July 2015 Staff Picks

So many wonderful books, so little time. Let's not waste another second! Without further ado, let's dive into this month's staff picks...

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Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food By Bk Loren Cover Image
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781619020733
Published: Counterpoint - February 12th, 2013

Emily's Staff Pick, July 2015:

“Writing is listening.”

Animal, Mineral, Radical is a compilation of 13 essays that combine the tender self-reflection of a memoir with fierce, scientific observation of the natural world. Loren’s essays address issues including hunger and food distribution, depression and illness, incomplete and ineffective cleanups of radioactive waste, and what can happen when people with disparate interests meet in the middle to work together.

Loren’s work is insightful, clearly and artfully written with a bold message of environmentalism and compassion.

Years ago I read and loved this book and I have since passed it on to many friends. I’m sharing it with you this month because BK Loren will visit Off the Beaten Path for a reading on July 25.

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Atonement: A Novel By Ian McEwan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385721790
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - February 25th, 2003

Shannon's Staff Pick, July 2015:

When young Briony Tallis witnesses a series of events between her older sister Cecilia and a longtime family friend, Robbie Turner, she accuses Robbie of a crime that will alter all three of their lives on the eve of WWII. Atonement is a love story, but it is also the story of three interwoven lives and how life’s decisions and their consequences stain fate’s intentions.

Atonement is one of my all time favorite books.

It is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking, and Ian McEwen’s writing is deserving of many nights of lost sleep reading this book.

For any movie fans, the 2007 movie adaption of the novel is a definite outlier – it is as stunning and thought-provoking as the book!

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Virgil & Owen By Paulette Bogan Cover Image
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781619633728
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - January 27th, 2015

Candace's Staff Pick, July 2015:

Virgil, a polar bear, finds Owen. Virgil decides that Owen is his penguin and no one else can play with him. Owen, however, doesn’t like being treated as a toy, dragged about and not allowed to play. Owen helps Virgil understand how to be a friend.

A charming book with great illustrations!

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance By Jeff VanderMeer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374261177
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: FSG Originals - November 18th, 2014

Theodora's Staff Pick, July 2015:

This volume brings together the three installments of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, set some time in the future, which revolves around a series of government-initiated expeditions into Area X, a wilderness separated from the rest of the country by an arcane boundary.

It’s difficult to disclose much more about the plot without revealing too much or telling a partial lie, since the gradual revelation of information is at the crux of the novel.

This trilogy is extraordinarily creative, profoundly creepy, and generally serves to highlight Jeff VanderMeer’s range of literary talents.

The Water Knife By Paolo Bacigalupi Cover Image
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9780385352871
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 26th, 2015

Theodora's Staff Pick, July 2015:

Set in an American Southwest ravaged by drought, The Water Knife confirms that Paolo Baciagalupi is capable of creating some incredibly detailed and relevant dystopian settings.

In the world portrayed in this novel, water is a scarce resource. It is allocated based on social and financial status, and is vied over by various factions along the Colorado River.

The futuristic setting is the novel’s greatest strength; its details extrapolated from modern realities. Against this backdrop, characters struggle with water rights, corruption, and survival.