Terry's Traffic Light Delights


A selection of the books Terry (tlg) loves. Terry is another cross genre omnivore, with a particular passion for entertaining characters, exotic locales, and more than a dab of romance. 


Book List
$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780525427247
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Adult, 10/2014

Mystery

 

There is nothing not to love about this book! First Impressions is a mystery built around an obscure book from the late 1700s; almost every character reveres the written word; and one of the narrators is Jane Austen! It’s fun. It’s tender. It’s suspenseful. It’s the perfect book for almost every reader.

In the present day, Sophie Collingwood is an Austen scholar just out of Oxford who has taken a job in an antiquarian bookshop in London. When two different customers ask her to find a copy of a second edition of a book in which the first edition is unspectacular, Sophie accepts the challenge to find it and eventually learns that she may be the only person that can unravel the mystery of who really wrote the new parts of this second edition.

In 1796, Jane Austen is just beginning her writing career when she befriends an elderly cleric,  Richard Mansfield. As their touching friendship blooms, the connection between the past and the present become clearer. In both stories, love of books, love of writing, and a number of different love stories unfold. Priceless!

– Terry


$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062290366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Harper, 7/2014

Speculative Fiction

The world of Tearling and its many engaging characters is a compulsive read from newcomer Johansen. Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn was smuggled out of the Royal Keep in Tearling as an infant, hidden, and raised and educated by foster parents. Despite her rigorous education, Kelsea has no idea what her life holds for her until she is picked up by the Royal Guard on her 19th birthday in order to claim the throne and be crowned Queen. Her journey to the throne is thrilling, dangerous, and enlightening, and Kelsea is tested at every turn. Her kingdom is in peril, her enemies are many, and it is a treacherous path to save her people, many of whom have no reason to believe that she can do so. Warner Bros. has the rights to the movie … but for me, I can hardly wait for book two. Highly recommended.

– Terry


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780385353304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Knopf, 9/2014

Speculative Fiction

Although you know on page 2 that famed actor Arthur Leander dies of a heart attack on a stage in a Toronto theatre, and you find out very quickly that this is a pandemic tale, you will not anticipate the course of this story as it moves back and forth in time from well before the first scene to 20 years after the world as we know it today no longer exists.

The title, Station Eleven, comes from a comic book series that connects the main characters: Arthur who is both amazed and dismayed at his fame; his first wife, Miranda, who is the author of the series; Kirsten, who is only 8 years old when a deadly flu claims the lives of all she loves; and Clark, Arthur’s oldest friend. Emily St. John Mandel has always impressed me with her work. Station Eleven may just elevate her to the next level as she explores how much we have to lose in the present and what a potential future holds for us. 

– Terry


One Kick (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781476749785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 8/2014

Suspense 

Cain does it again, with a cast of damaged characters whose back and current stories will have you glued to the pages and wanting more. As she did with Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell (two of the most unforgettable characters in crime fiction … if you don’t know what I am talking about, pick up Heartsick today!), Cain breaks new ground with Kick Lannigan. Kick was kidnapped at age 6 and held captive for 5 years until she was accidently discovered in the home of her captor. She is doing her best to survive by arming herself, learning self-defense techniques, and trying to deal with the trauma that formed her. One Kick opens when she is 21 and her world is invaded by the mysterious John Bishop, a man who has seemingly endless resources and a talent for survival. They soon team up to find two missing children, but their story is far from straightforward.

– Terry


One Plus One (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780525426585
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Pamela Dorman Books, 7/2014

Curated Literature

Moyeshas the uncanny ability to introduce us to characters we would probably never meet otherwise, and create a tie so strong that we literally cannot do anything but turn the pages to find out what will become of them. Jess, Ed, Nicky, and Tanzie embark on an unexpected journey as strangers to each other, and as life happens, an unbreakable bond begins to form. Jess is a single mom struggling each day just to figure out how to take care of her two kids and get the bills paid. Ed is a high-tech entrepreneur who has just been kicked out of his own company for insider trading ... and that’s just the beginning of his issues. Nicky, the son of Jess’ ex-husband, finds himself the target of the neighborhood bullies because of his expression of his individuality. Tanzie, possibly the most fascinating of all of the characters, is Jess’ daughter, and a math prodigy so talented and unusual that she has been sought out for a scholarship opportunity to a school they can’t afford, even with 90% of the tuition covered. They all set out to see if she can win a math contest that will make up the last 10% of her tuition. The resulting journey has many unexpected consequences … for each member of this traveling foursome. Heartwarming.

 

– Terry 


A Man Called Ove (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781476738017
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Atria Books, 7/2014

Curated Fiction

Ove is a grumpy middle-aged widower who lives by himself in a house that reminds him of all he has lost. You will laugh your way through the pages as Ove works through his loneliness and unsettled life. His candid observations of the world around him and everyone he encounters will engage you as will the story of his life both past and present. And then you will cheer and you will cry because this is a book to enjoy and cherish.

As a side note, it is ironic to me that this 59-year-old point of view (grumpy) is alarmingly close to mine. As is his age. This is a debut novel is already a bestselling book in Backman’s native Sweden.

– Terry


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781476738963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 6/2014

Curated Fiction

This stunning debut is destined to become a book group favorite. With Las Vegas as much a character as the background for this multi-person narrative, we are drawn into four distinct lives: a broken-hearted mom who has just been told that her husband has been unfaithful and is leaving her, a social worker who lives and breathes the lives of the disenfranchised youth she tries to save, an 8-year-old Albanian 5th grader who is wise beyond his years, and a broken veteran who is not sure he wants to save himself. It is far from difficult to fall in love with these four people, all of whom eventually come together in this beautifully written story for our time. 

– Terry


Invisible Ellen (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780399167614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Putnam Adult, 6/2014

Curated Fiction

Ellen Homes was orphaned at 5-years-old when her worthless, drug-addicted, abusive mother abandoned her in an empty apartment, alone, with no means to survive. Her childhood remains bleak through a series of foster homes and group houses. Her survival instincts take over during these formative years, and we meet her at 24 when she has perfected the art of maintaining invisibility in her private and work life ... and finding comfort and solace in food ... lots of it. Then, very unexpectedly her world begins to shift when she meets an amazing and vibrant young woman who can’t see her; not because of Ellen’s invisibility, but because Temerity is blind. From here, hilarity, friendship, and awareness ensues. It is a heartbreaking and heartwarming journey and I recommend that readers of women’s fiction take the journey with Ellen.

– Terry


The Vacationers (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594631573
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 5/2014

Curated Fiction

Meet the Post Family. Franny is the matriarch and not a little pissed at Jim, her husband of 35 years. Jim has been laid off from his job because of the sins he committed there, for reasons that Franny cannot forgive. Their daughter, Silvia, has just graduated from high school and will be leaving the family’s Manhattan home for Brown in the fall. Bobby is their first born and currently living in Florida with his girlfriend of six years, Carmen. This nuclear family from New York City is beginning a pre-scheduled vacation on the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain as The Vacationers begins. Added to their crew is Franny’s best friend, Charlie and Lawrence, Charlie’s husband. Each of these vacationers has various expectations for their holiday… as you would expect ... but far more important in this satisfying novel is the fodder for many poignant observations of love of family and friends, and the many discomforts of both. And of course, everyone has their secrets and passions. This makes for a fun and insightful read. Take it with you on your next vacation.  

– Terry


$18.99
ISBN-13: 9781250039293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: St. Martin's Griffin, 5/2014

Young Adult

In the not-so-distant future a very dire world exists because a hormone called Scarpanol was released into the American beef population. Fifty million women died and only very young girls and vegetarians are left in a world ruled by powerful men who compete for the young women who can become their wives and produce the next generation. Avie Reveare is one of those young women. She wants to go to college, fall in love, and be in charge of her own life. But her world comes crashing around her when she becomes a part of a business deal that her father has brokered to save his firm, and she is now contracted to become the wife of a very powerful and rich man. Avie is 16 years old. There are not many options open to her and the question becomes, can she be fearless enough to fight for her future? The answer is an amazing journey … for both us and Avie.

--Terry

 


Invisible City (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781250043399
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Minotaur Books, 5/2014

Mystery & Suspence

 

This debut is both an insider’s look at investigative reporting and a reporter’s quest to find out about the Orthodox Jewish woman who gave birth to her and then abandoned her when she was six months old. Rebekah Roberts is a 20-something journalism major who has moved to New York City to start her career and be closer to the protected, insulated, Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood where her mother once lived and where the inhabitants seem almost invisible to the rest of the city. Rebekah works as a stringer for the Tribune, a NYC tabloid, running from crime scene to press events on an on-call basis.

Her two worlds begin to intersect when an orthodox woman is found naked and dead in trash heap one very cold winter morning. As she digs deeper into the cause of the victim’s death and begins to interview her family, she also gets closer to solving the mystery of her own life and to repairing the hole in her heart left by her mother. I hope we will get to see more of Rebekah.

– Terry

 


Pall in the Family (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780425264270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Berkley, 8/2013

Mystery Suspense

Fans of Victoria Laurie, check out this hilarious family of psychics … mostly of the animal variety (you have to read it to get this … which you will on page 1!). In fact, the entire town (the fittingly named Crystal Haven) is inhabited by mediums, tarot card readers, and other mystic-based businesses. Clyde Fortune, however, wants nothing to do with psychics or her family’s insistence that she uses her gifts to make a career in town. In fact, she escaped years ago to pursue a career in the police department in Ann Arbor. We know that her last case resulted in disaster, but the facts are not yet revealed. We just know that she has agreed to come home to rest. And wouldn’t you know, she finds a body very soon after assuming a temporary career as a dog walker? The case that ensues drags Clyde into her past and toward a dangerous present, especially when the detective on the case turns out to be her former lover and the victim(s) are close to home.

--Terry



The Here and Now (Hardcover)

$18.99
ISBN-13: 9780385736800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Delacorte Press, 4/2014

Young Adult

Brashares is best known for her YA series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. This future pandemic tale and time travel saga also has great appeal. The setting is the east coast in 2014, but Prenna James and her Mother arrived here just 4 years earlier … from 2098 … with a community that crossed time to escape a massive plague that killed many/most of their friends and family. Her group of time travelers has a very strict set of rules and customs, most of which include not becoming involved with anyone outside of their community and taking various medicines to ensure that they do not infect anyone in 2014.

Prenna is now 17 and finding these restrictions too confining, especially since she finds herself very attracted to schoolmate Ethan Jarves who shares her vast intellect and seems to know more about her than he should. There are repercussions for disobeying the rules, but the more confining they become, the more suspicious she becomes about why they are there in the first place. There are many unexpected twists … and the possibility of more to come for these two … as there are many unanswered questions still to be resolved.

--Terry


Troika (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780399167485
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Putnam Adult, 5/2014

Curated Fiction

This is a truly amazing debut. You will be transfixed from its sexy beginning through the backstory of two immigrants who have more in common than they initially imagine. Perla is a beautiful young Cuban-American who makes a living as a stripper in Miami. She lives with her mother and is smart and conservative, even though the way she makes her living makes this seem like a huge contradiction. Julian is an adopted orphan from Siberia who has a dark past, but a bright future after he arrives in Manhattan to be raised by an older Russian couple. These two meet long before you begin to understand who they are … and it is this journey through their lives that will have you glued to the page … while you fall in love with both of them. This is a writer to watch. 

– Terry


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781616203214
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 4/2014

Curated Fiction

It is not often that I want to sit down and read a book in one sitting, but is also not often that I read a book that so thoroughly speaks to me and my passion as a bookseller and life-long reader. A. J. Fikry is a bookstore owner and passionate reader who lives on a small island off the Northeast coast. He is persnickety and difficult. He drinks too much and is largely a recluse … and let’s face it, he does not sell many books. He owns one book that that may provide him with a way out of life in this town and in this store, which has become unbearable since the death of his wife and partner. What happens next is a surprise – to A. J. and to us – and the many stories that follow are both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Booksellers across America are embracing this book, and so am I. This is a book for every bookseller and everyone else who has ever loved a book, a person, and life.

– Terry


$27.99
ISBN-13: 9781451693560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Scribner Book Company, 2/2014

Curated Fiction

I was completely taken with this turn of the century Manhattan novel from one of our greatest writers. Two equally compelling narratives describe this time in pitch-perfect detail, even though Coralie and Eddie come from two completely different backgrounds and their lives could not be more dissimilar. Coralie Sardie was born in 1893 and raised by her father and his housekeeper in the museum of the book title, located in Coney Island. Her father is controlling and demanding and she appears as an “extraordinary thing” in his “museum” along with the unusual and freakish collections of the time. Eddie Cohen is a Russian immigrant who was raised as an orthodox Jew in the lower east side of Manhattan. He is only 11 when he begins to support himself in the underworld, helping to find people that go missing. Even when Eddie finds his joy and his future as a photographer, and apprentices himself to one of the most famous photographers of his time, he still finds himself restless and sleepless.

It is inevitable that these two will meet and their story is heartwarming, but the character that draws you in the most is the city itself and the many changes it is undergoing in 1911. Another highly recommended read from Alice Hoffman.

– Terry

 


Half Bad (Hardcover)

$18.99
ISBN-13: 9780670016785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Viking Juvenile, 3/2014

Young Adult

In an alternate United Kingdom, White Witches and Black Witches live in a world otherwise populated by “fains,” those of us who are not magical in any way. Nathan is known as a Half Code because his mother is a White Witch and his father is a Black Witch. And not any Black Witch, Nathan’s father Marcus is the most renowned, hated, and dangerous of the Black Witches.

Nathan’s life is controlled by the Council of White Witches (of England, Scotland and Wales) … and he does his best to make their lives miserable and evade their decrees … but they are capable of doing much worse things to him, as he learns in this first book in an amazing trilogy from debut author, Sally Green. Nathan’s mother is dead and his father is completely unknown to him, but it increasingly seems that the answers to his current dilemmas and to his ultimate understanding of his gifts and his role in the world must come from his father … if he can find him. There is plenty of action in this inspired debut and nothing is as black and white as it first seems!

Half Bad has already been sold into 42 countries, the film rights sold to FOX, and the buzz has been going strong since the bidding war at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March 2013. It is our YA Fantastic First Pick for March. Don’t miss this one.

– Terry

 


Point of Direction (Paperback)

$16.95
ISBN-13: 9781935439912
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Ig Publishing, 5/2014

Curated Fiction  

Weaver’s debut about two badly damaged people who hold back much of themselves despite their love for each other, had me hooked from the very start … as did the appeal of the remote Alaskan landscape, which is an equally compelling character in this novel.

Anna and Kyle are two fiercely independent souls hiding huge secrets from each other even as they decide to take a nine-month lease on a lighthouse on Hibler Rock, miles from the coast of Alaska where they are isolated during harsh weather conditions. The last caretaker disappeared over 20 years ago and this mystery is evenly woven into the discoveries these two make about themselves and about their futures. Point of Direction is also about why they are drawn to Alaska and why this beautiful stark landscape maintains a hold on both of them. It is both the secrets of the past, the adventure that is their lives, and the roads each of them take toward recovery that will keep you addictively turning the pages of this outstanding novel.  – Terry


The Well's End (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780399159909
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Putnam Juvenile, 8/2013

Young Adult

Although this YA debut begins like a tale of typical teenage angst meets boarding school shenanigans meets townies versus the rich kids … it soon develops into something much more sinister and mysterious … and dangerous. Sixteen-year-old Mia Kish was born and raised in Fenton, Colorado, and is in fact famous as the little girl who fell down a well and then was rescued. She is still haunted by her history, but takes on physical challenges to work through them and in fact has become a champion swimmer. When a deadly virus attacks their school, the very posh Westbrook Academy, Mia and her friends know that they must escape the school grounds and try to reach Mia’s father who works in the “Cave,” aka Fenton Electronics. They have no idea why this electronics company is connected to the virus, but they will do everything they can to find out … and survive. This is a face-paced, adrenaline rush of a book … with more to come, we hope, given the ending! – Terry


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781476733807
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 4/2014

Mystery & Suspense

This is a hoot! John Lango is an assassin, but not just any assassin. He works for Human Resources, Inc. which trains disenfranchised young men with no family, no morals, and no problem with the grey areas in life how to kill for a living. John is on his last job. He has been working for HR, Inc. since he was twelve years old and now that he is turning 25 it is time for him to retire … whatever that means. But John is no dummy. He has a plan. The only problem is that this last job is a doozy. Readers are along for the ride with John, who has decided that while performing his last job he will write a handbook for the up and coming professional killers that will come after him. This book is full of his advice … and his foibles …. And more. A great adrenaline rush of  book with loads of laughs.

– Terry


Shotgun Lovesongs (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250039811
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Thomas Dunne Books, 3/2014

Curated Fiction 

This brilliant debut is a lovesong to small town life, lifelong friendships, and the challenges of both, as told by five friends who grew up in Little Wing, Wisconsin. Henry Brown was born and bred to be a farmer and cannot imagine life anywhere outside this little town, despite the fact that times are often desperate and he knows that he cannot provide as well as he would like for his family. His wife, Beth, is his high school sweetheart and stands steadfast at Henry’s side through life’s ups and downs and the many visits from his three best friends. Lee Sutton has made it big time in the music industry, and is dating one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But despite being world famous and the town’s single celebrity, he yearns for his home in Little Wing. Ronny Taylor was the first to break out of Little Wing and make a name for himself as a rodeo rider, until his penchant for liquor landed him on his head, with long-ranging consequences. Kip Cunningham also left town and made a lot of money for himself in Chicago as a commodities trader. When he returns home to marry Felicia, the love of his life, he is determined to make Little Wing his home again and give back to his community. This is how Shotgun Lovesongs begins; it is a wonderful book of love and friendship, a Fantastic First Pick, and the #1 IndieNext pick for March!  

– Terry


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781620405031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 2/2014

Curated Fiction 

Just by the title, you know this is a story about the lives of women. You might also guess that you know parts of this story from other sources. But The Wives of Los Alamos is at once exactly this … and also so much more. With passion and a unique writing talent, this debut also describes a universal truth about women, their hopes, fears, despairs, and innermost thoughts. As the daughter of a military household, I personally related to the stories of the adapting to the relocation to an unknown place and settling into new lives. In Los Alamos, of course, their everyday life is complicated by a project so secret that the families of these wives could not know their addresses.

With her fresh and captivating voice you will look forward to reading again, Tarashea Nesbit is a debut author to watch. The Wives of Los Alamos is also our Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy pick for February’s Fantastic First Book Club.

– Terry


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780062285539
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Harper, 2/2014

Curated Fiction

Fans of dysfunctional families and friendships and of The Silver Linings Playbook rejoice! Mathew Quick has done it again with a hilarious look at life from the viewpoint of a 38-year-old man who has lived with his mother all his life. He is her caretaker and she is his only friend. Bartholomew Neil’s only dream is to talk to the Girlibrarian, his nickname for a woman he admires from afar who works in his local library. Even a conversation is too daunting a task for this surprisingly endearing character. But a small group of equally dysfunctional characters are looking after him and vice versa, and through letters written to his hero, Richard Gere, (yes, that Richard Gere) we meet them and watch Bartholomew grow and change and find his own good luck of right now.

While this book is not for everyone, I could not put it down until I reached the sweet and appropriate ending.

– Terry


The Unamericans (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780393241136
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 2/2014

Curated Fiction

This debut author has already been featured as an author to watch in Publishers Weekly (“5 Under 35”) and this accessible set of stories will impress readers, even those who typically do not read short stories. The UnAmericans features eight narrators, each with a distinct voice, all with an intriguing past life outside the refuge of America where their families now reside. The last story, “Retrospective,” is about a famous art collector, Eva Kaplan, who smuggled much of her collection out of Russia in the 1950s before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It is told from the perspective of her daughter and grandchildren and all of their lives are seamlessly explored. “My Grandmother Tells Me This Story” is the only holocaust story in this collection of Jewish- themed tales and is both heartbreaking and compelling. These are but two examples of this exceptional talent.

– Terry 


Terms & Conditions (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781620406434
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 4/2014

Curated Fiction

Wait! Don’t put this book down because you think it is just another story about an amnesia victim who has been in an accident and will spend the entire book trying to find out who he really is … or isn’t. It turns out that Terms and Conditions is more … laugh-out-loud funny scenes and an ingenious format for organizing each chapter and phases that Franklyn Shaw goes through as he finds his way back to “normal” and finally becomes the author of his future life.

Frank is a contract attorney in his family firm in England, where he spends his entire day writing contracts (terms and conditions) with an emphasis on the small print that no one ever reads … thus protecting his clients. When he returns to work he notes, “Small print also gave me the first clues about my old self. Reading his contracts I saw Old Frank was a neurotic ball of fret. I could smell it the way he wrote terms. I felt privileged to have been him; he was a man who elevated neurosis to an art form.” Tons of fun, culminating in one of the funniest dinner party conversations ever written.

– Terry


Margot: A Novel (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781594486432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Riverhead Trade, 9/2013

Curated Fiction

The imagined life of Anne Frank’s sister, Margot, who has somehow survived the concentration camps and found her way to Philadelphia in the mid-1950s, does not at first glance seem like the enthralling historical novel that this book actually is. When the book opens, we find “Margie Franklyn” living alone in a small apartment in Philadelphia and working as a secretary to Joshua, the dashing (and Jewish) son of the primary partner in the robust law firm of Rosenstein, Greenberg and Moscowitz. She has kept her identity a secret for the three years she has lived in Philadelphia. When her sister’s diary becomes a movie and Joshua decides to take on the inequities present in the 1957 Philadelphia job market for Jewish immigrants, Margot’s cover story becomes more complicated for her. The dark secrets of survival co-mingle with the realities of being a Jewish immigrant in America in an engrossing tale of what it means to escape a horror, begin a new life, and come to terms with your past.

– Terry


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781476725888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 1/2014

Mystery

This very hip techno-thriller will appeal to fans of conspiracy theory, government corruption, and those who believe that the internet is the next global warzone. Garrett Reilly has an extraordinary ability to look at series of numbers and find data patterns that no one else can see. This ability has allowed him to make a lot of money trading bonds for a Wall Street firm under the guidance of his college mentor, Avery Bernstein, who is also the head of the firm where Garrett works in NYC. When Garrett notices that billions of dollars of Treasury bonds are being sold off, he soon makes a connection to the possibility of a global war. When the Department of Intelligence enters the picture, the real action starts … and Garrett will never be able to return to the person he used to be.

The Ascendant is Chapman’s debut, but he is no stranger to action fiction. He has contributed to many screenplays, including Marvel’s original “Iron Man.”

– Terry


The Naturals (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9781423168232
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 11/2013

This compulsive read has it all: teens with innate abilities of interest to the FBI, many mysteries to solve, teen angst, and a little bit of romance. Cassie is a 17-year-old with a natural ability to read people, a skill she honed via intense training from her mother, who was a psychic in her own right. Unfortunately, Cassie’s mother disappeared five years ago and is presumed dead. Her military father dropped her off at her grandmother’s house after her mother disappeared, and hasn’t been seen since. Under these circumstances, Cassie is ripe for recruitment into a special DC-based unit of the FBI. This group of “naturals” collectively has special talents for solving cold serial murder cases. But readers also know there is a murderer close by, and that Cassie is likely to be in the middle of it. The pacing is perfect though the subject may be too gritty from some young adult readers. In the end, it is the perfect start to a new series.

–Terry


A Skeleton in the Family (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780425255841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Berkley, 9/2013

Mystery & Suspense

The premise for this series starter is at once hilarious and made (impossibly) believable. Georgia Thackery is an English Professor and single mom to teenage daughter, Madison. They have just moved back to her home town, Pennycross, Massachusetts, where she has accepted another in a very long series of adjunct positions teaching freshman English. Her current job is at McQuaid University, the same university where her renowned parents have been teaching for almost 20 years. Georgia is not only happy to have a job and a free place to live (her parents are on a duel sabbatical), but she is also reunited with her best friend Sid … who just happens to be the family skeleton. Yep, that’s right – Sid is a talking skeleton who rescued Georgia from a would-be kidnapper 30 years ago, and has been a welcome “family member” ever since. The two of them become intrigued with finding out where Sid came from and who he was in in life, after he recognizes a professor at the Mangachusetts conference (celebrating everything manga and anime) taking place on campus. When the professor turns up dead, their sense of urgency accelerates, as does the number of suspicious events around McQuaid and Georgia’s beloved town. Fun dialog, great characters, and an engaging set supporting cast make this a series readers will want to return to.

– Terry

Our Cozy Mystery Starter for September.



The Rosie Project (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9781476729084
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 10/2013

Curated Fiction

Don Tillman is an extraordinarily bright 39-year-old genetics professor living and teaching in Melbourne, Australia who is as socially inept as he is intelligent. In fact, he probably has a highly functioning form of Asperger’s syndrome, though despite his intelligence, he has only the slightest awareness that his proclivities are unusual. He can easily count his friends on one hand, has a well-paying job, has difficulty interpreting social cues, and has never had a second date. Finding himself interested in finding a mate, he develops a highly scientific questionnaire which he hopes will help him find the perfect partner. He has named this quest The Wife Project, and begins to administer it to various women at singles functions and enlists the help of his friend Gene. When Rosie enters his life, all of his well-ordered behaviors and plans begin to unravel, and hilarity ensues. The Rosie Project is not just a compulsively fun read which will have you rooting for Don to gain an understanding of common human emotions, but also an examination of an extremely rigid thought process ... which may teach rest of us a little bit about ourselves.

– Terry 


Brewster: A Novel (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780393239751
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 8/2013

This is certainly one of the best books of the year. The writing is creative and engrossing and the characters are pitch-perfect. Perhaps it is no coincidence that I too came of age in the late 1960s when this novel takes place.

Brewster is a small town in upstate New York where Jon, Ray, Karen, and Frank become friends in 1968 when they are sixteen. Jon joins the high school running team where he finds a way to express his frustration and gain some confidence. Ray, always the outsider and troubled way beyond the understanding of everyone around him, becomes Jon’s best friend. Frank is a stiff, religious young man of few words who suddenly (and quietly) shows up at their cafeteria table one day. Karen is the girl they all fall in love with, but whose heart only belongs to Ray.

As they begin to make plans for a future that do not include Brewster, they find that they must deal with their current lives before moving on. Much of their story is tragic, all of it is memorable, and its impact will leave readers deeply moved. Slouka is a master craftsman who will have you mourning by the end of the book. 

– Terry


Snow Hunters (Hardcover)

$22.00
ISBN-13: 9781476714813
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Simon & Schuster, 8/2013

Curated Fiction

This short but compelling novel confirms Yoon’s reputation as a writer to watch. His debut short story collection, Once the Shore, was named a “Best Book of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Publishers Weekly … to name a few. In Snow Hunters, you will meet Yohan, a North Korean prisoner of war who travels to Brazil to become a tailor’s assistant when the Korean War ends. His adaptation to his new country and life will charm you, just as knowledge of his earlier years will alarm you. This is an elegant story of the consequences of war and the resilience of the human spirit.

– Terry


$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781476707723
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Gallery Books, 7/2013

In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old Starla Claudelle runs away from her grandmother's home in Cayuga Springs, Mississippi, to avoid punishment for the latest in her series of behaviors that have driven her grandmother to the limit of her patience. Starla's adventures during her journey to reunite with her missing mother in Nashville, Tennessee, take her into the middle of the civil rights issues of the day. Along the way_ she meets and befriends a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby she found abandoned on the stairs of a church. This encounter begins a chain of events that will have an everlasting effect on Starla, Eula, and many other people they meet along the way.

– Terry


Big Girl Panties (Hardcover)

$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062224842
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: William Morrow & Company, 7/2013

Yes, this author is related. No, I have no idea if Stephanie Plum was named for Janet's niece. Yes, this is a comic novel. No, there are no car bombs or conflicting boyfriends anywhere in the plot. Yes, there is romance … and not a few tears integrated into this delightful debut.

Holly Brennan is not a slim, young, fit 20-something. She is instead a 30-something widow with a weight problem who meets a gorgeous personal trainer who wants to help her make her way back to the world of the living. Yes, you know the ending. No, do not pass this up if you are looking for a great summer read that pulls at your heartstrings. Yes, you will look forward to hearing from this unique voice in the future.

- Terry


Gorgeous (Hardcover)

$18.99
ISBN-13: 9780545464260
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Scholastic Press, 5/2013

Young Adult

Cinderella gets a contemporary, hip make-over in this over-the-top tale about Becky Randle, brought up in a trailer in East Trawley, Missouri by her single-mom who was too obese to ever leave their home. When her mom dies, Becky finds a phone number for the world’s most reclusive and renowned fashion designer. When they meet, Tom Kelly promises to make Becky the most beautiful woman in the world. When Becky reluctantly agrees, Rebecca Randle is “born” and brought into to the world of high fashion, mega stars, and a luxurious life known only to the richest, most beautiful people in the world. The one catch, (and there is always a catch, isn’t there?) is that to keep her beauty, Rebecca must fall in love and marry within one year. She sets out to do this in the most fantastical way with unexpected results, leaving many of her questions unanswered … until the completely charming end.

– Terry


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781451686661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster, 7/2013

Mystery

Every year I look forward to the misadventures of Izzy Spellman and her family and a laugh on almost every page. Izzy (Isabel) Spellman is now the head of Spellman investigations, and her employees are on strike as a result of the activities in the prior book. Her major client is a wealthy businessman who is in the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s and has taken Izzy under his wing, become her mentor and a major investor in her business. But both Izzy and her benefactor are in a heap of trouble. Someone is out to frame them both and the answers are not coming easily. In the meantime, things (as usual) in the Spellman household are unraveling. Her parents are absent more than normal and her sister Rae is up to her usual antics and unorthodox relationships with her clients. It’s fun. It’s satisfying. Stay tuned …

– Terry


The Christie Curse (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780425255285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Berkley, 3/2013

Mystery & Suspense 

A heroine who comes from a family of thieves, a mystery involving a missing Agatha Christie play, an avid (and cranky) book collector, a hunky librarian, quirky relatives, and an intriguing young detective. What more could you ask for in a new series? Jordan Bingham has returned to Harrison Falls, New York and is living with the not-too-law-abiding uncles who raised her. She is in debt and in need of a job. So even though that job comes from Vera Van Alst, the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls, Jordan is intrigued and has the right skill set (and connections) to hunt down the aforementioned missing manuscript. Which is why it was March’s Fantastic First Cozy Mystery pick!

– Terry

 


$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062110831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Harper Torch, 4/2013

Curated Fiction 

Brilliant.Readable.Enchanting.Absorbing. This is Wecker’s debut about two supernatural creatures in turn-of-the-century New York. From the very first page, you will know you have picked up something special. The creation of the Golem, the story of her arrival via steamship into NY Harbor, and the backstory of her creator begin this magical journey. These events converge with another mystical arrival into another subculture in 1899 NYC. The Jinni is a mystical creature who has been released from a copper flask where he has been the long-time resident, though he has no memory of how this came to be. Both of these unusual foreigners must find their way among the citizens of their communities and discover how they will redefine their existence within the confines of this new civilization.

I took over a month to read The Golem and the Jinni, not because it was a difficult read but because I wanted to savor every page … This is a book I didn’t want to end.

– Terry


Benediction (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307959881
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Knopf, 3/2013

Curated Fiction 

Any novel by Kent Haruf is a gift and Benediction is no exception. Once again, Haruf tells an extraordinary story about ordinary people, their lives, loves, and heartbreak. In the small town of Holt, Colorado, the plains and mountains are more plentiful than the inhabitants. This is where “Dad” Lewis has just returned home after being informed that he is dying. As his family and community surround him in his final days, the granddaughter of their neighbor becomes an integral part of their community, just one example of the cycle of life that this book so beautifully addresses. As many of the characters reminisce about their past, we learn their history and that of the town that will always be their home. This is a book to savor.

– Terry


$27.95
ISBN-13: 9781594486401
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 6/2013

Curated Fiction 

There are some books you just know you are destined to fall in love with. You know it from the title and then you know it again from the first sentence. And as you keep reading, you are reassured that you were, in fact, exactly right.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is one of those books. In 1930, at the height of the Great Depression, Theadora Atwell is forced to leave the only home she has ever known and the family she cherishes to attend The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Not only has she been banished to a world she knows nothing about, but also her life until this point has been lived mostly in seclusion with her nuclear family on a 1,000 acre orange ranch in Florida, an environment that could not be more different than the one where she finds herself. The reason for her banishment is a slowly revealed secret, but this book is so much more. It is rich in observations of the family, this particular time in our history, and a coming of age story you won’t soon forget.

– Terry


Life After Life (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781565122550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Shannon Ravenel Books, 3/2013

Let yourself be drawn into the world of Pine Haven Estates in Fulton, North Carolina, and treat yourself to a cast of characters so rich that you will be bereft every time the point of view changes … only to find yourself enchanted anew. Pine Haven Estates is a retirement community where life and death are inevitable companions. Its inhabitants and some of the people who care for and about them are the center of this story that examines the cycle of life; what it means to be alive as well as facing the end of life. Much of the novel revolves around Joanna who grew up in this town, left to make a mess of her life, and has returned to bring meaning to the residents of this facility. Pine Haven Estates is a community worth visiting and McCorkle has set just the right tone for an uncomfortable subject. 

– Terry


Mary Coin (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780399160707
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Blue Rider Press, 3/2013

Mary Coin is not only the story of the imagined life of the subject of the iconic depression-era photograph, Migrant Mother, but also the story of its photographer. Both women were mothers who suffered through much of the 1920s and 1930s, personally and economically, and their stories are not as different as you would imagine. The third character with a narrative is Walker Dodge, a present day professor of cultural history whose life has an unexpected intersection with the other two. This is a book to treasure, a historical novel to learn from, and a great Mother’s Day present!

– Terry


Love Water Memory (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781451684834
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Gallery Books, 4/2013

Curated Fiction 

This emotional rollercoaster of a novel describes one women’s journey from a complete loss of memory to self-discovery, only made possible by the events that triggered her amnesia. Lucie Walker is almost 40, two months away from marrying her long-term fiancé, and an uber-focused entrepreneur with a less-than-likeable personality, who must begin life again because she remembers absolutely nothing about herself or her past. When she moves back to her home with fiancé Grady, she finds that her new self is nothing like the person she once was. Love Water Memory is the story of how she reconciles her past to her present, in complete awareness of the risks to her sanity.

I have long admired Jennie as a writer and a person and her latest novel warmed my heart for both.

– Terry


$28.95
ISBN-13: 9780670026630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Viking Adult, 3/2013

From Our April Newsletter

Curated Fiction

Like Ozeki’s 1998 blockbuster, My Year of Meats, A Tale for the Time Being has two narrators, one who is living in North America and one in Japan. In alternating chapters that flow together perfectly, this book is rich in character and in culture from both points of view. In Japan, 16-year-old Nao was recently relocated to Japan after living in Silicon Valley for all of her young life. When her father loses his job, they move back to Japan and her circumstances change in dramatic and devastating ways. We learn about her life there through a journal that has been discovered by Ruth, an author living on a remote island in Canada. She struggles with writer’s block and the relationships in her life … and bears a more than passing resemblance to our author!

This is a novel jam-packed with thought-provoking ideas about time, history, religion, culture and (so much) more...You won’t want to miss a word. 

– Terry


Buried In a Bog (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780425251898
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Berkley, 2/2013
First in a new series featuring Maura Donavan and the small Irish Village where her grandmother was born, this promises to be another winner for Connolly. Readers are introduced to Maura when she begins her first trip out of the U.S.  after the death of the grandmother who raised her in Boston. She is not leaving much behind and is open to the possibilities as they present themselves beginning with a job offer at the local pub. When a body is discovered in a nearby bog, Maura unwittingly finds herself in the middle of the investigation just as she begins discovering who she is and where she comes from. The scenes from small town life in Ireland provide a great background for the series,  as do the locals who all seem to be related to Maura! It will be a pleasure to spend time here again.
– Terry

Out of The Easy (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780399256929
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Philomel, 2/2013

It is unusual to encounter a YA protagonist whose mother is a whore in 1950 New Orleans, but that is where this story begins. Josie is 17 and has been living in New Orleans for 10 years, ever since her mother took up residence in a whorehouse. She lives in a bookshop and has various jobs, including cleaning the house where her mother lives … hoping to save up enough money to leave the Big Easy. Despite the fact that she must fend for herself, there is a cast of colorful characters that make it their business to look out for her, including the savvy madam of the house, her driver, and two boys Josie’s age who compete for her affections. When Josie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, her hopes and dreams of going to college outside of the Big Easy seem dashed. You will love Josie and root for her right up to the three-hankie ending.

– Terry


Suspect (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780399161483
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Putnam Adult, 1/2013

Mystery

I am not normally considered a “dog person” and it was with complete surprise that I found myself head over heels enchanted with Maggie, an 85-pound German Shepherd who has been trained as a patrol and explosives-detection dog by the US Marines. Maggie is now suffering from PTSD and finds herself partnered with Scott James an ex-LAPD cop who is also suffering from PSTD as a result of a violent episode nine months prior to the main events of this story, when Scott’s partner was killed and he barely survived. Crais does a masterful job creating the character of Maggie and it is her story that will keep you turning the pages , even as we warm to Scott who reintroduces himself to the case that took down his partner. This standalone from Crais may just catapult him into new fans’ hearts and not just those of dog lovers.

– Terry


$25.15
ISBN-13: 9781616201371
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1/2013

Backhaus’ debut is one of the most original novels I have ever read. It is at once suspenseful and titillating and takes you to places you have never been. Thomas Tessler has locked himself into one room in his apartment for 3 years in response to the grief and responsibility he feels for the death of his son. His wife, Silke, lives in the room next door and still loves him, but is beyond frustrated with this behavior, having not set eyes on him for this entire period. She hires a “rental sister” to visit the house to persuade Thomas to come out of the room and enter back into life. Told alternatively from his point of view and the point of view of the Megumi, a Japanese-born young woman with a background and lifestyle that will alternately fascinate you and confound you. I was mesmerized by this novel from the first page to the satisfying end.

– Terry


Ghostman (Hardcover)

$26.20
ISBN-13: 9780307959966
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Knopf, 2/2013

This especially engaging debut will thrill fans of the ultimate caper movies like Oceans 11, 12, and 13 and The Italian Job. A Ghostman is someone who can disappear … completely … from everyone’s radar. In fact in this first entry by Hobbs we never learn the Ghostman’s real name,  only that for this particular job, he has taken on the persona of Jack Morton. “Jack” is bored because he has been hiding out for over six months. When he gets a call from Marcus Hayes who wants him to fix a bank heist gone very wrong, “Jack” agrees to help him for a variety of reasons. As “Jack” heads out to Atlantic City to figure out where two of the people involved in a robbery/shoot-out have gone (along with the money), we are treated to an insider’s look at bank robberies, how ghostmen work, and a little bit about how this particular ghostman came to be. The action never stops and we can only hope that “Jack” will be back.

– Terry


Sutton (Hardcover)

$27.99
ISBN-13: 9781401323141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Hyperion, 9/2012

Part folk lore, part historical novel of turn of the century America, and always a great story. This is Sutton by bestselling author J.R. Moehringer who wowed the reading community with his memoir and has done it again with the story of America’s greatest bank robber.

Willie Sutton was a folk hero in his own right, a bank robber who didn't hurt anyone during his many bank heists and even knew many of the bank employees by name (he loved the research leading to every break-in). Sutton begins with his release after spending most of his life in and out of prison. And although this is a period piece, it also speaks to today's high levels of unemployment and a complete disgust with banks and their never ending greed.

But ultimately what makes this a great book is the way the story is told and how likable a character Willie is … and how much we learn about ourselves, our times, and the variations of truth that dictate the focus of our lives.

– Terry


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781451621372
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Free Press, 11/2012

A book about a young woman who contracts a devastating and undefinable disease is not my normal reading fare. But it unleashed such passion in bookseller and publisher representatives alike that I had to take a look ... and then I read it in practically one sitting. Brain on Fire is at once a compulsive and terrifying read, and a very important book, one I am convinced must be read by as many people as possible. And not for the engrossing play-by-play medical account of Susannah's decent into madness, but as a cautionary tale about our medical system and the importance of finding the right doctor when a diagnosis seems impossible.

In March 2009, something triggered (she still doesn't know what) an autoimmune disease that resulted in Susannah's antibodies literally attacking her brain. The result looked a lot like a very serious mental health issue complete with seizures and delusions. Her journey through madness and back to health is an amazing and mandatory read ... just in case someone you know displays similar symptoms. It also gives us an understanding of the way the medical community works and doesn't work.

- Terry

Signed copies available while supplies last.


Haunted (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9781937007768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Ace, 8/2012

Anna Strong has been through a lot in the last seven books. She is tired and lonely, but thinks she has found some peace with her current boyfriend, Stephen, even though he is currently out of town with the President as a part of his press corp. But it’s the holidays and that is hard for many people. When Anna heads out to find solace with some of her supernatural friends she gets more than she bargains for ... and that is just the beginning.

Before too long, Anna finds herself right in the middle of the Mexican Drug Cartels and in trouble in more ways than one. Her boyfriend is unhappy with her sudden absence; her ex-boyfriend is with her on her latest exploits, but is just as unhappy with her for his own reasons. And the complications continue to multiply as old friends and lovers enter the picture and reveal more to Anna than she was prepared for ... Ahhhh, the loves and intrigues of the world`s most powerful vampire (at least according to Stein).

– Terry


In a Fix (Paperback)

$15.74
ISBN-13: 9780765331809
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Tor Books, 9/2012
This perky urban fantasy features a family of aura adapters who make their livings in various ways. Ciel Halligan helps her clients solve problems they don’t want to deal with themselves, by temporarily changing into them and assuming their lives. Other members of her family have more complicated employment opportunities involving secret agencies and under the radar ops of all sorts. Ciel’s latest job is to make sure that her client gets the marriage proposal she has been dreaming about, so Ciel toughs it out on an all paid vacation to the Bahamas. Everything goes swimmingly until a bomb goes off, various relatives start getting involved, and her “fiancé” disappears. It’s light, it’s fun, and it’s an enjoyable read.

– Terry


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780812983456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 3/2013

This utterly charming and thoroughly readable debut will captivate and hold you. Harold Fry is a 65-year-old married man who has just retired and is living an entirely predictable life in a marriage that is bordering on neglectful. When he receives a letter from an old friend informing him that she is dying of cancer, he immediately writes her a letter and walks out his front door to post it in his mailbox. And then he continues walking. He walks past the post office and past other opportunities to mail his letter. And he walks into an unexpected adventure when he decides that he can keep his friend alive by walking to her, from the bottom of England to the very top.
This unique adventure not only gives Harold the opportunity for change, but also a way to make new discoveries of the world around him, and we root for him every step of the way.

This is a book worth savoring and a pilgrimage worth taking. Take some time out of  your busy life to slow down just a bit while you join Harold on this journey of a lifetime. This is a gem you won’t want to miss.  

– Terry


Shine Shine Shine (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781250007070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: St. Martin's Press, 7/2012

Shine Shine Shine is one of the most unique and fascinating debuts I have ever read. The characters, backstory, front story, lessons about our human condition, the language that conveys all of this and more, make this one of the best books I have read this year.

Sunny Mann is the product of the unconventional coupling of a middle-aged missionary to Burma and his young, sheltered wife from the Midwest. Sunny is born in the middle of a lunar eclipse with not a hair on her head. She remains bald throughout her life and her childhood is spent in very unorthodox circumstances. She marries one of the smartest men on earth, Maxon Mann, who is hurtling toward the moon in a spaceship (as the book opens) to create a robot nation capable of preparing the moon for human inhabitation. Sunny has spent the last five years trying to fit into her Virginia suburb despite her unconventional family. She is pregnant with her second child and her mother is terminally ill. This book is about how her life begins to unravel, and about true love and what we are really made of.  This is simply a stellar book.

– Terry 


City of Women (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780399157769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Putnam Adult, 8/2012

This is the book I never thought I would read. This is also a book that is satisfying, stimulating, and frightening. It is the story of the women left behind in 1943 Berlin. Sigrid Schröder is the wife of a banker who is now serving as a soldier on the Russian Front. She lives a contentious life with her disapproving/unhappy mother-in-law in an apartment building where the neighbors both spy on each other and withhold their thoughts and feelings, in an era where a wrong turn or word will mark you for certain death. It is a time we know about, but perhaps not this intimately. It is about being left behind and left in the dark while the men are at war and allied bombs beat down on a city that was once prosperous and proud. It is about a city at war both within and outside its borders. It is also about looking away or opening your eyes to the truth of the day despite the propaganda and the fear. Gillham is an historian with an ear for the truth and sentiments of day, and an author to watch.

– Terry

$14.95
ISBN-13: 9781590514634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Other Press, 1/2012
This debut is not just a beautiful love story, told in the beautiful (yet impoverished) setting of mid-20th century Burma; it is also about “seeing” the essence of a person, a place, or a situation. Tin Win is a brilliant young man who lives with an elderly neighbor as a result of being deserted as a child. He is also blind, lost, and lonely until he discovers friendship and then love in some unlikely places. Mi Mi is a beautiful young woman who was born without feet, the youngest daughter of a village farmer. The impact of their meeting is profound in many ways and you will be surprised at how touched you will be by their story.

This is also the contemporary story of a young woman whose father deserted their family four years ago. Her search brings her to Burma (now the Republic of Myanmar) where she meets U Ba, an aging Burmese man who knows who she is and why she has traveled to his village.

-- tlg


The Chaperone (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594487019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 6/2012

I was captivated from page one. The Chaperone begins in the late 19th century and is the story of changing attitudes and mores in American through the 1970s. You may think you know this story, but it will truly take you into a new world. Cora Carlisle and Louise Brooks are two unlikely companions who come together for a trip to NYC for completely different reasons. Louise Brooks is just starting a life that will become a very public one as a famous actress. She is only 15 when they leave Wichita, Kansas, and Cora Carlisle is her (fictional) chaperone. Cora’s history will bring you to tears, even as she strikes out to find out more about who she is. The two leave Wichita by train and are forever changed by the world around them, as well as what they discover about themselves during and after their trip together.

– Terry


$14.99
ISBN-13: 9781451660777
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Touchstone, 3/2013

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, by anyone’s standard, and will have you thinking about your own attachments and priorities. Lucy Bloom is a 40-something mother of a teenager who is in rehab. She has had to sell all of her belongings and her house in order to support his recovery and finds herself with few living/job options. Her published book about clearing out clutter, Things Are Not People, has gotten her a job clearing out the house of the famous, reclusive painter, Marva Meier Rios, who is also a compulsive hoarder. The obstacles Lucy encounters in her personal/work life begin to merge, and discovery and resolution for both Marva and Lucy are what we are rooting for by the end of this readable and enduring novel. — Terry


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780062060617
Availability: Not in stock, but can usually be shipped within the week.
Published: Ecco, 3/2012
Ever wonder what happened behind the scenes of the Trojan War? Curious about the personal life of some of Homer’s Greek heroes? Want to know how gods and mortal interact?

Even if you answered “no” to these questions, the story of Achilles and Patroclus will intrigue and engross you. It is based on Miller’s retelling of the relationship between Prince Achilles and his longtime companion, Patroclus. Achilles is half mortal, half god because his mother is the sea nymph, Thetis.  His unique qualities bind him to the Trojan War, despite the efforts of his Mother to keep him out of it and to elude the prophecy that his heroic efforts on the field will result in his death.

Miller is a Greek scholar who brings life to Homer’s world in this tale of Ancient Greece, filled with myths, heroes, gods, and goddesses. So readable … so memorable.  Miller has promised us another peek into Homer’s world and particularly The Odyssey. I can’t wait!   

― tlg


$15.95
ISBN-13: 9780307949288
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Vintage, 11/2012

What a true pleasure it is to read Richard Mason. He seamlessly transports us to a time and place we don’t know and immerses us with astounding accuracy and detail into the lives and minds of Piet Barol and the Vermeulen-Sickerts family. His erotic tale describes in period detail the lifestyle of one high society family and economics of the early 1900s from Amsterdam to New York City to South Africa.
Piet Barol is a charming, beautiful young man who seeks to improve his station in life. He rightfully believes that can do this in the Vermeulen-Sickerts household, one of the richest families in Amsterdam, as a tutor to their troubled 8-year-old son. He makes a lasting impression on everyone he meets and his impact is felt long after he leaves the family to pursue his dreams.  At once a beautifully told, historically fascinating story and a guilty pleasure, Mason’s fourth novel is mesmerizing from page 1 and endures well beyond the last page.  The Lighted Rooms and History of a Pleasure Seeker are the first in a constellation of related novels. The next in the series will follow Piet Barol to South Africa’s Wild Coast. 

– tlg

The Book of Jonas (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780452298972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Plume, 2/2013
Beautifully told with underlying themes of war, family, and survival, The Book of Jonas slowly reveals Jonas’ past and his present assimilation into a new life in the United States. Jonas is originally from an unnamed Muslim country where a military operation has destroyed his home and his family. We know we will learn Jonas’ secrets as we get to know him and it is his search for his memory and for his survival that carry us breathlessly through his narrative.

It is also the story of an American soldier and his mother, who searches for the truth about her son as she tries to put a life together without him. Secrets are slowly revealed and closure comes with the hope of peace … in a beautifully written debut. – tlg


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780345525550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Ballantine Books, 4/2012

It’s a rare thing. But you know when you find it. And when you do, you don’t want to do anything else but read. This happened to me with The Language of Flowers, a book that is as unexpected as it is compelling and currently my favorite book for the Fall.

Diffenbaugh’s extraordinary debut and her protagonist Victoria Jones will leave you breathless with the scope and originality of both. Victoria was abandoned at birth and the story of her childhood in the foster-care system will have you weeping on her behalf. She is a true-to-life character whom you immediately love and root for from the first moment you encounter her. I loved Victoria’s almost mystical relationship with flowers and the messages they deliver. Her love of flowers and their power of communication becomes her salvation and steers her toward the possibility of a plausible future. Most importantly, this is a book about relationships, trust, and bravery. The Language of Flowers captured my heart.

This passage explains the character and message of the book: “For years my message-laden flowers had been faithfully ignored, an aspect of my communication style that gave me comfort. Passion, connection, disagreement, or rejection: None of these was possible in a language that did not elicit a response.” This was the isolated existence of a young woman who could not connect with any person or community. Her journey toward resolving the effects of the foster-care system in which she is raised will leave you deeply affected.

I am not the only one who loved this book. The World Book Night committe selected this book in 2013 and gave away 25,000 copies! -- tlg


You Deserve Nothing (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781609450489
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Europa Editions, 8/2011
This is another fabulous fall debut. A compulsively readable story about three people who live in Paris and attend (or teach) in an international school, it is more than it first appears. William is a charismatic teacher who lives a solitary life for reasons we yearn to know. Gilad is a teenager who has traveled the world since he was born with parents who live their own complicated lives. When he moves to Paris, he finds a home he can finally call his own. And then there is Marie, a student who is troubled by all of the things we would expect a teenager to be dealing with, but whose life becomes more complicated one compulsive, drunken night. You Deserve Nothing is a true education, dealing with adolescence, lust, philosophy, loneliness, and the meaning of life. You will be engaged from the first page to the last. Meet Alexander at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach on Thursday, October 13 at noon. Bring your lunch and engage in a lively discussion and perhaps learn more about the future of these characters. -- tlg

$10.00
ISBN-13: 9780316133999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 6/2012

This is one of the most richly imagined books I have read in some time. Billed as a Young Adult entry, this engrossing tale of fantasy, romance, war, magic, family, and friendship is one to be savored by readers of all ages. It is powerful on many levels and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

We meet 17-year-old Karou when she is an art student in Prague. She does not know who her real family is and finds it difficult to form attachments to places or people. She is constantly pulled by her other-worldly family to run magical errands all around the world for reasons she does not understand. It is also the story of the angel Akiva who Karou meets while on an errand in Morocco. This sets off a series of events which leads both characters to delve deeply into their pasts and unwind the mystery that binds them. In Daughter of Smoke and Bone a world where war between two cultures is the norm and peace an unimagined goal is seamlessly integrated with our own.

Ending this book is a heart break. Looking forward to the sequel is a joy. Meet the creator of all of these worlds on October 24 at the Redondo Beach store. -- tlg