Jubilant January Staff Picks

Jump, jive, and be jolly with these jubilant January staff picks! 

Check out our audiobook playlist HERE.

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Diver's Clothes Lie Empty Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062110947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - March 15th, 2016

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty is a lot of book in a small package.  Follow an unnamed woman as she trips through other people’s identities, and drowns in paranoia following a routine encounter with a thief in a hotel lobby.  I found myself desperately curious about our heroine's next move with every page, even as I found myself continuously more infuriated with her.  While it is made clear she is grappling with some serious personal issues from the beginning, as the story progresses you fall deeper into her wild and fractured psyche. This book is absolutely for fans of titles like Gone Girl, where you are unsure about the motivations of the protagonist, and even more unsure about your feelings toward them. Even now, I’m still grappling with it.

-Jenna

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Violeta [English Edition]: A Novel Cover Image
By Isabel Allende, Frances Riddle (Translated by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593496206
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - January 25th, 2022

Isabelle Allende has that way of telling a story rich in culture, informative in historical events, and full of heart! Violetta, born in South America during the Spanish Flu Pandemic, lives long enough to experience our current pandemic. Throughout her long life, the wars, depression, South American political coups, and cultural movements have shaped Violetta. Before she dies she is determined to tell her life story to the one person she loves above all others, Camilo. She does so through letters, making this an incredibly rich and heart-felt story. 

This novel is for all Allende fans, those who are interested in South American history, and those who need a nudge to reflect on the good and difficult times that combine to define a life well lived!

-Virgie


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A History of Wild Places: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982164805
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - December 7th, 2021

A History of Wild Places will send you on a spine-tingling adventure to find what has been lost. The disappearance of a questionable children's author leads Travis Wren, a gifted individual, down a dark rabbit hole. A History of Wild Places took me off guard by tapping into that childlike wonder and fear. It reminded me why I'm afraid of the dark in the best way possible! With such beautiful attention to detail, I felt I was right there walking down the same dark snowy forest path! I definitely recommend A History of Wild Places to anyone that enjoys an eerie cult detective story, and likes having their hair stand on end!

-Jonah

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The Horsewoman Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316499774
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - January 10th, 2022

This author collaboration caught my attention, and I was curious enough to see for myself what kind of story this unlikely pair would create. I didn’t know much about horse competitions, but these authors brought me to the edge of my seat, feeling the tense relationships between performers, trainers, and owners. Maggie Atwood and her daughter Becky travel a bumpy “competition road” to qualify for the Olympics, competing against each other! I found myself holding my breath until I could cheer in joy. Everyone's a winner in this story! I loved it!

This novel is for those who love horses or want to know more about the equine Olympic competitions.

-Virgie

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How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063072640
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - January 18th, 2022

Death is a normal part of the world, we face it daily directly and indirectly. This book focuses on death. Each chapter is a seemingly different story about death and the moments before, sometimes the moments after. You never know what to expect because it’s unique in every way.

I usually stay away from books like this, but the story behind each person was absolutely beautifully told. I feel like it taught me that though death is sad, it can also be absolutely beautiful.

-Patty

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Call Us What We Carry: Poems Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780593465066
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books - December 7th, 2021

Amanda Gorman, the presidential inaugural poet, has given readers an inspirational poetry collection for weary pandemic souls! Call Us What We Carry identifies emotions that are likely buried deep inside up. Each page is a gift of hope. Give this as a gift to yourself. Give this to those who are still on the “front lines.” 

“It took us losing ourselves to see we require no kingdom

But this kinship.

It is the nightmare, never the dream, that shocks us awake.”

-Virgie

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Devil House: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374212230
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - January 25th, 2022

If you know anything about John Darnielle or the Mountain Goats, you’ll know the mystic power of his deceptively straightforward writing style. In Devil House, we are introduced to Gage Chandler, a true-crime writer practicing his distinctive immersion style of research by purchasing a house that was the site of a gruesome Satanic murder scene back in the ’80s. A failing porn store was abandoned, a key was left behind, some teenagers did as teenagers do, and blood was shed at the end of a sword. 

But this book is about more than macabre research into a dusty moment of violence; this is about storytelling - the act, the telling, and the consequences. Darnielle’s writing will pull you in like a riptide. 

-Megan

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The School for Good Mothers: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982156121
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 4th, 2022

I would never want to attend the school for good mothers! This school is not an option for certain mothers, but rather a live-in, year-long rehabilitation program where they are taught “Motherese” by means of robotic children. Daily they are reminded of being “bad” mothers, keeping an atonement journal. This dystopian novel, on the cusp of being believable in our near future, gave me the shivers! If you’re a fan of the works of Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler, this novel will be yet another one to devour!

-Virgie

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Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780399592553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - November 30th, 2021

Once again, Brene Brown has arisen as my hero for navigating the stressors of life! Identifying language as a portal to connect with ourselves as well as others, she uses extensive research and personal life stories to illustrate 87 different emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. Unfortunately, Brown points out through research, that the majority of us are unable to explain our own emotions, which makes it nearly impossible to truly connect with others. Yet isn’t connection what we long for? Follow Brene as she navigates the atlas of life, and learns that exploring our language about our emotions can become our life jacket to keep us afloat in this crazy but wonderful world. 

-Virgie

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Desert Solitaire Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780671695880
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone - January 15th, 1990

For anyone who has visited the magical world of Arches National Monument - or wanted to - this autobiographical memoir based on the journal entries of Edward Abbey’s two seasons as a park ranger there paints a picture you’ll beg to step into…and preserve. As Abbey says, “wilderness needs no defense, only more defenders'', and reading through this book is enough to make anyone willing to stand up and protect our natural treasures. Yes, some of Abbey’s language and ideas are out of date and show him to be a product of his time, but at its core, this love letter to the Utah desert is truly classic and lasting. It is nostalgia and immediacy; romance and shamelessness; defiance and salvation. “Bedrock and paradox”. For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers - this one is for YOU!

-Annali

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The Last Cuentista Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781646140893
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Levine Querido - October 12th, 2021

As the first sci-fi book I’ve ever read, The Last Cuentista was an excellent choice! Halley’s Comet has been knocked off course by a solar flare and is heading straight for Earth. The end of the world is now inevitable, the government chooses those deemed the best of society to board 3 giant spaceships bound for a new planet. Petra, a young girl among them, feels out of place due to her love of story-telling, a trait she acquired from her beloved grandmother. This ends up being one of her most important skills. 

I fell in love with the characters and the colorful way Higuera spun this addicting story, I will definitely be picking up more of her work in the future!

-Isabella

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Fox: A Circle of Life Story Cover Image
By Isabel Thomas, Daniel Egnéus (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781547606924
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - November 30th, 2021

This is a stunningly beautiful book that begins the conversation “What happens when we die?” It teaches children about death and the circle of life in a way that is tangible and clear to understand. Using simple science and gorgeous illustrations,  the author cleverly maneuvers through difficult subject matter, giving information in a story format. I love how simple the premise is in this book, and appreciated how informative it was. The idea of death can be complicated, and I think this would be a perfect book to help a young child cope with and learn from a loss. As this book instructs, “Death is not just an end, but a beginning."

-Annali


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Willodeen Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250147400
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 7th, 2021

This is a magical story about 11-year-old Willodeen, who feels awkward around people, but connects with animals of all sorts, even scary ones! She is a true eco-warrior, who understands the interconnectedness of all living things, and since “nature knows more than we do” you best not mess with it! The short chapters, accompanied by pictures, make this a perfect story for reluctant middle-grade readers, and the plot makes this the ideal book to capture your heart and refresh your soul! 

If you are fond of The One and Only Ivan, are an animal lover, or are just curious about the world around you I’m certain you’ll enjoy this story.

-Virgie

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Alice in Wonderland (BabyLit Books) Cover Image
By Mandy Archer (Retold by), Annabel Tempest (Illustrator)
$12.99
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781423649830
Published: Gibbs Smith - August 14th, 2018

I love this concept of literature for youngsters! There is no reason to deny our emerging readers the world of classic literature, and this is the perfect venue to do so! The simple sentences accompanied by cool illustrations are appealing and do a good job telling the story. 

Other titles include: Little Women, The Jungle Book, The Secret Garden, Pride and Prejudice, and Great Expectations.

-Virgie


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Viking in Love Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593202289
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - December 14th, 2021

Viking in Love is an adorable story about Stig the Viking, who just happens to be afraid of the sea.  Now being afraid of the sea simply will not do, especially now that Stig has seen the beautiful viking Ingrid and fallen desperately in love. What is a lovelorn viking to do other than try every way to get a letter to his true love? This cute story of perseverance and hope in the face of fear is an excellent choice for reading aloud or solo literary adventures for the young reader!

-Jenna


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Ice Planet Barbarians Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593546024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - November 30th, 2021

Ruby Dixon’s entire series of sci-fi aliens romances is a delightfully mad romp across an icy alien world with a group of kidnapped human women and a tribe of 7 foot tall, blue, horned, barbarians.  Follow Georgie, the first in the motley crew, as she leads them to find a way to survive in a new world they dub “Not-Hoth” all the while trying to navigate the social intricacies of their new alien society.  Every time I think I’m done with this series, they drop a new tidbit of science fiction that has me curious all over again.  These books are exactly the kind of weird and delightful romp I needed during the pandemic, and I devoured them all via audiobook.  They’re now being released in print for the rest of us to enjoy, and I cannot wait to introduce this ABSOLUTELY BONKERS, 100% NSFW series to the world.

-Jenna

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The Love Hypothesis Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593336823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - September 14th, 2021

This adorable romance story revolves around Olive, a struggling PhD candidate, and Adam, a PdD from another program, who find themselves pulled into a hilarious scheme that will supposedly benefit them both.  As anyone who has ever seen a rom-com knows though, things do not go as smoothly as planned.  Tropes abound in this absolute gem of a book – Enemies to lovers, fake dating, forced proximity, sunshine vs grumpy, mutual pining – they all make their appearances!  An absolute must for any fan of contemporary romance. 

-Jenna

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The Heart Principle Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451490841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 31st, 2021

I love romance novels because they offer diverse character development, complex arcs, and (mostly) relatable obstacles for everyone involved.  If you love them like I do, you already know this, but if you’re hung up on old prejudices against the genre, Helen Hoang is a great place to begin changing your mind.  In The Heart Principle the reader will encounter challenges that will seem all too familiar, and characters you’ll genuinely fall in love with.  This book is an absolute delight, and frankly felt like a therapy session right through to the HEA (happily ever after.)  Romance novels are often criticized for being cheesy, unrealistic, and misogynistic, but frankly, I think the message of overcoming the odds in the face of human pain is valuable, cathartic, and feminist.  Helen Hoang’s newest book is THE book for a romance newbie or a seasoned veteran. 

-Jenna

Check out the ebook and audiobook!


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Luna Cover Image
By Maria Llovet, Maria Llovet (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781684157518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOOM! Studios - December 14th, 2021

This graphic novel brings a 60’s hippie cult to life, as Teresa, who is tormented and enthralled by prophetic dreams, searches for a sense of identity and power.  Sex and drugs abound as she finds herself more and more horrified by her enigmatic family members. She is drawn to the mysterious alchemical figure of her imagination, who feels most real whilst in the throws of Teresa’s hedonistic raptures.  The story and art in this volume packs one hell of a punch and certainly belongs on the shelves of any graphic novel aficionado and art lover alike.  Think Gaiman’s “Sandman” but more psychedelic – less noir.  

-Jenna