June Staff Picks to Start Your Summer Right

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

 

Books: 
Staff Pick Logo
And Then There Were None Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062073488
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - March 29th, 2011

It’s no wonder that this is the best selling mystery novel of all time. I had never read anything by Christie, and I’m not much into the mystery genre in general, but I ripped through this book in one sitting, I enjoyed it so much! Ten people are lured to an island, and start dying one by one. One of the guests must be the culprit - but who? This is a very fun and entertaining murder mystery.

- Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
The Godfather Cover Image
By Mario Puzo, Robert Smith Thompson (Introduction by), Anthony Puzo (Introduction by), Peter Bart (Afterword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451205766
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - March 1st, 2002

I have apparently always had very strange taste in books, because The Godfather was my absolute favorite book when I was nine-years-old. I could not tell you why. But I can tell you that deciding to reread it as an adult was a fantastic decision. Puzo’s portrayal of the Corleone crime family is brutally moving. Once you jump into this story, it grips you like a giant iron fist, and refuses to let you go. The Godfather has proven itself over the years as a tale that outlasts the tests of time. No wonder it is one of the best selling books of all time.

- Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
Room: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316098328
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 18th, 2011

Growing up as a girl in the time of such cases as Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard, and the three women together in Cleveland, this book, while it is fiction, was a very intriguing view into the horror of abduction and long-term captivity in our modern world. To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. Ma has lead him to believe so to keep him safe and sane. But after seven years in captivity, Ma becomes desperate, and so unfolds this amazing tale of a bond between mother and son that only such a tragic and devastating experience could create. I usually don’t take too well to books that are written from the perspective of kids, as a lot of times, the writing just comes out choppy and uninteresting. But Donoghue executed this story perfectly. This is a very dark read, so be prepared; but oh my, it is a great one.

- Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
The Girls: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812988024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 9th, 2017

While this book is fiction, it is a really interesting take on the events and actions of the Manson Family. While sometimes brutal and uncomfortable, it gives an intensive perspective into cult mentality. Being from an area of California where the Manson Family was active, I have known many people who were directly affected by them. My aunt ran with Charlie and his crew before they became the Family, and I’d imagine her experiences to be very similar to what’s detailed in this book. It’s very dark, but quite enjoyable.

- Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
A Shout in the Ruins Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316556477
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 15th, 2018

The Civil War was over and the announcement was made that slaves were free. But what did that mean … really? Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds, which tells the haunting story of the war in Iraq, turns his focus to the Civil War in A Shout in the Ruins. He presents a powerful portrayal of slavery, where the relationship between black slaves and white slaveholders is complicated. The story, taking place in Virginia, spans the time from the beginning of the Civil War through the next hundred years. Powers’ writing encouraged me to ponder not only the changes that have taken place in the term “warfare” from the Civil War to now, but also to wonder how generations of violence and discrimination affect our society today. This is a powerful story and a timely topic to consider, as we witness the Black Lives Matter movement.

- Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
We Own the Sky Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780778314738
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - April 3rd, 2018

Raising a child can be difficult, especially your first. Somehow the parenting styles must mesh into a compromise. But what happens when your 5 year old and only son is diagnosed with a terminal illness? The compromised plan of parenting explodes and relationships become distant as each parent copes with the devastating situation.

This is a story that will suck you in and not let you go until you are finished. After you’ve wiped away the tears, you can pull yourself up and feel that you might better understand the pains and complexities of relationships amidst a tragedy. The story did not have the ending I expected, but I loved it!

- Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

Madeline Miller has more than delivered on her much anticipated follow up to the award winning best seller The Song of Achilles which is basically a retelling of the Iliad.  I actually have not read the first book but I plan on it now!  Miller is a truly gifted storyteller. Circe is basically a retelling of the Odyssey.  

 

The powerful witch Circe was one of 3 Children that came from Helios the Titan Sun God and his union with Perse the beautiful nymph daughter of Oceanos.  It becomes clear that she suffers lower status than her siblings and other nymphs because she has the voice of a mortal and the yellow eyes of a hawk. After her first meeting with a mortal the fisherman Glaucos, she falls in love and turns him into a god.  When Glaucos tires of Circe’s attention, he turns toward the beautiful sea nymph Scylla. Circe, enraged, turns her witchcraft upon the nymph, and is exiled by Zeus to a beautiful, unpeopled island.  It is here, on Aiaia, that Odysseus finds her, happily surrounded by tame wolves and lions and swine – the latter are earlier visitors that she has bewitched after an unwise sea captain attempts to rape her. As with her previous novel, the great skill here is the way Miller gives voice to a previously muted perspective in the classics, forging a great romance from the scraps left to us by the ancients.

 

Written in compelling prose that ripples with hyperbole there is nothing ancient or unaccessible in the story of the ever resilient Circe as told by Miller.  Whether you are a true fan of these mythologies or not, there is something for everyone in these completely engaging relevant tales.

- Recommended by Kim B.


Staff Pick Logo
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062645111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 6th, 2018

Twenty-something-year-old law school dropout Nikki lives in West London, where she tends bar at the local pub where, much to her traditional Indian family’s chagrin, she leads a modern, Westernized life. After her father’s death she impulsively takes a job a the temple’s community center as an English creative writing teacher for the local Punjabi widows, or so she thinks. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows are expecting to learn English literacy, not short-story writing. When a widow finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki, eager to liberate these modest women, teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected kind. This is easily one of the most endearing stories I’ve read in ages; this big-hearted novel gave me *multiple* laugh out loud moments.

- Recommended by Katie G.


Staff Pick Logo
The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250077707
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - April 25th, 2017

This is one of the most riveting memoirs I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Ruth Wariner holds nothing back as she tells the story of her childhood growing up in a Mormon fundamentalist farming town in Mexico. Growing up in a polygamist colony, Ruth was taught that the only way to ascend to Heaven was by entering plural marriages and having as many kids as possible. Her family stayed barely afloat by collecting U.S. benefits and doing small odd jobs in the States, neither of which brought in enough money to support such mass amounts of children, especially for Ruth’s mother, who gave birth to multiple children with various disabilities. Ruth grew up in a constant state of abuse and confusion, but never lost sight of her burning love for her family, despite facing the struggle of deciding what her own future would hold. This is a beautifully scathing tale of resilience and courage.

 

Ruth’s father was Joel LeBaron, leader of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, who was murdered by his brother Ervil, infamously known as the “Mormon Manson.” The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron is written by Ervil’s daughter. I recommending reading these two books as companions, as they are two sides of the same story.

- Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
The Best Things in Life Are Free (Lonely Planet) Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781760340629
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lonely Planet - August 16th, 2016

I love traveling.  My feet are nearly constantly itching for the next adventure.  Unfortunately my shoe, and travel budget, tend to stay low, which is exactly what makes this book such a gem!  Going by continent, all the most popular (and priciest) major cities are covered. Want to know if the MET in NYC has free days?  It’s here for you! What are the best public beaches in Greece? Can do! Best bang for your buck in famously expensive Edinburgh or London?  Want to spend half the price on a once in a lifetime gorilla viewing experience? (Hint: Rwanda charges $750 dollars while neighboring Uganda charges only $350 for a nearly identical experience!) Did you know wine tasting in Argentina is cheaper if your visit coincides with a big cultural event like Carnival!  $30 scuba in the Caribbean? Yes please! When is low season, since that’s often when you’ll get the best deals, as any Steamboat native knows. I’ve been known to splurge occasionally on travel, but I’d be remiss not to mention how many amazing people I’ve met on free walking tours, or how often hotels, hostels, and resorts organize free activities for their guests, or have deals with nearby, local eateries.  Never assume you have to spend your life savings to have an amazing time. This book is an excellent resource for starting your adventure on the cheap!

We have an excellent selection of Lonely Planet experience books and guide books for ideas on your next getaway, or just grab a beautiful world photography book to dazzle yourself!

- Recommended by Jenna


Staff Pick Logo
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492650959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - March 6th, 2018

“Lip, dip, paint” was the way young women were taught to paint military dials with radium, in 1917. This was a lucrative, glamorous job for these women, until they begin to show similar health symptoms, often ending in death. The women became radioactive, and had a glow in their body, even the bodies that were exhumed for research.

This is the story of the brave women, referred to as “the society of the living dead” who challenged the U.S Radium Dial Company. This was no easy feat, as they encountered a company who deliberately lied and intimidated their employees and even hired crooked, money-hungry doctors. Throughout the book I literally stood up and applauded these courageous women! They paved the way for the future of people in all walks of employment to be protected, through legislation, from occupational dangers. This is a powerful, passionate read!

- Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062319784
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - February 27th, 2018

Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame opens this book with a glowing introduction of the dogged Michelle McNamara’s relentless search for the Golden State Killer.  Flynn is a fan of her investigative skills and her writing as I too, have come to appreciate. A couple things about this book set it apart and make it notable.  The first is that she died before she finished it, the second is that the killer was finally caught just weeks after the release of this book! Not only that but he was caught exactly as McNamara thought he would be.

 

This book is of the true crime genre but with very notable skills in writing.  McNamara pretty well inserted herself into the investigation, working with detectives for years.  This killer/rapist was one of the most prolific in history and was almost caught many times but just kept slipping through. His crimes spread across CA all through the 70’s and 80’s and as recently as 2011 he called a former rape victim “Remember the night we played?” he said in the same raspy, horrible voice.

 

The book ends with a beautiful afterword by her husband, actor/comedian Patton Oswalt. Most stunning is the Epilogue: Letter To An Old Man, McNamara pretty much spells out how the recent arrest took place! She called it, probably helped solve it!  Just a shame she didn’t live to see it.  

-  Recommended by Kim B.


Staff Pick Logo
Why Do We Say It?: The Stories Behind the Words, Expressions, and Cliches We Use Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780785835707
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chartwell Books - August 15th, 2017

Why do we call them lollipops? Who is passing what buck?! As a stenographer’s daughter I think about words a lot. This fun dictionary-style book answers the question “where does that phrase come from” or “what the heck does that even mean” for several hundred words and expressions.  So don’t be a “snob”, pick this book up with your “southpaw” and make sure you’re vocabulary is “up to snuff”.

- Recommended by Katie G.


Staff Pick Logo
Delusions of Grammar: The Worst of the Worst Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250121516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 17th, 2017

This dual-purpose, cathartic and mind-numbing picture book infuriates AND calms me at the same time. The more than 350 photographs of misspellings and grammatical errors are broken down into categories such as “edumacation,” “fashion statements” and “apostrophe catastrophe”. Accompanying each of these unbelievable mistakes are hilariously snide comments from Sharon Eliza Nichols. If you’re as judgemental as I am, this book is for you, too.

- Recommended by Katie G.


Staff Pick Logo
The Complete What's Your Poo Telling You Cover Image
By Josh Richman, Anish Sheth, Peter Arkle (Illustrator), Matt Johnstone (Illustrator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781452170077
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - May 22nd, 2018

We only get one body and this comprehensive guide covers one of our most important bodily functions: pooping! Our bowel movements are a direct line to our health and can be one of the first indicators that something is amiss. The Complete What’s Your Poo Telling You? is packed with trivia, illustrations, medical tips and history to help us all put the fun back into taking care and notice of our health!

- Recommended by Katie G.


Staff Pick Logo
Fart Dictionary Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780762491773
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Running Press Adult - May 29th, 2018

Butt let’s be honest...potty humor is fantastic. Literally everyone farts, and if someone says that they don’t--they’re lying.  Or maybe they need to see a doctor. I love knowing the names of all the different farts one can have. The illustrations are very informative as well. This is a perfect coffee table book, or one to leave in the bathroom to entertain your guests as they relieve themselves.

P.S. Pro Tip: DO NOT hold your farts in because that could send you to the hospital; nobody wants that ER bill!

- Recommended by Kim T.


Staff Pick Logo
How to Fight (Mindfulness Essentials) Cover Image
By Thich Nhat Hanh, Jason DeAntonis (Illustrator)
$9.95
ISBN: 9781941529867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Parallax Press - September 19th, 2017

Communication is hard enough as it is, never mind fighting fairly. Most people never learn to address issues with others in a healthy manner. This book, focusing on mindfulness, helps one to understand a better way to communicate through our ‘fights’ using a variety of techniques. Hopefully, you can learn how to acknowledge the feelings involved and manage them in a productive way.

- Recommended by Kim T.


Staff Pick Logo
Orphan Monster Spy Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780451478733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 20th, 2018

Orphan Monster Spy is a poignant historical fiction set in the beginning of World War II.  Sarah is running for her life, but she doesn’t truly understand what she is running from  until she meets the man. He brings her into a whole new world against the Nazis. While Sarah is fictional character, many of the other names, places and events were real.   I could not put this down. After finishing I had to go and look up many of the things listed in the book because I was so intrigued by it.

If you liked this you should read:

Salt to the Sea  by Ruta Sepetys

Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

- Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
The Smoke Thieves Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425290217
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 1st, 2018

In this magical world where demon smoke is used to feel good and hunting and selling of this is illegal, five people are brought together as pons in a kings game to take over other kingdoms.   Each one brings a different tatelent to the unknown group.

- Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Save Me a Seat (Scholastic Gold) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780545846615
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - April 24th, 2018

In this day in age when so many people are talking about diversity, this is a great book to start that conversation.  School is hard, especially when you are the new kid. To make things harder your the new kid from a different country and have to learn how to be American.  This is the story of two boys that just don’t quite fit in and how they become friends. This was such a fun book to read. I love learning about other cultures and how each of us are different.

- Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses to Empower and Inspire You Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781452163413
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - April 3rd, 2018

From the creator of Bad Girls Throughout History comes this enchanting collection of goddess tales from across the globe. Each entry includes the stories and myths behind each goddess, breathtaking artistic renditions of each one, and empowering notes on how to take their messages and meanings and apply them to your own life. My favorite part of this book is just how many cultures were covered - there are so many deities in this book that I had never heard of. It’s such a beautiful and lovely book! Great for everyone of absolutely any age.

- Recommended by Marissa


Staff Pick Logo
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781579655976
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Artisan - October 4th, 2016

This gorgeous book features stories and interviews with some seriously badass ladies.  From fashion designers to museum curators, this book provides motivation and wisdom from people who have been there, no matter where there is.  Stories from women all over the country provide the solid backdrop of solidarity that can help push you to the next level of success. The saying ‘it takes a village’ rings with truth.  Well ladies, here is your village! The collection of photography isn’t too shabby either. A beautiful book that would be an amazing addition to any home library, and a perfect graduation present (especially for a woman who is unsure about what her future may hold!)

 

If you like this book, you may also like Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli, and Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker.

- Recommended by Jenna


Staff Pick Logo
Refugee Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780545880831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - July 25th, 2017

This timely and powerful historical fiction for upper elementary and teen readers tells the stories of 3 young people from 3 different eras attempting to make their way to freedom after living under oppressive governments.  The author weaves the settings of WWII Nazi Germany, 1990’s Cuba, and modern day Aleppo in these three intricate stories.

The daunting journeys of Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud will grip young readers and show them that being a refugee is not a choice, but rather a matter of life and death. The journey to find peace and a place to live in safety is far from a crime.

The three stories can’t help but stir empathy in readers. In my opinion, this would be an excellent book to share with your teen as a book club discussion.

- Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
Bob Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250166623
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - May 1st, 2018

This delightful fantasy story is about ten year old Livy and her loyal, but strange friend, Bob, who is the most adorable green zombie-like creature in a chicken suit you will ever meet! Livy tries to help Bob figure out if he's really a zombie, why he's wearing a chicken costume, where he’s from and most important, she will help him find his lost family! Not everyone can SEE Bob, which makes one wonder if he is real or imaginary. I’ll leave that up to the reader to decide.

I think this story is just the right length for reluctant readers. It’s action packed and easy to understand. The ending was a delightful surprise!

- Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Logo
The Diary of a Young Girl Cover Image
By Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart (Translated by), Eleanor Roosevelt (Introduction by)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780553296983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bantam - June 1st, 1993

Dear Kitty,

Anne, a frank Jewish teenager, addresses her diary as Kitty and writes about anything and everything as she and her family hide from the Nazis. We learn about her family, and the family friends that are hiding with them as they face the daily fear of being discovered by the enemies during their two years of hiding. Despite the hunger, boredom, and fear, Anne is resilient and courageous. This is an inspiring read that I think everyone should read at least once.

Yours,

Kim T.


Staff Pick Logo
Misunderstood Shark Cover Image
By Ame Dyckman, Scott Magoon (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338112474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orchard Books - April 24th, 2018

Misunderstood Shark  is presented in the form of a news show call Underwater World with Bob that shares fun shark facts through the whole book.  The characters filming the show are wonderful have great little blurbs throughout the book. This is a marvelous read aloud book for all ages.  The whole staff got a kick out of reading.

You should also check out Dude! By Aaron Reynolds

- Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
A Couch for Llama Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781454925118
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sterling Children's Books - February 6th, 2018

Llama had no idea what he was missing until one day when a couch fell into his field.  It’s his new friend. Llama loved his couch. But the Lago family was very sad that they had lost their new couch.  How do you lose a couch? This is a story that everyone can have a happy ending.

- Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Logo
Can I Be Your Dog? Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399554520
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - March 13th, 2018

Can I Be Your Dog is the saga of the friendly neighborhood stray who decides he wants friends and a home.  So he writes letters to every house on the street explaining why he would be a great dog, and has the mail lady deliver them, only to be face with rejection over and over again.  He never gives up though, and eventually finds a home that’s just right! Any dog lover with find their heart going out to this adorable illustrated mutt, and it’s a great story of perseverance, kindness, and love!  A perfect gift for the family with young children and animals. I also love how it advocates adoption as a way to find your perfect new family member.

- Recommended by Jenna


Staff Pick Logo
Love You Forever Cover Image
By Robert Munsch, Sheila McGraw (Illustrator)
$5.95
ISBN: 9780920668375
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Firefly Books - September 1st, 1995

This is a story about a mother’s unconditional love for her child throughout his life. He drives her crazy, but her love knows no bounds, even when he misbehaves. At the end of every night, his mother sneaks into his room to rock him back and forth while singing a song. Eventually, the son grows up and moves away, but his mother still occasionally drives across town for their nightly ritual. Time passes and his mother calls him to let him know that she is ill and needs to see him soon. He visits her, and the roles reverse. Only then does he realize that time passes too quickly, and begins this nightly ritual with his newborn. This story had me shedding tears as a child, and I feel this a classic, must-read for all.

- Recommended by Kim T.


Staff Pick Logo
The Story of Ferdinand Cover Image
By Munro Leaf, Robert Lawson (Illustrator)
$4.99
ISBN: 9780448456942
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grosset & Dunlap - March 31st, 2011

This classic from 1936 is about Ferdinand, the little bull who was unlike his peers, who just wants to sit and smell the flowers. He does not want to buck, stomp, and fight like the others. His mother knows he is not like the other little bulls, and lets him march to the beat of his own drum. This is a great story to remind children that they do not have to be like everyone else, and need not meet others’ expectations; they should always feel free to be themselves.

- Recommended by Kim T.


Staff Pick Logo
Ocean Meets Sky Cover Image
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481470377
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 15th, 2018

This book appeals to me because I lost my grandfather a few years ago. Finn, who lives by the sea, lost his beloved grandfather. Finn remembers the stories his grandfather told, and how he would say, “It’s a good day for sailing.” To honor his grandfather, Finn decides to build a boat to sail in hopes of discovering the faraway place where the ocean meets sky. While on his adventure, Finn did not realize how lonely this journey would feel. Fortunately, a great golden fish joins him on the journey, and shows him many wondrous things. Finn discovers it has indeed been a great day for sailing.

- Recommended by Kim T.