Staff Picks

Our Staff Pick selections are 20% Off!

We change out the staff picks monthly so you'll always find something new to read! Do you enjoy thrillers, like Mary? Literary fiction, like Damita? Or non-fiction, like Bill? Find the bookseller that matches your taste and you can be confident that you'll enjoy your purchase. 

This month's Picks are:


Angie - Our resident children's book expert, also enjoys literary fiction. She is an admirer of quality writing.

Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford - Once Upon a Time in America there lived a 20 something girl fresh out of college and Baltimore desperately seeking excitement and adventure. This girl, Phoebe, leaves her Roots, falls in love, encounters more than one odd and terrifying character, and stumbles into a job as a psychic in the hottest club in New York where she uses old movie tickets to tell the fortunes of the rich and famous. Phoebe's story is a Love Story to the art, music, and club scenes of the East Village in the 1980's and an absolute must read for anyone who loved Daisy jones and the Six.

Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley - In the middle of the bustle of London's Soho, among the theaters and sex shops and pubs, sits a building. It isn’t particularly assuming. But it’s a prime piece of real estate, and a young millionaire, Agatha Howard, wants to convert it into luxury condos as soon as she can kick out all the tenants.  
Entertaining, sharply funny, and dazzlingly accomplished, Hot Stew confronts questions about wealth and inheritance, gender and power, and the things women must do to survive in an unjust world.

Klara & the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro - At first glance, Klara and the Sun appears to be a first hand account of the years AF ( artificial friend) Klara spent with her teen, Josie. But what the reader really gets is fodder for candid discussions about loneliness, the nature of unconditional love, and the essence of what really truly makes one single individual so incredibly and unrepeatably unique. Ishiguro is unquestionably one of the fiction masters of our day and I can't wait to talk about this amazing novel... right after I read it again. 


Damita - "I primarily read literary fiction and short story collections. I'm also a fan of Southern literature, the darker, the better! I do enjoy reading quality juvenile fiction and young adult books when I can. I have more books in my growing stacks than I'll ever be able to read in this lifetime!"

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge - Readers will be stunned by the force of Kaitlyn Greenidge's latest novel. Set in Brooklyn during the Civil War era and the turbulent times after, the voice of Libertie Sampson describes her unique childhood as the freeborn daughter of a Black, widowed female doctor. Libertie's mother has aspirations for her daughter to follow her path and join her in her practice. Two things prevent Libertie from choosing this course: her darker skin tone lessens her level of acceptance in the community and she doesn't have the aptitude for medicine. Rather than face her mother's disappointment, she marries a Haitian doctor and leaves the country with him. She finds herself lonelier than ever in this tumultuous island country. This is a highly immersive and unforgettable literary accomplishment.

The Girls In the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian - The Natchez Trace in Mississippi is a place that is deep, verdant, and ripe with stories and secrets. It is also a place where, in the 1920's, many scratched out an existence through sharecropping, bootlegging, trapping, fishing, and hard labor, all during a time of racism, segregation, and social disparity. This sets the stage for Kelly Mustian's magnificent novel where a violent act inexorably binds the lives of two teenage girls of different races. They struggle to survive, harbor their secrets, and protect those dear to them; as their individual stories unfold. Readers will be held in this novel's grasp from start to finish, experiencing tension and unease, the resilience of human spirit and hope, and the power and sensitivity provided by a great new voice in literary fiction.

Red Island House by Andrea Lee - “People do mysterious things when they think they’ve found paradise,” reflects Shay, the heroine of Red Island House. When Shay, a Black American professor who’s always had an adventurous streak, marries Senna, an Italian businessman, she doesn’t imagine that her life’s greatest adventure will carry her far beyond their home in Milan to an idyllic stretch of beach in Madagascar, where Senna builds a flamboyant vacation villa. Before she knows it, Shay has become the somewhat reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and her connection to the continent of her ancestors.


Mary - "I am a sucker for a good thriller, or Sci-Fi but occasionally I will cleanse the pallet with a great literary fiction or biography. I also enjoy books that have a little fantasy or paranormal aspects to them. Just enough to make it slightly otherworldly."

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon - It is known near and far the water at Bradenburg Springs will grant wishes. For health, for new life, for well being. But what the spring grants, it takes back in surprising and unexpected ways. Entwining stories from 1929 to the 2000's, this dark twisty tale brings a whole new meaning to "don't drink the water."

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris - Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.  But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.  The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.  Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her….


Beth - "I am the Book Club Manager and am always looking for books that provoke good discussions for book clubs.  I enjoy literary and historical fiction and do not read suspense or thrillers.  Non-fiction favorites are those that are narrative, and I read from all over the store.."  Follow her on Instagram @bethlovestoread.

Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan - The Pulaski steamship explodes off the coast of NC in 1838 on its way from Savannah to Baltimore and 128 passengers are lost.  Callahan weaves a story of the passengers and the survivors and also of the narrator Everly who is curating a museum exhibit of the ship in current day Savannah.  Everly lost her best friend in a deadly accident and everyone is trying to survive the surviving of the tragedies.  

The Operator by Gretchen Berg - Vivian is a telephone operator in a small town in the 50’s and listens in on the conversations.  One night she hears a secret about her family that upends her life and of course leads to other secrets coming to light.  What a humorous story of small town life that is loosely based on the author’s grandmother. 

Remember by Lisa Genova - Genova delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them. You’ll learn whether forgotten memories are temporarily inaccessible or erased forever and why some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (like a passcode) while others can last a lifetime (your wedding day). You’ll come to appreciate the clear distinction between normal forgetting (where you parked your car) and forgetting due to Alzheimer’s (that you own a car). And you’ll see how memory is profoundly impacted by meaning, emotion, sleep, stress, and context. Once you understand the language of memory and how it functions, its incredible strengths and maddening weaknesses, you can both vastly improve your ability to remember and feel less rattled when you inevitably forget.


Pat

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner - Set in 1906 San Francisco, Sophie’s life is upended not only by the earthquake but also by the knowledge that her husband isn’t who he says he is and his daughter’s mother is not really dead.  What a story of a con man and the havoc he wreaked.

Tracy

The Elephant of Belfast by S. Kirk Walsh - Inspired by true events, this vivid and moving story of a young woman zookeeper and the elephant she’s compelled to protect through the German blitz of Belfast during WWll speaks to not only the tragedy of the times, but also to the ongoing sectarian tensions that still exist in Northern Ireland today—perfect for readers of historical and literary fiction alike.

Win by Harlan Coben - Over twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family's estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors — and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.  Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead — not only on Patricia's kidnapping, but also on another FBI cold case — with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.

Northern Spy by Flynn Berry - Riveting, atmospheric, and exquisitely written, Northern Spy is at once a heart-pounding story of the contemporary IRA and a moving portrait of sister- and motherhood, and of life in a deeply divided society.