Best of 2011 (Staff Picks) - For Adults

A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS

By Jennet Conant

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A stunning account of Julia Child's early life as an OSS agent in the Far East.

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A Game of Lies

By Rebecca Cantrell

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Posing as travel reporter Adelheid Zinsli and lover of SS officer Lars Lang, Hannah has been collecting Nazi secrets from Lang and smuggling them back to Switzerland. Wanted by the SS, her travel in and out of Germany has always been fraught with danger, but this trip is especially treacherous. Her relationship with Lang gets more complicated as he sinks into alcoholism; the whispers she hears about his work in the SS give her chills. Whose side is he on?

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A Trick of the Light: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

By Louise Penny

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Investigating a murder at a solo artist's Quebec village home, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team encounter deceptive nuances in the art world that distort every clue they find with tales of duality and broken hearts. Selected by more than one CRRL staff member.

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Bird of Paradise

By Diana Abu-Jaber

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After a five year absence, an eighteen-year-old runaway returns to her family in Miami to deal with the guilty secret that caused her to flee.

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Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

By Gabrielle Hamilton

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Chef and restaurateur Hamilton, chef/owner of the acclaimed New York City restaurant Prune, offers a sensuous and evocative memoir of her rural Pennsylvania childhood and her training as writer and chef.

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Caleb's Crossing

By Geraldine Brooks

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Once again, the author takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold she has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.

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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

By Alexandra Fuller

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In this sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, the author returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family. In this book she braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola.

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