January Staff Picks to Help You Reach Your Reading Goals in 2019

It's a brand new year! Reach all your reading goals this year with the help of our well-read staff.  This is what we're loving and reading lately:

Books: 
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The Storm Runner (A Storm Runner Novel, Book 1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781368016346
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - September 18th, 2018

Recommended by Chris

If you liked the other mythology books by Rick Riordan, you will like this one.  He is taking some wonderful new authors and having them talk about the mythology from different parts of the world.  Storm Runner is Mayan mythology and takes you to a whole different set of Gods. Zane the son of a God. JC brings just as much humor as Rick does to his books.  This is action packed and a great read!!

 

If you like this, you should read:

Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix


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Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781632868305
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - January 23rd, 2018

Recommended by Brett

Lost Connections is the perfect read for anyone who is currently being medicated on pharmaceuticals for depression or anxiety. Johann Hari gets to the bottom of how our mental health is treated today and how we are actually lied to on the use of pharmaceuticals to heal these issues. In fact, multiple studies which he sites show that a good night’s sleep has a greater impact on depression than a pharmaceutical grade antidepressant. The rest of the book covers how to actually heal these issues through means that are actually effective. These solutions include rebuilding a community, providing emotional and trauma support for those who need it, and to change certain things about diet. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up if you’re trying to heal yourself emotionally in a lasting manner.


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Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy Cover Image
By Drew Daywalt, Scott Campbell (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781484789698
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - September 11th, 2018

Recommended by Virgie

Do you have a little one who tries everything he can do to extend bedtime? This might be the perfect story to read, at bedtime! Roderick has trouble turning down his brain, making excuses to get out of bed. When his parents give Roderick a special buddy named “Sleepy” the tables are turned! Sleepy has just as many annoying  excuses and fears about going to sleep as Roderick does. This is a great book that give a positive slant to your reluctant-to-sleep little one.


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Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781400201655
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thomas Nelson - February 6th, 2018

Recommended by Jenna

16+
I approach all self help-type books in much the same way-with an air of suspicion and trepidation.  I was forced to reconsider that attitude when I flipped through Girl, Wash Your Face and the first words I read were “THE LIE: You Are Going to Marry Matt Damon.”  Now that got my attention.  What followed was a couple days of internal struggle of should I/shouldn't I read this book.  Let me save you the trouble.  Just do it!  Rachel Hollis approaches the troubles of women in every stage of life with candor and humor, even when the topic at hand is a rough one.  She writes with a voice that is readable and clear, honest, but not harsh.  From relationship woes to career hardships, Rachel has a story for you.  I gleaned wisdom even from the stories that didn’t pertain to me, like the ones on marriage and motherhood.  The best part is that once the book is done, your interactions with Rachel don’t have to be.  She is a media mogul in charge of her own lifestyle website, thechicsite.com, and the host of RISE Podcast, which tackles career and lifestyle advice. She also hosts, with her husband, the RISE TOGETHER Podcast, which covers relationships and parenting.

I can’t say enough nice things about this book.  I look forward to her next, Girl, Stop Apologizing, which is available in March.  If you enjoy this, consider HARLEY AND ME by Bernadette Murphy.  ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN AUDIOBOOK.


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The Order of Odd-Fish Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780440240655
Availability: Special Order
Published: Laurel Leaf - February 9th, 2010

Recommended by Megan

Every January, I like to start the new year by re-reading a book I really enjoyed in the past. When I picked Order of Odd Fish off of the library shelves years ago, I had no idea what sort of wild ride I was in for. Jo Larouche, a plucky young 13 year old, has lived a puzzling existence with her aunt in the middle of the desert. Her situation gets much more puzzling and bizarre when Jo is whisked off to Eldritch City, a land of fastidious talking cockroach butlers and noble ostrich steeds and general oddity that the residents regard as completely normal. A menacing and confusing villain threatens to overthrow everything that Jo loves about Eldritch City - unless Jo and her friends can stop him. This book is like H.P. Lovecraft and Alice in Wonderland combined, except with a better sense of humor.

If you like this you will like this: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero


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An Anonymous Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250133731
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 8th, 2019

Recommended by Kim

Well, this writing duo has done it again.  Hendricks and Pekkanen teamed up last year to write the best selling thriller “ The Wife Between Us”.  This time they have taken the Psychological Thriller genre literally.  Jessica, for financial reasons takes part in a psychological study with the mysterious, elegant Dr. Shields.  And boy does she go down a rabbit hole.  This is much more than a study on morality, it gets very personal very quickly.  This book is a page turner that takes a hard look at morality, monogamy, honesty, and betrayal through the perspectives of two very different women.


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Red Rising: Book 1 of the Red Rising Saga (Red Rising Series #1) Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780345539786
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - January 28th, 2014

Recommended by Chris

This is a fast-paced page turner.  It is a cross between Hunger Games and Enders Game and Divergent on Mars.  But this is in a totally different league of writing and worldbuilding.

Darrow is the one that will change everything or, so he’s been led to believe.  He has no idea what’s in store for him when he has been brought into a world that is not his own and so very different from the red world.

There are so many elements to this story that make it such a wonderful read.

 


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The Red Address Book Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781328473011
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - January 8th, 2019

Recommended by Virgie

Doris receives an address book for her tenth birthday. Her intention is to include in that book all the people she has met throughout her life. Now, Doris is 96 years old and feeble, finding it difficult to care for herself. Her lonely home is so quiet, and she wonders how silence can be so overwhelming. Most of the people in her address book are crossed out, with the term “DEAD” next to their scratched out names. Doris’ lonely days are spent reminiscing the people in her address  book, and the life lessons she has learned from them.

The author allowed me to really “feel” old age, instilling patience and empathy for the elderly. In a way, it’s a difficult read because it’s a reminder that someday (sooner than later for me) we will all probably be in Doris’ position. In my opinion, this book is a great read for the elderly as well as the “aspiring elderly.” 


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Tess of the Road Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781101931288
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - February 27th, 2018

Recommended by Megan

Tess is, quite frankly, a bit of a mess. She’s been living in the shadow of her beloved twin sister ever since the “incident”. Tess’s sole goal in life is to see her sister set up well with a good and loving husband - once that is accomplished, though, Tess sees very few options for her future beyond becoming a nun or a permanent nanny for her nieces and nephews. Her older sister, Seraphina, has better ideas for her future - through some gentle nudging and a very nice pair of boots, Tess turns to a life on the road with her small reptilian friend, Pathka. This is a very good book to recommend to teenagers who might be dealing with rejection, or feel they have made an irreparable mistake - as Tess discovers, the solution is sometimes simple: just keep walking. 

If you like this you will like this: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman


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Tamed by a Bear: Coming Home to Nature-Spirit-Self Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781640090460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - July 10th, 2018

Recommended by Brett:

The more science has been diving into the realm of nature, the more we have discovered the connectivity between us and the living world around us. Priscilla Stuckey dedicated her life to searching for this connection with nature in order to truly connect with who she is. This fantastic book tells the story of her communication and interaction with the spirit of the bear which acted as the messenger between her and the spirit world. The lessons which she imparts on her are deeply impactful to the growth and development of spirituality in this life. It also gives us, the readers, the possibility to connect to spirit in our lives. It’s an excellent read for a nature lover trying to connect more with the spiritual aspects of things as well as for a spiritual person trying to grow their connection with self.


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Space Opera Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781481497503
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - December 18th, 2018

Recommended by Jenna

17+

Humans have always looked to the stars, and wondered what might be waiting for us there.  Usually this takes on a Star Wars/Star Trek aesthetic, where intergalactic politics take centerstage, and small spunky groups of humans and other beings take on the vastness of space in a spirit of rebellion and freedom.

That’s not what we have here.

Sure there’s a small spunky band of humans, but in this case they’re literally a band, with guitars and keyboards, and if they don’t win this interstellar battle of the bands all of humanity gets axed by a gelatinous Simon Cowell with a big red button.  Let the glitter rain down and the pyrotechnics commence! 

This is a crazy, adventurous, hilarious, and super fun addition to the science fiction genre!  Think Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but with bigger hair,  more power ballads, and a close personal friendship with Ziggy Stardust.
 

For fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and any titles from Christopher Moore.


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Ever the Hunted (A Clash of Kingdoms Novel) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781328767004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - November 7th, 2017

Recommended by Chris

Teen ages 13 and up

 In a land that is divided about its feeling for magic.  One country holds it dear and makes it part of their everyday culture. The other country has it outlawed and anybody with it will be put to death.

Britta’s world is falling apart and she’s not sure which country she truly belongs to, while she has parents from each one.  She has never known her mother and her father was just murdered.  And the one that she longs for in life, has been charged with her fathers’ death.  How far will she go to find the answers?

This story kept me reading long into the night.  I just had to know if Britta would mend her heart.

 

If you liked this, you should read:

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

Traitors Game by Jennifer Nielson

Cruel Prince by Holly Black

In the Deep Sky by Adrienne Young


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An Anonymous Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250133731
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 8th, 2019

Recommended by Virgie

I rarely choose to read thrillers, but when I noticed that Anonymous was written by the same author as NYT Bestselling novel The Wife Between Us I just had to indulge. This psychological thriller kept me on  the edge of my “reader’s seat” until the very end!

NYC psychiatrist Dr. Shields is conducting a study of morality in the 21st Century. Jess becomes the so-called anonymous Subject 52, but quickly finds herself entangled in the failing relationship between Dr. Shields and her husband Thomas. Jess doesn’t know it, but she is being used as a real-life test of Thomas’ marital fidelity. This thrilling book has a  complicated, twisted plot, that made me think twice about the concept of morality! A great read! 


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The Power Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316547604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - January 8th, 2019

Recommended by Jenna

This novel has gotten so much buzz I can not believe I didn’t read it sooner!  A 2017 New York Times Best Book, and personal pick of President Obama, this thrilling novel is an alternate-history historical fiction.  Set in a world like ours, but where woman possess the power to create and control electricity, the story follows three women and one man through the 10 years between the day females of the world discover and start to learn to control this awesome power, and an incident called only ‘The Cataclysm.’  Naomi asks questions like ‘How does raw power affect the way we live our lives,’ ‘Are you defined by your actions or your potential,’ and ‘how does your sex affect the way you interact with the world?’
An immediately relevant story, readers will recognize parallels to our own history, current events, and patterns of social interaction.  What would the world be like if women held the majority of political and economic power?  What are the societal consequences of preconceived ideas about what it means to be a man or a woman?
For fans of historical fiction, dystopian fiction, and literary science fiction.  If you like this you’d also like Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin, and The Lost Queen by Signe Pike.


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The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781577314806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New World Library - August 19th, 2004

Recommended by Brett

Struggling to let go of past issues or future aspirations to the point where it feels like something is missing in life here and now? You’ll want to read this book. Eckhart Tolle takes a unique approach of looking within by using the term, “presence” instead of God, the universe, or spirit. This helps those who aren’t prone to believing in spiritual ideas to grasp the concept of living in the now. It is a tool that anyone can use to improve upon the reality which they currently are present in. It empowers you to be in motion and thoroughly enjoy life now instead of concerning ourselves with the concrete past and unreachable future.  To quote him, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”


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The Friend: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780735219441
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 6th, 2018

Recommended by Virgie

When a woman loses her lifelong best friend and literary mentor to suicide she is distraught. To compound her emotions, the deceased friend has left his 186 pound Great Dane, Apollo, in her care! Her own grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the Great Dane. The Friend, winner of the 2018 National Book Award, is the conversation of a grieving friend with her mentor, giving insight to the inner works of writers. It is also an intimate companionship between a sorrowful woman and an unlikely friend, Apollo. It appears that they are two solitudes protecting each other.


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The Disasters Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062657671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - December 18th, 2018

Recommended by Chris

When you get thrown out of space camp on your first day, where do you go from there?  Well, the only answer is to steal a spaceship and run away.  It’s been a long time since I have read a book that literally taken off on page 2.  This is super fun fast paced read.  

 

If you liked this, you should read:

Invictus 

Warcross by Marie Lu

Ready Player One By Ernest Cline 


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Heresy Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316435352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - October 2nd, 2018

Recommended by Jenna

Heresy is a historical fiction that follows an all women, old west outlaw gang through their exploits in the Colorado frontier.

Margaret Parker and Hattie le Cour are at the heart of this turn of the century story, where a widowed woman and an escaped slave are driven off their successful horse ranch in the Colorado rockies by a jealous and spurned fellow rancher, who happens to own a few banks.  What follows are the classic stagecoach robberies, train heists, and search for lost justice that are hallmarks of the western genre.  However, when the Heresy ranch gang takes on a reporter woman who promises to tell their story, and get them their due credit, all bets are off.  The history of the west was written on the back of a horse, but it is rarely told from the mouths of women.  Told as alternating interviews with an older Hattie, and first person narration from Margaret, this is a western sure to appease the genre’s existing fans, and pull in true greenhorns. 

For fans of classical westerns, historical fiction, and women’s fiction


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Bridge of Clay (Signed Edition) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780375845598
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 9th, 2018

Recommended by Virgie

I have just finished reading this 500+ page,  deeply moving book and my heart is aching! I have grown so attached to the characters; their anger, heart-break, confusion, hope, life! This story will stay with me for a long time! 

This is a story of five brothers raising themselves the best they could, after their mother dies and their father abandons them, first emotional and then physically. What they HAD been as a family is all gone! The “bridge” becomes more than a brick and mortar construction, it becomes a metaphorical link from the past to the future. 

I chose to read The Bridge of Clay because it was written by Markus Zusak, author of  The Book Thief. The beginning of the novel was confusing, jumping all around, and I must admit I almost abandoned reading it. My advice to you is to be patient in your reading and pay attention. It will be well worth your time. The Bridge of Clay, which took over 10 years to write,  is a great story that will stay with me for a long time!