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Kate's Picks

Encyclopedia Neurotica by Jon Winokur
NonFiction
This is an absolutely hilarious dictionary of buzz words that poke fun at the politically correct and neurotic aspects of American culture. Winokur spent years collecting irreverent words and phrases that brilliantly characterize the irksome phenomena that occurs in our daily lives. From Road Rage by Proxy to Niche Worrying, you will find bitingly clever definitions which describe situations that are all-too familiar.
Recommended by Kate, August 2005

His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass (aka Northern Lights), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman
Audio/Visual
His Dark Materials is a darker alternative to the Harry Potter series. Pullman's trilogy follows the adventures of Lyra, a reluctant heroine who inhabits a world parallel to our own, as she endeavors to save humanity and the universe itself. While the books are riveting to read in paper form, the audio-book version of the series is phenomenal. All three books were recorded by cast members, who performed in the original stage production at the National Theater in London. These are not your average audio-books and you will find yourself listening to them for hours on end.
Recommended by Kate, August 2005

Strange Forces by Leopoldo Lugones
Fiction
While this Argentinean writer is not widely known in the U.S., his work is often compared to that of Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Strange Forces is a collection of short stories which make for quick and entertaining reads. Lugones is a florid writer who incorporates biblical, mythlogical, historical and scientific themes into his haunting tales.
Recommended by Kate, May 2005

The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall
Fiction
Alice Randall's novel is a satirical alternative re-telling of Margaret Mitchell's classic Gone with the Wind. Told from the perspective of Cindy, Scarlet O'Hara's biracial half sister, the book is alternately witty, touching and wise. It is a fascinating, refreshing, and more realistic lens through which to view Gone with the Wind.
Recommended by Kate, March 2005

Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman
Fiction
Written as a "companion" to Daphne Du Maurier's classic Rebecca, Sally Beauman does a masterful job with Rebecca's Tale. The book is set 20 years following the mysterious death of the beautiful and enchanting Rebecca de Winter. When Rebecca's long lost diaries begin to turn up in the small Cornwall hamlet near Manderley, some of Rebecca's old friends and a new generation of characters get caught up in her romantically mysterious story. Narrated from four different perspectives including, Colonel Julyan, his daughter Ellie, the enigmatic stranger Terence Gray, and Rebecca herself, Rebecca's Tale is as equally captivating as its predecessor.
Recommended by Kate, February 2005

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Fiction
The author of the wonderful Mystic River delivers another dark and atmospheric yarn with Shutter Island. Set in 1954, two Federal Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule are sent to investigate the escape of a patient from Ashcliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane located on remote Shutter Island. Lehane fills the story with plenty of mood and takes the reader through a maze of suspense where things are never what they seem.
Recommended by Kate, January 2005