it is a timely book as war-related PTSD and the opioid crisis continue to haunt headlines.
Posted by Alisa S on 02/23/19
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Calling all Jane Austen Fans! The new novel Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal is a lively retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in modern day Pakistan. Alys Binat and her older sister, Jena, are schoolteachers living in genteel poverty with their ineffectual father, overbearing mother, and three younger sisters. It is their mother’s soul desire in life to see her daughters well married, especially the eldest, who she believes  have crossed into old maid territory. When two wealthy ,eligible bachelors and their entourage arrive in their small town, the plot is set into action.
While the storyline of Unmarriageable very closely follows that of the beloved classic,  Alys’s strong identity as a feminist (in a patriarchal society) and the exotic backdrop of Pakistan make this most recent retelling fresh and fun.
Posted by SherriT on 02/22/19
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Kimmery Martin’s debut novel The Queen of Hearts is an entertaining medical suspense drama revolving around best friends and fellow doctors, Emma and Zadie. Zadie and Emma became friends during medical school and built a strong friendship. Both women are happily married with children. Emma is a successful trauma surgeon and Zadie is a pediatric cardiologist. There is a secret that each of them are keeping about Dr. X. During their third year of medical school, something happened that changed everything. Dr. X’s returning presence threatens to destroy their longstanding friendship.

The story travels from the present to the past in revolving POVs exploring medical school, motherhood, the pressures of being a surgeon, first love and, ultimately, the very core of Zadie and Emma's beautiful and complicated friendship.

The Queen of Hearts opens up a fascinating world and makes it both accessible and exhilarating. The author’s writing style is so warm, friendly, and funny, yet I did find at times that the medical jargon could be too much.

If you are a fan of the TV drama Grey’s Anatomy or Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies this book is a must read.
Posted by bpardue on 02/12/19
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Into the early 1990s, it was hard to believe that England was the land where soccer (football!) was invented. The top English teams were run by old-boy owners at a loss, games were played in decrepit stadiums in squalid conditions, and you couldn't even watch a game live on TV. All that changed in 1992, when a handful of owners got the bright idea that soccer could actually be a profitable game, and that a top-flight league could provide attractive, family-friendly and TV-ready entertainment--as with America's NFL. Soon, a new "Premier League" was hastily assembled, based on a handful of bylaws, and the ball was set rolling for a bright new future. Then a new TV contract was worked out, and the cash really started flowing. Of course, once the league started making money, new investors took interest, especially from abroad--wealthy Americans, Russian oil barons and an Abu Dhabi royal family member, among others. With hyper-wealthy owners and no spending cap, player salaries skyrocketed, and soon Premier League teams were plucking the finest players and coaches from around the world. "The Club" is slight on soccer details and tactics, but provides a fascinating inside look at the Premier League's growth from a neglected property to one of the world's most powerful and disruptive sports/entertainment juggernauts. A quick read with plenty of colorful characters, the book will appeal to even non-soccer fans.
Posted by JoanL on 02/08/19
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With incredible detail, Michael Ondaatje carefully lays out the mysterious story of the childhood of Agnes and Nathaniel. In post WWII London, the adolescents are left by their parents, in the hands of eccentric and possibly nefarious family friends, who take the children on covert nighttime river excursions into the underbelly of post war society.

It is not until a decade later that Nathaniel begins to unravel his mother's secret life during the war, as well as the lives of the characters that spent time at the family home during that time.

Warlight comes from a term used during London blackouts for the dimmed lights of essential vehicles, which plays right into the dark  atmosphere Ondaatje creates. A haunting character-driven novel that offers an unusual view of the many underworlds at work during war.
Posted by Alisa S on 02/08/19
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Set against the backdrop of Apartheid South Africa, Bianca Marais' Hum If  You Don’t Know The Words is a story of love and friendship between an orphaned
white girl and the grieving black woman who becomes her caretaker. After young Robin has lost her parents to an act of violence, she comes to live with her loving but irresponsible aunt. Meanwhile, village dweller Beauty Mbali arrives in Johannesburg to search for her daughter, a student  who has gone missing in the chaos of the Soweto Uprising of 1976.  A sympathetic friend finds Beauty a position as Robin’s nanny, and the two must grow to trust one another under very frightening circumstances.
This story is both moving and suspenseful.  While the action occurs over forty years ago, the themes of racism and redemption are more relevant now than ever.
Posted by NealP on 02/04/19
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Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer remains one of my favorite books from 2018.
McNamara died tragically in 2016 prior to completion of the book, and the arrest of the GSK -- a result of a DNA link from a relative’s genetic genealogical test.  The book is dark and terrifying, but skillfully written by McNamara who mindfully humanizes the killer’s victims. 
The book itself will appeal to fans of true crime and mystery, but in McNamara’s hands she elevates the story beyond strict genre study.  I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is more than a detective story – McNamara traces changing forensic techniques through multi-decade investigations, but never loses focus of the killer, victims, investigators, and witnesses.  Readers with an interest in human nature, crime, and investigative dramas will enjoy this work.
We will be discussing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark at our next Books and Brews at Eddie’s on February 13th.  Please feel free to join us.
True Crime
Posted by jonf on 02/03/19
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This is the 18th book in the Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady series by J.A. Jance. Joanna is on maternity leave and in her absence Tom Hadlock has taken over her duties. Her leave is shortened when a local boy Jack find a skull in the desert along with a field of bones. After a body of another young woman is found in the same area it becomes clear there maybe a serial killer loose.
Sheriff Brady calls in help from an F.B.I. profiler and the manhunt is on. The killer, known as the Boss is a truly creepy antagonist. The book starts a little slower than some of her earlier works but picks up the pace for an exciting thriller.
This is a well written series, but if you have not read any it would be best to start with one of the earlier books in the series.
Field of Bones is filled with many good characters and a great feel for the Arizona desert.
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