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Emmett Conn is an old man, near the end of his life. A World War 1 veteran, he's been affected by memory loss since being injured during the war. To those around him, he's simply confused, fading in and out of senility. But what they don't know is that Emmett has been beset by memories of events he and others have denied or purposely forgotten.

In Emmett's dreams he's a gendarme, escorting Armenians from Turkey. A young woman among them, Araxie, captivates and enthralls him. But then the trek ends, the war separates them. He is injured.

Seven decades later, as his grasp on the boundaries between past and present begins to break down, Emmett sets out on a final journey, to find Araxie and beg her forgiveness. Mark Mustain has written a remarkable novel about the power of memory -- and the ability of people, individually and collectively, to forget.

"The Gendarme," by Mark T. Mustian is on the Reserve Shelf at Walla Walla Public Library.

Featured books will be available for the public today. They can also be placed on hold online at wallawallapubliclibrary,org or call the library for assistance at 527-4550. Other books include:

Fiction

"Before I Fall," by Lauren Oliver

What if you had only one day to live? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High -- from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot.

Friday, Feb. 12 should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets another chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death -- and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Nonfiction

"The Private Lives of Birds," by Bridget Stutchbury

Biologist Bridget Stutchbury takes us along on her escapades as a bird detective, stalking subjects through the woods for hours, mounting miniature tracking devices on their backs and taking blood samples from nestlings for DNA analysis.

She captures several young white-and-brown male purple martins and paints them the darker color of mature males to see if the painted youngsters are more successful than their unaltered peers in wresting away nest sites from older males. They are!

"The Private Lives of Birds" is a treasure trove of fascinating insights into bird behavior.

"Comeback America," by David M. Walker

He's one of America's most capable, canny, candid and independent financial experts. Now David M. Walker sounds a call to action.

"Comeback America" is a tough-minded, innovative, inspiring guide to help us avoid the approaching economic abyss and put the country back on track again. Nonpartisan, nonideological and filled with a love of the country its esteemed author has spent his life serving, "Comeback America" is a book for anyone interested in America's economic future -- in other words, a book everyone should read.

Others

"Character Driven," by Derek Fisher; "Mind in the Making," by Ellen Galinsky; "Fragile," by Lisa Unger; "Savages," by Don Winslow

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