It’s almost here, that brief, magical time of year when you can read for pleasure!

While we’re sure that there are some transcendent passages to be found in Fundamentals of Operative Dentistry or Principles of Biostatistics, we also suspect that at this point you can’t wait to tuck into any book that does not mention the word “prevalence” once!

The Staff here at Hirsh would like to help you pick out a book to indulge in over break or for a just right gift for the book lover in your life. Without further ado, here are some Hirsh staff picks.

Happy reading!

First, a few good stories:

PC_grant

 PC Peter Grant Book Series by Ben Aaronovitch  (recommended by Amy)

“In a city with a thriving supernatural community, including river gods, dryads and fairies, narrator and PC Peter Grant works for the London Metropolitan Police. He’s also an apprentice wizard and he, along with PC Lesley May and DCI Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, comprises the Folly, the Met’s supernatural department  — they’re known as Isaacs after their founder, Sir Isaac Newton.”

girl_at_war

Girl at War  by Sara Novic (recommended by Stephanie)

“Zagreb, summer of 1991. Ten-year-old Ana Jurić is a carefree tomboy who runs the streets of Croatia’s capital with her best friend, Luka, takes care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But as civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, soccer games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire and air raid drills. When tragedy suddenly strikes, Ana is lost to a world of guerilla warfare and child soldiers; a daring escape plan to America becomes her only chance for survival.

Ten years later Ana is a college student in New York. She’s been hiding her past from her boyfriend, her friends, and most especially herself. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, she returns alone to Croatia, where she must rediscover the place that was once her home and search for the ghosts of those she’s lost.”

kafka

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (recommended by Stephen)

“A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events.”

Life After Life

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (recommended by Laura)

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization. Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best, playing with time and history, telling a story that is breathtaking for both its audacity and its endless satisfactions.”

Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (recommended by Jane)

“On the surface, Ordinary Grace is the story of the murder of a beautiful young woman, a beloved daughter and sister. At heart, it’s the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives. Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, it is a moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.”

And, for you non-fiction fans, check out these books:

The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (recommended by Laura)

“Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.”

View from the center

The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos by Joel R. Primack, Nancy Ellen Abrams (recommended by the “other Amy”)

“A world-renowned astrophysicist and a science philosopher present a new, scientifically supported understanding of the universe, one that will forever change our personal relationship with the cosmos.  For four hundred years, since early scientists discovered that the universe did not revolve around the earth, people have felt cut off-adrift in a meaningless cosmos. That is about to change. In their groundbreaking new book, The View from the Center of the Universe, Joel R. Primack, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading cosmologists, and Nancy Ellen Abrams, a philosopher and writer, use recent advances in astronomy,physics, and cosmology to frame a compelling new theory of how to understand the universe and our role in it.”

the kitchn

The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan (recommended by the “other Amy”)

“From Apartment Therapy’s cooking site, The Kitchn, comes 150 recipes and a cooking school with 50 essential lessons, as well as a guide to organizing your kitchen–plus storage tips, tool reviews, inspiration from real kitchens, maintenance suggestions, 200 photographs, and much more.”

 

 

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