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Staff Picks

January

Happy Year of the Dog!

riddle

The Riddle Master - Patricia McKillip

Morgon, Prince of Hed, wants only to rule and work the land of his birth as best he can, but the stars have marked him out and he must wander strange, foreign lands full of untamed magic, and confront riddling wraiths and mysterious harpists at the behest of the all-knowing High One.

Recommended by Karel

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happy

The Happy Film - DVD

Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister has success in his work, designing album covers for the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and the Talking Heads. But in the back of his mind he suspects there must be something more. He decides to turn himself into a design project. Is it possible to train his mind to get happier? He pursues three controlled experiments of meditation, therapy, and drugs, grading himself along the way.

Recommended by Jeff

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hillbilly

The Hillbilly Elegy - J.D. Vance

Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

Recommended by Gwen

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dancer

Dancer - DVD

Sergei Polunin is a breathtaking ballet talent who questions his existence and his commitment to dance just as he is about to become a legend.

Recommended by Katie

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rosie

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

Recommended by Sheryl

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pacific

The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour - Phillip Olson

Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia have a wealth of top-notch public gardens. In The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour veteran travel writer Donald Olson highlights sixty of the most outstanding options and provides all the information you need to make the most of your visit.

Recommended by Katie

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essex

The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

Recommended by Alice

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milo

Milo and the Magical Stones - Marcus Pfister

A mouse discovers an extraordinary stone that can bring delight or disaster to the world. Halfway through, the book splits into two sections, each offering a different ending.

Recommended by Jan

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memory

Memory Rescue - Daniel Amen

Brain imaging research demonstrates that memory loss actually starts in the brain decades before you have any symptoms. Learn the actions you can take to help not just prevent memory loss later in life ... but to begin restoring the memory you may have already lost.

Recommended by Stacy

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wolf

The Wolf Road - Beth Lewis

Taught to hunt, shoot, and survive in the remote wilds of a ravaged land by the man who adopted her after finding her wandering in the woods as a young child, Elka reflects on the catastrophic events that destroyed civilization more than a century earlier before gradually realizing that her father may be a serial killer.

Recommended by Rebecca

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manhattan

Manhattan Beach - Jennifer Egan

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.

Recommended by Zach

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grantchester

Grantchester - DVD

It's 1953 and Sidney Chambers is vicar of Grantchester, a village just outside Cambridge, England. Sidney's is a quiet life. He tends to his flock, keeps up with his jazz collection, and does his best to contain his passion for beautiful heiress Amanda Kendall. But when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances, Sidney quickly finds that people confide things in a parish priest that they would never tell police.

Recommended by Becky

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