Dapper December Staff Picks

Dip into these dapper December Staff Picks! Decide what will be your holiday read!

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A Confederacy of Dunces (Evergreen Book) By John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword by) Cover Image
By John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802130204
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - January 21st, 1994

Don Quixote is, of course, at the top of the family tree of tragicomic literary figures.  Ignatius J. Reilly, the protagonist in this Pulitzer Prize winning novel, sits atop the branch for contemporary fiction.  Writers I admire and enjoy like T.C. Boyle and Sam Lipsyte have attempted to create antiheroes as compelling and complicated as Reilly, and they have failed.  The glimpse into Reilly’s travails this book provides is what fiction is all about.  It’s an escape to a life and a mind that only one person could have imagined, and thank goodness it was published.

-Mike

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The Last Chairlift By John Irving Cover Image
$38.00
ISBN: 9781501189272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 18th, 2022

If you’re looking for a story to lose yourself in this winter, then please consider this nearly 900-page story written by one of the world’s greatest novelists, John Irving. Travel back to the 60s and 70s, a time when sexual differences were intolerable, and reflect on the role that politics and religion played in this discrimination! Told through the voice of Adam, who is merely an observer of sexual differences, the reader can perceive the hatred and violence of the moral majority. The story, which is laced with humor (to temper the hatred) takes place within the Colorado downhill ski culture, which makes the story even more appealing! It’s not often that I will persevere with a commitment of such a monster of a book, but I’m happy I did! It’s Irving’s last work of art!

-Virgie

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The Woman in the Window: A Novel By A. J. Finn Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062678423
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 5th, 2019

This book was assigned as required reading by my English class. I have never read anything in the Mystery genre before. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The novel is similar to the movie Rear Window but has its own modern twist. The author has an interesting take on describing emotion. It was interesting to read and I loved trying to figure out who the murderer was. 

-Eva

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Forever, Interrupted: A Novel By Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781476712826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - July 9th, 2013

This book surprised me! I was merely expecting an interesting story with a bit of drama, but instead I found a treasure of wisdom about grief! The story follows the lives of two women grieving the loss of the loves of their life; one woman has lost her husband and son, the other woman, recently married, lost her husband. I watched the women navigate their grief, and soon realized the author was brilliantly conveying the five stages of grief. As a result of their losses, these two women formed a relationship with each other they would never have had; a childless mother connecting with a motherless child. The story is a testament that while enduring the pain of loss and grief, one can arrive at the other end with strength and a new-found perspective of happiness. Life DOES go on!

-Virgie

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The Starless Sea: A Novel By Erin Morgenstern Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781101971383
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - August 4th, 2020

The Starless Sea completely pulled me in from its opening pages! It sets up a meta approach to the idea and purpose of stories and their life cycles. Zachary Ezra Rawlins finds a mysterious book in his college library and gets caught in the middle of a struggle between those who want to preserve stories and those who work to destroy them. He finds himself in a secret underground world confronted by the difficulty of learning when things need to end in order for something new to begin. The book delightfully revealed itself as a mystery, adventure, and LGBTQ+ romance suspended in a world of poetry. It is a wonderfully imaginative world-is rich as that of the Night Circus by this same author! The story lifts from every page and wonderfully subtle humor leads the way. Lots of cats accompany this journey, which makes this book even more purr-fect. 

-Annali

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The Bone People: A Novel By Keri Hulme Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140089226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 7th, 1986

Kerewin lives a solitary life. Alone in her tower on a rainy night Simon, a young and speechless boy, breaks into her home and life. This intrusion begins to break down her tower walls and bring her into a new life.

This is a heart-wrenching book. Life’s beauty and horrors go hand and hand in this literary masterpiece.

-Izzy


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I'm Glad My Mom Died By Jennette McCurdy Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781982185824
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 9th, 2022

With a title like that, you should know that you’re in for an intense read. Jennette McCurdy knew even from a young age that she did not want to be an actress - that was always her mom’s dream. But McCurdy also learned from a young age that she would do almost anything to please her mother, a small but ferociously manipulative woman hellbent on making her daughter a star, no matter the cost.

McCurdy’s unsparing narration is gut-wrenching and courageous, driving home the point that oftentimes it’s those we love the most who have the greatest capability to harm us. 

-Megan

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The Princess Bride Deluxe Edition Hc: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure By William Goldman Cover Image
$37.00
ISBN: 9781328948854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - October 10th, 2017

I’m typically not a fan of fantasy, but this novel always knocks my socks off,  every time I read it! The Princess Bride is a fairy tale for adults (and brave younger readers), filled with adventure, lovable, unforgettable characters, a bit of humor, and a ton of love! In my opinion, this Deluxe hardcover edition would serve as a perfect holiday gift! The book itself is gorgeous, with rough cut pages, elegant foil embossed cover, and fifty full page color illustrations. Once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down!

-Virgie

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Gift from the Sea: 50th-Anniversary Edition By Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Reeve Lindbergh (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Reeve Lindbergh (Introduction by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780679732419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - January 30th, 1991

“What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives.

It puts the trapeze artist to shame.”

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This book was written in 1955 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of an international hero, and mother of five children, who endured the loss of her firstborn being kidnapped. Morrow’s intent was to escape to the sea for two weeks, alone, merely to find her soul, and find her soul she did! The result of these two weeks is within the pages of this book, sharing her wisdom and encouragement to find one’s own harmony. I’ve read this book several times, at different seasons of my own life, which has always given me inspiration!

-Virgie

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Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine By Madeline Puckette, Justin Hammack Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781592408993
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery - September 22nd, 2015

Wine Folly is truly the essential guide for anyone looking to learn more about wine, winemaking, and wine tasting.  Madeline Puckette is a globally recognized sommelier but her fun attitude towards wine and sharing her knowledge on her blog makes it a very approachable book for those who are just starting out! This was the first wine book I ever owned and I use it almost every time I drink wine. It opens with basic information on wine making, wine tasting, and wine pairing. Then there is a comprehensive analysis of the most commonly consumed grape varietals. Each page is a breakdown of an individual grape varietal; the expected flavor profiles, geographical information, fun facts, and pairing notes. The tasting wheels for each type of wine have been super helpful for me to develop my palette and expand my understanding of the nuances of wine. For those looking for an even more in-depth dive into the world of wine, I would also recommend her second book, Wine Folly: Magnum Edition. 

-Gretchen

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Fire & Blood (HBO Tie-in Edition): 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (The Targaryen Dynasty: The House of the Dragon) By George R. R. Martin, Doug Wheatley (Illustrator) Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780593598009
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - July 12th, 2022

This over 700-page fictional history book is a must-read for super fans of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones! Take a deep dive into the reign of one of the most well-known houses in all of Westeros and read of love, betrayal, religion, politics, and, best of all, dragons! Fire and Blood covers everything starting with Aegon the Conqueror winning The 7 Kingdoms to the Targaryen civil war dubbed the Dance of Dragons. 

I personally really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for anyone wishing to be fully immersed in the Known World or anyone wanting to learn everything there is to know about the infamous House of the Dragon!

-Isabella

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Parable of the Sower By Octavia E. Butler Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538732182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 30th, 2019

This brilliant dystopian novel caught my attention after reading The Handmaids Tale. Although first published in 2019, the story takes place in 2024, which is just around the corner from where we are now! Lauren Olamina lives in a society that has grown unstable due to climate change, growing wealth inequality, and corporate greed. In an attempt to survive her dire future, Lauren creates her own religion, Earthseed, which is based on CHANGE, the only thing we cannot stop! This novel forces the reader to acknowledge the future we are creating, right now, and the vision is terrifying because there is an eerily dangerous parallel to our present path in this world!

“All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you!”

This story is also available as a Graphic Novel Adaptation.

-Virgie

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Nettle & Bone By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250244048
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - April 26th, 2022

Nettle and Bone surprised me. I had no idea what I was getting into, and when it became clear I couldn’t stop reading, I didn’t mind that I had fallen into a bone pit with the protagonist. Nettle and Bone follows Marra, a princess who doesn’t want to be one. She watches her sisters get sent off to marry the prince of the Northern kingdom from the safety of her convent. Her older sister dies after a ‘fall’ and her second oldest sister takes her place. Marra assumes they are happy, or at least safe until she visits and sees her sister’s bruises. To save her sister, Marra undertakes a number of impossible tasks, saves someone from the goblin market, and tracks down her ‘trying-really-hard-to-be-good’ wicked godmother.

Nettle and Bone is an excellent adventure tale. It is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Naomi Novik. There are lines that stopped me dead in my tracks to laugh or think. I thoroughly enjoyed being swept along by this tale.

-Izzy 

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Hack/Slash Omnibus Volume 1 By Tim Seeley, Stefano Caselli (Artist), Dave Crosland (Artist) Cover Image
By Tim Seeley, Stefano Caselli (Artist), Dave Crosland (Artist)
$29.99
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781607062738
Published: Image Comics - August 31st, 2010

Made by a real fan of the genre, Hack/Slash follows the daughter (and Final Girl) of a supernatural Slasher, ala Jason or Freddy. Packed full of blood and guts, this graphic novel examines the genre it exists within, as well as celebrates it in all of its campy glory. Artfully done with a wide array of artists, this is NOT a graphic novel you should let get away.

-Ryan


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Shatter Me By Tahereh Mafi Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062085504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - January 9th, 2018

I’m always on the lookout for an interesting dystopian novel to question everything I know about the future. Shatter Me was exactly what I was looking for.  Set in a world where the Reestablishment has taken over. Juleitte sits alone in an asylum. She was put there because everyone around her believes she's a monster. “ I've been locked up for 264 days.” The first line hooked me and now I can’t get enough of the series. 

-Eva

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Amber and Clay By Laura Amy Schlitz, Julia Iredale (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Laura Amy Schlitz, Julia Iredale (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781536228144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - September 6th, 2022

This summer I am lucky enough to be accompanying 16 former students on a trip to Greece. This trip developed out of our shared love of Greek Mythology and travel. In preparation for our trip, we are currently reading Amber and Clay. This book follows the lives of two Greek children: Rhaskos, a boy who is a slave for a wealthy family, and Melisto, a girl who is a daughter of Athens aristocracy. Hermes also takes a turn narrating from Mount Olympus. What I love most about this book is the history embedded within it. While there is plenty of mythology to appease Percy Jackson fans, there is even more history learned from this book. Each chapter is inspired by an actual piece of art found in ancient Greece. An unlikely friendship with Socrates also provides great insight into the famous philosopher. Alternating between poetry and prose in the unique style of Schlitz, this book is an absolute must for young (and old) lovers of Greek Mythology and ancient history.

-Danielle

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Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston By Esme Symes-Smith Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593485774
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Labyrinth Road - November 8th, 2022

This book is so needed for younger readers right now. Written by a non-binary author, this story follows Callie, our non-binary tween hero as they fight for their dream of becoming a knight while navigating an unforgiving and ignorant world. It’s an LGBTQ+ DREAM in a middle-grade high fantasy novel.
This book does not shy away from the difficulties many trans and non-binary children face, with intense themes of queerphobia and child abuse, but the strength and fierce resolve of the main cast of characters always bring the focus back to hope and kindness and the importance of staying true to who you are. It also highlights the importance and beauty of ‘found family’: that family is who loves and accepts you exactly as you are, with no conditions. This book is about self-discovery married with sword fights, dragons, witches, and magic. It ticks every box and will mean so much to this new generation of young readers. For those who loved Tamora Pierce growing up and wants to pass on the beauty of staying true to yourself- this is the book for you.

-Annali

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A Field Guide to Mermaids By Emily B. Martin Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781250794321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - September 27th, 2022

A beautifully illustrated guide to all of the mermaids of the world written by an experienced park ranger! Martin incorporates lessons on biology and ecology all the while filling the pages with magical depictions of these mythical creatures and their aquatic friends. Intelligent and informative, this book is fun for middle-grade kids and adults as well! If you love the earth’s natural bodies of water and all the critters that call them home, I highly recommend this read!

-Isabella

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Dragon Rider By Cornelia Funke Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780545316484
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - April 1st, 2011

Follow along as a silver dragon named Firedrake teams up with a human boy and a brownie as they travel across the world to save the dragon species. I positively adored this book as a kid and it was one of the first serious chapter books I ever read! Very simple and enchanting, this heartwarming classic captured my little 6-year-old heart and I proceeded to read it at least once a year! I couldn’t recommend this book enough for kids just beginning to broaden their reading horizons and pick up bigger books.

-Isabella

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The Velveteen Rabbit By Margery Williams, William S. Nicholson (Illustrator) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781944686468
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Racehorse for Young Readers - March 7th, 2017

This simple story of a stuffed rabbit who was loved SO MUCH that he became real, was published in 1922, but remains a loved classic for kids! This is a perfect story to snuggle up and read to kids of any age, a real family keepsake, and in my opinion, a wonderful gift for the holidays, as it takes place at Christmas time.

Add this book to your child’s collection, as I’m sure he will carry it with him!

-Virgie

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Snow Horses: A First Night Story By Patricia MacLachlan, Micha Archer (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Patricia MacLachlan, Micha Archer (Illustrator)
$18.99
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781534473553
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - November 8th, 2022

Snow Horses is a team-up of an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator to celebrate a beautiful small town's New Year’s Eve.  New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday, and this book does such a great job of illustrating the unique mix of hope for the future and nostalgia for the past, which only really happens one night a year.  The art style is wonderfully done up by Caldecott winner Micha Archer, and mixes mediums to astonishing effect.  Definitely pick this one up for a read-aloud with your kids.  You (probably) won’t even have to put on a fake New Year’s Eve countdown to lure them to sleep!

-Jenna


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The Christmas Pine By Julia Donaldson, Victoria Sandoy (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Julia Donaldson, Victoria Sandoy (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338829273
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - October 4th, 2022

This loving tribute to a Christmas tree is based on the real story of how the Norwegian people grow a special pine tree each year to be sent to the British people as a thank-you for their help during WWII. Follow the journey of this Norwegian Pine from its time growing to be shipped across the sea to being set up in Trafalgar Square. Join the Queen of the Forest as children sing and dance, people stop and stare, and animals frolic around her base. This one is destined to be a Christmas classic!

-Jenna