Best of 2011 (Staff Picks) - For Adults

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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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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The Sisters Brothers

By Patrick deWitt

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When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm's claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers.

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The Secret Lives of Dresses

By Erin McKean

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A tale of a girl who finally discovers herself and finds love in her grandmother's vintage clothing store.

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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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The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers

By Scott Carney

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A shocking tour through a macabre global underworld where organs, bones, and live people are bought and sold on the red market. Investigative journalist Scott Carney has spent five years tracing the lucrative and deeply secretive trade in human bodies and body parts.

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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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The Paris Wife

By Paula McLain

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Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. Selected by multiple CRRL staff members.

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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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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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