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In honor of the holidays, we suggest the hilarious Christopher Moore’s The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.  Our staffer can’t recommend this enough, read it now.

‘Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he’s not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn’t run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on! There’s an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It’s none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel’s not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say “Kris Kringle,” he’s botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.”–Taken from Goodreads.com

 


The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

Christopher Moore

Published: Oct 20, 2005 by William Morrow
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The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan is our staff pick this week.  This is a super quick read (less than a day, no problem), but if you’ve ever been in a relationship or want to be in one this should be required reading.  It tells the story of one relationship in the form of journal-like dictionary entries, and is honest, true even though it’s fiction, funny, and sad – like all relationships.

“A modern love story told through a series of dictionary-style entries is a sequence of intimate windows into the large and small events that shape the course of a romantic relationship.“–Taken from Goodreads.com


The Lover's Dictionary

David Levithan

Published: Jan 04, 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Among Others by Jo Walton is this week’s staff pick, and is just fantastic. Read the summary, try the book – we think you’ll agree.

“Startling, unusual, and yet irresistibly readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled–and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…

Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude, this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.”–Taken from Goodreads.com


Among Others

Jo Walton

Published: Jan 18, 2011 by Tor Books
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This week’s staff pick is The Alienist by Caleb Carr.  Mystery, murder, mayhem, grit… If you like shows like Gotham, give this a go.  It has a sequel as well, The Angel of Darkness.

“The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or “alienist.” On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan’s infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler’s intellect and Moore’s knowledge of New York’s vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology– amassing a psychological profile of the man they’re looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before, and will kill again before the hunt is over.

Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian’s exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.”–Taken from Goodreads.com

Check it out from the library (and here is the sequel).

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The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon is this week’s Staff Pick. A story of suspense and secrets in a small town with… ghosts?

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara’s fate, she discovers that she’s not the only person who’s desperately looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.“–Taken from Goodreads.com


The Winter People: A Novel

Jennifer McMahon

Published: Feb 11, 2014 by Doubleday
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We also have the audiobook.

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