Staff Picks

We help you find the books you'll love!!

Welcome to the Staff Picks Page! Every two weeks we'll be sharing with you the books that we're really excited about! Each book can be found on our staff picks shelf in the store!

Check out our top picks from 2016!

Featuring Picks from:

PK, our fearless leader and owner, Mary, our sweetest, kindest and longest tenured employee, Sarah, our energetic assistant manager, Ellen, our new cafe manager, Kim, the world's fastest shelver, Abby, lover a humor with a darker twist, Jennifer, our children's book guru, Pam, our go-to women's fiction lover, Su, our lover of mysteries and all things out-of-the ordinary, Charlie, our newest employee, and don't forget our illustrious marketing director, Kit!

Little House on the Prairie Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062470744
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 7th, 2017

MARY'S PICK

When Laura Ingalls and her family leave their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they head west for the open prairie skies of Kansas Territory. They travel for many days in their covered wagon until they find the perfect spot for Pa to build them a new home. Soon they are planting and plowing, hunting wild ducks and turkeys, and gathering grass for their cows. But just when they begin to feel settled, they are caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict.


Lion (Movie Tie-In) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399584695
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New American Library - November 1st, 2016

PK'S PICK

At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.
Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.


The Last Kingdom Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060887186
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins Publishers - January 3rd, 2006

SARAH'S PICK

This is the exciting--yet little known--story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England's four kingdoms.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred's kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father's land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.

This thrilling adventure--based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell's ancestors--depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.


This Is How It Always Is Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250088550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 24th, 2017

ELLEN'S PICK

This is how a family keeps a secret and how that secret ends up keeping them.
This is how a family lives happily ever after until happily ever after becomes complicated.
This is how children change and then change the world.

When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it's another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect.

But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn aren't panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it's about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again; parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts; children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don't get to keep them forever.


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781439156810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - July 6th, 2010

KIM'S PICK

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King's critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
"Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999--and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it--fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.


The Road Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307387899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - March 28th, 2007

ABBY'S PICK

The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food--and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.


Norse Mythology Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393609097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 7th, 2017

JENNIFER'S PICK

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki--son of a giant--blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor's hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman--difficult with his beard and huge appetite--to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir--the most sagacious of gods--is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.


Victoria: A Novel of a Young Queen by the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250045461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - November 22nd, 2016

PAM'S PICK

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her venal advisor, Sir John Conroy, or her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of the burdens of power.

The young queen is no puppet, however. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

Everyone keeps saying she is destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.


Two Days Gone Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781492639732
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - January 10th, 2017

SU'S PICK

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.

DeMarco knows--or thinks he knows--that Huston couldn't have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family's killer?

A masterful new thriller by acclaimed author Randall Silvis, Two Days Gone is a taut, suspenseful story that will will break your heart as much as it will haunt your dreams.


Catch-22 Cover Image
By Joseph Heller, Christopher Buckley (Introduction by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781451626650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 5th, 2011

CHARLIE'S PICK

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy--it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he's assigned, he'll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.