Weekly Top Picks

***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Mental Health Month - Featured Title

Week of May 14, 2018

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Happier Now

Nataly Kogan

Call Number: 158 KOG

What if you could be happier, right now, without radically changing your life? As nationally recognized happiness expert Nataly Kogan teaches, happiness is not a nice feeling or a frivolous extra. It's a critical, non-negotiable ingredient for living a fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy life--and it's a skill that we can all learn and improve through practice. In Happier Now, Nataly shares an illuminating, inspiring, and science-based guide to help you build your happier skills and live with more joy, starting now.

Nataly's own journey from Russian refugee to successful investor, tech executive, and founder and CEO of Happier taught her an important lesson: no matter how much you accomplish, how much you live the "right" way, or even how much gratitude you practice, life won't always be smooth. "We experience genuine and lasting happiness when we stop trying to turn the negative into the positive," Nataly writes, "and when we embrace the full range of our human emotions with compassion and strength."

Throughout this engaging guide , Nataly describes how she went from being cynical and resistant to the ideas behind self-improvement and spirituality, to studying everything she could on the science of happiness, to completely shifting her mind-set. You'll learn five core practices for building your happier skills--acceptance, gratitude, intentional kindness, knowing your bigger why, and self-care--along with the scientific research that supports each one.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of May 14, 2018

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How to Walk Away

Katherine Center

Call Number: FIC CENTER

Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she's worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then, there's her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there's Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won't let her give in to her pity, and who sees her like no one has seenher before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect.

 


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Adjustment Day

Chuck Palahniuk 

Call Number: FIC PALAHNIUK

Smug, geriatric politicians bring the nation to the brink of a third world war in an effort to control the burgeoning population of young males; working-class men dream of burying the elites; and professors propound theories that offer students only the bleakest future.

Into this dyspeptic time a blue-black book is launched carrying such wisdom as: Imagine there's no God. There is no Heaven or Hell. There is only your son and his son and his son and the world you leave for them.

The weak want you to forgo your destiny just as they've shirked theirs.

A smile is your best bulletproof vest.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

Mental Health Month - Featured Title

Week of May 7, 2018

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A Really Good Day

Ayelet Waldman

Call Number: 616.89 WAL

When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from "Lewis Carroll," Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her moods have become intolerably severe; she has tried nearly every medication possible; her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD. As Waldman charts her experience over the course of a month--bursts of productivity, sleepless nights, a newfound sense of equanimity--she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it. Drawing on her experience as a federal public defender, and as the mother of teenagers, and her research into the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Waldman has produced a book that is eye-opening, often hilarious, and utterly enthralling.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of May 7, 2018

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Alternative Remedies for Loss

Joanna Cantor

Call Number: FIC CANTOR

When 22-year-old Olivia learned that her mother had only months to live, she pulled up roots, leaving Vassar and her career plans far behind to be with her mother for her last days. And yet, just four months after her mother's death, everyone in Olivia's family already seems ready to move on. Her brothers are settled comfortably in careers and families of their own; her father has already started to date again, inviting a woman named June on a family trip. Still reeling from the loss, Olivialooks for a new start of her own, throwing herself headlong into Manhattan's fast-moving media world, where she is alternately demeaned by bosses and pursued by men.

But as Olivia tries to piece together an adulthood without her mother to guide her, she makes a shocking discovery: a secret romantic correspondence her mother had with a man who only signed each letter "F." As she tries to untangle the mystery of F, Olivia will journey halfway across the world, to an ashram in rural India, on a quest that will reconfigure everything Olivia thought she knew about her family and her own place in an increasingly complex world.

 


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Women in Sunlight

Frances Mayes

Call Number: FIC MAYES

She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can't help but question: will they find what they came for? 

Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit's own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women--Julia, Camille, and Susan--all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit's friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten--and with drastic and unforeseeable results.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

National Poetry Month - Featured Title

Week of April 30 , 2018

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The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

Editied by Thomas H. Johnson

Call Number: 811 DIC

Here is the real Emily Dickinson -- the only comprehensive and reliably authoritative trade editions of the poet's work.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of April 30, 2018

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Tomorrow

Damian Dibben

Call Number: FIC DIBBEN

Tomorrow tells the story of a 217-year-old dog and his search for his lost master. His adventures take him through the London Frost Fair, the strange court of King Charles I, the wars of the Spanish succession, Versailles, the golden age of Amsterdam and to nineteenth-century Venice. As he journeys through Europe, he befriends both animals and humans, falls in love (only once), marvels at the human ability to make music, despairs at their capacity for war and gains insight into both the strength and frailties of the human spirit.

 


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Too Close to Breathe

Olivia Kiernan

Call Number: FIC KIERNAN

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide. Four months ago, Frankie's pursuit of a killer almost ended her life and she isn't keen on investigating another homicide. But the autopsy reveals poorly healed bones and old stab wounds, absent from medical records. A new cut is carefully, deliberately covered in paint. Eleanor's husband, Peter, is unreachable, missing. A search of the couple's home reveals only two signs of personality: a much-loved book on art and a laptop with access to the Dark Web.

With the suspect pool growing, the carefully crafted profile of the victim crumbling with each new lead, and mysterious calls to Frankie's phone implying that the killer is closer than anyone would like, all Frankie knows is that Eleanor guarded her secrets as closely in life as she does in death.

As the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can't help but feel that something doesn't fit. And when another woman is found murdered, the same paint on her corpse, Frankie knows that unraveling Eleanor's life is the only way to find the murderer before he claims another victim . . . or finishes the fate Frankie only just managed to escape.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

National Poetry Month - Featured Title

Week of April 23 , 2018

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The Rain in Portugal

Billy Collins

Call Number: 811.54 COL

The Rain in Portugal --a title that admits he's not much of a rhymer--sheds Collins's ironic light on such subjects as travel and art, cats and dogs, loneliness and love, beauty and death. His tones range from the whimsical--"the dogs of Minneapolis . . . / have no idea they're in Minneapolis"--to the elegiac in a reaction to the death of Seamus Heaney. A student of the everyday, Collins here contemplates a weather vane, a still life painting, the calendar, and a child lost at a beach. His imaginative fabrications have Shakespeare flying comfortably in first class and Keith Richards supporting the globe on his head. By turns entertaining, engaging, and enlightening, The Rain in Portugal amounts to another chorus of poems from one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of American poetry

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of April 23, 2018

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Iron Gold

Pierce Brown

Call Number: FIC BROWN

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Slave King, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the war-torn planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-third of his life.  A decade ago Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk all he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow's to change his fate forever: 

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp, and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy--or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the Sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

 


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A Nantucket Wedding

Nancy Thayer

Call Number: FIC THAYER

A few years after losing her beloved husband, Alison is doing something she never thought she would do again: getting married. While placing the finishing touches on her summer nuptials, Alison is anxious to introduce her fiancé, David, to her grown daughters: Felicity, a worried married mother of two, and Jane, also married but focused on her career. The sisters have a somewhat distant relationship and Alison hopes that the wedding and the weeks leading up to the ceremony will give the siblings a chance to reconnect, as well as meet and get to know David's grown children.

As the summer progresses, it is anything but smooth sailing. Felicity stumbles upon a terrible secret that could shatter her carefully cultivated world. Jane finds herself under the spell of her soon-to-be stepbrother, Ethan, who is as charming as he is mysterious. And even Alison is surprised (and slightly alarmed) by her new blended family. Revelations, intrigue, resentments--as the Big Day approaches, will the promise of bliss be a bust?

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

National Poetry Month - Featured Title

Week of April 16 , 2018

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Odes

Sharon Olds

Call Number: 811.54 OLD

Following the Pulitzer prize-winning collection Stag's Leap , Sharon Olds gives us a stunning book of odes. Opening with the powerful and tender "Ode to the Hymen," Olds addresses and embodies, in this age-old poetic form, many aspects of love and gender and sexual politics in a collection that is centered on the body and its structures and pleasures. The poems extend parts of her narrative as a daughter, mother, wife, lover, friend, and poet of conscience that will be familiar from earlier collections, each episode and memory burnished by the wisdom and grace and humor of looking back. In such poems as "Ode to My Sister," "Ode of Broken Loyalty," "Ode to My Whiteness," "Blow Job Ode," and "Ode to the Last Thirty-Eight Trees in New York City Visible from This Window," Olds treats us to an intimate examination that, like all her work, is universal, by turns searing and charming in its honesty. From the bodily joys and sorrows of childhood to the deaths of those dearest to us, Olds shapes the world in language that is startlingly fresh, profound in its conclusions, and life-giving for the reader.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of April 16, 2018

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Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

Call Number: FIC CLINE

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines--puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win--and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

 


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He

John Connolly

Call Number: FIC CONNOLLY

John Connolly recreates the Golden Age of Hollywood in this moving, literary portrait of two men who found their true selves in a comedic partnership. When Stan Laurel was paired with Oliver Hardy, affectionately known as Babe, the history of comedy--not to mention their personal and professional lives--would be altered forever. Laurel followed in the wake of Charlie Chaplin, who blazed a trail from the vaudeville stages of England to the dynamic, if often seedy and highly volatile, movie studios of Los Angeles in the early 20th century. Awed like everyone else by Chaplin's genius (and ambition and cruelty), Laurel despaired of ever finding his own path to success--or happiness. 

But success and happiness did find Laurel, following the inspired decision by impresario Hal Roach to put him and Oliver Hardy together on screen. Initially a calculated marriage of opposites in an era of highly disposable short films, the partnership bloomed into a professional and personal relationship of lifelong depth. 


Eventually, Laurel became one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed, and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to anyone else, yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake. 
And whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such astonishing tenderness and devotion that only death could sever their profound connection.

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

National Poetry Month - Featured Title

Week of April 9, 2018

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The Sun and Her Flowers

Rupi Kaur

Call Number: 811.6 KAU

A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one's roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of April 9, 2018

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The Policeman's Daughter

Trudy Nan Boyce

Call Number: MYS BOYCE

From author Trudy Nan Boyce, whose police procedural debut was hailed as 'authentic' and 'exceptional' , returns with a stunning prequel to the Detective Salt series, the story behind the case that earned Salt her promotion to homicide.

 


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The Break

Katherena Vermette

Call Number: FIC VERMETTE

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break -- a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house -- she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim -- police, family, and friends -- tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg's North End is exposed..

 


***All annotations taken from the PALS Plus Catalog***

National Poetry Month - Featured Title

Week of April 2 , 2018

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New Collected Poems

Marianne Moore

Call Number: 811.54 MOO

The landmark oeuvre of Marianne Moore, one of the major inventors of poetic modernism, has had no straight path from beginning to end; until now, there has been no good vantage point from which to see the body of her remarkable work as a whole. Throughout her life Moore arranged and rearranged, visited and revisited, a large majority of her existing poetry, always adding new work interspersed among revised poems. This makes sorting out the complex textual history that she left behind a pressing task if we mean to represent her work as a poet in a way that gives us a complete picture. New Collected Poems offers an answer to the question of how to represent the work of a poet so skillful and singular, giving a portrait of the range of her voice and of the modernist culture she helped create.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of April 2, 2018

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Sweet Vengeance

Fern Michaels

Call Number: FIC MICHAELS

essa Jamison couldn't have imagined anything worse than losing her beloved twin girls and husband--until she was convicted of their murder. For ten years, she has counted off the days in Florida's Correctional Center for Women, fully expecting to die behind bars. Fighting to prove her innocence holds little appeal now that her family's gone. But on one extraordinary day, her lawyers announce that Tessa's conviction has been overturned due to a technicality, and she's released on bail to await a new trial. Hounded by the press, Tessa retreats to the small tropical island owned by her late husband's pharmaceutical company. There, she begins to gather knowledge about her case. For the first time since her nightmare began, Tessa feels a sense of purpose in working to finally expose the truth and avenge her lost family. One by one, the guilty will be led to justice, and Tessa can gain closure. But will she be able to learn the whole truth at last...and reclaim her freedom and her future?----from dust jacket.

 


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Down The River Unto The Sea

Walter Mosley

Call Number: FIC MOSLEY

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD's finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island. 


A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of--and why. 
Running in parallel with King's own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and women within the city's poorest neighborhoods. 


Joined by Melquarth Frost, a brilliant sociopath, our hero must beat dirty cops and dirtier bankers, craven lawyers, and above all keep his daughter far from the underworld in which he works. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: King's client's, and King's own.

 


novelis.gifLooking for more great reads? Check out NoveList and discover books by your favorite authors and book suggestions and read-alike lists for your favorite books. Go to Online Resources and click on EBSCO to get started. You will need your Verona Public Library card number to login.

 


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