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April Staff Picks

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog. Check back every month for a new list.

 84, Charing Cross Road / Helene Hanff 84, Charing Cross Road

By Helene Hanff

A delightful collection of letters exchanged between New Yorker Hanff and English bookseller Frank Doel that led to a surprise friendship. This is a real treat for bibliophiles. Also an excellent film starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins.

Recommended by Jessica S.



Animal eye / Paisley Rekdal.Animal Eye

By Paisley Rekdal

Voted one of the five best poetry collections for 2012 by Publishers Weekly and winner of the 2013 Rilke Prize, "Animal Eye" is an exploration of the contradictory impulses that make us human. Rekdal’s challenging poems display an intellectual rigor and unflinching eye for emotional and physical detail. “There is no end to ego, / with its museum of disappointments,” she writes in a poem about tending her abundant garden amidst a neighborhood of damaged souls, the instinct to create beauty its own complicated reward.

Recommended by Susan B.



The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America's great migration / Isabel Wilkerson.The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Beautifully written, readable, and most importantly, a fascinating analysis of the great migration of southern blacks to the north and west of the United States from the 1910's to the 1960's. The reader learns the journey of three individuals in particular, making the book read like a biography as well as a historical study. My book group felt it should be required reading for U.S. History classes. Highly recommended. Also available as an eBook on OverDrive.

Recommended by Christian R.  



The shell seekers / Rosamunde Pilcher.The Shell Seekers

By Rosamunde Pilcher

A family saga in which each chapter centers on one of the principal players in the family's history. The unifying thread is an oil painting entitled "The Shell Seekers." This is a wonderful read.

Recommended by R. Hailu





Heat : an amateur's adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany / Bill Buford.Heat : an Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

By Bill Buford

A fascinating and funny memoir that details Buford's journey from journalist to line cook. Along the way, Buford travels to Tuscany, works in Mario Batali's kitchen, and even learns how to butcher.

Recommended by Renee D.



The Final Solution: A Story of DetectionThe Final Solution: A Story of Detection

By Michael Chabon

This slim volume imagines a certain Victorian England detective at a late stage in life, pulled into the thrill of the hunt one more time... If you have enjoyed the "Sherlock" or "Elementary" re-boots on TV, don't miss this fun read! Also available as audiobook.

Recommended by S. Fox 




Beyond the barrier : the story of Byrd's first expedition to Antarctica / Eugene Rodgers.Beyond the Barrier : the Story of Byrd's First Expedition to Antarctica

By Eugene Rodgers

Fascinating, factual account of the first expedition of Admiral Richard E. Byrd to the South Pole in 1928. Published by the Naval Institute Press. Click here to find more books about Richard E. Byrd.

Recommended by Suzanne A.



Kentucky rich / Fern Michaels.Kentucky Rich

By Fern Michaels

The Kentucky series explores the troubled past of a family passionate about horse farming and racing. Secrets, deception, and legacy collide in this exciting page-turner. Also available as an eBook on OverDrive. If you like Kentucky Rich, check out the sequal Kentucky Heat as an eBook on OverDrive.

Recommended by Tina M.




Brave new world / Aldous Huxley.Brave New World

By Aldous Huxley

This 1931 classic is a must read for those that love post-apocalyptic storylines. Set in the future, the World Controllers have used genetics to create the perfect human race that is content to do the job they were engineered to do. Bernard Marx is far from content and a visit to one of the last free colonies will change him and possibly society forever.

Recommended by Samantha P.


Dies the Fire / S. M. StirlingDies the Fire

By S. M. Stirling

Dies the Fire is the first book in a science fiction trilogy chronicling "The Change", where an unexplained event has technology coming to a screeching halt. Stirling's story takes place in Oregon and tells how people come together to survive and govern. This book will keep your attention to the very last page.

Recommended by Deb C.  

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