Friday, May 31, 2013

Lawrenceville Branch Staff Picks

This month our staff picks come from the staff of the Lawrenceville Branch.  Without further ado, here is a heaping helping of impressively diverse recommendations from our friends at Lawrenceville:

French Milk
by Lucy Knisley

French Milk is an autobiographical graphic novel that follows Lucy Knisley and her mother as they experience Paris together on their collective birthdays. The novel reads almost like a scrapbook narrative and includes Lucy's drawings as well as photographs from the trip itself. This book is a definite must read for those with wanderlust.

Super Mario
How Nintendo Conquered America
by Jeff Ryan

Ryan tells the story of how Nintendo was created and then reinvented itselffrom the arcade to the home consolewith the help of a character named Mario. Fans of classic Mario games will appreciate the details of Mario’s origin, and fans of the more recent games can explore the full history of Nintendo and how Mario has influenced the growth of the company and the future of video games. If you enjoy reading about technology, video games, or business/industry, then you might like to discover the details of how Mario became the worldwide icon he is today. Likewise, you might also enjoy Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell and Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal.

The Bird Sisters
by Rebecca Rasmussen

Twiss and Milly, elderly sisters who are known for healing injured birds and still live in their childhood home in rural Wisconsin, take the reader back in time to the summer of 1947 when the two were young girls. Their parents' marriage was unstable, their mother having given up her wealthy background to marry their golf pro father. The girls spend much of their time trying to mend this relationship. When their cousin Bett arrives for an extended visit and their father has an accident that ruins his golf career, things take a very bad turn. This is a beautifully written story of family, love, loss, and the lessons learned from these experiences.

The Lost City of Z
A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
by David Grann

In 1925 veteran explorer Percy Fawcett disappeared into the Amazon looking for the City of Z, proof of a civilization lost in the jungles of Brazil. This book serves as both a general history of Amazonian exploration and a history of Fawcett himself, a fascinatingly eccentric character straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Part travelogue, part adventure, part biography, it is filled with obsession, disease, poisoned arrows and giant snakes. A great nonfiction book that reads like fiction.

The Lock Artist
by Steve Hamilton

This award-winning crime novel is narrated by a man named Mike who doesn't talk. Told through a deftly woven series of flashbacks, the story follows Mike from the time he first learns he has an "unforgivable talent" through his involvement in a series of high-stakes robberies. Mike makes no apologies for the bad guy he's become, which makes the reveal of why he's been silent so many years all the more tragic.

Lean In
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In addresses women’s plight in the workplace and career advancements. Sandberg stresses that aside from the historical gender biases, women actually keep themselves from moving up the career ladder. Many women question their own ability to advance while having a rewarding family life. Sandberg urges women to “lean in” and promote their own abilities and to not rely on others to reward their accomplishments. She believes that women can have successful careers and manage a happy family with the help of the right partner who is supportive and contributes to the home life. Sandberg concedes that she has advantages that many single moms don’t but believes that they too can promote themselves, be strong, believe in themselves and achieve by leaning in, not leaning out, not making excuses. Men lean in all the time and promote themselves, and it’s time for women to do the same.

Bitter End
by Jennifer Brown

During Alex's senior year of high school, handsome sports star Cole moves in from another school. Alex and Cole adore each other and soon fall in love. Alex is very happy that she has finally found her soul mate, who truly loves and understands her. However, as time passes, Alex begins to realize Cole’s frequent put-downs are accompanied by violent behavior. Despite his increasingly frequent beatings, he always apologizes afterward and wins back Alex’s feelings. Soon Alex blames herself for the abuse rather than blaming Cole. She tries to change, believing that if she behaves differently the Cole she originally fell in love with will return. As she struggles with her love for the old Cole and her distrust ofthe new one, Alex is forced to make the toughest decision of her life. This is a really powerful book that everyone should read.

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