Sarah's Holiday Recommendations

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Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062909107
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 28th, 2021

Since I will never read a new book of Tony's again, this is the next best thing - a comprehensive portrait of the man by those who knew him best. It is, thankfully, not a hagiography - he was no saint. I'm also glad that the focus is not on his death but him as a person and, mostly, the twenty years of his life after Kitchen Confidential. The parts that are "missing" I'm glad are missing - there is nothing from Eric Ripert about his final days and his girlfriend at the time of his death is not included at all. Ariane, his daughter, has the closing reflection of the book, a fitting tribute to her dad. For the past three years we've been searching for his voice as we all navigate through this crazy world and I finally feel like I can stop looking - he's gone, and this book will help everyone appreciate him, but acknowledge that there will never be another like him and for his fans, we just need to take his message, "be a traveler not a tourist" to heart and travel in his memory and finally say goodbye.


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Empire of the Vampire Cover Image
By Jay Kristoff, Bon Orthwick (Illustrator)
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250245281
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 14th, 2021

With Empire of the Vampire, Jay Kristoff has once again shown why he is a master storyteller. Gabriel de Leon is a complex and complicated new hero for Jay’s legion of fans, and soon-to-be fans, to follow over what promises to be an amazing new series. Jay’s vampires are not the sparkly YA vamps, nor the Dracula inspired vampires of the late 1990s/early 2000s. They are delectably French-flavored and with the introduction of Gabriel as a half-vampire, Jay has allowed himself a great deal of creative freedom to bend the old rules of vampire lore to his world. I absolutely cannot wait to share this book with my friends and fellow book lovers who loved Mia of the Nevernight Chronicles as I’m sure they will fall head over heels for Empire of the Vampire while simultaneously continuing to curse Jay for wreaking havoc on beloved fictional characters.


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The Maidens Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250304452
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - June 15th, 2021

Immediately enthralling, I couldn’t put down this compelling story! I have always had a soft spot for secret society stories but The Maidens is much more than that. I found myself caring so deeply for Mariana and hoping that her quest would help her find some closure for herself.


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Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525562177
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 14th, 2021

As someone whose college degree centered on the Revolution, I wasn't sure there would be many new things for me to learn about George Washington but I was thrilled to be proven wrong. I have enjoyed many of Philbrick's works in the past but this combination of history and travelogue is probably my new favorite!


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Light From Uncommon Stars Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250789068
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - September 28th, 2021

A beautiful mix of science fiction and fantasy and I absolutely loved it. I was first drawn in by the music aspect, as a former violist who would have given just about anything for a chance to be one of the greats, I stayed for the witty and brilliant, yet troubled, characters, and of course, the alien donut shop.


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Great Circle: A novel Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780525656975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 4th, 2021

This book has just about everything I love to read about - female aviators, polar adventure, shipwrecks, spunky and strong-willed female heroines, I loved it all. Written in alternating timelines, I found myself fully immersed in them both, longing for each story while I was reading the other. It is the best sort of historical and contemporary fiction mashup to read as the weather gets warmer.


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Maiden Voyages: Magnificent Ocean Liners and the Women Who Traveled and Worked Aboard Them Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250246462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 10th, 2021

I knew I was going to love this book as soon as I saw Martha Gellhorn's name in the beginning pages. I love a great work of nautical stories and even more so when they are decidedly feminist in nature. I lost myself completely in this book and did not want it to come to an end.


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Just Ella (The Palace Chronicles #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781481420211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 7th, 2015

Just Ella is one of my all-time favorite fairy tale retellings. This Cinderella retelling stars after the ball, after the prince has proposed to Ella, and focuses on whether “happily ever after” is really all that happy after all. The prince is boring and Ella’s spunk and wit will not be contained by a stuffy palace full of protocol. Enter Jed, her tutor, and life for Ella gets a lot more interesting.