Michael Recommends

ISBN-13: 9780143124733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 12/2013

Michael says . . . "This atmospheric and romantic history is proof that real life can be every bit as much a soap opera as 'Downton Abbey' can be. Dukes, duchesses, WWI, and a legacy as remarkable as any in England. Totally enjoyable."

Longbourn (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780385351232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 10/2013

Michael says . . . "Jane Austen's beloved Pride and Prejudice is almost relentlessly 'upstairs' novel. While the world of the Bennet family and their friends is beautifully rendered, that of the servants whose hard work supports them is all but invisible. Jo Baker richly imagines the below-stairs world of Susan and Hill and the mysterious man at Netherfield who is named Bingley . . . ."

The Magician King (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780452298019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume, 5/2012

Michael says . . . "The angst-ridden hero of Grossman's The Magicians is back in an adventure which is darker and stranger and more disturbing than that of the first book. I re-read it a few weeks and was freshly struck by just how good it really is."

ISBN-13: 9780062236678
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: HarperTorch, 11/2013

Michael says . . . "I have been a fan of Ann Patchett's novels for many years, but never have I loved one of her books as well as this one. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is her most personally revealing book yet. I think that by the end of it, you will feel as though you have made a friend."

The Son (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780062120403
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press, 1/2014
Michael says . . . "When I was a kid, mom tried to get to write a Social Studies research paper on the idea of Manifest Destiny: the idea that the United States was destined to expand from Atlantic to Pacific. Many people in the nineteenth century believed in this idea and used it to justify their actions. Much historical fiction (and much history as well) is still written with the same mentality. We have tended to gloss over the Anglo-American extermination of the natives, the over-riding of Mexican land titles in California and the Southwest, and much more. Philipp Meyer's epic new novel, The Son, doesn't gloss over these uncomfortable truths. He has written a historical fiction for our times: heroic and messy; dark and bloody. What a great book!" -- NOW IN PAPERBACK!

The Last Banquet (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781609451387
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Europa Editions, 10/2013
Michael says . . . "Few us have the pure nerve -- and perhaps the savoir faire -- necessary to live entirely according to our own tastes and appetites. What the neighbors think, what our mothers would say, always colors our choices. Not so for the eccentric and brilliant Jean-Marie d'Aumont, the hero of this equally eccentric and brilliant novel set in France before the Revolution. From the moment we first meet him eating beatles on a dung heap throughout his long and intensely curious life, d'Aumont is never less than totally captivating."

Our Kind of Traitor (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780143119722
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 4/2011
Michael says . . . "The end of the Cold War cast adrift not only many denizens of the secret world of the intelligence services, but also the writers of intrigue thrillers. Trust John le Carre, genre's grand master, to adapt the most readily to the new world order. Our Kind of Traitor finds him at the top his game, deftly negotiating the interstices of power: organized crime and "legitimate" business."

ISBN-13: 9780393341645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 7/2012
Michael says . . . "From it's compelling opening sentence, "If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old, the mailman ran over my head," The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, is hard to put down. As we follow Edgar Presley Mint through the many tribulations of his life, we marvel at his, and our, ability to never quite lose heart. This was a Rakestraw Book of the Year for 2001. It's great to have it back in print."

The Art of Fielding (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780316126670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Back Bay Books, 5/2012
Michael says . . . "Chad Harbaugh's first novel is that rare breed: the much-buzzed debut that lives up to its advance hype. In the book-lined studies and baseball diamonds of one small liberal arts college, Harbaugh finds the whole of life. And, trust me, you'll love these characters. A Rakestraw Book of the Year 2011 -- now in paperback."

Bring Up the Bodies (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781250024176
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picador, 3/2013

Michael says . . . "Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Wolf Hall, was one of the best books I've read in the past ten years -- rich and gripping and disturbing. She took the familiar tale of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and made it new and vibrant again. So I came to Bring Up of the Bodies with some pretty heavy expectations. I am glad to say she's done it again. Far more compressed than its predecessor, she presents the fall of Anne Boleyn in a way that makes it live. Even when you know what's coming, you're shocked . . . a great read."