Staff Picks - Kelly

Kelly is a lover of historical fiction, historical non-fiction, politics, books on the funding of higher education, or anything education-related, and in general, learning. She's that weirdo who's taking notes in what appears to be a journal while you're on a free walking tour in a city in Eastern Europe. Some day, she will travel in a continent other than Europe, but she's afraid she will have to get degrees in Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, etc., before she can tackle the same caliber of observation as she does in, say, Krakow (someone please tell her that's silly!). In a recent interview with none other than the famous Caitlin at Kepler's, it was discovered that her father called her "Kell Bell" as a child and named a small el toro sailboat the same.

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The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicatea Discoveries from a Secret World Cover Image
By Peter Wohlleben, Tim Flannery (Foreword by), Jane Billinghurst (Translator)
ISBN: 9781771642484
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - September 13th, 2016

Remember that tree you loved growing up? What if that tree knew you, just like you knew it? This was one of the revelations I had while reading this book - and call me crazy, but after reading a chapter per night (it's also a very relaxing read), I have faith that my childhood tree has some sense of familiarity when I pay a visit home. Wohllenben has spent years around trees as a forester in Germany and describes what it means for a tree to "feel" - just like humans, trees can feel pain and form relationships, and doesn't this show how interconnected we are? --Kelly

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The House of the Spirits: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501117015
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - December 15th, 2015

Allende's work of magical realism follows several generations of one family through political changes in Chile in the 20th century. The dynamics of the family and characters are complex, challenging the reader to see how people can change over a lifetime and eventually earn forgiveness and sympathy, or at least one of the two. This is not a light read, but an important one in understanding both a bit of Chilean history as well as the strength of women. --Kelly

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The Cellist of Sarajevo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594483653
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 31st, 2009

During the nearly 4-year siege of Sarajevo, a cellist plays for whomever can listen for 22 days in a row in the honor of civilians killed while standing in line for bread. The lives of three fictitious characters work around his story and we are left to consider how the people of Sarajevo survived this siege in both a literal sense and through understanding what it truly meant to "be alive" during this time. I encourage all to read this book, as it is a reminder that war casts a blinding shadow over time and place in more ways than one. --Kelly

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Paris: The Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345530769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - April 1st, 2014

Edward Rutherfurd is a master of putting a lot of dense historical information into a number of intertwining, compelling stories that carry through the centuries. In Paris, the city of lights is seen through the lenses of people from different classes with varying motives as France changes through revolution and international circumstance. Be prepared to both become attached to and despise characters, all while learning a LOT about Parisian and French history. --Kelly