Best Books of the Month: November 2012

Here are the noteworthy titles that have been racing up our most popular charts this month.

(showing 1-6 of 6)
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan Sweet Tooth
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MI5 recruits a beautiful Cambridge student with a passion for literature in this provocative espionage novel. Serena struggles to maintain a double life as she falls in love with her target, a writer whose trust she must earn as they both play their roles as pawns of the Cold War. Switterbug says, "The prose seems so effortless, is so sleek and smooth, that the words funneled instantly into my ear as if I were hearing them as my own thoughts." MI5 recruits a beautiful Cambridge student with a passion for literature in this provocative espionage novel. Serena struggles to maintain a double life as she falls in love with her target, a writer whose trust she must earn as they both play their roles as pawns of the Cold War. Switterbug says, "The prose seems so effortless, is so sleek and smooth, that the words funneled instantly into my ear as if I were hearing them as my own thoughts."
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Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
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From bizarre guest demands to the housekeeping shortcuts you probably don't want to know about—irreverent hospitality worker Tomsky reveals all in his memoir of ten years working in high-end hotels, rising through the ranks: valet to bellman to front desk concierge. Megan says, "This book had me laughing and gagging all at the same time...this will be read again, I can promise you that." From bizarre guest demands to the housekeeping shortcuts you probably don't want to know about—irreverent hospitality worker Tomsky reveals all in his memoir of ten years working in high-end hotels, rising through the ranks: valet to bellman to front desk concierge. Megan says, "This book had me laughing and gagging all at the same time...this will be read again, I can promise you that."
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The Confidant by Hélène Grémillon The Confidant
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A family secret comes to light when, after her mother's death in 1975, Camille begins receiving letters from a stranger that reveal an unusual story from World War II-era Paris. Unsure of the letter writer's motive, Camille slowly pieces together how his sweetheart, Annie, became a surrogate mother for a wealthy childless couple. Mark calls this historical novel "touching, emotional, beautiful...pieces of the puzzle are drip fed to the reader right up until the final revelation!" A family secret comes to light when, after her mother's death in 1975, Camille begins receiving letters from a stranger that reveal an unusual story from World War II-era Paris. Unsure of the letter writer's motive, Camille slowly pieces together how his sweetheart, Annie, became a surrogate mother for a wealthy childless couple. Mark calls this historical novel "touching, emotional, beautiful...pieces of the puzzle are drip fed to the reader right up until the final revelation!"
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A Free Man by Aman Sethi A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi
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To write this work of narrative nonfiction, Sethi shadowed the life of impoverished laborer Mohammad Ashraf for years. He relates life on the jammed streets of modern Delhi and the outlook of the working poor. Ankur A says Sethi "captured the spirit of the city, or rather its underbelly, in such vivid detail...[it] is put in front of us without any embellishments. No rosy pictures, no sepia taints. Just the stuff as it is." To write this work of narrative nonfiction, Sethi shadowed the life of impoverished laborer Mohammad Ashraf for years. He relates life on the jammed streets of modern Delhi and the outlook of the working poor. Ankur A says Sethi "captured the spirit of the city, or rather its underbelly, in such vivid detail...[it] is put in front of us without any embellishments. No rosy pictures, no sepia taints. Just the stuff as it is."
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The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay The Shortest Way Home
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Sean has zigzagged the world in this novel, working as a registered nurse among survivors of natural disasters and victims of war. At age 43, the emotionally exhausted aid worker returns home to Massachusetts, where he grapples with family and rekindles an old love but fears he may have Huntington's disease. Viviane says, "It's told in such a practical, real, and endearing fashion...tender yet funny, sincere yet gritty, this story is beautifully crafted and a delight!" Sean has zigzagged the world in this novel, working as a registered nurse among survivors of natural disasters and victims of war. At age 43, the emotionally exhausted aid worker returns home to Massachusetts, where he grapples with family and rekindles an old love but fears he may have Huntington's disease. Viviane says, "It's told in such a practical, real, and endearing fashion...tender yet funny, sincere yet gritty, this story is beautifully crafted and a delight!"
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Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill Meant to Be
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In this romance for young adults, love blossoms on a school trip to London. Straight-edged honor student Julia is dismayed to learn she's partnered with annoying jokester Jason, who calls her the "Book Licker," but is excited to be receiving text messages from a mysterious boy. Tara says, "It's hilarious with a side of deep and emotional, not to mention the swoony romance and the awesome experience of traveling abroad for the first time." In this romance for young adults, love blossoms on a school trip to London. Straight-edged honor student Julia is dismayed to learn she's partnered with annoying jokester Jason, who calls her the "Book Licker," but is excited to be receiving text messages from a mysterious boy. Tara says, "It's hilarious with a side of deep and emotional, not to mention the swoony romance and the awesome experience of traveling abroad for the first time."
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