Monday, February 4, 2013

Duluth Branch Staff Picks

If it's cold outside, why not stay inside with a good book? The staff members at the Duluth Branch recommend these titles from our shelves.

The Book of Lies
By Brad Meltzer

Why you should read it: The Book of Lies tells the story of Cal Harper, whose long lost father was killed by the same gun that killed the father of the creator Superman in 1932. The killer was tattooed with ancient markings of Cain, who committed the first murder in the Bible. Cal faces danger and intrigue in his search to find the link between the two murders and the connection to the first recorded murder. This book is fast-paced and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Last Child in the Woods
Saving Our Children from Nature-deficit Disorder
By Richard Louv

Why you should read it: This is an important and inspiring book for anyone who cares about children. It discusses cutting-edge research linking many childhood troubles, such as attention-deficit and obesity, to a lack of exposure to nature. With discussion questions included, it's a thought-provoking read for non-fiction book groups, as well.

Cloud Atlas
By David Mitchell

Why you should read it: This sci-fi novel, recently adapted into a movie starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, tells a series of six tales through time. Each new character is touched by characters from a past story, with allusions to reincarnation. Two of the tales take place in the future, depicting a world created by an extension of current sociological trends and then its collapse. Cloud Atlas is an engaging and provocative book, which illustrates the essentials of human nature regardless of environment.

By Marissa Meyer

Why should you read it: Even though the story starts with “Once upon a time,” it is not your typical fairy telling. Echoing some of the sentiments of the original Cinderella character, this Cinder is a cyborg in a world where cyborgs are looked upon as being only a little better than scrap metal. A gifted teen mechanic with a mysterious past, Cinder is strong and works hard for what she gets. She doesn’t just sit back and complain because her stepmother hates her and makes her work for their comfort. The descriptions, tensions, silly humorous moments, love interests and plot twists take place on an Earth being ravaged by a deadly plague. In the end all is not revealed, as this is the first installment of a four-book series. It is an exciting ride, making the reader eager for the next book, Scarlet. Cinder is definitely five stars. It should be read and enjoyed by adults as well as teens.

By Toni Morrison

Why should you read it: Driven by the painful history of slavery in the United States, Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a true American classic. The story’s focus is on Sethe, a mother and former slave, who is haunted, both literally and figuratively, by the devastation and guilt of her past regarding her daughter. Although a difficult topic to breach, Morrison uses poetic prose to deal with the pain and torment of an unjust reality. Richly detailed and passionately written, but not for the faint of heart, this haunting book attempts to help explain both the mental and emotional state of a people held in bondage, their subsequent freedom, and its costs.

That's all for the Duluth Branch staff picks. We hope you found something you'll like. We'll be back next month with another library branch and another list of favorites. Until then, let us know in the comments if you have any books you recommend!

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