Staff Selections

Making Piece, a memoir of love, loss and pie

Beth Howard
This sweet memoir begins "I killed my husband." Or if you're the kind of person who reads prologues it begins with, "I blame pie." And so she does throughout the first year of her life after the death of her husband. But she also uses pie as a kind of delicious salvation. Now living in Eldon, Iowa, in the Grant Wood house of American Gothic fame, the book offers the bonus of a road trip to her "Pitch Fork" pie stand.

Mercy Train

Rae Meadows
Mercy Train explores the lives of three women -- Violet, born in the late 1800s, her daughter Iris and her daughter Samantha. The book is at its best in the voice of Violet, who was relocated to the Midwest from the streets of NYC on an orphan train. Her life demonstrates how good intentions often lead to unintentional consequences. Less effective is the exploration of the relationship among the lives of the three women.

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn
This is what I call a big gulp book, as in once you start it you want to take it all in at once. The story follows a year in the lives of a young couple whose marriage has gone flat. That changes when they move from NYC to Missouri to care for his ailing parents. The story picks up steam when she turns up missing -- the victim of a kidnapping or perhaps a murder? The plot twists and turns until it reaches a shocker of an ending.


Hannah Harrington
A Young Adult novel that should be read by all. When Chelsea tells a secret that wasn’t hers to tell she decides to take a vow of silence and in return goes from the top of the social ladder to the bottom. With the help of a few new friends she realized that popularity isn’t always what is should be and that true friends forgive and stay by your side.

The Casual Vacancy

JK Rowling
When a sudden death happens in a small English town a Casual Vacancy happens on the town city council triggering a series of conflicts amongst everyone in the town. Vastly different from her Harry Potter Series, Rowling does a fantastic job of writing about real life conflicts and adult situations. An intense <br> read about everyday happenings.

Heavenly Bodies

Cynthia Huntington
These poems feel formed in the aftermath of the 1960s so freshly do they remember the seductions and pleasures. But they speak also of the unwanted conditions: alienation, terror, and abandonment. These are undecorated reports on Powerlessness, determined to transcribe the feeling of the thing from the inside out: "I'm going to know / where I am next time / if ever I find myself / back here again" ("The Hunting Camp")

Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell
Do you like books? Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. A genre-transcending masterpiece that quickly earned a top spot in my library. Six narratives: An 1850's pacific voyage, a pre-WWII musical prodigy, a 70's crime thriller, the autobiography of a publisher, the burgeoning conciousness of an engineered being, and a barbaric post-apocalyptic Hawaii, all woven together into a poignant story of the universality of the human condition.

Starship Troopers

Robert Heinlein
War never changes. Even if you're fighting bugs instead of your fellow man. Heinlein's classic depicition of future war follows "Jonnie" Rico and his career in the Mobile Infantry during their war with the "Bugs". If you're new to science fiction and looking for a good place to jump in, this is it. If you liked the Neumeier film, read the book. Just don't expect the same experience; the story on pages is more subdued and a bit subtler.