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!
Featuring Picks from:
PK, our fearless leader and owner, Mary, our sweetest, kindest and longest tenured employee, Sarah, our energetic assistant manager, Kit, our illustrious marketing director, 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, Hadley, who will always find you something unexpected, Sarah F, who reads history, horror and everything inbetween, Staci the go to person for espionage and thriller recommendations, Stephanie our book club queen, and Josh, our newest employee!
"Wicked River is partly a who-is-my-husband-really story, partly a horror-in-the-wilderness story, and partly a Manhattan-family drama, all rolled up in elegantly propulsive prose, and shot through with sinister suspense."--LEE CHILD, New York Times bestselling author
Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated backcountry honeymoon seems ideal-a chance to start their lives together with an adventure. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.
Because six million acres makes it easy for the wicked to hide. And even easier for someone to go missing for good.
As they struggle with the worst the wilderness has to offer, a man watches them, wielding the forest like a weapon. He wants something from them more terrifying than death. And once they are near his domain, he will do everything in his power to make sure they never walk out again.
The acclaimed New York Times bestseller, now in paperback
"Always fascinating and very funny, Alyssa's book is full of juicy stories from one of the world's most glamorous jobs." - Mindy Kaling, New York Times bestselling author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me?
If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this...
Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade, and long before his run for president. From the then-senator's early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of briefing binders.
But for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren't nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican.
Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done, and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a "White House official" is supposed to look like. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work (and always carrying a spare tampon).
Told in a smart, original voice and topped off with a couple of really good cat stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is a promising debut from a savvy political star.
"A must-read for anybody who's even remotely interested in how Washington works." - Popsugar.com
KIT'S PICKSIn this science fiction thriller, brothers are pitted against each other as a pandemic threatens to destabilize world governments by exerting a subtle mind control over survivors.
Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother, Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn't have before.
But that's not the only pattern--the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret, and unexplained alliance between governments that have traditionally been enemies while Paul is becomes increasingly secretive and erratic.
Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction. Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the stakes: the free will of every human on earth. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?
JENNIFER'S PICKA century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented--something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.
Once every cycle, the great galactic civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix--part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Species far and wide compete in feats of song, dance and/or whatever facsimile of these can be performed by various creatures who may or may not possess, in the traditional sense, feet, mouths, larynxes, or faces. And if a new species should wish to be counted among the high and the mighty, if a new planet has produced some savage group of animals, machines, or algae that claim to be, against all odds, sentient? Well, then they will have to compete. And if they fail? Sudden extermination for their entire species.
This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny--they must sing.
Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes have been chosen to represent their planet on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of Earth lies in their ability to rock.
PAM'S PICKThe #1 New York Times-bestselling sequel to A Discovery of Witches, book two of the All Souls Trilogy--"as enchanting, engrossing, and impossible to put down as its predecessor" (Miami Herald)
J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Anne Rice--only a few writers capture the imagination the way that Deborah Harkness has with her New York Times-bestselling All Souls trilogy. A Discovery of Witches introduces reluctant witch Diana Bishop, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and the battle for a lost, enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew's past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different--and vastly more dangerous--journey.
A twisted psychological thriller you'll have trouble putting down."--People
"If you liked Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, you might want to pick up The Widow by Fiona Barton. Engrossing. Suspenseful."--Stephen King
Following the twists and turns of an unimaginable crime, The Widow is an electrifying debut thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.
There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now her husband is dead, and there's no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
The truth--that's all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything...
An NPR Best Book of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal's 5 "Killer Books" of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
"The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick's career." --New York Times
It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war--and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.
This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.
SARAH F'S PICK
Many of our favorite movies come with a side of iconic food moments: the elaborate timpano from Big Night, Charlie Chaplin's dancing dinner rolls in The Gold Rush, the orgasmic deli fare from When Harry Met Sally, or the redemptive birthday cake from Sixteen Candles. In this cookbook, author Andrew Rea (of the hit YouTube channel "Binging with Babish") recreates these iconic food scenes and many more. With recipes from more than 40 classic and cult films, Eat What You Watch is the perfect gift for both movie buffs and home cooks who want to add some cinematic flair to their cooking repertoire.
Can you hide a secret with the whole world watching?
When an explosion rips apart a Chicago building, the lives of three women are forever altered.
A year later, Cecily is in mourning. She was supposed to be in the building that day. Instead, she stood on the street and witnessed it going down, with her husband and best friend inside. Kate, now living thousands of miles away, fled the disaster and is hoping that her past won't catch up with her. And Franny, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched the horror unfold on the morning news, knowing that the woman she was so desperate to reconnect with was in the building.
Now, despite the marks left by the tragedy, they all seem safe. But as its anniversary dominates the media, the memories of that terrifying morning become dangerous triggers. All these women are guarding important secrets. Just how far will they go to keep them?
Phaedra Patrick's debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, was hailed as "poignant" and "utterly endearing." Now she returns with Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone, a gem of a novel about family, forgiveness and one man's second chance at happiness.
Moonstone for empathy. Azurite for memories. Lapis lazuli for truth... In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone has settled into a complacent and predictable routine. Business at his jewelry shop has dried up; his marriage is on the rocks. His life is in desperate need of a jump start...
And then a surprise arrives at his door.
Gemma is Benedict's audacious teenage niece--the daughter of his estranged brother, Charlie. The two Stone brothers had a falling out and haven't spoken in almost two decades, since Charlie left for America. Reckless and stubborn, Gemma invites herself into Benedict's world and turns his orderly life upside down. But she might just be exactly what he needs to get his life back on track...
Filled with colorful characters and irresistible charm, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone is a luminous reminder of the unbreakable bonds of family, and shows that having someone to embrace life with is always better than standing on your own.
JOSH'S PICKThe classic novel of freedom and the search for authenticity that defined a generation
September 5th, 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of On the Road
Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naivet and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed anyone who has ever picked it up.