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Staff Picks

October

October

Beastie

Beastie Boys Book - Mike Diamond

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band.

Recommended by Laura

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Book

Book Love - Debbie Tung

Bookworms rejoice! These charming comics capture exactly what it feels like to be head-over-heels for hardcovers. And paperbacks! And ebooks! And bookstores! And libraries!

Recommended by Chelsea

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Children

The Children Act - Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child's welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts. But Fiona's professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. But Jack doesn't leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case--as well as her crumbling marriage--tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page .

Recommended by Annette

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Exit

Exit West - Mohsin Hamid

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West is an epic compressed into a slender page-turner--both completely of our time and for all time, Mohsin Hamid's most ambitious and electrifying novel yet .

Recommended by Jeff

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Mary

My Name is Mary Sutter - Robin Oliviera

Traveling to Civil War-era Washington, D.C., to tend wounded soldiers and pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon, headstrong midwife Mary receives guidance from two smitten doctors and resists her mother's pleas for her to return home.

Recommended by Sheryl

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Nina

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill - Abbi Waxman

A quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone's radar. Nina Hill's life may not seem like much, but for a person battling anxiety, it's more than enough. She enjoys her job at a bookstore and her small circle of friends. Until a visit from a lawyer changes everything... The father that Nina never knew existed has died, leaving behind an enormous extended family. Nina now has innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, and cousins all living within a twenty-mile radius--some welcoming and some not so welcoming, but all demanding her attention. If that's not enough, Nina's talent for worrying is taking the thrill out of falling in love. Tom, a fellow trivia nerd--who's totally into her--is obviously too good to be true. Everything is moving too fast for Nina. Caught in a whirlwind of new people, emotions and experiences, she feels the need to protect herself. But maybe opening her world--and her heart--is a risk worth taking.

Recommended by Becky

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Two

Two Old Woman - Velma Wallis

Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.

Recommended by Gwen

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Under

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver's Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey -- hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

Recommended by Vanessa

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