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Staff Picks for Your Reading Enjoyment

by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg on February 24, 2012 in Odum Library
“A book I read last year that stays with me is the novel Secrets of Eden, by Chris Bohjalian — a New England murder plot with psychological and spiritual themes.”  – Emily Rogers (Reference)


Ginger Williams (Reference) “wants to recommend The Psychopath Test! If you’ve ever thought of telling a judge that you’re a psychopath to try to get out of a hefty jail sentence (and… who hasn’t?), think again. The cautionary tale of “Tony” illustrates how hard it is to convince people that you’re not a psychopath once you’ve tricked them into thinking that you are. You see, that’s just the sort of tricky, manipulative behavior they’d expect from a psychopath! There’s much more to The Psychopath Test than Tony’s story. From the war between psychology and Scientology to the actual psychopath test itself (yes, it does exist!), Ronson’s tale draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the story ends. It doesn’t make light of the psychopath’s plight, but gives outsiders insight to what makes a psychopath tick.”


In The Demi-Monde: Winter, two young women are trapped in a terrifying virtual world, designed to train soldiers for anti-terrorist missions and governed by some of the worst dictators in history. Recommended by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg (Cataloging)


Holly Peagler (the HUB) recommends thrillers by Vince Flynn, Stuart Woods and Clive Cussler.


Denise Montgomery recommends The Retribution by Val McDermid (a great thriller for lovers of British police procedurals in which the cops are chasing serial killers),
and Joan Didion’s memoir Blue Nights, about the death of her adult daughter, which ideally should be read following The Year of Magical Thinking, her earlier memoir about the year following the death of her husband, novelist John Gregory Dunne, a book which won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
Slightly older but also good is the novel The Paris Wife, which is the story about Hemingway and his first wife Hadley,
and the third entry in the Flavia de Luce series, A Red Herring Without Mustard, by Alan Bradley, in which the precocious young amateur chemist in 50s Britain solves another mystery close to home.
Josh Wallace (Circulation) says 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is “a good one.” It’s a dystopian crime drama/love story set in Tokyo.
Linda Most (MLIS) recommends Ken Auletta’s Googled: the End of the World as We Know It, “a comprehensive history of Google’s meteoric rise, profiling its creators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the initial team members, previous commentators on the organization, and Google’s various competitors over the years.” (Publishers Weekly)


Ramona Ice (Circulation) recommends Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books, featuring photos of the personal libraries of Alison Bechdel, Stephen Carter, Junot Díaz, Rebecca Goldstein and Steven Pinker, Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud and James Wood, Philip Pullman, Gary Shteyngart, and Edmund White, along with comments and a “top ten” list from each author.


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