Monday, March 4, 2013

Five Forks Branch Staff Picks

This month we hear from the staff at Five Forks. They're recommending books they enjoyed in the hope that you'll enjoy them too.

By Olaf Olafsson

Why you should read it: I was initially drawn to this book by the beautiful cover, but it is the story, combining three of my favorite reading interests--art and restoration, stories of World War II, and Italy--that really intrigued me. In a remote village in Tuscany an Englishwoman is determined to restore her husband's family estate. However, when war and its attendant refugees arrive on her doorstep, layers of secrets, like paint on a canvas, are revealed.

A Brief History of Montmaray
Book One in The Montmaray Journals
By Michelle Cooper

Why you should read it: I was enchanted right from the start of the wonderful novel set on the fictional island nation of Montmaray. In the years of rising Fascism in Europe, Sophie FitzOsborne, Princess Royal of the tiny kingdom of Montmaray, tells in diary narrative of her charmingly beleaguered and eccentric family. Suddenly, after dwelling in glorious isolation for many years, the FitzOsbornes are faced with uncertainties and danger as the outside world gathers the forces of war. Although written for a teen audience, Cooper's trilogy deserves a wide readership.

Nightwoods: A Novel
By Charles Frazier

Why you should read it: Set in the early 1960s, this latest novel by Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons, is a story of suspense and love about a young woman living in a small town in North Carolina who inherits the young twins of her murdered sister. Until the children arrive, Luce has lived a solitary life without emotional attachments. She must learn to love, protect, and communicate with the traumatized children who trust only each other. Frazier's gifts for writing beautiful prose, creating unforgettable characters, and storytelling are clearly evident in this gripping Appalachian tale. Will Patton, also the reader of Frazier's earlier books, narrates the audio version of Nightwoods with his award-winning talent in bringing the story and characters to life. Whether you read or listen to the story, it's one you won't soon forget.

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
By Jonathan L. Howard

Why you should read it: After making a foolish deal with the Devil, Johannes Cabal becomes the proprietor of a diabolical carnival and has one year to convince 100 people to sign their souls over to the Devil or lose his own soul forever.

Hello, Gorgeous
Becoming Barbra Streisand
By William J. Mann

Why you should read it: This book is for die hard Streisand fans. If you’re like me, expecting everything from Funny Girl to Yentl, (and you’re particularly eager to get the goods on Babs and Robert Redford in The Way We Were), you might be a bit disappointed. The book chronicles four years: from 1960 when Streisand first started to sing in clubs in New York City to 1964 when she was a Broadway sensation in Funny Girl and was well on her way to becoming a tremendous success. Fans may enjoy the peek into Barbra’s humble beginnings, the reasons for her controlling ways, and her various idiosyncrasies. At over 500 pages, it is very detailed, meticulously researched, and a little long; but overall, I would recommend this very interesting book for Barbra Streisand lovers!

We hope you found something to like here, but don't worry if you didn't. There will be another branch next month with another round of favorite reads.

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