Past Staff Picks - May, June '13

Boleto (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781555976125
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Graywolf Press, 5/2012
Ron's June 2013 Picks: Will Testerman, Will Testerman, Will Testerman! Who are you, Will Testerman? Boleto is Alyson Hagy’s answer. Will is a 23 year old man, raised on a ranch, comfortable on a horse, learning to be comfortable in his skin; quiet, polite, formal, striving to prove he knows.

Stacie M. Williams said of Boleto “it has the warmth of smooth, copper-colored whisky running through every page.” I couldn’t agree more:

“He rode in the very early morning sometimes. His saddle creaked like an old trapdoor in the autumn cold, and its leathers were unyielding and slick. The saddle fit like a stranger’s saddle until he warmed it. But it was a pleasure to nudge Hawk through the shadowed canals of fir and spruce, both of them making noise to alert foraging bears. Hawk’s hot breath came out in white clouds that condensed into frost on the buckles of his headstall. Will’s own nose went numb, and he had to wipe it dry with a bandanna whenever he could. But it was good to ride atop the hills and see the sun hammer its first hot spikes into the long, dark rail of the valley.”

Know what it’s like to know a horse, to ride the ranges and mountains of Wyoming and Colorado and Texas; and live and breathe the stables and taste the oats, and you have Boleto.

Theft (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781582438191
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint, 6/2012
Ron's June 2013 Picks: This is the story of Willa and Zeb, brother and sister, bound together by their childhood, inseparable even though apart as adults. Zeb has grown fiercely independent, tormented by what he knows or doesn’t know, and is at one in one place, outdoors, in the mountains, among the scent, rhythm, feel of the mountain’s trees, plants, earth and, most of all, animals. Willa has become a tracker of wolves, and now Zeb is gone, and she knows she must turn her skills to find her brother again.

“The first snowfall of the season came on the night Zeb set out from Gnarly’s. Not the spitting kind of snow that usually comes between fall and winter, but the kind when huge, wet flakes looked like stars taking their last breath before hissing and dissolving into the earth.”

Loren’s story unfolds the mystery of Willa and Zeb’s bond under the covers of some of the most beautiful images of the West I’ve read in a long time. Well worth the read.

ISBN-13: 9780816521104
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Arizona Press, 7/2012
Ron's June 2013 Pick: On February 10, 1918, Tom and John Powers, their father Jeff, and ranch hand Tom Sisson rose to the sound of gunfire. They were under attack. Minutes later three of them were on the run, down into Rattlesnake Canyon, on into the Dragoon Mountains of Arizona, working their way to the Chimichura Mountains, and from there, hopefully, to Mexico. John had a splinter in his eye, the casualty of a bullet that missed him but hit the doorjam to his left. Tom’s left eye was blind, too, glass splinters from a blown out window. Off they rode, sure to be pursued, for the men who’d attacked them were the law.

If Boleto is smooth and quiet and sober, With Blood in Their Eyes is a wild and dangerous chase, raw and muscular.

“He gave himself over to the race, pushing farther down, laying his shoulder into the horse’s lowered neck. His body was tense, nearly horizontal, and his heartbeat sped up to match that of his horse. There was no controlling the horse now. The horse was in full run, operating on a combination of terror of whatever was behind them and the desire to outrun the other horses. The horse was far beyond any commands a human might give it, and that suited John fine. He pressed himself into the horse, trying to make himself one with the animal.”

Want an old-fashioned western told well, With Blood in Their Eyes is for you.

The Ordinary Truth (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781937226060
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Torrey House Press, 11/2012
Ron's June 2013 Picks: "Chiseled and carved. That’s how I remember my father. Tall, lean, and muscular. Hair colored by the midday Nevada sun and styled by a strong Spring Valley wind. Skin like sandstone washed repeatedly by rain leaving behind the delicate traces of its travels. Beautifully nicked-up working hands. A fine piece of art”

This is the story of three generations of women, each hopelessly attached to the man who was their husband, father and grandfather, who together with the Baxter Ranch and Omer Springs, Nevada, has woven a spell on them even though he’s been gone for more than 30 years. Now Cassie, the granddaughter, has to break the spell.

She does, and the telling of this story, in the first person, is a true delight. Don’t miss it.

ISBN-13: 9780307378521
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Pantheon, 3/2013
Jenny's June 2013 Pick: Sandlin captures the true spirit of the extreme weather pioneers in a way only the ultimate history writer can. This book is perfect for those who love not only history but a delightfully written story as well.

ISBN-13: 9781250028655
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Press, 3/2013
Kim's June 2013 Pick: Therese Anne Fowler’s often superb novel. She makes excellent use of Zelda’s biographical details, and pays close attention to the different arguments about Zelda’s life with Scott: did she, as Hemingway always insisted, bring her husband down? Or was she, as recent biographers claim, the victim of a controlling husband jealous of her artistic talents?

The Yellow Birds (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780316219341
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books, 5/2013
Virgie's June 2013 Pick: This novel, written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, is the unbelievable story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. It provides insight about war and its effects on the men and women who take part in it. Powers compares rushing into battle to the moment before you collide with another car in an accident. There’s that same feeling of helplessness – the knowing that you may very well die in a mere second.This short novel is engrossing, had an immense impact on me and will stay with me for a very long time. I will never look at a veteran with the same eyes again! Powerful!

Garden of Stones (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780778313526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harlequin MIRA, 12/2012
Virgie's June 2013 Pick: I find it shameful how far Americans went in the name of fear and suspicion after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Americans of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps, and that is where this story takes place! Through the story of Miyako and her daughter Lucy, I learned much about that time in history, and pondered how far a mother would go to protect her daughter. The novel is engaging, even though I find this chapter of our nation’s history disheartening.

ISBN-13: 9780770436407
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Hogarth, 5/2013
Emily K's June 2013 Pick: Sonja, Akhmed, and Havaa are three ordinary people whose lives are linked together like the lines of constellations. The story takes place mostly in 2004, during the Second Chechen-Russian conflict, when ordinary Chechens were caught between Russian occupiers and the equally brutal rebel forces, and when thousands of these civilians arbitrarily “disappeared” at the behest of the Russian government. I love this book—and have been sharing it with others—because Anthony Marra so artfully presents a well-researched dose of Chechen history in a deeply human way.

Wash (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780802120663
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2/2013

Emily K's June 2013 Pick: Simple, profound, disturbing. Wash tells the intertwined stories of Washington, a man held in slavery as a breeding sire in early-nineteenth-century Tennessee; Richardson, a debt-laden war veteran and Wash’s owner; and Pallas, a midwife and healer enslaved on a nearby plantation. There is a prevailing element of African spirituality in the narratives of Wash and Pallas; Wash, for example, has internalized the spiritual lessons his mother shared with him as a child. He draws on that strength in order to transcend the sexual degradation, brutality, and dehumanization that Richardson in particular, and society in general, impose on him.

I enjoyed reading Wash and want to share it with others because it tells an important story that will complicate readers’ understanding of American slavery.

The Testing (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780547959108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 6/2013
Chris's June 2013 Pick: If you loved Hunger Games and Divergent…Then this is the next book that you should read. It takes you to new depths in what we can go though to improve our world and the kinds of values that go along with that. How far will you go to keep your memory?

The Dark (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316187480
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 4/2013
Chris's June 2013 Pick: This is a great story for those kids that don’t like the dark. Laszlo is given the best gift all by the one thing that he doesn’t like. The illustrations by Jon Klassen are wonderful.

Otis and the Puppy (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780399254697
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Philomel, 3/2013
Chris's June 2013 Pick: Otis has another great adventure. And this time with a new friend. And when the puppy goes missing Otis takes it upon himself to go find his new friend. Otis is so caring that is just rubs off on everyone else. Even your kids.

The Testing (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780547959108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 6/2013
Chris's June 2013 Pick: If you loved Hunger Games and Divergent…Then this is the next book that you should read. It takes you to new depths in what we can go though to improve our world and the kinds of values that go along with that. How far will you go to keep your memory?

The 5th Wave (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780399162411
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Putnam Juvenile, 5/2013
Chris's June 2013 Pick: In a dystopian world like any other, the 5th wave is coming and Cassie is learning to tell the difference between them and the remaining humans. This is an electrifying read. I loved the way Rick Yancey pulls you right in and doesn’t let you go until the very last page.

Shadow and Bone (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781250027436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish, 5/2013
Chris's June 2013 Pick: In the far off land of Ravka, Alina has to become a Grisha and go to court to be trained in magic (with what seems like a Russian twist). She has to leave all she knows behind, especially her best friend Mal. This is a fast paced read and I am eagerly waiting book 2.

Throne of Glass (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781619630345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 5/2013
Chris's 2013 Pick: Celaena’s adventure is far from the beginning, when she is released from prison to addend the king. He is holding a tournament to find the next Kings Champion. I loved this very strong female character. She not only has to win but she has to find herself along the way.

ISBN-13: 9780143123484
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 5/2013

Emily K's June 2013 Pick: This is the story of the sea—beginning billions of years ago when the oceans were just dense clouds of swirling vapor above the earth—and so too the story of modern humans, who have existed a mere 150,000 years. Callum Roberts demonstrates how the stories of the sea and humans are inextricably intertwined, and how the fates of both are in severe peril due to humans’ impact on the seas. Roberts, a marine biologist and talented writer, describes the devastating impact of fossil fuel extraction, climate change, chemical and noise pollutions, and over-fishing, and does so in an accessible way. Refreshingly, Roberts contends it is not too late to change course and mitigate the problems we have created. He offers ambitious yet realistic suggestions to reverse this course of destruction we have set upon the seas and ourselves.

Octopus Alone (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780670785155
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Juvenile, 5/2013
Emily K's June 2013 Pick: This sweet little octopus lives in a coral reef full of dazzling colors and speedy fish. Octopus is shy and wants desperately not to be seen by the other creatures on the reef, until an adventure in the deep ocean changes everything… Beautiful illustrations; perfect for summer.

ISBN-13: 9781586489991
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: PublicAffairs, 3/2013
Emily K's May 2013 Picks: Great Father’s Day read! In Bringing Mulligan Home, Pulitzer Prize-winner Dale Maharidge blends memoir and military history on this quest to understand his late father’s experiences as a Marine in the WWII Pacific Theatre, and by extension, the root of the anger that hung heavy on his own childhood. With help from twelve Marines from the company, Maharidge retraces Love Company’s involvement on Okinawa and Guam in an attempt to recover the true circumstances of the death of Mulligan, whose ghost seemed to haunt the author’s father. This is a lively, accessible, and non-glorifying history of the Pacific War, one that acknowledges war’s traumatic effect on combatants’ lives and the lives of their families’ long after the shrapnel stops falling.

ISBN-13: 9781594631764
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 5/2013

Virgie's May 2013 Pick: I am a Khaled Hosseini’s fan, who has been waiting five years for a new story, since Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I can truthfully say that this is certainly worth that very long wait.
This is the heart-breaking story of an Afghanistan family split apart by poverty and desperation. The story takes you on a journey spanning over 50 years and across multiple countries, yet starts and finishes with the same characters.

What more can I say … just read this book! You won’t be disappointed!

Y (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781451674385
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Free Press, 1/2013
Virgie's May 2013 Pick: This insightful, heart wrenching story is about an abandoned child and the mother who abandoned her at birth. It toggles between the mother’s story (from the past) and the young girl’s story, as she searches for her mother, her family, her identity. Both pain-filled stories are narrated by the young abandoned girl. My heart ached for the plight of both characters! It made me take a hard look at foster kids as well as parents who choose to give up their child. There is no easy answer!

The Dinner (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780770437855
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Hogarth, 2/2013
Virgie's May 2013 Pick: The scene for this novel is set; a dinner for four in a Dutch restaurant. The characters; two brothers with their wives. The dilemma; a terrible crime which both sons within each family hold equal responsibility. It made me think about how far we’ll go for those we love, particularly our children. The story is uncomfortable and although the plot captured my attention, I began to squirm, hoping, for the sake of the characters, for this dinner to finally be over!! I think this creative novel, written in Amsterdam, could possibly be the European version of Defending Jacob.

ISBN-13: 9780061992254
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: HarperCollins, 1/2012

Virgie's May 2013 Pick: ATTENTION! This has just been named the 2013 Newbery Award Winner for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature!

This touching book, based on a true story, is told through the voice of Ivan, a silverback gorilla. I just loved every character—both animal and human; Ivan the artistic gorilla, Stella the stoic mother elephant, Bob the tough on the outside but not so tough on the inside dog, and of course Ruby the baby elephant who just wants to be loved. And the humans: George the sympathetic caretaker and his daughter Julie, a bit like Fern in Charlotte’s web because she can almost understand Ivan—or at least understand his art. The book makes the reader both sad and happy at the same time and has a fantastic ending. It teaches compassion towards animals in the same way that Wilbur did in Charlotte’s web.

ISBN-13: 9780679824114
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers, 7/1992

Virgie's May 2013 Pick: If you are looking for a books to hook your kids interest, try reading the Magic Tree House series. Jack and Annie discover that their tree house is magic and they can be whisked away to faraway times and places by merely pointing to places in a book. This series is perfect for those beginning readers, who are seeking their first chapter books. This blend of magic, adventure, history, science and danger, will open the world to children.

It is difficult NOT to become hooked on reading when you indulge in this series!

ISBN-13: 9780062110831
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 4/2013
Chris's May 2013 Pick: What a wonderful debut author. This book is filled with so many intriguing characters that you just want to jump into the book. Golem and the Jinni are two mystic creatures that some how wind up in New York at the turn of the 19th century. Neither one knowing much about what the modern world is like. They have many trails and tribulations before they can find one another.

Taken (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780062117267
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Teen, 4/2013
Chris's May 2013 Pick: If you liked Maze Runner, you will like this. In a world in which you cannot go past the wall with out dying and having to be slated to some girl, who might get pregant, what are your other options? This book gives a guys point of view of being a teenage father. (There are so few of those.) But also not having the choice to be there to raise the child, for when they turn 18 they are heisted. I can't wait for more.

ISBN-13: 9781451617528
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Touchstone, 3/2013
Chris's May 2013 Pick: There are so many aspects of World War II that are never talked about, that any insight is wonderful. The Girls of Atomic City is about all the women that went to work on the Atomic Bomb. These are women that stepped up to help their country at it’s greatest time of need. They moved to Oak Ridge TN, where the government build a city overnight for this project. Denise interviewed many of the women that are still alive for this wonderful book. The things that women can do when they put their mind to it.

ISBN-13: 9780062118455
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Walden Pond Press, 4/2013
Chris's May 2013 Pick: This was just a wonderful as the first book, The Hero’s Guide to Saving your Kingdom. Now he Princes’ have taken care of the princesses, and now that they have redeemed themselves they are ready for another adventure. This book is just as fun and funny as the first. It is a must summer read for any age.

ISBN-13: 9780316053570
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 3/2013
Chris's May 2013 Pick: Lillian loves to be outside and explore the forest. She loves to pretend to see fairies there. She has no clue about magic until one day when she is changed into a kitten but the cats of the forest to save her life. Lillian has now joined a whole new world far beyond hers. This is a wonderful read aloud story to share. It also has fantastic illustrations by Charles Vess. Those who The Warriors series will love this too.

ISBN-13: 9781452109206
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books, 4/2013
Chris's May 2013 Pick: By the same authors that brought you Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Steam Train, Dream Train is about all the fun things that you can find on a train when you put your imagination to in. The illustrations are the other part that make this story so great. This is must a have for every little kid.

ISBN-13: 9781589251168
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tiger Tales, 3/2013
Chris's May 2013 Pick: This book is SO much fun. Douglas is going to a sleepover at rabbit and brings some friends. IT is a great discussion book for kids. What would you bring to a sleep over page, counting and how to solve a problem. What a great follow up to Hugless Douglas.