Best Books of 2014
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Best Books of 2014
Capital in the Twenty – First Century by Thomas Piketty.                                                  
Call Number: 332.041 PIKET
The surprise bestseller from a Professor at the Paris School of Economics. Professor Piketty studied economic data over the past 200 years to develop his argument that wealth will accumulate among a few faster than it can be distributed.
His policy recommendations (which include a global tax on the super-rich) are controversial. Piketty explains his position in plain language, making this book an essential reading choice.
Call Number: 303.372Taibbi
Taibbi, a journalist for Rolling Stone, presents the inequalities in America’s justice, immigration, and social service systems. He contrasts the way we pursue and punish small – time crimes and criminals while rewarding high – level versions of the same thing. No one is spared – Taibbi criticizes Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama equally.
Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert Michael Gates.                                        
Call Number: 355.609 Gates
Gates served as the Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In his position he was supposed to reverse the defeat in Iraq and mend fences with other agencies. He describes the petty squabbling between agencies and personalities and cries for a restoration of civility and mutual respect. It’s no surprise that he did not enjoy his turn as secretary.



Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton.                                                                             
Call Number:  B Clinton
Clinton focuses on her four –year tenure as Secretary of State in this memoir. She presents an even – handed look at issues and people involved in creating foreign policy.



Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.                                                                
Call Number: 355.0092 O'Reilly
In the fourth installment of the popular Killing series, O’Reilly and Dugard present a compelling case that Patton was murdered instead of dying from complications caused by a car accident. Possible killers range from Josef Stalin to an OSS operative.



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.                                                                     
Call Number: Fic Doerr
A National Book Award finalist. Set in France during World War II, Doerr presents the reader with two stories which intersect late in the novel. Marie – Laure LeBlanc is a blind teenager living with her father and great – uncle in Saint Malo. She and her father have escaped from Paris with a valuable diamond he rescued from the museum where he worked. Werner Pfennig is a young German soldier who is trying to track down illegal radio transmissions. He hears Marie –Laure reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea over the radio and is intrigued. A beautifully told story appropriate for students age 17 to adults.


Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi.                                                                                         
Call Number: Fic Oyeyemi
No one starts out to be a wicked stepmother, but that’s just what happens in this modern retelling of Snow White. Set in 1950’s Massachusetts, Boy Novak escapes an abusive father and marries a widower, Arturo, because she loves his little daughter, Snow. Both father and daughter are very fair. When her own child, Bird, is born, and is dark skinned, Boy learns that Arturo’s parents are light – skinned African Americans passing as white. When she sees how differently Bird is treated because of her skin color, she sends Snow away to live with a relative. This engaging novel explores the complexities of race and identity in the 20th century.


The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear.                                              
Call Number: Fic Winspear
A stand – alone novel by the author of the Masie Dobbs series, the book was written to coincide with the anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. Newlyweds Tom and Kezia Brissenden are separated when Tom goes off to fight in a war that will be over by Christmas. In an effort to keep his spirits up, Kezia’s letters to him are filled with details about imaginary meals she prepares for him, never letting him know about the government’s demands on the farm or wartime food shortages. Meanwhile her best friend and Tom’s sister, Thea, is having problems of her own as a suffragette and pacifist. Fearing arrest, Thea volunteers to go to France as an ambulance driver. There she meets Kezia’s father, Reverend Marchant, who is ministering to the soldiers. Well told and beautifully written.
The Children Act by Ian McEwan.                                                                                             
Call Number: Fic McEwan
Judge Fiona Maye must decide whether to force Adam, a young cancer patient, to have the blood transfusions his parents refuse on religious grounds while dealing with a failing marriage. Short and powerful, McEwan’s story takes familiar situations and gives them an unexpected twist.



The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.                                                                            
Call Number: Fic Kidd
Set in 1800’s Charleston, Sarah Grimke is given a slave, Handful, for her 11th birthday. When she tries and fails to return Handful, Sarah rebels by teaching Handful to read and write. The girls are caught, and Handful is whipped while Sarah is forbidden to enter her father’s library, effectively ending her hope of becoming a lawyer. The novel follows them for thirty years, and we see that both women are chained – Handful is physically bound by slavery and Sarah is bound by society’s restrictions.



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