Staff Picks

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!

Take a look at our Holiday Staff Picks

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, and Charlie, who can reach the tall shelves and likes his books unique!

My Fourth of July Cover Image
By Jerry Spinelli, Larry Day (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823442881
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Neal Porter Books - May 14th, 2019

MARY'S PICK

Picnics! Singing! Fireworks! It's time to celebrate the best day of all--the Fourth of July!

Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli and award-winning illustrator Larry Day join forces to celebrate America's birthday, the Fourth of July.

A responsible little boy who's eager to do his part wakes up joyful and ready to celebrate his favorite day of all. But there's a lot of work to do--pies to be baked, deviled eggs to be filled--and the boy has lots of jobs to complete before he can enjoy the fun . . . the world's best picnic! Face painting! A band concert!

And then, after what seems like the longest wait ever . . . he can kick back and enjoy the fireworks with the rest of the country.

This delicious and spirited book celebrates small town America and is full of nostalgia for times gone by, yet absolutely of the moment.


Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780399144462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 8th, 1998

PK'S PICK

A timeless business classic, Who Moved My Cheese? uses a simple parable to reveal profound truths about dealing with change so that you can enjoy less stress and more success in your work and in your life.

It would be all so easy if you had a map to the Maze.
If the same old routines worked.
If they'd just stop moving "The Cheese."
But things keep changing...

Most people are fearful of change, both personal and professional, because they don't have any control over how or when it happens to them. Since change happens either to the individual or by the individual, Dr. Spencer Johnson, the coauthor of the multimillion bestseller The One Minute Manager, uses a deceptively simple story to show that when it comes to living in a rapidly changing world, what matters most is your attitude.

Exploring a simple way to take the fear and anxiety out of managing the future, Who Moved My Cheese? can help you discover how to anticipate, acknowledge, and accept change in order to have a positive impact on your job, your relationships, and every aspect of your life.


Dear Mrs. Bird: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501170072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - May 7th, 2019

SARAH'S PICK

Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are doing their bit for the war effort and trying to stay cheerful, despite the German planes making their nightly raids. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent, and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance; but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, renowned advice columnist of Woman’s Friend magazine.

Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who many have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she begins to secretly write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.


The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 16th, 1998

JENNIFER'S PICK

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now….

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.


Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America's Dad Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781580058964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Seal Press - April 23rd, 2019

PAM'S PICK

Bill Cosby's decades-long career as a sweater-wearing, wholesome TV dad came to a swift and stunning end on April 26, 2018, when he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand. The mounting allegations against Bill Cosby--more than 60 women have come forward to accuse him of similar crimes--and his ultimate conviction were a shock to Americans, who wanted to cleave to their image of Cosby as a pudding-pop hero.

Award-winning journalist and former People magazine senior writer Nicki Weisensee Egan was the first reporter to dig into the story when Constand went to the police in 2005. Other news organizations looked away, but Egan doggedly investigated the case, developing ties with entrenched sources and discovering incriminating details that would ultimately come to influence the prosecution.

In her debut book, Chasing Cosby, Egan shares her firsthand account of Cosby's 13-year run from justice. She tells us how Cosby planned and executed his crimes, and how Hollywood alliances and law enforcement knew what Cosby was doing but did nothing to stop him. A veteran crime reporter, Egan also explores the cultural and social issues that influenced the case, delving into the psychological calculations of a serial predator and into the psyche of a nation that fervently wanted to put their faith in the innocence of "American's Dad."

Rich in character and rife with dramatic revelations about popular culture, media power, and our criminal system, Egan's account will inform and fascinate readers with its candid telling of humanity's most enduring tale: the rise and fall of a cultural icon.


Second Lives Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781787581579
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flame Tree Press - April 11th, 2019

SU'S PICK

When four patients spontaneously regain consciousness after being declared dead, their loved ones are ecstatic and words like "miracle" and "miraculous" begin to float around the hospital. But the jubilation is short lived when the patients neither recognize their families nor answer to their names. Each one vehemently claims to be someone else, someone who lived, and died, in the past. When it's suggested that all four are suffering from fugue states, one of the doctors says that he recognizes a name and verifies he not only knew the girl but was there when she died in 1992. It soon becomes obvious that the bodies of the four patients are now inhabited by the souls of people long dead. A frightened little boy killed in 1956 cries out for his mother from the body of an 81 year old Alzheimer's patient, the soul of a spinster killed in a Suffragette rally wakes in the body of a new mother; an orthodox Jew, murdered in 1922, opens the eyes of a gay suicide and a teenage girl wakes to discover she's now in the body of a 45 year old woman. The hospital psychiatrist, after talking with them, dubs the four "The Travelers" and believes they are proof of the transmigration of souls. They are more than just lost souls, he tells the grieving families, they are completely alone and terrified, displaced into bodies that aren't their own and trapped in a world they can't understand. If they are to survive they'll need help and to this end the doctor asks the families to make a supreme sacrifice and do just that: to help these strangers assimilate into society and their new lives. To care for a complete stranger who looks like the loved one they just lost is a hard thing to ask of people. The families have the right to say no, they are under no legal or moral obligation to help; but they do. Spearheaded by the elderly woman whose husband's body now holds the soul of a frightened child, but still with reservations and not a little anger, they finally agree to accept the strangers wearing their loved ones bodies, and will do everything they can to help "The Travelers" make as smooth and gentle a transition into their new lives as possible. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.


Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781455535897
Availability: Not In Stock - Usually Available in 1-5 Days
Published: Twelve - April 16th, 2019

HADLEY'S PICK

A razor-sharp polemic which offers an entirely new understanding of our bodies, ourselves, and our place in the universe, NATURAL CAUSES describes how we over-prepare and worry way too much about what is inevitable. One by one, Ehrenreich topples the shibboleths that guide our attempts to live a long, healthy life -- from the importance of preventive medical screenings to the concepts of wellness and mindfulness, from dietary fads to fitness culture.

But NATURAL CAUSES goes deeper -- into the fundamental unreliability of our bodies and even our "mind-bodies," to use the fashionable term. Starting with the mysterious and seldom-acknowledged tendency of our own immune cells to promote deadly cancers, Ehrenreich looks into the cellular basis of aging, and shows how little control we actually have over it. We tend to believe we have agency over our bodies, our minds, and even over the manner of our deaths. But the latest science shows that the microscopic subunits of our bodies make their own "decisions," and not always in our favor.

We may buy expensive anti-aging products or cosmetic surgery, get preventive screenings and eat more kale, or throw ourselves into meditation and spirituality. But all these things offer only the illusion of control. How to live well, even joyously, while accepting our mortality -- that is the vitally important philosophical challenge of this book.

Drawing on varied sources, from personal experience and sociological trends to pop culture and current scientific literature, NATURAL CAUSES examines the ways in which we obsess over death, our bodies, and our health. Both funny and caustic, Ehrenreich then tackles the seemingly unsolvable problem of how we might better prepare ourselves for the end -- while still reveling in the lives that remain to us.


The Immortalists Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735215092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 5th, 2019

SARAH F'S PICK

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children--four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness--sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel struggles to maintain security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

Both a dazzling family love story and a sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.


On the Come Up Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 5th, 2019

STACI'S PICK

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.


The Cartel (Power of the Dog Series #2) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101873748
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - May 31st, 2016

CHARLIE'S PICK

It's 2004. Adán Barrera, kingpin of El Federación, is languishing in a California federal prison. Ex-DEA agent Art Keller passes his days in a monastery, having lost everything to his thirty-year blood feud with the drug lord. Then Barrera escapes. Now, there's a two-million-dollar bounty on Keller's head and no one else capable of taking Barrera down. As the carnage of the drug war reaches surreal new heights, the two men are locked in a savage struggle that will stretch from the mountains of Sinaloa to the shores of Veracruz, to the halls of power in Washington, ensnaring countless others in its wake. Internationally bestselling author Don Winslow's The Cartel is the searing, unfiltered epic of the drug war in the twenty-first century.