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Staff Picks 2006

Page history last edited by Michele 8 years, 10 months ago


These are titles that were enjoyed and are recommended by Bryant Library employees. The titles are linked to our catalog, but please remember that some are available as sound recordings and large type as well. If you don't find it on the shelf, please reserve it and we will happily get it for you. Enjoy! 
Compiled by Barbara Czekala, Coordinator of Reference Services

Abbott, Jeff - Panic 
After finding his mother murdered, Evan Casher discovers that everything he once believed in is a lie, and that he has been targeted by a ruthless organization of killers. High speed, white-knuckled suspense. 

Aboulela, Leila - Minaret

Elegantly crafted story of a once wealthy Sudanese family’s exile in London, and of their daughter’s odyssey of loss, self- discovery and found faith.

Abrahams, Peter - End of Story
Struggling author agrees to teach a writing class to inmates at a max security prison and falls under the spell of a talented inmate serving time for a brutal crime. Psychological suspense rendered with cool, vivid prose.

Alexander, Tasha - And Only to Deceive
Lovely young widow leaves Victorian London determined to discover the truth behind her late husband’s dubious dealings in Greek antiquities.  A witty mix of Victorian cozy and romantic suspense.

Almond, Steve and Julianna Baggott - Which Brings Me to You
After almost sharing a breathless tryst in a coatroom, a thirty-something couple agrees to exchange letters, deepening their acquaintance at a safe distance via confessions and revelations. Quirky fun.

Anton, Maggie - Rashi’s Daughters 
Finely researched historical novel which offers a glimpse into the Jewish world of medieval France. This first volume of a trilogy is the story of Joheved, the eldest daughter of the great Talmudic scholar Rashi 

Atkinson, Kate - Case Histories

London private detective Jackson Brodie, ex-cop and ex-husband, finds himself the link among three interwoven mysteries involving cold case crimes. 

Bagshawe, Tilly - Adored
Scion of Hollywood royalty, beautiful and ruthlessly ambitious Siena McMahon rides the bumpy road to stardom surviving betrayal, scheming lovers and scandal.

Baldacci, David - The Camel Club
Members of the Camel Club, a wacky group of Washington conspiracy theorists, witness a murder and find themselves thrown into a conspiracy they never could have imagined.

Banville, John - The Sea
Recently widowed Max Morden retreats to the seaside town of his youth where he recalls times spent with a magnificent, careless family. 

Berry, Wendell - Hannah Coulter
A quietly moving story of a Kentucky farmwife’s life, loves and family during the turmoil of World War II. 

Blauner, Peter- Slipping into Darkness
Serpentine thriller involving a decades old murder case that is reopened when the killer is released from prison.

Buff, Joe - Seas of Crisis
Navy commander infiltrates a military installation to investigate the sale of weapon technology to a neo-Axis coalition.  Unrelenting action—a military thriller.

Brooks, Geraldine - March

Affecting novel based on the imagined Civil War experiences of Mr. March, the absent father from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Carroll, Susan - The Dark Queen
History and romance come together when a young woman known for her mystical skills confronts the sinister ambitions and intrigues of Queen Catherine de Medici.

Chase, Loretta - Lord Perfect
A straight-laced Earl finds his carefully constructed life upset by a lovely widow from a disreputable family when they form an uneasy alliance to search for her runaway daughter and his young nephew.

Child, Lee - The Hard Way
Jack Reacher, the thinking man’s Rambo, comes to the aid of the head of a group of mercenaries to help find a kidnapped woman and her child. Swift, slick action.

Childs, Laura - Blood Orange BrewingSleuthing Theo Browning, owner of Charleston’s Indigo Tea Shop, investigates the murder of a local politico and finds herself caught up in shady politics, personal revenge, and the Charleston social scene.

Clark, Mary Higgins - No Place Like Home
Growing up under an assumed identity after an accidental shooting that claimed her parent’s lives, a woman is shocked that her husband has inadvertently purchased her childhood home, the scene of the crime.

Cohen, Paula Marantz - Much Ado About Jessie Kaplan
A looming bat-mitzvah, a hyperactive son, and a mother who believes she is the reincarnation of a Shakespearean character, are only part of the complications facing a suburban Jersey heroine. An entertaining romp from the author of Jane Austen in Boca.

Connelly, Michael - The Lincoln Lawyer
Accustomed to representing deadbeats, Mickey Haller finds himself caught up in a high stakes legal duel when he takes on his first high paying and possible innocent client in years.

Crew, Cheryl Howard - In the Face of Jinn
A California importer of exotic goods disguises herself as an Islamic woman and sets out for Taliban controlled provinces to discover the fate of her missing sister.

Daswani, Kavita - For Matrimonial Purposes In her mid twenties and still unmarried despite matchmakers and the efforts of family friends, Anju leaves Bombay for New York to seek a husband.

Dew, Robb Forman - The Truth of the Matter
Widowed years earlier, Agnes Scofield becomes an independent woman in post WWII Ohio anticipating the return of her children from the war and facing her suspicions about her husband’s fatal accident.

Doctorow, E.L.- The March
Sherman’s legendary march through Georgia and the Carolinas is the subject of this sweeping, grim Civil War version of The Canterbury Tales.

Donn, Linda - The Little BalloonistElegantly spare tale set in Napoleonic era France involving one of history’s first female aeronauts. Based on the true story of the remarkable Sophie Blanchard.

Donohue, Keith - The Stolen ChildSmall town 1960’s America is the setting for this haunting modern telling of the changeling myth in which seven year old Henry is stolen away and replaced by a look –alike impostor.

Ephron, Amy - One Sunday MorningGossip and indiscretion forever change the lives of four women friends in Jazz Age New York. “A Whartonesque novel of manners.”

Essex, Karen - Leonardo’s SwansSet amid the political and artistic ferment of the Italian Renaissance,
this novel traces the private ambitions and the public intrigues of Isabella and Beatrice D’Este, sisters and rivals. 

Feldman, Ellen - LucyFictionalized account of FDR’s romance with Lucy Mercer, Eleanor’s social secretary. The story follows the couple’s pre WWI affair through the years until his death.

Fergus, Jim - The Wild Girl: The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932Historical adventure in which a photojournalist joins in the search for a wealthy Mexican boy kidnapped by the Apaches. 

Flynn-Hui, Kathleen - Beyond the BlondA young woman from rural New Hampshire finds employment in the high stakes world of Manhattan’s posh hair salons and finds herself having to balance powerful clients, a maniacal boss, and a budding romance.

Fowler, Christopher - Ten Second StaircaseOdd-ball whodunit featuring the cantankerous detective duo Bryant and May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Using their own unorthodox methods, the pair tackles a series of fiendish crimes that plague London including the murders of hated celebrities and the gruesome death of a performance artist.

Fowler, Earlene - The Saddlemaker’s Wife Traveling to California to see the cattle ranch she has surprisingly inherited from her dead husband, Ruby McGavin discovers the family her husband claimed was dead as well as a legacy of pain and denial.

Frey, Stephen - The ChairmanIn this fast -paced financial thriller, Christian Gillette takes over as head of Everest Capital after the suspicious death of its chairman, and becomes a target of the killer as he navigates the high stakes world of big money and even bigger conspiracies. 

Furst, Alan - The Foreign Correspondent
A gripping political thriller set in Paris on the eve of the war. A journalist covering the efforts of the Italian anti-fascist underground finds himself the target of Mussolini’s secret police, Stalin’s NKVD, and the Gestapo.

Gaffney, Elizabeth - MetropolisFollowing the mysterious fire in P.T. Barnum’s American Museum, a young German immigrant gets caught up in the Irish street gangs of Manhattan as he finds himself a suspect in the arson case.

Ghosh, Amitav - The Hungry TideIndia’s Sundarban Islands serve as the lush backdrop for an intricate narrative of the journey of an Indian-American marine biologist, a Delhi businessman and a native fisherman in search of near extinct river wildlife.

Gimenez, Mark - The Color of LawThe fortunes of hotshot Dallas attorney Scott Fenny take a nose dive when he is forced by his firm to pro bono a prostitute accused of killing the son of a Texas senator running for President.

Glass, Julia - The Whole World OverRich, subtle story of a woman who leaves her Greenwich Village pastry business and husband behind and travels to New Mexico to be the personal chef of the governor, prompting a period of reflection and uncertainty for herself.

Grazer, Gigi Levangie - The Starter WifeRomantic satire and middle-aged chick lit meet in this story of the wife of a Hollywood mogul, dumped for a very young starlet.

Gregory, Phillippa- The Constant Princess
Fictional account of Katherine of Aragon, the first of Henry VIII’s wives,  tracing her life from her childhood in Spain to her journey to England where she was wife to two heirs to the English throne.

Griffin, EmilySomething BluePregnant and abandoned by her fiancé, lovely but shallow, Darcy flees to London seeking sympathy. There, she gets a cruel dose of reality when her wiles no longer charm, and she is forced to reevaluate her life.

Hamilton, Peter - Pandora’s StarAn exhilarating space saga set in a twenty -fourth century world where man has colonized the stars. The arrival of human settlers in a remote world unleashes a race of insatiably greedy aliens formerly held in check by a mysterious energy barrier.

Hart, John - The King of LiesComplex mystery thriller involving Jackson W. Pickens, an unambitious attorney who finds himself under suspicion for the murder of his estranged father. Haunted by secrets from his past, he works to unravel the complicated web of deception surrounding the crime.

Hedaya, Yael - AccidentsAn intimate portrait of a family under construction. Raising his teenaged daughter alone, a widowed Tel Aviv author with writer’s block finds his life transformed when he meets and falls in love with a lonely, restless best- selling author. 

Hilderbrand, Elin - The Love SeasonA young woman travels on a journey of self- discovery to meet her godmother, a quirky, reclusive Nantucket chef and best friend of her long deceased mother.

Hill, Justin - Passing Under HeavenBeautifully rendered epic novel based on the extraordinary, true life of a Yu Xuanji, a concubine who became China’s greatest woman poet.

Howard, Linda - Killing TimeMembers of a small-town committee responsible for burying a time capsule twenty years ago are methodically being murdered after the capsule is dug up and stolen. Unrelenting suspense with a paranormal twist.

Huston, Charlie - Six Bad Things
Beleaguered former minor league ball player finds himself on the run from Mexican soldiers, the Russian mob, and the U.S. Border Patrol after he makes off with millions in Russian Mafia money.

Jin, Ha – War Trash
Incarcerated in an American POW camp, a Chinese soldier reluctantly takes on the role of interpreter during the Korean War, a role that puts him in conflict with his fellow prisoners and his American captors.

Kallos, Stephanie - Broken for YouSaddened by the losses in her life, a Seattle septuagenarian opens her home to a series of boarders whose lives become unexpectedly connected to each other.

Keyes, Marian- Anybody Out There?Madcap escapade starring plucky Anna Walsh who wakes up in her parent’s Dublin home badly injured with no memory of what happened and no clue as to why she left New York in the first place.

King, Dave- The Ha-HaA man scarred physically and emotionally by his tour in Viet Nam slowly regains his humanity when he takes in the surly young son of a former girl friend.

Kinsella, Sophie - The Undomestic GoddessAmbitious London lawyer makes a costly mistake, suffers a breakdown, and boards a train that lands her in a remote country hamlet where she is mistaken for the new housekeeper for pompous, but kindly, nouveau riche couple.

Kostova, Elizabeth - The Historian
After her father disappears, an American student in Amsterdam discovers a mysterious medieval book and collection of letters. She becomes the latest in a series of historians to investigate the possible surviving legacy of Vlad Tepes—the inspiration for Dracula. An atmospheric page turner.

Lansens, Lori- The GirlsMoving story of personal courage involving conjoined twins in a small Canadian community and of the autobiography of  one of the twins. 

Learner, Tobsha- The Witch of CologneA sensuous 17th century saga set in Cologne at the height of the Inquisition where a talented Jewish midwife is arrested for sorcery.

Leather, Stephen - Cold Kill
A detective in an elite undercover squad sent to investigate a naval disaster uncovers a counterfeit currency ring destined to finance a massive terrorist attack.

McMahon, Katharine - The Alchemist’s DaughterUnrecognized as an accomplished scientist in her own right, the sheltered daughter of an eccentric chemist is seduced by the outside world and leaves her home and work for the temptations of mid 18th century London.

Martinez, Michele- The Finishing SchoolAbsorbing, fast-paced thriller featuring Melanie Vargas, a savvy federal prosecutor charged with investigating the suspicious death of two teens from a posh Manhattan private school.

Miller, Sue - Lost in the ForestThe sudden death of her second husband turns the lives of a woman and her adolescent daughter upside down. Miller’s minutely observed, finely paced exploration of the rhythms of daily family life is fluid and subtle.

Millner, Denene - The Vow: 3 Women, 2 Carats, 1 YearEmotionally charged portrait of contemporary Hollywood featuring three friends who set a deadline for finding Mr. Right.
Mirvis, Tova- The Outside World
Follows the courtship and marriage of Baruch/Bryan and Tzippy, he who embraces a strict Orthodox lifestyle and she who longs to escape the expectations of familial obligation.

Mosse, Kate - LabyrinthAn epic adventure weaving together the past and the present in a Grail-quest tale. Two women, separated by eight centuries, share a special connection to mystical books of power that reveal the secret of the Grail.

Murakami, Haruki - Kafka On the Shore
An unlikely alliance forms between a 15 year old runaway and an aging man who has never recovered from a wartime affliction, as they embark on a surreal odyssey through a strange, fantastical world.

Noble, Elizabeth - The Friendship Test
It’s 1985 and four Oxford students create a fateful test of friendship, the essence of which is to never betray one another. Twenty years later the girlfriends must face the ultimate test when one of them faces a series of life crises.

Oates, Joyce Carol - Missing Mom
In the aftermath of her mother’s violent death, a young woman comes to a startling realization of her identity as a daughter and experiences an eventful year of mourning that gives way to wisdom and love.

Parker, Robert B. - Sea ChangeThe ravaged corpse of a Florida heiress  washes ashore in Paradise Harbor during Race Week leading police chief Jesse Stone to a surprisingly intricate case of sex and murder.

Parkhurst, Carolyn - Lost and FoundThrown together in a reality TV scavenger hunt around the world, seven unlikely couples compete for treasure and love.

Patterson, James - The 5th HorsemanThe Women’s Murder Club decides to investigate a San Francisco Hospital and its administrator when healthy patients suddenly begin to die.

Pouncey, Peter - Rules for Old Men WaitingA history professor retires to his Cape Cod home to die and creates a list of rules by which he will live out his final days.

Preston, Caroline - Gatsby’s Girl
A historical novel based on the life of Ginevra King, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first love and muse, reflects on what might have been if she had chosen the writer instead.

Roberts, Nora - The Black Rose
No-nonsense Roz Harper unexpectedly finds romance as well as pieces of the puzzle about a ghost that haunts her ancestral home.

Robinson, Marilynne - Gilead
On his deathbed, an aged preacher writes a letter to his son chronicling three generations of his family, a story that reaches back to the Civil War and reveals uncomfortable family secrets.

Rosen, Jonathan - Joy Comes in the Morning
Rabbi Deborah Green discovers a world of tragedy, madness, love and redemption when she encounters Henry Friedman, an older patient and Holocaust survivor who had attempted suicide.

Ruiz Zafon, Carlos - The Shadow of the Wind
In post World War II Barcelona, a young boy selects an obscure novel from the Cemetery of Forgotten books to protect it from obscurity. Searching for the rest of the author’s works, he not only discovers haunting parallels between his own life and the author’s, but also that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.

Samuel, Barbara - Madame Mirabou’s School of LoveAfter accidentally burning down the house intended as part of her divorce settlement, fortysomething Nikki is forced into a new life in which she discovers a talent for creating signature perfumes.

See, Lisa - Snow Flower and the Secret FanA story of friendship set in 19th century China follows an elderly woman and her companion as they communicate their hopes, dreams, joys and tragedies through a unique secret language.

Shamsie, Kamila - Broken VersesYears after her renowned poet father is brutally murdered and her political activist mother disappears, a young woman, employed by an independent Pakistani TV station begins to receive letters written in her mother’s private code.

Shields, Jody - The Fig EaterIn 1910 Vienna, a police inspector and his unconventional wife pursue independent investigations of the  murder of a young woman whose last meal was a single fig.

Shreve, Anita - A Wedding in DecemberGathered to attend a wedding in the Berkshires, a group of prep schoolmates find their reunion marked by the death of a spouse, traumatic past events, and shocking secrets.

Shreve, Susan Richards - A Student of Living Things
Set in the grim near- future, a young woman opts for vengeance after she loses her brother in a politically motivated murder.

Sierra, Javier - The Secret SupperSent to oversee the completion of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, a papal inquisitor investigates the artist’s use of symbolic imagery which suggests a coded message in the painting.

Smith, Ali - The AccidentalAn enigmatic con artist insinuates her way into the lives of a British family on vacation.

Southgate, Martha - The Third Girl From the LeftA compelling saga of love, film and family secrets that traces the lives and destinies of three generations of African-American women.

Stewart, Leah - The Myth of You and MeA letter from a long -estranged childhood friend sends Cameron Wilson on a mission to track down the friend and deliver a mysterious package left in her care.

Tiffany, Carrie - Everyman’s Rules for Scientific LivingA beautifully written novel about the stark landscape and relationships of a group of farmers in Australia on the eve of World War II.

Tropper, Jonathan - Everything ChangesThe anxiety over his approaching wedding is tripled when Zack King’s overbearing dead-beat dad shows up after a two decade absence.

Tuck, Lily - The News From Paraguay
An historical novel based on the life of notorious Irish courtesan Ella Lynch, who left Europe to become the mistress of the arrogant dictator who victimized the nation of Paraguay in the mid 19th century.

Unger, Lisa - Beautiful Lies
Thrust into the media spotlight after she performs an act of heroism, Manhattan writer Ridley Jones receives a package with a note and photos that claim her mother and father are not her birth parents. She sets out to unravel her own identity.

Wasserstein, Wendy - Elements of StyleSatire about Manhattan’s moneyed class; their fashion, style, mores and anxiety about maintaining the perfect image.

Winspeare, Jacqueline - Pardonable Lies
It's 1930 London, and psychologist sleuth Maisie Dobbs takes on three cases that test her investigating skills and force her to confront painful memories of loss from her days as a nurse at the front during World War I. 

Wolitzer, Meg - The PositionThirty years after their parents wrote a 1970’s sex manual, the four emotionally scarred children of the couple argue over whether or not to reissue the book. Slyly comical and clever.

Wright, Edward - While I Disappear
John Ray Horn, washed up B-movie cowboy, investigates the death of one of his former leading ladies in post-World War II Los Angeles digging up painful skeletons from his past.

Xinran, Xue - Sky Burial
Unable to accept her young husband’s death while serving in the Chinese army in Tibet, Shu Wen joins the army herself as a doctor to discover the truth. She spends the next three decades on a nomadic odyssey searching for him. Based on a true story.

Didion, Joan- The Year of Magical Thinking  
Clear- eyed chronicle of the year following her husband’s sudden death in which she tries to make sense of a time when nothing makes sense.

Fonda, Jane - My Life So Far  
A probing and articulate memoir of Fonda's quest 

Goodwin, Doris K. - Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Goodwin focuses on Lincoln’s unique political talent that enabled him to bring former political rivals into his cabinet and mold them into a remarkable team that led the Union during the Civil War.   Biography- Lincoln

Grogan, John- Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog     
Grogan’s tribute to his yellow lab, a loveable, hyperactive, naughty canine.  

Halo, Thea - Not Even My Name: A True Story  
 A remarkable story of survival and resilience in which a young Pontic Greek girl survives the forced march of her village into Syria at the hands of the Turks after World War I. Biography- Halo

Harr, Jonathan - The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece  
Detective thriller in which a graduate student and an art restorer discover a Caravaggio painting that had been missing for two centuries.   

Junger, Sebastian - A Death in Belmont 
Detective thriller in which a graduate student and an art restorer discover a Caravaggio painting that had been missing for two centuries.   

Kurlansky, Mark - The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell   
A chatty, highly original history of New York City told from the humble perspective of the once abundant delicacy.

Levitt, Steven – Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything  
In a quirky, lively manner, economist Levitt addresses a range of real world questions that seem far removed from the study of economics.

McCourt, Frank - Teacher Man: A Memoir 
From the author of Angela’s Ashes, this is an account of his thirty year teaching career in New York City’s public high schools told with flair and honesty.

Moehringer, J.R. - The Tender Bar: a Memoir      

Author’s evocation of his dysfunctional Manhasset family and homage to the bar where he sought male role models to compensate for his absent father.




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