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Lyn's Staff Picks

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Blue Self-Portrait Cover Image
By Noemi Lefebvre, Sophie Lewis (Translator)
ISBN: 9781945492105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Transit Books - April 3rd, 2018


Blue Self-Portrait is written as a stream of consciousness;  the rhythm mimics Arnold Schoenberg’s compositional in innovations. Don’t be put off by the long sentences and the absence of chapters, this book is easy to follow. The novel takes place during a 90 min. flight from Berlin to Paris. The main character reflects on a relationship she developed with a composer/pianist she met in a Berlin cafe who is  also obsessed with Schoenberg’s self-portrait. Shame, self-doubt, denial, the ability to say one thing and then mean another, saying she simply isn’t capable of caring and then wallowing in shame at her forwardness, her thoughtlessness. This book isn’t without humor, but it’s an ironic, looking-backward humor, as the protagonist struggles, as we all do with self doubt.
*This book is published by Transit Books, dedicated to publishing women writers in translation.

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Indian Horse Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571311306
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - April 10th, 2018


Saul Indian Horse is forcibly pulled from his family and sent to a residential boarding school where his culture and heritage will be beaten from him.  Salvation from his mourning and misery comes in the form of hockey and an encouraging priest. Hockey is beauty and life to Saul and he is better than good at this game. As he makes his way up to the bigger white leagues, anger and alcoholism grip Saul. The only way he can find peace is by confronting his past and telling his story truthfully. Wamagese tells Saul’s story with straightforward compassion and honest prose; from Saul’s grandmother and traditional beginnings to loss and love, eventually admitting that people aren’t always who they seem and what saves you can also undo you.

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The Night Circus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307744432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - July 3rd, 2012


Circuses invoke mystery and the possibility of adventures. This circus is special: it only comes at night, during specific times of the year and it is held together by two magicians: Celia and Marco. Locked into competition by a secret bet between their mentors, only one can win this competition. A nostalgic love story, suspenseful, and atmospheric, the plot will pull you along and no one can remain neutral.

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The Birchbark House Cover Image
ISBN: 9780786814541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hyperion Books for Children - June 3rd, 2002

JULY 2018

Omakayas lives on Madeline Island off the northern shore of Lake Superior. Erdrich details through seven year old Omakayas (little frog) the daily rituals and routines that define the seasons: sugaring, hunting and curing hides, gathering rice and settling in the snug cabin for the wintertime. Taking place during the westward expansion in the mid 1800s as Omakayas' people are being pushed away from their homes by the "chimookoman", white settlers. There is also the heartbreak of smallpox and the secret that Omakayas learns about herself. This is the first book in the Birchbark series

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One of Ours (Vintage Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679737445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - November 5th, 1991

MAY 2018

Memorial Day or Decoration Day, as my grandma called this end of spring day, is a few weeks away. Time to commemorate and remember the soldiers who have fought and died in our wars. Claude Wheeler is a young, idealistic restless son of a steadfast Nebraskan farmer. He sees his father's world as crass but Claude can't define his own "ideals". Conflicted as Claude is, he is very much a product of midwestern mores and morals. Discontented at home, he does his duty enlisting and going to France to fight in WWI or the "War to End all Wars", where he finds what he has been searching for all his life.

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The Cat's Table (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307744418
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 12th, 2012

APRIL 2018

"He was eleven years old that night when, green as he could be about the world, he climbed aboard the first and only ship of his life."

Thus begins Mynah's adventures on the Oronsay. He is seated at the Cat's Table -- the furthest away from the Captain's Table -- but the better to see and observe the other passengers. The Cat's Table is peopled with rag-tag misfits and two boys Mynah's age. Each passenger has a part to play entertaining Mynah and his two friends. There is one most mysterious passenger: the Prisoner, who comes out at night chained to a guard for his exercise and the mysterious guard who shadows him is everywhere and nowhere. For pre-teen boys there is nothing like a mystery to improve the imagination. This book morphs through the childhood of Mynah, and reflects through his teens and into adulthood. True to Ondaatje the writing is spectacular, poetic, hard and real.

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