After three years away, selling books at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington, I am back at home doing what I love in my favorite bookstore. When I'm not trying to formulate an event schedule and market the hell out of it, I am reading a mixed bag of genres and titles. I tend to prefer fiction with a thread of mystical realism or full blown surrealism. I also enjoy reading history, psychology, autobiographies and occasionally new age and graphic novels.
I am a poor cook, a terrible gardener and I rarely can identify what sport someone is referring to when they mention a team name and am very little help in those sections, but I am proficient in google and will try all I can.
When I'm not reading or trying to convince you to read The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac (which you really should, it's FANTASTIC) I am hanging out with my Corgi-mutt Gideon trying to convince him that there is nothing intrinsically evil about white trucks and white vans.


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Gingerbread: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634659
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 5th, 2019

I love Helen Oyeyemi. The first of her books I read was White is for Witching, and I’ve been in love ever since. If you, like me, love her too, skip the time to read this review and just get your hands on a copy now; you won’t be disappointed. If you have never read Helen’s work let me attempt to convince you:
Helen writes in a way that is pure magic. Every sentence flows together seamlessly; A dance between what is real and what is dream like.
"Harriet Lee’s gingerbread is not comfort food. There’s no nostalgia baked into it, no hearkening back to innocent indulgences and jolly times at nursery. It is not humble, nor is it dusty in the crumb. If Harriet is courting you or is worried that hate her, she’ll hand you a battered biscuit tin full of gingerbread, and then she’ll back away, nodding and smiling and asking that you return the tin whenever convenient. She doesn’t say she hopes you enjoy it; you will enjoy it. You may think you don’t like gingerbread. Well...just try it. If you live low-carb, she can make it with almond or coconut flour, and if you can’t have gluten, she’ll use buckwheat or millet flour.  No problem. A gingerbread addict once told Harriet that eating her gingerbread is like eating revenge.” - The first page of Gingerbread.
Gingerbread follows three generations of women whose lives revolve around this gingerbread. They are from the mysterious country of Druhastrana, which may or may not exist, and their gingerbread recipe has saved their family from all manner of strife, from famine to PTA problems. Helen is the mother of this Maiden/Mother/Crone dynamic and is struggling to raise her teenage daughter in London while being an active member of her community. She is struggling, because despite all her best efforts and attempts, she, like her daughter, often feels invisible, unremarkable.
I don’t want to tell you too much about this book, I want you to read it. I want you to savor each word and to follow the threads that pull this story apart. Imagine a dream you once had of sitting in your house, and even though you knew it was your house, it was nothing like it. This book, and frankly all of her writing, will leave you with the same sense of that dream - disoriented but peaceful.

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Women Talking Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635572582
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - April 2nd, 2019

I am overwhelmed by this fictionalized account of real events in a Mennonite Community in Bolivia. Between 2005 and 2009 a group of at least eight men from the community were using a plant-based anesthetic spray (used for livestock) to sedate and sexually assault the women (ages 3-65) of the Manitoba colony. Unwilling to believe the stories of these women, rumors spread through the community that they were plagued by demons until the truth was revealed. To save the attackers from a mob of the victims' family members the men were placed in a nearby Bolivian jail.
Miriam takes this opportunity to tell the story of these women and what their options were. Keeping in mind that the women were raised to be submissive, by demanding justice they are, in their minds, going against God. In her fictional account, Miriam follows a group of about 15 women who are gathering in secret in a hayloft to discuss their three options as they see them:
1.  Forgive and remain in the colony as if nothing has happened.
2.  Demand justice and fight back against the men, ultimately resulting in exile from their community.
3.  Leave the colony and take all children under 15.
The story is told from the perspective of August, a formerly exiled member who has returned home and is the only man who the women can trust who can read and write. August is charged with taking the minutes, and you will find this short book is mostly just what the title suggests, the women talking. The discussions are profound, philosophical, devastating and inspiring. Women Talking is important not only to shine a light on this story, on the sexual assaults that continue to happen in Bolivia, but also it is important because it breaks down the results of this violence in its purest form. How do these women see themselves now? How are they perceived by others? How does this impact their faith?
Are they willing to go against everything they have ever been told and leave their homes, not able to read or write, not knowing where they are in the world or how to read a map, their only language Plautdietsch, or a form of low German spoken by few outside the Mennonite communities and seek a life where they may be safe from the men as well as safe from killing the men themselves? This book is essential for your 2019 reading lists.
To learn more about this community check out this great article from Vice.

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Devotion (Why I Write) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300240221
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - September 4th, 2018

There is reading done for entertainment and there is reading done for art; For the magical way that authors can craft words into a sentence and that sentence sends your brain into a technicolor haze; A closed-eye sigh knowing that the author has bewitched you for a moment and the act of reading becomes almost meditative. Patti Smith has this effect on me with whatever she writes. For you, it may be someone else but Patti?   She is my brain's equivalent of a few soothing breaths and a meditative stroll through some imaginary garden where the ghosts of all my good thoughts linger.
In Devotion, Patti Smith examines the act of writing as an act of devotion. She begins by describing her journey to Paris as an adult to talk to her French publishers about her new book. She tries to write but words escape her and seemingly benign moments turn beautiful. She describes watching figure skating with her father as a child. She describes the eggs she eats over breakfast; about recognizing a bench she once sat at with her sister years earlier. After a time, her reflections and musings transform into a short story about a memorizing young figure skater, alone in the world whose driving passion is to skate and who is pulled in other directions by life and love, but understands only her devotion to the one thing she loves.
Patti makes me want to write; to stroll through old French cemeteries looking for the names of people I admire. If you, like me, have read her and love her, or if you are looking to read her work, I would suggest her work on audio. (Click here for the digital audio book - here for the cds.) Pairing the particular cadence of her slight accent, the way she says "pillah" instead of pillow, "burries" instead of berries only ads magic to her words.
Do not operate machinery or read while under the influence. She will leave you drunk on words and isn't that just a beautiful thing?

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I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476738994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 6th, 2018

If I am being honest, I was not initially interested in this book. The cover didn't really pull me in, the title sounds sappy and a little ridiculous, but I had a free audiobook and I like essays so why not, right? I put on the audio as I cooked dinner and lost myself completely. I don't know what I cooked that night, I do know that this guy is fantastic. Through a series of essays, Kreider examines his different relationships, not necessarily romantic relationships but meaningful ones. From traveling with his hypochondriac friend on a Ringling Brother Circus train to his 19 year relationship with his cat, everything he writes is gold. In a particularly moving essay, he reflects on 9/11 and the Bush years and how the volatile, depressed, and disillusioned nation mirrored his platonic love of his best friend. To grossly paraphrase, because I can't find the line again, he reflects that the most painful part of a relationship ending is the loss of the life you had planned, and finding yourself again in the 'new normal' much like the way we collectively felt in 2001 where we had to reconcile the life and security we all had planned with a new direction and what I think we can collectively agree is the 'new normal.'
Tim's prose is beautiful and frank. He isn't concerned with your feelings or the protective words we shield ourselves with, his honesty is real and moving.

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River of Teeth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765395238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: - May 23rd, 2017

With overwhelming immigration and a serious food shortage in overcrowded cities, the US government needed a solution. It was the turn of the 20th century and while the country began to worry about a meat shortage, the government concocted a plan to resolve it, as well as solving a few other problems in the meantime. What is the solution you ask? Why hippo ranching of course! In an effort to capitalize on largely unusable grazing land as well as control the invasive water hyacinth, Congress introduced a bill to start hippo ranches in swamps and bayous and sell what newspapers would lovingly refer to as, "lake cow bacon."
In her novella, River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey takes this fascinating bit of history and writes a speculative fiction as if all of this had actually happened. River of Teeth follows a band of rough outlaws types, called Hoppers (essentially Hippo Cowboys), tasked with a seemingly impossible mission to thwart a villainous swamp thug and clear an area of the Louisiana bayou of feral hippos that said swamp thug uses as his best line of defense.
This lovely little book is a riot. A fun romp through the bayou with your trusty hippo and rough neck crew. Essentially, it's a wee western story set in an alternate timeline without the standard heteronormative stereotypes. There is love, heartbreak, revenge and best of all, hippos.
For more info. on hippo ranching in American history check out,

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Duchess by Design: The Gilded Age Girls Club Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062838803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - October 23rd, 2018


So my rampant consumption of romance novels leaves little time for personal taste, as soon as one is done, I pick up another and move on, regardless of whether or not the plot is something I really care about. When I started Duchess by Design I eye-rolled (not a real word but Shakespeare did this all the time, so what’s once for me?) big time. Let's just say The Devil Wears Prada is not my favorite. Despite all of this I actually ended up really enjoying this book, even the fashiony bits!
When the Duke of Kingston, Brandon Fiennes, journeys to New York City he thinks that finding a wealthy heiress bride is going to be a cake walk and, using his new wife's dowry, he can finally do some much needed repairs on his estates and pay off his mother's exorbitant shopping bills. Romantic, right? As luck, or maybe karma, would have it the first woman he meets in New York, the beautiful, elegantly dressed woman of his dreams who runs headlong into him in his hotel lobby isn’t going to be the payday he expected.
Miss Adeline Black, dressed in one of her latest designs, is meeting a new client in an upscale hotel hoping to stock her wardrobe with beautiful new gowns for the season. A struggling seamstress, she has big dreams of taking the fashion world by storm with her unconventional designs featuring more comfortable corsets and, be still my practical heart, pockets. Yes, this woman wants to start a fashion revolution by giving women the ability to carry stuff around. She has no time for the handsome British nobleman who is now following her, but is charmed by it despite that. Think the 2002 Jennifer Lopez movie Maid in Manhattan.
This book was a lot of fun. The characters are flawed, there’s a secret suffragette society, and pockets! What’s not to love?

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The Other Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgertons Prequel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062388209
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - November 20th, 2018

Regency romance fans rejoice! The Other Miss Bridgerton is a delight and exactly what we all need to get through the depressing realities of life in 2018. We’ve got pirates, scandal, nobility, and one very stubborn woman to contend with in Quinn’s newest Bridgerton novel.
Poppy Bridgerton, while visiting her friend along the Dorset coast, finds herself kidnapped by pirates and is now helplessly en route to Portugal. Despite her belief that her situation is deplorable and clearly the roguishly handsome captain should just let her go, she is stuck on a two week voyage which is sure to destroy her reputation and any hopes of ever making a good match.
Captain Andrew James Rokesby is trying very hard to ensure that his captive does not find out that he is a Rokesby and by extension nobility and a very close friend to the Bridgerton family. On a secret mission from the crown to smuggle state secrets under the guise of privateering, Andrew cannot simply let this woman go, even if he knows the end result will likely be that he will be forced to marry her to save her reputation. Can he stand to be married to a woman who NEVER stops talking, and can she bear to spend another moment with her handsome but infuriatingly dismissive captor?
This book is fun. The kind of book that makes you laugh and smile like an idiot. The kind of book you never really want to end but you are also okay with ending because, unlike in real life, everything ends well and everyone leaves happy. If I had to translate my feelings of this book into emoji characters it would be nothing but heart eyes.

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Looker: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501199110
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - January 8th, 2019

If you are hoping for Looker to be a fast paced thriller, this is not your book.  This book is a slow burning psychological roller coaster (insert all other Hollywood-esque adjectives to describe eerie).  Looker follows the narrator, an unnamed woman who lives in an apartment next door to The Actress and (her) The Husband.  The Actress has everything the narrator has ever wanted.  Professional success, children, a beautiful home and a loving husband.  After countless failed attempts with IVF, the narrator and her husband divorce leaving the narrator alone in the home they had wanted to raise a family in, surrounded by evidence of her inability to get pregnant.  Focusing outside herself at the glowing beacon of celebrity next door, the narrator becomes obsessed with The Actress and her life; the things she doesn't have. In short bursts of thought and moments in time, the story unravels much like the narrator's mind.
If you like twisty, surreal tales of madness and obsession, in the vein of A Separation by Katie Kitamura or The First Bad Man by Miranda July this could be your next favorite.

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Meet Me at the Museum: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250295163
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - August 7th, 2018

There have been few books that I’ve read that I would describe as delicate, quiet, intimate, but that is how I would have to describe Meet Me at the Museum. Tina Hopgood lives on a rural English farm and, after the passing of her best friend, begins to question how her life has played out to this point. As a girl, she and her friend planned to someday visit the Tollund Man (an Iron Age body found perfectly preserved in a Danish bog), but life always got in the way: unplanned pregnancies, marriages, divorces, children, etc. Tina decides to write the professor who wrote the book on the Tollund Man where she and her friend first read about him. This out of character for Tina decision leads to a relationship in letters between her and Professor Anders Larsen, who has taken over the care of the Tollund Man at the museum where he is kept in Denmark. Anders has led an orderly, slightly predictable life, shaped largely by his work at the museum and his troubled wife who passed shortly before the start of the book under mysterious circumstances. The letters these two strangers share are beautifully written, with a depth and intimacy that quickly shapes their relationship into dear friends. Over the course of the book, both of their lives are shaken by different life events, and you see that what started as a simple interaction has become so vital to them both.
I don’t, as a rule, enjoy books written in letters. My brain does not work that way and I have always had trouble with them, but I could not bring myself to put this down. Youngson’s words were trapped in my head as I went about my day and still I find myself at a loss for how to really describe this lovely little story. Fans of
The Snow Child and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society do yourself a favor and read this.

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Baby Teeth: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250170750
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 17th, 2018

Creepy!! I don’t know why I am drawn to creepy kid thrillers, probably exposure to The Good Son (1993 film with Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood) too early in life has left me traumatized and wanting to learn more. Baby Teeth jumps between the perspectives of a seven year old girl and her mother. The daughter, Hanna, is seven and has never spoken aloud.  She is confident she could speak if she wanted to but suspects bad things may happen if she did. Suzette is Hanna’s mother and struggling with her own poor health thanks to her crippling Crohn’s Disease. She doesn’t understand why she can’t connect with her daughter and why she seems to torment her daily. As you read, you learn that Hanna hates her mother and wishes it could just be her and her dad. You will also form an incredible hatred for Hanna’s father/Suzette’s husband for being blind to everything that seems to happen at home. I don’t want to give too much away but if you like creepy psychological thrillers with creepy child antagonists this is probably going to be a great fit for you.

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Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316357906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 8th, 2018

I brought Unmentionable home as a joke, knowing I needed to spend more time with it, knowing it's been a while since I've forced my husband to listen to me read sections of a book he is not familiar with out loud. This did not disappoint. Sitting on the couch in my dirty yoga pants, a worn old Star Wars tee, my hair up in a greasy bun, I set into a chapter titled "Being a Good Wife: How to Avoid His Eventual Resentment for as Long as Possible" and learned that the first most common path to marital ruin is Being Messy (at least in the Victorian Era). Here we learn about "The Slovenly Wife" from an 1838 edition of The Ladies Garland. This slobby Victorian woman led her marriage and husband to ruin all for her "slovenly" dress and housekeeping. I stop and scoop spilled ice cream off my shirt and continue.
"She makes a halfhearted attempt to clean up her act, but it never sticks. Her husband, too mortified to bring friends home, begins meeting with them at a nearby tavern. 'From that day his flourishing business and his handsome wife become more and more neglected.' Soon the husband becomes a drunkard, though never even having touched a drop before his wife's grotesque appearance drove him to the tavern. Their shop closes and they become destitute. The husband is too miserable to ever feel love for his hideous wife again. Their story closes in shame, wretchedness, and ruin."
I stare up blankly at my own husband, also in sweatpants and an old tee scooping ice cream out of the tub and remind him to tell me if I ever get too slovenly, he laughs and agrees. From here we learn the other things I am doing to drive our marriage to ruin, such as: "Getting Old; Asking for Stuff; Having Opinions, Passions, and Strengths; Being a Bad Cook (sometimes terrible); and of course Getting Mad When He Cheats (Hypothetically).
Now I don't know if it is because I am a sucker for fun history, or if it's that I revel in not measuring up to Victorian standards of womanhood, or maybe it's just because I am human but this book is hilarious. Full of reminders that women have come a long way and there are good reasons to keep moving forward. If you want to laugh or know someone who wants to laugh, and if you are not too sheepish about reading the full breadth of what is expected or natural for a Victorian woman to encounter, do yourself a favor and pick it up. You, like me, will not be disappointed.

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Henna House: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476740270
Availability: Special Order
Published: Scribner - August 12th, 2014

Henna House is a rich, beautiful account of young Adela Damari, a Yemenite Jew growing up in the 1920s and 1930s. Her story begins at five when, in the wake of her father's worsening illness and to avoid being confiscated under the Orphans Decree, her parents must quickly find her a husband. Adela is plagued by misfortune with potential husbands and chooses to instead find solitude in the delicate and mesmerizing henna that her Aunt Rahel and cousin Hani bring into her life.

This book is packed with beauty, heartbreak, love, harsh reality and wonder that carries you away to Yemen to experience something new and wonderful.

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Natural Histories: Stories Cover Image
By Guadalupe Nettel, J. T. Lichtenstein (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781609805517
Availability: Special Order
Published: Seven Stories Press - June 10th, 2014

Siamese fighting fish, cockroaches, cats, a snake, and a strange fungus all serve here as mirrors that reflect the unconfessable aspects of human nature buried within us.

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The Farm Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446550734
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 3rd, 2014

The Farm is a spooky, suspicious book set between rural Sweden and London concerning the spoken and unspoken in familial dramas.
Dad says Mom is crazy and violent.
Mom says Dad is corrupt and plotting against her.
Mom is pledging to disown you if you side with Dad.
Dad is on a plane heading toward you, risking all the trust you've gained with Mom thus far.
The Farm deals with unreliable narrators and newly unreliable parents.The protagonist, Daniel, must decide to either believe that his father is involved in a sex trafficking conspiracy in Sweden or believe that his mother is suffering from severe paranoid delusions. Unraveling this secret takes more than blind faith in any of the stories being told, Daniel must then go to Sweden, meet his Mother's enemies and seek out the mystery of her allies and her own tormented past.

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What Should Be Wild: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062684134
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - May 8th, 2018

Maisie is born a medical miracle after gestating to term in the womb of her deceased mother. Heralded as a religious messiah she is swiftly taken by her bereaved father to her mother's family estate where it quickly becomes apparent that she is not a normal infant. To her father's surprise, she has the ability to take and restore life by the touch of her skin. On this remote estate she is raised to fear herself, shuttered off from the world, never having the chance to be a child, never experiencing the basic comforts of a hug or a held hand. Obsessed with needing to understand her condition, Maisie's father, Peter, does daily experiments on what is affected by Maisie's ability and what is not. A rough cut board will writhe at her touch, traumatized at new life in this condition until she sets it right. A treated board remains inanimate.
When Maisie is sixteen she is faced with the first significant death in her life, a natural death that she had no part in and is unable to alter. Running from this shock she discovers that the forest just beyond the estate is a magical place immune to her touch and full of secrets yet to be discovered.
What Should Be Wild reads like a Gothic fairy tale marrying the story of Maisie and her peculiar condition with alternating point of view chapters from other peculiar women in her family who have lived on the estate.
Julia's writing is fantastic, dreamy, perfect. If you are looking for a compelling read with a hearty helping of mystical realism, you really should check this out.

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While Beauty Slept Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399166235
Availability: Special Order
Published: Amy Einhorn Books - February 20th, 2014

To anyone, like myself, who drooled over Gail Carson Levine's fairy tale brilliance, this is your book. While beauty slept is a wonderfully written version of Sleeping Beauty for adults. Written from the perspective of a poor farm girl turned Queen's attendant, Elise, you learn the "truth" of the tale of sleeping beauty as she recounts the story to her granddaughter. Following in her mother's footsteps, Elise leaves her grim life behind and seeks out a job at the castle. Thanks to her mothers experience and training, Elise finds herself as the Queen's chambermaid. In this position she is privy to all the royal secrets and the shame of the still childless Queen and uses her charms to quickly rise through the ranks to Queen's attendant. Elise must make many decisions regarding her position at the castle, manipulative members of court, the truly wicked Aunt Millicent, friendship and love. With a far more realistic and believable series of events than the original fairy tale, this is a tale you can truly get invested in.

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The Vanishing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781401341947
Availability: Backordered
Published: Hachette Books - January 21st, 2014

What a fun read! A little mystery, a few ghosts, overlapping lives and memories, there is so much happening in this book it should never leave you bored. Julia Bishop is going through a rough patch... to put it lightly. About three months prior to the beginning of our story her late husband is outed as being the "mid-western Bernie Madoff" and after ruining the lives of everyone around them he takes his own life leaving Julia to pick up the pieces. Deep in her well of depression she is surprised when a strange man arrives at her door offering her a job and a new life. With nothing left to lose she is taken away to a remote mansion in northern Minnesota and starts anew as the companion to the famous horror authoress, Amaris Sinclair, one of Julia's literary heroes.
Upon arrival at her new haven in the woods, aptly named Havenwood, Julia finds herself overrun with deja vu and creepy coincidences. Is this all just a side effect from coming off her medication or is there something more sinister at work at the mansion?
With a cast of characters you are dying to love but not sure if you're supposed to, this is a light yet enthralling mystery that blends the old with the new seamlessly and wonderfully.

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The Kept: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062236739
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - January 7th, 2014

Wow. There really are no words for The Kept that could really do it justice. It is the most disturbing yet beautiful book I have ever read. Set in the winter of 1897, midwife Elspeth Howell returns home from months away at work to find her husband and four children murdered in their small country home. By some shred of luck, Caleb, her twelve-year-old son survives and the two must endure the most devastating experience of their lives so far and venture out into the world to find their family's murderers. Over the course of the story you learn that Elspeth may not be everything you think she is and Caleb learns more about himself than he would ever bargain for. This is a story of obsession, retribution, redemption, loss and love. Despite all of its rough and disturbing exterior, this book is beautifully written and definitely worth the time.

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Two Old Women, 20th Anniversary Edition: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062244987
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - November 5th, 2013

Two Old Women is based on an Athabascan Indian Legend from the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska. This is the legend of two old women who were abandoned by their tribe in the middle of a desolate winter to die in the cold Alaskan wilderness. The tribe felt the women were slowing The People down in their journey to a new camp. Left to their own devices this is the story of how two women, betrayed by their family and friends  and left in the wilderness to die, decide to live instead. Aged 80 and 75 years old, Ch'idzigyaak and Sa' realize that they may still have the power to survive and do. This legend is a parable for not only respecting the wisdom of your elders but also for elders to respect the young and themselves. Sa' says it perfectly, "Yes, in their own way they have condemned us to die! They think that we are too old and useless. They forget that we, too, have earned the right to live! So I say if we are going to die, my friend, let us die trying, not sitting." It's quick and worth it, read it.

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Doomed Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385533034
Availability: Special Order
Published: Doubleday Books - October 8th, 2013

SPOILER WARNING!The much anticipated sequel to Damned, Doomed is just as mouth-wateringly delicious as Damned. Finding herself trapped with the living until the next Halloween, Maddie Spencer goes back to her old haunts and learns just how much her telemarketing exploits in Hell have  altered the natural state of good and evil. Given her parents bizarrely influential role in society and radiating confidence, they have developed a new religion based around being rude, bad language, and bad hygiene, promising that these things would most assuredly get you into heaven and thus condemning you to hell. Maddy must stop her parents from condemning the world to Hell and continue her battle against the Devil. 


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The Night Guest: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780865477735
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 2013

Ruth is seventy-five years old and managing pretty well in her ocean side Australian home, that is until one night when she wakes from sleep completely convinced there is a tiger in her house. She can smell it's musky jungle smell and hear it sniffing outside her door. Her cats stand alert and when the sniffing comes closer to her bedroom they escape. Ruth is thrilled. What could be more exciting than being eaten by a tiger?
The next day, she is caught off guard by a visitor, a woman who claims to be a government carer, there to look after her and her home. To everyone in Ruth's life, this woman, Frida, appears to be a godsend but as Ruth gets to know her she starts to wonder what Frida's motives are.
Frustratingly written with an unreliable narrator, the Night Guest is wonderful. The buildup in suspense and the frustrating lack of certainty are welcome, not to mention Fiona McFarlane's beautiful writing style.
If you are looking for a beautifully rendered thrill, a touching look into aging, or perhaps a sweet brief moment of romance, you should read this.

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Margot: a Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594486432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 3rd, 2013

In the blistering heat of the Philadelphia summer, Margie Franklin works hard to resist the urge to remove her sweater. Her friends try to convince her to come out to a movie, a drink, something, but she declines. A single woman working in a small Jewish law firm in 1959, few of her peers would suspect that quiet Margie from Poland was not what she seemed. The truth of her past, her secret fears and former identity, her everything was hid just under her sleeve in a small sequence of faded numbers. Jillian Cantor, in her historical fiction Margot, tells the story of Margot Frank and her new life in America after escaping her torment in Nazi Germany. Margot, or Margie's, carefully constructed walls to keep her past out of her present are shattered with the publication and movie adaptation of her younger sister Anne's Diary and Margot is forced to face her fears, her resentments and herself. Margot is a beautiful story and a fun yet humbling read. Honestly, I couldn't put it down.

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Mother, Mother Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385347235
Availability: Special Order
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - September 17th, 2013

Does anyone remember the movie, The Good Son (1993) with Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood? If you do, and you loved it, you will love this. Keywords for Mother, Mother; dysfunctional families, emotional abuse, recreational drug use, bad therapists, identity theft, terrifying mothers. This is the story of a family that should be perfect but is thrown into chaos after the eldest daughter, Rose, runs away from home. The younger daughter Violet turns to extreme fasting and LSD to solve her problems and William becomes even more enamored and corrupted by his mother. This is a story of emotional abuse and torment, not physical violence or outright terror. This is a great story for someone looking for a thrill rather than obvious horror. Zailckas writes in a way that keeps you moving, keeps you yearning for what will happen next.

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Call Me Zelda Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451239921
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 7th, 2013

There are a lot of books out now about Zelda Fitzgerald and THIS is my favorite. The story is told from the perspective of Zelda's psychiatric nurse while she undergoes treatment for her mental illness. Anna, Zelda's nurse, finds peace and purpose in her work but upon Zelda's admittance to her hospital, Anna's life would change forever. Zelda's larger than life personality is intoxicating and terrifying as she teeters on the edge of sanity. Anna and Zelda become fast friends helping each other cope with their pasts and make the necessary steps toward their futures. If you are looking for a great story of friendship or if you loved The Paris Wife, read this!

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Bloomability Cover Image
ISBN: 9780064408233
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - December 4th, 2012

I first read Bloomability when I was about ten and instantly fell in love. My copy is a tattered wreck from years of re-reading again and again.
Bloomability is the story of Dinnie Doone, a girl who learns about opportunity whether she wants to or not. Taken hostage by her aunt and uncle, or at least that's what she thinks of it as, she is taken to Switzerland to attend a boarding school and learn about all the things her path would have never offered her back home. Dinnie goes fishing in crisp Swiss streams, skiing in the Alps, she learns about life, friendship, and a little about young love. This is a story about a girl coming into her own and seeing the world unfold around her.
In my mind this is just as fantastic as Walk Two Moons (Sharon Creech) if not better.

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The Snow Child: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316175661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - November 6th, 2012

The snow child is beautiful. Set in a wild Alaska in the 1920s, this is the story of Jack and Mable and the magic that Alaska offers them. The weight of never having had children weighs heavily on them both, driving them away from the pitying and prying eyes of their friends and family and consequently deeper into despair into the lonely wilderness. In a rare moment of playfulness they decide to build a snow man, or rather a snow girl which helps to bring the distant couple back to one another and helps to set the stage for something a little more mystical.  The next day after discovering their destroyed snow girl the couple notice a stranger in their forest, a young girl and her pet fox.
Filled with such a pure and wild magical realism, this book is nothing but sweetness and wonder.
Eowyn Ivey has created something beautiful in this story and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

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Damned Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307476531
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - October 2nd, 2012

Damned tells the story of Madison Spencer, a thirteen year old girl who finds herself in hell. Palahniuk's hell is far more disturbed than any images of hell I could muster, and if you are a sucker for imagery this guy will do the trick. Maddie winds up in some sort of bizarre John Hughes inspired group of friends adventuring around hell before finding herself a job as a telemarketer. Through her position as a telemarketer she is able to increase numbers of damned souls, ensuring the living populace the perks of hell most certainly outweigh those behind the heavenly gates. Damned can be grotesque, perverse and awkward but it is most certainly a fun and unique read.

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Absolutely Normal Chaos (Walk Two Moons #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780064406321
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - April 24th, 2012

"By turns sarcastic, tender, and irreverent, this will quickly make its way into the hands of readers who loved Walk Two Moons." Kirkus

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The Two Princesses of Bamarre Cover Image
ISBN: 9780064409667
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - April 24th, 2012

For lovers of Ella Enchanted, PICK ME!!
In a Kingdom far far away a King and Queen have two young daughters. Princess Meryl is fierce, wild and craves adventure, Princess Addie is prim and proper and more than happy to stay in the warm castle where everything is safe and spider free. Despite their differences the sisters are best friends and would do anything for the other.
When the Gray Death sweeps through the Kingdom and Princess Meryl is struck with the illness, it is up to quiet, adventure averting Addie to go out in search of a cure before it's too late. Addie goes up against Dragons, Gryphons and meets a handsome young Wizard with stunning white eyelashes.
This is the best sort of fairy tale, fraught with courage, perseverance, magic, love and girls who can kick butt!
P.S. did I mention there are no spiders...awesome!

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The Transall Saga Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375873232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - March 8th, 2011

For lovers of Gary Paulsen AND lovers of a bit of sci-fi this is it. Transall Saga is a thrilling tale of a boy named Mark who goes out on a solo camping trip in the desert and ends up getting sucked into a mysterious beam of light. Mark is transported to a strange world with a new set of rules and is forced to survive. Mark spends years as a stranger in this world learning about the cultures and creatures that fill it and attempting to find his place as returning to Earth, as he knows it, seems impossible.
Transall Saga is a great story and would be great for boys and girls alike.

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Sing Down the Moon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547406329
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 13th, 2010

From the author of Island of the Blue Dolphins, this is the story of Bright Morning growing up in her tribe and her resilience in the face of the near apocalyptic encroachment of White Settlers in her region. More than an honest and well written historical fiction, Scott O'Dell gives us a beautiful story and a beautiful heroine with enough spirit and beauty to withstand overwhelming change and still find beauty in the world.

Just read it. Trust me.

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Sunflowers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061765278
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 13th, 2009

This is a book about love, passion, art and madness. Set in the last few years of his life, this is a book about Vincent Van Gogh and a woman who loved him. Told from the perspective of Rachel, a prostitute in Arles, France who imagined something better from her life, Sunflowers tells the story of the two lovers fighting against obsession and oncoming madness. Rachel struggles to keep her love and the hope it has given her afloat as the eccentric artist becomes more engrossed and depressed with his art and lack of success.
Beautifully written and well researched, Sheramy Bundrick does a great job in writing one of my favorite novels. This book would be great for fans of historical fiction similar to The Paris Wife and Call Me Zelda.

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Crooked Tree Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780472031528
Availability: Out of Print
Published: University of Michigan Press - May 8th, 2006

So by saying, Crooked Tree is the Scariest thing I've ever read, it may not mean much because I don't LOVE scary. In fact I usually avoid it. I read Crooked Tree because both my Grandmother and my Sister recommended it to me and since you don't know my family, this is something that my brain cannot even conceive of. What is this bizarre book that drew such different people with such different tastes to agreement?Crooked Tree is a fictional spin on the local lore of the Petoskey area. It takes a look at how, when nature is pushed too far, it can sometimes fight back. Even if you aren't looking for something so thrilling, just try it. It is insanely good...just ask my Grandmother.


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