Rosemary's Picks

RosemaryRosemary has been at QRB since the fall of 2001. Even though her first day of work was also the start of the hectic Fall Readers' Club Sale, she came back.

She splits her time between maintaining our website and Facebook/Twitter information and working on advertising and publicity, after many years in our Children's department. She reads quite a mix of genres, but especially likes non-fiction, fantasy, & mysteries.

Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812997354
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - April 25th, 2017

The contributions of smaller Allied nations (such as Norway) are often overlooked in WWII histories. In the starting days of the war, governments and partisans in exile congregated in London. Lynne Olson (Citizens of London) returns to its setting to detail how refugee communities came to England’s aid (among them, Polish and Czech pilots for a decimated RAF) and England to theirs. All didn’t go swimmingly, but all realized that England indeed was their Last Hope Island against Hitler.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492649359
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks - April 18th, 2017

Be forewarned: this book will make you very, very angry. Now we may look at early 20th Century attitudes toward radium with shock (radium toothpaste? Jockstraps?). Corporate America knew the danger, even if consumers didn’t. And no one was more vulnerable than the literally glowing women who painted the in-demand radium dials of watches and instruments. Their years of suffering and legal conflicts led to safer working conditions for others. Think of their legacy when someone cavalierly proposes rolling back worker protections.

Coconut. Ginger. Shrimp. Rum.: Caribbean Flavors for Every Season Cover Image
ISBN: 9781510714939
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Skyhorse Publishing - March 28th, 2017

Szechuan Ginger Stir Fry – in under 10 minutes.

Coconut Quinoa Bean Salad – with just a few minutes of prep.

Those are just two of the stars in Brigid Washington’s easy-to-follow and very reasonably priced Caribbean cookbook. Split into seasons, you’ll find entrees, sides, drinks, and desserts. And who cares if it’s past winter – make that Coconut Bread Pudding whenever you want.

The Lost Book of the Grail Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399562518
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - February 28th, 2017

Set in modern day, Lost Book has an Old England feel to it. Perhaps that’s because Grail-obsessed English professor Arthur is most at home among ancient manuscripts and his P.G. Wodehouse novels. When an American researcher arrives to digitize the manuscripts (which may lead to their sale), Arthur’s world is upended in more ways than one. Arthur and Bethany’s exchanges are priceless. As they set out to solve a literary mystery, Arthur is charmingly, reluctantly dragged into the 21st century – and sociability.

The Impossible Fortress Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501144417
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 7th, 2017

Oh, to be 14 again. Well, maybe not. But you can relive those days of sweet geekiness, crushes, flouting the rules, and sometimes not-so-thought-out consequences with The Impossible Fortress. Two teens join up to win a computer game design contest. But there's SO much more in here.

Cue up Hall and Oates and enjoy. Use a punch card as a book mark. You'll even feel the urge to play a game of Pong – but what these kids come up with is way better.

The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novels #11) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250022103
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - July 26th, 2016

Wow, just wow! I had not read the Inspector Gamache mysteries before. I was able to jump into the world of Three Pines with no confusion. And once I entered Gamache's world, I could not leave. Beast weaves multiple incidents of evil (which may or may not be related) - into a web that happily caught me. Now on to read the earlier books!

Secondhand Souls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061779794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 10th, 2016

Let's be clear, Christopher Moore is not for the faint of heart. But if you love wild imagination, hysterically funny and profane dialogue, multiple plot lines that weave together but allow lots of humorous and (did I mention) profane tangents – he's your guy.

Secondhand Souls is a sequel to A Dirty Job. I read SS without having read A Dirty Job with no confusion. But SS does give a few necessary spoilers from the earlier book. So if you have the leisure, do them in order.

Inspector of the Dead (Thomas and Emily de Quincey #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316323956
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - October 11th, 2016

Inspector is an absolutely riveting historical thriller. I'd not read one of David Morrell's mysteries before, and now I want to devour them all. I'm even going to check out the original Opium-Eater to learn more about his fascinating protagonist, Thomas De Quincey.

Everybody's Fool (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307454829
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - January 24th, 2017

I've always loved Russo's pitch-perfect rendition of small-town life, especially in the upstate NY area I know well. Everybody's Fool now goes to the top 10 of my favorite books – ever. No character is perfect, but when I finished the book, I missed every one of them (well, except Roy. There's no love lost there!) So much happens to the interweaving cast, it was a shock to consider that Fool only covers a couple of days in the life of Bath, NY. You may not want to live there, but you'd want these folks as your neighbors. (Again, except Roy.)

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143127529
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 26th, 2015

Looking to dive into a world of witches, vampires, and demons? Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy, which concludes with The Book of Life, is the richest portrayal of that universe since Dark Shadows (and I say that with pleasure and affection). I don't want to leak any spoilers here – you have to read the trilogy in sequence – but Harkness has invented a fascinating history for her creatures. This is literary adult fantasy that stays deeply attached to the real world. And if you've read A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, you'll be very satisfied with the passion, terror, and (yes) humor Harkness uses to bring the saga of the Bishops and Clairmonts to a conclusion.

Night Watch: Book One Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062310095
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - December 31st, 2013

I'm so glad to see Sergei Lukyanenko's work back in print. This is the thinking person's horror novel.  Be prepared – once you start Night Watch, you'll want to read the entire series. Set in Russia, super powerful Others are split into the Night Watch and Day Watch. The Night Watch protects humans during the night hours, keeping vampires, werewolves, and Dark Magicians at bay. Not just a 'horror novel', Night Watch examines the delicate balance between the forces of good and evil, and what it means to be human.

The Light in the Ruins (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307743923
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 22nd, 2014

Sun-drenched Italian countryside, a methodical and dedicated killer, love, retribution, moral ambiguity, Nazis and partisans... book clubs are going to love this book.  Chris Bohjalian has crafted an intense, suspenseful, literary thriller set alternately in the gut-wrenching turbulence of WWII and a decade later, in a recovering Italy haunted by its past. 

The Blood of Emmett Till Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781476714844
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 31st, 2017

The story of Emmett Till is finally told, with the belated admissions of one of the key participants.  What stood out strongest to me, even midst the horrors of Emmett's murder, was the bravery of Mamie Till. Imagine losing your child in such unspeakable circumstances, then putting your pain aside to do all you could to make sure his death wasn't in vain.  You won't forget this book, nor should you.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143125471
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2014

If you have a poet's heart, you'll be awed by the spiritual connections to rowing expressed by both the crew members and the master boat builder whose philosophy weaves through this historical drama.  If you're of a more mathematical nature:  Unbroken + Chariots of Fire + (Rocky x 9) = Boys in the Boat!  Daniel James Brown's deeply affecting saga will have you wanting to get out and row.