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This week’s staff pick is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Six stories in one that follow the same reincarnated souls through time, this novel is wildly inventive.  The first part may seem a bit slow, but once you get to the second story, the novel takes off.  A wild, complicated ride that’s well worth the effort, this novel also inspired the movie starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.  Our staffer highly recommends this, or one of Mitchell’s other works – like The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, a historical novel where once you finish the first part, the story explodes into soap opera worthy drama and high stakes. Psst- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet would count for your book that takes place in Asia for the Read Harder Challenge.

“Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history.

But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon.” Taken from Goodreads.com


Cloud Atlas: A Novel

David Mitchell

Published: Nov 20, 2012 by Modern Library
Find in the Library


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This week’s staff pick is a heist thriller that a lot of people couldn’t put down… our staffer loved it, and so we recommend to you: Ghostman by Roger Hobbs.

“In a daring operation, two crooks-for-hire rob an Atlantic City casino. But their heist goes horribly wrong, and only one of them makes it out alive. Now he’s on the run with $1/2 million vacuum-packed into a bundle the size of a briefcase. Little does he know it’s rigged with explosives.

Almost immediately, an expert fixer named Jack is in cross-country pursuit. With less than 48 hours to recover the money, clean up the mess, and–for god’s sake–try not to botch the job”–Taken from Amazon.com

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This week’s staff pick is by Mireille Guiliano, and was read by a staffer for the Read Harder Challenge.  She particularly enjoyed French Women Don’t Get Facelifts and found it full of great advice, stories, and recipes.

The author of the bestselling French Women Don’t Get Fat shares the secrets and strategies of aging with attitude, joy, and no surgery.

With her signature blend of wit, no-nonsense advice, and storytelling flair, Mireille Guiliano returns with a delightful, encouraging take on beauty and aging for our times. For anyone who has ever spent the equivalent of a mortgage payment on anti-aging lotions or procedures, dressed inappropriate for their age, gained a little too much in the middle, or accidentally forgot how to flirt, here is a proactive way to stay looking and feeling great, without resorting to “the knife”-a French woman’s most guarded beauty secrets revealed for the benefit of us all!


French Women Don't Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude

Mireille Guiliano

Published: Dec 24, 2013 by Grand Central Life & Style
Find in the Library


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It’s the end of April and we’re a quarter through the year already!  We hope you’re joining us in our 2015 Read Harder Challenge (flyers at Circulation and Reference), where we are challenging ourselves and you by reading books based on place, author, subject, etc.  Why? Because we’re stretching out of our reading comfort zones and trying some new things.

Don’t know where to start? We offer a variety of reading recommendations:

– Staff Pick Bookmarks (located at the Circulation and Reference desks) These change frequently and are always stocked

– Staff Pick of the Week : blog post and added to our Facebook album (one for 2014 and one for 2015) and Pinterest page

– This challenge has a support group on Goodreads.com where you can get reading suggestions for each category, and tell others what you think

-Check out our Pinterest Book Recommendations board – we’ve posted tons of lists of all kinds. There is definitely something you’ll love here!

-We have a book recommendation page where you can get newsletters on your favorite types of books sent straight to your email

It’s never to late to start, and anything you’ve already read this year that fits into a category counts! Join us in diversifying our reading, and check out some new books today.

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The incomparable Maya Angelou is this week’s Poet of the Week (in honor of National Poetry Month).  She’s been a staff pick before, and she absolutely deserves to be again.  An American author, activist, poet, dancer, actress, and singer, she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.  She was a truly impressive woman, and her writing is beautiful.

You can find out more about her poetry in particular, here.  We recommend The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, which collects her poetry through 1994.   (You can find it at: FDC 811 ANG)

Check out one of her many titles, you can see what’s available in the catalog.

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