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Robin's Picks

 

Robin Glossner

Robin is the new events coordinator for adult events at the Odyssey Bookshop. She was born and raised in Massachusetts, then lived in Central Pennsylvania for 41 years. She recently retired from her job as the development director of the public library in Williamsport PA, after owning and running a kitchen store and cooking school and working in sales for IBM. She moved to South Hadley in July to be closer to her family and newborn granddaughter.  She is an avid reader and working in a bookstore is a dream for her.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
On Animals Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982181536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - October 12th, 2021

If you ever wondered what it is like to keep chickens, or what happened to the orca from the movie ‘Free Willy,’ if you loved ‘Tiger King’ on Netflix and want to know more about the kind of people who keep wild tigers, you will love this book. Orlean’s prose is full of detail and her curiosity about how we live with animals is prodigious. Every essay is a joy to read.


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My Monticello: Fiction Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250807151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - October 5th, 2021

The title novella in this collection of short fiction envisions a near future, where gangs of violent white supremacists have chased Da’Naisha, her grandmother and her white boyfriend, and a diverse group of neighbors, from their homes in Charlottesville. They seek refuge in Monticello, the historic plantation of Thomas Jefferson. Da’Naisha is a descendant of Jefferson and Sally Hemings and she comes to the mansion having been a summer intern there. The refugees begin to form a community as they learn to survive using what they find in the gift shop and in the gardens and woods. But danger is all around them, and a showdown is inevitable. The five other short stories deal with issues of race, immigration, and family. This is a masterful debut.


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Matrix: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594634499
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 7th, 2021

In 1158, the seventeen-year-old Marie de France rides out of the forest alone to become the prioress of an abbey in England. She has been sent away from the sparkling court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, because she is a royal bastard, too tall and too ugly too be married off. She finds the nuns starving and sick, the abbey in disrepair and impoverished. Over the course of many years, Marie turns the abbey into a self-sufficient, wealthy female-only community. Memories of her life at court, and her love and admiration for Eleanor, drive her ambition and her need for recognition.  Not much is known of Marie; only her poetry remains. But Groff turns her into a mesmerizing figure, and uses her story and the story of the abbey to explore love, community, faith, and chosen family.


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Anxious People: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501160844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - July 6th, 2021

Backman starts out by telling us that this is a story about idiots, which is off-putting. But what he means is that it is idiotically difficult being human. On the day before New Year's Eve, a bank robber tries to rob a cashless bank of just enough money to pay rent, then must take shelter from the police in an apartment being shown to seven strangers. Backman uses the situation to explore the nature of love and marriage, the meaning of home, and the events that can push anyone to unexpected actions and new directions.


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This Tender Land: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476749303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - May 26th, 2020

I rarely read a book that compels me to recommend it to friends; this is one of those rare books. In the depths of the Depression, four orphans on the run from a cruel boarding school take to the river in search of safety and home. Their encounters along the road are by turns dangerous, heart-breaking, and joyous. This novel has been compared to Huckleberry Finn and The Grapes of Wrath. It contains echoes of Homer’s Odyssey, and The Wizard of Oz. Intrigued? Pick it up and read it now!


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Leave the World Behind: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062667632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - October 6th, 2020

A middle-class white couple and their two teenage children from Brooklyn rents a house on Long Island for a week’s vacation near the beach. On their second night, there is a knock at the door and the owners, a black couple from Manhattan, arrive, seeking shelter because there is a widespread power outage in the city. Phone service, internet, television, all stop working. Without any information, and with increasing dread, the two families navigate uncertainty and strange natural occurrences. The author uses this setup to explore issues of race, class, and generational differences. A compelling read which provides more questions than answers.


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Hamnet Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781984898876
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 18th, 2021

O'Farrell enters the world of Shakespeare's family, left behind in Stratford, through the eyes of his wife, Agnes. Little is known about Shakespeare's life and probably less about his family life, but we do know he had a daughter and then twins, a boy and a girl, and that the boy, Hamnet, died young, probably of plague. O'Farrell takes us to Tudor England, and uses this event to explore the nature of family, love, and grief, in this powerful, beautiful story.