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    Book Club in a Bag

    Staff Picks - Pat, Sonya and Patti

    by Jasna - 0 Comment(s)

    Who doesn't like to get a personal recommendation? Whether you're picking a movie, trying a new wine, going to a restaurant, or looking for a good book to read, it's always nice to try something that someone else really loves... Our staff members are always reading, so here are three great picks that come personally recommended:

    Mist Over Water

    Alys Clare

    The son of William the Conqueror is building an impressive cathedral on Ely Island. While fishing for eels, Morcar, cousin of apprentice healer Lassair, is horribly injured, and Lassair goes to tend him. What appeared to be an accident turns out to be an attempt on Morcar's life. In this second entry in her Aelf Fen Norman series (after Out of the Dawn Light), Clare doles out enticing clues to keep the reader turning the pages. She also knows her medieval medicine, which should delight all fans of Ellis Peters and Susanna Gregory.

    The Dog Who Knew Too Much

    Spencer Quinn

    The fourth entry in the irresistible New York Times bestselling mystery series featuring canine narrator Chet and his human companion Bernie—“the coolest human/pooch duo this side of Wallace and Gromit.”

    Combining suspense and intrigue with a wonderfully humorous take on the link between man and beast, Spencer Quinn’s exceptional mystery series has captured widespread praise since its New York Times bestselling debut, Dog on It. The Dog Who Knew Too Much marks the duo’s triumphant return in a tale that’s full of surprises.

    Bernie is invited to give the keynote speech at the Great Western Private Eye Convention, but it’s Chet that the bigshot P.I. in charge has secret plans for. Meanwhile Chet and Bernie are hired to find a kid who has gone missing from a wilderness camp in the high country. The boy’s mother thinks the boy’s father—her ex—has snatched the boy, but Chet makes a find that sends the case in a new and dangerous direction. As if that weren’t enough, matters get complicated at home when a stray puppy that looks suspiciously like Chet shows up. Affairs of the heart collide with a job that’s never been tougher, requiring our two intrepid sleuths to depend on each other as never before. The Dog Who Knew Too Much is classic Spencer Quinn, offering page-turning entertainment that’s not just for dog-lovers.

    The Namesake

    Jhumpa Lahiri

    Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collections -- to have won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Among the many other awards and honors it received were the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the highest critical praise for its grace, acuity, and compassion in detailing lives transported from India to America. In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations. Here again Lahiri displays her deft touch for the perfect detail -- the fleeting moment, the turn of phrase -- that opens whole worlds of emotion.
    The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. The New York Times has praised Lahiri as "a writer of uncommon elegance and poise." The Namesake is a fine-tuned, intimate, and deeply felt novel of identity.

    What should we read next? Leave your recommendations in the comments!

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