December Staff Picks For Everyone This Holiday Season

“Books were safer than other people anyway.”  ― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Books: 
Staff Pick Logo
Sleeping Beauties: A Novel Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781501163401
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - September 26th, 2017

I happen to be a Stephen King fan; I am hard-pressed to see where the influence of his son shows itself, unless it’s the topic itself.  The two of them write together seamlessly.  Women in the small Appalachian town of Dooling go to sleep, but don’t wake up; they instead become enshrouded in a cocoon-like covering.  They awake to find themselves in a parallel world, but without men.  The men are in the original town of Dooling, sans the women in their lives.  It’s a weirdly interesting look at how men make some decisions, and how women can come to other, more pacifistic answers to the same questions.  A woman named Eve Black has come to Dooling - seems to be a part of this “sleeping” - yet she is special, almost supernatural, and MAY have the answers the men are looking for.  We have to come up with our own solutions, in the end.

- Recommended by Katie D.


Staff Pick Logo
Higglety Pigglety Pop! Cover Image
By Maurice Sendak, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)
$8.95
ISBN: 9780064430210
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - June 1st, 1979

It happens that I’m a Maurice Sendak freak - his illustrations were the catalyst for my reading my very first book when I was four, and the love affair has endured lo these many years.

 

Jennie is our protagonist in the tale - a Cairn Terrier of the finest pedigree.  Jennie has everything a dog (or person) could want; a comb and brush, two different types of pills, eyedrops, eardrops, even a red sweater for the cold weather.  The only thing Jennie didn’t have was EXPERIENCE; and that’s what she sets out to find. Jennie’s not a particularly loving or caring dog, but she has personality that knows no bounds.  I read this when I was 23 or so, and giggled my way through it.  It’s a rollicking good time.

  • Recommended by Katie D.


Staff Pick Logo
The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780345546807
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bantam - November 21st, 2017

This is the second in the Jane Hawk series.  Jane Hawk is an intrepid adventurer; her husband has been killed, one originally thinks, by the government.  There are microchips being implanted into people with or without their knowledge, which will make them either compliant with the powers that be, or they will be eradicated.  Jane is one of those who will not succumb, and is armed and poised to handle all comers.  She has a son, whom she is hiding with friends; she longs to make this world a good enough one that she can bring her son out in the open. This is one of  Dean Koontz’ many reincarnations - from his “Stephen King” phase to his “Odd Thomas” group of books, and on, and on. I’ve never been disappointed.

  • Recommended by Katie D.


Staff Pick Logo
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316508889
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 31st, 2017

Sometimes, as a reader, you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a book that has a world you wish would wrap you in its cozy embrace and never let you go. That’s how Nevermoor made me feel - it has amazing, quirky characters, giant talking cats, a fantastical city, and one elite society. I tore through this book! Great for ages 10-13. Available in eBook as well.

If you like this you will like: Peter and the Starcatchers, and The Mysterious Benedict Society

  • Recommended by Megan


Staff Pick Logo
Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250106490
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - September 26th, 2017

Been reading some heavy stuff lately? In need of a laugh, or just a decent recommendation? This is the book for you! Annie Spence is a librarian with a great sense of humor, which she puts to use writing letters to just a few of the many books she’s come across in her career/life. You’ll probably find yourself giggling out loud and running to show your friend/coworker/significant other the hilarious passage you just read. Annie is a queen of book recommendations - I wish I could keep this on my desk and check it every time someone asks me what to read next! Available in eBook.

  • Recommended by Megan


Staff Pick Logo
Holidays on Ice Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316078917
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - October 20th, 2010

Taking the wise advice of Annie Spence (Dear Fahrenheit 451), I picked up this short collection of “holiday” essays on the promise that I would find them quirky, disturbing, and ultimately charming. Sedaris is alternately hysterical and deeply cynical, but always an incredible writer. If you’re already sick of the Christmas music, the crass commercialism, and the swarms of holiday crowds, just read this and bask in the knowledge that you are not alone in your dark observations. Available in eBook.

  • Recommended by Megan


Staff Pick Logo
Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala Cover Image
By Lina Maslo, Lina Maslo (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062560773
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 23rd, 2018

This picture book for young children tells the story of Malala, the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. Courageous to use her words and actions to impact women’s equality in her country of Pakistan, Malala is a real-life “super hero.” This is an inspirational true story which could serve as a great read-aloud with your youngster, providing a perfect opportunity to look at a world that is not equal, yet has the potential to be “free as a bird.”

  • Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
Giving Thanks: More than 100 ways to say thank you Cover Image
By Ellen Surrey (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781847808790
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lincoln Children's Books - October 4th, 2016

I read this picture book and knew immediately it would be the perfect gift for my grandkids. It is full of ways to be grateful, with each page illustrated according to various aspects of gratefulness. The last pages of the book directs the child to create their own Gratitude Jar. This book is the perfect tool to teach mindfulness, in a fun a thought provoking way!

  • Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
You're All Kinds of Wonderful Cover Image
By Nancy Tillman, Nancy Tillman (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250113764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - October 3rd, 2017

I always look forward to another new amazing picture book written by my favorite children’s author, Nancy Tillman! All of her books have the common underlying message to children; YOU ARE SPECIAL, YOU ARE LOVED! The specific message in this book is to identify and be proud of individual uniqueness, instead of following the crowd. I have every one of Tillman’s books, and I’ve read them to my grandkids so many times that they can recite parts from memory. These books are a real treasure!

  • Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth Cover Image
By Oliver Jeffers, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780399167898
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - November 14th, 2017

This book describes planet Earth with simple words and illustrations. It allows the child to understand and appreciate how he/she fits in on this large planet in space, sharing it with other people and animals. The message is plain and simple; “Make sure you look after it, (Earth) as it’s all we’ve got.”  

  • Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
The Deal of a Lifetime Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781501193491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - October 31st, 2017

It’s Christmas Eve when a father, diagnosed with cancer, reflects on his life and regrets the time he has spent working to “get ahead” instead of spending important moments with his son. He is rich, and obsessed with leaving a legacy, but is he happy? Has he made a difference in anyone’s life? In the hospital room next to this father is a five year old girl, dying of cancer. His encounters with this brave, young girl pushes his thinking, until he makes “a deal of a lifetime.” This short novella by the author of A Man Called Ove, is packed full of insights about life and death. If you want “food for thought” then you’ll love this story!

  • Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
Uncommon Type: Some Stories Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781101946152
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - October 17th, 2017

Do you suffer from fear of commitment? This collection of short stories written by Tom Hanks (actor, writer, volleyball enthusiast) features only one common theme throughout: typewriters. Although I am still trying to figure out where his fascination with typewriters comes from, in Uncommon Type Tom Hanks weaves typewriters in and out of every story, sometimes even just as a background detail. If you like picking up a book for the occasional heartwarming snapshot into people’s lives, and you like Tom Hanks, this book will bring you to a happy place without commiting you to a full novel this winter season. Enjoy!

  • Recommended by Anne


Staff Pick Logo
If Picasso Painted a Snowman Cover Image
By Amy Newbold, Greg Newbold (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9780884485933
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tilbury House Publishers - October 3rd, 2017

What a wonderful kid’s book about famous artists and what their paintings would look like if they all painted a snowman. Follow the little friend through the book with each new artist, look for his different tributes to the artists. At the end is a little bio about each artist.  This is so much fun to read, and there are so many things to talk about on each page. Perfect for ages 3-9.

  • Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
The War That Saved My Life Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780147510488
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - May 31st, 2016

World War II has just started and people have no idea what this is going to mean for residents of England.  When Ada first hears that they were starting to evacuate the children from London, she takes it upon herself to get herself and her brother out too. She has no idea what is in store for them on the train ride or where they were going.   Her first challenge is to learn how to walk, something that she has never really done, because she has a clubfoot and has been locked in their one room home her whole life. This a wonderfully moving story that brings together people who didn’t know that they needed each other. For ages 8 and up.  

If you liked this book you should then read the next one The War I Finally Won.

  • Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World Cover Image
By M.E. Furman, Susan Gal (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544226203
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 17th, 2017

This is a wonderful book full of all different cultures and what kind of treats that they make and share with Santa and his reindeer.  Each page also contains other fun traditions from that country for the holiday season.  At the back is a receipt for cookies listed in the book.  They are very tasty,  I have made a few. For ages 3-8.

  • This is a wonderful book full of all different cultures and what kind of treats that they make and share with Santa and his reindeer.  Each page also contains other fun traditions from that country for the holiday season.  At the back is a receipt for cookies listed in the book.  They are very tasty,  I have made a few. For ages 3-8.

  • Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
All the Wind in the World Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781616206666
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 10th, 2017

All Sarah Jac and James have come to expect is the hard life of migrant workers in the fields of maguey that cover the otherwise barren land.  But they must keep their love a secret other wise it may destroy them.  This is book of friendship and love and how hard those things can been when you have work so hard. And how you can overcome such hardships with a little willpower. Ages 13+.

  • Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Snow Beast Comes to Play Cover Image
By Phil Gosier, Phil Gosier (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626725195
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - November 7th, 2017

This is such a delightful book about friendship and not to judge other people. The Snow Beast just wants to play, which is unlike any other Snow Beast.  So he heads to a town to find a friend.  This is full of different font types and sizes that make the story so much fun to read aloud. The illustrations really bring to life the feelings of the Snow Beasts. Ages 3-8.

  • Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Something’s Fishy Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780714875316
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Phaidon Press - October 16th, 2017

The author Jean Gourounas has come up with a very creative way to hide what someone is really doing.  With unique illustrations and fun characters this is a great gift for a birthday kid. There are all sorts of animals to talk about in this wintery story.  What a treat!!!

This is a great book for those kids that are starting to read on their own. Ages 3-8.

  • Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
It: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781501142970
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - January 5th, 2016

It is ancient and terrifying. It knows what you most fear. In fact, It feeds upon your fears. Stephen King’s masterpiece IT chronicles the story of the Loser’s Club, seven friends drawn together through mutual horror. The novel tells us two separate but parallel encounters with the titular villain - one in which we meet our protagonists as children, and one where they make good on their childhood promise to return as adults. This novel serves as an introduction to King’s overarching quasi-Lovecraftian mythos. Definitely a must-read for all fans of the horror genre.

  • Recommended by Scott


Staff Pick Logo
Dune Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780441172719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace - September 1st, 1990

Frank Herbert’s gigantic, sweeping epic novel revolves around the mysterious spice known as Melange. The Spice has many qualities and effects - it can bestow psychic powers and allows space travel! The Spice can be found on only one planet in the universe - the desert planet of Arrakis, also known as Dune. With pseudo-religious undertones, richly detailed ecology, and compelling characters, one gets the impression that Mr. Herbert did not invented Arrakis, but rather visited and came back to report to us.

  • Recommended by Scott


Staff Pick Logo
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781451673319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 10th, 2012

Guy Montag was a fireman. Not the kind of fireman we are accustomed to reading about - no, Guy Montag starts fires. In Ray Bradbury’s bleak dystopian future, books are the ultimate contraband. The powers that be feel that books must be destroyed at the hands of firemen like Guy. Guys’ existence is shaken when he meets someone who attempts to awaken him to the power and importance of each and every book.

  • Recommended by Scott


Staff Pick Logo
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780375725609
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - February 10th, 2004

In Chicago, near the end of the 1800s, two very different narratives were unfolding. On one hand, the World’s Fair was imminent, showcasing the newest and most wonderful products the world had to offer, including the electric light, shredded wheat, and Pabst beer (it was at this event that it won its trademark Blue Ribbon). On the other hand, one of the most prolific and unheard of serial killers was playing his trade. Beautifully told and impeccably researched, Mr. Larson brings to life this extremely interesting period in American history.

  • Recommended by Scott


Staff Pick Logo
A Clockwork Orange (Norton Paperback Fiction) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393312836
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 1995

Burgess’ lead character in this novel has almost no redeeming qualities. And he speaks his own language. Alex, our narrator, lives in an ultra-violent world of immediate gratification that he himself has created. (See the conveniently provided glossary if you get lost.) Alex’s world get turned on its head, as realities based on selfish violence tend to do. A Clockwork Orange will have the reader questioning his or her own moral code, and the answers are neither simple nor black-and-white.

  • Recommended by Scott


Staff Pick Logo
The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061537967
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - May 22nd, 2018

Garth Stein’s narrator, Enzo, has a unique problem when it comes to communication with the other characters in this novel. The problem is, Enzo is a dog. His tongue, while adept at lapping water, will not form words, much to Enzo’s frustration. His love for his race-car driver master is unflinching and heartwarming, even in the face of tragedy, of which there is much. If you love racing, or have a furry four-legged friend, this book will have you alternately crying and laughing out loud.

  • Recommended by Scott


Staff Pick Logo
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061779756
Availability: Backordered
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 9th, 2012

Christopher Moore is a genius when it comes to causing the reader to re-examine a topic that seems familiar and accepted. In previous works, he takes an irreverent swipe at religion, death, and love, to name a few. In Sacre Bleu, we re-visit the French Impressionist painters. We meet Blue and her filthy sidekick, as they influence painters that are now considered household names, with hilarious results. Moore, as always, is laugh-out-loud funny and his tongue-in-cheek silliness is addictive!

  • Recommended by Scott


Staff Pick Logo
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780345391803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - September 27th, 1995

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series is a hilarious work of comedic science fiction. Adam’s wit and slapstick humor is unparalleled to anyone else in the genre. Arthur Dent is having a very bad day, and it only gets worse once he realizes that it’s the end of the world. Moments before Earth’s destruction, his best pal (and hidden alien) Ford Prefect sweeps him away onto the journey of a lifetime. Through this five part series, we follow this hysterical cast of characters from all corners of the universe on their adventures. If you’re looking for some light-hearted and fun sci-fi, you’ve found it right here.

  • Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
The Princess Bride Deluxe Edition HC: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781328948854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 10th, 2017

Whenever someone asks me for a book recommendation for an adult that doesn’t really enjoy reading, I recommend The Princess Bride. It is the ultimate adult fairytale that people of all ages and all reading levels will love. And, the movie is an exact adaptation of the novel. This book is just as entertaining and classic and the film. It will have you laughing and crying along!

  • Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
On the Road Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780140042597
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - December 28th, 1976

I am a huge fan of Beat literature, and Kerouac is my favorite beatnik of them all. On the Road is an autobiographical work of semi-fiction, chronicling Kerouac’s adventures traversing across America, and his run ins with many of the Beat Generation's greatest minds along the way - most notably Neal Cassidy, aka Dean Moriarty. Kerouac’s descriptions of American landscapes are so poetic and raw, and he had a unique but powerful compassion for humanity that is truly inspiring. I love this book so much, I have words from it tattooed on my body.

  • Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
Les Miserables (Word Cloud Classics) Cover Image
By Victor Hugo, Isabel F. Hapgood (Translated by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781607108160
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Canterbury Classics - December 3rd, 2012

This book is dense, but oh so worth the time it takes to read it. Spanning many years, this beautiful and evocative novel paints a fully elaborate portrait of 19th century France, and all of the social and economical struggles the country faced at that time. The plot follows many characters through the decades: Jean Valjean, an ex-convict determined to redeem himself, no matter the cost; Inspector Javert, who is fanatical about his pursuit to capture Valjean; Fantine, a single mother who will do anything for the sake of her child; Cosette, the young orphan adopted by Valjean who struggles to grow up in hiding; and so many more. Each and every character will captivate your heart, and each one is more realistic and fleshed-out than the last. It covers a wide range of topics from justice, moral philosophy, and religion, to politics, war, and the many types of love. I will say again: this book is dense, and it is tough to get through. But for those that make it to the end of this story, you will not regret it, and you will never forget it.

  • Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
Persepolis Rising (The Expanse #7) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316332835
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - December 5th, 2017

This series has never let me down. Each book has fit well into the wonderfully original space opera that is The Expanse, and Persepolis Rising is no exception. It may in fact be my favorite yet! Quick note: a lot has changed since the first book, so don’t skip any in the series!

 

With the help of powers beyond our understanding, humanity has expanded to more than a thousand worlds, exploring the mysteries of a race long dead. Over are the days of conflict between Earth, Mars, and the Belt, and the crew of the Rocinante is old enough to think about retirement. However, the new order comes toppling down with the arrival of an old enemy. Invasion, occupation, and insurgency fill the pages of this book while an even greater threat looms on the horizon….

  • Recommended by Will