Linda's Picks


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The House on Vesper Sands By Paraic O'Donnell Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951142988
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - January 11th, 2022

This debut novel is an intriguing combination of salty Victorian mystery, wry humor, compelling characters and an up-close look at human nature in all it’s strengths and weaknesses. Oh and there’s even a whiff of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. Why did the seamstress jump out of a window on an estate? And why was there a message carved into her skin? And where are the girls who have gone missing? That’s what London’s Inspector Cutter, divinity student Gideon Bliss, and newspaper reporter (yes they had newspapers in 1893) Octavia Hillingdon want to know. Let’s see who can figure it out first, dear reader...

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Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times By Katherine May Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593189481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - November 10th, 2020

Sometimes life becomes so overpowering that we just want to hide. And that’s a reasonable reaction, but our society makes it pretty difficult to deal with these periods ranging anywhere from depression to just plain tired. And that’s where Katherine May’s book comes in. I found her thoughts on our need for down-time to be both enlightening and comforting. Based on the idea that nature, itself, has seasons – including a time when the best option is hibernation – she reflects on her own experiences when life left her bereft of energy and wanting a bit of solitude. She describes ways to “winter” in our daily lives, for brief periods or longer, depending on need. And she described this as a way to survive the pain and anguish life can bring. I loved the words she shared and I think you will, too.

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Everything Is Spiritual: Finding Your Way in a Turbulent World By Rob Bell Cover Image
Backordered Title, Not on our shelves: Call to check availability.
ISBN: 9781250620569
Published: St. Martin's Essentials - September 15th, 2020

Most of us have a nagging feeling there is more to life than just gathering assets and moving up in society. Rob Bell wants us to know we’re right. There is more to life. And we’re all connected by a great web of spirituality that is formed from and held together by love. If you’re searching for meaning in your life, Bell’s book has arrived at just the right time. Maybe there’s a reason for that.

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Piranesi By Susanna Clarke Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635575637
Availability: Not currently on our shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 15th, 2020

Susanna Clarke is back, with a labyrinthine tale that challenges us to solve the mystery of an unknown man living in an unknown world in a structure filled with tidal seas, bones, statues, seashells, and many other things. Told by Piranesi, himself, we only know what he knows and we only discover what he discovers. We may be allowed to guess, but can we solve the puzzle before he does? (My answer is “no.”) Piranesi heralds the triumphant return of a unique writer with an outstandingly creative mind. We’ve been waiting patiently for her new revelation and she has not disappointed us. Now I have to go back to look for all the symbols. Delicious!

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Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey into the Heart of Africa By Brad Ricca Cover Image
Backordered Title, Not on our shelves: Call to check availability.
ISBN: 9781250207012
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 11th, 2020

WOW! What a supercharged, thrill-laden narrative. Based on the real Olive, it’s the story of a woman with bravery, loyalty, tenacity and, well, guts! Her fiancée has gone missing in Africa. It’s 1910 and it’s not uncommon to lose track of people under such circumstances – at least temporarily – but Olive is not about to let the love of her life disappear. There’s nothing for it but to go to Africa herself and find him. There is a lot of danger involved; there’s also a lot of beauty to be seen. But as she begins to learn more about Boyd, she starts to wonder if she ever really knew him. Things are just not what she thought and in addition to finding Boyd, she’s now got to solve a personal mystery. This is a thoroughly fun and enlightening foray into “darkest Africa” when many of the maps had not yet been completed and anything could happen. I invite you to sit back with a drink of choice, perhaps a snack nearby, and a few hours to spend. You’ll be glad you went on this safari.

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Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525620808
Availability: Not currently on our shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - June 15th, 2021

The author who took over our mythological hearts and minds with Gods of Jade and Shadow now invades our gothic dreams with a new tale of dark intrigue. When Noemi is called to rescue her cousin from the “clutches” of her new husband, she heads to High Place, the country house in Mexico where things seem odd but not necessarily dangerous. What follows, however, is a tale of suspense and mystery that will keep you turning pages long into the night, only to follow that with the kind of dreams that wake you up just to look over your shoulder. Loved it! You will, too!

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Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers By Helena Dea Bala Cover Image
Backordered Title, Not on our shelves: Call to check availability.
ISBN: 9781982114961
Published: Gallery Books - July 7th, 2020

What might happen if we were to listen – really listen – to each other, especially strangers who could count on anonymity? Well, we might learn some amazing things; some sad, scary, potentially dangerous things. That’s what the author did by listing herself in Craigslist as a “listener” who would listen to whatever anyone might want to share. Craigslist Confessional is an eye-opening, revelatory experience. Do you have empathy for others? Here’s one way to find out. This is real – not fake reality, and I am thankful for what this book had to share with me. I believe you will be, too.

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book #1) By Don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills Cover Image
ISBN: 9781878424310
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amber-Allen Publishing - November 7th, 1997

This slim volume contains life-changing advice from the Toltecs. I know... it sure changed mine!

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The Woman from Uruguay By Pedro Mairal, Jennifer Croft (Translated by) Cover Image
By Pedro Mairal, Jennifer Croft (Translated by)
Backordered Title, Not on our shelves: Call to check availability.
ISBN: 9781635577334
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - July 20th, 2021

This is a love story, a story of a day on the beach with love in the air, assault, robbery and disillusionment. It began at a conference, lived in his dreams and took root until he yanked it out (or had it yanked out for him) on that one day in Montevideo. The people in his life have moved on, gotten married, had babies, taken on lovers and he is paying his debts – over time, in installments, but he is paying them. The author is an international favorite and his work shows why he is loved. I will be thinking about this story – this honest, brave, intriguing story – for a long time. I urge you to read it when you are in the mood for a sharing that is so deep that it is startling.