Jocular January Staff Picks


Join us and our jabbering as we jump into January’s jocular staff picks!

Audiobook playlist HERE!

Start your new year with a new pile of excellent books! Remember, reading is an excellent socially distant activity.

Before you get into our staff picks, we at Off The Beaten Path would like to say thank you for making 2020 a hopeful year. You gave us the hope and the support we needed to keep our doors open. Thank you from the bottom of our bookish hearts. 

 

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Cobble Hill: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982147037
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - November 10th, 2020

How well do you really know your neighbors? What happens behind closed doors? What, really, is normal? This novel, about four families living in an upscale but sleepy Brooklyn neighborhood, exposes some rather bizarre behaviors, which show the colorful characters as far from being “sleepy.” The story is a character study rather than a plot-driven tale, which allows the reader to feel like you’re privy to the juiciest gossip full of drama! I had several “laugh out loud” moments while reading this entertaining story! - Virgie

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765387561
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - October 6th, 2020

In 1714 France, Adeline LaRue makes a hasty deal with a devil for the only thing she has ever really wanted.  She bargains for freedom, and ends up with all the time in the world.  Her devil will only have Addie’s soul when she is done with it, but of course there is a twist.  In 300 years, no one remembers her, ever.  When she leaves the room, everyone inside immediately forgets her.  She cannot write, she cannot draw or be drawn.  Addie has been erased from existence, and moves through time without leaving an impression.  So she wanders and gathers knowledge.  She learns to sprinkle ideas in her wake, and every once in a while she encounters her devil, who gleefully reminds Addie of her circumstances.

In 2014 New York City, Addie LaRue finds someone who remembers, and it changes everything. 

In these pages, Schwab asks the age old question: If you could live forever, would you? Perhaps more importantly, how would you live?  This novel is an absolute marvel from an author that never ever fails to impress.  In these pages a reader will find that Addie is anything but forgettable. -Jenna

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Interior Chinatown: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307948472
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - November 17th, 2020

Interior Chinatown shifts from the everyday life of Willis Wu, an actor born and raised in Chinatown among a cast of many Asian folks each making their way in Hollywood, and his scenes in Black and White, a cop drama. These scenes are difficult to differentiate between. Reality is filtered through the stereotypes of Asian folks in popular culture. Folks are reduced to Old Asian Man, Kung Fu Guy, Pretty Asian Woman not only in the tv show, but also by Willis. As we read about Willis’ success, failure, and a reckoning with his identity, we are forced to come to terms with our own perceptions of Asian identity. 
This is a brilliant novel that asks you to come to terms with your biases and look beyond them. - Izzy

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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The Children's Blizzard: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399182280
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - January 12th, 2021

This dramatic historical fiction is told through the voices of two young teachers, ordinary women who become heroes as they helped their students survive the Great Plains Blizzard in 1888. Life on the Plains was difficult, but the blizzard event was “hell on earth!” This tragic story of disaster and courage is the first historical fiction account of this event. It’s not only a story about the blizzard and its aftermath, but embraces the difficult life on the plains in this time era, from several perspectives. It’s a history lesson as well as a compelling story, all rolled into one! One can’t help but feel the tenacity of the human spirit and the will to survive! I challenge you not to shiver as you read this account! - Virgie

Check our the Audiobook HERE


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A Rogue of One's Own (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781984805706
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - September 1st, 2020

It seems like suffragettes are all the rage right now, and what better way to hop on the bandwagon than with this steamy number? Lady Lucie has disliked Lord Ballentine - intensely so - ever since Tristan Ballentine was a young boy playing pranks. Now, with Tristan an established debaucher and Lucie a determined suffragist, the two have locked heads over control of a publishing business. Lucie is determined to have her way with the company, and Tristan is determined to have his way with her. In this heated romance, all’s fair in love and the fight for women’s rights!

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Take a Hint, Dani Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters #2) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062941237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - June 23rd, 2020

Featuring a brilliant heroine, Danika, looking for an outlet for all of the work induced stress, and a hunky (but sensitive) hero, Zafir, looking to save his nonprofit.  Both characters get what they’re looking for when Zaf saves Dani from an elevator incident gone wrong.  Of course it is caught on camera and goes absolutely viral!  Now both Dani and Zaf have to play along with their new found fame or the sudden success could negatively impact both of their careers.  Cue the timeless fake dating scheme, and of course its inevitable downfall-a real case of catching feelings.

With the excellent banter, awesome representation, and just a hint of witchy-ness, this is a can’t miss addition to the romance genre!  - Jenna
 

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Unfaithful: An unputdownable and absolutely gripping psychological thriller Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781800190955
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bookouture - November 27th, 2020

If you’re looking for a nail-biting, suspenseful, adrenaline surging, psychological thriller, then I would suggest you read this! There is a marriage. There is a betrayal but there is so much more happening around the life of Anna Sanchez. Is she driving herself crazy, or IS she crazy? I was squirming with unease the deeper she slowly progressed down the road of deceit! This is not the predictable type of mystery. The ending is a bombshell! Enjoy this twisty, fun-filled, horrifying ride of a read! - Virgie
Check out the Audiobook HERE


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Space Unicorn Blues (The Reason #1) Cover Image
$12.99
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780857667816
Published: Angry Robot - July 3rd, 2018

You didn’t read the back cover incorrectly, this is a book where people and Unicorns coexist… in space. Imagine that humans discovered every alien was exactly like the fantasy creatures we grew up with, and that their body parts held the secret to faster than light travel, invisibility, and strength. This book is funny, action packed, and definitely not for kids. If you ever wanted a more funny version of Hitchhiker's mixed with the magic of fantasy this book is for you. -Sam
Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781948814386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Torrey House Press - October 13th, 2020

A beautiful and genuinely stirring read, this book of letters between two Colorado writers was exactly the antidote to life I have needed for so long.  It is not often I find a nonfiction book that I feel is speaking directly into my heart.  With Colorado in the background, an upcoming election, and the Covid pandemic looming, Pam and Amy (who I feel must be spoken of as friends and not far away professionals) walk through every painful valley and over every mountain to a story that is so cathartic, I was in tears less than a third of the way through.  I switched between reading silently, and doubling back to reread certain passages that demanded to be read aloud to everyone in the room.  Sometimes an ode to wild places, sometimes a human connection in lonely and uncertain times, and sometimes a commentary on politics (which happens to encapsulate the first two,) Air Mail is first and foremost, a gorgeous tribute to humanity. -Jenna

Check out the Ebook HERE


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A Promised Land Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9781524763169
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - November 17th, 2020

What to say about this book? Well it single handedly caused a paper shortage, was an instant best seller, and was amazingly well written by hand on legal paper. If this is a gift make sure to get it quick because soon everyone will already have a copy. 

With the usual caveat that if you really don’t like Obama you won’t like this book, it is the most in depth and personal account of his career to date. Obama will be the first to admit that he is long winded at times, but I never found that the book dragged. The real treasure of this book is the love story between Barack and Michelle that I have never heard told before. It breaks the sometimes detailed heavy politics with a refreshing story of humanity and hard fought love. -Sam 
Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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No Barriers: A Blind Man's Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250088796
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin - February 6th, 2018

This is hands down one of the best memoirs I have ever read, probably because Weihenmayer is less focused on himself and more focused on the people who have impacted his life. Weihenmayer went blind when he was young due to a genetic condition, and he has spent his life since then pushing his own boundaries on what is possible for a blind man and helping other disabled folks push their own limits. No Barriers covers the crazy story of how Weihenmayer faced down the insane rapids of the Grand Canyon, assisted only by an earpiece with the voice of his river guide. Weihenmayer is a master of making the impossible, possible. -Megan

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780385543767
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 7th, 2020

Hidden Valley Road deserves its place on the NYT’s Top Ten Books of 2020. Although it is a nonfiction account, it reads as a story you simply can’t put down! 
Don and Mimi Galvin were the Colorado parents of a family of twelve children, born between 1945-1965. This family exemplified a profound manifestation of Schizophrenia; six of their twelve children suffered from the disease. The remaining six children  suffered from growing up in a climate of perpetual mental illness. This nonfiction account of the Galvin family weaves the scientific search for the understanding and cure for schizophrenia, with a heart-wrenching, painful, tale of a family affected by this perplexing and elusive disease and the multi-faceted devastation it can impose on a family. - Virgie

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials #3) Cover Image
By Thich Nhat Hanh, Jason DeAntonis (Illustrator)
$9.95
ISBN: 9781937006884
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Parallax Press - December 1st, 2014

Number three in the Mindfulness Essentials, this little book of wisdom could fit in your pocket and I’d personally recommend keeping it there, within reach for whenever you have a moment to read a page. I bought this at the beginning of a romantic relationship and sadly didn’t start reading it until after the relationship had come to a heart-breaking end. I have never been one for self-help books, I bought this one for someone else actually but I’m so grateful it ended up in my possession because it has opened my eyes about so many things. I apply it to how I love where I am in life at this time, how I interact with family and friends, and (probably most important) how I love myself. As we learned from Shel Silverstein as children, how can you give and spread love if you do not first take care of yourself so that you can give in the healthiest possible way.  - Josie

Check out the Ebook HERE


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Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781984826961
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 20th, 2020

Dessert Person is here to convert you into a baker. This book is filled with genuinely delicious, fun recipes for the experienced and novice baker. Her instructions are easy to follow and feel intuitive, with helpful footnotes to expand on certain elements. The recipes themselves are unique and can be used as a jumping-off point for your own twists. - Izzy


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Ordinary Insanity: Fear and the Silent Crisis of Motherhood in America Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781524747770
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - April 7th, 2020

Forget the pastel-colored parenting books with their cutesy titles, shelved neatly next to baby board books about animals or ABC’s. Ordinary Insanity is an exploration of the awesome and inherent power of motherhood, and the ways in which American culture wields it as a weapon to bring mothers low. This book is part anecdote, part thoroughly researched manifesto on how the medical system and our society have failed mothers, creating a culture of fear and repression around motherhood. Menkedick particularly focuses on the societal taboo of abnormal postpartum behavior, detailing her own struggles with OCD. In a world where the pressure to be a perfect parent can seem all-consuming, this book lays bare the essential truths of what it means to be a woman and a mother. -Megan

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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If I Knew Then: Finding wisdom in failure and power in aging Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780735279971
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Canada - October 27th, 2020

Begin the new year with a boost of positivity! As we age, the culmination of our experiences make us a treasure trove of wisdom! Arden’s lifetime experiences have led her to believe that power comes from the passage of time, and wisdom comes from failures! Getting old is NOT the enemy, but rather a privilege. Life has a time limit, so we should spend our time and energy on LIVING rather than lamenting it’s end! I dare you to read this and NEVER again complain about aging!

Time is ticking! - Virgie

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Solutions and Other Problems Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781982156947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - September 22nd, 2020

I’ve loved Allie Brosh ever since I stumbled onto her absurd, honest, and completely hilarious comics on the internet several years ago. Brosh, who struggles with depression, has a way of combining her blunt humor with a crass illustration style that conveys complete absurdity incredibly well. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up if you need a good laugh - and let’s be honest, we could all use that right now!- Megan
Check out the Ebook HERE


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The Left-Handed Booksellers of London Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062683250
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 22nd, 2020

Garth Nix provides us with a wondrous, inclusive, magical world where we can disappear into its fantastical storyline and relish all of its splendor. As Susan Arkshaw searches for answers about her father, she comes to discover that the Old World and the New World can collide with help from booksellers Merlin and Vivien. There are beasts, undead creatures, and intense fight scenes--not for the faint of heart. Is it all fantasy? Could some of it be real? Are your local booksellers at Off the Beaten Path right-handed, left-handed, or even-handed? They could never tell. It’s against the rules! - Kim T.

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Concrete Rose Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062846716
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 12th, 2021

Concrete Rose is just as good as The Hate You Give.  

I learned how to speak 90’s gangsta.

 Like the Hate You Give this is an important read for everyone, especially teen boys.  Teen pregnancy is not just a girl's problem. This is Mav’s story and the tough decisions that it takes to be a man in the ’90s in the inner city.  But many of these apply to everyone growing up. -Chris

Check out the Audiobook HERE


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Teen Killers Club: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781643852294
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crooked Lane Books - November 10th, 2020

 

Signal was framed for the murder of her best friend, and her Class A status really doesn’t help her case. Class A folks are considered the most dangerous criminals. One day, she is whisked out of her cell and into a camp full of other Class A Killers. But she’s no killer. However, she sees this as an opportunity to investigate the murder and clear her name. But will she survive in this camp designed to train killers? 

This is a great suspenseful novel, it definitely sweeps you along as you follow Signal through obstacle after obstacle as she tries to escape a system hell-bent on breaking her. -Izzy

Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE


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Daughter of Smoke & Bone Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316459181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - December 1st, 2020

We have all heard the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but that wouldn’t need to be a saying if it wasn’t something we all inherently do. Taylor’s new 2020 cover art has me thrilled because the outside finally matches the inside! Daughter of Smoke and Bone begins in bohemian Prague from the perspective of blue-haired Karou, an art student with intriguing tattoos and an unusual home-life. If you enjoy travel, romantic angst, and warped Biblical reimaginings--this is the young adult series for you. Taylor’s writing style smoothly sweeps you off your feet and into her dark yet brilliant imagination. Not for the faint of heart, the trilogy does get increasingly morbid as you read on. I first read these as a young teen and I still find comfort in their pages today as it lets me imagine what it would be like to be someone covered in tattoos, multilingual, an avid traveler, and it doesn’t hurt to have an angel fall in love with you despite your vastly different and otherworldly backgrounds. Forbidden love, mystery, and fantastical creatures both celestial and monstrous with the most human of hearts. -Josie

Check out the Audiobook HERE


Early Departures Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062748409
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 22nd, 2020

This is a story about loss and second chances. Jamal and his best friend Q are at odds with each other after the death of Jamal’s parents.  Jamal wants to make amends, but instead things become very heated between the two boys and they storm off in opposite directions. Then Q dies in a freak accident. Jamal is beside himself, regretting his last words to his best friend, but what if he got a second chance to make things right? In this book Jamal will have to face the hardest decision of his life. Tell his best friend he’s dead, or enjoy the few weeks he has with him before he says goodbye for good? -Patty

Check out the Audiobook HERE

If you enjoy this book you would also like: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillipe 


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Escaping Eleven (Eleven Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781682815014
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Entangled: Teen - December 8th, 2020

In a pre-pandemic world, we thought that dystopian worlds were so far off, but in reality, they could be tomorrow.  Things can change this fast. In this world, everyone lives underground because the sun is too hot and outside could kill you.  But no one really knows what it looks like outside, and that is all Eve wants is to be free.  And she is willing to fight for it at whatever the cost.
This is a debut book for Jerri Chisholm.  I look forward to reading more by her. - Chris

Check out the Ebook HERE

If you liked this, you should read:
Under the Never Sky
Maze Runner
Wild Lands
 


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Dog Man: Grime and Punishment: A Graphic Novel (Dog Man #9): From the Creator of Captain Underpants Cover Image
By Dav Pilkey, Dav Pilkey (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338535624
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - September 1st, 2020

At this point, I’m having a hard time not writing reviews for Dog Man. In the past Dav Pilkey has expertly hidden lessons on everything from coping with ADHD and expression to morality and forgiveness. This book is no different. Hidden under the hilarious plot of Dog Man being fired is the honest story of Petey struggling to forgive his father. Every time he publishes a book Mr. Pilkey surprises me with how artfully he hides real life lessons in such a great kids' book. -Sam


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What Breathes Through Its Butt?: Mind-Blowing Science Questions Answered Cover Image
By Emily Grossman, Alice Bowsher (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781547604524
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - November 10th, 2020

Do you have an inquisitive preteen that may or may not ask a lot of questions? Do they like weird things and/or potty humor? This is the book for them! Dr. Emily Grossman goes through the science, and Alice Bowsher illustrates the pages to help keep their interest. Each page is jam-packed with information, and there are little multiple choice questions to be answered! - Kim T.


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Pirate Stew Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062934574
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - December 1st, 2020

This is a wonderfully illustrated book by Chris Riddell and words by Neil Gaiman.   All the current staff have read at least one thing by Gaiman and loved it!!
So now be beware of eating Pirate Soup!!  The kids are not sure what will happen when there is no babysitter and a whole crew of pirates show up, then the fun ensues.
-Chris

If you liked this, you should read: 
Great! Now we have Barbarians