Staff Picks: April 2014


Hatchet Book Cover

This is a young adult book about a teen flying to see his father in Alaska for the summer. The plane crashes and the pilot is killed. He has to use his ingenuity to stay alive and struggles with finding hope and the will to survive. We follow his struggles in the wilderness to stay alive.

Ambition and Desire: the dangerous life of Josephine Bonaparte

Ambition and Desire: the dangerous life of Josephine Bonaparte Book Cover

This well written non-fiction history of Josephine Bonaparte reads almost like a novel. It follows Josephine as a young, somewhat lazy and not particularly educated, girl through her adulterous years in which she develops her political skills and charms that become her essence of survival through adulthood. She strengthens through an unhappy first marriage and divorce, France's political turmoil, and as a prisoner watching her friends die by guillotine almost meeting the same fate. Upon first meeting, Napoleon is pulled to Josephine like an addiction. As life progresses marriage occurs, wars are won, and more power is gained by Napoleon. Josephine, in turn, becomes deeply attached to Napoleon. She is everything Napoleon is not. Napoleon is brash, rude and socially inept. After years of marriage and as crowned Emperor, Napoleon needs an heir that Josephine cannot deliver most likely due to health effects from being a prisoner. The divorce was painful for both Napoleon and Josephine. Although their tumultuous relationship reveals flawed traits of both Josephine and Napoleon the reader will be brought to realize why their relationship continues to intrigue us to this day. (If you like this you may be interested in reading Saundra Gulland's fictional trilogy on Josephine. You will be pleased with how closely it follows this non-fiction writing.)

The Prince of Venice Beach

The Prince of Venice Beach Book Cover

If you’re a street kid who lives in a tree-house & spends your time surfing, skating & playing basketball what kind of job could you hope to get? What are your assets & strengths? And, what are your weaknesses? You’re officially “missing” until you turn 18 (unless you want to get shipped back to Nebraska) so that means no driver’s license & no car. But, let’s focus on what you do have…