LIBRARY STAFF PICKS: Read the recommended books for March 2015
Every month, the staff of the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre offers their recommendations for new or classic books available through the Luzerne County Library System.
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“The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell
“Father Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit linguist, heads a team of scientists and explorers on an expedition to the planet Rakhat, where contact has been established with two apparently primitive races, the Runa and the Jana’ata. The narrative shifts back and forth between 2016, when contact is first made, and 2060, to a Vatican inquest interrogating the maimed and broken Sandoz. A paleoanthropologist, Russell makes the descriptions of the inhabitants of Rakhat both convincing and unsettling. An imaginative and exciting first novel.”
“A Simple Murder” by Eleanor Kuhns
“Much is known about Amish culture and traditions, but very little about an equally fascinating religious movement: the Shakers. “A Simple Murder” is a mystery that explores the Shaker ways when Will Rees, an itinerant weaver, follows his runaway son to a Shaker community and falls under suspicion for murder. To clear himself and recover his son, Will must unmask the real killer, with the help of beautiful Lydia Ferrell, a former Shaker who knows the community and its members. Anyone who enjoys historical mysteries will revel in the twists and turns provided by Eleanor Kuhns in a thoroughly enjoyable read!”
“American Gods” by Neil Gaiman
“Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his scheduled release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place. On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a grizzled man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A self-styled grifter and rogue, Wednesday offers Shadow a job. And Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts. But working for the enigmatic Wednesday is not without its price, and Shadow soon learns that his role in Wednesday’s schemes will be far more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. Entangled in a world of secrets, he embarks on a wild road trip.”
“Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Changed the World” by Peter Chapman
Business and Industry
“How the UFC created banana republics all through South America, how successive U.S. governments supported and demolished those same governments depending on what the UFC wanted, and how the humble banana became a flat-tasting staple at every supermarket across the land. Everything you’ve always wanted to know in a light, entertaining delivery that also shows how stupid a big company can be. (The United Fruit Company is no more.)”
“The Forgotten” by Elie Wiesel
“Distinguished psychotherapist and survivor Elhanan Rosenbaum is losing his memory to an incurable disease. Never having spoken of the war years before, he resolves to tell his son about his past – the heroic parts as well as the parts that fill him with shame – before it is too late. Elhanan’s story compels his son to go to the Romanian village where the crime that continues to haunt his father was committed. There he encounters the improbable wisdom of a gravedigger who leads him to the grave of his grandfather and to the truths that bind one generation to another.”