Mesmerizing May Staff Picks

Mesmerizing and marvelous May manuscripts!

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Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel By Bonnie Garmus Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780385547345
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Doubleday - April 5th, 2022

This book was written to affirm, through a story, every STRONG woman out there, as well as those women aspiring to be strong!   I now understand why readers are flocking to this book! Set in the 1960s, Elizabeth Zott is not like other women. She is a strong, intelligent, independent woman who incorporates a logical approach to life, and it’s difficult to debate logic! Her short life as a lab chemist is derailed by unfortunate events which leave her an unwed mother and out of work,  yet she uses this opportunity to become the star of a daytime show: Supper at Six. She not only teaches women the chemistry involved in cooking, but she also gives women a capable, resourceful identity, leading them to question the cultural stereotypes of homemakers. As Elizabeth states, “ There isn’t a woman in the world who is JUST a housewife. What else do you do?”  I LOVED this story! Although Elizabeth is a fictional character, I believe there are many more “Elizabeths” out there!

-Virgie


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The Cellist of Sarajevo By Steven Galloway Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781594483653
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 31st, 2009

I never know how to describe this book, except I think it should be required reading. The siege of Sarajevo is at the forefront of this novel. A bakery has been shelled. Nearly two dozen civilians are dead. A cellist plays in the street every day to mourn them, and the reader watches from the eyes of both a hiding resident and a sniper with her scope trained on the musician. This novel is based on the actions of Vedran Smailović, who would actually play during the 3-year siege of the city, often under the threat of sniper fire and falling mortar shells. The Balkan Wars of the early 1990s completely changed the face of Europe, and their consequences still reverberate through the identities of Eastern European nations. This novel is a burning portrait of one of the most horrifying and violent conflicts of the 20th century that often is totally forgotten.

-Jenna

 


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Clytemnestra: A Novel By Costanza Casati Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781728268231
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - May 2nd, 2023

If, like me, you have been waiting for Madeline Miller to publish another novel, Clytemnestra will occupy you in the meantime. One of the unique qualities of reading novels based on Greek mythology is that you know the ending at the beginning. Even as you get to know Clytemnestra as a young Spartan Girl, you know what her future will bring. When Agamemnon enters the scene, you know the horror he will commit against her, and you know her revenge. But this does not take away from wanting to know and understand the how and why. This novel explores the myths surrounding the Trojan War while putting strong women at the forefront of the retelling. For lovers of Greek Mythology and fans of Madeline Miller, Clytemnestra will not disappoint. 

 

-Danielle

 


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The Old Place By Bobby Finger Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593422342
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 20th, 2022

This light warm-hearted story takes place in a small Texas town, where the way of life is “set in stone,” and your drama becomes everyone’s business! Themes of “losing oneself” due to retirement, and establishing oneself in a close-knit community prevail throughout the story. The characters are vulnerable and will become your friends - or not! Nevertheless, you certainly will NOT forget them!

-Virgie

 


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Blue Skies: A Novel By T. C. Boyle Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781324093022
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - May 16th, 2023

There is a plot event so tragic in this book I had to put it down for a few days, unsure of whether I would return to it.  In that reprieve, I thought about the book and the characters enough that I realized Boyle had done a phenomenal job getting me invested in the main characters, and it would be worth pushing through my discomfort to finish it.  I was certainly rewarded.

 

I named Boyle, whenever asked, as my favorite author when I was in my 20s – way back when. His absurdist fish-out-of-water protagonists were enjoyable and identifiable to someone trying to figure out life and adulthood. I drifted away from him and explored other authors.  I’ve returned to Boyle several times in the last decade, but none of his work provoked me like his earlier books did.

 

Blue Skies recaptures the magic.  Not only are there literal and figurative fish out of water, it also deals with the conflict between man and nature, a topic he’s deftly covered many times.. Boyle seems to have matured, too, as he pushes the envelope with emotions along with exaggerated character sketches and plot twists.

  • Mike


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Foster By Claire Keegan Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802160140
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Grove Press - November 1st, 2022

This heartbreaking story is calm, each sentence holding an abundance of insights concerning the influence that parents, caretakers, and the environment have on a child’s development. How a child is nurtured, what she hears, and what she DOESN’T hear, influences who that child will become. The open-ended ending of the story allows the reader to make her own conclusion; what is the best ending for the child?  This international bestseller exemplifies that nurturance is a “universal heart-talk.”

-Virgie

 


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Romantic Comedy (Reese's Book Club): A Novel By Curtis Sittenfeld Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590948
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - April 4th, 2023

Sally is one of the many overworked yet enthusiastic writers on a famous late-night comedy sketch show (just picture Liz Lemmon from 30 Rock). She is in love with her job but is unfortunately lacking in the other love department. When her incredibly average looking (albeit very funny) writing partner Danny gets engaged to a gorgeous actress, Sally decides to write a sketch she calls “The Danny Horst Rule” about how these partnerships tend to work when it’s the guy who’s average looking, never the other way around. But Sally’s perceptions get turned on their head when she works with Noah Brewster, the week’s musical guest who’s both stunningly handsome and a surprisingly intuitive writer himself. It’s up to Sally to decide which she’d rather put her faith in - the Danny Horst Rule, or the sparks flying between her and Noah. 

 

  • Megan


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Tress of the Emerald Sea: A Cosmere Novel (Secret Projects) By Brandon Sanderson Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250899651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - April 4th, 2023

Brandon Sanderson has done it again. He has created another beautiful world of magic and myth! The reader follows Tress, a soft-spoken girl with unruly hair and a hobby of collecting cups from all over. She is content with her simple life and has never left the confines of her island home. That is until Charlie, her dearest friend, goes missing, and Tress must set out on a dangerous adventure to save him. This book feels like a classic with a little bit of romance, a terrifying witch shrouded in mystery, and lots of sea-faring! I would recommend this read to anyone who enjoyed The Princess Bride!

-Isabella

 


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Rose Quartz: Poems By Sasha Taqwsəblu Lapointe Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315434
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 14th, 2023

Rhythmic poetry,  visceral imagery, dripping with lore and love and pain, LaPointe’s poetry collection is truly a marvel. Rose Quartz expresses a haunting, growth, cycles, and so very much more. I have not been so deeply engrossed in poetry for a long time. There is magic in these words, and who knows what this spell will do to you after reading.

 

-Izzy

 


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House Within a House By Nicholas Dawson, D. M. Bradford (Translator) Cover Image
By Nicholas Dawson, D. M. Bradford (Translator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781771316071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Brick Books - May 1st, 2023

Depression hits everyone a little differently, but Dawson’s collection of poetry and essays encapsulates the prolonged and ever-present pain beautifully. This book made me feel seen and exceptionally vulnerable. Though House Within A House is excruciatingly personal, it put words to feelings I had no idea how to express. Dawson’s descriptions of his depression invoke the claustrophobia of being stuck in your head, the fuzziness of memory, and the ebbing energy of this mental illness. Thank you to Nicholas Dawson for writing this.

 

-Izzy

 


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Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Loving and Living Alone By Amy Key Cover Image
By Amy Key
$28.00
ISBN: 9781324091738
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - May 9th, 2023

This memoir was fascinating to read as a woman who has been happily single for the majority of her adult life, but also as a person who is deeply interested in relationship dynamics. If you don’t already question modern relationship dynamics, Amy Key will have you doing so before the last page. This book doesn’t make claims about whether romantic relationships are ultimately good or bad, but it certainly admits to their complexity. It questions the widely held social belief that embracing romantic love is universally necessary, and often more morally righteous than going without. Where does it fall on the scale of importance when compared to familial love, platonic love, or self-love? Why do we often express sadness for people who aren’t in relationships, even when they’ve told us they are happy without? How does embracing or rejecting romance affect how we move through our lives and among our fellow human beings? I had to start making notes in the margins of the pages. The fact that this philosophical pondering is seen through the lens of Joni Mitchell’s album Blue makes it even more interesting. I found myself wondering about and questioning my relationship with music, books, and movies that have shaped my relationship with the world. 10/10 recommend. I’m already calling it the best memoir of 2023!

-Jenna

 


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Finding My Way: A Memoir of Family, Identity, and Political Ambition By Robin F. Schepper Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781954854963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Girl Friday Books - April 18th, 2023

Finding My Way is a book about a strong, resilient woman who must find her way in the world with little support or guidance. I read this memoir by local author Robin Schepper because I have known Robin since she moved to Steamboat, and I wanted to support her in the publishing of her memoir.  I am recommending the book, however, because it captivated me from the first chapter. Raised in the 1960s in New York City, Robin’s memoir recounts her untraditional upbringing by her single mother and brothel-owning grandmother, who had a dysfunctional and hostile relationship. Young Robin must grow up quickly as she is often forced to be the adult in many situations. Although her childhood is untraditional, parts of Robin’s story are unfortunately all too familiar. Robin shares how she was sexually abused by multiple men throughout her life. I commend Robin for talking openly and honestly about difficult topics such as sexual abuse, abortion, rape, and infidelity. 

 

Never knowing her biological father, Robin spends a lifetime trying to find him. Her ache for a father figure is raw and real throughout the book as she contemplates whether this is why she falls victim to abuse and struggles with relationships. Although Robin also shares many stories of her life working in politics for Michelle Obama and other famous politicians, I am much more drawn to the story of how she got to the White House than the stories from the White House. Robin will be reading from her book and signing copies at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore at 6:30 pm on May 11th. Please join us for an evening with this remarkable woman.

-Danielle

 


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Twistwood Tales By AC Macdonald Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524877415
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - August 1st, 2023

A popular webcomic comes to print and I couldn't be more glad! Harkening back to a more vintage aesthetic, Twistwood Tales has all the peril and oddity of Over the Garden Wall bolstered with the charm and wisdom of Calvin and Hobbs. Following an ensemble cast, a community in the woods contends with problems both strange and familiar; getting through with courage and kindness. I love this comic, and personally think MacDonald is someone to keep an eye out for in the years to come. 

-Ryan

 


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The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (A Graphic Novel) By Deya Muniz Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316538725
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Ink - May 9th, 2023

A perfect book for fans of The Girl From The Sea. If you love romance, royalty, grilled cheese sandwiches, and LGBTQ representation, this book is for you. Lady Camembert is different from other girls; she is gay. To escape the marriage expected of her, she disguises herself as a man and moves to the capital city. She needs to lie low to remain unnoticed and not raise suspicion. Unfortunately, when she meets Princess Brie, she can't stay away. Soon she becomes wrapped up in all things involving the princess. They raise awareness for animal cruelty-free fashion, plan balls, and eat many grilled cheese sandwiches. All under the umbrella of friends. How will Camembert confess her feelings? Will Brie return her feelings? You can find out! Just pick up this book and get reading!

-Eva

 


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The Perks of Being a Wallflower: 20th Anniversary Edition By Stephen Chbosky Cover Image
$24.00
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781982110994
Published: MTV Books - September 24th, 2019

A classic book and movie, Perks of Being a Wallflower, has touched many people’s hearts. I originally read this book during high school in 2012, when the movie came out. I remember seeing the movie and feeling as though it captured my high school experience and showed me that I wasn’t the only one who felt like Charlie, experienced the rougher aspects of high school like Patrick and Sam, and wanted some sort of escape. Recently, they rereleased this book with an extra chapter, where Charlie writes a letter to the reader 10 years later, and everything that the book brought up for me back then welled up again. Maybe I was emotional that day, or maybe it’s the nostalgia. Regardless, it still hits the right spots 11 years later. The letters create a friendly feeling between you and Charlie, and the story has the perfect blend of heartbreak and joy, and excitement and nervousness. Great for anyone who needs a good cry and laugh because it’s one of the many depictions of being human. 

-Cass

 


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Four Eyes: A Graphic Novel (Four Eyes #1) By Rex Ogle, Dave Valeza (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Rex Ogle, Dave Valeza (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781338574975
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Graphix - May 2nd, 2023

The summer is winding down, and Rex’s first year of Middle School is upon him. He’s excited to see all his friends from 5th grade and to start learning even more interesting stuff! But there aren’t many of his old friends at this new middle school, he’s having trouble seeing the board in class, and he hasn’t hit a growth spurt. Rex’s life is about to get a little rough. 

Rex learns that he’s gotta be true to himself, and it’s ok to be different. His friends change and so does his perspective. This is an excellent book about how awkward change can be but how fantastic the resulting growth is.

-Izzy

 


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Square (The Shapes Trilogy) By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780763696078
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Candlewick - May 8th, 2018

Square is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that teaches us that everyone is unique and carries a genius talent of their own, even if we don’t recognize our gifts. Beauty surrounds us, but how things are perceived is up to each and every one of us. No two people are alike, and that is what makes our world so amazing and unique. This book really shows diversity and acceptance. Be sure to check out the complete trilogy:  Square, Circle, and Triangle.

  • Sarah


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When Little Owl Met Little Rabbit By Przemyslaw Wechterowicz, Emilia Dziubak (Illustrator) Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781782507741
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Floris Books - April 18th, 2023

A sweet and gorgeously illustrated tale about two baby critters who want more than anything to be friends but are separated by their different lifestyles. Even though they live in the same tree, Little Rabbit sleeps at night, and Little Owl sleeps during the day, making it nearly impossible for them to play together. On one fateful night, a shooting star and a coveted wish could change everything for these two unlikely friends and solve their shared problem! Wechterowicz teaches us that lasting friendships can grow no matter what obstacles stand in the way and to never give up hope on those precious to you!

-Isabella

 


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Klyde the Kraken Wants a Friend By Brooke Hartman, Laura Borio (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Brooke Hartman, Laura Borio (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781948931427
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hazy Dell Press - April 25th, 2023

Klyde just wants a friend, and what better way to show his intentions than to hug everything? But Klyde’s hugs can be really uncomfortable, so he has to learn other ways of showing affection. Some folks like high fives, some like a friendly greeting, and some even love hugs! This is a sweet and beautifully illustrated book about finding friends and understanding that not everyone expresses love in the same way.

-Izzy

 


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Twenty Questions By Mac Barnett, Christian Robinson (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Christian Robinson (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536215137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - March 14th, 2023

I absolutely love this picture book for kids of all ages! It will challenge your child to observe and think. Then, just watch their imagination soar! Each page presents an opportunity to create your own story according to your creative thinking. The questions are precise. But the answers are open-ended. This is the kind of book that can be experienced over and over, but it will never be the same! 

-Virgie

 


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Corner By Zo-O (Pen Name) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781771475327
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Owlkids - March 14th, 2023

I love picture books with very few or no words because it leaves lots of room for interpretation from the reader! This odd little book sees a crow stuck in a corner, and instead of being sad, it gets creative! Soon the corner is full of plants and comfy chairs and books, with a window to top it all off! Before you know it, our little crow has made a friend through the window they built. What a great way to teach and encourage creativity and teach children how to entertain themselves and pull them out of their ‘I’m bored’ moments. The illustrations are very cool too!

-Jenna