Monday, July 1, 2013

Lilburn Branch Staff Picks

This month's staff picks come to us from our friends at the Lilburn Branch.

Balance of Power
by James W. Huston

A terrorist organization has captured an American cargo ship, and it’s up to the US government to get the crew safely home. Like current events, many prominent politicians have different viewpoints on how they want to rescue the American crew. It will pit all three branches of government in a war of words and interpretations of the US Constitution's Article I Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power…To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." You won’t see the US Constitution the same way again after reading this book.

Finnikin of the Rock
Book One of The Lumetere Chronicles
by Melina Marchetta

A curse was put on the kingdom of Lumatere, separating it from the outside world and trapping others inside. Finnikin, his guardian Sir Topher, and Evanjalin, a young woman who can walk the dreams of those in Lumatere, set out to find Prince Balthazarthe lost heir to the throneand break the curse. They will meet other very valuable characters along the way. The story is fantastic but the characters seem real, well developed and very likable. If you love a good fantasy with lots of adventure and a terrific ending, you should read this book.

The Little Stranger
by Sarah Waters

In post-World War II England, a young doctor from humble origins is drawn to a gracious manor house and its ill-fated, financially strapped aristocratic family. A satisfying haunted house tale set in a time of great social change, The Little Stranger is beautifully written and beautifully imagined.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple

Where’d You Go, Bernadette takes a wry look at one very modern, slightly quirky family in latte-loving, Microsoft-worshipping Seattle. Loving wife and mother Bernadettewho is a gifted architect but extremely agoraphobicdisappears on the eve of a family trip to Antarctica. It is up to her precocious teenaged daughter to puzzle out why Bernadette left and where she has gone. Those familiar with the Emerald City will understand Bernadette’s rants about angle parking where you have to back into the place and celebrating birthdays atop the Space Needle. For the most part, this tale is told in 21st-century epistolary style through e-mails, tweets and memos. If you get a kick reading about slightly eccentric but NOT dysfunctional families (think Little Miss Sunshine), then this humorous, offbeat book is for you.

Winter’s Tale
by Mark Helprin

Winter's Tale is a fantastical retelling of the history of New York City from the mid-1800s to the modern day. The main part of the tale is an epic love story and includes a dozen characters that could have their own novels. Helprin does not spare his words, so readers who like to get to the point or prefer to have words flow over them like gentle rain may struggle to enjoy this book. For those who love gorgeous metaphors and rich imagery, this novel is like a twelve course gourmet meal.

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