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A Discovery of Witches is the first in a trilogy by Deborah Harkness.  The trilogy is now complete with July’s publishing of The Book of Life, and the series is so consistently great that really, we think you should read all three. These books are a fantastic combination of fantasy, historical fiction, romance, suspense and adventure. Our staff member thought they were like a more accessible (and fantasy instead of science fiction) Neal Stephenson.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism” –Taken from Goodreads.com

The Library has these in regular and large type, as well as audiobooks.  Please note, the large type works are on order and should be in soon.

Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

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This week’s staff pick of the week is Enigma by Robert Harris.  A code breaking mystery set in WWII, this book has it all and is a rivetingly good read.

A gripping World War II mystery novel with a cryptographic twist, Enigma‘s hero is Tom Jericho, a brilliant British mathematician working as a member of the team struggling to crack the Nazi Enigma code. Jericho’s own struggles include nerve-wracking mental labor, the mysterious disappearance of a former girlfriend, the suspicions of his co-workers within the paranoid high-security project, and the certainty that someone close to him, perhaps the missing girl, is a Nazi spy. The plot is pure fiction but the historical background, Alan Turing’s famous wartime computing project that cracked the German U-boat communications code, is real and accurately portrayed. Enigma is convincingly plotted, forcefully written, and filled with well drawn characters; in short, it’s everything a good technomystery should be”–Taken from Goodreads.com

Check it out today! We have it in regular and large print.

Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

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2013 was a phenomenal year for books, and there are a lot of “best of 2013” lists.  If you don’t know what to read this summer, why don’t you check out one of last year’s best?

Andrew Carnegie Medal Shortlist & Similar Works

Best of the Best Books List: 2013 Critics’ Top Picks from TheDailyBeast.com

The Best New Books of 2013 from Barnes and Noble

NPR’s Book Concierge

You can also look at our Staff Pick of the Week Blog Posts (collected here on Facebook) or Bookmarks when you visit the library!

Don’t forget that everything you read counts towards our Summer Reading program!

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This week’s staff pick is “Furniture Makeovers” by Barb Blair.  It’s the perfect time of year to re-varnish, finish, paint, or otherwise alter your furniture since you can probably do it outdoors where it won’t smell up your house.

“Furniture Makeovers shows how to transform tired furniture into stunning showpieces. You’ll never look at a hand-me-down dresser the same way again! The book offers 26 easy-to-follow techniques that can be applied to all different types of pieces, from bookshelves to desks: painting, applying gold leaf, wallpapering, distressing, dip dyeing, and more. In addition to the core techniques, author and Knack Studios founder Barb Blair shares 30 beautiful before-and-after makeovers from her studio and outlines how to achieve each look. With helpful step-by-step photographs, a visual glossary explaining all the tools and materials needed, and a lovely contemporary aesthetic, Furniture Makeovers is a treasure trove of ideas and instruction for the home decorator.”–Taken from Goodreads.com


Furniture Makeovers: Simple Techniques for Transforming Furniture with Paint, Stains, Paper, Stencils, and More

Barbara Blair

Published: Apr 09, 2013 by Chronicle Books
Find in the Library


 

Stay connected: Facebook, Twitterblog and Summer.

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We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle (best known for The Last Unicorn which was also made an animated film) is a collection of short stories about a myriad of topics.  Beagle is a master of short stories, and if you haven’t read him, you should (according to the staff member who recommends his work).  If you don’t want a short story, try Tamsin or The Last Unicorn, also by Beagle.

“Modern parables of love, death, and transformation are peppered with melancholy in this extraordinary collection of contemporary fantasy. Each short story cultivates a whimsical sense of imagination and reveals a mature, darker voice than previously experienced from this legendary author. 

In one tale the Angel of Death enjoys newfound celebrity while moonlighting as an anchorman on the network news, while in another the shortsighted ruler of a gentle realm betrays himself in dreaming of a “manageable war.” Further storylines include an American librarian who discovers that, much to his surprise and sadness, he is the last living Frenchman, and rivals in a supernatural battle who decide to forgo pistols at dawn, choosing instead to duel with dramatic recitations of terrible poetry. 

Featuring several previously unpublished stories alongside a bevy of recently released works, this haunting compilation is appealing to both genre readers and mainstream literature lovers.

Includes “By Moonlight,” Locus Award-winner for Best Novelette.”–Taken from Goodreads.com .


We Never Talk about My Brother

Peter S Beagle

Published: Mar 15, 2009 by Tachyon Publications
Find in the Library


See other titles by Peter S. Beagle here.