Mixed Ages

The Mistress of Spices

Tilo, an Indian clairvoyant, becomes queen of the pirates who kidnaped her for her powers, and she gains immortality and the skills of a mistress of spices, which she uses to help mortals before falling in love with Raven—Baker & Taylor

—Jackie L., Senior Information Assistant, VITAL


Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Divakar

Tilo, an Indian clairvoyant, becomes queen of the pirates who kidnaped her for her powers, and she gains immortality and the skills of a mistress of spices, which she uses to help mortals before falling in love with Raven—Baker & Taylor

—Jackie L., Senior Information Assistant, VITAL

Bicentennial Staff Picks

The Luster of Lost Things

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting. But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing--except for his lost father.

The Luster of Lost Things

Sophie Chen Keller
LP Keller

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting. But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing--except for his lost father. So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls. Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.—Amazon.com

—Jackie L., Senior Information Assistant, VITAL

Bicentennial Staff Picks

The Story of Ferdinand

Ferdinand likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers, but one day he gets stung by a bee and his snorting and stomping convince everyone that he is the fiercest of bulls.

"Ferdinand was my first book love. I read and reread it countless times. The illustrations are perfect and Ferdinand is wonderfully relatable."—Kim B., Children and Teen Librarian

The Story of Ferdinand

Munro Leaf
Ej Ung

Ferdinand likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers, but one day he gets stung by a bee and his snorting and stomping convince everyone that he is the fiercest of bulls.

"Ferdinand was my first book love. I read and reread it countless times. The illustrations are perfect and Ferdinand is wonderfully relatable."—Kim B., Children and Teen Librarian

Bicentennial Staff Picks

Fog Island

No one has ever returned from the mysterious Fog Island, but when Finn and Cara get castaway on its murky shores, they discover things are not quite as they expect. Will anyone ever believe them?

"The story of Fog Island is so rich and mysterious. While it offers a complete story, it leaves a lot to the imagination which makes it fun to talk about with others. The illustrations are also very interesting.—Kim B. Children and Teen Librarian (Community Engagement Librarian)

Fog Island

Tomi Ungerer
Ej Ung

No one has ever returned from the mysterious Fog Island, but when Finn and Cara get castaway on its murky shores, they discover things are not quite as they expect. Will anyone ever believe them?

"The story of Fog Island is so rich and mysterious. While it offers a complete story, it leaves a lot to the imagination which makes it fun to talk about with others. The illustrations are also very interesting.—Kim B. Children and Teen Librarian (Community Engagement Librarian)

Bicentennial Staff Picks

Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction

In an era when there are countless competing claims on one's attention, how does one find the internal focus to be creative? For master furniture craftsman Gary Rogowski, the answer is in the act of creative work itself. The discipline of working with one's hands to create unnecessarily beautiful things shapes the builder into a more complete human being.

Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction

Gary Rogowski
921 Rogowski Rog

In an era when there are countless competing claims on one's attention, how does one find the internal focus to be creative? For master furniture craftsman Gary Rogowski, the answer is in the act of creative work itself. The discipline of working with one's hands to create unnecessarily beautiful things shapes the builder into a more complete human being. In the tradition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Shop Class as Soulcraft, Rogowski's Handmade is a profound meditation on the eternal value of manual work, creativity, human fallibility, and the stubborn pursuit of quality work. Rogowski tells his life story of how he became a craftsman and how years of persistent work have taught him patience, resilience, tolerance for failure, and a love of pursuing beauty and mastery for its own sake. Part autobiography, part guide to creativity, and part guide to living, Handmade is a book for craftspeople, artists, and anyone who seeks clarity, purpose, and creativity in their work—and it's the perfect antidote to a modern world that thinks human labor is obsolete.

"I'm not a woodworker or a rock climber, and don't plan to become either. But this slim memoir about Rogowski's passions for wood and climbing is so powerful in its quiet sincerity and subtle humor, it made me momentarily love them too."—Ryan S., Selector

Bicentennial Staff Picks

Oreo

Oreo, a biracial black girl from Philadelphia, searches for her Jewish father in New York City, navigating the labyrinth of sound studios, brothels, and subway tunnels of Manhattan in a journey of self-discovery."—NoveList

"A daring, bawdy, witty, irreverent, and hilarious treatment of race and sexuality in the 1970s. This novel exudes a lust for life through its author's unique voice and mastery of language."—Ryan S., Selector

Oreo

Fran Ross
Ross

Oreo, a biracial black girl from Philadelphia, searches for her Jewish father in New York City, navigating the labyrinth of sound studios, brothels, and subway tunnels of Manhattan in a journey of self-discovery."—NoveList

"A daring, bawdy, witty, irreverent, and hilarious treatment of race and sexuality in the 1970s. This novel exudes a lust for life through its author's unique voice and mastery of language."—Ryan S., Selector

Bicentennial Staff Picks

The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy

The publication of The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy is a literary event that marks the first time all of James Purdy's short stories—fifty-six in number, including seven drawn from his unpublished archives—have been collected in a single volume. As prolific as he was unclassifiable, James Purdy was considered one of the greatest--and most underappreciated--writers in America in the latter half of the twentieth century.

The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy

James Purdy
Purdy

The publication of The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy is a literary event that marks the first time all of James Purdy's short stories—fifty-six in number, including seven drawn from his unpublished archives—have been collected in a single volume. As prolific as he was unclassifiable, James Purdy was considered one of the greatest--and most underappreciated--writers in America in the latter half of the twentieth century. Championed by writers as diverse as Dame Edith Sitwell, Gore Vidal, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams, Carl Van Vechten, John Cowper Powys, and Dorothy Parker, Purdy's vast body of work has heretofore been relegated to the avant-garde fringes of the American literary mainstream.

"A collection of sparse, gritty stories that celebrate the outsider in mid-century America, by an overlooked and underrated author whose admirers run from Edward Albee to Gore Vidal to Susan Sontag."—Ryan S., Selector

Bicentennial Staff Picks

Near to the Wild Heart

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called “Hurricane Clarice”: a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: “He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life.”The book was an unprecedented sensation — the discovery of a genius.

Near to the Wild Heart

Clarice Lispector
Lispect

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called “Hurricane Clarice”: a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: “He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life.”The book was an unprecedented sensation — the discovery of a genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: “I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt.”—Norton Pub.

"The first of this Brazilian author's novels, it introduces her highly introspective—and sometimes confounding—style to the world. Truly one of a kind."—Ryan S., Selector

Bicentennial Staff Picks

The Girl From Rawblood

At the turn of England's century, as the wind whistles in the lonely halls of Rawblood, young Iris Villarca is the last of her family's line. They are haunted, through the generations, by "her," a curse passed down through ancient blood that marks each Villarca for certain heartbreak. Iris forsakes her promise to her father, to remain alone, safe from the world. She dares to fall in love, and the consequences of her choice are immediate and terrifying. As the world falls apart around her, she must take a final journey back to Rawblood where it all began and where it must all end.

The Girl From Rawblood

Catriona Ward
Ward

At the turn of England's century, as the wind whistles in the lonely halls of Rawblood, young Iris Villarca is the last of her family's line. They are haunted, through the generations, by "her," a curse passed down through ancient blood that marks each Villarca for certain heartbreak. Iris forsakes her promise to her father, to remain alone, safe from the world. She dares to fall in love, and the consequences of her choice are immediate and terrifying. As the world falls apart around her, she must take a final journey back to Rawblood where it all began and where it must all end.

"This is a good spooky read for people who like gothic fiction and ghosts. Several plot lines are intertwined to tell a tale of a family curse and their haunted home."—Katelynn D., Senior Information Assistant

Bicentennial Staff Picks

Three Things About Elsie

A novel set in England about eighty-four-year-old Florence, a resident in a nursing home, who has fallen in her apartment, leading her to think about her childhood friend and the secrets of their past that are about to come to light.—Provided by publisher

"This novel is endearing, darkly humorous, and suspenseful. I really enjoyed getting to know the main character while following her journey as an amateur detective and best friend."—Katelynn D., Senior Information Assistant

Three Things About Elsie

Joanna Cannon
Cannon

A novel set in England about eighty-four-year-old Florence, a resident in a nursing home, who has fallen in her apartment, leading her to think about her childhood friend and the secrets of their past that are about to come to light.—Provided by publisher

"This novel is endearing, darkly humorous, and suspenseful. I really enjoyed getting to know the main character while following her journey as an amateur detective and best friend."—Katelynn D., Senior Information Assistant

Bicentennial Staff Picks

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