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Our Take Ten staffer for April: Erin Yourstone

From Mamie: Erin is the manager of the Children’s Department but likes everything from board books to murder mysteries to nonfiction on obscure topics. She doesn’t believe in finishing a book you aren’t enjoying and isn’t much of a re-reader because there are too many good books on her to-be-read pile. However she has re-read all the fiction on this list—some three or four times—and each time discovered something new to enjoy. (She could’ve filled this list up several times over with pictures books, so if you’re in the mood for a picture book, head over to the Children’s Department.) Here are her top ten books, with her review below each one:



Peace Like a River Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802139252
Availability: On our shelves now
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - August 7th, 2002

If Leif Enger were to rewrite the phone book, I’d read it; but his first novel is my favorite. Ruben Land is an asthmatic kid with a father who performs miracles, an outlaw brother, and a little sister who writes epic cowboy poetry. When the Land family takes a borrowed Airstream westward in search of Ruben’s fugitive brother, the trip becomes a journey for understanding, justice, and redemption.

Interpreter of Maladies Cover Image
ISBN: 9780395927205
Availability: On our shelves now
Published: Mariner Books - June 1st, 1999

No blurb could adequately describe Lahiri’s exquisite writing or memorable characters. Her debut short story collection proves she is a master of the form. After all, who wins the Pulitzer with the first book?

Crossing to Safety (Modern Library Classics) Cover Image
By Wallace Stegner, Terry Tempest Williams (Introduction by), T.H. Watkins (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780375759314
Availability: On our shelves now
Published: Modern Library - April 9th, 2002

Stegner’s intimate portrait of the lifelong friendship between two couples never dips into the sensational. Instead, it provides a thoughtful meditation on love and friendship.

The Great Gatsby Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: On our shelves now
Published: Scribner - September 30th, 2004

If you haven’t read this classic since high school, take another look. This one has it all: dramatic plot twists, exquisite writing, layers of imagery, and unforgettable characters.

Speak Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312674397
Availability: Available from warehouse in 1-5 business days
Published: Square Fish - May 10th, 2011

Unfortunately, this YA classic about a rape survivor finding the courage to speak out is still timely. Well-crafted and thoughtful, this novel also features one of the wittiest protagonists in YA literature.

The Rabbit Listened Cover Image
By Cori Doerrfeld, Cori Doerrfeld (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780735229358
Availability: Available from warehouse in 1-5 business days
Published: Dial Books - February 20th, 2018

We all react differently in moments of crisis, but this simple picture book is a powerful reminder of the importance of listening with empathy. A must read for kids and adults.

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451660449
Availability: On our shelves now
Published: Scribner - December 30th, 2014

This very readable crash course in nuclear history from the Curies to Fukushima is a great introduction to the conversation about nuclear power. Nelson’s sweeping overview provides context to historical events and policies and offers more in-depth information about some of history’s tragic nuclear catastrophes.

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Politics of Place #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501121470
Availability: On our shelves now
Published: Scribner - October 11th, 2016

Accessible armchair geopolitics for anyone who even occasionally follows international news stories. In each chapter, Marshall tackles a continent or major region and theorizes how its physical geography influenced centuries of global politics.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399588198
Availability: On our shelves now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - February 12th, 2019

Trevor Noah’s memoir of his childhood in South Africa is alternately humorous and harrowing. Noah’s ability to use humor to analyze and reframe fraught racial, social, and economic issues make this a book you’ll want to discuss.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451697728
Availability: Available from warehouse in 1-5 business days
Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2016

Montgomery strikes the perfect balance of memoir and nature writing. The octopuses are fascinating creatures with distinct personalities, but for me it was the supporting cast of quirky octopus-loving humans that made this such an enjoyable read.