Jittery June Staff Picks

Join us in jostling for these jittery June staff picks! (They are jittery because the amount of coffee the Off The Beaten Path staff has consumed this month in bordering on ungodly)

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Of Women and Salt: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250776686
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - March 30th, 2021

This novel follows three women from 19th century Cuba to current day Miami. Maria Isabel’s story from her time in Cuba is told and then her daughter Carmen who left Cuba because of deep secrets between her mother and herself are slowly revealed. These secrets are unearthed because Jeanette, who is battling addiction, has many questions about her history and even makes it back to Cuba to meet her grandmother Maria Isabel. The story is brought to life with the introduction of Ana, an El Salvador refugee who is battling ICE and deportation. All of these women have amazing stories to tell and Garcia weaves them all together beautifully.

- Kim B.

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If I Had Your Face: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593129487
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - April 13th, 2021

We’ve all wished we were someone else at some point or wanted to change a feature we were born with. If I Had Your Face is from the perspective of four girls in modern South Korea.  Each chapter switches perspective amongst the four friends, allowing for an exploration of each unique yet universal journey as a girl in a culture where the beauty standards not only affect self-esteem but their likelihood of a career as well. If you’re missing traveling as much I am and looking for a book to broaden your worldview, this is the book for you. I couldn’t believe the culture shock I experienced by simply immersing myself in their world and Cha does an excellent job of keeping your attention hooked with short chapters and shocking anecdotes. Seoul is a city I’ve always dreamt of visiting, now I have a more in-depth view of what such a magical city really consists of. 
-    Josie
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Morningside Heights: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524748357
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - June 15th, 2021

Morningside Heights gives the reader a front-row seat to observe early onset Alzheimers Disease and its effects on a family. Enter the world of a middle-class Brooklyn family who watch their loved one dwindle away, like a candle being snuffed out. Feel the raw emotions of anger, despair, hope, impatience, disappointment, as the loved one is slowly being “robbed of his mind” and is turning into a whole new person. Witness the ways in which the significant characters maintain their own sanity and well-being as they cope with the daily situation. This novel is a painful, haunting vision of a prevalent disease, which at this time, has no good outcome, yet it also provides hope and resiliency to know we are able to "walk our loved ones home!”
-    Virgie
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How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525537212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 6th, 2021

Lucy and Sam are alone in a land that challenges their very existence. The night took their Ma then their Ba 3 years later. Left to bury their Ba and survive in the barren hills spotted with gold rushers and coal mines, Lucy and Sam must face their legacy and futures in the west. 
Zhang’s storytelling is reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s. Her character work is bewitching. Heck, she makes the landscape itself a character to be loved and feared. If you are looking for an immersive, literary marvel, then pick this book up.
-    Izzy
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Local Woman Missing Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780778389446
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - May 18th, 2021

Kubica is a psychological, thriller, mystery writer, and a favorite author of mine. She does not disappoint in Local Woman Missing. Shelby Tebow, a young mother, goes missing in a nice neighborhood, and shortly thereafter a young mother and her daughter go missing. Are the two cases related? So many twists and turns in this fast-paced thriller I don’t want to give any spoilers away. If you are looking for a fast read, this is the ticket. 
-    Kim B. 
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Hour of the Witch: A Novel Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385542432
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - May 4th, 2021

in Massachusetts. Young Mary Deerfield is a Puritan woman married to a man twice her age who treats her poorly. Behind closed doors, her life is a terrifying nightmare, and she fears for her life! When Mary speaks up against her husband, asking for a divorce, she is accused of being a whore. All of a sudden, her every action is used against her, and when she attempts to cure a friend with a natural remedy, she is branded a witch! This is what Mary Deerfield is up against. Will she find herself being hung in a public square for all to watch? 
There is history backing up this fiction story, and I thank my lucky stars I am a woman in the 21st Century!
-    Virgie
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The Anatomy of Desire: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063041929
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - May 11th, 2021

This is the perfect time to get Libro.fm and start listening to audiobooks. This book is performed by 16 separate voice actors and is highly entertaining. Anatomy of Desire is inspired by An American Tragedy written by Theodore Dreiser and published in 1925 to great success. An American Tragedy was inspired by the true story of Chester Gillette who was tried, found guilty, and electrocuted for drowning his pregnant, factory worker girlfriend so he could maintain his relationship with a socialite. Anatomy of Desire follows Claire Griffith who is accused of drowning her girlfriend Beck to maintain her relationship with her successful social media star boyfriend. Ambition, desire, status, envy, are all present in this compelling book.
-    Kim B.
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The Photographer: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250790330
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - May 25th, 2021

The author had the experience of hiring an excellent photographer to capture her daughter’s birthday. When she was going through the pictures she noticed her daughter’s eyes were a more piercing blue than in reality. Apparently, this is common practice for photographers to slightly alter reality to make events more pleasing. In this fast-paced thriller, we follow a photographer and her altered reality. Frightening and compelling this novel will have you rethinking who you bring into your home long after you finish. 
– Kim B
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Dawn (Lilith's Brood #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538753712
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 27th, 2021

The world ended and the last of humanity was scooped up by the Oankali, an alien race specializing in gene trading. Lillith is one of the few humans who must now negotiate and live with the Oankali. This epic is all about survival, all the big and little things involved in figuring out a future with conflicting parties. 
Octavia Butler uses this alien invader narrative to really explore what it takes to coexist with what seems alien. How do we keep humanity going, what is humanity? What is humanity’s greatest flaw and how does that hold us back? This is a book for any speculative fiction lover. 
-Izzy
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The Midnight Library: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525559474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 29th, 2020

My co-worker, Jenna, highly recommended this book, so I read it. If you missed it when it came out as I did, I suggest you read this too. It’s very thought-provoking; one of those stories that stays in your thoughts long after it’s finished! The midnight library exists between life and death, a place you can go to “try on” another life. Our life is comprised of the decisions we make, and the decisions we don’t make. It could make you insane thinking of all the possible ways the  story of your own life could go, but you must understand that the “only way to learn is to live.” Your possible lives may not be easier, just different,  and no life can protect you from sadness. 
This book is seriously good and seriously, I’m still thinking about it! 
-Virgie
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One Last Stop Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250244499
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - June 1st, 2021

If you are one of the myriad people who fell absolutely head-over-heels in love with Red, White, and Royal Blue, then McQuiston’s follow-up novel is the next must-read on your list!  Cynical August and mysterious Jane meet on the NYC subway and sparks immediately fly.  Not everything is as it seems however, when August realizes there are strange circumstances surrounding her meetings with Subway Girl.  Something is amiss with the space-time continuum!  This beautiful love story wrestles with themes of place and identity, the complications of love, and the grief of loss.  Throw all of that in with some crazy quantum physics, and this is doubly worth your time! This is the perfect book for fans of all styles of romance writing.  If you’re a big fan of Outlander, I’d give this one a try too! 
-    Jenna

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Heart and Seoul Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593100141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 25th, 2021

Hara is a bit of a lost Seoul cough cough, I mean soul. After her adoptive and distant father dies, all of her differences from her family seem to come into sharp perspective. Her eyes turn to Korea, her birthplace. When she makes it to Seoul, she is caught up in a whirlwind romance, the drama inherent in tracking down any lost family, and a minor identity blurring. This is a great beach read. Fun, engaging, Heart and Seoul will whisk you away.
-Izzy 
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Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735213616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 26th, 2020

James Nestor was just a journalist with breathing problems when his doctor suggested a breathing class. What he experienced at that class changed his life forever, and Nestor has chronicled his deep dive into the world of breathing in this revolutionary book. His research covers the power of breathing and its incredible impact on everything from emphysema to scoliosis to winning Olympic medals. Throughout history, there have always been those who have recognized and promoted the power of healthy breathing, but time and time again these techniques have been lost to history or overpowered by modern medicine. Nestor aims to make the complex and the obscure simple and mainstream. You will never take a breath the way you did before after reading this book!
-    Megan
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How to Be Human: An Autistic Man's Guide to Life Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501180507
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 20th, 2021

Author Jory Fleming, Rhodes scholarship recipient and Oxford graduate, is fundamentally different from others because he is gifted …  and autistic. His memoir opens a window into what it is like to live in a world constructed for neurotypical brains when your mind is not. He describes the sensory chaos produced in his world, and the balancing act he must manage to keep his mind open and engaged instead of drained and shut. This is an eye-opening story that I believe is important for our neurotypical brains to understand. 
-    Virgie
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Mushrooms of the Rocky Mountain Region (A Timber Press Field Guide) Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781604695762
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press - May 19th, 2015

This book caught my eye immediately; staring me down from the shelf until I gave in and made the purchase. If not because of my questionable affinity for mushrooms, then for the cover and pictures included inside as well. Not only is this book generally pleasing to the eye, I have also found it to be exceedingly educational and helpful for any mushroom hunters, both aspiring, and experienced. This field guide features a picture key on the inside front cover, a spine full of pages detailing every kind of Rocky Mountain mushroom there is, and inside the back cover, a labeled diagram for parts of a mushroom. This book also includes a small ruler on the back cover! I highly recommend this one to everybody, but mostly to the aspiring and active mushroom connoisseurs. 

- Kotah


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The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781538719961
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 13th, 2021

As a child, Admiral McRaven was obsessed with “superheroes” because they could solve all the world’s problems. Soon enough, he came to understand that superheroes were not real, so he then became fixated on real-world heroes. Throughout his 37 year career as a Navy Seal, McRaven saw the worst of humanity: war, disease, poverty, destruction, disease. He also saw the BEST of mankind, from all walks of life! Those who promoted peace, cured disease, and rescued the poor. His deduction from his life experiences is that “superman is NOT coming to save the day!” Instead, he believes there is a hero in each of us, and we must all do our own part! His book tells stories of heroes he has encountered in his life. Each story focuses on specific virtues, such as humility, courage, integrity, humor. This treasure of a book would be a perfect graduation gift! 

-Virgie

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Tokyo Ever After: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250766601
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - May 18th, 2021

If you ever fantasized about suddenly finding out that you were royalty like The Princess Diaries, and liked Crazy Rich Asians, this is for you! Izumi Tanaka (Izzy because it’s easier than trying to get people to pronounce her name correctly), is a Japanese American girl who can’t seem to fit in anywhere. She is not American enough in California, and not Japanese enough in Japan, which many children of immigrants struggle with every day. Prepare to be entertained while following this highly-relatable girl on her journey of self-discovery and growing into her authentic self. 
-    Kim T.
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Home Is Not a Country Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593177051
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Make Me a World - March 2nd, 2021

This powerful novel is a coming-of-age story told by Nima, a first-generation Muslim teen, who feels that she doesn’t belong in America. She dresses differently, looks different, eats “strange” food, and is rejected by her classmates. She only wishes for the life she could have had if she’d remained in her home country. Nima’s thoughts are told in verse, and the spaces between the words give the reader space to empathize with her strong feelings and to understand the importance of acceptance.
-Virgie
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Turtles All the Way Down Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780525555377
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 11th, 2019

I absolutely ate up this book from front cover to back in exactly two days. John Green is one of my favorite authors because I feel that he conveys the human condition with such deep understanding. He could write about any emotion or experience at all, and somehow, the audience would be almost guaranteed to feel every second of it. With Turtles All the Way Down, Green authors the story of a teenage girl struggling immensely with mental health, mostly surrounding anxiety and obsessive compulsions. As someone who does struggle with anxiety in my day to day life, I will say this book was hard to read at times, but in the most capturing way, meaning that no matter how real the story became -- no matter how hard it hit home for me -- I couldn’t put it down. This story struck me to the core with too many thoughts and feelings to conjure words for. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone who enjoys a good teen fiction novel, especially one that’ll leave you spellbound for a few days subsequent to finishing this absolute ride of a read. 
-    Kotah
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The Dark Lord Clementine Cover Image
$8.95
ISBN: 9781643751337
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - April 20th, 2021

In a world of fairy tales and magic, evil and dastardly Dark Lords are commonplace, and Clementine Morcerous calls one her father. One day, Clementine notices that her father is whittling away, piece by piece. The twelve year old soon finds she has to groom the nightmares, feed the chickens (and the fire breathing ones), discipline the scarecrows, and look for a cause of her father’s ill fate; all in between magic and maniacal laughter practice! A hilarious and adorable twist on fairy tales, Clementine is an absolute must-read that’s perfect for any age. 
-    Ryan
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Wishes Cover Image
By Muon Thi Van, Victo Ngai (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338305890
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orchard Books - May 4th, 2021

::TRIGGER WARNING:: This book could be heart-wrenching for some; especially anyone who may have family or personal experiences that are similar to this. I definitely ugly cried. 

Growing up as an American-born, first-generation child of Vietnamese refugees, I never fully understood what my grandparents, parents, sisters, aunts/uncles, and cousins went through to get to the United States of America. This beautifully illustrated book is simple, but profound. It gives a glimpse into what some immigrants must have gone through to get to live the American Dream. I cannot fathom the apprehension, anticipation, fear, and, later, relief they must have felt. 
-    Kim T.


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A Little Bit Different (The Ploofers) Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780711245464
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: words & pictures - September 17th, 2019

This is the kind of picture book I wish had been around when I grew up. It’s a charming little thing, about a charming little Ploofer who’s just a bit different than the rest. The art is adorable and clearly shows what the story is about.

-Ryan


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We Are Water Protectors Cover Image
By Carole Lindstrom, Michaela Goade (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250203557
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - March 17th, 2020

Filled with flowing pictures, gorgeous colors, and an important story, We Are Water Protectors is the next book you should pick up. Your age is irrelevant, you should read this book. It is a story about the importance of water, how life is being threatened by oil consumption and the indigenous activism dedicated to protecting this earth. 

-Izzy


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Masters of Disguise: Camouflaging Creatures & Magnificent Mimics Cover Image
By Marc Martin, Marc Martin (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781536214055
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Studio - March 26th, 2021

This is a wonderful non-fiction book for kids who really love animals.  Martin does an excellent job of choosing animals from all over the world to talk about and how they interact in their environment.  There are so many things to talk about in this book with your kid.
-    Chris