June 2016 Staff Picks

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss

Books to take you places as recommended by our staff.

Books: 
Staff Pick Logo
The Girls Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812998603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - June 14th, 2016

I’m calling it: The Girls is THE book of Summer 2016! This is a fictional re-telling of Charles Manson’s female followers from the perspective of a 14 year-old participant, Evie. It is the summer of 1969 and Evie joins up with the crew after her parents divorce and she has a falling out with her best friend. However, it is not the Manson-esque demigod that draws her in, but instead one of his loyal followers - the older, cooler and more beautiful Suzanne. The book’s structure between past and present-day Evie, along with Cline’s descriptive prose, make this a fast and interesting read.

-Recommended by Victoria


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Vinegar Girl Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780804141260
Availability: Special Order
Published: Hogarth Press - June 21st, 2016

Twenty nine year-old Kate is the old-maid daughter of a bossy but intelligent father, who is on the brink of a major scientific breakthrough. Time is running out for the scientist, who desperately needs his foreign assistant in order to complete his project. Will Kate marry her father’s assistant so he can remain in the U.S.?  Should she allow herself to be used as a “bargaining chip” in her father’s quest for a scientific miracle? Will this opportunity turn Kate’s life around ... or ruin it?

This story has been chosen by the Hogarth Shakespeare Project as the reinterpreted, modern-day version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. It’s a clever story, and maybe not-so-far from modern-day dilemmas!

-Recommended by Virgie  


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The Little Paris Bookshop Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780553418798
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - March 22nd, 2016

If you are a Francophile, you’ll savor this book. If you also love bookstores, fine food, good wine, dare to think about death, and believe in the redemptive power of love, you are in for a treat.

The Little Paris Bookshop is imbued with romance and eroticism. The love stories that entwine Perdu and his companions are a tad idealized perhaps, but that can be forgiven in a novel that has the properties of a fable … it’s sort of a kid’s story for adults. The romance is enhanced and haunted by the omnipresence of death and heart-rending twists of fate. Residing in perplexing delight somewhere between escapist romp and serious literature, Nina George’s novel is worthy of the extensive attention it attracted prior to its publication in English.

-Recommended by Kim


Staff Pick Logo
The Widow Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781101990261
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - February 16th, 2016

Fiona Barton’s slippery debut is a top-notch addition to the growing field of psychological thrillers starring untrustworthy female characters, including The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

The intensity of the story comes from the three people who each share their perspectives of the events, as chapters alternate between the widow, the reporter, and the detective assigned to solve the missing child case. Each telling takes up where the previous chapter left off, creating a continuous, intriguing storyline. These brilliantly-crafted, revolving narratives form a realistic thriller that compels readers to continue reading, just as the detective compulsively continues to probe the case.

Through the three-pronged narrative, The Widow examines the depths of what spouses really know about each other and how they respond to each other’s needs. It also serves as a cautionary tale of internet exposure.

-Recommended by Kim


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The Girls in the Garden Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781476792217
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - June 7th, 2016

It’s the middle of summer in London. Long nights and hot days. A large private garden surrounded by posh flats. Young teenagers run around the park like it’s a wonder-filled extension of their homes but when Grace, a 13 year-old girl, is found unconscious lying half-clothed in the park after the annual Summer Garden Party, the question becomes who did it? And why?

Is Grace’s estranged father to blame? Or is it her new boyfriend, Dylan? How about the handsome, wolfish neighbor Leo, who has a history of womanizing?

This book keeps you guessing, searching deep into the long shadows of a summer night in the garden. It is filled with gentle redeeming characters like Grace’s little sister, Pip, and a giant pet rabbit the size of a small dog that Pip takes for walks in the park. This is a fast-paced mystery, a great summer read!

-Recommended by Ella


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Undermajordomo Minor Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062281227
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - June 21st, 2016

I read this hilariously awkward novel in two days precisely because it is so bizarre and so funny. Author Patrick deWitt is known as a stylist, who plays with a different genre in each of his books. Undermajordomo Minor is deWitt’s interpretation and satirization of a gothic fable. Lucy Minor--our whimpy, fibbing hero-- leaves his hamlet on a quest for “something to happen.” He takes a post as Undermajordomo (a glorified errand boy) in a decrepit castle in the mountains where everything is very… strange…

Patrick deWitt will be featured at the 2016 Literary Sojourn this September.

-Recommended by Emily


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See America: A Celebration of Our National Parks & Treasured Sites Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781452148984
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - March 22nd, 2016

This book is essentially National Park propaganda but, seriously, who doesn’t love our National Parks? From Shenandoah to the Great Basin, our National Parks cover beautiful landscapes and represent the defining essence of America: freedom. This book is a collection of posters celebrating our National Parks, Monuments and other treasured sites. The posters are designed by a non-profit art collective advocating the parks. The art is accompanied by a paragraph of information for each site. Check out page 86 for my favorite site in America!

-Recommended by Victoria


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Look at You Now: My Journey from Shame to Strength Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812998009
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House - June 28th, 2016

This is a memoir of a well-to-do seventeen year-old girl with college dreams, who finds herself pregnant senior year of high school. In order to keep the pregnancy a secret so as not to tarnish the family name, Liz agrees to be sent to a Catholic home for unwed mothers, but soon realizes her placement is in a locked detention center for delinquent and impoverished pregnant teens. Her background could not be any more different from  the young women she lives with for five months. Pryor’s resilience during her pregnancy is amazing.

Liz has kept the promise to her parents to never share her story ... until now, 36 years after the most difficult time of her life. She asks her mother, who is on her death-bed, what she would think about finally telling the story. Her mother’s answer is: “well, do whatever you want. Look at you now.” ... The perfect title!

-Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
Colorado's Hot Springs Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781941821138
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Westwinds Press - October 1st, 2014

Hot springin’ has easily become my new favorite hobby since moving to the West. Deborah Frazier’s guide to Colorado’s hot springs is the ultimate resource for discovering the amazing and relaxing benefits these geothermal phenomenons offer. She provides all the necessary information including coordinates, directions, maps, pictures, historical background and important tips to know. Flip through the book to find and explore some of Colorado’s natural gems. Strawberry Park is featured on the cover!

-Recommended by Victoria


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Colorado 14ers: The Standard Routes Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9780979966385
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Colorado Mountain Club Press - May 1st, 2010

This field guide to the tallest mountains in Colorado is inspiring as well as useful. Within its glossy pages are 54 mountains complete with gorgeous pictures and informative trail tips. At the back of the book there is even a checklist that can be used to keep track of your accomplished summits. Perfect for seasoned hikers, or just someone who wants a new summer challenge.

-Recommended by Aly


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The Boy at the Top of the Mountain Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781627790307
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt & Company - June 7th, 2016

Pierrot has no idea what is in store for him as WWII approaches his home in Paris. When Pierrot becomes orphaned, he is sent away to a children’s home. But the sisters who run the home  persist in finding family for Pierrot. He is then moved to live with his aunt, who works at a place called Eagle’s Nest. Pierrot is sheltered here from the war, until the very end... when he learns who the owner of the house truly is...

This is the newest book from John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. John does a beautiful job helping young readers understand WWII. Yet, while The Boy at the Top of the Mountain is written for young readers, as an adult, it made me reconsider the concept of nature vs. nurture.

-Recommended by Chris


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Between Shades of Gray Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780142420591
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - April 3rd, 2012

During World War II, the Baltic States lost more than 1/3 of their population, under the rule of Stalin. This historical fiction tells the terrifying story of Elena, a young Lithuanian girl whose family has been torn apart. Elena is deported to Siberia in the dead of winter, and through her recollections of her prior life, one is able to observe how her life has been disrupted. Elena asks herself, “Is it harder to die or harder to be the one who survives?” The inspiration for this book comes from the stories told to the author about her own family’s struggle in Lithuania during WWII. I believe this book will take its place next to The Diary of Anne Frank as a critical young adult WWII story.

 -Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
Salt to the Sea Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399160301
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - February 2nd, 2016

Salt to the Sea is a WW II story told through the eyes of four teens from diverse countries/backgrounds, whose lives converge as they each attempt to flee the Russian army. They have nothing in common except a need to escape. Their plight becomes an intimate journey of four souls, who must choose compassion and trust if they are to survive.

This is also the story of the Wilhelm Gustloff sea liner, which sank, taking over 9,000 of those on board to their deaths. Considered to be the deadliest maritime disaster in history, the Wilhelm Gustloff seems a secret of the WWII era. I’ve heard about the Titanic disaster, which took 1500 lives, but the Gustloff was far more devastating, claiming so many souls on a journey of hope and survival.

-Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
Paper Hearts Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481439831
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 1st, 2015

Zlatka and Fania are Jewish teens who meet and become friends in the WWII concentration camp, Auschwitz. As they each lose their entire family, they vow to become each other’s family! Birthday celebrations did not belong in Auschwitz, where one did not know if they would live another day. Nevertheless, Zlatka creates a birthday gift for Fania, taking great risks in doing so. This gift is now displayed at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Montreal.

This novel is based on a true story of Fania and Zlatka. It is written in verse, using words sparingly, but provides ample space for reader thought and interpretation. It is powerful ... it is real!

-Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
The Blackthorn Key Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781481446525
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - May 3rd, 2016

When Christopher is chosen to be an apothecary apprentice he has no idea what kind of life this will bring him. But anything has to be better than living in an orphanage. It is the year 1665 and Blackthorn is one of the best apothecaries in London. But when people are being murdered, Christopher has to find out who is behind the deaths of these other apothecaries. The Blackthorn Key is action-packed but also filled with interesting history and science.

-Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Death Weavers Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781442497092
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - March 15th, 2016

Cole and his band of friends have finally reached the fourth kingdom. But their troubles are not over yet. Cole now has to come to terms with a choice: go home or stay and continue to help the people of the Outskirts. How important is it to help the princesses get their powers back?  It’s even harder without his power. But he is a determined young boy with the whole world (Outskirts) ahead of him. Brandon Mull keeps this story going in full force. Both my children and I are awaiting the next book, due next year!

-Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
The Crown Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062392176
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Teen - May 3rd, 2016

The Crown is the fifth book in The Selection series and it continues where The Heir left off. Edalyn has narrowed her 35 suitors down to the elite and though she started this journey defiant to the possibility of ever finding true love, she finally has to admit she has feelings for every single young man pursuing her hand, albeit, for different reasons. As tensions in her beloved country of Illea mount, continuing to demand change, Edalyn feels rushed into a decision she’s unprepared to make. Will she do what’s best for her nation, or her heart?

-Recommended by Aly


Staff Pick Logo
The Crown's Game Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062422583
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - May 17th, 2016

Vika lives on a small island in Russia with her father. Nickolai was adopted as a small boy from a small village and now lives in St. Petersburg. The two grow up without knowing one another until the Crown’s Game comes to play. They both have have been mentored to be the Imperial Enchanter. And now the game is in play, to the death. Yet as the game progresses feelings start to develop between Vika and Nickolai. This is a fun historical fiction book with a twist of magic.

-Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Hello, My Name Is Octicorn Cover Image
By Kevin Diller, Binny Talib (Illustrator), Justin Lowe
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062387936
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - May 17th, 2016

This is a super-cute picture book about a very special creature who doesn’t really fit into either the unicorn world or the octopus world. He has great things to say about each and hopes to make friends even though he is different. The illustrations are so much fun and bring the whole story together.

-Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Secret Tree Fort Cover Image
By Brianne Farley, Brianne Farley (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763662974
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - April 12th, 2016

Secret Tree Fort is a book about sisters, reading, and imagination. One can go anywhere with an active imagination.  And play is very important part of life, not just as a kid but for adults too.

-Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
The Bureau of Misplaced Dads Cover Image
By Eric Veille, Pauline Martin (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771382380
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kids Can Press - August 1st, 2015

A young boy misplaces his dad. Luckily, there is a Bureau of Misplaced Dads where “at least 20 or 30 dads wander in every day...and their kids come to fetch them.” Here, the boy encounters a range of goofy dads: bearded dads, dads in striped sweaters, a dad who smells like the mountains. Will the boy find his lost dad in this bizarre world? Read to find out!

This picture book will make you and your dad laugh out loud at its wacky premise, kooky illustrations and dry humor!

-Recommended by Victoria


Staff Pick Logo
There's a Giraffe in My Soup Cover Image
By Ross Burach, Ross Burach (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062360144
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - February 23rd, 2016

Have you ever found a fly or strand of hair in your soup? What about a giraffe, alligator, or elephant? In this debut delight, Ross Burach plays author and illustrator as he creates an adorable story about a small mixup with huge consequences. What does a  little boy have to do to get some animal-free soup around here? The poor waiter runs around as confused as can be, desperately trying to serve his soup! After all, this restaurant is a fine dining establishment! Young readers age 4 to 8 will love the lyrical rhymes and clever illustrations. These hilarious antics are sure to cause some uncontrollable giggles!

-Recommended by Aly