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Staff Pick Logo
The Moth Cover Image
By Catherine Burns (Editor), Catherine Burns (Introduction by), Adam Gopnik (Preface by)
ISBN: 9781401311117
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hachette Books - September 3rd, 2013

There are four rules if you want to
perform at The Moth. The story must be true. It cannot exceed 10
minutes. You cannot use notes. And it must be entertaining.

This collection of 50 Moth stories,
from the famous and the not-so-famous, are not in the TED talk, “I'm
going to impart my universal wisdom to you in five minutes” mode;
rather, they are small, intimate, first person, and thoroughly

Open this book to any story and read
it. It's the perfect book for anytime you have five minutes – or a
whole day.

~ Burt

Staff Pick Logo
The Psychopath Test Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594488016
Availability: Special Order
Published: Riverhead Hardcover - May 12th, 2011

While Norman Bates may be everyone’s favorite psychopath, he’s too tortured to be typical. The more common psychopath, according to Jon Ronson’s humorous, fascinating, and frightening The Psychopath Test, can be highly manipulative, very accomplished, and charming – traits common to many CEOs and politicians.

After being drawn into a hoax perpetrated on a group of top scientists, Ronson decided to explore the world of the psychopath. His quest brings him from a scientific conference, to Broadmoor Prison, to the home of the legendary ex-CEO of Sunbeam Corporation

Jon Ronson read a segment of The Psychopath Test on This American Life, but even if you heard it, you won’t regret reading this highly entertaining book.


Staff Pick Logo
Cloud Atlas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375507250
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - August 17th, 2004

Many novelists can be recognized by a single writing style. David Mitchell defies this convention in “Cloud Atlas”, a series of nested short stories, each written in a different voice. Progressing through time from a 19th century sea voyage to a post-apocalyptic future world (and back again), the six stories are all loosely related in some way, either through common characters or a reinterpretation of the past narrative.

The book should be read twice. First, read straight through. David Mitchell switches from style to style and theme to theme through time, and yet presents a complex and surprising cohesive novel. Next, read each of the stories individually. All six stand on their own as wonderful examples of storytelling.


Staff Pick Logo
Firmin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385342650
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Delta - December 30th, 2008

What Firmin lacked in brawn, he made up for in brains. Unlike his 12 brothers and sisters, he learned at an early age to read and to play the piano (mostly Cole Porter and Gershwin). However, his family did devour literature.

You see Firmin is a rat, born in a bookstore in Scollay Square. He read - the rest ate.

Aimed at adults, this "autobiography" tells the story of urban renewal, and the loss of a storied section of Boston through the eyes of a small denizen of the city. Alternately funny and tragic, "Firmin" combines stylish writing and quirky black and white illustrations with a character you really learn to root for.

~ Burt

Staff Pick Logo
The Reluctant Fundamentalist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156034029
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harvest Books - April 14th, 2008

Changez, a Pakistani, walks up to a man in a cafe at dusk, introduces himself, and begins talking. A chance meeting, or a deliberate encounter? Thus begins Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

As Changez's story unfolds, we learn of the life he was building in America, and the way it changed in the wake of September 11th. We never hear from the stranger - the story is told only from Changez's side. As evening turns to night, we learn more and more about both men, but are only left to conjecture about their motivations and ultimate purposes.

This is a tense yet beautifully written book, and will keep you in suspense from beginning to end. It was far and away my favorite among the short-listed books for the 2007 Man Booker Prize.


Staff Pick Logo
Rogue Male Cover Image
By Geoffrey Household, Victoria Nelson (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590172438
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review of Books - November 6th, 2007

When I saw "Rogue Male" was being reissued, I pulled my old copy from the bookshelf to see whether it held my attention more than 40 years after the first reading.

I was not disappointed.

This is the tense tale of a professional big-game hunter who takes aim at the biggest game of all - an unnamed dictator taking over the continent of Europe. At one level, it's the story of his escape after being caught in the process. At a deeper level, did he intend to shoot his target, or was it simply the challenge of getting the dictator in his sights? And can assassination be a justifiable act?

As it did over 40 years ago, even though I vividly remembered the story, the writing and action kept me enthralled to the end.