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Robin's Picks

Robin Glossner

Robin is the adult events coordinator 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 2021 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: 
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Bear: A Novel By Julia Phillips Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525520436
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hogarth - June 25th, 2024

Sisters Sam and Elena live in a small house with their dying mother, and dream of getting off San Juan island. Sam works in food service on the ferry, Elena tends bar and serves sandwiches in the local country club. One day, a bear, so large they can barely describe it, is resting just outside their house on the walkway. This is the first encounter of several, and each time these encounters are both terrifying and magical. The sisters have very different reactions: Sam wants the bear gone, perceiving it as a threat, while Elena is enchanted. The presence of the bear is a catalyst, throwing the sisters' plans for leaving into doubt, and ultimately leading to profound change in circumstance for all involved. Phillips explores the bonds of sisterhood and their limits here, while riffing lightly on the Snow White  & Rose Red fairytale. She is also exploring the beasts living around us and within us. 


The Ministry of Time: A Novel By Kaliane Bradley Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668045145
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - May 7th, 2024

What if the British government were in possession of a time machine? And further, what if they chose to bring British people from the past to the present, just at the point of their death? and attempted to integrate them into society by placing them with an agent called a Bridge, to teach them about the current world? That's the set up of this wildly fun novel. Our heroine is the Bridge assigned to Commander Graham Gore, also known as 1847, who died in 1847 on Sir john Franklin's arctic expedition. They are uncomfortable roommates at first, as the Bridge is nothing like the Victorian women Gore is used to, but their relationship grows. Gore, and some of the other 'expats' as they are known, adjust quickly. But what is this experiment really about? Are the expats and bridges safe, or are they pawns in some inter-time game? This book was so much fun; a thriller, a romance, a bit of sci-fi, it defies categorization but kept me turning pages. 
 


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The Stolen Child: A Novel By Ann Hood Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780393609806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 7th, 2024

Nick Burns is elderly and dying, and finds himself driven to return to Europe where he made the mistake which has colored his life since World War I. He was in a combat trench in France when he was befriended by the woman in a nearby farmhouse. When the Italians came, the woman thrust her artwork and her baby into Nick's arms to save. Nick abandons the baby in the village square hoping that someone will have heard his cries and rescued him. Now in the 1970s, Nick enlists college dropout Jenny to come to Italy and France with him to unravel the story of what happened to the baby. In Naples, we meet a lonely craftsman named Enzo, who is amassing a museum of tears; his story converges with Nick and Jenny's as their time in Europe comes to an end. This is a story about love, forgiveness, and transformation, and I could not put it down.
 


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The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club: A Novel By Helen Simonson Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781984801319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The Dial Press - May 7th, 2024

Helen Simonson explores the effect of the Great War on England in this engaging novel. Constance Haverhill is working as a companion to family friend Mrs. Fog, who is convalescing from the Spanish flu at a seaside resort. Constance soon meets and becomes part of the circle of Poppy Wirrall, who operates a motorcycle taxi service employing young women of various social statuses. Poppy herself is the daughter of a land-owning gentleman, and her brother, who lost a leg as a pilot in the war, is struggling to find his place in the postwar world. Meanwhile, Mrs. Fog is content to allow Constance to explore her new friendships, as she has secret friends in the vicinity. There is a large cast of characters: a German waiter at the hotel who was interned during the war; the callow friends of Poppy and her brother; Mrs. Fog's snobbish daughter and granddaughter who were the patrons of Constance and her late mother; the librarian/mechanic in Poppy's club; some mysterious Indian investors who arrive mid-story. Yet somehow it all hangs together, as Constance wrestles with her future which must be different from her friends. An entertaining exploration of social class, war and its aftermath, the place of women, and race, that never flags.
 


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Blessed Water: A Sister Holiday Mystery By Margot Douaihy Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781638930266
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Zando - Gillian Flynn Books - March 12th, 2024

So much water! Sister Holiday and Holly Riveaux are called to meet a possible client on a pier in New Orleans, but instead find the body of a priest, floating, stabbed and familiar. When her parish's younger priest disappears, Sister Holiday and Riveaux search through what is a biblical rainstorm on an Easter weekend to find him. Sister Holiday's first-person narration is filled with faith and self-doubt, as she and Riveaux follow all the leads to the eventual twisty conclusion. 


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The God of the Woods: A Novel By Liz Moore Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593418918
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Riverhead Books - July 2nd, 2024

Propulsive, thrilling, sometimes heartbreaking, The God of the Woods is a worthy follow-up to Long Bright River. In the summer of 1975, 14 year old Barbara Van Laar is discovered missing from the rustic Adirondack camp she is attending. Barbara isn't just any camper, though. The Van Laar family owns the camp, which is located down hill from their spectacular summer home called Self Reliance. And her disappearance carries echoes of the disappearance of her older brother Bear, 14 years ago. Moore writes two mysteries here, with a dual timeline, until the mystery of Bear is explored by the new investigators assigned to find Barbara, including Judyta, the first female New York State Police investigator. Moore explores themes of family, wealth, the status of women, and the relationship between the working class town and the Van Laar family, all the while keeping the reader enthralled.

The pages flew by.
 


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Anita de Monte Laughs Last: Reese's Book Club Pick (A Novel) By Xochitl Gonzalez Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250786210
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - March 5th, 2024

Anita De Monte is a Cuban-American artist who falls in love with the pre-eminent minimalist sculptor of his time, Jack Martin. In the late 1970s through the early 1980s, their tumultuous relationship and eventual marriage puts Anita firmly in his shadow.
In 1998, art history student Raquel Toro plans to write her senior thesis in Art History at Brown on Jack Martin. She falls in love with an older art student from a wealthy and prominent family. As a summer intern in the RISD museum, she stumbles upon Anita's story, and works to excavate her from oblivion. This dual timeline novel explores issues of race, class, and whose story gets told in a way that is both entertaining and thought provoking.  


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After Annie: A Novel By Anna Quindlen Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593229804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 27th, 2024

This tender, beautiful novel asks us to consider what kind of hole we leave in the world when we die. Annie Brown, a young mother of four children, dies unexpectedly on her kitchen floor one night while preparing dinner. Over the next year, her children, most notably the two oldest, Annie and Ant, her husband Bill, and her best friend AnnMarie, confront her loss and their own lives. It is a tribute to Quindlen's writing that we feel Annie's loss while rooting for her family and loved ones to be able to grow and change. I loved this book.


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Fruit of the Dead: A Novel By Rachel Lyon Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781668020852
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - March 5th, 2024

Cory, a camp counselor recently graduated from high school, with no plan for college and no desire to go home to her difficult mother, falls under the spell of one the father of one of her campers in this fast moving tale. The billionaire carries her off to his private island to look after his children for the remainder of the summer, but Cory finds herself in a strange situation. Rolo, the dad, is a pharma billionaire with legal woes, and an endless supply of 'grannies,' his company's painkiller. Cory moves between feeling like a servant and being treated like a guest, never sure about her role. Meanwhile, her mother, the CEO of a failing NGO, is sure her daughter is in danger. Told from the point of view of Cory and her mother, this story of a girl making bad choices and her mother risking it all never slowed down. 


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Same As It Ever Was: A Novel By Claire Lombardo Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385549554
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Doubleday - June 18th, 2024

Julia Ames has reached midlife after a tumultuous youth and young motherhood, and believes herself to be on an even keel with  her marriage and her children, when a chance encounter sends her back to a time when she almost lost it all. This is a novel about messy families, most especially about mothers and daughters, real and surrogate, as they navigate life and love, bad decisions and destructive secrets. I loved this book and it is more than a worthy follow-up to The Most Fun We Ever Had.


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Sandwich: A Novel By Catherine Newman Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063345164
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - June 18th, 2024

A family week at the beach is the setting for this beautiful, satisfying novel. Rocky, her husband Nick, their son and his girlfriend, and their college age daughter descend on their beloved Cape Cod rental. Newman perfectly evokes the atmosphere--the time spent in surf shops, grocery stores, and ERs, while also illuminating the strong emotions of a mother whose nest is emptying. Rocky is going through menopause, which has had her feeling enraged. She is sandwiched between her almost launched children and her rapidly aging parents, caring for both fiercely. During this highly emotionally charged week, secrets are revealed, relationships are tested, and memories haunt the characters. I laughed out loud in recognition many times. I loved this book.


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Expiration Dates: A Novel By Rebecca Serle Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982166823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - March 19th, 2024

Each time 30-something Daphne starts dating a new man, she finds a piece of paper with his name, and a time frame--3 days, 4 months, 1 night--that predicts the length of the relationship. Until now, when the paper for her newest boyfriend is black where the time limit usually  is. Rebecca Serle has the rare knack of weaving an unlikely or magical premise into a story that quickly feels plausible. Daphne is an engaging character, with a fun job, entertaining friends, loving parents, and an excellent boss. What she lacks is direction for her life. A startling twist raises this story above the level of a lighthearted romance; and although experienced readers won't be completely shocked by the end. they will have enjoyed the journey to get there.


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Welcome Home, Stranger: A Novel By Kate Christensen Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063299702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - December 5th, 2023

When fifty-something Rachel goes home reluctantly to Portland Maine after her mother's death, she has to face several reckonings. She stayed away during her mother's illness, relying on her sister Celeste to nurse her. Her old but never quite forgotten boyfriend has married the woman next door to her sister, but is not averse to starting up with her again. Her brother-in-law, the canned fish heir of Maine, is drinking too much and threatening his marriage to her sister. Her ex-husband has ALS and is living with his boyfriend in her condo in DC, waiting to die. Her job as an environmental journalist, which she loves, is under threat. And her mother has left her the house she was living in at the end. This novel is dark at times, but asks the question, how can we survive and change as we age, and as life's terrible circumstances come at us? I'm still thinking about this book.


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The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels: A Novel By Janice Hallett Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668023396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - January 23rd, 2024

Amanda Bailey, true crime journalist, is seeking to revive her career by excavating the story of the Alperton Angels, a doomsday cult that ended in mass murder and prison, and finding the two teenagers and, most importantly, their baby who escaped the cult and vanished. The baby turns 18 this year, and she is hot on the trail, but soon discovers that a rival publisher has an old acquaintance and nemesis, Oliver Menzies, on the same assignment. They eventually start sharing information and working together, only to find that the true story is not at all what they were led to believe. Told by a series of emails, text messages, source documents, newspaper stories, and transcribed interviews, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels crackles with wit and twists and surprises. I'm still a little confused by some of it, but I loved it nevertheless. 


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Table for Two: Fictions By Amor Towles Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593296370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - April 2nd, 2024

Short fictions set in New York City, and a novella that follows Evelyn Ross from Rules of Civility to Hollywood, make up this wonderful collection by Amor Towles. The New York stories explore love and marriage, status and social class, and the power of obsession in beautifully written, compulsively readable style. Evelyn Ross's sojourn in Hollywood is about one woman's bravery and pluckiness, as she navigates new friendships and connections in an unfamiliar setting. Evelyn finds the studio system in full swing and controlling the lives of people in and out of the movie business. There is blackmail, violence, and revenge all in the space of a short novel. I loved this whole collection. I don't think there is anything this author would write that I would not read. 


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Last Days in Plaka: A Novel By Henriette Lazaridis Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781639365616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pegasus Books - April 9th, 2024

A quiet lyrical coming of age story, set in Athens. A young American woman spending a year in Greece attempting to connect with her heritage becomes the unlikely friend of an impoverished older lady. They meet through their church, as the priest sends Anna to Irini with a gift of figs. Anna sees Irini as a source of authentic Greek stories and history; Irini at first uses Anna to pick up the check and buy the tickets on their shared outings. But as Anna pushes for more information about Irini's wealthy past and ruined mansion, she brings the older woman to a breaking point. Both women are profoundly changed by the relationship, and both got a great deal more than they bargained for. 


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The Hunter: A Novel By Tana French Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593493434
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - March 5th, 2024

 

Tana French returns to retired Chicago police detective Cal Hooper in this novel. Cal is building a life for himself in his retirement in rural Ireland. He has a girlfriend, Lena, and he's still mentoring Trey Reddy, a half feral teenage girl now learning how to repair furniture and believe in her future. But Trey's long absent father returns with an English millionaire and a scheme to defraud his neighbors, and Trey sees it as an opportunity to enact revenge for the death of her brother. Cal and Vera will do anything to protect Trey, but she is not having it. The twists and turns of the plot lead to a satisfying conclusion. I look forward to seeing what French's characters do next.


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The Husbands: A Novel By Holly Gramazio Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780385550611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 2nd, 2024

The premise of The Husbands is unique, and amusing. Lauren comes home, drunk, from a hen party , and finds a man in her house who says he is her husband. Her flat is subtly improved, and a search of her phone reveals that they are indeed married and have been together for years. But when he goes into the attic to change a light bulb, he disappears, to be replaced by a new husband. It seems that there is an infinite supply of husbands and lives available from the attic. Over the course of a year, Lauren tries on husbands and lives, finally coming to the realization that she must choose a path in order to live fully in the present. Gramazio skillfully explores the ways in which the partners  we choose can inform our lives in so many ways, from the relationships with our friends and family to home decor and hobbies. This was definitely a book I found difficult to put down. Loved it.  
 


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The Berry Pickers: A Novel By Amanda Peters Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781646221950
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - October 31st, 2023

Ruthie, a four year old Mi’kmaq girl in Maine with her family to pick blueberries, disappears one day. Ruthie is the youngest of the tight knit family; the next oldest, Joe, was the last to see her, sitting on a rock by the side of the road. The mystery and trauma of Ruthie's disappearance haunt her family but most especially Joe, who believes himself to be responsible. His anger and guilt shape his life, as he damages all his relationships and runs away from his family and his wife on a lifelong wander. There is no mystery about what happened to Ruthie for the reader, though. We are introduced to young Norma, living with an increasingly neurotic and possessive mother and quiet father somewhere in Maine. Norma has an imaginary friend named Ruthie, and disturbing dreams about another mother and little girl. As she grows to adulthood, she must reckon with her upbringing and her growing knowledge of her otherness. Themes of trauma, parenting, and indigenous life. The author brings this well-written story to a satisfying conclusion.


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So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men By Claire Keegan Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802160850
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - November 14th, 2023

Another short, perfect book by Claire Keegan. These three stories, about women and men and love and indifference and sex, don't shy away uncomfortable truths. In the first story, a man obsesses over how he lost his fiance by saying and doing the wrong things. The second deals with an entitled male academic who interrupts a woman on a writing retreat in Heinrich Boll's seaside cabin because he believes he should be using it. And finally, a married woman takes a weekend to see what it would be like to  sleep with another man, but falls into the hands of a possessive and possibly dangerous stranger. These stories are incisive and  infuriating.


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Absolution: A Novel By Alice McDermott Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374610487
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 31st, 2023

In Saigon in 1963, shy newlywed Tricia encounters and is drawn into the 'cabal' of Charlene, a corporate wife who seems to know everything about how to be in Saigon as an American. Charlene is a do-gooder, pulling other American wives, service men, and doctors, as well as Vietnamese locals, into her activities. She packs baskets of little toys and treats for children in hospitals, orphanages, and a leprosarium, employing fundraising tactics and some minor larceny to make these lives better. Sixty years on, Charlene's daughter seeks out Tricia, now in assisted living, to explore their memories of the time shared in Vietnam. Both Tricia and Charlene were out of Vietnam well before the American involvement peaked, making the novel an exploration of the early American presence. The novel raises questions such as, who was seeking absolution? were lives actually improved by Charlene's efforts? while also exploring the limitations of women's lives and actions. Unforgettable characters and setting.


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The Last Devil to Die: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery By Richard Osman Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593299425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - September 19th, 2023

I love the Thursday Murder Club, and this is the best in the series so far. An antiques dealer and friend of the gang has been found murdered, and it soon becomes clear that he had been entrusted with a shipment of heroin that has gone missing. But nothing is exactly what it seems as the bodies mount up. Why all the fuss over a small amount of heroin? How are drug dealers, an art forger, a professor, and a senior detective connected? In the middle of this investigation, Osman explores the love relationships of each of his protagonists, most especially Elizabeth and Ibrahim. Joyce steps up and channels her inner Elizabeth. Ron nearly ruins his budding relationship over the timing of Christmas present opening. A computer romance fraud is spectacularly thwarted. I cannot wait for the next installment of this series. 
 
 


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The House of Doors By Tan Twan Eng Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781639731930
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - October 17th, 2023

In 1920s colonial Penang in Malaya, Lesley Hamlyn and her lawyer husband Robert host W. Somerset Maugham and his secretary for an extended stay. Maugham, known as Willie, a friend from Robert's youth in London,  is down on his luck for the moment, searching for new subjects. His secretary Gerald it soon becomes clear is also his lover, a secret that makes Maugham vulnerable. Lesley has a story, and she eventually tells it to Willie over the course of several nights. It involves other historical figures, including Sun Yat Sen, the Chinese revolutionary, and an English woman accused of murder. With his lyrical prose, Tan Twan Eng has written an unputdownable story of love, secrets, colonialism and power, and takes the reader to a rarely visited part of history.
 


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The Secret Book of Flora Lea: A Novel By Patti Callahan Henry Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668011836
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Atria Books - May 2nd, 2023

Fourteen year old Hazel and five year old Flora are sent to the Oxfordshire countryside to be safe from the London blitz in 1939. A year later, Flora disappears, thought to be drowned in the river Thames. Her loss haunts Hazel, who believes herself to be to blame. Twenty years later, on her last day at her job at a rare books shop, Hazel opens a package containing a book from America which tells the story of Whisperwood, a land Hazel created for Flora all those years ago, and has kept secret. Is Flora still alive? Is she that American author? How did she come by the story? In seeking answers, Hazel turns her life upside down, and finds new truths for herself. This is a story about the power of stories, beautifully told.


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Holly By Stephen King Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781668016138
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 5th, 2023

Holly Gibney is one of Stephen King's most beloved and complex characters, and he has done her justice in this new novel. Holly's complicated mother has just died from Covid, and her partner Pete in the detective agency, Finders Keepers, is also sidelined with the virus, when she gets a call from Penny Dahl, whose twenty-something daughter Bonnie has disappeared without a trace. For the reader, there is no mystery; we know who keeps taking people off the street, and why. The joy of this story is watching Holly, acting alone,  connect the dots, figuring out that disappearances in the same neighborhood are the work of a serial killer or killers. Holly's detective work leads her into danger, but also finds her understanding her strength perhaps for the first time. 


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The Bee Sting: A Novel By Paul Murray Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374600303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 15th, 2023

Immersive, funny, tragic, and moving, The Bee Sting kept me turning pages. The Barnes family is in trouble. The car dealership that Dickie inherited from his retired dad is floundering because of the recession, but also because of Dickie's inattention. His focus is on building a bunker in the woods behind his home. Imelda, his beautiful wife, is coping by selling off her jewelry, and considering an affair. Their children are adrift. Teenage daughter Cass is drinking instead of studying for uni tests, and twelve year old PJ is in danger of running away. The story shifts to each character's point of view, as the reader digs into the difficult stories of the past that led them to this point. How far back must they go to heal? Is it possible for the Barnes family to survive the forces that have led them to this point? Murray's gift is that he makes the reader care about the answers.


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The Frozen River: A Novel By Ariel Lawhon Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385546874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - December 5th, 2023

Martha Ballard, an historical figure, was a midwife in post-revolutionary war Maine along the Kennebec River. She is known to us through the diary she kept every day, recording weather, births, deaths, and the details of her life. Ariel Lawhon has skillfully woven the known facts with historical events, giving us a terrific new historical novel with a murder mystery at its center. Over the course of one long cold winter, Martha becomes part of the investigation, convinced that the murder is related to a horrific rape of a patient and friend, of which the victim was accused.  The judge in the case was also accused, and Martha's activities around the investigation, and her journal, put her and her family at risk. I could not put this book down. Aside from a heroine whose intelligence, wit, and skill make her unforgettable, the novel offers a picture of a frontier town, its inhabitants, and their lives. I loved this look into early American life.


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Kala: A Novel By Colin Walsh Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385549639
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - July 25th, 2023

A literary thriller set in the Irish coast town of Kinlough.  In 2003, 6 teenagers were enjoying life in Kinlough: Helen, Mush, Joe, Aoife, Aidan, and Kala.  Now fifteen years later, Aidan is dead by suicide, Kala is still missing, Aoife has moved away, and Helen and Joe are back in Kinlough for the wedding of Helen's father to Mush's aunt. Mush has never left, still working behind the counter of his mother's café, literally scarred from the events of that long ago time. As human remains that are shown to be Kala's are discovered in a nearby building site, and as the beloved teenage twin sisters of Aidan disappear, Helen, Joe, and Mush reveal the story of that fateful Halloween season. Each are forced to reckon with their role in the tragedies, as the truth is gradually uncovered, and the families and the town at large shaken to their core. Violent and absorbing. Kala asks us to consider the cost of belonging, the effects of childhood abandonment and adolescent trauma, and the possibility of change and redemption.


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Happiness Falls (Good Morning America Book Club): A Novel By Angie Kim Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593448205
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth - August 29th, 2023

What happens when a father and son go into a wooded park one morning and only the son comes out, agitated and covered in blood? With her father missing, and her brother Eugene unable to talk because of autism and a rare genetic condition called Angelman syndrome, twenty year old Mia and her family struggle to find out what happened. Eugene comes under suspicion; Mia, the police, and one of Eugene’s therapists try to piece the story together.  There are layers to this story: Mia’s missing father is white, and her mother Korean. Her father was the house-husband, focused on the care of Eugene and secretly seeking untested therapies that would allow him to communicate. The pandemic is keeping them isolated. Kim uses these elements to excellent advantage, and forces us to consider the role of race, disability, and communication, in looking at the disappearance.


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The Women: A Novel By Kristin Hannah Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781250178633
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 6th, 2024

Nineteen year old Frankie McGrath volunteers to be an Army nurse in Vietnam, shortly after her brother, an Annapolis graduate, is deployed, and shot down, dealing with her grief and her need to be a hero to her family. She is stationed at an evac hospital, where her first experience is a trial by fire, a mass casualty event.  She falls for two complicated men. Her 'hooch' mates, Ethel and Barb, become forever friends, and by the end of her second tour, Frankie is a first class surgical  nurse. Back home, she is spit on and cannot get a taxi at LAX because she is wearing her uniform. The jobs available to her treat her like a nurse just out of training, her parents are so ashamed of her service that they tell people she has  been studying abroad in Florence, and the Veterans Administration repeatedly tells her there were no women in Vietnam, when she turns to them for help with a mental health issue that has no name yet. Frankie struggles, with heartbreak, with loss, with addiction, and severe depression.  Hannah explores the horror and tragedy of war, the history of the treatment of Vietnam-era service people, the enormous and transformative power of friendship, and the path to a meaningful life in this unforgettable book.


The River We Remember: A Novel By William Kent Krueger Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982179212
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Atria Books - September 5th, 2023

On Memorial Day, 1958, in tiny Jewel Minnesota, the body of one of the town's leading citizens is discovered shot dead and floating in the Alabaster River. It falls to Sheriff Brody Dern to investigate. Jewel is a small town, and Krueger weaves the mystery into a story of small town life in mid-century America. Brody is a decorated but still haunted veteran of World War II; his retired mentor and re-activated deputy is still haunted by World War I. Before the investigation really begins or the autopsy is complete, the town is buzzing with the rumor that Noah Bluestone, a Native American veteran who worked for the dead man, must be involved. The dead man, Jimmy Quinn, was unpopular, and had a complicated relationship with his own family and children Krueger explores violence, prejudice, and courage, in this engaging book. Among my favorite characters were the newspaper publisher and a crusading woman defense attorney, both dedicated to finding the truth, along with Sheriff Brody Dern.


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The Breakaway: A Novel By Jennifer Weiner Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668033425
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Atria Books - August 29th, 2023

Abby Stern is a plus-size woman in her mid-30s, still struggling with body issues, although she tells herself she is  happy. She has a boyfriend, Mark, a podiatrist she met when they were both at fat camp in their early teens. Mark looks great on paper, but Abby is not enthusiastic about moving in with him or their path to marriage. Abby has a series of part-time gigs, and a passion for riding her bike. When she is asked to lead a NYC to Niagara Falls bike trip for the Breakaway tour company, she is not sure she can do it, but takes it on. Among the riders on the trip are a man she hooked up with in NYC briefly two years ago, and surprise, her mother, whose judgment about all her choices are a problem for Abby. Complications ensue, secrets are revealed, new purpose is found, and the  story comes to a satisfying if not completely neat end. I truly enjoyed this book, and it almost made me want to take up cycling.

 


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Tom Lake: A Reese's Book Club Pick By Ann Patchett Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063327528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - August 1st, 2023

In 2020, when everyone is locked down, Lara and Joe's three daughters are back in the family home in a cherry orchard in Michigan to help bring in the harvest. With everyone's life on pause, the daughters ask their mother to tell them the story of the summer she spent playing Emily in Our Town in summer stock at Tom Lake, and having a romance with a future movie star, Peter Duke. As the story unfolds, we learn more about each daughter: the farmer who wants to stay on the land; the veterinary student helping out her neighbors with livestock; and the dreamy youngest, who wants to be an actor. And we learn how much of life can turn on the experience of one very special day. Patchett does what she does so well here: exploring family relationships and marriage and the role of art in life. I was sorry to leave the orchard.


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The Only One Left: A Novel By Riley Sager Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593183229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - June 20th, 2023

Lenora Hope lives at Hope's End, a huge seaside mansion where she is rumored to have murdered her mother, father, and sister in 1929. It's 1983, and disgraced caregiver Kit is hired to care for her, as she is paralyzed from a series of strokes. Lenora can only use her left hand to tap out yes or no. She is moved between wheelchair and bed, and fed by her caregiver. But it turns out that Lenora can type, slowly, and begins to tell her story to Kit. Twists and turns abound in this absorbing thriller, and no one is quite what they seem. The more Kit knows, the more she fears she might end up dead, like the last caregiver. There is an evil-seeming  housekeeper, a loyal cook, a handsome groundskeeper, and a ditzy maid, all with their own stories. As Hope's End itself comes tumbling down, all secrets are revealed. Solid, twisty fun.
 


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North Woods: A Novel By Daniel Mason Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593597033
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 19th, 2023

A sweeping novel about a house in the woods of Massachusetts, as used and lived in by the people and animals who live there over 400 years. The cycle starts with Puritan lovers fleeing the colony which will not allow them to be together, who build the small house for their own use. Over time the house is improved and enlarged. A former British soldier plants an apple orchard which produces amazing apples. His twin daughters stay on, spinsters assailed by desire and violence. Artists, writers, a panther, lusty beetles, a con man, and more inhabit this piece of land and the yellow house. The novel asks the question is the past every truly behind us? Do the spirits of the past inform the lives of the present inhabitants? The forest re-takes the orchard, ghosts and memory continue to inhabit the house and its environs. I loved this book and could not put it down.


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How Can I Help You By Laura Sims Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593543702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 18th, 2023

Sinister doings in a public library. Margo has been a circulation assistant at the library for a couple of years. No one knows her real name, or her disturbing back story as a nurse whose patients died unexpectedly and prematurely. She fled her last hospital job in the middle of her shift, and found a new life, where she could help people, and keep her tendencies at bay with odd rituals. Then the library hires Patricia (pronounced Pa-tree-see-ah,) a recent graduate of library school and failed novelist. Patricia is a witness to Margo's odd behavior around a dying patron, and does what reference librarians always do: she goes digging for the truth. Oddly, Patricia finds that Margo awakens her need to write, and Margo finds herself slipping up in front of Patricia. Told from alternating points of view, Patricia and Margo reveal themselves to the reader, all leading to a stunning and unexpected ending.

 


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None of This Is True: A Novel By Lisa Jewell Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982179007
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Atria Books - August 8th, 2023

Lisa Jewell's thrillers always contain  creepy and psychologically damaged characters. In None of This is True she  takes it up a notch.  When we meet Josie Fair, she has persuaded her husband to take her out to dinner for her birthday. At a nearby table, Alix Summers is also celebrating her birthday and it soon emerges that the two women are birthday twins, born on the same day at the same London hospital. Josie becomes obsessed with Alix, a popular and well-known podcaster, and the shiny life she lives in contrast to Josie's drab and lonely one. Wanting to get her sad and creepy story out, Josie persuades Alix that Birthday Twins is a great concept for a podcast. But as she tells her story to Alix and embeds herself into Alix's life and family, the reader sees that no-one is exactly who they seem to be. Lots of twists and turns kept me turning the page.
 


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Zero Days By Ruth Ware Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781982155292
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - June 20th, 2023

Ruth Ware never disappoints. This propulsive thriller is about a couple of ethical hackers--Jack, the wife who physically penetrates a client's security systems by breaking into their premises,  and Gabe, who attacks their digital security, all in an effort to identify weaknesses. But when Jack returns home late one night to find Gabe brutally murdered, she quickly becomes the only suspect. When she realizes she is being framed, Jack goes on the run to find his killer and the action never stops from there. Good solid summer fun!


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The Memory of Animals By Claire Fuller Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781953534873
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Tin House Books - June 6th, 2023

Neffy has volunteered to test a vaccine for a lethal new pandemic. She is a disgraced marine biologist with a complicated past when she signs into the Unit in a London hospital, along with 17 other volunteers. But when she is given the virus to test the vaccine, the illness knocks her out for several days. When she comes to, the world outside has descended into chaos and she is one of five left alive in the Unit; the others have not received the vaccine or the virus. Leon, one of the other survivors, has designed a machine called the Revisitor, and Neffy spends her days revisiting scenes from her past. Unfortunately, she cannot direct her visit to the memory she wants. She also spends her days writing to the mysterious H. When the food begins to run out, the other survivors, believing her to be immune, send her out to find some, and Neffy begins to fully understand their situation, which leads to the surprising and somewhat hopeful conclusion. Disturbing, propulsive, and just close enough to foreseeable reality to be credible, The Memory of Animals will grab your imagination.


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Romantic Comedy (Reese's Book Club): A Novel By Curtis Sittenfeld Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590948
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Random House - April 4th, 2023

Fans of Saturday Night Live will love this delicious romance, set behind the scenes of a weekly comedy sketch show. Sallie is a writer at The Night Owls, single and cynical after one divorce and a history of dating the wrong men. Her friend and former officemate, Danny, is happily in love with a much more attractive celebrity, leading Sallie to coin the Danny Horst Rule: average looking men can date more attractive women, even celebrities, but women rarely if ever get that opportunity. However, when gorgeous, successful singer-songwriter Noah Brewster arrives at TNO to be the host and musical guest, sparks fly between him and Sallie. Weaving in the pandemic, celebrity culture and the press, and family and chosen family, Sittenfeld has created an appealing story you may not be able to put down. I loved it.


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Lady Tan's Circle of Women: A Novel By Lisa See Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982117085
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Scribner - June 6th, 2023

Lisa See immerses the reader in the world of fifteenth century China, and introduces us to the historical figure of Tan Yunxian. Yunxian is raised by her grandmother and grandfather, both esteemed doctors. She is taught the methods and remedies by her grandmother, paying particular attention to the ailments of women, many brought on by childbirth. And she is allowed to become friends with Meiling, daughter of the midwife who attends her family. Together, they have the opportunity to learn from their elders. I was fascinated by the theories developed by the Chinese to explain illnesses of body and of mind, and how achieving harmony was central to all the medicine prescribed. At 15, Yunxian marries out and goes to live with her husband's family, who at first do not allow her to practice medicine, or to spend time with Meiling. The story of how she gains the trust of her husband's family and renown in China, and the story of her friendship with Meiling is the core of this deeply researched and propulsively readable novel.


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Hang the Moon: A Novel By Jeannette Walls Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501117299
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Scribner - March 28th, 2023

Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of Duke Kincaid, the biggest man in the county. Owner of the Emporium and many real estate interests, the Duke runs the small town and the county, settling disputes, and determining how the laws are enforced. Sallie is exiled to be cared for by her Aunt Faye for most of her childhood because of an accident that injures her brother Eddie, but she is called home when Eddie’s mother dies, and becomes once again a part of the family in the Big House. Walls uses the dramatic history around Tudor succession battles following the death of Henry VIII to give her story some extra heft, while winking at the reader. Sallie eventually becomes the leader of the family and finds herself helping the people of the county (and herself) by running their home-still whiskey to markets in big cities during Prohibition. But a feud with a hill family threatens to destroy all she has built, and the pressure to marry nearly derails her. Sallie is a likable, complicated heroine and gradually comes to her own answers about how to live her life and break the chain of lies and secrets that have followed her family for generations. I devoured this novel, thoroughly entertained and engaged.


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I Have Some Questions for You: A Novel By Rebecca Makkai Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593490143
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Viking - February 21st, 2023

Bodie Kane, back on the campus of her prep school to teach 2 winter term courses, is compelled to revisit the murder of her classmate Thalia Keith in this masterful novel. Thalia's murder was solved years ago by arresting the Black athletic trainer who had the misfortune of working nearby the night she died. But did he really do it? The murder is still the subject of active online speculation, and Bodie finds herself drawn into that world by her students and her own unanswered questions. Makkai explores themes of class, race, and the abuse of women in the service of this story. She also delves into the high school experience and coming of age, as Bodie realizes that the things she thought were true about herself and others then may not have been true at all.


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A World of Curiosities: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #18) By Louise Penny Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250145291
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Minotaur Books - November 29th, 2022

Old horrors are revisited and old scores settled in this latest Three Pines novel. The reader learns about how Jean-Guy and Gamache met, many years ago, on a case that neither are sure they got exactly right. Meantime, in order to expand Myrna's living space, the villagers take down a brick wall above her shop, and discover a world of curiosities, a copy of a famous painting, and puzzles and clues. Taking down the wall is both a literal and symbolic opening of past crimes and evil. Gamache comes face to face with an enemy he believed vanquished, and must fight to save his family. One of the best yet.


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We All Want Impossible Things: A Novel By Catherine Newman Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780063230897
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Harper - November 8th, 2022

Is it possible to laugh out loud at a novel that chronicles the death of a young mother in hospice? Sounds tricky, but Catherine Newman pulls it off. Ash and Edi are best friends since primary school, and as the novel opens, we learn that Edi's cancer can no longer be treated. Edi is admitted to a hospice facility near the western Massachusetts home of Ash. Ash is a mess for many reasons, only one of which is that she is about to lose her best friend. She is divorced from her husband, the perfectly named Honey, sleeping with too many people, and navigating caring for her teenage daughter and her friend in hospice. This very sad subject becomes life-affirming and beautiful in Newman's capable hands. Loved it.


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The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery By Richard Osman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593299418
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 20th, 2023

If you like well-plotted mysteries with a cozy English setting and thoroughly engaging characters, then you will love the Thursday Murder Club series. Set in the retirement village of Coopers Chase, the series features septuagenarian sleuths Elizabeth, a retired MI6 agent; Ron, a former labor union leader; Ibrahim, a retired psychiatrist; and Joyce, a former nurse and housewife whose diary entries provide some chapters with different perspective. The four originally met to use their skills to solve cold cases, but somehow, the bodies pile up when the four are investigating. With supporting characters from the police, their pasts, and the crime world, and with wit and humor, these stories are a great escape for the mystery lover who also likes to laugh. Let’s hope there are many more in the pipeline to enjoy!


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Demon Copperhead: A Pulitzer Prize Winner By Barbara Kingsolver Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780063251922
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - October 18th, 2022

This sweeping novel follows Damon/Demon as he grows up. His single mother has bad taste in men, and brings home an abusive stepfather. After his mother dies of an overdose, Demon endures nightmarish foster placements, until his football ability lands him a placement with the high school coach. Injuries lead to pain meds, and pain meds lead to addiction. He falls in love with a beautiful, fragile addict, and cannot keep her alive. Told in the first person, the story reaches out and grabs the reader. I often had to put it down as I could not bear one more terrible thing happening to this boy. But Demon's will to survive, his talent for art, and connections he makes help pull him out of addiction and toward perhaps a better life. Kingsolver is unsparing in her writing about opioid addiction and foster care, and yet her love of the people of Appalachia comes through. 
 


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The Winners: A Novel (Beartown Series) By Fredrik Backman Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982112790
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Atria Books - September 27th, 2022

It starts with a storm that throws people from Beartown and Hed together in unexpected ways, and ends with a tragedy that leaves no one untouched. Backman wraps up his Beartown trilogy with an emotional wallop. The characters we know and love are back, with new chapters to their stories, and  he introduces some new characters to the mix: Matteo, a lonely, bullied boy; Aleksandr, a new member recruited to the A team; Lev, an immigrant businessman with his fingers in a lot of pies; and Hannah and Johnny and their children, a midwife and a fireman thrown into responding to various crises.  The story moves toward a satisfying, emotional conclusion. Backman is a favorite author, and this is my favorite of his novels.


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Our Missing Hearts: Reese's Book Club (A Novel) By Celeste Ng Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593492543
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Penguin Press - October 4th, 2022

Bird, born Noah, lives with his father in Cambridge in a tiny dorm apartment, in a time not unlike our own. His father was a professor of lexicography, now a humble shelver of library books. His mother Margaret, a noted poet, has disappeared. Their society has been through an economic and political crisis, and the Chinese people, and all Asians, are being scapegoated for it. Children are removed from parents deemed unfit to raise them; books are removed from shelves; dissent of any kind is not tolerated.

But Margaret's words from a poem, 'our missing hearts,' have come to be a rallying cry for the resistance. Prompted by a cryptic communication from her, Bird goes on a quest to find his mother.

Ng weaves a compelling story that echoes issues in our own time. The power of words and their meanings, and the power of stories to change hearts and minds are central themes. By far my favorite of Ng's books, so far.


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Shrines of Gaiety: A Novel By Kate Atkinson Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593466322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - May 2nd, 2023

It’s London in the 1920s, and everyone seems to be in the mood to party. The novel centers on three strong women whose drive to survive is the engine of the story. Nellie Coker, who owns a string of successful nightclubs, is just being released from a short stay in jail for license violations as the novel opens. Freda Murgatroyd, a teenager, has run away from her home in York with her best friend Florence, seeking fame and fortune on the stage. And Gwendolen Kelling, who has left her home in York and a sedate life as a librarian to help find Freda.  Weaving together corruption, gang crime, poverty, bodies in the Thames, and one incorruptible Chief Inspector, Atkinson tells a Dickensian story of Jazz Age London and its underworld that kept me turning the pages.


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The Marriage Portrait: A novel By Maggie O'Farrell Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593320624
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Knopf - September 6th, 2022

Back to the 16th century with Maggie O’Farrell, this time in Renaissance Italy. Lucrezia de Medici, the third daughter of a grand duke, is married off to the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso, when her sister, his fiancée, dies suddenly. Alfonso commissions two artists to paint her marriage portrait, but her survival is threatened because she has not yet produced an heir. Based on a true story, O’Farrell gives us an engaging young heroine and a gripping story of her fight to survive.


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Killers of a Certain Age By Deanna Raybourn Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593200681
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Berkley - September 6th, 2022

Billie, Helen, Natalie, and Mary Alice have been assassins working for a top secret agency known as the Museum for 40 years. Sent on a luxurious retirement cruise by the organization, they become aware of a plot to kill them by their long time employers. They must figure out why, and stop the plot, while avoiding the best assassins in the business, their colleagues. It’s so much fun to have smart, funny, and fully capable heroines in their 60s. A great escape.


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Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel By Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593158708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - June 6th, 2023

Carrie Soto is a retired tennis star whose record for Grand Slam wins has surpassed by a younger player. She comes out of retirement for one last shot at the Grand Slam tournaments, aiming to beat that younger player, coached by her father, himself a former professional star. Carrie is fierce and determined, not loved by the tennis press, and perhaps, at 37 past her prime. But her one final season will prove life changing in many ways, and is an unforgettable and unputdownable story, even for someone like me who knows little about professional tennis.


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Mercury Pictures Presents: A Novel By Anthony Marra Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780451495204
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Hogarth - August 2nd, 2022

Maria Lagana is a woman determined to make it in the Hollywood of the 1940s. She is an Associate Producer at Mercury Pictures, a third-tier studio struggling between the pressures of the censors and the interest of a Congressional committee in the opinions and activities of her boss, the left-leaning studio head. Maria and her mother have come to LA from Mussolini’s Italy, where her father is imprisoned for his outspoken political beliefs. When America enters the war, Mercury Pictures makes propaganda for the War Department, using the talents of its refugee employees from Europe. Rich with characters ranging from Maria’s Italian immigrant aunts to the exiled Austrian miniaturist working in set design, Mercury Pictures Presents offers a sweeping story of a world at war, an industry coming of age, and one woman’s journey. I thought I had read enough World War II narratives for one lifetime, but Marra has created a story that is entertaining, engaging, and thought-provoking.


The Boys By Katie Hafner Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781954118058
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 26th, 2022

Fans of The Rosie Project will think they are reading a similar story and be surprised by the direction it takes. When Ethan marries Barb, he thinks his lonely, socially awkward days may be at an end. As they consider starting a family, Barb brings home twin boys to foster. As the global pandemic forces the young family into lockdown, Ethan becomes more and more obsessed with keeping the boys safe, which drives Barb away. But on a post-lockdown father-son bike trip through Italy, designed to bring back the feelings of his and Barb’s honeymoon, Ethan must come to terms with the trauma in his past and the truth about the boys.


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This Time Tomorrow: A Novel By Emma Straub Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525539018
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 16th, 2023

A feel good novel about what happens when a woman who is about to turn 40 finds herself time traveling back to her Sweet 16 party. Alice was raised by her single father, who is dying in the present,  but simply a writer with some bad habits back in 1996. What would she do differently in her relationship to her father, with her high school crush, with her life-long best friend? Set in a charming Upper West Side version of New York, this book kept me turning pages, and laughing and sighing by turns. 


Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel By Natalie Jenner Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250889690
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 1st, 2023

Bloomsbury Books is a century old new and used bookstore, run by a general manager who has 52 rules to follow, including when to serve tea.  Vivien, Grace, and new hire Evie are the women who work there, clearly in the minority but determined in 1950 London to set their own course. Not a sequel, but a continuation of the story of at least one of the characters from The Jane Austen Society, the book shop endures changes, and engages with prominent literary characters of the time. Each woman finds herself breaking those rules and growing in unexpected ways.  Entertaining and heart-warming.


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Trust (Pulitzer Prize Winner) By Hernan Diaz Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593420324
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 2nd, 2023

This is a novel about money: how it is made, what it does to people and their relationships, and what happens when it is lost. It is a novel about a particular time and place, New York in the roaring twenties and the depression. It is the story of a woman whose story is told first by a novelist, then by her husband who seeks to repair his reputation by repairing hers, by his secretary who becomes a detective, trying to know more about this mysterious woman, and finally by her own diary entries. This is a masterful novel.


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Vigil Harbor: A Novel By Julia Glass Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781101873588
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - April 25th, 2023

Set in the near future, where climate change has wreaked havoc with weather and water levels, Vigil Harbor explores the lives of people living in an affluent and mostly sheltered coastal community in Massachusetts. The architect Austin Kepner who builds homes designed to withstand the fury of intense storms; his stepson, Brecht, who has returned to Vigil Harbor after an encounter with eco-terrorism leaves him  unable to continue living in New York; the divorced marine biologist who observes and despairs about the changing ocean; the landscaper who creates beauty that can withstand the elements; and his wife Connie, a Vigil Harbor native, all find their lives woven together by an act of terrorism and its repercussions. Absorbing characters and story.


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Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel By Bonnie Garmus Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780385547345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 5th, 2022

In the early 1960s, Elizabeth Zott has a job as a chemist in a lab in California, but none of her male colleagues take her seriously. But Calvin Evans, a Nobel-prize nominated genius, falls in love with her mind. A few years later, Elizabeth is a single mother struggling to make ends meet, when a chance encounter leads her to television.  Cooking is chemistry, and chemistry is life, she declares, and becomes the host of the most popular and revolutionary cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth teaches more than cooking; she is daring her viewers to challenge assumptions about the role of women. If you love quirky characters and extremely intelligent dogs, laugh out loud humor, and giving the patriarchy a run for its money, you'll love this book. A debut novel by an author over 60.


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On Animals By Susan Orlean Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982181536
Availability: Not in Stock
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 By Jocelyn Nicole Johnson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250848536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - October 11th, 2022

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 By Lauren Groff Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781594634505
Availability: Not in Stock
Published: Riverhead Books - September 6th, 2022

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 By Fredrik Backman Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501160844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - 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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Hamnet By Maggie O'Farrell 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.


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This Tender Land: A Novel By William Kent Krueger 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 Read with Jenna Pick By Rumaan Alam Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062667649
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - November 23rd, 2021

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.