Jocund July Staff Picks

Jiggle these jocund July staff picks around in your beach bag! Celebrate July with these staff picks.

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Great Circle: A novel Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780525656975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 4th, 2021

 

As I neared the end of this 600 + page saga, a sense of melancholy overwhelmed me. I was not ready to let go of these characters and their story! The Great Circle is the story of Marian Graves, whose passion for flying led her to circumnavigate the globe in 1950. Her story is revisited by actress Hadley Baxter, who is cast to play the role of Marion in a 2014 movie. In order to better “know” Marian, Hadley reads her journal of events, written from 1900 - 1970. Hadley finds she has much in common with Marian! The story of Marian and the people in her life is complex, but somehow, this thing called life, fits together in the end, like a “great circle!” This story of passion, determination, and courage is a great way to “lose” yourself this summer. Don’t let the pages intimidate you. This story is well worth the read!- Virgie

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Legends of the North Cascades Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781643750101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - June 8th, 2021

This book is a very cool exploration of what it means to be human and what humans mean to each other.  Alternatively following a father and daughter who have run to live off the grid in the wake of his PTSD and a massive family tragedy, and a mother/son duo who lived in the cave during the last ice age, Evison has proven with this book that he can write beautifully from any perspective and create a story as real as the world we exist in. The landscape of the North Cascades is as much a character in this story as any of the people, and as you follow them through their lives, you find yourself irrevocably drawn in. It’s a hell of a ride.  For fans of Krakauer’s Into the Wild and Peter Heller’s The River, but also Sandra Dallas and Jodi Picoult. - Jenna

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Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250787316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - March 2nd, 2021

Sharks in the Time of Saviors is heart-shatteringly beautiful. Washburn’s prose is gripping, heady, and lush, much like Hawaii. Reading this book is kinda like reading a family dairy, it feels personal. You are swept up into each family member’s life and perspective so fully, it’s like being part of them. This is a great book, please read it.  -Izzy

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The Secret Keeper of Jaipur Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780778331858
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mira Books - June 22nd, 2021

It’s been several years since I’ve spent time in India, but this story took me right back to the colorful culture of the pink city of Jaipur, nestled in the glorious province of Rajastan. I savored every descriptive scene! I could feel it, hear it, smell it! This is the story of a multi-generation family, who possess power and wealth but become entangled in unscrupulous dealings. Nevertheless, their love for each other prevails. The cast of characters is vibrant and rich, giving the reader an incredible glimpse into the Indian culture of the 1950s. If you enjoyed The Henna Artist by Joshi, I’m certain you’ll enjoy this mesmerizing story as well! - Virgie

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The Archer Cover Image
By Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa (Translated by), Christoph Niemann (Illustrator)
$21.00
ISBN: 9780593318270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - November 10th, 2020

I was completely captivated by this book from the moment I picked it up and read the whole book in one sitting. The illustrations are a beautiful way of adding more of a visual picture to the story. Paulo Coelho does a wonderful job explaining how the pupil must stay focused because the smallest detail can make a great master. Coelho has been one of my favorite authors for years because the message he shares within the lines of each one of his books has always been so powerful and enlightening. This is a wonderful book for all ages because it's very short and easy to read. -Lily

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One Two Three: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250236777
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - June 8th, 2021

Bourne is a town like no other, and the Mitchell family is like all the other residents.

Many people in Bourne are either dead or suffering disabilities that were caused by a chemical plant that poisoned Bourne’s water. Seventeen years ago Belsum Chemical Company swooped into town, did their damage, and then left. But now Belsum is back again! Nora, a widowed mother of teenage triplets, has been diligently fighting this company for 17 years and is determined to run them out of town. But it is the triplets (One, Two, and Three), all handicapped in different ways, who successfully end this nightmare. The girls are not “normal” but the story presents a wider definition of “normal” that makes the world a better place, a lesson we can all learn! The novel is part love story, part mystery, and a dangerous final act that will leave you terrified, and amazed! - Virgie

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Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982167356
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - July 6th, 2021

Gilda just lost her job at the bookstore. She is a shy, “twentysomething animal-loving atheist lesbian” that is consumed with thoughts of death while struggling with intense depression and anxiety. She is a people-pleaser and, because of it, tends to get herself into some complicated situations, lost in her weave of lies. I really appreciated that Austin wrote Gilda’s actions out in the present tense in rapid succession; it reveals the way many persons suffering from mental health issues try to get through their day--one task at a time. I feel like the supporting character development also shows how one might be consumed by their depression and/or anxiety that other people in their lives really play very, very minor roles in their day-to-day life. This book is very dark (morbid, even), but entertaining nonetheless. - Kim T.

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Of Women and Salt: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250776686
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - March 30th, 2021

This novel takes the reader from present-day Miami to 19th Century Cuban cigar factories, from El Salvador and Mexico to immigration detention centers. The voices of strong women tell their generational stories, including ICE raids, deportation, immigration, detention centers, drug abuse and abusive relationships. This story has all the dark sides of life, but it is the strength of the women that carry it through and somehow survive. -Virgie

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The Maidens Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250304452
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - June 15th, 2021

So excited to finally get to read this. After The Silent Patient, I could not wait for another novel by Michaelides and this did not disappoint. Edward Fosca is a popular Greek Literature professor who has a cult following on campus. Could he possibly be a serial killer? Psychologist Mariana believes so. Psychology, Greek mythology, mixed with a mystery and a little bit of Lord Tennyson and you have one compelling read. I highly recommend it. – Kim B

 

Let Michaelides sweep you away to beautiful Grecian coasts and the gloriously gothic Cambridge University where alumni and therapist Mariana Andros returns when a murder strikes a little too close to her family and she is compelled to become involved in solving the case. It always amazes and surprises me when a male author can write such a complex female character so well. I feel like I know a Mariana in my life—deeply intelligent, somber and calm in a life thoroughly saturated by grief. Those with an interest in greek mythology will enjoy the archaic references and whispers from ghosts of the underworld in this intruiging murder mystery. This book had my spine tingling from beginning to end as it takes a psychological as well as mythological look on troubled childhoods creating monsters, heroes, or something in between. A haunting and darkly beautiful read that you can breeze through in a sitting. - Josie

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When the Stars Go Dark: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593237892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - April 13th, 2021

Author Paula McLain reveals that her new novel, When the Stars Go Dark, is  “as personal as anything (she’s) ever written.” Unlike her historical fiction The Paris Wife, this is a story of abandoned children, sexual abuse, and family relationships. Inspired by the 1993 kidnapping of a young girl from California, McLain has used her personal pain to create the character Anna Hart, who is an investigator of missing children. When a teenage girl from her hometown goes missing, Anna realizes that her own dark past is what helps her solve the missing person case. Author McLain spent her childhood in foster homes, is a survivor of sexual abuse, and understands the hidden scars and trauma associated with it. McLain and Anna Hart have a lot in common. This story is much more than a “whodunit.” 

It’s a “whodunit” … and WHY! -Virgie

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The Therapist: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250274120
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 13th, 2021

B.A. Paris is quickly becoming royalty in the world of psychological murder mysteries. In The Therapist, Alice and Leo move into a beautiful home in a gated community outside of London that they were able to get for an amazing price. Alice soon finds out that Leo kept the reason for the great price a secret. The former owner Nina was brutally murdered in the home. Alice becomes obsessed with the murder and embroils herself in finding out who really murdered Nina. Lots of twists and turns and spooky clues. Another fast-paced thriller from this amazing author.  – Kim B.

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Dream Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062390073
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - June 22nd, 2021

Laura Lippman is one of my favorite authors in the mystery/ psychological thriller genre. The newest book from her, once again featuring Baltimore as her main character, does not disappoint. All good authors do at least one book that features an author and this is Lippman’s version. It is reminiscent of Stephen King’s Misery meets the Me Too Movement. Gerry Anderson is a successful writer who is confined to bed due to a freak accident. One night he gets a call from Aubrey, the main character of his most successful novel Dream Girl, who he always maintained was completely fictional. Oh, the rabbit hole this takes us into. A perfect page-turner for the beach! – Kim B.

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Project Hail Mary: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780593135204
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - May 4th, 2021

Well, Weir is at it again and hits a nerdy home run once more. If you love The Martian and Artemis as much as I did you will definitely fall in love with Ryland Grace, a scientist who wakes up from hypersleep with some amnesia. Like The Martian, we follow Grace as he uses deductive reasoning and his intelligence to figure out the situation he is in and how he will save the world. Project Hail Mary has one of my favorite alien creatures of all time but I don’t want to give any spoilers. Just like The Martian you do not need to be an astrophysicist to enjoy this adventure. I highly recommend all 3 of his books. – Kim B.

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For the Wolf (The Wilderwood #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316592789
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - June 1st, 2021

For the Wolf is a perfect retelling for anyone who is hoping for a fresh twist on a classic story.  Redarys is the second daughter of a kingdom responsible for appeasing the dark Wilderwood on its northern border, in the hope the wood’s wolf guardian will return their god-kings.  The second daughter is always the sacrifice offered to appease the wood’s appetite.  However, on the night Red enters the woods, she discovers that not everything she has been told is true, and the Wolf might not be the murderous creature she was always taught to fear.  What if the true threat lies far closer to home than her people ever truly realized?  This is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s GrishaVerse books, or Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. -Jenna

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She Who Became the Sun Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250621801
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - July 20th, 2021

Can you switch your fate with another’s? Can you seize the opportunity to become great when everything in the world is hell-bent on making you nothing? Zhu’s destiny was nothingness, a destiny that terrifies her. When her brother dies, she decides to take his great destiny. Thus begins her journey through monasteries, cities, and wars. She encounters a Eunuch general who struggles with his identity and desire for revenge, a monk who bends the rules to survive, a woman whose strength is in her vulnerability, and a whole cast of amazing characters. 

This retelling of the establishment of the Ming Dynasty is exquisitely told. It has everything I love in a fantasy adventure: a trickster monk, a tortured warrior, fate, and lil’ bit of magic. If you enjoyed The Priory of the Orange Tree, Game of Thrones, or Song of Achilles, you will like this. -Izzy

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The World Gives Way: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316592413
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - June 15th, 2021

Levien has created a fascinating world... or should I say ship? The World Gives Way follows young Myrra. She is bound by a lineage contract for 50 years. Until her contract is up, she works for the powerful Carlyles, until one night something shocking happens, releasing her from her contract and reveals all the secrets of her “world”. Fast-paced and very thought-provoking, I could not put this book down! – Kim B

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A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe #1) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250267689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - May 11th, 2021

Fatma el-Sha’arawi is one of the most talented agents in Ciaro’s Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. She has worked her way up the male dominated agency with a combination of raw magical talent, wit, and force of will. When a room of men burnt to a crisp with no sign of fire creates a particularly difficult case, Fatma is put on it. As she digs deeper and deeper, she is thrown into a world of old religion, angels, djinn, and a mysterious masked figure claiming to be an ancient mystic. This is an excellent steampunk who-done-it. I was fully onboard through all the twists and turns this story took. A Master of Djinn is an excellent book for this summer. -Izzy

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Dreamcatcher: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781501192227
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - January 16th, 2018

An oldie that holds up well, the reader follows a group of childhood friends approaching middle age, and what they don’t realize will be their last hunting trip together. A very different take, especially at the time, for an alien invasion. Slightly irreverent, by the time you finish you’ll have fallen in love with this cast, especially Dudditz. Despite its age, and the number of different takes on this genre, King has left me turning this story over and over in my head. If you haven’t picked this one up, then just do it already! -Ryan

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The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781492696728
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - June 22nd, 2021

Kate Moore has done it again! In my opinion, this book is a 10 plus out of 10! After reading her account of The Radium Girls I was psyched to read another historical exposition that examines yet another battle for women’s rights. Shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation, Elizabeth Packard, wife and mother of six, was put into an “Insane Asylum” by her husband, just for the boldness of “speaking her mind.” This was a fairly common act and I guess women needed their OWN Emancipation Proclamation, because it was the Insane Asylum that MADE women insane! Elizabeth had a brilliant mind, and this made her “dangerous” as she was resolved to expose what really happened in the asylum. Her pen became her rage, and she was determined to “write her way out of this hell-hole!” The book reads like a novel, and every line of dialogue is taken from a memoir, letter, trial transcript, or another record. Elizabeth Packard spent much of her life fighting for the rights we have today. Read her story. It’s the least you can do! - Virgie

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Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984820389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - March 2nd, 2021

Cathy Park Hong is an exceptional essayist. Reading her reflections on art, race, society, and her life is akin to watching a sentient storm rage across the US landscape. This isn’t a comfortable book to read, but it is this discomfort that makes Minor Feelings so amazing to read. If you are looking to think and reflect, this is the book you need to pick up. -Izzy

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781878424310
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amber-Allen Publishing - November 7th, 1997

This book really goes into depth about the way we as a society have conformed to “the dream of the planet” or “society’s dream” of who we should be. And the agreements we should make within ourselves to help us achieve “heaven on earth”. Miguel goes into detail about becoming aware of your thinking patterns and the way you subconsciously judge others because those are agreements, we made with ourselves at some point. Since I’ve read this book I have become much more aware of my positive and negative thinking patterns. I am working on these agreements every day and I definitely think you should too. - Lily


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Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman--Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual Cover Image
By Yvon Chouinard, Naomi Klein (Foreword by)
$22.00
ISBN: 9780143109679
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 6th, 2016

I don’t know if there has ever been a better time to read Yvon Chouinard’s paradigm-altering account of his life and Patigonia’s rise to success. Chouinard didn’t set out to be a businessman - he set out to be a dirtbag climber, earning just enough cash by hawking his homemade climbing equipment to fund his next adventure. That mentality has carried through to all the business decisions Patigonia makes, from their parental leave policies to their free repair work on all Patigonia products. At a time in America where it seems a lot of workers are rethinking the important things in life, Chouinard provides a shining example of what it looks like when a person works to live instead of lives to work. - Megan

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The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence Cover Image
$18.00
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780440508830
Published: Dell - May 11th, 1999

After attending a first defense class, the instructor highly recommended this book, and I was intrigued. I purchased it and within the first few pages, I was immediately hooked! Gavin De Becker writes in a way that is both informational and entertaining. By using both years of personal stories from clients, and years of research and statistics, De Becker informs the reader (through a surprisingly feminist lens) the importance of safety, how to spot the earliest signs of danger, and how to protect yourself- whether it be in the workplace, dating life, or simply in your own apartment! As a single woman in my mid twenties, reading this book was incredibly empowering. 
- Amber

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Untamed Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984801258
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The Dial Press - March 10th, 2020

Honestly, this book does not need my recommendation. It has plenty of hype and has not left the bestseller list since its debut. I have friends who found this book helpful with grieving the loss of a husband, with addiction, and know plenty of young women who are simply empowered by Untamed.  Curious how this book resonates with so many people I decided to listen to it. Untamed is one of the better self-help/ memoir books out there right now. Incredibly honest, well researched, and empowering.  – Kim B


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Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061733529
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 23rd, 2015

I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say this book changed my outlook on my entire life. It was like soothing balm on a fresh wound. This book was recommended to me by a therapist, and to be quite frank I had low expectations. I thought it would be just another fluffy self-help book, however, Self Compassion turned out to be a book full of years of research as to why the practice of self-compassion is the most freeing, empowering, and successful gift one can offer to oneself with practical steps towards making that happen through mindfulness and emotional resilience. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an open heart toward healing their relationship with themselves. - Amber

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How to Be More Tree: Essential Life Lessons for Perennial Happiness Cover Image
By Potter Gift, Annie Davidson (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780593139165
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - July 7th, 2020

We only see what’s in front of us and that is why we often miss the true beauty within. This book was a sweet reminder to slow down, reflect on my character and start making changes in the right direction. Liz Marvin does a great job making comparisons between the way trees go through life and the way we should adapt their characteristics. Trees share with one another, stand tall and strong even in the toughest winds and they know when to let go when something is no longer serving them. This short read is a wonderful gift for all ages. - Lily

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The Darkness Outside Us Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062888280
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - June 1st, 2021

Ambrose wakes up in a spaceship on a mission to save his sister on Titan. She was on a mission to create a human settlement, but her settlement went dark far too soon after she landed. As he explores the ship, completes maintenance tasks, and generally messes around, he realizes that there is another ship and person tied to his own. Kodiak is from a rival nation and doesn’t seem keen on communication. As they drift through space they drift towards each other and figure out what they are really doing on this mission.

 

Elliot Schrefer creates an entire universe within the confines of a ship and two almost opposite personalities. He uses this scarce setting to explore so much about love and humanity's future. This is a fantastic book for folks getting into science fiction or someone just looking for a story to get lost in. - Izzy

 

If you like this then you will like:

An Unkindness of Ghosts

Moon (the movie)

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Crown of Secrets Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781925898491
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Luminant Publications - October 9th, 2020

Verene was born different from everyone in her family, despite being born from the strongest mages in the kingdom. Each member of her family had special abilities, except her. After turning 16, she was given the chance to prove herself to her family by going to the neighboring kingdom’s academy for mages to rebuild the political connections. This tale goes through her adventure to build connections with the neighboring kingdom, figuring out more about herself, and surviving in the academy. Crown of Secrets is a fun book to lose yourself in thinking about mages, politics, and even growing relationships between the characters. - Lauren

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Of Princes and Promises (Rosetta Academy) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534417571
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 8th, 2021

Caterina LaValle, a celebrity of sorts at St. Rosetta’s Academy, is determined to show she's still untouchable after her ex-boyfriend, Alaric, cheated on her. Socially awkward senior, Rahul Chopra, is determined to be the man she would be proud to show off. After a mystifying makeover and a confidence boost, Rahul has to choose between who he is, who he wants to be, and where they overlap. This quirky story of love, self-discovery, and some magical hair gel is a certain candidate for an afternoon book binge. - Hallie

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You & Me at the End of the World Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338712636
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - July 20th, 2021

You wake up in bed with the strangest feeling that things are too quiet. Running into the kitchen you realize there’s nobody home. There’s also no birds chirping, cars revving past, or kids playing outside. The world has gone silent. Searching the city for people you find no one, until you see something moving. You make eye contact with none other than the most popular guy in school who looks just as lost and confused as you. You & Me at the End of the World follows Hannah and Leo, two highschool students that wake up in their home of Houston Texas with no one else to be found. Between Leo’s obsession with 80’s hair rock and Hannah’s graceful determination to be a ballerina these characters were so lovely to watch grow. Truly a beautiful look at both the fun and the fear of living through the end of the world.  - Jonah

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The Curie Society (The Cure Society Series #1) Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780262539944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The MIT Press - April 27th, 2021

The Curie Society focuses on a group of highly intelligent and motivated young women that are recruited into a top-secret society of kick-ass lady scientists. Simone, Taj, and Maya develop new technologies, techniques, and relationships as they navigate college and their new responsibilities as recruits. This is an awesome graphic novel. I adore this art style and the story. - Izzy


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The Book No One Wants to Read Cover Image
By Beth Bacon, Beth Bacon (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062962546
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - June 15th, 2021

I couldn’t get the grin off my face reading this book. It’s cute and wonderfully meta, this is the perfect book for the hesitant reader, who maybe needs a helping hand once in a while. - Ryan
 


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Star Wars The High Republic: Out of the Shadows Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368060653
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney Lucasfilm Press - July 27th, 2021

First, I am a casual fan of Star Wars, and disagree with some super-fans’ negative opinions about the newest Star Wars content. This book is set in the time of the High Republic, and the two main characters get to have their own stories before they finally meet each other. I love the complex character development and detailed descriptions that help you actually visualize the characters’ journeys. The book is jam-packed with vivid imagery, and has really detailed battle scenes that aren't too violent or gory. It’s really refreshing to get a more in-depth look at padawans and other more minor characters as well; you really get to feel like you can relate to or understand everyone’s motivation. I can’t wait for what comes next! - Kim T.


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If Bees Disappeared (If Animals Disappeared #1) Cover Image
By Lily Williams, Lily Williams (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250232458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - March 16th, 2021

Bees are a big part of the world; they help bring life and vitality to the land.  Still, they are slowly dying out and that could be catastrophic for us all. This book allows adults and kids alike to learn about bees and how they help keep the world alive around them. It also explains what would happen if the bees were to die out. Either way, you can’t go wrong picking up a book on bees and how they save the world. - Patty