November Staff Favorites: Early Holiday Picks & More!

We can't believe there are only ten more days until the mountain opens! Is it really already that time of year, when we start hearing the first holiday songs in stores, when we see the first holiday displays?  If all the gift-giving overwhelms you, don't be afraid.  Off the Beaten Path has a knowledgeable staff, and they're at-the-ready to help you make excellent selections for all the friends and family on your list!

Don't forget that Members' Appreciation Day is December 1st, where members get 15% off all purchases.  It's a great day to get a head-start on that holiday checklist.  If you're worried that your membership has lapsed, it is possible to purchase your membership on that day to get the discount.  We also stock wonderful stocking stuffers and family games that are fun to play around the holiday table when dinner is over.

If you're far away, you can always give the gift of an Off the Beaten Path gift card!  Give us a call at 970-879-6830, and we'll help you purchase and send a gift card to someone you love, to remind them of an upcoming trip to your favorite ski town, and all the cozy times ahead.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Hippie Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525655619
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - September 25th, 2018

I read the opening sentence of this (although not touted as such) autobiographical “novel” and was immediately moved to read it - I WAS indeed a lucky enough girl to be at Picadilly Circus in London in 1970; one of the meeting hubs of the hippie universe; where to meet one’s soul brother or sister, and where one might take off from there.  If you weren’t there and it sounds appealing, you probably should have been. This lovely little novel takes us on spiritual ventures and adventures upon which I have also embarked. Suffice it to say, this is one old hippie’s venture through his memories of those grand, glistening, extraordinarily God-oriented (or spiritually oriented, if you prefer) times.

Recommended by Katie D.


Staff Pick Badge
Girls of Paper and Fire Cover Image
By Natasha Ngan, James Patterson (Foreword by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316561365
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: jimmy patterson - November 6th, 2018

Lei know what is going to happen when the soldiers arrive in her village, but not what to expect when they take her away to the palace to learn to become a courtesan to the emperor.  There is something else that is different with this group of girls, there is normally eight but now Lei is number nine. This makes Lei special. This makes her strong.

When things start to fall apart at the palace, will Lei be the one to take charge and get the other girls to listen and leave?

If you liked this, you should read:

Flame in the Midst by Renee Ahdieh

Outrun the Moon  By Stacy Lee

Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Badge
Have Sword, Will Travel Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780545259071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - September 25th, 2018

Any book with a talking sword will only lead to an epic adventure.  And this sword has attitude!

When Otto and Eleanor find this special sword in the river, they have no idea what they will be getting into.  Though Eleanor has always wanted to adventure and not just stay home and learn to be an apothicaires apprentice, she has big dreams of being a knight and saving people.  While Otto on the other hand is very content to stay at home and help at the mill. But being the best friends that they are, they take on the world. This is a funny action adventure that you don’t know where it’s going to take you next.

Recommended by Chris


Staff Pick Badge
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good Cover Image
By Helene Tursten, Marlaine Delargy (Translated by)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781641290111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - November 6th, 2018

Maud is a lady of 88 - 89 years (using the word “lady” loosely here), who has a penchant for travel. . . and murder.  Only, of course, if things or people don’t go or do exactly as she deems correctly.

Maud is a schemer and a plotter; hence she has literally gotten away with murder many times in previous books.  Old,wealthy, Maud outwits police detectives who may consider her a suspect, but alas: No evidence.

A  fun little read; five short stories.

Recommended by Katie D.


Staff Pick Badge
The White Tiger: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781416562603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Free Press - October 14th, 2008

Prepare yourself for a seven day ride through the corruption, out-of-control growth, and poverty within the caste system of India. The Bangalore chauffeur, Balram, is a complicated man, who first tells of his impoverished childhood in a small Indian village, and proceeds, through seven days, to explain how he became a self-made entrepreneur and a murderer.

I couldn’t help but to love Balram and his humble humor, while at the same time the story was sad, because I fear these caste circumstances are most likely true. Adiga won The Mann Booker Prize in 2008. In my opinion, this book deserved it!

Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Badge
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781524743444
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - September 25th, 2018

April May is your typical dysfunctional 20-something living in New York, working for a start-up that’s starting to wear her down. One night, coming home late from work, she stumbles upon an interesting robot/samurai statue that she dubs “Carl.” She convinces her friend to come film it, and before she knows it, April is swept up in a global mystery. The Carls have shown up in every major city in the world, and they’re only getting stranger by the second. Are they aliens? Are they art pieces? The answers ignite a global debate - are they here to help us, or harm us? While this is a Sci-Fi novel, I found that Hank Green was also able to tackle some of the big issues facing us today. This book covers tribalism, internet communities and their implications, and humanity as a whole.

Recommended by Megan


Staff Pick Badge
Where the Crawdads Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735219090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

As a young child Kya’s family slowly deserted her, one by one, leaving her to live in a North Carolina swamp with a madman, her father. When her father finally left, it was nature that nurtured, tutored and protected her. She was strange to others, being labeled “marsh trash” and “swamp girl.” These labels followed her into her teens when she was charged with a murder. The jurors of this town, who had always judged her, must now make a decision, and put their discrimination aside. The story is filled with rich descriptions of nature, giving the reader a sense of peace, while also intriguing the reader in a murder mystery!

Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Badge
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812979329
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 8th, 2014

Pulitzer Prize writer Katherine Boo has written what I claim to be one of my favorite, must-read books. Yes, it’s that good! For three years the author immersed herself in a slum of Mumbai, India, so readers could see, hear, and understand the lives of the residents who experience rampant corruption by those supposed to protect them. Although the book is a narrative nonfiction, it feels like a favorite fiction read. The characters are real people you can understand even without having to live the burdensome existence they take as normal.  

What is most powerful is that this is not a book about India . . . it is also a book about America and India. Read between the lines and you see that Katherine Boo wants her reader to look at America to see the parallels

Recommended by Virgie


America for Beginners: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062668752
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - July 24th, 2018

The cast of characters in this novel are diverse, coming together in a cross-country trip through America. Pival Sangupta, an upper-class Indian woman newly widowed, is on a quest to find her estranged son, Rahi, who has been living in the US. With the help of her tour guide, a Bangladeshi immigrant, and her hired travel companion, an aspiring actress, they set out on a journey. I loved the snippets of Indian and Bangladeshi culture as well as the views of America that each character has experienced. The story provides a variety of perspectives of what it means to belong in America.

Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Badge
Night of Miracles: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525509509
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - November 13th, 2018

Lucille Howard, an 88 year old widow, believes she has lived past her time of relevance and should hand the world over to the “young ones.”  If she only knew how wrong she was! This upbeat story, taking place in small-town USA, centers on the power of cross-generation friendship. You can’t help but love the characters, who gravitate around Lucille and her baking classes. If you read The Story of Arthur Trulove, you’ll feel right at home. Although the characters and setting overlap both stories, they are stand-alone novels. If you want my opinion. Read them both. You won’t be sorry!

Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Badge
Shantaram: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780312330538
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - October 1st, 2005

Shantaram has been highly recommended to me by a few friends and many customers, but the commitment of the daunting 900+ pages kept me from it. While planning my upcoming trip to India I no longer had an  excuse. I dug in, and am I ever happy I did!

It was a reader’s feast!

This autobiographical novel is about Lin, who escapes from an Australian prison, and makes his way to Bombay, India, where he floats through many experiences; slum doctor, making counterfeit passports, drug runner for the Bombay mafia, and time in a leper colony. His descriptions of this land and it’s people made India come alive in my mind. His words of wisdom scattered throughout the story gave me thoughts to ponder!

Lin (Gregory Roberts) was recaptured and spent 13 years back in prison, where he wrote this novel. His story is EPIC!

I feel like I’ve just finished a “primer” of India! I can’t wait to travel India, and you can make sure I’ll be looking for the “Lin’s” in this colorful country!

Recommended by Virgie


Staff Pick Badge
A Simple Favor: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062497789
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - March 20th, 2018

If you enjoyed Gone Girl, or are typically enthralled by psychological thrillers and are enraptured by mysteries with twists left and right, this is a book for you. Emily is missing, and her best friend Stephanie doesn’t know where to find her. Sounds like a simple enough plot line, but it includes some seriously Stephen King-like messed up family dynamics. If you decide to see the movie, I’m pretty sure you’ll never look at Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick the same way again.

Recommended by Anne


Staff Pick Badge
Bring Me Back: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250151339
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - June 19th, 2018

B.A Paris is on roll with her psychological suspense.  Both Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown became best sellers.  She delves into some twisted psychological drama that always involves a marriage and asks the question, “how well do we know someone?”  In Bring Me Back Finn and Layla are young and in a passionate love affair. Everything changes when on a return trip from a romantic weekend the young couple stops a rest area and Layla disappears.  Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister Ellen when suddenly there are sightings of Layla. What happened to Layla? Does Finn know more than he’s saying? Is there more to Ellen? Many twist and turns to come in this fast paced thriller.

Recommended by Kim Brack


Staff Pick Badge
Then She Was Gone: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501154652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - November 6th, 2018

This bone-chilling mystery follows a mother in her chase to close the case on her 16-year-old who has been missing for ten years. For a story where it seems like you start reading with all of the answers, there are a fantastic amount of twists and turns in this novel. The book began with questions and answers, and led to closure, relief, and at the same time, horror, of what was.

Recommended by Anne


Staff Pick Badge
The Iron Flower (Black Witch Chronicles #2) Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781335917393
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harlequin Teen - September 18th, 2018

If you like this you will like this: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest, The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

 

Young Elloren Gardner is facing the challenge of a lifetime. Her people, the Gardnerians, are rallying behind a fierce religious leader who is determined to bring upon an age of domination for the Gardnerians. This means that every other race - Elves, Lupines, Fae, Kelts, and Urisk - will be subjugated or killed. Elloren is the heir to her family legacy; her grandmother, the original Black Witch, used wholesale slaughter to bring protection to her people. She doesn’t follow in her grandmother’s footsteps, though: Elloren is determined to work with her friends, among them those forbidden races, to bring an end to the Gardnerian’s reign of terror and, just maybe, create a world where they can all live peacefully. The stakes have never been higher, and the consequences are deadly. Will she be able to defy the Prophecy that has taken their world by storm?

Recommended by Megan