Staff Picks

The Marriage Plot

In The Marriage Plot, Eugenides describes a year or so in the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 80s. There is Madeleine, a self-described “incurable romantic” who is slightly embarrassed at being so normal. There is Leonard, a brilliant, temperamental student from the Pacific Northwest. And completing the triangle is Mitchell, a Religious Studies major from Eugenides’ own Detroit. What follows is a book delivered in sincere and genuine prose, tracing the end of the students’ college days and continuing into those first, tentative steps toward true adulthood. This is a thoughtful and at times disarming novel about life, love, and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seems filled with deep portent.

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The Blackberry Bush

The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder

Two babies, —Kati and Josh, —are born on opposite sides of the world at the very moment the Berlin Wall falls. Despite his flawless image, Josh, an artistic and gifted California skateboarder, struggles to find his true role in the world, and his growing aggression eventually breaks him. Kati, a German with a penchant for classic Swiss watches and attic treasure-hunting, is crushed with disappointment for never being “enough” for anyone--—most especially her mother. Craving liberation, Kati and Josh seem destined to claim their birthright of freedom together. After all, don'’t the “chance” encounters transform your life--…or are they really chance?
 

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Sherlock

 A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. The iconic details from Conan Doyle's original books remain--they live at the same address, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary action-packed and highly modern-day adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth.

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The Glow Pt. 2

The Glow Pt. 2

...The album explores and explodes styles and moods over the course of 20 songs that lead into one another breathlessly, as if even an hour simply isn't enough time for Phil Elvrum and company to pack in all of their ideas. The album revels in its kaleidoscopic sounds, spanning pastoral folky ballads, playful symphonic pop, and gusts of white noise. The distorted drums, murky organs, and crisp acoustic guitars that punctuate the album have an oversaturated, almost tangible quality that, while dense, never overwhelms Elvrum's fragile voice or poetic lyrics. Expansive yet accessible, indulgent yet unpretentious, The Glow Pt. 2 redefines the Microphone' fascinatingly contradictory music.

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Consider the Lobster

Consider the Lobster

It’s a well-accepted proposition that Wallace, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant recipient, is one of the most brilliant essayists... But it’s another matter altogether whether his work—at once luminous, provocative, digressive, and frustrating—finds the audience it deserves. Like Infinite Jest (1996) and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (1997), this collection showcases Wallace’s love of language, emotional IQ, and curiosity about the world (and the starlets who populate it). His trademark footnotes, essays in themselves, rarely fail to entertain—if you can follow them.

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Super Natural Every Day

Super Natural Every Day

In Super Natural Every Day, Heidi helps us make nutritionally packed meals part of our daily repertoire by sharing a sumptuous collection of nearly 100 of her go-to recipes.The seductively flavorful vegetarian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, treats, and drinks are quick to the table but tasty enough to linger over. Gorgeously illustrated with over 100 photos that showcase the engaging rhythms of Heidi’s culinary life and travels, Super Natural Every Dayreveals the beauty of uncomplicated food prepared well and reflects a realistic yet gourmet approach to a healthy and sophisticated natural foods lifestyle.
 

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Fear(s) of the Dark

 A wildly inventive and visually dazzling collection of fearful tales by six of the world's most renowned comic and graphic artists. From a besotted student whose girlfriend is weirdly ardent in her affections, to a Japanese schoolgirl menaced by a long-dead samurai, and a pack of hounds on a bloodthirsty rampage, there's a story strand to trouble every sleep -- not to mention a stunning range of animation styles. Shot in shimmering black and white, the six intertwined tales create an unprecedented epic where phobias and nightmares come to life and reveal Fear at its most naked and intense. 

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Freakonomics

Freakonomics (Book)

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?Freakonomics is a ground-breaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple, unasked question.

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Mao's Last Dancer (DVD)

 Based on the best-selling biography, Mao's Last Dancer is the epic story of a young poverty stricken boy from China and his inspirational journey to international stardom as a world-class dancer.  The story begins when a young Li is taken from his peasant home by the Chinese government and chosen to study ballet in Beijing. 

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Planet Earth (BBC)

Planet Earth (BBC)

 As of its release in early 2007, Planet Earth is quite simply the greatest nature/wildlife series ever produced. Following the similarly monumental achievement of The Blue Planet, this astonishing 11-part BBC series is brilliantly narrated by Sir David Attenborough and sensibly organized so that each 50-minute episode covers a specific geographical region and/or wildlife habitat (mountains, caves, deserts, shallow seas, seasonal forests, etc.) until the entire planet has been magnificently represented by the most astonishing sights and sounds you'll ever experience from the comforts of home. 

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Licking the Beaters 2

Lickin' the beaters 2 : vegan chocolate and candy - Siue Moffat

 Chocolate, candy, and even ice creem—a vegan alternative to ice cream—are featured in this fun vegan dessert cookbook. With quirky illustrations, useful hints, and a handy “Quick Recipe” indicator, vegan renditions of tantalizing delicacies, both traditional and original, are included. Recipes include old favorites, such as carmel corn, saltwater taffy, pralines, cookies, cakes, and fudge, plus some brave, new gluten-free recipes, such as the Fabulous Flourless Chocolate Torte and the Toll-Free Chocolate Chip cookies. These decadent temptations allow treats for dairy-free or wheat-free diets as well as for anyone who loves sweets.

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The Illusionist (L'Illusionniste)

Watching “The Illusionist’’ is like peering through a rippled windowpane onto a past that knows it’s disappearing. A seriocomic evocation of vanished pleasures — postwar Europe, British music-hall performers, the films of legendary French comic Jacques Tati — this glowing animated feature reserves its greatest and quietest melancholy for the gulf that can grow between a father and daughter as the latter moves forward and the former stays put.  

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Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala

Sweden's coolest pop star, Jens Lekman, returns with his second album and once again he's knee deep in samples, strings and old-fashioned schmaltz. Armed with a Scott Walker baritone and an imagination that pits shimmering harp against hip-hop beats and brass, Night Falls Over Kortedala is audacious and beautiful.

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Lhasa - The Living Road

Lhasa - The Living Road

Already a star in Canada and France, the gifted singer/songwriter Lhasa sets her sights on America with this remarkable multi-cultural effort. The Living Road, the follow-up to her 1998 debut, features her smoky vocals (in French, English, and Spanish) in front with wonderfully understated support that draws upon Mexican folk styles, French chansons, Spanish ballads, and modern-sounding songwriters like Joe Henry or Jim White.

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Rebecca Makkai - The Borrower

Lucy Hull, a young children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, is unsure where her life is headed. That becomes more than a figure of speech when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home and Lucy finds herself in the surprise role of chauffeur.
 
The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and dubious family history thrown in their path. But who is actually running away? And from what?

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