Summer Staff Selections!

Now that summer is definitely upon us (definitely here this time around–it’s baking hot out there!), it’s time once again for the Free-For-All to share with you some of our lovely staff’s selections for summer reading!

We are a staff of diverse reading/listening/viewing habits, which makes these posts so much fun.  There is such a wide range of books and media that our staff enjoy that there is bound to be something in here to help make your summer that much more entertaining!  And so, without further ado, here is our fifth round of Staff Selections:

From the Reference Desk:

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

Russian spies, government corruption, and collusion in the United States government?  It’s not CNN.  It’s Allen Drury’s seminal 1959 Cold War novel.  The intrigue swarms around the confirmation of prominent liberal political Robert Leffingwell to the position of Secretary of State…a man who is backed by the Communist Party.  Though the nomination is supposed to be a quick, sure-fire thing, several politicians have grave doubts about Leffingwell’s character, leading to a race-aginst-time investigation.  Advise and Consent was the first in a series that continues these themes of Cold War intrigue, and are sure to grip your attention!

From the Children’s Room

Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block

The Weetzie Bat books broke new ground with their stylized, lyrical prose and unflinching look at the inner life of teens.  This collection brings together the five luminous novels of the series, allowing readers to revel in the full saga of these interwoven and magic lives.  These postmodern fairy tales take us to a Los Angeles brimming with magical realism: a place where life is a mystery, pain can lead to poetry, strangers become intertwined souls, and everyone is searching for the most beautiful and dangerous angel of all: love.  Block’s quirky, lush descriptions make this story into something utterly divine.

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart

In this darkly fascinating book, Amy Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations, compiling an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. You’ll learn which plants to avoid (like exploding shrubs), which plants make themselves exceedingly unwelcome (like the vine that ate the South), and which ones have been killing for centuries (like the weed that killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother).  Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. This is a book that will enchant (and chill) nature lovers, scientists, and gardeners alike!

From the Upstairs Offices:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It’s the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, and there is a lot of discussion swirling about her works, their meaning, and Austen’s place in the world of letters.  So why not take this opportunity to enjoy (or enjoy again) one of her most beloved novels–one of the most popular novels in English literature and the foundation of some of the most beloved tropes in romance?  This book is a favorite with a number of our staff, so let their combined wisdom be your guide!

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