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Marla's Staff Picks

Marla has worked for Horizon Books since 2000, when she walked away from a lucrative career co-hosting alongside Conan O'Brien. Previously known around these parts as a seasonal worker, we are pleased she will now be with us year-round!
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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062236685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 7th, 2014

NOVEMBER 2017

I am an enormous fan of this author, but not so much of short length prose. My reading of this book had only to do with the author and not the format. I am so glad I did! Not only did I read the print edition twice, I listened to the audio, narrated by the author, over and over again. The essays are collected from Patchett's entire career and almost serve as memoir. The best thing is, it has opened my eyes to other essay collections, like those of Barbara Kingsolver and Anna Quindlen.


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My Last Continent Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501124716
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 6th, 2017

OCTOBER 2017

Antarctica is a place where lawyers and PHD scientists will wash dishes and buss tables for the opportunity to spend a season observing polar wildlife and weather phenomenon. Isolated for six months of duty, these trained observers experience darkness, brutal cold, and Earth changing occurrences.
The romance of Deb and Keller is dependent on coinciding missions and their shared passion for the emperor and Adelie penguin populations.

"My Last Continent is a harrowing, searching novel of love and loss in one of the most remote places in the world, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences."


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One Thousand White Women (20th Anniversary Edition): The Journals of May Dodd: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250154705
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 1st, 2017

AUGUST 2017

This will make you smile, cry, angry, sad and believe. But it is fiction.
In the pioneer days of this country, there were "Indian troubles". In an effort to mitigate the tensions, President Theodore Roosevelt and the Native leaders made a deal to trade 1000 "white" women for 1000 horses -- such a deal, eh?
This is the account of the first women to volunteer for the swap, women who had no better options in life, whores, mad women, spinsters and adventurers. Many book clubs have discussed this novel in the past 20 years and we look forward to a sequel The Vengeance of Mothers due September 12th.


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Faceoff Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781476762074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - December 1st, 2015

SEPTEMBER 2017

What a great idea!


I am not a fan of short stories but they have their place in our busy lives. I chose a copy of this for my "emergency book"- you know, when no phones or devices are operative in short duration situations like doctors offices, the DMV, and airports.

This book pairs well known thriller writers together like John Sandford, Linda Fairstein, Lee Child, and David Baldacci, placing their well known characters Lucas Davenport, Alexandra Cooper, Jack Reacher, and Puller together in stories. Perhaps you have read and liked one author/character but never read the other. This is a great way to expand your list of authors and heroes.


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Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781846682667
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Profile Books(GB) - October 12th, 2010

AUGUST 2017

I'm sure there is something wrong with my suggesting a book that encourages you to read what you have on your own bookshelves. That said, I love to read books that comment on authors or titles I have forgotten.
This British author embarks on a year long commitment to get to know her own collection, citing not only titles but conversations and libraries that have figured into her life long reading.
Not necessarily a straight through read, perhaps savor this book one chapter at a time.


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The Emperor of Ocean Park Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780375712920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 27th, 2003

July 2017

Ocean Park is a neighborhood on Martha's Vineyard that has hosted rich and influential African-Americans for over a hundred years.
The "emperor" is a judge once nominated for the US Supreme, disgraced by his associations with a CIA thug, drug kingpins, and Mafia dons.
Talcott Garland is the professor son left to administer his father's estate and unravel the puzzle of his suspicious death.
If you're waiting for the next John Grisham thriller, check this out. Extremely well written and plotted.


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City of the Lost: A Rockton Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250092168
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - January 17th, 2017

JUNE 2017

Homicide detective Casey Duncan's best friend is on the run from an abusive ex-husband. In order to get her friend to safety Duncan accepts a job in the wilds of Canada where the town is populated by "disappeared" people.
When a murder occurs the suspects are too many, the town is "off the grid" with no access to the outside, and Casey soon realizes that they may both be in greater peril.
I continually look for a new way to tell the same old murder mysteries....and this one is a winner.


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A Murder of Magpies Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250080943
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - February 9th, 2016

MAY 2017

I am always looking for a new mystery "hook". Bookseller and librarian protagonists are favorites, looking for insider tics. This author takes it up a notch, detailing the daily woes of a middle aged editor for a small book publisher.

"I like the pacing, the puzzle, and the protagonist. The ending is quite satisfying. Most of all, I like the voice. Sam is, as previously noted, smart. She is also caring and funny. She can be snarky, but usually only inside her own thoughts. I'd love to spend more time with her. Fingers crossed we all will have the chance." -- Debbie Meldrum of FRESH MEAT featured in CRIMINALELEMENT.COM.

Yes... there are more in the series.


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Sea Creatures Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062219619
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - September 2nd, 2014

APRIL 2017

Georgia and her husband met as patients in a sleep disorder clinic. Three years later they leave their Illinois lake home in scandal and disappointment looking for a fresh start in Miami.
The characters are all fully flushed. The threads of family, sleep deprivation, healing art, and the changing barometer are woven in a ratcheting tension, ultimately relieved by the calm after the storm.
"Absolutely pitch perfect." -- Miami Herald
"An intelligent page-turner about, among other things, South Florida, art, insomnia, and marriage." -- Curtis Sittenfield, author of Prep and Sisterland.


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Three Junes Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780385721424
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - May 6th, 2003

This National Book Award winner for 2002 is in my top 10 all-time reads. The title refers to three months of Junes over a 10 year span, detailing the contemporary lives and loves of a Scottish family. Locales include Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village and Long Island. Ms. Glass made another character in this book the subject of her most recent (2013) title AND THE DARK AND SACRED NIGHT, giving the reader more of the charismatic Malachy Burns.
Oh, and there are dogs...Border Collies.
Take this opportunity to read this title before the author makes her NWS appearance at the Opera House in June promoting her new title.


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A Widow for One Year Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780345434791
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fawcett Books - November 27th, 2001

John Irving is my favorite author, I think... at least he is the answer to many security prompts on my web accounts. I think everyone, especially young men, should read The World According to Garp. That said, I think this title represents Irving's best female protagonist (...except maybe Garp's mom Jenny). There aren't many books I reread (so many books so little time) but I confess I have read this one three times


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Descent Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781616204778
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - December 1st, 2015

JANUARY 2017

There are a couple of plot themes I chose never to explore. When our book buyer strongly suggested this title I dragged my feet. I foisted my copy on to a friend who trusts and reads my recommendations. When I started getting feedback from others I encouraged her to put it on the top of her pile. The week before Christmas she texted me that she had put the holiday on hold until she finished this title. Her strong reaction pushed it to the top of my pile and I spent my holidays reading this "page turner". A satisfying roller coaster of a read!

 


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Murder at the Brightwell: A Mystery Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250074621
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - October 6th, 2015

DECEMBER 2016

Not exactly Nick and Nora (The Thin Man) but the similarities are too numerous to ignore. A mystery of manners set in a 1930's seaside resort and populated with British aristocrats, this first installment has me hooked and pining for a fourth title.
The plot detail that keeps the reader turning pages is the questionable relationship between wealthy Amory and her playboy husband Milo.


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Sisterland Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812980332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - May 6th, 2014

NOVEMBER 2016

This summer I read this author's most recent novel, a contemporary Ohio version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Titled Eligible...what a hoot! I was so impressed with the skillful play on the much loved classic I wanted to try her original fiction.
Born in Southeast Missouri I am familiar with the New Madrid fault that is the seed of her storyline. Sisters who share "extra" senses beyond their twin-ness are caught up in national attention from an imminent earthquake prediction. Sisterhood, parenthood, friendship and marriage are all deftly explores. I'm still chewing this.


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Strange Gods: Vera & Tolliver #1 Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781631940958
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Felony & Mayhem - April 7th, 2016

OCTOBER 2016

Populated by British Colonials, Kenya's Kikuyu and Maasai native tribes and kind Scottish missionaries, this mystery evokes all the diverse interests at play in 1911 Africa.
The murder of the white doctor at the Mission Hospital appears obvious to authorities who wish to protect the British expats by railroading the local witch doctor. The missionaries' daughter, born in Africa and raised among the natives, along with Assistant District Superintendent Tolliver are dedicated to finding the truth, wherever that leads.
Set in the scenic splendor and exotic wildlife we witnessed in Out of Africa (Denys Finch does appear) The sentiments and resolutions are unexpected.


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The School of Essential Ingredients Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780425232095
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - January 5th, 2010

SEPTEMBER 2016

I am currently enjoying THE BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING by Louise Miller, a fun "foodie" read. When I took the time to review the jacket blurbs by other authors, Ms. Bauermesiter's comments reminded me of my pleasure in reading this gem.
Related stories of why and how people took cooking classes tweak the imagination and the palate.
Though not a fan of short form fiction, these individual stories tie to each other in a chapter-like format, rewarding me with a pleasing denouement.
 


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The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062220516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - June 30th, 2015

AUGUST 2016

Many of us anxiously await the next installment of the Maisie Dobbs series of mysteries set in WWI and the run up to WWII.
In this stand alone novel, Winspear gives us a new heroine, the proper young village woman who marries into a rural farming family, only to be left to tend the farm when WWI claims her new family for war duties. She sees her duty to plant and harvest, mind the locals left at home, and write happy letters to those at the front lines to boost the spirits...
A gentle, melancholy anti-war tale.


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Case Histories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316010702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - October 1st, 2005

JULY 2016

Gillian Flynn (GONE GIRL), Tana French (THE DUBLIN MURDER SQUAD series) and Kate Atkinson are authors often linked in discussions of talent and (dark) voice in contemporary mystery fiction.
Kate Atkinson is most recently known for her two related literary novels LIFE AFTER LIFE and A GOD IN RUINS but earned her loyal fans in this unlikely series featuring Jackson Brody.
"A moving novel about families and loss, wrapped up in a witty whodunit." Glamour

I'm betting that a blurb like the one on the front cover from Stephen King is priceless...


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All Over Creation Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142003893
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - March 30th, 2004

JUNE 2016

I happened upon this title searching for narration by my favorite audio performer, the late Anna Fields. Seeking out her vast collection of work has led me in diverse directions, introducing me to many writers off my radar. This is a warm and witty saga about agribusiness, environmental activism, family and community - from the author of My Year of Meats and A Tale for the Time Being. Reminiscent of Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres.
"With a combination of humor and pathos that is all her own, Ozeki brings the American pastoral into the age of agribusiness and genetic engineering. The result is a smart compelling novel about a world we don't realize we live in."
- Michael Pollan, author of Omnivores Dilemma, Cooked, and Botany of Desire.


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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812981223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - November 30th, 2010

MAY 2016

I hand sell this book so often I was surprised to find it to be a good candidate for a current suggestion. The author has a new title out, The Summer Before the War, which is always a good reminder of the past reads I have enjoyed.
Major Pettigrew's friendship with a local shopkeeper comes under scrutiny from friends and family. Mrs. Ali is not of his social class, not of his faith or ethnic origin and the Major must certainly need the advice of his peers. This is a novel of manners and millennial realities. A kind and thoughtful approach to more than one kind of prejudice.


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The Rope Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781250008671
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 28th, 2012

APRIL 2016

The adventures of park ranger Anna Pigeon have filled the pages of 16 books, and now her legion of fans can find out how her story began. Grieving the death of her husband in 1995, Anna leaves NYC to take a seasonal position (cleaning toilets and hauling trash) in Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.
This prequel takes readers where they've wanted to go for years - to Anna's beginnings as a park ranger.
Anna emerges from this canyon escapade as a strong, determined woman who plans to return to the park service as a law enforcement ranger.
I started this series because of the National Park settings and continued for Anna - this is the missing piece.


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A is for Activist Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781609805395
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Triangle Square - November 19th, 2013

MARCH 2016

"We need books for children that us words like justice, ally, freedom and advocate." - Rona Renner, host of Childhood Matters radio show.

Certainly sums it up. Wish I could claim that I discovered this gem, but a customer brought it to my attention.


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Beach Music Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780553381535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press - March 26th, 2002

MARCH 2016

My recent reading of fellow staffers' pick The Little Book Store of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch reminded me of this, my favorite Pat Conroy novel. In her memoir Welch lamented the loss of her appreciation for fiction after the pursuit of her doctorate, an affliction professed by many pursuing scholars. Beach Music is the title that returned her love of fiction. It was my first Pat Conroy novel and remains my favorite. I have read all his fiction to date, but this is the one that haunts me 20 years later.
I have often opined that Conroy's writing has excised most of his demons and his work might suffer from good cheer. Unfortunately, Mr. Conroy has been dealt a new challenge.


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Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month Is Enchanted Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060958114
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - April 2nd, 2002

FEBRUARY 2016

Smack dab in the middle of a Midwestern winter is the perfect time to indulge in one of my favorite sections of the bookstore, Armchair Travel. This section doesn't need any explanation, but it does need steerage occasionally. Many hit movies come from this genre. Eat, Pray, Love and A Walk in the Woods, A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun all originated with a book of travel adventure. Extra Virgin is the tale of two British sisters who leave the London winter and travel to a small Italian village to work the season grafting roses.

Taste the food, climb the terraced groves, drink the wine. Book your your trip...


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Florence Gordon Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544570245
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 1st, 2015

JANUARY 2016

I jokingly commented that I liked this book because each chapter is only a couple pages long. This tactic makes the book a very compelling read as you always think you can read another couple pages. That said, this story of an aging feminist writer and speaker, who suffers no fools, put me on the hunt for more books by this writer, much to my continued pleasure.


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A Killing in the Hills Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250028754
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - June 11th, 2013

DECEMBER 2015

A debut legal thriller featuring a mother and daughter attempting tofind a shooter in a small West Virginia town and mend their own fragile relationship. Bell Eikins is the prosecutor for the county where she has lived her life and buried her past. Sheriff Nick Fogelsong knows that past and supports Bell's efforts to fight the drug trade thet has replaced mining in the local economy. "...Keller does a superb job showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty." --Publishers Weekly


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Small Blessings Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250040534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - May 5th, 2015

NOVEMBER 2015

Ann@booksonthetable wrote "Small Blessings" had the misfortune of being published on the heels of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikery". Both novels evoke serendipitous events that change the lives of good people. My staff pick this month is unconventional as we usually try to market little or unknown titles. Since my initial enthusiasm wiped out the store inventory, it no longer fits that category - but I want everyone to know what a delightful read it is.


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Free Food for Millionaires Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780446699853
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 9th, 2008

OCTOBER 2015

Casey Han's four years at Princeton gave her many things, "but no job and a number of bad habits." Casey's Korean immigrant parents, lifing in Queens, working in a dry cleaner, are trying desperately to hold on to their culture and identity. Their daughter, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. After graduation, Casey sees the reality of expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As she navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives around her, illuminating a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots. Inspired by 19th century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch.


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Bootlegger's Daughter Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780446403238
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 1st, 1993

SEPTEMBER 2015

The author's 20th title in this "Deborah Knott Mystery" series titled Long Upon the Land is newly released and reminds me how much I have enjoyed the character and locale over the past 24 years. Deborah has grown from the rebellious baby sister of 11 brothers  and only daughter of the infamous Kezzie Knott to become an elected Judge. This is the first in this series and I am envious of those of you who start now - how delightful to find a new series, knowing many more are available.


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Folly Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780553381511
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bantam - May 28th, 2002

AUGUST 2015

Broken and vulnerable from depression and grief, artist Rae Newborn chooses to isolate herself to heal and rebuild a family cabin on Folly Island. Soilitude and physical work enable her to set aside much of her paranoia, but the sensation of being watched persists. The author of The Beekeeper's Apprentice series, this is a great one-off.
 


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The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781416551614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - April 12th, 2011

JULY 2015

So, my standard spiel when hand selling this title is "vegan journalist goes to interview an organic farmer, he cooks her a hamburger...and she never goes home". Not exactly the sequence of events, but close enough to grab your attention. Kristen and Mark embark on this farming adventure with youth, muscles, and few assets. Using age old implements, horses instead of tractors, manure instead of fertilizer, their goal is "to provide everything needed for a healthy and satisfying diet year round".


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To Be Sung Underwater Cover Image
By McNeal
$14.99
ISBN: 9780316127387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - June 5th, 2012

JUNE 2015

This is my #1 go-to fiction recommendation. this is the novel that brings back customers requesting more of my suggestions. This is the story of the choices not made and the what ifs never answered. This is the book that will make you remember heady young, uninhibited love. This is off the radar, no hype, no publicity, the one you won't hear about from anyone else.

 


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Everyday Survival Kits: Exactly What You Need for Constant Preparedness Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781440338434
Availability: Special Order
Published: Living Ready Magazine - December 12th, 2014

MAY 2015

Have you ever heard those radio commercials making fun of the family with no emergency plan? Me too. I keep thinking that I (we) should have such a plan, and then continue on my merry way without committing to or formulating The Plan.

This book will not make a disaster plan for you and your family, but perhaps it will start the dialogue and provide some ideas for probable scenarios and the basic equipment for many types of emergencies from power outages to severe weather and more that we don't even want to imagine on a nice sunny day.

None of us want to believe we are in jeopardy and some of the suggestions here fall outside individual boundaries, however I bet we can all imagine ourselves needing one of the 13 survival kits outlined here.


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The Curiosity Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780062221063
Availability: Special Order
Published: William Morrow & Company - July 9th, 2013

FEBRUARY 2015

What would your world be like if you woke after a 100 year sleep? A research vessel exploring Arctic surfaces uncovers a frozen human form buried deep in the ice. Successful thawing and "reanimating" reveals Judge Jeremiah Rice, lost overboard in the Arctic Ocean in a 1906 expedition. In today's media driven information frenzy, the discovery and recovery become an international sensation and Jeremiah's  re-entry is tabloid fodder. Told fromeopposing points of view, this is a thriller, a love story, and a provocative look at exploitation and the human spirit.


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The Beekeeper's Apprentice: Or, on the Segregation of the Queen Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250055705
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - May 27th, 2014

JANUARY 2015

Sherlock Holmes is very cool, again! I must confessI was never a Sherlockian enthusiast before I read this series and I started this reluctantly. I was a fan of other works by this author (the Kate Martinelli mystery series) and a stand alone novel titled Folly, so I jumped in.

In Sherlock's retirement in the English countryside, he meets and befriends a young American girl he believes to possess the intellect and discipline to train in his detection methods. Well....some ten years later I am anxiously awaiting the thirteenth installment of this series of far flung locales, disguises, and historical intrigues.


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The Sparrow Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780449912553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 8th, 1997

DECEMBER 2014

In a not so distant future, where the US is not the dominant world power, positive contact is made with life in another galaxy by a radio telescope in Puerto Rico. The Jesuits (who else?) mount an expedition to investigate the discovery.

The reader is engrossed in the building of the ship, interested in the recruitment and training of the church and lay personell, and spellbound by the tale related by the only surviving member of the expedition.

This title has been my go-to suggestion for readers who are ready to step outside their normal fiction boundaries or those readers who never venture into the SciFi/Fantasy genre.

Mary Doria Russell is an anthropologist by education and her storytelling reflects those disciplines and observations. A powerful and haunting novel.


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Mallory's Oracle Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780515116472
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Jove Books - June 1st, 1995

NOVEMBER 2014

Before Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and Dexter Morgan (Darkley Dreaming Dexter) entered the thriller/suspense genre Kathy Mallory was the sociopath with the power and skills to dole out cokeyed justice.

The street urchin rescued and mentored by one of New York's finest, Mallory's wits and fierce loyalties wreak havoc with the criminals and politicos of NYC. No computer program, locked door or regulation impedes Mallory's investigations, and only her NYPD Special Crimes partner and her poker-playing godfathers garner her respect


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Longbourn Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385351232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 8th, 2013

NOVEMBER 2014 (Pt. 2)

By now most of us Pride and Prejudice aficionados have revisited Austen's most famous novel through the many prequels, sequels, and contemporary rewrites. Favorites among these include: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wifeby Berdoll, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy by Aidan, and Austenlan by Hale. My title pick this month looks at the "downstairs" side of Regency society, ... who washes all those petticoats, cleans those muddy boos and carries all that water for a houseful of women? The Darcy and Bennet narrative is lightly woven into this tale of service, secrets, choices and consequences. Those Bennet girls had it pretty good!


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Natural Born Charmer Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780060734589
Availability: Special Order
Published: Avon Books - May 1st, 2008

OCTOBER 2014

Time to 'fess up - one of my guilty pleasures is contemporary romance novels. I justify reading this genre by utilizing audio editions only. I can multi-task while cleaning, gardening, driving - you get the gist...

This is the title that started it all. I have since read (listened to) every book this author has written. Predictable "damsel in distress" situations that are smart and funny with well developed characters and modern themes. Strong women and evolved men populate all her novels.

I confess my enjoyment of these bonbons at this time because her latest, Heroes are My Weakness, promises to be the best yet.


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The Thorn Birds Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780380018178
Availability: Backordered
Published: Avon Books - May 27th, 2003

SEPTEMBER 2014 pt. 2

Did you know...before the TV mini-series this book was a best selling saga of Australia? Before Dan Brown detailed the papal hierarchy in Angels and Demons, McCullough exposed the politics and policies of the College of Cardinals. Before preistly misconduct became a worldwide scandal, Father Ralph and Maggie shared a connection we all rooted for. If you've never read this classic romance, treat yourself now. Envision Richard Chamerlain and Rachel Ward as Father Ralph and Maggie - inspired casting!

I've read most everything McCullough has written throughout the years: Australian historical novels; Detective Carmine Delmonico mysteries; and even a Pride and Prejudice spin-off. I am saving her First Man in Rome series for my old age (haha!). She also has a new Australian novel, Bittersweet, her first romance since The Thorn Birds.


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Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307948342
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - July 30th, 2013

SEPTEMBER 2014

I hope this book has been a commercial success for Tomsky because he burned a lot of bridges publishing this memoir! This army brat with a degree in philosophy was ill prepared for gainful employment when he entered the "hospitality" workforce in New Orleans as a parking valet. The bright boy quickly moves trhough the ranks to hold the position of Front Desk Agent where he deftly directs the epicenter of customer service.

This book will tell you more than you want to know about the ins and outs of high end hotels, the tricks for freebies and upgrades, and the dos and don'ts of tipping. An inside tell-all a la Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential.


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Solsbury Hill Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594632365
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - April 1st, 2014

AUGUST 2014

No...it's not Wuthering Heights but this contemporary story instills a tension and drama reminiscent of that classic.

Set in the same moors and frought with wrong choices and childhood loves.

This is just a fun read that tickles your memories of the Brontes and Wuthering Heights and pretends at melodrama.


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At Home in Mitford Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140254488
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - February 1st, 1996

JUNE 2014

For over 30 years my husband has witnessed my reading habits with little comment. When I first read this little gem he observed"you finish one book, put it down, pick up and start another, and never say a word...but you have giggled through that whole book."

It is not smart or sophisticated or even very witty - it just makes you chuckle! This is the first title in a much loved series we all thought was finished. Good news - a new "Mitford Years" title Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good arrives September 2nd. For those never exposed to the  to the gentle folk of Mitford and Father Tim - you're in for a treat!


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Three Junes Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780385721424
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - May 6th, 2003

JUNE 2014

This 2002 National Book Award winner is not about three women named June. Three months of June over a ten year span is the structure to tell this tale of family bonds, those we are born with and those we aquire. This novel is one from my "all time top ten" list and my quick perusal to write this recommendation  has drawn me in again. The author's latest title, And the Dark Sacred Night returns one of these characters to the story, so if you have already read Three Junes - try the new title.


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Very Valentine Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061257063
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - January 1st, 2010

MAY 2014

A big Italian family in New York City's Greenwich Villiage, a fiesty matriarch who still runs the family custom wedding shoe business, a designer competition to display in the window of Bergdorf's, a handsome restauranteur boyfriend, a buying trip to Tuscany - did I mention shoes yet?

My recommendation sounds pretty flippant, but you will immerse yourself in this family, root for Valentine's aspirations and want more of this story as soon as you close the book.


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The Cove Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061804205
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Published: Ecco Press - November 6th, 2012

APRIL 2014

Rash's storytelling of Appalachia evokes time and place insulated from daily life.

In this novel set at the end of WWI, a mute stranger changes the lives of lonely siblings eking out an existence on a farm isolated by superstition and circumstances.

As Charles Finch wrote in his review in USA Today, "Both the land and the country have changed. If you squint your eyes, The Cove can show you what they used to look like."


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The Royal Wulff Murders Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143123057
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - January 29th, 2013

MARCH 2014

Fly fishing in Montana - a good premise for a new mystery series. Dead floating bodies, hand-tied flies as distinctive as a fingerprint  (the titled Royal Wulff) and damsels in distress.

To quote Henry Winkler's blurb on this book, "What fun it is to visit my favorite fishing spots, not in a guide book, but in a wonderful murder mystery".

I spent many hours sitting on the banks of the Madison River in Yellowstone Park and the Gallatin Valley reading a book, while my angler husband cast his line. It's all here, including Bud Lily's Trout Shop where I purchased my favorite hand thrown coffee mug - 30 years ago!


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Animal Dreams Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062278500
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 7th, 2013

FEBRUARY 2014

To my mind, Kingsolver's novels are distinctly divided between before and after The Poisonwood Bible.

The more recent works exhibit obvious social, political, and environmental themes tightly woven in personal dramas flawlessly executed.

Perhaps just finding her activist voice, the earlier novels and essays deliver compelling social narrative with a more subtle tone.

Kingsolver works have a strong sense of place and landscape, this one the desert southwest, as lush and colorful as her African rainforest or hills of Appalachia.


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The Cater Street Hangman Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345513564
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - September 30th, 2008

JANUARY 2014

Much like Downton Abbey and Maisie Dobbs, the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery novels are about the changing social classes of women in Victorian London.

Society girl Charlotte Ellison is from an upper class family and Thomas Pitt from a working class background  when they first meet during an investigation of the death of a maid in the Ellison household. Utilizing her high-brow connections, Charlotte is able to insert herself into the police investigation.

Best of all, there are 27 more titles in the series.


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Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143122081
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - November 27th, 2012

DECEMBER 2013

Gee, I am such a sucker for a house building saga; House by Tracey Kidder, and Woodswoman by Anne LaBastille are early favorites.

What circumstances, what goals, what fortunes (or lack of) generate the desire to build something from the ground up intrigues me.

Although it is the last thing I would ever want to do, I devour the tales of site selection, floor planning, construction hiccups and mishaps, improvising and adaptation that are the daily requirement to fulfill the dream.

A great gift for many on your list!

 


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Crescent Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393325546
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2004

NOVEMBER 2013

An exquisitely gifted cook at Cafe Nadia, where homesick Middle Eastern ex-pats gather to drink coffee and savor her perfectly spiced food, Sirine is loved by all. She has never been in love herself when she meets exiled professor Hanif Al Eyad through her uncle's matchmaking, but it is the scents, flavors, and textures of Sirine's cooking that advance their relationship.

This writing lingers in all my senses many years after I finished this book. "...love, lust, and Lebanese cooking commingle to create a deliciously romantic romp about l'amour and the quest for identity." - VANITY FAIR

 


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A Painted House Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780345532046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dell - February 28th, 2012

OCTOBER 2013

Nearly my favorite John Grisham novel, this one is not the courtroom legal thriller we regularly expect. Instead, this is a coming of age drama set in the mid-1950's on a cotton farm in the rural Mississippi River delta of Arkansas.

The tensions are many, from migrant worker conflict to the continual lure of good money and jobs in the industrial North, and extended family living under one roof.

The book is personal to me. I lived there, and then.


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Goodbye for Now Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780307951274
Availability: Special Order
Published: Anchor Books - May 7th, 2013

SEPTEMBER 2013

What if...you found your soulmate on a dating site so good it worked the first time every time?

What if...said soul mate was able to mine the digital droppings from the "cloud" and create an intuitive, responsive algorithm enabling continued communication with loved ones now gone?

What if...this is a tech savvy, quirky love story that explores the all-too-believable potential in this modern data/download/app focused life?

What if...it could really happen?


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Dark of the Moon Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780425224137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - September 30th, 2008

AUGUST 2013

The thrice-divorced, affable member of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), who reports to Lucas Davenport , operates pretty much on his own as he tackles only the worst cases.

Virgil Flowers has made his debut as  a secondary character in Sandford's Invisible Prey (2007) is a low-key loose cannon whose wardrobe consists of alternative rock-n-roll t-shirts, and usually towing his fishing boat to the crime scene.

It's my pleasure to introduce to you one of my favorite new characters.


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The Next Always Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780425243213
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Publishing Group - November 1st, 2011

JULY 2013

Okay, all you Nora Roberts fans have already read this one...and the two sequels in the Boonsboro trilogy, but maybe this will capture some of the die hard, "no romance" readers out there.

What can I say? If you like restoration of historical buildings, family drama filled with smart, hunky, sensitive men raised by a wise (cracking) mother, strong women with healthyself-esteem and good judgement, then nobody writes romance better than Nora and I promise you will want to finish this trilogy.


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Arcadia Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781401341909
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Hyperion Books - October 2nd, 2012

JUNE 2013

(Little) Bit is the first child born to the newly founded agrarian commune, nurtured and guided by all. His world is filled with nature, goodwill, hard work and good times.

As with most grand social experiments, the politics and practicality of this live style versus outside forces eventually destroy the community and Bit's sheltered life.

Grown up Bit finds himself raising his daughter alone and looking for guidance from his elders.

Geoff's writing style gracefully evokes the sensitivity and compassion that is Bit's character. Enchanting.


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Blind Your Ponies Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781565129849
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - January 18th, 2011

MAY 2013

If you check out the reviews on Goodreads.com or Librarything.com you will find that most have something snotty or snobby to say about this book, like "sappy", "purple prose", and "predictable", and usually comment on the lack of editing... yet give it high marks for characters and relationships, drama, inspiration, and setting. "This book spreads its energy and passion with very little help. Fueled by characters you don't want to leave and a story of contemporary Montana you don't want to end."


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When the Killing's Done Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143120391
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 28th, 2012

APRIL 2013

Commonly recognized as the Mark Twain of our century, T.C. Boyle chronicles the contemporary human condition. Whether you are a naturalist, riparian, environmentalist, or just believe in action for cause, you will find yourself able to see both sides of the political hot button topic in this coastal California drama. I promise you will never perceive a raven the same way again. Available in bargain hardcover or quality paperback.


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The Imperfectionists Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780385343671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press - January 4th, 2011

MARCH 2013

The fifty-year-old English language newspaper published in Rome is circling the drain and the executives and staff struggle to continue the publication and maintain their livelihoods as the era of print journalism gives way to the Internet age and the decline of traditional reporting.

From the obituary writer to the foreign correspondent, Cairo stringer, business reporter and corrections editor, the story unfolds in revealing personal stories of each employee in this debut novel, a comprehensive tale of the eminent demise of an institution.


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Shibumi Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400098033
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - May 10th, 2005

FEBRUARY 2013

This title was pressed upon me many years ago, and so totally outside of any genre I was accustomed to reading that I paid no attention for several years. When I finally picked it up I was immediately captivated and mindful of the genre fusion exhibited. Readers of Burdett, DeMille, Ludlum, Clancy and Lee Child will appreciate this classic novel by the one-name author also known for his novel The Eiger Sanction.


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One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781419704178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: ABRAMS - September 1st, 2012

DECEMBER 2012

I am not a reader or browser in the "Religion/Inspiration" section of the bookstore, so I consider it serendipitous that I found this little gem.

Whether you practice the Golden Rule or Pay-It-Forward or need a gift or stocking-stuffer, this little book is a gentle reminder of small kindnesses that have great impact on both giver and recipient.

Happy Holidays to all!!!


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House Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780618001910
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 15th, 1999

NOVEMBER 2012

I am currently reading Cabin by Ureneck which reminds me how much I loved the feature title.

I have read many other books by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder and my book club has read at least 4 different Kidder titles but this one is the one I have purchased over and over to give to friends building homes.

Long before HGTV and the Discover Channel made everyone want to build a house a beware their builder, Kidder chronicled the entire process from choosing a contractor to building a staircase.


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Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780762752638
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Falcon Press Publishing - April 2nd, 2010

SEPTEMBER 2012

I sure wish I had read this earlier in the summer to stimulate all the road trippers and National Park-bound tourists while the anticipation or memories were fresh.

A frank collection of anecdotes and adventures that puts the current state of our National Park system in fresh perspective.


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Heart-Shaped Box Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061944895
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - January 1st, 2010

AUGUST 2012

Aging rock'n'roll star buys a ghost on-line and gets one! A wild ride with lots of pop culture, scary close encounters, and family baggage.

Maybe the best thing about this fast-paced thriller is knowing who the author is and appreciating his own talents, never trading on his famous lineage.


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Tularosa: A Kevin Kerney Novel Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393333992
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 19th, 2009

JULY 2012

If you're a fan of Tony Hillerman, Margaret Coel, and J.A. Jance, here is another contemporary western hero (with a badge) for your indulgence. Set along the I-25 corridor from El Paso TX to Santa Fe NM, this mystery series honors the Native Americans and the ranchers, the land and environment, as well as the varied law enforcement units required to secure the vast territory.

Rancher turned lawman, Kevin Kearny will limp his way to the top of your list of good guys, and the bad guys are really, really bad!


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Vida Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781604864878
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: PM Press - December 12th, 2011

JUNE 2012

As a diehard fan of this author, I first read this novel when it was published in 1981. Recently reprinted with new cover art, I am reminded of the passions and commitment exhibited in this tale of revolution and exile.

Known for her feminist novels (Woman on the Edge of Time is still used in university studies) and poetry, Ms. Piercy's work has evolved with contemporary times and themes. This title, however, is firmly rooted in the political undeground of the 80's.