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Santa

December

Craftsman

The Craftsman - Sharon Bolton

Florence Lovelady's career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago in a small village in Lancashire. Like something out of a nightmare, the victims were buried alive Florence was able to solve the mystery and get a confession out of Larry before more children were murdered. But now, decades later, he's dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Is someone copying the original murders? Or did she get it wrong all those years ago? When her own son goes missing under similar circumstances, the case not only gets reopened... it gets personal.

Recommended by Stacy

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Leaving

Leaving Time - Jodi Picoult

Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife, and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it's been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment . . . or worse. Still Jenna--now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief--steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother's desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother's disappearance and the death of one of her mother's co-workers. Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives.

Recommended by Vanessa

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Dinner

The Dinner List - Rebecca Serle

When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there's a reason these six people have been gathered together. Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, THE DINNER LIST is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.

Recommended by Gwen

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Endeavor

Endeavor - Peter Moore

Endeavour was the ship that Captain Cook sailed to Australia and New Zealand on his first voyage of discovery from 1768 to 1771. Endeavour, Peter Moore argues in this ambitious exploration, was also the word that best captured the spirit of the age. Britain, in the second half of the 18th century, “was consumed by the impulse for grand projects, undertaken at speed” From the oak of its timbers to a watery grave off Rhode Island, this is an engaging account of Captain Cook’s vesse .

Recommended by Jeff

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Light

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doer

A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Recommended by Ted

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Master

The Master Butcher's Singing Club - Louise Erdrich

Having survived World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend, killed in action. With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher's precious knife set, Fidelis sets out for America. In Argus, North Dakota, he builds a business, a home for his family—which includes Eva and four sons—and a singing club consisting of the best voices in town. When the Old World meets the New—in the person of Delphine Watzka—the great adventure of Fidelis's life begins. Delphine meets Eva and is enchanted. She meets Fidelis, and the ground trembles. These momentous encounters will determine the course of Delphine's life, and the trajectory of this brilliant novel.

Recommended by Annette

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Mind

How to Change Your Mind - Michael Pollan

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into the experience of various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists.

Recommended by Rita

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Potlatch

Potlatch - Mary Beck

Beck describes the Pacific Northwest Coast Indian potlatch ceremony and its traditional place in a community's celebration of life, death, and giving thanks.

Recommended by Linda

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Rest

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen - Vicki Delany

As the owner of Mrs. Claus's Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That's why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry's float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there's a Scrooge in Christmas Town. Merry isn't ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph's Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter's body on a late night dog walk - and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky - Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who's really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa's naughty list.

Recommended by Becky

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Seven

Seven Days of Us - Francesca Hornak

A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays.

Recommended by Alice

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Transcription

Transcription - Kate Atkinson

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Recommended by Sheryl

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