Mitch's Picks


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Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062684387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - October 31st, 2017

A timely new novel by the NY Times bestselling author of Wicked, Maguire has turned his notable talent for retelling classic stories to the story of Herr Drosselmeier of Nutcracker fame. But this is more than just a retelling of this well-known tale. As Maguire noted at his recent Odyssey appearance celebration the publication of Hiddensee, he sees his writing as an intellectual experience masquerading as popular fiction. As in Wicked and his other books, he ponders larger issues – in this case how the powerless and disadvantaged in society can nonetheless play an important role in helping others – while crafting a captivating story delving back into the Brothers Grimm and German folklore. This will make a great gift and we have signed copies for sale. 


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Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476795997
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - October 4th, 2016

From the director of the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College and the author of the bestselling Inside of a Dog, this new book gives human readers tantalizing insights into the ways dogs view their world--through their amazing sense of smell. Merging evidence from her scientific research, her two dogs, and her own nose, Horowitz's fascinating book will give you, and your nose, a whole new way of seeing the world.


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From Darkness to Dynasty: The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots Cover Image
By Jerry Thornton, Michael Holley (Foreword by)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781611689747
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ForeEdge - September 6th, 2016

Jerry Thornton is a very funny man, as you might expect from someone who is a stand-up comic, and this is a very funny book. Rather than looking at the current, dynastic Patriots who have dominated the NFL over the past 15 years, Thornton looks back to his childhood and the early days of the Patriots in the 1960s. It's easy being a Patriots fan these days, but back then it was an embarrassment, and Thornton relates some horrifyingly funny stories from those days - like the time they nearly drafted a receiver who had died weeks earlier, or the brand new stadium they built that flooded the first time the restrooms were used. A great gift for any sports fan.


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The City of Mirrors: A Novel (Book Three of The Passage Trilogy) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780345505002
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - May 24th, 2016

Many of us are familiar with the Catskills of Upstate New York as the home of the “Borscht Belt” in the early to mid-20th Century, where Jewish New Yorkers enjoyed an unsurpassed vacation mecca of resorts and entertainment. (Remember Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing?) While that era is fabulously documented in this well-researched book, anyone interested in the history of the area will love discovering the other fascinating aspects of the Catskills, from the setting for Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle story, to the 1800’s offering WASP guests “one hundred percent restricted” accommodations (“Hebrews will knock vainly for admission”), through the Woodstock era to the center of today’s anti-fracking movement. The liberal use of historical photographs brings this book alive. 


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The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9780307272157
Availability: Backordered
Published: Knopf - October 27th, 2015

Selected as the Common Read book at UMass this fall, NY Times columnist Giridharadas takes an in-depth look back at the time right after 9/11 when avowed "American Terrorist" Mark Stroman shoots a young Bangladeshi immigrant in a Dallas mini-mart in "revenge" for the attacks in New York and the Pentagon, nearly killing him. Ten years after the attack this same immigrant leads a campaign to save Stroman from the death penalty, and Giridharadas takes us back through the lives of both of these men in a mesmerizing look at all of us as Americans.  


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The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945 Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780465018994
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - October 13th, 2015

A great business book for people (like me) that hate business books, Downs relates his experiences of running a small furniture making business for nearly 30 years, and his honesty about both the successes and failures are written in a very accessible manner that is often missing in traditional business books. Downs is a real business owner dealing with real employees and his book is no list of business platitudes, but rather an honest look at real situations he and his employees have faced. You may know Downs from his NYTimes.com blog You're the Boss. If you do, you'll already know his approachable style - if not you'll want to dive into this book.  


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Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780399172335
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Blue Rider Press - August 4th, 2015

Armada by Ernest Cline. You don't have to have read Cline's previous pop-culture phenomenon to enjoy this new novel, but if you liked Ready Player One you're bound to love Armada as well. Zach Lightman is a teenage gamer geek surviving High School i Portland, Oregon wishing his life was a little more like the science fiction novels, games and movies he spends his life with. Then one day his fantasy becomes all too real as his videogame skills get him recruited to help same humanity from an alien invasion. This inventive, page-turning adventure story is full of 80s pop culture music and movie references that if you're of a "certain" age (as I am) you'll love discovering. Mitch


Armada: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780804137256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - July 14th, 2015

A fascinating new novel (part one of a two-part series) introduces us to Emma Wade, who wakes up in a hospital with no memories of her life before what her husband, Declan, describes as a very serious accident. As she slowly recovers and begins to piece together a life with Declan, she is plagued by a series of dreams of a life she can't imagine - a life with memories of war, a retraining camp for fertile women, of a love for another man. Emma's life begins to take a dramatic turn as she begins to wonder if these dreams are in fact memories of a life she doesn't remember.

Reminiscient of Margaret Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale", I can't wake to see where M.D. Waters takes Emma in the follow-up to this inventive futuristic suspense novel!


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The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393350791
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 6th, 2015

Where Nobody Knows Your Name by John Feinstein. This is a great read whether you love baseball or not. John Feinstein (whom you might know from his sports reporting on NPR) takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the life of the people inhabiting baseball's minor leagues. This is definitely not the world of the major leagues that we're all familiar with - a world inhabited by millionaire players, billionaire owners, private jets, and high-end hotels. Players, managers, umpires - everyone living in the little-known world of the minor leagues - know a life of long bus rides, low pay, and anonymity, hoping for that one chance to make it big in the majors. Many won't, and Feinstein weaves a lively narrative through the lives of these characters - a few you know, and most you probably will never hear of outside of the pages of this great book.  


Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball (Anchor Sports) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307949585
Availability: Backordered
Published: Anchor - March 17th, 2015

One of those great non-fiction books that reads like a thriller - I just couldn't put it down!

Written by a young investigative journalist, Cahalan chronicles her quick descent from an exciting young life in New York into madness and near-death. A series of doctors can't discover what is causing her sudden psychotic transformation, and her family and boyfriend become increasingly concerned about her behavior.

Cahalan had no memory of this maddening period in her life, but as a journalist she has the skills to go back and investigate what happened to her, interviewing family, friends and doctors, as well as viewing hospital surveillance tapes where she barely recognizes herself.

A truly remarkable memoir/medical-mystery!


Archetype Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525954231
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dutton Books - February 6th, 2014

A really fun novel for anyone who grew up during or around the '80s, this prescient novel imagines a slightly dystopian future where the real world is unpleasant enough that most people spend as much time as they can in an inhanced version of the internet called The Oasis. Part sci-fi novel, part mystery, this is a rollicking story that takes us in and out of The Oasis as our main character attempts to solve a mysterious set of puzzles created by the inventor of The Oasis before his death.

The best part of this novel might be all the references to 80s pop culture, from movies, to television shows, to music. While having grown up in this time period isn't required to enjoy this novel, it certainly enhances the experience!


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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781451621389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 6th, 2013

One of those great non-fiction books that read like a thriller - I just couldn't put it down! Written by a young investigative journalist, Cahalan chronicles her quick descent from an exciting young life in New York to madness and near-death. A series of doctors can't discover what is causing her sudden psychotic transformation, and her family and boyfriend become increasingly concerned about her behavior. Cahalan had no memory of this maddening period in her life, but as a journalist she has the skills to go back and investigate what happened to her, interviewing family, friends, and doctors, as well as viewing hospital surveillance tapes where she barely recognizes herself. A truly remarkable memoir/medical-mystery!


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Norwegian by Night Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780547934877
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - May 21st, 2013

When World War II started in 1939 it was deeply unpopular, so how was it that the German people actively participated in a war that would last for six years? Stargardt eschews the usual assumptions about the German people, instead delving into the letters and diaries of a variety of ordinary citizens, and in the process creates a clearer understanding for us of how and why many could have supported the Nazis, as well as how they tried to oppose them. Seen through the eyes of those who lived through it—soldiers, teachers, housewives; Christians and Jews—Steingardt’s impeccable research into original source documents brings an important new look at this horrible period in history to life, making us all wonder how we might have reacted under those circumstances. 


Ready Player One: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307887443
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - June 5th, 2012

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It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476734491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 7th, 2017

A.J. Jacobs rarely does anything small. From reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica (The Know-It-All) to spending a year trying to follow the bible literally (The Year of Living Biblically, the Esquireeditor at-large knows how to get the most out of his subject matter, all while being really, really funny. It’s All Relative is a three-year quest into the nature of human relationships and family, with Jacobs traveling to all seven continents, meeting with Daniel Radcliffe and hip-hop artist Ludacris, and having lunch with Barbara and George H.W. Bush. All while delving into important questions of what really makes a family, what unites us and what divides us. A timely book from a very funny man.  ~Mitch


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Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780735224803
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - October 24th, 2017

Perhaps you know Hodgman from his role as PC in the Apple commercials, or from his role on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Hodgman refers to himself as a famous minor television personality), or perhaps his Judge John Hodgman podcasts. But you don’t know this John Hodgman. He’s written a bestselling trilogy of books of fake facts, but in Vacationland he turns his wry wit inward, musing on time spent during much of his youth at his parent’s house in rural Western Mass as well as later on the coast of Maine, so-called Vacationland and home of the most painful beaches on earth. Residents of Western Mass. will be particularly interested to hear his thoughts on growing up as an only child in the internet-less hills of Franklin County, fatherhood, middle-age, and the privileges of being a white guy in modern society. A touching memoir, filled with poignant thoughts and Hodgman’s dry sense of humor. 


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Warcross Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399547966
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 12th, 2017

The newest novel by the bestselling author of the The Young Elites and Legend series. This is a gripping read that will appeal to anyone who is into gaming, but you don’t have to be a hardcore gamer (I’m not) to get caught up in this thrilling story set in a not-too-distant future where millions worldwide follow and play Warcross online. More than a game, it’s a worldwide obsession that some play to escape from reality and by others hoping to make a profit. The main character, teenage hacker Emika Chen is struggling on her own after the death of her father, but she is quick, snarky and very smart. These qualities find her in the middle of the international Warcross Championships and a global plot to take down the game. “An exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.” 


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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984822581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Archetype - October 2nd, 2018

 

Subtitled A Sortabiography, this new memoir by one of the founders and stars of the Monty Python comedy troupe will make a great gift for any comedy fans. Not your usual ghost-written celebrity bio, Idle takes us along on his remarkable journey from his childhood in an austere UK boarding school through his amazing journey in comedy, theater, television and film. Coming of age amidst the social and cultural upheaval of the sixties and seventies, Idle writes from the heart about his life in the world of entertainment and his many friendships with prominent luminaries including George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin and, of course, the other Pythons.


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Vox Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780440000785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 21st, 2018

A truly gripping and terrifying debut posits a dystopian near-future U.S. where all women and girls are allowed a mere 100 words per day, strictly enforced via electronic bracelets that all must wear. Can Dr. Jean McClellan discover a way to save herself and her young daughter? Will her husband and son be of any help? Sure to bring comparisons to Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, this was a novel that I couldn’t put down - every time the author added a new, scary twist in the subjugation of women that I thought couldn’t possibly happen, something in the news would prove me wrong.


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Unsheltered: A Novel Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062684561
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - October 16th, 2018

 

Two families, two centuries, one house and an intriguing story of people making their way in life during times of uncertainty. Using an intriguing literary construct, award-winning writer Barbara Kingsolver brings us alternating chapters that introduce us to both Willa Knox in 2016, dealing with all the struggles of modern life, as well as Thatcher Greenwood, a science teacher in the 1880s, also struggling against a society that fears the “new” ideas of Charles Darwin and others. Two families living in the same house, a century and a half apart, but nonetheless struggling to find their way in a world where you can do everything right and still end up struggling to make ends meet. Kingsolver has created a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.