Emma's Picks

White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781946448545
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Published: Sarabande Books - May 5th, 2020

Urgent, important, intimate, political, personal, formal, challenging, explosive, and revelatory—Petrosino's insightful and lyrical illumination unfolds across each sequence and on every page.

Moonflower Murders: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062955456
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Published: Harper - November 10th, 2020

This satisfying sequel to Magpie Murders finds our intrepid editor Susan Ryland bored and worried in Greece, where the puzzle of a woman gone missing in the wake of reading an Atticus Pund mystery entices her back to England. Susan tries again to get in her departed writer's head as she tries to figure out what the woman saw in the book, and how it might lead her family to find her now. Horowitz's homage to Poirot, Christie, and the mystery genre's industry enlivens his elaborate country-home mystery, exquisitely executed, as ever.

The Delightful Life of a Suicide Pilot (A Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery #15) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641291774
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Published: Soho Crime - June 2nd, 2020

Dr. Siri and his wife, as brilliant and enduring as ever, find themselves pursuing the origin of a journal that made its way to them. This, the final mystery in Cotterill's Dr. Siri series, finds Dr. Siri and Madame Daeng traveling across rivers and into mountains in search of the journal writer and the source of his journal's increasingly fabulous tales. As warm and unflinching as all the novels in this series, their final adventure reveals much about war, survival, and how we all try to make our lives into the best stories we can. 

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The Lost Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250105684
Availability: Backordered
Published: Flatiron Books - February 5th, 2019

This gripping mystery examines a brother’s life spent in penitence for a bad decision on a bad day, a brother’s death after a mysterious decision on his own bad day, and the harsh secrets a family has allowed to fester, all under the brutal, unforgiving glare of the Australian outback’s heat and space. Harper creates a breathtaking picture of harsh beauty and failed connection that will pull in lovers of mysteries and of excellent writing alike.

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The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers Cover Image
By Peter Lovesey (Foreword by), Mick Herron (Contributions by), Cara Black (Contributions by), Stuart Neville (Contributions by), Helene Tursten (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9781616957759
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Published: Soho Crime - October 24th, 2017

A stellar seasonal sampler of Soho Crime authors. The stories range from grisy to festive, from scary to funny, from heartbreaking to, well, almost heartwarming—these are crime stories, after all! You may find in these pages an author who is an old friend, or an author who'll be a favorite discovery. All around, a fantastic holiday read, & a great gift for the mystery reader on your list, too.

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A Legacy of Spies: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780735225114
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking - September 5th, 2017

Le Carré invites us to return to the heart of the Cold War era—Legacy revisits a turning point in both Smiley’s career & the security of Britain’s intelligence service, but from the discomfiting vantage of hindsight, which is, of course, anything but 20/20. The story takes an unflinching look at the personal costs of espionage, & reminds us, as ever, that Smiley, if not always our government, tries to move towards peace. It’s a pleasure to visit with these characters, with their strengths & frailties, once again.

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Magpie Murders: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062645227
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper - June 6th, 2017

This murder mystery can satisfy readers looking for a cozy village puzzle as well as those looking for a sharper-edged modern thriller. This nested plot is both encomium & loving critique of mysteries’ popularity, whether televised or set in print. You’ve seen Horowitz’s writing on TV (Poirot, Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War)—this foray into print is gripping, fun, & keeps the reader guessing till the end. 

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Americanah Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307455925
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Published: Anchor - March 4th, 2014

Americanah is both a unfolding love story & an incisive look at constructions of race—Ifemelu is a transplant to the U.S. from Nigeria, and the story of the end of her time in the States and her return to Nigeria is bound up in her youthful love affair with the man she called Ceiling, and in all she has had to learn about how to be black in America, as well as all she has to learn about having been an expat upon her return to Nigeria. Like Austen, Adichie uses the framework of love lost & longed for to examine the society she, and the rest of us, move through. Her beautiful writing & her characters' intimate dilemmas reveal a multiplicity of layers in the world around & beyond us. 

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How to Train Your Dragon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316085274
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - February 1st, 2010

"If only I had some summer reading that made me laugh," your kid says. "If only we could read something besides the Magic Tree House," you think. Don't let the movie's existence stop you--run right out and try Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon books. Gentler than the movie, and more outrageous, these books are fun to read aloud and exciting enough for the listener to pick up the book and read ahead when your voice is gone. Hiccup is the hero we all could be, and his efforts to find a new way to be the Viking leader his dad hopes him to be are funny and touching and never soppy. It's a great series. (And if you are wondering if your young reader will have the Monty-Python-appreciation gene, these books may be the predictor to soothe your fears.)

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Nation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061433030
Availability: The book is not currently in stock at our stores. Please call us for price and availability.
Published: HarperCollins - September 22nd, 2009

Enough story for readers of any age: tsunami, pirates, sharks, astronomy, beer, how we make meaning from tragedy, how we communicate, even mistaken priorities of colonialism--he packs a lot in. It's funny, heartbreaking, adventuresome and contemplative--classic Pratchett, even if not Discworld. A good introduction to a wonderful writer.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One) (Percy Jackson & the Olympians #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780786838653
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Published: Disney-Hyperion - April 1st, 2006

When I was 11, I'd've said these were the Greatest Books Ever. As a post-6th-grader, however, I can more modestly attest that Percy's adventures swept me away. Riordan's accomplished world-building & plotting make this a great adventure story, with enough humor & tension to keep readers of all ages rapt. Percy's own discovery of the world of Greek mythology provides an excellent introduction to the newcomer, and the story's layers of reference to Homer, Bullfinch, and beyond will provide satisfying touchstones to readers' further explorations of the myths themselves.

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The True Meaning of Smekday (The Smek Smeries #1) Cover Image
By Adam Rex, Adam Rex (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780786849017
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2009

A very funny and surprisingly insightful novel. For any fan of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, or Jasper Fforde. Or for those you hope will grow up to be fans of theirs, too.

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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393339918
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 4th, 2011

Read this to feel good about your earthbound life, to marvel at the unsung details & work & research that send astronauts into space, and to laugh with Roach over the myriad detours her research into the science of space travel makes and at her own surprising discoveries. This one is as wonderful as her other books, too.

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