October 2015 Staff Picks

"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." – Haruki Murakami.

So without further ado, here are our staff picks!

Books: 
Staff Pick Logo
The Hummingbird Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062369543
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - September 8th, 2015

Candace’s Staff Pick, October 2015:

This is a fascinating read. With moments of history, pain, anger, hurt, forgiveness and love.

Deborah Birch is an experienced hospice nurse. She is married to a man who was loving and attentive but when he returned home from his third tour in Iraq he was angry, haunted by bad dreams and filled with rage.

Barclay Reed, a retired professor of history who left his teaching job after a scandal, is Deborah’s hospice patient. He’s bitter, angry and dying. He has no family to care for him and has fired all of the other hospice nurses, but meets his mental match with Deborah. Barclay is an expert on the Pacific Theatre of World War II. His knowledge of war helps Deborah deal with her husband and begin his healing process. At the same time Barclay comes to terms with his illness.

This is a wonderful story.


Staff Pick Logo
The Secret Chord Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780670025770
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - October 6th, 2015

Candace’s Staff Pick, October 2015:

Much has been written about King David but this novel by Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks takes the reader into the life of David, the man who went from being a lowly shepherd to King of Israel. The story is told by Natan, David’s prophet and counselor, the only person able to tell David what he really thinks and on whom David depends.

Natan tells of David’s wives and of their love, respect and hatred for the man. David is brought to life as a warrior, husband, father and gifted musician and song writer. His music is driven by the feelings and failings of the man.

It is an amazing novel.


Staff Pick Logo
Roar! Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780762457502
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Running Press Kids - October 13th, 2015

Candace’s Staff Pick, October 2015:

I picked this book up because of the cover illustration, which is adorable! This is a wonderful story of a lion cub and a bunny who become friends and frolic together one night.

Love this book!


Staff Pick Logo
Speak Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062391193
Availability: Backordered
Published: Ecco Press - July 7th, 2015

Kim’s Staff Pick, October 2015:

Boy, where to begin with this deservedly hyped second novel…

Emily St. John Mandel, an amazing author who won awards and accolades for her novel Station Eleven, really gave a terrific quote regarding this book:

"Speak is that rarest of finds: a novel that doesn’t remind me of any other book I’ve ever read. A complex, nuanced, and beautifully written meditation on language, immortality, the nature of memory, the ethical problems of artificial intelligence, and what it means to be human.”

If you are a David Mitchell fan you will really enjoy this novel as it traverses time and narrators.

There are 5 voices spanning time from a pilgrim girl, to a near-future discarded babybot. One of my favorite narrators is the famed code breaker, scientist Alan Turing, who speaks to us through found letters.

I really enjoyed this book! Very well written, compelling and will keep you thinking about it long after you finish!


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

Chris' Staff Pick, October 2015:

Paper Hearts is the story of a group of young women who go to great lengths to defy their circumstances to give one member of their group a happy birthday. These women did everything in their power to trade or steal for paper and scissors to create an origami heart while at Auschwitz concentration camp. This is the story of these women, how they came to this camp and how they survived.

Paper Hearts is beautifully written in prose. Wiviott brings all the feelings of the events to life in Paper Hearts.

This book is historical fiction, though based on true story. The paper heart is displayed at Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.


Staff Pick Logo
The Fate of Ten Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062194756
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - September 1st, 2015

Chris' Staff Pick, October 2015:

The Garde are finally coming head to head with each other and the Mogs in this next installment of the Lorien Legacies. The next question is who is going to live when the fight in over?

While Adam, Six, Marina and Sarah are off in the jungle of Mexico, John and Sam are in New York trying to save the city that is overrun with Mogs and take down Five. But as they meet new people, they begin to wonder what really happened in the jungle as these people start to show signs of their own legacies. Who all is going to get legacies and which side of the fight are they going to join?

Pittacus Lore keeps you on the edge of your seat again in this book.


Staff Pick Logo
Walk on Earth a Stranger Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062242914
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 22nd, 2015

Chris' Staff Pick, October 2015:

Leah has always known that she was a little more special than everyone else when it comes to things of gold. She can feel it in the ground and when it’s around. She has managed to keep this secret from almost everyone. Until the day that she comes home to find her parents have been murdered and her uncle comes in to take over her life.

Life in 1848 is not easy and it’s only going to get harder for Leah as she decides to run away to California during the gold rush.

Carson has brought all the feelings of crossing the United States in a covered wagon to life in her first book of her next series.


Staff Pick Logo
Michael Vey 5: Storm of Lightning Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781481444101
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - September 15th, 2015

Chris' Staff Pick, October 2015:

Michael and his friends the Elecrtoclan are on the move again in the 5th book of Michael Vey.

This is a fast-paced series that brings to life a group of teenagers as they come to terms with their electrical powers that they received from an experiment done on them by the Elgen in their attempts to take over the world's electrical power and the world as a whole.

 


Staff Pick Logo
Frankenstein Cover Image
By Mary Shelley, Saviour Pirotta (Adapted by), Franco Rivoli (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781609927356
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: QEB Publishing - October 1st, 2015

Shane’s Staff Pick, October 2015:

As children, most of us are taught that the world is black and white. Only as adults do we truly realize that this is not so.

Frankenstein takes and twists one of the oldest questions that can be asked: “Is death really the end?” as well as: “Am I a bad person by nature? Or by what society deems me?”

Written in a classic style, Frankenstein is a great read for everyone who sees and understands how to walk that ‘black and white’ line.

This timeless classic continues to live up to expectations, and just in time for the spirit of Halloween.


Staff Pick Logo
Where the Wild Things Are Cover Image
By Maurice Sendak, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9780060254926
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - December 26th, 2012

Shane’s Staff Pick, October 2015:

Maurice Sendak tells the story of a young child’s journey through his imagination, finding wondrous creatures in a fantastic land. As this boy learns through experience that his ‘wild’ side may be out of control at times, he is ‘tamed’ by his parents' love in the end, leading him back home.

This is a must-read for everyone whose imagination leads them to fantastic places.


Staff Pick Logo
Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life's Darkest Hours Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780399174452
Availability: Special Order
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - October 6th, 2015

Virgie's Staff Pick, October 2015:

Kaitlin’s darkest hour occurred on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a “madman” with a weapon shot his way into her perfect school. Kaitlin was the first grade teacher who saved her entire class by cramming them into a single stall bathroom to hide, while hearing the brutality just outside the door.

This is not the account of that day, but rather the days that followed.

Realizing that her students had their normal lives taken from them, this dedicated teacher struggled with ways to reassure her students that “the monster under their bed wasn’t real,” when in fact, they had already met the monster.

Kaitlin struggles to answer two questions: "How do I make sure that the deeds of a madman do not prevent us from moving forward to live good and meaningful lives?" and "How do we gain back the sense of control that he took from us?". Her answers are hopeful, and can be applied to any personal tragedy happening within your own life.

This account gave me food for thought! You CAN choose hope even in the darkest hour.


Staff Pick Logo
Kid Moses Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781628725711
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcade Publishing - October 27th, 2015

Virgie's Staff Pick, October 2015:

This is the story of Moses, a pre-adolescent living a homeless life in Tanzania.

Each time I read about street children it makes me wonder if I am living in the same world as they do! Following Moses as he seeks new places to live within Tanzania, I begin to see the “good” present in such a dire situation. This is the kind of “good” that comes from nothing!

This book was a perfect value check for me; What in this life IS really important?


Staff Pick Logo
Did You Ever Have a Family Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781476798172
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - September 1st, 2015

Virgie's Staff Pick, October 2015:

A tragedy occurs in the small town of Wells, Connecticut, where townspeople think they know everyone else’s business. It’s this kind of thinking that spreads rumors and devastates lives.

All we know from the start is that a fiery explosion occurs in a family home the night before a much anticipated wedding. Every person in the home dies, except the mother of the bride.

Each chapter of the novel is told from the point of view of a different surviving town character, exposing their connections with the deceased, as well as with each other. In this way, the mystery of the tragedy is revealed. The cast of characters is long and complicated, but all comes together in the end.

The message I pulled from this story is that we all play a part in this crazy, unpredictable universe. That part may hold significant meaning to another, whether we realize it or not.

This is one of those mesmerizing novels that catches you right away, and keeps you going till the end!


Staff Pick Logo
The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780735205437
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Prentice Hall Press - August 4th, 2015

David's Staff Pick, October 2015:

I met Victor Lipman when he got his usual cup of coffee each day here at Off the Beaten Path. “Medium or dark roast? Small or large?” It never mattered to easy-going Victor, a self-identified “Type B” individual. Little did I know that Victor was the author of this modern management masterpiece. What I appreciate most about The Type B Manager is its candor, simplicity and extendibility. This is not just a book for managers, but for anyone who works with other people.


Staff Pick Logo
The Buried Giant Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780307271037
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 3rd, 2015

David’s Staff Pick, October 2015:

Acclaimed author Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in nearly 10 years, The Buried Giant did not disappoint. Distinctly different than his well-known The Remains of the Day and Never Let me Go, this is an allegory exploring the place of history and memory in society. Are we fashioned by our past, are we slaves to it, or have we the ability to be completely liberated from deeds long done? Typical of Ishiguro’s writing, this book requires a second look in order to see the Buried Giant clearly.