Best of 2011 (Staff Picks) - For Adults

The Art of Fielding

By Chad Harbach

Go to catalog

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Reserve this title

The Borrower: A Novel

By Rebecca Makkai

Go to catalog

Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

Reserve this title

The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must

By Robert Zubrin with Richard Wagner

Go to catalog

Explains how scientists can use current technology to send humans to Mars; produce fuel and oxygen on the planet's surface; build bases and settlements; and one day terrafor-- or alter the atmosphere of the planet.

Reserve this title

The Dog Who Came in from the Cold

By Alexander McCall Smith

Go to catalog

"Literary agent Barbara Ragg has agreed to represent a man writing a book about his experiences hanging out with the Abominable Snowman. Terence Moongrove's residence has become the target of New Age cosmologists. And pint-sized terrier Freddie de la Hay is being recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring."

Reserve this title

The Four Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

By Richard Panek

Go to catalog

Science journalist Panek (The Invisible Century) offers an insider's view of the quest for what could be the ultimate revelation: the true substance of the unseen dark matter and energy that makes up some 96% of our universe.

Reserve this title

The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos

By Brian Greene

Go to catalog

"The Hidden Reality" reveals how major developments in different branches of fundamental theoretical physics -- relativistic, quantum, cosmological, unified, computational -- have all led us to consider one or another variety of parallel universe.

Reserve this title

The Language of Flowers

By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Go to catalog

The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past.

Reserve this title

The Marriage Plot

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Go to catalog

Madeleine Hanna breaks out of her straight-and-narrow mold when she falls in love with charismatic loner Leonard Bankhead, while at the same time an old friend of hers resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is his destiny.

Reserve this title

The Most Dangerous Thing

By Laura Lippman

Go to catalog

Once the best of friends until a terrible secret tore them apart, a group of friends are suddenly brought back together under tragic circumstances and wonder if their long-ago lie is the reason for their troubles today and if someone is out to destroy them.

Reserve this title

The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern

Go to catalog

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

Reserve this title