staff picks

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In 2009, the award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies --a book she thought would be a work of contemporary journalism--about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890-1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven. But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one.

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One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. 

This sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is fantasy based in a world where alternate, parallel Londons exist. Library Journal states: "Schwab's picturesque and fascinating follow-up to A Darker Shade of Magic takes readers back to the worlds of alternate Londons, magic alive, dead, and resurrected, and characters who shine through all of their shadows. Fans of the first book won't be able to put this one down."

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A poor fisherman named Cenzo comes across a girl's body, floating in the lagoon. He carries her into his boat and soon discovers that she is very much alive, and very much in trouble. Born to a wealthy Jewish family who has been captured and deported by the Nazis, Guilia is on the run after she was found hiding in a local hospital. Cenzo decides it's the right thing to do to help her escape, never anticipating an innocent act of chivalry would quickly turn to love as the two grow closer.

Year 2011 Top Audiobook Picks

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