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May Staff Picks

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

Blood done sign my name : a true story / Timothy B. Tyson.Blood Done Sign My Name : a True Story

By Timothy Tyson

A riveting work of history through the lens of a young boy (now a historian). The events took place in rural North Carolina in the 70s, but the author places them in the broader context of American Civil Rights history and race relations. Reads like a novel! Also available as an eBook.

Recommended by Sarah Rice S.



Bright-sided : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America / Barbara Ehrenreich.Bright-Sided : How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America

By Barbara Ehrenreich

A persuasive indictment of the “The Secret” mentality. Drawing on examples from the fields of business, religion, economics, psychology, and her own experience with breast cancer, Ehrenreich argues that the prescriptive positive thinking edict alienates patients, promotes denial, and has contributed to the economic downturn. From the author of "Nickel and Dimed."

Recommended by Susan B.



Long gone : a novel of suspense / Alafair Burke.Long Gone : a Novel of Suspense 

By Alafair Burke

In this suspense novel, Alice walks in to her new job one morning to find her boss murdered and herself as the prime suspect. All the evidence points straight to her and the reader follows as she struggles to unravel the complicated threads that will prove her innocence. On a genealogical note, Alafair is the daughter of novelist James Lee Burke. Also available as an audiobook (CD) and eAudiobook.

Recommended by Elizabeth S.  



People of the book / Geraldine Brooks.People of the Book (eAudiobook)

By Geraldine Brooks

Emotional and ambitious but Brooks pulls exceeds splendidly! The little things that people leave in books are compelling in the brief glimpses of lives. If the items are "planted" for the future to find to reveal a "truth" makes this book a pleasure to rival any of the historical mysteries written in the past 6 years. Take the quest and go on the adventure! Also available in book format.

Recommended by Lynda R.




The secret history of the pink carnation / by Lauren Willig.The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

By Lauren Willig

The Scarlet Pimpernel might have been the most well known spy but the Pink Carnation was the most elusive. Eloise Kelly, Ph.D candidate, falls onto the trail of the Pink Carnation in this adventurous debut novel. Also available as an audiobook (CD).

Recommended by Katie D.



Sin in the Second City : madams, ministers, playboys, and the battle for America's soul / Karen Abbott.Sin in the Second City : Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul

By Karen Abbott

A history of Chicago and the Everleigh Club, "the most famous brothel in American history." Abbott tells the story of the Everleigh sisters in the early 1900's - most surprising fact is that they are buried here in Alexandria!

Recommended by Stephanie C.




Things I want my daughters to know : a novel / Elizabeth Noble.Things I Want My Daughters to Know : a Novel

By Elizabeth Noble

This heartwarming novel is the story of Barbara and her four daughters. When Barbara finds out she is dying, she writes a letter to each of her four daughters. Each letter proves to be exactly what each daughter needs to cope with her loss and begin to a live full of passion and love. Beautifully written and moving.

Recommended by Samantha P.



Tubes : a journey to the center of the Internet / Andrew Blum.Tubes : a Journey to the Center of the Internet

By Andrew Blum

Explores the unseen physical infrastructure of fiber-optics and data centers that make up the Internet. This book changed the way I think about computing and "The Cloud."

Recommended by Zack B.




Winter study / Nevada Barr.Winter Study

By Nevada Barr

Winter Study takes place on the Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Anna Pigeon is a National Park ranger sent to the Isle to study wolf behavior and to understand their habitat in preparing her to manage a wolf pack at the Rocky Mountain National Park. In the course of the study, several members of her team are murdered and the results, along with the completion of the study, are in jeopardy. There are lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing as to why these terrible things keep happening and to what end. This book is a very suspenseful read. Also available as an audiobook (CD) and eAudiobook.

Recommended by Deb C.


The Zookeeper's Wife : a War Story / Diane Ackerman.The Zookeeper's Wife : a War Story

By Diane Ackerman

The caring family of the Zookeepers is told during the Nazi occupation of Poland. A very interesting, absorbing and multilayered story. Also available as an eAudiobook

Recommended by R. Hailu  

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