May Staff Picks to Get You Ready for Summer!

"People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned."    ~Saul Bellow

 

Books: 
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The Perfect Mother: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062696793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - May 1st, 2018

This novel moves at breakneck pace and leaves you guessing right up to the end.  The story follows a "mommy and me" group in Brooklyn when their worst nightmare happens.  The group finally decides to have a mommy night out, when one of their babies is stolen under the sleeping watch of a babysitter.  Compelling cultural study on the pressures of modern day motherhood. The media and public at large judge and uncover each mother’s secrets.  All the while the drama of trying to find the missing baby pulls you along in the fast read that covers 13 days. If you enjoyed Big Little Lies, this book is for you!

- Recommended by Kim B.


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Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062351432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - January 10th, 2017

Welcome to Night Vale is a fun and fascinating world,based on the podcast of the same name. If you’re looking for some trippy, surreal, hysterical sci-fi, you’ll find it here. And make sure you check out It Devours!, another Night Vale novel.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Adjustment Day Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393652598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 1st, 2018

I have been a die-hard Palahniuk fan since the age of ten (pro tip: I do NOT suggest anyone allowing a ten-year-old to read his books). It has been a very long time since he’s released a novel, and even longer, in my opinion, since he’s written anything good at all. That being said, the current political climate that we live in is the perfect backdrop for Palahniuk’s voice, and this is a story that only he could tell. His brutal ideologies and ferocious satire come together to create a fascinating look at what we could become if given over to every conspiracy theory brewing in the depths of our country. It’s a bizarre, yet insightful, view into the dichotomous nature of identity politics, and how our country might currently be more vulnerable than we think. This is Palahniuk back at his best, and I highly recommend it.

- Recommended by Marissa


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Love and Ruin Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101967386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - May 1st, 2018

Martha Gellhorn, considered one of the greatest female war correspondents of the 20th Century, was swept off her feet by Ernest Hemingway. She became the 3rd Mrs.Hemingway, only weeks after the divorce of wife # 2. It was difficult to watch the strong and talented Martha succumb to Hemingway’s influence. At times I wanted to jump into the book, shake Martha and tell her to pay attention! After reading this story I began to wonder if Hemingway knew how NOT to be married. Once his fame captured a woman, he seemed to use emotional manipulation to keep them around.

If you read The Paris Wife you might want to add this read to your understanding of Ernest Hemingway.

- Recommended by Virgie


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Two Steps Forward: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062846150
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - May 1st, 2018

People who need a “restart” in life, attempting  to “find themselves” hike the Camino de Santiago Trail from France to Spain. This 1700 km pilgrimage is said to “help one find what they have lost.” Zoe is hoping to grieve the death of her husband, while Martin is recovering from a messy divorce. This amazing travel adventure and unconventional love story is told with heart and soul. I felt like I was on this pilgrimage, and I’ve now added the Camino de Santiago trek to my bucket list!

If you read The Rosie Project you might consider Graeme Simsion’s latest novel!

- Recommended by Virgie


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In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781771681339
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Central Avenue Publishing - April 1st, 2018

This historical fiction about Rwanda’s horrific genocide and it’s aftermath is a perfect compliment to the nonfiction The Girl Who Smiled Beads. I read this book after finishing the non-fiction, but I think they could be read in any order. The story follows two individuals, passionate for human rights, who, after lamenting the murder of Martin Luther King Jr, travel to Rwanda, becoming immersed in the Tutsi - Hutu conflict. The author uses her words carefully to paint pictures of torture, death and despair. This is a truly gripping novel!

- Recommended by Virgie


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The Death of Mrs. Westaway Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781501156212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - May 29th, 2018

This story was slightly less terrifying than most Ruth Ware novels, but just as thrilling and full of intrigue. Harriet (Hal for short) a young, orphaned tarot reader is barely able to make ends meet when she receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her, daughter of “M. Westaway”, a substantial inheritance. At the funeral, Hal quickly learns something is very wrong about the family she never knew she had. The novel follows her through a twisted maze of decades-old secrets about her mother, her own past and her family, the one she never knew she had - and didn’t know Hal existed, either...right?

- Recommended by Katie G.


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Circe 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.


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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062645128
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - June 13th, 2017

This book is light, dirty, and fun, but in all honesty, hits on some incredibly relevant social themes involving equal rights and feminism in modern society. A group of women in a minority group of England come together in their widowed states, and want to write about everything taboo between themselves and their late husbands. After all, who listens to a bunch of widows?

- Recommended by Anne


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The Immortalists Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735213180
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 9th, 2018

A book that explores the quintessential question of how we make life choices, The Immortalists follows four siblings in their life journeys, and how their choices are reflected by their knowledge of their expiration dates. Without giving too much away, I will highlight that this storyline follows some dark paths to success and glory, and will draw you in to sympathize with each character along the way. How would you live your life if you knew the date of your death?

- Recommended by Anne


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Stardust Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062564344
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - September 27th, 2016

I typically struggle to get into fantasy reads, but this is an awesome, short, crowd-pleasing fairy tale with memorable characters and just enough raunchy Neil Gaiman humor to make it not quite kid-friendly! This was an audiobook favorite of mine, but the print copy is also quite small and easy to carry along with you. Just give it a read!

- Recommended by Anne


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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.


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Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781455543779
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 3rd, 2018

Shortly after her boyfriend breaks up with her, Meredith Goldstein becomes the author of a local advice column in the Boston Globe called "Love Letters." Although advice columnists (including Meredith) are not practicing mental health professionals, the feedback they give might be helpful, but the real mission was to entertain and engage. For being a “novice” in life, Meredith surprisingly shares pertinent wisdom. This book reminds me of Cheryl Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things, but Can’t Help Myself merges Meredith’s real life with “Love Letters,” sort of like a story within a story. This gives a personal touch to  the advice column story.

- Recommended by Virgie  


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The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780451495327
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - April 24th, 2018

In 1994 Clementine was a 6 year old child when a civil war broke out in her country of Rwanda, resulting in the horrific slaughter of 800,000 people in only 100 days. For the next 6 years Clem and her older sister fled Rwanda, traveling through 7 African countries before arriving in the U.S., a broken child. This is her story!

I recall watching Clem on the Oprah Show after she won an essay contest, and was reunited with her parents, whom she took for dead! Clem went on to do amazing things in her young life, connecting the dots between the Holocaust and genocide, using Elie Wiesel as her inspiration!

I read this book in 2 days and it has haunted me since! It is raw, honest, horrific and so, so brave. I’ve reached the conclusion that the human mind is an amazing, resilient, self-deceptive thing!

- Recommended by Virgie


A wonderful addition to your guide of Hiking the Boat II! This book was written by local author Tom Delancey, and details geologic information in the Steamboat Springs area. Going on a road trip that requires driving down 131? Check out the fossils at the cemetery in McCoy! Spice up hikes in the Flat Tops with a more intimate knowledge of their formation. Get outside and hunt for some little-known-about petroglyphs! This book is an all-around goodie and should live in your glove compartment or with your backpacking gear for easy access.

- Recommended by Anne


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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

I haven’t read a memoir this gripping since The Glass Castle. Tara Westover grew up in a dysfunctional family, to put it mildly. Her father, who likely has  bipolar disorder, thinks of himself as a great defender of the Mormon faith, proclaiming his family’s independence from the government, modern medicine, and the sinful world outside. Tara didn’t receive a birth certificate until she was 9 years old, never attended a day of school, and relied entirely on her mother’s homeopathic medicine even for serious injuries. This all changed when she decided to take the ACT, earning a high enough score to enter BYU, where she could see more clearly than ever just how lacking her education had been. As Tara moves further into the world of academia, she may have to leave everything about her past behind her. If you like this, you may also enjoy Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs, and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

- Recommended by Megan


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Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062670526
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 14th, 2017

Warren Jeffs is considered by his followers to be the spiritual “Prophet” of the FLDS sect of the Mormon church, a group which is known for its embrace of polygamy. At the time of his arrest, Jeffs had over 70 wives, many of whom were underage and at least one of which was only 12 years old when she was married. He is currently serving a life sentence for the rape of several young girls, and for his role in marrying off other girls to members of his congregation. His daughter, Rachel Jeffs, has written an explosive memoir detailing her abuse at the hands of her father, and the control he has over her family and community. Considering that polygamy is illegal in the United States, I was shocked at how their community seems to be thriving unchecked. I was even more surprised to discover that one of their compounds exists in my old backyard in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A very compelling and illuminating read! If you enjoy this, you might enjoy Educated by Tara Westover and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

- Recommended by Megan


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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400032808
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - June 8th, 2004

After reading Educated by Tara Westover and Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs, I felt like I needed to know more about Mormonism and why it seemed like this religion produced rather unstable, fervent, and sometimes violent followers. Krakauer is thorough in his detailing of both the trials and the atrocities endured and wrought by this strange group of people. The overarching story is of two brothers who conspired to violently murder their sister-in-law and her baby, all in the name of their fundamentalist interpretation of Mormonism. From Joseph Smith and his untimely end, to the great Mormon migration to Utah, to the atrocity that was the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the history of the Mormon church is rife with scandal, violence, and bizarre behavior. The LDS church is also thoroughly and undeniably American, and it continues to expand its reach across the globe as one of the fastest growing religions in the world.

- Recommended by Megan


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Onyx & Ivory Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062652669
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 15th, 2018

This is a little fantasy with some magic and evil creatures and some wild west woven in.  Kate had to run away from her past and did the only thing that she was ever really good at, ride horses.  Now she a relay rider for the kingdom. Think pony express rider. Everything is fine until one day when Kate has to rescue a caravan from the some new evil that has been released in the world.  But the caravan is not just any, but contains some one from her past. Someone who she thought that she would never see again. Now not only does she have to save herself but also face feeling that she had locked away forever.

- Recommended by Chris


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The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338185706
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - February 27th, 2018

This  is a wonderful coming of age story about Kiranmala, Kiran for short, a young girl in the 6th grade of Indian descent.  While she has a strong values for her cultural heritage, she has to to overcome things that are American and her parents desire to for her to an Indian Princess for Halloween every year.  But on her twelfth birthday, which is Halloween, she finds her parents are missing and the only people that can help her are princely brothers Lal and Neel.

Kiran now must travel to a foreign land of Kingdom Beyond Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers, and take her destiny into her own hands and save not only her parents but New Jersey too.  It comes to light that Kiran is a real Indian Princess.

Sayantani DasGupta was raised on these folktales of West Bengal India and brought them to us in this wonderful, funny new series Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond. This book is full of wonderful descriptions of  place and fantastic vocabulary for a great summer read.

- Recommended by Chris


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Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781368012355
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - March 27th, 2018

 This is another marvelous summer read for middle grade students.

Aru lives above the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture with her mom.  She is very engrossed in her Indian culture, but has a bad habit of stretching the true on some of her stories to her friends.  So one day she tells the tale of the Lamp of Bharata and how it is cursed. When she goes to light the lamp, everything freezes in time except for her.  Aru now needs to get help from Pandava brothers to reverse the curse and free everyone.  

- Recommended by Chris


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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062348685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 7th, 2016

It’s a teen read that doesn’t just talk about coming out of the closet in high school. It talks about coming into your own as a person, and breaking down our perception of what a “default” expectation of someone is, no matter whether you’re gay, straight, black, the class clown, the quiet kid, or a rockstar. I read it in less than 24 hours. Need I say more?

- Recommended by Anne


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Dude! Cover Image
By Aaron Reynolds, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626726031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Book Press - April 24th, 2018

Dude!  Duuuude.  This book has wonderful characters and vibrant illustrations.  And must be read aloud. It shows how how many ways you can say one word, and that word mean so many different things.  Dude also has a great lesson on being nice to others.

- Recommended by Chris