These March Staff Picks Are Everything

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
The Revenge of Magic Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481485777
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - March 5th, 2019

Magic?  Check.

Secret Military school?  Check.

Monsters?   Check.

Fort Fitzgerald just lost his father in a devastating attack on the city by a mysterious monster.  Now 6 months later he will discover what actually attacked them and how he can help. The only problem is that it will involve magic books discovered beside dragon bones,  held by the military. This book is filled with wonder and emotion as secrets come to light and powers manifest. Starting and ending on amazing notes any fan of modern Fantasy will love this first book.

Reviewed by Kerric


Staff Pick Badge
Fox 8: A Story Cover Image
By George Saunders, Chelsea Cardinal (Illustrator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984818027
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - November 13th, 2018

Obscurity and shareable content go hand-in-hand in this novella by George Saunders. A fox, a revolutionist, a thinker; learns the cruelty of man, as well as the confines of society through the trials of attempting to break down walls. The starving fox society simply needs nourishment, something the human society of the mall might never provide. Shockingly the most relevant book on shelves today.

Reviewed by Jonah


The Catcher in the Rye Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780316769488
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 1st, 1991

“Who needs flowers when you’re dead?” Though considered pretentious by most (and a messiah by some), Holden Caulfield holds the voice of a timeless, hurting youth. JD Salinger provides a gritty, hilarious, and poetic vignette of the loss of innocence. You’ll wander through New York with Holden for days having some of the most important conversations of your life, so long as you aren’t a phony!

Reviewed by Jonah


Staff Pick Badge
Anne of Green Gables (Word Cloud Classics) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781607107286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Canterbury Classics - April 1st, 2013

Carrots, freckles, dreamy boat rides-- all good things for a girl who daydreams. LM Montgomery’s classic is defined by its poetic and delicately feminist premise; an 11 year old orphan girl is sent to live with an aging brother and sister by mistake-- as they were expecting a boy. Anne, being a perfectly stubborn heroine, charms them with her honesty and strength, and proves that gender and worth have no correlation.  

Reviewed by Jonah


On Drinking Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062857934
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 12th, 2019

Journalistic ramblings of an alcoholic poet; Bukowski is in his naturalistic prime with this new collection. From his methodology to writing, to his obsession with poison, and his many short-winded romances, this collection is for the urban poet who likes to bend the rules-- perhaps even for the enthusiastic drinker who seeks to ease loneliness. 

Reviewed by Jonah


The Borrower: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143120957
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 29th, 2012

Ten year old Ian is any librarian’s dream patron, a young mind eager to soak up whatever Lucy Hull, the children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, is willing to give him - provided, of course, that she can slip it past Ian’s overbearing mother. While Lucy ponders over her constitutional duty to provide unrestricted access to library materials, Ian is being enrolled in anti-gay classes by his strict Christian family. When Lucy discovers Ian camped out in the library one night determined to run away from his overbearing parents, she decides her young patron is a case worth helping. After all, Lucy has some of her own problems to run away from. 

Reviewed by Megan


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781607747307
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 14th, 2014

If you’re like me, March is the month when I get that unbearable itch to throw open the windows, get out the broom and the garbage bags, and start cleaning! The problem is, most of the time we are only touching the surface of our possessions and not getting to the underlying junk that lurks in the backs of drawers and in cobwebby closets. Marie Kondo’s path to true decluttering is simple: 1) Sort by category 2) Pull it all out at once 3) If it doesn’t spark joy, it doesn’t stay. The idea is when you have, say, all of your books piled in the middle of the living room floor, you’re forced to look at each individual book and ask yourself, “why am I hanging onto this?” It’s much easier to be tidy when there is simply less clutter to deal with - and, you can bring all those old books to us!
 

Reviewed by Megan


The River: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525521877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - March 5th, 2019

A two month canoe trip into a desolate, off the grid area leading to the Hudson Bay would be a challenge in itself. But what happens when circumstances occur that are out of your hands, yet you are the only hope for survival? The canoe trip that college buddies Jack and Wynn have been looking forward to has taken a turn. Trained as First Responders, they were initially challenged by the dangers they encountered. These dangers were “out of their league” and as a reader I wondered how they could possibly endure this hellish nightmare.

This frightening adventure story is so realistic that my heart was pounding as I endured this terrifying dream!

Recommended by Virgie


A Woman Is No Man: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062699763
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - March 5th, 2019

This story portrays three generations of Palestinian women, who are trapped in the old-world Arab traditions that remain in place, even though they are living amidst the freedoms of the new-world. Observing the thoughts and tragedies of Muslim daughters becoming mothers, it is apparent that Palestinian women, raised to believe they are worthless, shameful creatures are fighting a vicious circle that is nearly impossible to break through. 
The author admits that she feared writing this story because it reflects the realities of her Arab world. Yet she realizes that she must tell this story if not for others, then for herself, if the cycle is ever to be broken. She found her support and courage from other authors, such as Malala. The story will grab the reader and open your eyes to the plight of immigrant women attempting to fit into an American culture.
    Recommended by Virgie
 


Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780547203881
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - January 6th, 2009

This is the personal memoir of a father’s valiant, yet terrifying efforts to save his drug addicted son. Nic had been a sensitive, smart and joyful child, but on meth he became unrecognizable. Throughout this memoir, the author gives statistics related to the opiod addiction that plagues our country, as well as explaining the workings of the addicted brain. The author finds that although his family story is unique, it is also universal, in the way that every tale of addiction resonates with others. 
I recommend this book to everyone, whether or not you face the affliction of addiction in your family circle. It exposes the opiod problem that affects our communities and country.  This is a heartbreaking tale of resilience, fortitude, courage, love and sorrow! 
Recommended by Virgie


When All Is Said: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250200587
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - March 5th, 2019

84 year old Maurice admits the fact that he is depressed and lonely since Sadie, his wife and love of his life died two years ago. This story takes place on Maurice’s last night of “freedom”  and he plans to whoop it up because tomorrow he has planned to check into a nursing home. Maurice rents a luxury hotel room, and sits at the hotel bar on his last free night. He raises a “whiskey toast” to five significant people in his life. What a creative way to reminisce your life! Find five people to thank, and it will re-tell your life story! 
 

Recommended by Virgie


The Poet X Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - March 6th, 2018

Poet X is a moving tribute to the power of the written word. This blunt coming-of-age story, written in free verse, is the winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Xiomara is a first generation American teen who voices her thoughts, passions and frustrations loud and clear. Her personal journal is the safe place for her to express thoughts she dare not say aloud. The more she writes, the braver she becomes! This book absolutely “slams the power of poetry.”

Recommended by Virgie


I Need a Hug Cover Image
By Aaron Blabey, Aaron Blabey (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781338297102
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - December 26th, 2018

This adorable, but prickly little porcupine is not afraid to ask for what he needs … a simple hug! He also doesn’t give up asking, even though every request is denied. Finally he finds the perfect animal who needs a hug as much as he does. They live happily in like with each other! 
    Recommended by Virgie
 


Harold Loves His Woolly Hat Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524764678
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schwartz & Wade - December 11th, 2018

Every kid has one of those favorite things that they like to wear or have all the time.  Harold does too.  He loves his hat and he will do anything to get it back.  This book also holds a good lesson about sharing and sometimes someone else needs something too.  The illustrations are wonder.  I love all the characters!!
Recommended by Chris


Perfect Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780545829311
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - January 29th, 2019

Perfect is the perfect book to learn about working together.  And what better combination of “friends” to work together.  While there are a few pages with words, this is essentially this could be a wordless picture book, you can so many different stories with it.  I love the combination of  illustrations and pictures.
Recommended by Chris


The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick Cover Image
By Drew Daywalt, David Spencer (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399172762
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - October 23rd, 2018

This is a wonderful adventure story that goes around the world and is told through letters to each character.  Huggie is stuffed bunny and well Stick, is a stick.   One has a positive outlook in everything and the other doesn’t.  But no matter what they have to keep going.  I love Drew’s books, he has such a wonderful imagination.  David has wonderfully quirky illustrations. 
Recommended by Chris


Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

Children of Blood and Bone is an example of what fantasy does best, it recontextualizes our social issues into a fantasy world. In this world the Maji are oppressed, their magic was stolen, they are now doomed to a life of poverty or slavery. Zélie’s life revolves around avoiding the guards, helping her family, and learning how to wield a staff. Amari, a princess, tries to navigate the political realm of this world under the controlling eye of her father. Innan, Amari’s brother, tries to live up to the high expectations of his father while hiding a major part of his identity. Their paths intersect when a scroll that can bring magic back to Orïsha resurfaces.
This book is fast paced, the characters are flawed in a very human way, and the story is an important one, both for this world and the world of Orïsha.
Review by Izzy


Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735224933
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - March 26th, 2019

Dr. Eberhardt writes about some of the most important and least understood topics in our society today: implicit bias and race. This book breaks down what implicit bias is and how it impacts our actions every day. Drawing on case studies, the latest science, and her own experiences, Dr. Eberhardt forces the reader to acknowledge the power of what lies below the surface of our consciousness and take responsibility for them. 
This book is compelling, relatively easy to understand, and important to read. If you have ever wanted to know more about bias and its impacts, this book is an excellent start.
Review by Izzy


Kitchen Confidential Updated Ed: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060899226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - January 9th, 2007

In his first book, Anthony Bourdain presents the secrets of the restaurant world with his signature wit and enthusiasm.  Going course by course, he takes you through all the reasons you should appreciate your bartender, why you should never buy seafood on a Monday, and how taking a risk trying something you’ve never eaten before may change your life.  The advice he dishes, is good not only for foodies, but for any aspect of life.  Take the time to appreciate the little things, because one day you’ll realize they were the big things, seems to be the underlying message.  Explore your surroundings, and push your boundaries.  Actively go after what you want.  Approach all of life with a hearty appetite.  

Bourdain’s writing has a way of bringing the far away nearer, and is a genuine adventure to read.  He’s always taken his audience along on his journeys, and it is a pleasure to follow. There is no language more universal than a love of food.  Use this book as a guide to become a little bit more part of the world.  If you love this you’ll also love Bourdain’s other books, including Medium Raw. The cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat is a great next step in any culinary journey.
Review by Jenna


Valley Girls Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419729645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amulet Books - May 8th, 2018

I really liked this one. It's a love letter to Yosemite first and foremost, but it has also been a long time since I found a book that had such a familiar main character. The main character, Rilla, seriously struggles with deciding who she wants to be, and I think that’s a familiar concept for many.  I know it rang very true for me. She feels emotions strongly and quickly, and spends a good chunk of the story trying to sort through all of her new experiences and emotions with varying degrees of success. It's honest with its depictions of how easy it is to fall back into old habits and old connections, and how frightening and challenging it can be to form new ones, and march into the unknown. The descriptions of the landscape made me want to take off in my car and go climb. The supporting cast of characters is strong and they’re all painfully human. Equal parts likable and annoying.  Think a young adult, fictionalized version of Wild, and you’ll be getting close.
Review by Jenna


The Weight of a Piano: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525654674
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - January 22nd, 2019

A beautiful and artful story about overcoming the adversary of difficult childhoods, and the emotional toll of the physical things we all have.  The best part of this book is the juxtaposition of the main characters, and how they answer the big questions in their lives.  Do our experiences as children point us in irreversible directions as adults?  What makes one choose to fundamentally change the course of their life?

Clara, Greg, and Katya are vastly different people, all connected by the same old Bluthner piano.  Clara lost her family in a house fire.  Katya was raised in Soviet Leningrad before fleeing and leaving her life behind.  Greg is a discontent artist at best, and an ass at worst, taking his anger out on anyone in the vicinity.  How does the mysterious piano move from one person to the next?  What is more formative, who you are or who you choose to be?  How do our relationships ripple out and affect the people we surround ourselves with? These questions are all addressed within these pages.
Review by Jenna


Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781400209606
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins Leadership - March 5th, 2019

Rachel Hollis has done it again, laying out her most comprehensive, no nonsense guide for creating and following a plan to achieve your goals.  Once again, my favorite part of this book is that a person can glean wisdom even from the sections that aren’t directed at them specifically.  Rachel does address many issues from an angle of faith, but as a secular person, I never felt preached to or put upon.  I enjoyed that this book felt like good, common sense advice for anyone willing to lend an ear. 

The pointed advice, and tangible tips in this book are all products of Rachel’s own years fighting stigma, societal and familial expectations, building a massive, successful media company regardless.  She writes like she’s your best friend, but also a business coach.  You will not be allowed to wallow in self pity, but you will be pushed to find a way to use your experiences to your advantage.  Also read Girl, Wash Your Face, and Imperfect Courage, by Jessica Honegger.
Review by Jenna


The Order of Time Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780735216105
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 8th, 2018

Physicists have been coming up with many astonishing discoveries and theories about time in recent years. Time, to most, is a linear constant that cannot be changed or controlled. However, the more we begin to dig into time, the less we see this linear reality being the truth. “The Order of Time,” references many notable scientists and philosophers to explain that our time-based experiences are occurring all at once and is more cylical than it is linear. It also explains that from our limited perspective of earth-bound reality it’s extremely difficult to comprehend the blurred brilliance of time in its true form. The Guardian go so far to declare Carlo Rovelli as, “a worthy heir to Stephen Hawking,” due to his excellent ability to take complex theories and science and make them more discetable for the standard person. It’s an excellent read for anyone who feels there is more to living in this time/space reality and for scientists who are trying to expand their awareness on what truly is in this world.
Review by Brett


Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781401953119
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hay House Inc. - March 5th, 2019

Have you ever felt like what we are taught as humans about our healing, manifesting, and power which lies innately in us isn’t nearly as great as what it should be? Dr. Joe Dispenza has devoted his life and reputation to pursuing what the true limits of our human nature are. He believes humans have the power to heal, learn, and create from within themselves without needing any outside or physical stimulation. Using multiple examples of scientific studies performed on the power of intention, as well as lots of personal stories of those who have experienced this power he shows how true this really is. Dispenza believes through exercising and opening our pineal gland and using positive intention we are able to unlock a reality which is free of our linear time and are able to connect with deeper dimension of existence. From there, he gives many meditation and visualisation techniques which we can utilize in order to open up to this deeper dimension of reality. It is a must read for any spiritual seeker trying to unlock that deeper part of self that knows beyond what is apparent with our physical senses. It also is perfect for anyone struggling with disease and disconnect and is looking for a powerful way to heal.
Review by Brett


I Am Small Cover Image
By Qin Leng, Qin Leng (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781525301155
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kids Can Press - October 2nd, 2018

As a person under 5’ tall myself, I very much related to Mimi. I was always the shortest and smallest of my peers; it never seemed fair that I was unable to reach anything! Fortunately for Mimi, she learns that she began life as an even smaller human, and has grown so much! This book is perfect for helping children learn how to appreciate their differences.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized different advantages I had over other; I wish this book existed when I was a child!
 

Review by Kim T.


Who Cares! Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9788416733347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cuento de Luz SL - March 5th, 2019

What a wonderful book to help children understand that it doesn’t matter what other people think about them! The story begins looking at dog owners and how their pets tend to match or look alike. Lenora and Carmelo’s dogs look nothing like them, and they find themselves unhappy when they trade pets. Ultimately, they find themselves so much happier when they ignore others’ remarks and have their original friends back and gained new friends. 

Remember: do NOT feed dogs chocolate bonbons!
 

Review by Kim T.


Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry Cover Image
$11.95
ISBN: 9780393356502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Norton Young Readers - February 5th, 2019

I love science. This book is an easy-to-digest introduction to astrophysics for your precocious, curious, science-oriented preteen. The science is presented chronologically with relatable examples for any layperson to understand. This book keeps true to science as it also takes note of limitations and what is not yet understood. There are little summaries for concepts that may be harder to grasp, and there are many fascinating and beautiful pictures included to keep the reader engaged. I can’t help but to love some of the snarky little inserts that make me chuckle out loud (e.g. whip cream and hot chocolate). This is a great find to help foster the love of science--something I am passionate about. Did I mention that I love science? I hope you will too!
 

review by Kim T.