Staff Picks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming

by Michelle Obama

 

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

 

The Enceladus Mission
by Brandon Q. Morris 

A space odyssey that’s worth taking. 

In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon.

The international crew is not just facing a difficult twenty-seven months: if the spacecraft manages to make it to Enceladus without incident it must use a drillship to penetrate the kilometer-thick sheet of ice that entombs the moon. If life does indeed exist on Enceladus, it could only be at the bottom of the salty, ice covered ocean, which formed billions of years ago.

However, shortly after takeoff disaster strikes the mission, and the chances of the crew making it to Enceladus, let alone back home, look grim.

From internationally best-selling hard science fiction author Brandon Q. Morris comes a new novel for hard science fiction enthusiasts. As a physicist and space specialist, Morris describes the journey of the international expedition through the hostile vacuum of space, using the latest scientific findings and technology trends as his inspiration. This isn’t a What If book, this is a When Will book.

 

Murder in the Garden of God
by Eleanor Herman

In the spring of 1581, a young Roman nobleman was murdered. Years later, his uncle, the new Pope, unleashed a wave of retribution. But who actually pulled the trigger? This enthralling narrative history traces Renaissance Rome’s convoluted political web.

On April 17, 1581, shots ring out in a Roman garden and a young man falls dead in an ambush. Within days, a powerful baron weds the lovely widow. Everyone knows the baron ordered the hit. But how much did the victim’s wife know? Vittoria Accoramboni, the most beautiful girl in Rome, chafed under the financial limitations of her husband’s family. She waited eight years for Pope Gregory XIII to die so that her husband’s uncle, Cardinal Montalto, could become the new pope and bring the family untold power and riches. But Pope Gregory seemed like he was never going to die. Had she grown tired of waiting?

When the pope finally does die in 1585, Cardinal Montalto indeed becomes the new Vicar of Christ, Sixtus V. Within minutes of his election the mild-mannered, doddering old man becomes a wrathful spirit, unleashing a torrent of revenge across Italy on all those involved in his nephew’s murder. Rich in the descriptions of contemporary sources, this riveting true story transports the readers into the beauty and brutality of a lost era and an intriguing tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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