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When the World Breaks: The Surprising Hope and Subversive Promises in the Teachings of Jesus By Jason Adam Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9781546003502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: FaithWords - August 1st, 2023

This book is like a breath of fresh air. Jason Adam Miller writes in a way that includes all groups of people whether you are religious or not. He looks at the Sermon on the Mount and how he has been able to apply its truths and glean wisdom through some of the hardest moments of his life. I didn’t know it was a Christian book written by a pastor and honestly I might have passed it by if I had. I was too burned out to absorb another point of view during the mess our world had become during Covid. One of my biggest struggles during that time, (among many) was seeing the dark side of people I love and look up to. I think we all showed a little ugliness at some point or another, that’s what trials do, they show us where we are stronger than we thought, and they reveal that ugly monster that was hiding in the dark corner of our minds. (I’m picturing a Gollum creature in a dusty dark corner with an evil smile.)
While this book is not wholly focused on the Covid period, it engulfs all of the ways the world breaks around us in our personal lives or in the global community as a whole. I found it incredibly difficult to live out my own Christian faith while dealing with what I deemed as the stupidity of others. My turmoil was especially tumultuous when I considered those who share my faith. The harmony that we are supposed to have together was anything but.
Two things happened as I read this: 1) I was comforted that I was not the only one in the bog (misery loves company right?) and 2) I was brought back to center and was able to set my feet on more solid ground. If this is where you have found yourself through the last couple of years, I highly recommend When the World Breaks.

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I Am a Dragon!: A Squabble & a Quibble By Sabina Hahn, Sabina Hahn (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Sabina Hahn, Sabina Hahn (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780063253995
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - July 18th, 2023

This book is PHENOMENAL! I love books about dragons with dragons. I literally constructed a dragon for the store. (Stop in to say hello to Jalapeno Waters sometime!) In I am a Dragon, Sabina Hahn does an amazing job of illustrating how frustrating it can be when others don’t listen to you.
The frogs are certain that the large green friend visiting their pond is not a dragon but a very large frog. No matter how much the dragon insists that he is a DRAGON (and yes, he just might lose his temper), the frogs are adamant he is wrong. Hahn takes us through the frustration that the dragon is feeling and we witness how he works through his feelings and realizes that it might not be the best idea to lose his temper when he gets angry. The joyful illustrations and great content can help any youngster learn about better ways to process their feelings.
Parents and teachers will use this book to walk their little ones through thinking about their actions BEFORE going through with them. For example: “How should we use our fire?” Options could include roasting marshmallows, lighting a sparkler, the possibilities are endless - pretty much things that will bring joy and fun rather than burning the place down!

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Warrior Girl Unearthed By Angeline Boulley Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250766588
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - May 2nd, 2023

Angeline Bouley does it again!
Firekeeper’s Daughter is one of my faves, so I will admit I was a little apprehensive, but this is another beautifully written masterpiece. I loved catching up with the Firekeeper family and going on another adventure, this time with Perry and Pauline, Daunis’ twin nieces. They are very different girls, with an incredible bond. The teens on Sugar Island, MI enroll in summer internship programs with their tribe, and the girls become part of a group that names themselves "The Misfit Toys." Perry gets assigned to the local museum where she learns about Indigenous artifacts and the processes and laws which have been established to help her community reclaim their ancestors and their belongings from institutions and private collectors. This proves to be an extremely arduous task, and Perry finds herself in an anthropology lab gazing at the skeletal remains of a girl her own age. While she is horrified that this ancestor of hers is kept in a box for prodding and studying, she also finds herself heartbroken for this family member who has not been able to find rest after death.
Perry is determined to do whatever it takes to give the Indigenous ancestors a reburial ,and to return items made and used by past generations to their families. Her passion drives her to take risks and even break the law in her quest to right these centuries-old wrongs. A task this big is difficult to pull off, especially with a fierce auntie like Daunis. Not to mention several young women from various tribes in the area have gone missing; some turning up dead. The Windego (a mythical beast with a ravenous taste for human flesh) myth has struck fear into the hearts of everyone in town. Perry can’t continue on this journey solo and must turn to her band of Misfit Toys for help to do what needs to be done in retrieving what is rightfully theirs. Eluding the authorities has Perry’s heart pounding and then there’s the Windego…
This book absolutely blew me away, taking facts and fiction and weaving them together into a beautiful, literary piece of art. Angeline Boulley once again taught me so much I didn’t know about the Indigenous people and the trials they still face today. These facts combined with the mystery and thrill of solving multiple murders and kidnappings, while ALSO fearing my beloved characters could be the next victims, had me turning pages until well after midnight!

How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing By KC Davis, LPC Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668002841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/Simon Element - April 26th, 2022

Drowning? I must admit that I didn’t think I was drowning but... I did want to get some pointers on keeping up with housework. I am a wife, a mom to three adult daughters, a grandma (Nonna) to one beautiful granddaughter, and a full-time bookseller at the best bookstore around. I love staying active and enjoying life, which means that balancing everything I want to do with everything I NEED to do can be super tricky. I picked up KC Davis’s book for tips on finding that balance, and it wasn't intimidating since it's small in size and the chapters are brief and to the point. My opinion after reading it? Every person who is a new parent, gets overwhelmed by the "To Do List," or is constantly feeling bad about how little they seem to get done, needs this book.
We live in a time where everyone is putting their best foot forward on those social media posts or when you know company is coming over. I will totally admit that when my girls were younger, expecting company was a stressful time. The master bedroom door was always closed because that is where we threw everything, and on occasion we may or may not have put dirty dishes in the oven that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher. You better believe that when our company walked through that door, every visible area looked in order, and we played it off like it always looked like that! I wish I had had this book YEARS ago, because when I started reading it, I thought I would just get strategies for better handling housework. Instead what I got was freedom and encouragement!
KC Davis is someone who is not afraid to say it like it is and just be real about the struggles of keeping up. Not all of the chapters hit home or applied to me, but they aren’t all supposed to, because this book is for a far wider audience than just people like me. It can expand your mind in understanding that there are tasks around the house that are more urgent than others. There are “care tasks” that we need to complete to take care of ourselves and, if we have them, our families. One phrase she repeats over and over is, “You don’t exist to serve your space, your space exists to serve you.” If you don’t get everything on your list done that day, that’s OK! Celebrate what you did get done and be kind to yourself on days when you get seemingly very little done at all. I only got to page 8 before I was hit right between the eyes with a truth that I think many of us live out every day: We are “looking for a role to fill that would finally make [us] worthy of kindness and love and belonging.” We always scrambled when expecting company, because we didn’t want to be judged or looked at as being lazy, gross, incompetent, or worse: bad parents. So we faked it, and faced the hidden mess later.
Whether you struggle or not with keeping up or finding balance, this book is still incredibly helpful. It’s laid out so that you can take the chapters in as you need them, even if you go out of order. This book can be read at any pace, in any order of chapters, and even has a fast-track plan to take you through the basics. NPR featured this book at the end of last month as I was finishing up and getting ready to write this review. Gift it to someone you love, even if that someone is YOU!

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The Dictionary of Lost Words: A Novel By Pip Williams Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984820747
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - May 3rd, 2022

Words are so profound and ever-changing through time. Depending on where you live, your social status, your occupation, or even your family, the words you use may be very different from someone else in different settings and circumstances. Pip Williams explores the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Set at the height of the women's suffrage movement and over the Great War, Williams introduces us to Esme, a girl being raised by her widowed, lexicographer father, who spends his days in the ‘Scriptorium’ examining suggested words for the dictionary. Esme’s place under the sorting table brings her to her first word collection as a slip falls to the floor. Not wanting the word to be forgotten, Esme tucks it safely in her pocket, igniting her curiosity about and love for words.
While I don’t consider myself to be a historical fiction reader, I quickly found myself eager to continue reading to see how things would unfold. Esme takes a journey, deliberately seeking out people of all social statuses to discover new words previously discarded by lexicographers like her father. The people she meets are from the slums, markets, factories, and theaters. Everywhere she goes, she always has slips of paper and a pencil in her pocket for the discovery of new words. Those she meets will expose her to the effects of protesting the suffrage movement, the devastation of young men called to war, and the shocking realization of a caste system that somehow defines what life’s possibilities are for those around her.
This has become one of my favorite books. Pip Williams has woven together a beautiful, historically accurate masterpiece of the assembling of the first printing of the Oxford English Dictionary! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a story that will not only take you on a journey, but give you insight into an actual piece of our history. I hadn’t considered the painstaking task it was to assemble the dictionary, a book that is so often overlooked in today’s world, along with the power of the words it holds. Great for adults and book clubs!

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Before the Coffee Gets Cold By Toshikazu Kawaguchi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335430991
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - November 17th, 2020

Coffee and time travel! This book has such a great storyline and a really imaginative way of combining two unlikely topics. What if you could go to a coffee shop that offers the ability to go back in time? Visit a lost family member? Change a conversation that didn’t go the way you planned or hoped? You enter the little shop set off the beaten path, eager for your journey, only to realize that the one chair you must occupy is taken by a woman who, it seems, will never leave. Don’t try to force her to leave; it will NOT end well! Once she does get up and you decide to take your shot, you find out there are rules: You can only visit people who have visited the coffee shop, you cannot leave the chair, nothing you do during your visit will change what happens in the future, and you have to finish the coffee and return to your time before the coffee gets cold (this one is very important and there are dire consequences if you do not).
Kawaguchi is masterful in his writing as he paints a picture of a group of strangers who come together with different motives and end up being dear friends. Rather than having chapters, this book is divided into the stories of each of the characters. It’s a quick read that will take you on a great adventure into the past, or possibly the future!

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A Wish for Winter By Viola Shipman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781525804847
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graydon House - November 15th, 2022

Susan Norcross is a 40 year old, single woman in the small Northern Michigan town of Petoskey. She helps her grandparents run the family bookstore, Sleigh by the Bay, which is based on our very own McLean & Eakin Booksellers! Susan's normal childhood ended when her parents were tragically killed by a drunk driver the year before her 14th Christmas. Her mom was 40 at the time, the same age Susan is this year, which makes this Christmas harder than any year before. Her spunky, social media influencer friend Holly begs Susan to join her in Chicago’s famous 10K Santa Run where she meets a random runner dressed as Santa (of course, who else would he be dressed as in the Santa Run?) and they have an immediate connection. The race starts and they get separated by the mass of Santas and Mrs. Clauses. Her mysterious Santa calls out to meet later but never shows. Her hopes once again dashed, Susan declares she is absolutely out and decides the dating game is not for her. But her friends, along with grandma and grampa, won’t let it rest. They are determined to see her find her true love and be happy. Holly gets started with her media influence and before she knows it, Susan has dates lined up in the hopes of reconnecting with her Santa and getting her happily ever after. Can Susan truly be happy when she’s holding all this burden from her parent’s accident so many years ago? Can she hope, one more time, that this person that she felt so drawn to would be one of the Santa’s who responded to the posts? 
This amazing novel comes to us just in time for Christmas! I loved every page of Christmas spirit, grief, growth, forgiveness, hope, and love! I fell in love with all the characters so easily. Noah is my absolute favorite with his quirky sarcasm and sassy attitude. If you are from Petoskey or you’ve ever visited, you will be able to envision every landmark and local business. mentioned. I was drawn in by the depth in each character as they stepped outside their comfort zones in hope, knowing that risk is involved, and then they hold on to each other to steady their journey. Watching their growth and healing take place through each of their circumstances was encouraging and empowering. I found myself writing down quotes and underlining passages that were so profound I wanted to make sure I could remember them. Even quotes from Noah “No whip for these hips!” LOL 
This book is a gem and will make a perfect Christmas gift for this holiday season. We even currently have bookplates signed by Wade Rouse, who writes under his grandmother’s name, to honor her and all the love and support that she gave him growing up. So while you watch the snow floating down, and you’re checking over that Christmas list, remember A Wish for Winter! Why not buy one for yourself too so you can read it together? I bought one for myself and one for my mom (Shhhh! Don’t tell!) so we can have lunch and talk about all our favorite parts together!

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The Book of Gothel: Memoir of a Witch By Mary McMyne Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316393218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - September 5th, 2023

No matter how many times we hear the story of Rapunzel, Mother Gothel's is never fully revealed… until now! I have always been drawn to fairy tales with twists that I don’t expect or a story that portrays the hero or villain in a different light. Seeing things from a different perspective often sheds light on why a character turned out the way they did, OR it can show you how they have been misjudged.
The Book of Gothel first introduces us to Haelewise, a young girl, in 1156 Germany. Never fitting in and prone to fainting spells, her village suspects her of possession, and her father tries to keep her hidden away from outsiders. Happily, she and her mother are very close and connected. Unlike the others in the village, Haelewise's mother has not forgotten the power of Mother Earth and uses her knowledge of and resources for midwifery. When her mother passes away and Haelewise is all but abandoned by her father, she braves the forbidden forest outside the city limits and finds the tower of Gothel: a spell-protected haven for girls in search of safety, and also a place saturated in her mother’s past. 
Author Mary McMyne will sweep you away into Haelewise’s journey as she discovers the mysterious, ancient world of spells that she only glimpsed via her mother. This world being one the church tries to keep hidden, Haelewise searches tirelessly, witnessing a murder, fleeing for her life, and fighting for the future in her quest to discover and reveal the truth.
I really loved this adventurous story line and McMyne's focus on the fight for justice and truth. I am also someone who is a fairytale fanatic, and I relish a satisfying ending. This one got me! I was starting to feel a tinge of disappointment when out of nowhere, everything pulled together in a way I did not see coming! This is a book that you must add to your TBR list!

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Lore Olympus: Volume One By Rachel Smythe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593356074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Inklore - November 2nd, 2021

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Scandalous gossip, wild parties, and forbidden love—witness what the gods do after dark in this stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of the best-known stories in Greek mythology, featuring a brand-new, exclusive short story from creator Rachel Smythe.

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Ordinary Monsters: A Novel (The Talents #1) By J. M. Miro Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250833662
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - June 7th, 2022

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * "Charles Dickens meets Joss Whedon in Miro’s otherworldly Netflix-binge-like novel." The Washington Post

MOST ANTICIPATED SFF BOOK of 2022 by Tor, The Nerd Daily, BookBub, Philadelphia Inquirer, Goodreads, CrimeReads, Buzzfeed, Professional Book Nerds, and more!

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Barb and the Ghost Blade (Barb the Last Berzerker #2) By Dan Abdo, Jason Patterson, Dan & Jason, Dan Abdo (Illustrator), Jason Patterson (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Dan Abdo, Jason Patterson, Dan & Jason, Dan Abdo (Illustrator), Jason Patterson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534485747
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 31st, 2022

The action of Moana meets the humor of books like Dog Man in this high-octane and uproariously funny second book following Barb and her trusty yeti pal, Porkchop, on their quest to rescue her fellow warriors and liberate Bailiwick from the evil villain Witch Head!

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Redeeming Love (Movie Tie-In): A Novel By Francine Rivers Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780593442944
Published: Multnomah - November 23rd, 2021

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Abigail Cowen, Tom Lewis, Nina Dobrev, with Logan Marshall Green and Eric Dane, special appearance by Famke Janssen. Distributed by Universal Pictures with a screenplay by Francine Rivers and D.J. Caruso.

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The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread By Kate DiCamillo, Timothy Basil Ering (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763680893
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - December 8th, 2015

A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Medal–winning tale.