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"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." 
-- Louisa May Alcott

Lovecraft Country: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062292070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - February 14th, 2017

Matt Ruff's 1950s-set novel combines several seemingly disparate elements - H.P. Lovecraft's weird fiction, early sci-fi fandom, the very real problems faced by African-American road trippers, and more - to great effect. Jordan "Get Out" Peele is developing an HBO series based on Lovecraft Country, so you know it has some meat. 

The Immortalists Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735213180
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 9th, 2018

How would you choose to spend your life if you knew the date of your death? That's the question faced by four children, all siblings, after they visit a fortuneteller in New York City in the late 1960s. This wonderful novel follows each of them in turn as they live out their days, all in very different ways, with the "knowledge" of when it wll all end. The deeper I got into this book, the more I loved it! A very auspicious debut from Chloe Benjamin. 

(January 2017)

How to Stop Time Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525522874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - February 6th, 2018

Tom Hazard has a rare condition that causes him to age very slowly - he is now over 400 years old but looks about 40. His preternatural youth has piqued the curiosity of the authorities over the centuries, as well as endangered the lives of those he cares about, so he now lives a life on the run, devoid of real human connection. Now, in 21st century London, another teacher at the school where he has taken a job catches his eye...but the secretive Albatross Society, devoted to protecting those like Tom, has different plans for him. Bittersweet and thought-provoking. 

(January 2017)

Everything Matters!: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - July 27th, 2010

Junior Thibodeaux is still in utero when he receives a prophecy that the world will end on a certain date. He must live his entire life with this knowledge, and the question becomes, Does anything really matter when you know it will all - every bit of it - end? Funny and smart and so, so sad: Currie takes a foregone conclusion and spins it into something gratifyingly unexpected. 

Roadfood, 10th Edition: An Eater's Guide to More Than 1,000 of the Best Local Hot Spots and Hidden Gems  Across America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451496195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - March 7th, 2017

The Sterns have the best job EVER: they travel the USA in search of great diners, cafes, truck stops, and the like, and they write about their discoveries. This brand-new edition of more than 800 restaurant reviews from around the country (38 in CA. alone!) is a hash house connoisseur’s dream.

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101870945
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - March 14th, 2017

Kory Stamper has one of the most enviable jobs I can imagine: she's a lexicographer for Merriam-Webster, helping to choose and define words that appear in America's most popular dictionary. Thrill as she traces the origin of the phrase "dope slap"! Laugh as she makes peace with the word "irregardless"! Stamper is anything but a stuffy academic, and this lighthearted look at her career and the dictionary industry is an absolute pleasure. 

(March 2017)

Booked to Die (Cliff Janeway Novels) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501147258
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - February 7th, 2017

Back in print at long last! Booked to Die is the first in a series of hard-boiled crime novels featuring cop-turned-rare-bookseller Cliff Janeway. It's a dark, violent mystery full of fascinating details about the rare book trade. In other words, absolutely my cup of tea! 

(February 2017)

In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805073669
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 1st, 2003

Possibly the greatest real-life adventure ever! It’s the riveting story of the naval cruiser USS Indianapolis, torpedoed after delivering the bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima. Fans of Jaws may recognize the events described but won’t be prepared for the astonishing details. Terrifying, maddening, and ultimately very moving. A GREAT READ!

The Intern's Handbook: A John Lago Thriller Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476733845
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 24th, 2015

An R-rated summer action/comedy blockbuster in book form! Shane Kuhn knows to keep the story moving in this acidly funny “handbook” for employees of Human Resources, Inc.,a training ground for assassins disguised as lowly corporate interns/ Graphic violence, vulgar language, rampant drug use, and kinky sex all add to the ambience. Delightful fun for a certain sensibility!

Replay Cover Image
ISBN: 9780688161125
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 22nd, 1998

What if you could live life over again? And again? And again?” Jeff Winston, the hero of this compulsively readable novel, dies in the very first sentence...and wakes up in his 18-year-old body in his college dorm room, his memories of his just-ended life completely intact. Jeff ends up caught in an endlessly repeating life loop, never quite living the same life twice, and along the way, he realizes that he is not the only one replaying. A GREAT read!

The editors at mental_floss magazine have produced yet another entertaining volume sure to provoke laughter and discussion. In chapters such as “Ignore the Naysayers,” “Impress your Mother-in-law,” and “Bend the Laws of Science,” our intrepid researchers present the steps required to become a teen idol, stop global warming, brew a lifesaving cuppa joe, get out of jury duty, and much more. What sets this book apart from its imitators is 1) it actually is well-written and has a sense of style, and 2) the amount of research that’s gone into each entry. A great gift for the recent graduate wondering how to make it in this bad ol’ world.

Let's Kill Uncle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608195114
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - March 1st, 2011

A wonderfully funny, subversive little novel. Two enterprising children decide to kill the boy’s uncle... before he can kill them. It features a great supporting cast of characters, including a furious champion bull with murder in his heart, and a much put upon cougar who only wants to be left alone. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, but I’ll venture to say that if you like Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm, you’ll enjoy this newly resurrected gem.

Everything Matters!: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - July 27th, 2010

Junior Thibodeaux is still in utero when he receives a prophecy that the world will end on a certain date. He must live his entire life with this knowledge, and the question becomes, Does anything really matter when you know it will all - every bit of it - end? Funny and smart and so, so sad: Currie takes a foregone conclusion and spins it into something gratifyingly unexpected. 

The Little Stranger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594484469
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 4th, 2010

A crumbling mansion and an upper crust family in decline are at the center of the mesmerizing and unsettling events in “The Little Stranger.” Leisurely, atmospheric, and slightly ominous, this post WWII-era novel, set in Warwickshire, is a haunted house story that may or may not be a ghost story. Waters resists easy answers in this superbly –written tale of a dying way of life.

52 Loaves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616200503
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - October 25th, 2011

William Alexander once at the perfect loaf of bread – crispy, chewy, sweet and yeasty – and he vows to recreate it. The result is 52 Loaves, a yearlong experiment in baking, in which Alexander bakes the same loaf of bread week after week, tweaking his ingredients, techniques, cooking time, and so on. He grows and grinds his own wheat. He builds and earth oven in his backyard. He travels to France to bake his single loaf in the oven of an ancient monastery. And somewhere along the way he figures out, in the words of Voltaire, that perfect is the enemy of good. Funny, exasperating, and very entertaining!

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385501125
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability

Published: Doubleday - June 1st, 2010

Aimee Bender’s novel is a sweet-tart saga of a family full of secrets. Nine-year-old Rose Edelstein can taste the feelings of those whose cooking she eats; her mother is having an affair; and her older brother Joseph is dealing with… something. Only Mr. Edelstein seems not to be coping with some mystery – or is he? Simply and beautifully written, a bit reminiscent of Myla Goldberg’s Bee Season, it’s a fine, dreamy read.

The Lonely Polygamist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393339710
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 29th, 2011

How can you be lonely when you have four wives, twenty-eight children, a devoted dog, and the possibility of a new mistress? Golden Richards, the inept-at-everything title character, manages to feel utterly alone even while surrounded by the chaos that is his life. Told alternately by Golden, Trish, his fourth and youngest wife, and Rusty, his lovably aggravating son, The Lonely Polygamist is funny and heartbreaking, richly written by a superb storyteller.

God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416534402
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Free Press - March 1st, 2008

British Grant is obsessed with a place that would terrify most Yanks: Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains. Populated with drug lords and drunkards, more than three hours from any law enforcement, the Sierra Madres are also fiercely beautiful and physically challenging. Grant learns firsthand how such beauty and ugliness can co-exist.

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156035217
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 8th, 2007

Absolutely my favorite book in the whole world, and one I never tire of recommending! True love, battles to the death, daring chases, sword fights, wrestling giants, pirates, killer spiders -- this book is non-stop action, and extremely funny to boot. The movie is entertaining, but the novel is far superior. Not to love it is . . . inconceivable.

The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061456572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - February 26th, 2008

A sort of Da Vinci Code for book lovers, this story of a heretofore undiscovered Shakespeare manuscript is exciting, smart, and good-humored; as much as I liked the thrilling hunt, the passages about the antiquarian book trade were my favorites.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (Vintage Departures) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078455
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 26th, 2010

A superb real-life adventure tale!  In 1925, famed explorer Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Amazon Basin during his quest to locate an ancient, fabled South American city he called "Z."  No one knows what happened to him; rumors abound, but he and his party were never seen again and no remains were ever found.  New Yorker staff writer David Grann learned of Fawcett's last great adventure and set out to see if he could solve the twin mysteries:  What happened to Percy Fawcett, and did the great city of Z ever exist?  The result is thrilling, harrowing & thought-provoking.  Highly recommended!

The Forgotten Garden: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416550556
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - February 16th, 2010

Sort of The Secret Garden for grown-ups, Australian novelist Morton’s sophomore effort is a romantic (in the broadest sense of the word), quietly dramatic saga of family secrets that spans four generations and two continents. The mystery at the heart of the story is not too hard to figure out, but it’s Morton’s ease with which she moves backward and forward in time to tell her story that really proves captivating.

The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439112908
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone - October 25th, 2011

British historian Mortimer has written an engaging history of 14th century England with a twist: it’s presented as a travel guide for modern-day visitors. In it, he offers readers suggestions for what to wear, what to eat, where to stay, how much to expect to pay for things, how the medieval legal system works, and more. The “travel guide” aspect is more than a gimmick: Mortimer constantly reminds readers that what seems alien and occasionally barbaric to our modern sensibilities was everyday life to our forebears. Truly a unique presentation of a fascinating period in history!

The Star Machine Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307388759
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2009

Film historian Basinger takes a detailed and wide-ranging look at the fabled Hollywood studio system, focusing on both major stars (Lana Turner, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn) and actors who were huge in their day but are perhaps less well-known now (Deanna Durbin, Jean Arthur, Wallace Beery). My favorite chapters deal with "malfunctions" -- actors who were given every opportunity to become stars but failed -- and "bonuses" -- actors never expected to make it big but who somehow caught on with the public. Rich, juicy, opinionated, and thoroughly researched, The Star Machine is a bonanza for any film love.