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November 2023 Staff Picks

Alan’s Pick: Absolute Friends by John le Carré

Cover image for Absolute friendsJohn le Carre’s spy novels are well known page turners…this one follows the unlikely friendship of two agents, who are apparently working for opposite sides. They respect and help each other from early student days in 60’s Berlin to Bush’s Gulf war. Le Carre’s profound knowledge of spycraft and masterful writing reveal the terrifying realities of contemporary espionage and the frailties of human nature.

Alan’s Pick: The Ashley book of knots by Clifford Ashley

Cover image for The Ashley book of knotsA masterwork and sourcebook for generations of sailors, mountaineers and just about  anyone who is called upon from time to time to use rope and tie knots. Beautifully illustrated and filled with common sense tips from the days of the great sailing ships.

David’s Pick: Disruptions: Stories by Steven Millhauser

Cover image for Disruptions : storiesMillhauser is a virtuoso of the short story, someone who can take a “what if?” starting point that would quickly fall apart in anyone else’s hands and spin it into a compelling and insightful read. The stories collected in this volume range from romance to horror, comical to serious, all of them polished and perfect without becoming overly precious.

David’s Pick: On Writing and Failure by Stephen Marche

Cover image for On writing and failure : or, on the peculiar perseverance required to endure the life of a writerA slim and sardonic volume on the inevitability of failure in the life of a writer. Some fun anecdotes will make you happy not to be trying to make a go of the writing life, and might give you more appreciation for the struggles of those who achieved even partial success.

Mark’s Pick: The Tiger by John Vaillant

Cover image for The tiger : a true story of vengeance and survivalThe Tiger is a chilling true story of a wounded man-eating Siberian tiger. The massive animal preyed on poor Russian villagers who eke out their existence hunting in the forests of the Russian Far East. This award winning book is enlightening as it shows how humans can alter animal behavior. Above all, it is a frightening true crime story that anyone who has been in the woods can appreciate.

Sonia’s Pick: A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

Cover image for A stone sat stillWith lyrical repetitions and dynamic illustrations, this book invites readers to open their senses to the experiences of a rock as is becomes a focal point for the cycle of seasons, the activities of animals and insects and the passage of time. A great book for opening conversations with young children about mindfulness, environmental change and observation of the natural world.