Best of 2011 (Staff Picks) - For Adults

Moondogs

By Alexander Yates

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This is a gritty, ambitious, and often entertaining debut novel about a father and a son, a kidnapping, and a special task force whose members have extraordinary paranormal skills. Set in the Philippines, the story focuses on Benicio's search for his estranged father.

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My New American Life

By Francine Prose

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While working for an idealistic college professor, twenty-six-year old Lula, an Albanian trying to make a better life for herself in America, finds her life taking a complicated turn when her Albanian "brothers" return, in a novel set in the aftermath of 9/11.

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Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West

By Dorothy Wickenden

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"A captivating full-length book derived from a widely read and much beloved New Yorker piece about Wickenden's grandmother and her grandmother's best friend who left their affluent East Coast lives to 'rough it' as teachers in the wilds of Colorado in 1916." (Book Summary)

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Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice and Aguas Frescas

By Fany Gerson

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Collected and developed by celebrated pastry chef Fany Gerson, this sweet little cookbook showcases her favorite recipes for paletas, those flavor-packed ice pops made from an enormous variety of fruits, nuts, flowers, and even spices; plus shaved ice (raspados) and aguas frescas-the delightful Mexican drinks featuring whole fruit and exotic ingredients like tamarind and hibiscus flowers.

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Reading My Father: A Memoir

By Alexandra Styron

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In "Reading My Father," William Styron's youngest child explores the life of a fascinating and difficult man whose own memoir, "Darkness Visible," so searingly chronicled his battle with major depression.

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Rules of Civility

By Amor Towles

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A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow.

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Snuff

By Terry Pratchett

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Lady Sybil, wife of Sam Vimes, convinces him to travel to the countryside for a vacation. Out of his element, Sam soon finds various crimes to investigate. But he is out of his element and must rely on his instincts to bring the culprits to justice. Part of the Discworld series.

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Started Early, Took My Dog

By Kate Atkinson

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Tracy Waterhouse, a retired police detective leading a quiet life, makes a snap decision to relieve habitual offender Kelly Cross of a young child he's been dragging around town. Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge. Meanwhile, detective Jackson Brodie embarks on a different sort of rescue--that of an abused dog.

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State of Wonder

By Ann Patchett

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A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years--a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

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The Arrivals

By Meg Mitchell Moore

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It's early summer when Ginny and William's peaceful life in Vermont comes to an abrupt halt. First, their daughter Lillian arrives, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage. Next, their son Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane show up for a weekend visit. When their youngest daughter Rachel appears, fleeing her difficult life in New York, Ginny and William find themselves consumed again by the chaos of parenthood.

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