Staff Picks for February 2015

In the dead of winter, there's nothing nice than curling up with a good book (especially after a long, hard, exhilerating day of powder skiing). We have just the book for every member of your family to snuggle up with.

Staff Pick Badge
One Hungry Heron By Carolyn Beck, Karen Patkau (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Carolyn Beck, Karen Patkau (Illustrator)
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781554553617
Published: Fitzhenry & Whiteside - November 10th, 2014

Candace Staff Pick: ( Recommended for 3-6 year olds) A wonderful picture book that has poetry, counting, science and much more is wonderfully illustrated. It tells the story of a pond and the creatures found there each described so artfully you imagine them coming to life on the pages. A great book that will have the kids asking to read it over and over again.

Staff Pick Badge
A Spool of Blue Thread: A novel By Anne Tyler Cover Image
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9781101874271
Published: Knopf - February 10th, 2015

Virgie's Staff Pick: I remember reading my first Anne Tyler book in the early 80’s, and many of her 19 novels since, so I was thrilled to read one last novel by this Pulitzer Prize-winning author!

This is the story of a family … four generations worth … simple as that! Tyler’s families are what make her novels so special and she describes this family as there was “nothing remarkable about the Whitshanks. None of them was famous. None of them could claim exceptional intelligence. And in looks, there were no more than average…But like most families, they imagined they were special.”

This stunning novel about family life just rings so true! It depicts the bonds and the tensions, the love and the exasperation beautifully! Just sit back, “join” the Whitshanks, think about the little moments that make up your own life, and enjoy every readable hour!

Staff Pick Badge
We Were Liars By E. Lockhart Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385741262
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Delacorte Press - May 13th, 2014

Shannon's Pick: “No one is a criminal. No one is an addict. No one is a failure.”

These are the three lies that Cadence begins her story with, and they are a few of many to come. Cadence is a Sinclair, a family of New England royalty that vacations on a private island off of Martha’s Vineyard each summer. The Sinclairs are wealthy, beautiful, poised and athletic. Cadence reflects on blissful past summers spent with her cousins and Gat, a handsome, charismatic boy filled with passionate beliefs that Cadence begins to fall for. Life becomes imperfect when the Sinclairs return to their regular lives off the island. Family tensions build as Cadence’s grandfather ages, his three daughters fight over his enormous estate, and Cadence suffers an injury on the island that impairs her memory. Cadence cannot remember what happened the night of her accident and her family won’t tell her. The Sinclairs return to the island a year later, and Cadence tries to piece together what happened the night of her accident, and why her family has changed so much.

I read this book in one afternoon and could not put it down. E. Lockhart builds such a perfectly dysfunctional family drama that keeps you reading as Cadence pieces together her memory. Full of twists and turns, this book is truly thrilling and unforgettable for all readers.

Staff Pick Badge
Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories By Ron Rash Cover Image
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9780062349347
Published: Ecco - November 4th, 2014

Emily's Pick:  After meeting Ron Rash at Literary Sojourn in 2013, I have vowed to read every book he publishes. Something Rich and Strange is a collection of Rash’s thirty finest short stories, all of which are set in his home region of Appalachia. These stories have everything I look for in short fiction: masterful economy of words, lyricism, suspense, and thought-provoking themes and questions.

Staff Pick Badge
The Nightingale: A Novel By Kristin Hannah Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312577223
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 3rd, 2015

Virgie's Pick: In war, heroic action is evident both on the battlefield and at home. Most war stories focus on combat deeds, but civilians also fight for their countries in ways that may be equally as dangerous as picking up a weapon. If you are looking for a great World War II historical fiction that will keep you glued to your seat and bring you to uncontrollable tears, then consider reading this book by Kristin Hannah.

The novel begins in 1995, when an elderly and terminally ill French woman prepares to move from her home to a nursing home. There are few possessions that are important to her, but she insists on bringing an old trunk. Her son humors her, not knowing that the trunk contains important mementos as well as false identification papers from WWII. He has no clue who his mother really is … and this is precisely when the real story begins!

Two French sisters, just ordinary women living in a city under siege and a country at war, are forced with unthinkable decisions in order to survive. These sisters take different paths to heroism in World War II. Isabelle, a beautiful young woman, plunges into the war effort as a French Resistance operative, leading downed pilots across the Pyrennes Mountains from France to Spain. This unlikely role for a beautiful young woman serves as her disguise. Her sister, Vianne, is devastated when her husband is called to the battlefield. She finds herself living in her own house with a Nazi general, as she desperately tries to survive and protect her daughter, as well as hiding Jewish children to save them from the atrocities of war.

In my opinion, this book has it all; a compelling plot taking place within a historic point in history, courageous and resilient characters so different from each other, but both so lovable, and a story so heartbreaking to bring me to tears! It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed such a book. I was disappointed when I finished it … only because I didn’t want it to end!

Staff Pick Badge
Butcher's Crossing By John Williams, Michelle Latiolais (Introduction by) Cover Image
By John Williams, Michelle Latiolais (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590171981
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: NYRB Classics - January 16th, 2007

Logan's Pick: Butcher’s Crossing is the story of Will Andrews, a student at Harvard who upon reading the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson drops out of school and heads west to fully immerse himself in the natural world. He winds up in the small town of Butcher’s Crossing and impulsively joins a group of men who are hunting an almost mythical herd of buffalo in the Colorado territory. With incredibly rich descriptions and whole pages of easily quotable passages, Williams perfected the Western novel. Perfect for fans of Cormac McCarthy or anyone interested in a literary description of 19th century Colorado.

Staff Pick Badge
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel By Gabrielle Zevin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616204518
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Algonquin Books - December 2nd, 2014

Wendy's Pick:  A pleasant read that reaffirms one’s faith in all that’s good in life. A.J. Fikry’s life is a scrambled mess after losing the love of his life; he works reclusively at the bookstore he and his former wife founded.

Life and love won’t leave Fikry alone, and we root for him as slowly a happy life comes back to him.

Great book club read with clever references to literature, and laugh out loud descriptions of what it’s like to work at a bookstore.

Staff Pick Badge
Station Eleven: A novel By Emily St. John Mandel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385353304
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Knopf - September 9th, 2014

Dystopian, yes; doomsday, no. I loved this wonderfully crafted novel by 2014 Literary Sojourn author Mandel.

The world is turned on its ear by a pandemic flu. The survivors lead a very 19th century life. The novel follows a traveling Shakesperean acting troup.

Mandel weaves several different story lines throughout the book, charting lives and events long before the pandemic, and how those lives are remembered by those who remain.

Wendy's Pick:

Staff Pick Badge
Who Wants a Hug? By Jeff Mack, Jeff Mack (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jeff Mack, Jeff Mack (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062220264
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: HarperCollins - January 6th, 2015

Chris's Pick (recommended for 4+): This is wonderfully fun children’s picture book. Bear wants to give everyone a hug but Skunk wants to stop him. Written in the theme of an old time melodrama, where all of Skunks stinky tricks back fire on him. Things just keep becoming more and more stinky. Skunk does finally get a hug and realizes just how wonderful they are.

Staff Pick Badge
Out of the Easy By Ruta Sepetys Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147508430
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: Philomel Books - March 4th, 2014

Chris's Pick:  Out of the Easy is the story of Josie who lives on the wrong side of the tracks in New Orleans in the 50’s. She has everything to run away from, a mom who is a prostitute, growing up in a whore house and her past that is finally coming to catch up with her, even though she really had nothing to do with it.

Out of the Easy is very compelling coming of sage story. Written in Ruta’s beautiful voice.

If you enjoy this you should also read Ruta’s first novel, Between the Shades of Grey.

Staff Pick Badge
Atlantia By Ally Condie Cover Image
Special Order Only (subject to availability) - Email or Call for Price
ISBN: 9780525426448
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 28th, 2014

Chris's Pick: Atlantia is set in an underwater world similar to Atlantis. Rio only wants to choose to go the top and live on the land. When her twin sister Bay announces her choice to go above, Rio had to come to terms with her leaving and find another way to go to the top. She turns to the ‘underground’ swimming races and meets True. How far will she go to get her dream and be with her sister again. How will she keep true to True?

From the author of the best selling series of Matched, Ally Condie has brought us another world where choices mean eveything.

Staff Pick Badge
The Magician's Lie By Greer Macallister Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781402298684
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - January 13th, 2015

Chris's Pick: The Magician’s Lie is a very fast paced intriguing story of the best female illusionist of her time. But when her husband turns up murdered in one of the her tricks everything points to Arden. She must now pull off the best illusion of her life and get herelf out of this mess. Written in a very unique style of time line, over the course of one night and past events, The Magician’s Lie is very powerful.

Staff Pick Badge
Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062310637
Availability: Books Usually Arrive in 5-7 Business Days
Published: HarperTeen - February 10th, 2015

Chris's Pick:  Mae has only ever known the world of the Red bloods. The hunger, sadness, and bone tiredness that comes from being a Red.

She longs to run away from the oppression of the Silver bloods. But when she finds herself thrown into their world by unforeseen events, she must lean which enemies she needs to watch more. As she spends more time with the Silver bloods, she sees that they too have problems.

This a fantastic fantasy novel for teens. I just feel in love with Mare’s character, and her no nonsense way of saying what’s on her mind.