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Staff Pick

Mud Song

Mud Song

Thaxton, Terry Ann
$18.00

Doug says: If you only read one book of poems this year, make it Mud Song, it joins a chorus of women’s unique voices that are making sense of the chaos.

Master

Master

Toibin, Colm
$16.00
"Colm Tóibín's beautiful, subtle illumination of Henry James's inner life" (The New York Times) captures the loneliness and hope of a master of psychological subtlety whose forays into intimacy inevitably fail those he tried to love.

Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of Henry James, a man born into one of America's first intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers. With stunningly resonant prose, "The Master is unquestionably the work of a first-rate novelist: artful, moving, and very beautiful" (The New York Times Book Review). The emotional intensity of this portrait is riveting.

Nora says: Colm Toibin at his best -- superb novel with Henry James as its protagonist.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Tokarczuk, Olga
$17.00
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

A brilliant literary murder mystery. --Chicago Tribune

Extraordinary. Tokarczuk's novel is funny, vivid, dangerous, and disturbing, and it raises some fierce questions about human behavior. My sincere admiration for her brilliant work. --Annie Proulx

In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .

A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, autonomy and fate. Whom do we deem sane? it asks. Who is worthy of a voice?

Nora says: Mysterious and mesmerizing, but not a mystery! One of Poland's most important writers and Booker Prize winner.

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Tolstoy, Leo; Pevear, Richard
$20.00
The must-have Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of one of the greatest Russian novels ever written

Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as "flawless," Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.

While previous versions have softened the robust and sometimes shocking qualities of Tolstoy's writing, Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This authoritative edition, which received the PEN Translation Prize and was an Oprah Book Club(TM) selection, also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for fans of the film and generations to come. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Gentleman in Moscow

Gentleman in Moscow

Towles, Amor
$17.00
From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility, a novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel--a beautifully transporting novel.

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

"Perhaps the ultimate quarantine read . . . A Gentleman in Moscow is about the importance of community; the distance of a kind act; and resilience. It's a manual for getting through the days to come." --O, The Oprah Magazine

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

The writing was superb! I'm still looking for another book of the same caliber.— Neighbor Pick by Patricia from Bradenton

Nora says: Beautifully written, fully realized tale of a life thrown off course by the Russian revolution.

Rules of Civility: A Novel QZ

Rules of Civility: A Novel QZ

Towles, Amor
$18.00

From the New York Times-bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow, a "sharply stylish" (Boston Globe) book about a young woman in post-Depression era New York who suddenly finds herself thrust into high society--now with over one million readers worldwide

On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society--where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

With its sparkling depiction of New York's social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

Trethewey, Natasha
$27.99

An Instant New York Times Bestseller

A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy

At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother's life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother's history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a "child of miscegenation" in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985.

Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet's attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

Doug says: All I can tell you is I'm clearing the decks to sell one book. This one.Ms. Trethewey's MEMORIAL DRIVE: A Daughter's Memoir. It's beyond mere memoir so I have to say, that even in its diminutive and slender size, it is META-memoir. I've enjoyed others recently ---but this, I literally had to read non-stop until the last word. Gonna need some Visine.


Shibumi

Shibumi

Trevanian
$18.00
A classic spy novel from the bestselling author, Trevanian, about a westerner raised in Japan who becomes one of the world's most accomplished assassins.

Nicholai Hel is the world's most wanted man. Born in Shanghai during the chaos of World War I, he is the son of an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father and is the protégé of a Japanese Go master. Hel survived the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished--and well-paid--assassin. Hel is a genius, a mystic, and a master of language and culture, and his secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection known only as shibumi.

Now living in an isolated mountain fortress with his exquisite mistress, Hel is unwillingly drawn back into the life he'd tried to leave behind when a beautiful young stranger arrives at his door, seeking help and refuge. It soon becomes clear that Hel is being tracked by his most sinister enemy--a supermonolith of international espionage known only as the Mother Company. The battle lines are drawn: ruthless power and corruption on one side, and on the other . . . shibumi.

David says: One of the greatest thrillers ever written. Ever!

 

 

House of Broken Angels

House of Broken Angels

Urrea, Luis Alberto
$16.99
In this "raucous, moving, and necessary" story by a Pulitzer Prize finalist (San Francisco Chronicle), the De La Cruzes, a family on the Mexican-American border, celebrate two of their most beloved relatives during a joyous and bittersweet weekend.

"All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies, transforming the weekend into a farewell doubleheader. Among the guests is Big Angel's half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life.

Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many inspiring tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought these citizens to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home.

Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.

"Epic . . . Rambunctious . . . Highly entertaining." -- New York Times Book Review"Intimate and touching . . . the stuff of legend." -- San Francisco Chronicle"An immensely charming and moving tale." -- Boston GlobeNational Bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalistA New York Times Notable BookOne of the Best Books of the Year from National Public Radio, American Library Association, San Francisco Chronicle, BookPage, Newsday, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Literary Hub

Roxanne says: The Godfather was a Hispanic man from Cali! Gorgeously written, set in contemporary U.S.A.

 

 

Gardens of Kyoto

Gardens of Kyoto

Walbert, Kate
$16.00
From the National Book Award nominated, New York Times bestselling author of A Short History of Women and The Sunken Cathedral, Walbert's beautiful and heartbreaking novel about a young woman coming of age in the long shadow of World War II--"An intricately plotted, thrillingly imagined -narrative...A masterpiece" (The New York Times Book Review).

Forty years after enduring the Second World War as a young woman, Ellen relates the events of this turbulent period, beginning with the death of her favorite cousin, Randall, with whom she shared Easter Sundays, childhood secrets, and, perhaps, the first taste of love. When he dies on Iwo Jima, she turns to the legacy he left her: his diary and a book called The Gardens of Kyoto. Each one subtly influences her perception of her place in the world, the nature of her memories.

Moving back and forth through time and place, Kate Walbert recreates a world touched by the shadows of war and a society in which women fit their desires into prescribed roles. Unfolding in lyrical, seductive prose, The Gardens of Kyoto becomes a mesmerizing exploration of the interplay of love and loss.

Georgia says: This is a beautiful, lyrical tale of love and longing.

His Favorites

His Favorites

Walbert, Kate
$15.00
A "tense, taut, and thrilling" (Marie Claire) novel about a teenage girl, a predatory teacher, and a school's complicity from the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award finalist and author of A Short History of Women--"riveting, terrifying, exactly the book for our times" (Ann Patchett).

They were on a lark, three teenaged girls speeding across the greens at night on a "borrowed" golf cart, drunk. The cart crashes and one of the girls lands violently in the rough, killed instantly. The driver, Jo, flees the hometown that has turned against her and enrolls at a prestigious boarding school. Her past weighs on her. She is responsible for the death of her best friend. She has tipped her parents' rocky marriage into demise. She is ready to begin again, far away from the accident.

"Devastatingly relevant" (Vogue) and "fueled by gorgeous writing" (NPR), His Favorites reveals the interior life of a young woman determined to navigate the treachery in a new world. Told from her perspective many years later, the story coolly describes a series of shattering events and a school that failed to protect her. "Before things turn treacherous, there's a moment when predation can feel dangerously like kindness...Walbert understands this...His Favorites begs to be read" (Time).

Nora says: Riveting! A taut psychological tale, extremely well written.

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel

Walter, Jess
$16.99

The #1 New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback--Jess Walter's "absolute masterpiece" (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author): the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 and resurfaces fifty years later in contemporary Hollywood.

The acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets returns with his funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet. Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962...and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.

Andrea says: An Italian resort, and aging Hollywood star, an almost love affair. I laughed a lot and cried a little.

Cold Millions

Cold Millions

Walter, Jess
$28.99

"One of the most captivating novels of the year." - Washington Post

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A Best Book of the Year: New York Times Book Review (Historical Fiction) Washington Post NPR's Fresh Air O Magazine USA Today Esquire Bloomberg Chicago Tribune Publishers Weekly Kirkus Chicago Public Library New York Public Library

A Library Reads Pick An Indie Next Pick

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins comes another "literary miracle" (NPR)--a propulsive, richly entertaining novel about two brothers swept up in the turbulent class warfare of the early twentieth century.

An intimate story of brotherhood, love, sacrifice, and betrayal set against the panoramic backdrop of an early twentieth-century America that eerily echoes our own time, The Cold Millions offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation grappling with the chasm between rich and poor, between harsh realities and simple dreams.

The Dolans live by their wits, jumping freight trains and lining up for day work at crooked job agencies. While sixteen-year-old Rye yearns for a steady job and a home, his older brother, Gig, dreams of a better world, fighting alongside other union men for fair pay and decent treatment. Enter Ursula the Great, a vaudeville singer who performs with a live cougar and introduces the brothers to a far more dangerous creature: a mining magnate determined to keep his wealth and his hold on Ursula.

Dubious of Gig's idealism, Rye finds himself drawn to a fearless nineteen-year-old activist and feminist named Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. But a storm is coming, threatening to overwhelm them all, and Rye will be forced to decide where he stands. Is it enough to win the occasional battle, even if you cannot win the war?

Featuring an unforgettable cast of cops and tramps, suffragists and socialists, madams and murderers, The Cold Millions is a tour de force from a "writer who has planted himself firmly in the first rank of American authors" (Boston Globe).

A staff pick from Andrea and Roxanne. Andrea says: A mix of real historical figures and fiction. Rye is an engaging and complicated main character. I learned a lot about union building out West, a part of history I knew little about...a great read.


Salvage the Bones: A Novel

Salvage the Bones: A Novel

Ward, Jesmyn
$17.00

Winner of the National Book Award

Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing, delivers a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn't show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; she's fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull's new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting.

As the twelve days that make up the novel's framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family--motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce--pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.

Andrea says: A  powerful novel of family honor, loneliness and poverty that is still full of love...mixed with a devastating hurricane.

Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity

Wein, Elizabeth
$9.99
The beloved #1 New York Times bestseller, a "fiendishly plotted" (New York Times) "heart-in-your mouth adventure" (Washington Post), that "will take wing and soar into your heart" (Laurie Halse Anderson).
Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A universally acclaimed Michael L. Printz Award Honor book, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

Melanie says: Maddie and Verity: spy and pilot. War and torture survivalists and friends. Twists and turns – you won’t see coming. Adults will like it too.

Educated

Educated

Westover, Tara
$28.00
#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER - One of the most acclaimed books of our time: an unforgettable memoir about a young woman who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

"An amazing story, and truly inspiring. It's even better than you've heard."--Bill Gates

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW - ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR - BILL GATES'S HOLIDAY READING LIST - FINALIST: National Book Critics Circle's Award In Autobiography and John Leonard Prize For Best First Book - PEN/Jean Stein Book Award - Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

"Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Westover's] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?"--Vogue

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post - O: The Oprah Magazine - Time - NPR - Good Morning America - San Francisco Chronicle - The Guardian - The Economist - Financial Times - Newsday - New York Post - theSkimm - Refinery29 - Bloomberg - Self - Real Simple - Town & Country - Bustle - Paste - Publishers Weekly - Library Journal - LibraryReads - BookRiot - Pamela Paul, KQED - New York Public Library

Elsie says: A struggle for coming of age from a desolate childhood. Brilliant! Will make you believe.

One of the best memoirs I've ever read. With no formal schooling, Westover overcame an abusive childhood in a dysfunctional family of Mormon extremists and both earned a PhD and became a compelling writer.— Neighbor Pick by Farrington from West Bradenton

Leaves of Grass: The First 1855 Edition (Anniversary)

Leaves of Grass: The First 1855 Edition (Anniversary)

Whitman, Walt
$17.00
A deluxe edition of Whitman's crowning achievement, with an introductory essay by Harold Bloom

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

When Walt Whitman self-published his Leaves of Grass in July 1855, he altered the course of literary history. One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character. Throughout his great career, Whitman continuously revised, expanded, and republished Leaves of Grass, but as Harold Bloom reminds us, the book that matters most is the 1855 original. In celebration of the poem's 150th anniversary, Penguin Classics proudly presents the 1855 text in its original and complete form, with a specially commissioned introductory essay by Harold Bloom.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Doug says: One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character.

Stoner

Stoner

Williams, John Edward; McGaher
$14.95

Discover an American masterpiece. This unassuming story about the life of a quiet English professor has earned the admiration of readers all over the globe.

William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a "proper" family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.

John Williams's luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.

Kate says: A quiet, intense novel of a life not fully lived. Bill Stoner will tug at your heart. Moving, courageous and full of truth.

Origins of Creativity

Origins of Creativity

Wilson, Edward O.
$16.95

In this profound and lyrical book, one of our most celebrated biologists offers a sweeping examination of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences: what they offer to each other, how they can be united, and where they still fall short. Both endeavours, Edward O. Wilson reveals, have their roots in human creativity--the defining trait of our species.

Reflecting on the deepest origins of language, storytelling, and art, Wilson demonstrates how creativity began not ten thousand years ago, as we have long assumed, but over one hundred thousand years ago in the Paleolithic age. Chronicling this evolution of creativity from primate ancestors to humans, The Origins of Creativity shows how the humanities, spurred on by the invention of language, have played a largely unexamined role in defining our species. And in doing so, Wilson explores what we can learn about human nature from a surprising range of creative endeavors--the instinct to create gardens, the use of metaphors and irony in speech, and the power of music and song.

Our achievements in science and the humanities, Wilson notes, make us uniquely advanced as a species, but also give us the potential to be supremely dangerous, most worryingly in our abuse of the planet. The humanities in particular suffer from a kind of anthropomorphism, encumbered by a belief that we are the only species among millions that seem to matter, yet Wilson optimistically reveals how researchers will have to address this parlous situation by pushing further into the realm of science, especially fields such as evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and anthropology.

With eloquence and humanity, Wilson calls for a transformational "Third Enlightenment," in which the blending of these endeavors will give us a deeper understanding of the human condition and our crucial relationship with the natural world.

Doug says: An astonishing capstone for a life lived to give us greater clarity about science. Continues his ideas about science and art touched on in Consilience 20 years ago.

Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator

Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator

Winegard, Timothy C
$18.00
**The instant New York Times bestseller**
*An international bestseller*

"Hugely impressive, a major work."--NPR

A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity's fate.

Why was gin and tonic the cocktail of choice for British colonists in India and Africa? What does Starbucks have to thank for its global domination? What has protected the lives of popes for millennia? Why did Scotland surrender its sovereignty to England? What was George Washington's secret weapon during the American Revolution?

The answer to all these questions, and many more, is the mosquito.

Across our planet since the dawn of humankind, this nefarious pest, roughly the size and weight of a grape seed, has been at the frontlines of history as the grim reaper, the harvester of human populations, and the ultimate agent of historical change. As the mosquito transformed the landscapes of civilization, humans were unwittingly required to respond to its piercing impact and universal projection of power.

The mosquito has determined the fates of empires and nations, razed and crippled economies, and decided the outcome of pivotal wars, killing nearly half of humanity along the way. She (only females bite) has dispatched an estimated 52 billion people from a total of 108 billion throughout our relatively brief existence. As the greatest purveyor of extermination we have ever known, she has played a greater role in shaping our human story than any other living thing with which we share our global village.

Imagine for a moment a world without deadly mosquitoes, or any mosquitoes, for that matter? Our history and the world we know, or think we know, would be completely unrecognizable.

Driven by surprising insights and fast-paced storytelling, The Mosquito is the extraordinary untold story of the mosquito's reign through human history and her indelible impact on our modern world order.

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

Wingate, Lisa
$17.00
THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT--Over two million copies sold! A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Look for Lisa Wingate's powerful new historical novel, The Book of Lost Friends, available now!

"Poignant, engrossing."--People - "Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation's history and weaves a tale of enduring power."--Paula McLain



Memphis, 1939.
Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals--in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country--Lisa Wingate's riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Publishers Weekly's #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017 - Winner of the Southern Book Prize - If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection

This edition includes a new essay by the author about shantyboat life.

Melanie says: The story of a 12-year-old girl who struggles to keep her siblings together after being kidnapped. Based on the 1930’s scandal of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Thought provoking.

This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing

This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing

Winspear, Jacqueline
$27.95
"Jacqueline Winspear has created a memoir of her English childhood that is every bit as engaging as her Maisie Dobbs novels, just as rich in character and detail, history and humanity. Her writing is lovely, elegant and welcoming."--Anne Lamott

The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series offers a deeply personal memoir of her family's resilience in the face of war and privation.

After sixteen novels, Jacqueline Winspear has taken the bold step of turning to memoir, revealing the hardships and joys of her family history. Both shockingly frank and deftly restrained, her story tackles the difficult, poignant, and fascinating family accounts of her paternal grandfather's shellshock; her mother's evacuation from London during the Blitz; her soft-spoken animal-loving father's torturous assignment to an explosives team during WWII; her parents' years living with Romany Gypsies; and Winspear's own childhood picking hops and fruit on farms in rural Kent, capturing her ties to the land and her dream of being a writer at its very inception.

An eye-opening and heartfelt portrayal of a post-War England we rarely see, This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing chronicles a childhood in the English countryside, of working class indomitability and family secrets, of artistic inspiration and the price of memory.

Nora says:  About Winspear's highly non-conformist, back-to-nature parents and upbringing in Britain--both charming and at times alarming! Should be a must-read for her fans.

Learn to Play Chess Like a Boss

Learn to Play Chess Like a Boss

Wolff, Patrick
$22.99
Stop playing like a pawn and start playing like the king

You already know just how enjoyable--and and challenging--the game of chess can be. For those who play, chess leads to a lifetime of fun. But how do you make the first move to learn the rules and transform from a pawn to a king?

The path to a perfect checkmate is in your hands! In the pages of this book, you'll find an introduction to all the chess pieces including their strengths and weaknesses, tips on how to protect your pieces and prevent their capture, and guidance on when to attack and defend like a boss. You'll also find a bonus tear-out card to take your new tactics on the go!

Interestings: A Novel

Interestings: A Novel

Wolitzer, Meg
$17.00
"Remarkable . . . With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself."--The New York Times Book Review

A victory . . . The Interestings secures Wolitzer's place among the best novelists of her generation. . . . She's every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides. But the very human moments in her work hit you harder than the big ideas. This isn't women's fiction. It's everyone's.--Entertainment Weekly (A)

The New York Times-bestselling novel by Meg Wolitzer that has been called genius (The Chicago Tribune), "wonderful" (Vanity Fair), ambitious (San Francisco Chronicle), and a "page-turner" (Cosmopolitan), which The New York Times Book Review says is among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot.

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules's now-married best friends, become shockingly successful--true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.

Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.

Andrea says: 6 teenagers meet at a New York camp in the 1970's...as their lives unfold their bonds remain powerful, but their futures diverge. Their trials and tribulaitons rang true to me.

Another Brooklyn

Another Brooklyn

Woodson, Jacqueline
$16.99

A Finalist for the 2016 National Book Award

New York Times Bestseller

A SeattleTimes pick for Summer Reading Roundup 2017

A Bustle Fall Roundup pick for 2017

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything--until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant--a part of a future that belonged to them.

But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.

Like Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson's Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood--the promise and peril of growing up--and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.

Roxanne says: Gorgeous! A meditative, yet quick, read coming of age story set in 1970's Brooklyn which beautifully adresses poverty, Vietnam, heroin and addiction. Spiritual and soulful.

End of October

End of October

Wright, Lawrence
$27.95
"An eerily prescient novel about a devastating virus that begins in Asia before going global . . . A page-turner that has the earmarks of an instant bestseller." --New York Post

"Featuring accounts of past plagues and pandemics, descriptions of pathogens and how they work, and dark notes about global warming, the book produces deep shudders . . . A disturbing, eerily timed novel." --Kirkus Reviews

"A compelling read up to the last sentence. Wright has come up with a story worthy of Michael Crichton. In an eerily calm, matter-of-fact way, and backed by meticulous research, he imagines what the world would actually be like in the grip of a devastating new virus." --Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone

"This timely literary page-turner shows Wright is on a par with the best writers in the genre." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In this riveting medical thriller--from the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author--Dr. Henry Parsons, an unlikely but appealing hero, races to find the origins and cure of a mysterious new killer virus as it brings the world to its knees.

At an internment camp in Indonesia, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When Henry Parsons--microbiologist, epidemiologist--travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi prince and doctor in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city . . . A Russian émigré, a woman who has risen to deputy director of U.S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare . . . Already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic . . . Henry's wife, Jill, and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta . . . And the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions--scientific, religious, governmental--and decimating the population. As packed with suspense as it is with the fascinating history of viral diseases, Lawrence Wright has given us a full-tilt, electrifying, one-of-a-kind thriller.

Doug says: HOW DID HE DO THAT! is the phrase that erupted from my mouth over and over as I careened through Wright’s new novel. It will take a minute to adjust when you pick it up. You might be expecting literary novel flourishes and erudite references and poetic phrasing and all the rest, but here is a medical sort of journalistic novel and better. Every few pages and I wanted to copy a sentence of his into my daybook. It is that good. Great characters. Not overwhelming— until, well, you know – but so very timely and meaningful. Loved it. Even as I write this the images of horror return. Nothing like the real to bring us a level of depth rarely encountered.


Processed Cheese

Processed Cheese

Wright, Stephen
$28.00

From an "astonishing" writer (Toni Morrison), the savagely funny story of a couple who unexpectedly come into some money in a wealth-obsessed America deranged by Mammon.
A bag of money drops out of the sky, literally, into the path of a cash-starved citizen named Graveyard. He carries it home to his wife, Ambience, and they embark on the adventure of their lives, finally able to have everything they've always thought they deserved: cars, guns, games, jewels, clothes -- and of course sex, travel, and time with friends and family. There is no limit except their imagination and the hours in the day, and even those seem to be subject to their control.
Of course, the owner of the bag is searching for it, and will do whatever is necessary to get it back. And, of course, these new riches change everything -- and nothing at all.
Darkly hilarious, Processed Cheese is both satire and serious as death. It's a road novel, a family story, and a last-girl-standing thriller of once-in-a-generation vitality and inventiveness. With the clarity of a Swift or a Melville, Wright has created a funhouse-mirror drama that puts all the chips on the table and every bullet in the clip, down to the last breathtaking moment.

Roxanne says: Parallel stories of ne'er-do-wells who find a bag of money and the two overwhelmingly wealthy people who lost it.

New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations

New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations

Yergin, Daniel
$38.00
A USA Today Best Book of 2020!

Named Energy Writer of the Year for The New Map by the American Energy Society

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin offers a revelatory new account of how energy revolutions, climate battles, and geopolitics are mapping our future

The world is being shaken by the collision of energy, climate change, and the clashing power of nations in a time of global crisis. The shale revolution in oil and gas--made possible by fracking technology, but not without controversy--has transformed the American economy, ending the era of shortage, but introducing a turbulent new era. Almost overnight, the United States has become the world's number one energy powerhouse--and, during the coronavirus crisis, brokered a tense truce between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Yet concern about energy's role in climate change is challenging our economy and way of life, accelerating a second energy revolution in the search for a low carbon future. All of this has been made starker and more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic dark age that it has wrought.

World politics is being upended, as a new cold war develops between the United States and China, and the rivalry grows more dangerous with Russia, which is pivoting east toward Beijing. Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping are converging both on energy and on challenging American leadership, as China projects its power and influence in all directions. The South China Sea, claimed by China and the world's most critical trade route, could become the arena where the United States and China directly collide. The map of the Middle East, which was laid down after World War I, is being challenged by jihadists, revolutionary Iran, ethnic and religious clashes, and restive populations. But the region has also been shocked by the two recent oil price collapses--one from the rise of shale, the other the coronavirus--and by the very question of oil's future in the rest of this century.

A master storyteller and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin takes the reader on an utterly riveting and timely journey across the world's new map. He illuminates the great energy and geopolitical questions in an era of rising political turbulence and points to the profound challenges that lie ahead.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold

How Much of These Hills Is Gold

Zhang, C Pam
$26.00
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2020 CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION 5 UNDER 35 HONOREE
A GOOP Book Club Pick

"A fully immersive epic drama packed with narrative riches and exquisitely crafted prose." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Belongs on a shelf all of its own." --NPR

"Outstanding." --The Washington Post

"Arresting, beautiful." --The New York Times

"Revolutionary . . . A visionary addition to American literature." --Star Tribune

An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape--trying not just to survive but to find a home.

Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.

Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and reimagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story, an unforgettable sibling story, and the announcement of a stunning new voice in literature. On a broad level, it explores race in an expanding country and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong. But page by page, it's about the memories that bind and divide families, and the yearning for home.

Andrea says: A compelling read that is a mix of historical fiction and magical realism filled with sorrow and loss about Chinese immigrants and those of Chinese descent during the gold rush and development of the railroad.


Mislaid: A Novel

Mislaid: A Novel

Zink, Nell
$14.99

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

A sharply observed, mordantly funny, and startlingly original novel from an exciting, unconventional new voice--the author of the acclaimed The Wallcreeper--about the making and unmaking of the American family that lays bare all of our assumptions about race and racism, sexuality and desire.

Stillwater College in Virginia, 1966. Freshman Peggy, an ingénue with literary pretensions, falls under the spell of Lee, a blue-blooded poet and professor, and they begin an ill-advised affair that results in an unplanned pregnancy and marriage. The two are mismatched from the start--she's a lesbian, he's gay--but it takes a decade of emotional erosion before Peggy runs off with their three-year-old daughter, leaving their nine-year-old son behind.

Worried that Lee will have her committed for her erratic behavior, Peggy goes underground, adopting an African American persona for her and her daughter. They squat in a house in an African-American settlement, eventually moving to a housing project where no one questions their true racial identities. As Peggy and Lee's children grow up, they must contend with diverse emotional issues: Byrdie deals with his father's compulsive honesty; while Karen struggles with her mother's lies--she knows neither her real age, nor that she is "white," nor that she has any other family.

Years later, a minority scholarship lands Karen at the University of Virginia, where Byrdie is in his senior year. Eventually the long lost siblings will meet, setting off a series of misunderstandings and culminating in a comedic finale worthy of Shakespeare.

--Minneapolis Star Tribune

Roxanne says: Nell Zink, friend of David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen...some sentences are jaw-droppingly perfect. Quirky and profound.

Book Thief 2-10-15

Book Thief 2-10-15

Zusak, Markus
$14.99
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller about the ability of books to feed the soul even in the darkest of times.

Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

"The kind of book that can be life-changing." --The New York Times

"Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank." --USA Today

DON'T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK'S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF.