Staff Picks

These are some of the titles we love here and love sharing with you! Click on the title to purchase online from Bookshop. If you have read anything great lately, let us know and you can submit your own review!

Karen's Picks

A Gentleman in Moscow

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal. For this, he is placed under house arrest in Metropol, a grand hotel across from the Kremlin. This witty and erudite man has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room while history unfolds just outside his door. With such limited circumstances, Rostov has the opportunity for emotional discovery like never before.

Beautifully written, A Gentleman in Moscow invites you to meet colorful characters amongst a dreary backdrop who will charm their way into your heart.

The Art Forger

In 1990, thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. This real life heist is the inspiration for Shapiro's thrilling mystery. Claire Roth is a struggling artist who makes reproductions of famous works for an online art dealer. In a desperate move, she agrees to forge one of those stolen paintings. Upon receiving the painting, she soon discovers that it is not the original either. Her search for the truth leads her to deep hidden secrets as far back as the late nineteenth century. The twists and turns will have you guessing until the very end.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

This moving love story takes place over continents and decades and leaves the reader witnessing the incredible power of love. When a New York Lawyer disappears, his family has no clue as to where he went until they find a letter. This letter was written years ago to a Burmese woman they never knew. In order to find answers, they go in search of the woman and discover a love story that conquers all.

And the Mountains Echoed

Hosseini's third novel just might be his best yet!  It is a story of two loving Afghan siblings - brother and sister - who are ripped apart by hardships in their family and how this rupture ripples across continents and through generations.   It is a story of love and of memories lost and found.  The writing in the first one hundred plus pages is among the finest I have ever read, and the title for this book does not disappoint. It is perfect!

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Autumn's Picks

Mexican Gothic

The title says it all! This chilling novel, set in 1950s México, is enough to make every gothic heart beat a little bit faster.

Noemí is a young woman living a glamorous life full of cocktail parties and fabulous dresses. When her father sends her to the countryside to check on her cousin who has fallen ill, Noemí's brains and brawn are forced to outshine her beauty. A drafty old mansion, family secrets, odd characters, and a mysterious illness lead Noemí down a haunting path.

Capturing the vibe of classic gothic novels, Moreno-Garcia adds a flair that ensures the gothic novel is alive and well.

The Return

Julie goes missing hiking in Acadia National Park and after a while, everyone presumes she's dead. Everyone except for her best friend Elise. When Julie returns two years later, with no recollection of where she has been, it seems as though Elise has been right all along. However, Elise isn't prepared for the changes she sees in her best friend.
This supernatural horror brings deep insight to long-lasting friendships and shows the very fine line between love and hate. A page-turning masterpiece, "The Return" will leave you haunted long after you've read the last line. Terrifying and poignant at the same time, Harrison's debut thriller brings a fresh voice to horror and I can't wait to see what else she has to say.

Charles Darwin's Barnacle and David Bowie's Spider: How Scientific Names Celebrate Adventurers, Heroes, and Even a Few Scoundrels

What's in a name? I mean, does a rosa minutifolia smell any sweeter than a rosa stellata? Heard's history of the naming of species through Linnaeus' system certainly doesn't cover all species, but provides a fun and cultural look at what goes into the process. Species bear the names they are given whether they come from celebrities, scientists, lovers, enemies, or even an auction to the highest bidder in the hope to raise money for scientific endeavors.
"Charles Darwin's Barnacle and David Bowie's Spider" not only delves into the origins of names, some more scandalous than others, but it also points out the importance of this research and what it means for planet Earth and all its inhabitants.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

Erik Larson, as always, brings not only the past to life, but the people. Focusing on the Blitz, Larson pieces together the lives that suffered, endured, and succumbed to the horrific nightly attacks at the hand of the German Luftwaffe. Not only does he focus on Churchill and his administration, but he paints a bigger picture of just how many lives were affected, on both sides.
Even if you've read every book on Churchill or World War II, "The Splendid and the Vile" will still reveal something new and something human that you've not yet read. Add this one to your collection!

You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington

Coe's biography of America's first Commander in Chief is concise, comical, and clearly the first of its kind. As she points out, there are very few biographies about Washington written by women and seemingly none in quite some time by women historians. While sticking to the facts that are known and debunking those that have become myth, she offers a brand new perspective of a man most have chosen to remember in a different light.

You Never Forget Your First is a great read for not only history buffs, but for those who might need some clarification on all the things they thought they knew about America's first president.

Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

If you thought the classics were dead, think again. Nina MacLaughlin has dusted off the old myths and given them a new flare.

The women of mythology are finally being heard and MacLaughlin is just the woman to give them a voice. Not only will those who love the classics enjoy this wonderful twist on the originals, but those who are not familiar with the tales will be able to appreciate their pertinence to the issues of today.
Wake, Siren is the perfect book for any feminist's library and would make a fantastic gift to one who might be in need of a metamorphosis.

Full Throttle

The only thing better than one tale from Joe Hill is 13!

Full Throttle contains stories that pay homage to Hill's influences and prove that he takes what he learns and pushes the boundaries even further. As always, Hill explores the human psyche by putting normal people into not so normal situations. Each story is drastically different from the last but will have the reader engrossed after just a few lines.

If you are new to Joe Hill, this is a great collection to start with since you'll get a good sampling of all this mastermind of horror can do. If you are an avid Joe Hill reader, you may have read a lot of these stories elsewhere, but it's still a phenomenal collection to have on your shelf.

The Testaments

Margaret Atwood is incapable of writing a bad book and The Testaments only solidifies that statement. This sequel to The Handmaid's Tale is told through three voices about fifteen years after Offred first brings us to Gilead.

The three narrators consist of Aunt Lydia, a young girl coming of age in Gilead, and another girl growing up outside Gilead. While Aunt Lydia's narrative moves the story along, each voice adds new insight into what makes the women of Gilead tick and gets to the heart of human nature and resilience. While still a cautionary tale, very relatable to today, the women of The Testaments are role models more prone to take action than Offred who was still navigating a relatively new nation in The Handmaid's Tale.

Clear your schedule, because once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down!

The Butchering Art

Remember the days when surgeons were poor, praised for their strength and speed, and if you had to see one, you'd probably die from infection? No? Well, you can thank Joseph Lister for that.

In Lindsey Fitzharris' biography of the the man who pioneered the use of antiseptics in surgery, she takes us through the horrors of the operating theater in the 19th century and how the merging of science and medicine changed the face of surgery. Fitzharris paints a perfect picture of who Lister was through his achievements and through the words of those who knew him. If you love science, medicine, or just want to read about a man who changed the world with kindness, humility, and humanity, then this is the book for you!

Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City

London is known for its fog, but in 1952, the city fell under a blanket of smog that killed thousands. Under the cloud of pollution, criminals found the perfect cover for illicit activities. A country that was still reeling from World War II found themselves in a difficult situation.

With a deadly killer enveloping the city, another deadly killer resided within the walls of 10 Rillington Place in Notting Hill. Dawson sheds some light on a murky time in British history and lifts the cloud on two killers who changed the city forever.

This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us

Siblings are rough...try sharing a body with one!

A Z Kimrean are private eyes. They share an office in Fisherman's Wharf and a body since birth. These twins have been in battle since the womb seeing as Adrian and Zooey are complete opposites. They've got to find a way to work together though to save a friend, solve a mystery, and bring down the drug cartels of San Carnal.

In true Edgar Cantero style, this book will have you on the edge of your seat, laughing hysterically, and waiting for the next adventure from this dynamic duo.

There There

This may not be a book for everyone, but it's a book everyone should read!

Tommy Orange introduces us to 12 unforgettable characters who are all making their way to a powwow in Oakland, California. Each person has a different reason for attending the event but all of their journeys merge together forming a tragic story, both past and present. The characters struggle with what it means to be Native American in the modern world as well as try to honor and understand what it meant in the past.

Orange gives us a glimpse into a world many of us do not know and others choose to ignore. With moments of humor, tears, and pain, this is a story you won't be able to ignore any longer.