August Staff Picks to Inspire and Delight

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
-  Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Lilac Girls Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101883082
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - February 28th, 2017

This book, based on real characters and events during World II, is uplifting, wretched, and well-written.  It’s based on the life of Caroline Ferriday, who had been a Broadway actress, and became a liaison to the French consulate before the war had reached the United States.   The war started in earnest in Poland by 1939, and we’re given a fictionalized, though realistic, look at the enormity of the horrors that became realities for young girls and women in Poland.  We’re given a look at Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women.  Mutilations were performed in the name of medical research on many of the girls, which left many lame and deformed.  Those horrors were performed by a female doctor Herta Oberheuser, who was trying to prove that she was as competent a surgeon as a man. We hear of Kasia and her sister, whose physical and mental comebacks are inspirational. They cling to one another, and to the other women on whom the atrocities were performed.  These women became known as the “Rabbits”, both for their inability to walk properly, and the speed in which they could disappear from their tormentors.

I leave you to the rest of this very moving story, and the elusive happiness that was finally found.

The most sincere thanks go to Caroline Ferriday and her good heart. Available as both an eBook and audiobook.

-Recommended by Katie D.

The Readymade Thief Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735221833
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - August 1st, 2017

If Lee is on the verge of being a troubled teen in Philadelphia, mostly invisible, not really fitting in in school until Edie takes her under her wing. As things start to spiral out of control her senior year, Lee is thrust into a world that she knows nothing about, but they want her and think that she has all the answers. This book has conspiracy, action and art by Michael Ducamp. My family had a time while I put everything aside to just read this book!

Available as both and eBook and audiobook.

-Recommended by Chris

Mrs. Fletcher Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501144028
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - August 1st, 2017

Tom Perrotta wrote the ever intriguing, sometimes surreal novel The Leftovers. In Mrs. Fletcher, he is much more grounded in the everyday. Eve Fletcher, an empty nester who discovers on-line porn because of a text she received referring to her as a MILF. Perrotta is able to follow her college bound son, his classmates, Eve’s sexually free co-worker, and her transgender Professor, in the most consuming way. He explores the human experience with such depth and humor, I could not put this book down!

Available as an eBook and audiobook.

-Recommended by Kim

Invisible Monsters Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393319293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 1999

I’ve read this book many times over the years, and it is the book which sparked within me a lifelong, passionate love of everything the brutal and grotesque Palahniuk has published. The novel follows a former bombshell supermodel who, after an accident that leaves her mercilessly disfigured, recedes into the opposite spectrum of complete invisibility. And then there’s Brandy Alexander, a pill-popping, no-nonsense, larger-than-life diva of the utmost extreme. Together, they go on the ultimate journey to discover true beauty, what the value of beauty means, and how sometimes, you must tear yourself open to sew yourself shut. This novel is a brilliantly executed trainwreck from beginning to end. Also available as an eBook and audiobook.

-Recommended by Marissa

The Picture of Dorian Gray Cover Image
By Oscar Wilde, Robert Mighall (Introduction by), Robert Mighall (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780141439570
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 4th, 2003

This was the only novel written by poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. The tale of Dorian Gray is one of timeless beauty. Dorian makes a deal to sell his soul in exchange for eternal youth - and instead, it is a portrait of young Dorian that begins to age and show the physical consequences of a hedonistic lifestyle. But what will happen to Dorian when this deal inevitably comes to bite him in the end? This is a story of moral integrity and self-preservation, and is one of my all-time favorites.

Available as an audiobook.

-Recommended by Marissa

Dead on Arrival Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062443274
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - August 1st, 2017

Matt Richtel, author of the nonfiction hit Deadly Wandering, which highlights the effects of distracted driving, once again lures the reader to take a hard look at the side effects of the digital world in his new action mystery Dead on Arrival. The story takes place in the current digital era, where people are “lost in their virtual worlds … lapping up and observing the world without interference or conflict … with no risk of interaction.” Dr. Lyle Martin, MD and clinical professor of Infectious Diseases, and Jackie Badger, a key researcher for Google, find themselves attempting to reconcile how far they would go to “save the world from itself.”

His new novel is fast-paced, intriguing and thought-provoking. Parts of his story take place in Steamboat Springs and Hayden! What fun to imagine such a thrilling adventure occurring in our little corner of the Colorado World!

Available in both eBook and audiobook.

-Recommended by Virgie

Hum If You Don't Know the Words Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399575068
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 11th, 2017

It is a time of unrest in 1976 Johannesburg, South Africa. Repressed Blacks (Kafirs) are taking up arms, demonstrating and revolting against the ruling White Africaners. It appears to be a world where hatred is the common language. Beauty, a black Xhosa woman and Robin, a young entitled white child, find their worlds intersect out of necessity. Robin is a child without her mother and Beauty is a mother without her children. They have both been left behind, and are grieving in their own ways. This powerful book takes a serious look at apartheid South Africa, at a time when Nelson Mandela, a champion for the blacks, was already imprisoned. The novel allowed me to “feel” what it must have been like to live in such an unsettling world, from the perspective of both whites and blacks.

If Behind the Beautiful Forevers left you speechless, then I think you’ll enjoy this perspective of South Africa.

Available in eBook.

-Recommended by Virgie

How to Find Love in a Bookshop Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735223493
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - August 15th, 2017

When Julius unexpectedly dies, Emelia discovers that her father’s cherished business, Nightingale Books, Is seriously financially underwater. If she wants to keep it afloat, Emelia needs to make significant changes to the business, which appears to be a daunting task. Nightingale books has been the way it was for so long that Emelia can’t imagine it any other way!

If you are like me, if you find a sense of comfort within the walls of a bookstore, a calmness that soothes your soul, then you will LOVE this simple, tender story, which radiates within the bookstore culture of Nightingale Books!

If you enjoyed reading The Little Paris Bookshop then you’ll love this story!

Available in eBook.

-Recommended by Virgie

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062316097
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - February 10th, 2015

Around 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens existed only in small bands of hunter-gatherers in the savannahs of eastern Africa. Today, billions of us span the globe and dominate the planet. If you’ve ever wondered just how we did it, Sapiens is the book for you. Spanning from 6 million years ago until the present day, author Yuval Harari explores the origins and consequences of our success as a species. Replete with vivid description and comprehensive storytelling, Sapiens is both a linear progression of our history as well as an exploration of the many facets of human society and culture. If you liked Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, this is absolutely another book to add to your list.

Also available as an audio and ebook.

-Recommended by Will

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062464316
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - February 21st, 2017

It took many thousands of years for humanity to develop from hunter-gatherers to farmers, but only 66 years from powered flight to the moon landing. The world is changing faster than ever before, and shows no signs of slowing down. What’s next for humanity? Following the overwhelming success of his book Sapiens, author Yuval Harari explores the possible futures of humankind in Homo Deus. Through extensive analysis of modern society and culture, Harari explores our potential to raise humanity to new heights, or wipe it from the face of the Earth. The book is a fantastic analysis of everything from history to artificial intelligence that compels readers to examine the world around them and envision scenarios that are frightening, wonderful, and plausible.

Also available as an ebook.

-Recommended by Will

Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399175831
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blue Rider Press - June 13th, 2017

Eddie Izzard is quit the overwhelming personality. He portrays himself as bigger than life. This is even true in his autobiography. This is also the first time that I have come across a situation that the print book and the audiobook are two very different things. Eddie reads his book for the audiobook, and has added more to it than there is in the print book. He has the ability to make his life seem so very interesting, though he had a very ordinary childhood.

-Recommended by Chris

Where Is Bear? Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399555930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books for Young Readers - June 13th, 2017

This is such a cute picture book, with a great ending? Can you guess where Bear is? This is something that parents go through all the time, finding that special thing before bed. The child in this book is doing just the same but he has someone helping him but doesn’t know it.

-Recommended by Chris