Staff picks by Jeff R

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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

5

A post-apocalyptic novel in miniature; part young adult dystopia and part end-of-the-world horror show. Read more...

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Astonish Me

4

Ballet takes center stage in this novel that highlights the rigors of professional dance and the challenges of self-acceptance. Read more...

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Vampires in the Lemon Grove

4

These are stories that strain credulity while endeavoring to delineate exactly those things that make us human. Read more...

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Tyringham Park

4

The most unflinching portrait of aristocratic dysfunction since Goya, "Tyringham Park" puts the "down" in "Downton Abbey." Read more...

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Annihilation

4

"Annihilation" is a novel that's as dense, murky and foreboding as the mysterious Area X it seeks to describe. Read more...

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Sea Creatures

4

"Sea Creatures" examines the strength of parental love, and offers proof of our capacity to correct a course and move forward. Read more...

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Smile at Strangers: And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly

4

Chicken soup for the soul of anyone who takes personal safety and personal growth seriously. Read more...

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The Shining Girls

5

"The Shining Girls" is a genre-bending thriller that hits every important mark with confidence and swagger. Read more...

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You Are One of Them

3

Elliott Holt's debut novel is a Cold War mystery that addresses themes of friendship, loss and our capacity to forge our own identity. Read more...

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

4

Maria Semple skewers contemporary Seattle in an epistolary novel that is trenchant, funny and, in the end, surprisingly uplifting. Read more...

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Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

3

Part company history and part turnaround story, "Brick by Brick" tells the engaging tale of innovation inside the LEGO empire. Read more...

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The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

4

Fans of Mark Bowden's "Black Hawk Down" will appreciate this dense, detailed and, ultimately, heartbreaking story of modern war. Read more...

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Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work

4

We make decisions all the time, but rarely consider how. "Decisive" changes that and offers a window into the decision-making process. Read more...

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The Rage

5

Expertly plotted and peppered with gritty realism, "The Rage" offers a contemporary crime novel with the perfect blend of street smarts and tension. Read more...

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The Expats

4

Secrets-- how to keep them and who to keep them from-- lie at the heart of Chris Pavone's riveting new spy thriller. Read more...

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The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink

4

This is the perfect antidote for our era of processed foods and artificial additives; a recipe for how to enjoy food's simple pleasures. Read more...

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A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus

4

Rich in detail and filled with colorful characters, this historical guidebook provides a fascinating account of Columbus history. Read more...

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The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

4

Are stories an evolutionary adaptation, or are they an evolutionary side effect? Do they mirror reality or shape it? Read on and find out. Read more...

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The Dog Stars

4

Imagine the editors of "Field and Stream," "Soldier of Fortune" and "Poetry" magazine getting together to write a post-apocalyptic novel. Read more...

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The Diviners

4

"The Diviners" is nothing if not ambitious, comparing favorably to such supernatural classics as "The Stand" and "American Gods." Read more...

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Talking to the Dead

4

Harry Bingham's riveting U.S. debut introduces readers to Fionna Griffiths, a Welsh detective with razor-sharp intelligence and a mysterious past. Read more...

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Back to Blood

4

One of the keenest social observers of our time is back with a blistering look at the cultural clashes that simmer in southern Florida. Read more...

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11/22/63: A Novel

4

Love, loss, history and time travel collide in this ambitious and, ultimately, likable novel. Read more...

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Goliath

4

This is a spare and pensive retelling that reminds us that there are two sides to every story, even the most familiar. Read more...

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How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical and Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening

4

Recommended if you like the humor of John Hodgman, Dave Eggers, McSweeney's or Amy Sedaris. Read more...

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How Will You Measure Your Life?

4

How Will You Measure Your Life offers a unique perspective on charting life's course. Read more...

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The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches

4

This is perfect reading for a pennant race. Catch it! Read more...

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The Knife of Never Letting Go

4

Brisk and violent, The Knife of Never Letting Go is an alternate reality that's not for the squeamish. Read more...

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InGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity

4

If you only read one book on creativity, make it InGenius. Read more...

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

5

Every introvert should read this book. So should everyone who loves an introvert, teaches introverts, works with introverts or raises an introvert. Read more...