July Staff Picks to Enjoy this Summer!

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”  ― Charles William Elliot

 

 

Books: 

This is the story of a young unwed mother living in 1950’s Quebec, who is forced to abandon her “child of sin” at birth. The circumstances of the times, 1950’s, contribute to what becomes of mother, and daughter. The Home for Unwanted Girls, run by Catholic nuns, finds it a more lucrative business to care for medical concerns rather than orphans. Thus, the orphanage is turned into a hospital for the mentally retarded, and all orphans are labeled mentally retarded, and treated thus. The story is based on history, following a mother and daughter who were victims of the times. It’s disturbing, but also includes a ray of hope.

- Recommended by Virgie


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Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525535591
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 24th, 2018

“We are what we repeat. Over and over.” -Aristotle

Camille, a 38-year-old wife and mother, has everything she needs but has a nagging dissatisfaction with her life. Then she meets Claude Dupontal, a “routinologist”, who counsels patients on the draining effect of monotony and the ordinary. Claude guides Camille through an unconventional series of counseling and metaphors, helping her find the key to open HER door of unhappiness. This powerhouse novel is fun, relaxing and full of self-help tips. I found myself highlighting many nuggets of wisdom.

- Recommended by Virgie


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Animal Farm Cover Image
By George Orwell, Russell Baker (Preface by), C.M. Woodhouse (Introduction by)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780451526342
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Signet - April 6th, 2004

I read this book so long ago that I decided to reread it, with my older and wiser perspective. INTERESTING! The barnyard animals revolt and overthrow their human rulers, establishing their own democratic Animal Farm, where “all animals are equal.”

Napoleon proves to be a power-hungry leader among the animals and the supposed democracy wanes as each day passes. Although this book was first published in 1944,

I believe this to be an illuminating fable for our times

- Recommended by Virgie

 

 

 

This is a cautionary tale illustrating absolute power corrupting absolutely. A farm full of abused and exploited animals take over the farm and implement their ideals for self-governance. All begins well, but soon enough some animals believe themselves to be superior to the other animals; slowly the commandments change and the treacherous ones align themselves with the abusive humans.

Although this originally targeted Stalinist Russia, these themes apply today as well. Never forget that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

- Recommended by Kim T.


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The Incendiaries: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735213890
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - July 31st, 2018

Will and Phoebe are college kids who are in love! Their relationship struggles and breaks when Phoebe is lured into a radical, religious cult, called Jejah. led by a young man who was recently  released from a North Korean prison. Jejah preys on vulnerable, desperate people, and Phoebe, who blames herself for her mother’s death is the perfect candidate. Try as he might, Will cannot pull his love from this cult. This brief novel takes on a powerful subject. It is interesting to see the lure to belong to such a group, which resorts to a terrorist act, killing people, in the name of God.

- Recommended by Virgie


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A Prayer for Owen Meany Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062204226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - April 3rd, 2012

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice…” Well, let me tell you, fellow reader - so am I. I’ll be honest - when I began this book, I was really struggling to want to finish it. It was only because of the overwhelming praise I heard from coworkers, or customers, or even random people on the bus - SO MANY PEOPLE told me how deeply they love this book, that I couldn’t not find out why. For much of the time while I was reading it, I treated it as “light reading,” a nice and comfy world with interesting characters that I could delve into and enjoy. By the end, I was sobbing my heart out, and left completely devastated. This ended up being one of the most moving books that I have ever read.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Doctor Sleep Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451698855
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - June 10th, 2014

Are you in need of a good scare? Then Stephen King’s riveting sequel to his hit book The Shining is just what you’re looking for. Now an adult, Dan Torrance has hit rock-bottom. He has spent his life struggling to cope with the traumatizing events that occured in his childhood at the Overlook Hotel so long ago, and has lived the better parts of his life as a blacked-out drunk. Around the time that Dan decides that enough is enough and begins his sobriety, he starts receiving strange messages from someone named Abra. For the next twelve years, Dan works in a nursing home, helping the elderly “pass on,” and earning his nickname ‘Doctor Sleep.’ At the same time, twelve-year-old Abra, a child with a strong shine, has gotten herself into big trouble, and her ‘imaginary’ friend, Tony, leads her to Dan. So begins a terrifying and dangerous journey for Dan, Abra, and their band of friends, to save the lives of Abra and other children with the shine. You can really see King’s growth as an author here when comparing it to The Shining - one was the alcohol-fueled fury of a much younger man (as its protagonist exemplified), and the other an insight of an older man with a sober mind full of wisdom (as this protagonist exemplifies). Released 36 years after the original story, this book is a great conclusion to this tale.

- Recommended by Marissa


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The Man in the High Castle Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780547572482
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - January 24th, 2012

If you’re both a sci-fi and a history geek, this book is right up your alley. PKD explores the setting of what our world might have been had the Nazis and Japan won WWII. Full of strange characters and intriguing philosophical dialogue about war, morality and social classes, this book and its’ alternate history are a major trip. It is considered by many to be one of PKD’s best works.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Dr. Bloodmoney Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780547572529
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2012

This splendidly strange unofficial sequel to Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb has been my favorite PKD novel that I’ve read so far. What happens after the bomb drops? Through the eyes of a variety of extraordinary characters, we watch as society rebuilds itself after nuclear destruction. Told in the trippy, fluid narrative that is classic PKD, this story and its’ characters flourish against this post-apocalyptic backdrop. This book is also full of faulty narrators, and really plays on the idea of trusting misinformation, which I very much enjoyed. This was quite a satisfying read.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Spinning Silver: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399180989
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - July 10th, 2018

Spinning Silver is loosely based off of the classic tale of Rumpelstiltskin, but Novik has updated and enriched the story with her characters and their Russian-Jewish backgrounds. Miryem, a smart and determined young Jewish girl, has set out to save her father’s failing moneylending business. However, her talents with money quickly attract the unwanted attention of the Staryk, a race of ice people who seem determined to bring on an eternal winter. What's more, the tsar of the land is being slowly consumed by a terrible demon of fire, and soon the entire nation may come crumbling down.

- Recommended by Megan


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Us Against You: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501160790
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - June 5th, 2018

Fredrik Backman has done it again, this time with a sequel to Beartown. It draws out more violence than I care to contemplate regarding human beings, but it is a truism that must be addressed.  Many of the same characters are here; two rival hockey teams squaring off with an even deeper-seated need to win - partly because of the events described in Beartown. New characters are introduced, as well, bringing politics into an already incendiary situation. And finally, thankfully, a reckoning (again) between good and evil, or right vs. wrong.  As always, Backman’s characters are beautifully drawn, flawed and perfect.

- Recommended by Katie D.


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Anansi Boys Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062564337
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - October 25th, 2016

The word “Anansi” took me back years and years, to grade school, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Anansi was the Spider God who was born in South Africa, and migrated to the Bahamas. He embarrassed his son on a constant basis (who didn’t KNOW he was a god), by tap-dancing on the boardwalk, talking to mermaids, tipping his fedora  at young ladies and flirting shamelessly. This particular son didn’t know he had a brother (who was sent away when he was very young because he was just oh, too like his father!).  This beautifully woven tale speaks to us of brotherhood never claimed, then realized and embraced. The brothers eventually even embrace their father, who has met his (sort of) demise.  Storytelling at its finest (aka Neil Gaiman).

- Recommended by Katie D.


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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345803788
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - May 20th, 2014

Crazy Rich Asians is a fun and fast-paced novel that takes its readers on a journey into the ultra-wealthy world of Singapore, where people shop at Versace like it’s Target, and everyone has a few exotic cars.  Enter Rachel; a middle class professor from New York, who visits Singapore with her boyfriend Nick. The kicker? Nick Young happens to be the heir to one of the largest fortunes in Asia, and Rachel has no idea.  She finds herself suddenly thrust into this high-glam world of jewels, parties, and cars, with more than its share of drama. Paparazzi, spontaneous jetsetting, every marriageable woman on the island, and an overbearing mother are looming. Will Rachel and Nick come out unscathed?  After all, what’s several billion dollars between lovers? If you love Jane Austen or just need a great summer read, this is it! Read it before the movie is released later this year!

- Recommended by Jenna


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Orange Is the New Black (Movie Tie-in Edition): My Year in a Women's Prison Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812986181
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - August 6th, 2013

This read was just as fun and engaging as it was insightful. Piper Kerman’s tale of her 15-month sentence in a women’s prison is full of so many rich and memorable characters, giving an intimate look into a wide variety of women’s lives, how they ended up where they are, and how they handle the consequences. Coming from her own position of privilege (being a successful white woman with a career and a rich doting family really gives you a general advantage in a place like prison), Kerman uses this opportunity to showcase these women from all walks of life, which is both heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. This was a very personal and interesting read.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400082773
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - August 10th, 2004

I am so glad to have picked up this book. Originally published in 1995, this book focuses on Obama’s early years up until his entry into law school in 1988. This book is non-political in nature - it was never intended to enhance or backup his political career. It is simply a beautiful story of never letting go of hope, of family , and of what it means to find yourself and reach your potential in this beautiful country we live in. Regardless of any politics, Barack Obama is an incredibly inspiring man with a huge heart, and to hear him speak about love and generosity has encouraged me to be a more open-hearted and affectionate person. The audiobook is read by the author, and I would highly recommend listening to it.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . .: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143113874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 24th, 2008

I’m a multi-philosophical kinda gal; give me Socrates, Lao Tzu, Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, even Hunter Thompson, in his own way - and I’m  trying to figure out what fits me, and what doesn’t. Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar did exactly what I think it was made to do; to try and explain it all with a huge grain of salt and a big dose of humor.  If you can’t philosophize with humor, I say, what’s the point? Life is meant to be taken seriously in some cases, but NOT all the time. This little book is a fabulous one; the authors don’t take themselves or anyone else too seriously, and have some excellent explanations for different philosophies.

- Recommended by Katie D.


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The Legend of Greg Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524739720
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - June 12th, 2018

Have you ever felt that things just don’t go the way that they should?  This is what happens to Greg every Thursday. Things just go wrong. He has come to terms with this until the day the trolls attack his dad’s soap shop and is carried off with them.  Then things just go downhill. This is such a fun book. You feel so much better about our world after you read this. This is for fans of Rick Riordan, you get the same kind of off the wall humor!!

- Recommended by Chris


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The Fandom Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338232707
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - April 24th, 2018

Have you ever loved a book so much that all you wanted was to fall into it and be part of the story?

Well what happens when you become part of the story, do you change the story or try to make it just like the book?  Or what happens when things do start to change? This is fun fast paced book. I could put it down. I just had to find out if the characters lived.  Because they don’t in the book.

This is for fans of Hunger Games and Divergent.

You should also read: Under the Never Sky

- Recommended by Chris


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Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781442429734
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 3rd, 2015

When Truly has to move to Pumpkin Falls, Vermont, she sees her life slipping away from what it was in Texas.  She doesn’t want to start over again. But one of the bright sides is, now her family co owns a bookstore in town.  But after some time she makes some friends and they all have to solve the mystery of the mysterious letter that Truly finds in a very old and rare book.

This book was so much fun.

This is a wonderful audiobook.  Very well read!!

- Recommended by Chris


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Bring Me Their Hearts Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781640631465
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Entangled: Teen - June 5th, 2018

Zara is a Heartless.  A woman enthralled to a witch as her guard and servant.  Her heart torn from her chest and kept in a fiery jar, she is isolated with her masters, and other Heartless, in the forest since the Witch Wars were lost.  Now, to prevent another war the witches know they’ll never be able to win, she has been granted a chance at freedom. Zara may have her heart back from its jar, but only if she replaces it with the heart of the crown prince.

So Zara is thrown into a world of political plotting, courtly manners, and no small amount of magic.  Her mission? Convince the court she’s a lost lady, never reveal what she is, ensnare the heart of the prince, and then rip it out.  But not all is as it seems in this new glittering world, and Zara may soon find that she’s in far more danger at court than she ever was with the witches in the wild woods beyond it.  For fans of Throne of Glass and Sabriel.

- Recommended by Jenna


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The Scorpio Races Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780545224901
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - October 18th, 2011

“It is the first day of November, and so, today, someone will die.”  So begins another novel by Stiefvater that will enthrall and delight readers.

Puck Connolly loves her island, her pony, Dove, and her two brothers above all else.  So when she spots a chance to keep one brother on the island, and another out of a poor house, she seizes it.  Even if that means winning the deadly water horse races that happen on the beach each year. Even if it means being friendly with the beasts that killed her parents.

Sean Kendrick has racing in his blood, and all he really wants is his water horse stallion, Corr, and his father’s house.  The most prolific racer on the island has one chance to live his life on his own terms. Win the Scorpio Races. Win Corr. Win a future.  Did I mention that water horses have a tendency to eat humans?

Stiefvater is a terrific writer and I am so angry I didn’t pick up her books earlier.  She weaves words with grace and tenacity, creating worlds that may very well be our own, but with a bit more magic.  This is a retelling of the water-horse myth that is so common in Irish, Scottish, and British lore. I highly recommend anything she’s written, you will never be disappointed.  This is also an excellent audiobook!

- Recommended by Jenna


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Don't Eat That Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101997291
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 12th, 2018

This is a wonderful, funny, and witty picture book for all.  There are so many bears here, so this a good lesson on what bears should eat.  And what they shouldn’t eat. People being one of those things not to eat.

- Recommened by Chris


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She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History Cover Image
By Chelsea Clinton, Alexandra Boiger (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525516996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - March 6th, 2018

This is a beautiful, inspiring and informative book for all children on the power of determination and belief in oneself. These 13 women changed history in their own very special ways, and I think it carries a great lesson for both girls and boys. Gorgeous illustrations, too!

- Recommended by Marissa


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Hu Wan and the Sleeping Dragon Cover Image
By Judy Young, Jordi Solano (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781585369775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sleeping Bear Press - December 15th, 2017

A beautifully told story of patience and family bonds. Mixed with enchanting illustrations, the heartwarming messages of this book come alive to children and adults alike. A wonderful book for your little ones (and for you!).

- Recommended by Marissa


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The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316199988
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 8th, 2014

Beekle is from a magical place, where imaginary friends are born. He waits and waits and waits some more for his turn to be imagined by his future friend - but his friend never comes. So Beekle decides to take his fate into his own hands - he travels far to the city, in search of his future friend! This is a very sweet story of patience, determination, friendship and courage.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Mrs. Mole, I'm Home! Cover Image
By Jarvis, Jarvis (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780763694951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - June 7th, 2018

Mr. Mole has lost his glasses, and without them, he’ll have a hard time finding his way home to his family before dinner! Full of cute and punny illustrations, this book is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, especially if you take the time to hunt for the background jokes!

- Recommended by Megan