Growing up as an only child, my favorite playmates were books.  I didn't just read them, though.  I would leaf through the pages and make up games in my head about specific words, I would make up songs about the characters, I would gaze into the pictures for minutes analyzing all of the intricate little details looking for faces or shapes or anything that stands out  - I guess that's the artist in me.  I still do that as an adult. 
Photographer by day, bookseller by night - I have pretty much the best work situation you could dream of having!

ISBN: 9780062309891
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - February 18th, 2014

book is GOOD.  It's a fast paced read about Azalea Lewis and her struggle
to find out why she has so many uncanny coincidences surrounding her

Midsummer's Day, 1982, three year-old Azalea is found wandering a
fairground in England alone.  Nobody knows why she is alone or
what happened to her parents.  A nice couple adopts Azalea and
takes her to their mission school in Uganda. 
On  Midsummer's day 1992,
her new parents are killed by the LRA tyrant Joseph Kony. 
Azalea survives the attack and is adopted yet again by a loving
family who takes her home to England.Azalea's life is full of
coincidences.  Lots of super unexplainable coincidences
that have lead her to believe that she is going to die on the
Midsummer's day of her thirtieth birthday.  

ISBN: 9781476740270
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Published: Scribner Book Company - August 12th, 2014

hard for me to find books that really grab me and make me want to
keep reading.  I often lose interest about a third of the way
through.  Well, not with Henna
House.  It was
soooo good.  
follows the story of young Adela Damari.  In Yemen, there is a
law called The Orphan's Decree.  The decree was introduced in
the 1920s and allowed the state to seize any unbetrothed, non-Muslim
children whose fathers have died.  This part is real life! 
In the story, Adela's father is very sick and they know it's only a
matter of time before he dies, so the whole family is racing to find
her a husband to avoid her capture by the "confiscator."  

situation looks dire until her uncle arrives with his wife and
daughter.  The two women take Adela under their nurturing wing
and introduce her to the powerful world of henna tattooing.  As
she grows, we follow her family through the tumultuous life that a
Yemenite Jew faced in the early twentieth century.

White Women

meets The
Red Tent

and you will have Henna House.

ISBN: 9780143124467
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 28th, 2014

I just cannot say enough good things
about this book. I rarely read non-fiction, I have
never finished a non-fiction book. I just can't pay attention! I
blame it on the ADD. Anyway, Detroit
is a must read for anyone even slightly interested in the decay of
the once great city.The book is
gripping... surreal. How can this actually have happened? The
city's mayor denying necessary upgrades to firehouses but hiring
Strawberry the stripper and then having her killed? No way.

Five years ago, I
drove through the city on a tour of my family's roots and was
dumbfounded at what I saw. I had no idea it was so bad. Now, every
few weeks I am in the area for one reason or another and it's so
fascinating to see the changes taking place... some bad, but a lot of
really great things, too.

Charlie does a
great job of discussing the changes. Much of what he discusses is
negative, but some gives us a glimmer of hope for the great city.

ISBN: 9780060856267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 4th, 2006

I didn't know a
lot about the Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian genocide back in the 70s
until I went to Cambodia in 2012. It's not something they taught in
school. Over 2 million Cambodians lost their lives at the hands of
Pol Pot and his extremist followers.

Luong Ung lived a comfortable life in Phnom Penh until the Khmer
Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing her family out of their
home and into horrific work camps reminiscent of Hitler's
concentration camps. After she was separated from her family, Loung
was trained as a child soldier in a camp for orphans where the
extremist soldiers attempted to brainwash her. Her siblings were
sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be
reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed.

This is a
must-read. It is an accurate and powerful account of was like to
survive the four years of absolute insanity while Pol Pot reighned
Cambodia. It's a quick read and will leave you with a knowledge you
didn't know you were missing.

ISBN: 9780060590284
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - March 27th, 2007

Ahhhhh, this book was laugh-out-loud funny from the first page!  A Dirty Job was the first Christopher Moore book I read and I have been hooked ever since.Charlie Asher is a normal guy.  Like, almost boring-normal.  He is just a low-key, passive man running a resale shop in San Francisco who minds his own business. Then his wife dies in childbirth, people start dropping dead around him, giant ravens perch on his rooftop, and everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from the sewer.  Strange names start appearing on post-its, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job: Death. 

ISBN: 9780307886279
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Three Rivers Press (CA) - September 18th, 2012

If you like Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, Zoey Deschanel, and other funny women of today, you will just love Mindy Kaling. She is so funny and so honest. I can relate to her because of her honesty. I tell people way too much about my personal life. For example, just yesterday I walked into a room of friends and announced that I had just eaten four Johan's donuts. That's something Mindy would admit to doing only she would make it sound a lot funnier and a lot less pathetic.
 Seriously though, it's her honesty and her humor that totally sucked me in. I really believe that if we could all be just a little more honest about our silly mistakes and embarrassing moments, everyone would be more confident and emotionally healthy! I am pretty sure that everyone at one point in their life has had an embarrassing binge on Halloween candy, girl scout cookies, or caramel corn. If not, then I suggest you do it ASAP because it's really fun...and then you feel pretty sick...but the 20 minutes when it's happening are magical.
 Mindy's book is laugh out loud funny. Girls from generations X and Y will relate best to Mindy's hilarious opinions, advice, and life experiences. This isn't epic literature, but it's a great lighthearted read. Just like Tina Fey's Bossypants, it's even better on audio.

ISBN: 9781616951290
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Press - December 26th, 2012

Hollywood studio executive Greyson Todd's mind never quiets, his
heart is never full, and he is forever in a state of emotional
turbulence. He has surrendered to his emotionally chaotic life and
has resolved to leave his wife and young daughter. One night he goes
into the backyard to pick up after the dog and never returns.  Greyson travels the
world giving in to his every desire. In the confines of his
manic-depressive brain, he is always floating somewhere between
living on the edge or hardly living at all. He manages to make it
ten exciting years before landing himself in a New York psychiatric
ward where he suffers through electroshock therapy and drugs that
bleed him dry of feeling or emotion.

Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See is
a rollercoaster of breathless excitement and dark emotional pain.
This addicting story weaves in and out of four timelines:
Greyson's childhood with his emotionally disturbed father, the
tumultuous relationship with his wife and daughter, his time in the
New York psychiatric ward, and his reckless travel around the world. This book is both hilarious and
heartbreaking, You will laugh and you will cry throughout this
page-turning whirlwind. I read nonstop through the last heartrending

ISBN: 9780307718099
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - December 27th, 2011

You must own this cookbook.I got my mom a big, beautiful hardcover cookbook for her birthday and she graciously accepted it, but a few days later kindly told me that she'd rather exchange it for a book she'd been wanting to read. She told me that by now, she'd collected all the cookbooks she needed.I got this cookbook a few months ago and have been raving to everyone. The recipes are tasty, the portions are hefty, the preparation is easy, and every recipe is under 500 calories!I literally carry the cookbook in my purse so that no matter where I am, I know I can make a yummy, healthy dinner without planning ahead. Last weekend I was having dinner with friends, and somehow we started talking about the contents of my purse. I pulled out my cookbook and two people decided to buy a copy!I'm sure you're wondering why I told you about my mom. After trying out a few of the recipes, she just had me send her the cookbook last week.   She loves it!

ISBN: 9780688040741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - January 23rd, 2007

This classic and award-winning picture book was written and illustrated by the celebrated Vera B. Williams and was named a Caldecott Honor Book by the American Library Association. "A tender knockout . . . it's rare to find much vitality, spontaneity, and depth of feeling in such a simple, young book." Kirkus Reviews

ISBN: 9781439187036
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 30th, 2014

I saw Mr. Stein's new book on our shelf of Advanced Reader
Copies, I snatched it up so fast - I couldn't believe my luck!  
I loved The
Art of Racing in the Rain
, and couldn't
wait to pick up this book.  If you are looking for a repeat of
the sweet story about Denny and his thoughtful dog Enzo, you won't
get that with A Sudden Light, but what you will get is an
equally well-written story that you can't put down.

A Sudden Light follows the
story of 14 year old Trevor and the return to his father's childhood
home.  Trevor and his father return in an attempt to put his
grandfather in a nursing home and sell the sprawling, multi-million
dollar property.   But, as Trevor explores the old mansion,
he finds a lingering spirit at the Riddell house who would like to
put a stop to his father's plan.  

It's a haunting, dark, exciting story
that is sure to grab you on the first page.  Garth Stein's
ability to tell a spellbinding story has only gotten better with
time.  He has an uncanny skill to tell the story of his
characters with such empathy that it's hard to remember that it's a
novel and not a memoir.

ISBN: 9780812968972
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - November 30th, 2004

a fun book! Fast paced and full of juicy entertainment.

is about to be married off to a wealthy, much older man when a
handsome and mysterious artist comes into her life. Allesandra is
immediately drawn to this painter but she is soon whisked away to
live with her new husband and his deep, dark secret.

book is great historical fiction taking place during the Italian
renaissance in Florence in the fourteenth century. The book is an
absorbing read about love, art, religion, and power.

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