Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

Sam says:

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A space opera staring a tough princess who kicks ass all the way across the galaxy??? How could I not enjoy myself while reading this book! Smart, witty, and completely badass. A nice indulgence for those who love some cross galaxy/heart pounding adventure with a little romance thrown in, because every princess needs her Prince Charming.

From the author:

“A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.

Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .”

Portrait of a Bookseller: Sam

How would you describe your job to someone you just met?

I am a book detective. I can find a book with little information and I can even help you find a book you didn’t know you wanted/or needed.

Where are you originally from:

Arkansas, a land where nature is everywhere, and nature is as good a place to read as any other.

What is the best part of your job?

Displaying the new fresh books who are looking for a good home.

When you’re not reading, what do you like to do in your free time?

Sam reading Priory of the Orange Tree

Sam reading Priory of the Orange Tree

Play with my dog, bake, decide what to read next, look at my books with longing, organize my books, talk about books.

Walk us through your favorite route when browsing books at Bright Side:

Start at new and noteable and thoroughly investigate that table and the windows and then bee-line for the YA Indie List, then back to the vinyl, then work through the wall of fiction starting with scifi and ending at the end of fiction.

What is the best “worst book” you have ever read?

Twilight. It’s terrible but I can’t stay away. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure.

Is there a book you reread annually?

The whole Eragon series. I love experiencing that story, I always pick up something new from it.

What is the best advice you ever received from a book or author?

“You can rattle the stars…you can do anything, if you only dared.” - Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

Amy says:

She Rides Shotgun, a novel by Jordan Harper published by Harper Collins
This book is just the right amount of suspense and comedy that kept me hooked from start to finish. After a white-power gang places a hit on his 11 year old daughter, Polly, Nate must use every tool he learned growing up on the streets to keep them both safe. Chaos ensues as Nate and Polly struggle to figure out their relationship and stay alive, enlisting the help from a rowdy assortment of characters. There isn't a dull moment in this book. 

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From the publisher:

A propulsive, gritty novel about a girl marked for death who must fight and steal to stay alive, learning from the most frightening man she knows—her father.

Eleven-year-old Polly McClusky is shy, too old for the teddy bear she carries with her everywhere, when she is unexpectedly reunited with her father, Nate, fresh out of jail and driving a stolen car. He takes her from the front of her school into a world of robbery, violence, and the constant threat of death. And he does it to save her life.

Nate made dangerous enemies in prison—a gang called Aryan Steel has put out a bounty on his head, counting on its members on the outside to finish him off. They’ve already murdered his ex-wife, Polly’s mother. And Polly is their next target.

Nate and Polly’s lives soon become a series of narrow misses, of evading the bad guys and the police, of sleepless nights in motels. Out on the lam, Polly is forced to grow up early: with barely any time to mourn her mother, she must learn how to take a punch and pull off a drug-house heist. She finds herself transforming from a shy little girl into a true fighter. Nate, in turn, learns what it’s like to love fiercely and unconditionally—a love he’s never quite felt before. But can their powerful bond transcend the dangerous existence he’s carved out for them? Will they ever be able to live an honest life, free of fear?

She Rides Shotgun is a gripping and emotionally wrenching novel that upends even our most long-held expectations about heroes, villains, and victims. Nate takes Polly to save her life, but in the end it may very well be Polly who saves him.

The Lumberjack's Dove by Gennarose Nethercott

Margarita says:

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Literally could not put this down. Once I began, I needed to finish. The Lumberjack's Dove reads like a choose your own adventure folktale that is not any of that, there is no choice. This is a story told over and over.
After having his hand chopped off by his beloved axe, readers follow the Lumberjack in his mission to reattach his hand that has become a dove.  We meditate on what it means to reattach ourselves to things that want to be free, things that have been cut off by the objects/people we love most. How can we still find ourselves attracted to danger, still want to feel ourselves hold it in our hands again after such hurt? 
Breathtaking, this national poetry series winner left me sobbing, left me thinking about different types of loss and the ways in which it transforms us. 

From the publisher:

“A boldly original and visceral debut collection from the winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series Competition, selected by Louise Gluck

In the ingenious and vividly imagined narrative poem The Lumberjack’s Dove, GennaRose Nethercott describes a lumberjack who cuts his hand off with an axe—however, instead of merely being severed, the hand shapeshifts into a dove. Far from representing just an event of pain and loss in the body, this incident spirals outward to explore countless facets of being human, prompting profound reflections on sacrifice and longing, time and memory, and—finally—considering the act of storytelling itself. The lumberjack, his hand, and the axe that separated the two all become participants in the story, with unique perspectives to share and lessons to impart. “I taught your fathers how to love,” Axe says to the acorns and leaves around her. “I mean to be felled, sliced to lumber, & reassembled into a new body.”

Inflected with the uncanny enchantment of modern folklore and animated by the sly shifting of points-of-view, The Lumberjack’s Dove is wise, richly textured poetry from a boundlessly creative new voice.”

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Cori says:

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To Night Owl from Dogfish is a charming middle reader that was a collaboration between Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer.  The story has a fresh and modern nod to the classic Parent Trap tale.  When I was this age, I just loved the vicarious experience of reading camp stories and would have loved to have gone to a summer long camp.  As an adult, this book filled me with nostalgia and was still a fun read for me.  The story is epistolary and is told primarily through emails with a few texts and letters throw in for fun.  This was the perfect format for this book because I quickly had clear pictures of our two young pen pals through the voice of their writing.  Bett (Dog Fish) and Avery (Night Owl) are complete opposites from personalities to homes (East and West Coast).  Bett discovers that her dad has been secretly dating Avery’s dad and tracks her down to inform her of this news and that they are going to camp together over the summer.  Through many hijinks, they become close friends and learn a lot about themselves, their families, and each other.  What I loved the best is that the story has a happy ending, but it is not trite and tied up with a shiny bow.  The ending is bittersweet and realistic for how the lives of Bett, Avery, and their dads unfold.

From the publisher:

“From two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters.

Avery Bloom, who’s bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who’s fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads.

When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends–and possibly, one day, even sisters. 

But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can’t imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?”


Portrait of a Bookseller: Lisa

Last book you loved?

I loved Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness by Amy Irvine.  Her open one way conversation at the grave of the late Ed Abbey was raw and refreshing.  She shared herself as a feminist, a mother and a divorcee all intertwined in being an ardent environmentalist.  It was a welcomed change to see someone not just celebrate but criticize Ed Abby in his larger than life roll in the American Southwest.  

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Casper, Wyoming and then moved to Flagstaff in 1980.

When you're not reading, what do you like to do with your free time?

I love to spend time playing and traveling with my husband and young son.  We enjoy camping, downhill skiing, gardening and exploring new places near and far.  

What book do you want to be written into?

I'd love to be written into the Never Ending Story and to meet Falcore the Luck Dragon face to face.  

Is there a book you reread annually?

I try and reread The Alchemist by Paul Coehlo.  It takes me back to my youth when I was first following my dreams and how it's lead me round the world to come back home to Flagstaff.  It's a sweet tale and I identify with the Andalusian Shepard and his discovery of what are true riches in life.

How would you describe your job to someone you just met?  

I would describe my work as being a ringmistress.  Orchestrating the awesome performance of wild beast and talented performers.  Keeping an eye on all the parts and anticipating the next challenge to keep the show running smoothly.  

What would be the titles of your autobiography?

My Temporary Moment of Insanity


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Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Sam says:

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This book left an impression on me. It deviates from the typical fantasy plot, taking the reader along the route of a murder mystery that is reminiscent of Murder On The Orient Express. Secrets are abundant, and as you move through the book carefully crafted facades crumble and true natures emerge. I was captivated by the subtle unraveling of the plot, each twist and turn had me holding my breath, each reveal was met with a gasp. 
The world building is clever, a masterfully crafted landscape that is divided among the four unified nation states that make up the mythical land of Quadara. The dramatized cultures of the quadrants explore the balance of a nation, showing that all sides of life are integral. Overall it is a story I won't forget anytime soon.

From the publisher:

“Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead. 

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens. 

An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.”


How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

Ben suggests How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

how

“It’s about psychedelics, their history, and their use in psychiatry and psychoanalysis both past and present. This is an extremely interesting topic for me, and despite some daunting neuroscience concepts and descriptions of structures, I found this book utterly engaging and fascinating. Although I rarely re-read books these days, I do believe I will find a place on the shelf for this one so that I may revisit it someday. “

From the publisher:

A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs–and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences 

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.

A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan’s “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.

Portrait of a Bookseller: Jared

How would you describe your job to someone you just met?

I work in an amazing place. A place that has the power to shape minds and create futures.

Where are you from originally?

Corbett, OR.

What did you do before you came to Bright Side?

I was a mule packer, guide, and wrangler in the Sierra Nevada and Grand Canyon.

When you’re not reading, what do you like to do in your free time?

Hike, backpack, and wilderness exploration. I also enjoy writing personal notes and journals about my experiences.

Walk us through your favorite route when browsing books at Bright Side:

I start my journey in Nature and Ecology, followed by a wide left turn directly to science. I briefly glance at fiction as I fly by. I always find myself conducting a pit stop at bio/memoir as well. I end my trip in essays and short fiction.

What is your favorite opening line (or closing) line of a book?

“The police had taken my pistol the day before, but I wasn’t without heavy arms and my mac-10.” - The Autobiography of Gucci Mane

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Lost on the Path

Jar

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming

“As serendipity sometimes happens, I began listening to this memoir while wrapping up Americanah.  Obama’s first election plays a role in that book, so it emphasized many of the themes and the timeline covered by Obama.  I would totally recommend these together as a complimentary “book flight.”This is more than a book about what it means to be a First Lady.  In reflecting on her entire life starting with her earliest memories and her life growing up on the Southside of Chicago, we come to learn what shaped and motivated Michelle to chose her life paths.  We are provided with a unique perspective of what it means to be a high achieving black woman in a high achieving white world.  In this complex weaving of her life, we learn about Michelle as a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother.  She goes from being Barack Obama’s wife to a person with her own interesting life story to tell.”

- Cori, Bookseller and Podcaster


From Penguin Random House:

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
 
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. 
 
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same."


Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Read what one of our newest booksellers, Emily K, has to say about a Capote classic:

 

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"I just finished Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. I picked this book up in Santorini because I wanted a good romance novel, something lovely. I was not disappointed. Having seen the film portrayal of this story I had a lot of expectations of the characterization/story etc. I was pleasantly surprised that Capote's written story was even more moving than the film. He’s a beautiful writer, this book made me cry and laugh. The other short stories following Breakfast At Tiffany’s are equally as remarkable. My favorite was the Diamond Guitar. Capote must have been like a sponge, absorbing everything, seeing everything, and saying nothing, except in his stories."

 

From Penguin Random House:

In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany’s; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

 

Pick up Capote in store today!

 

 

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

 

Co-Owner Annette Avery recommends this hot read:

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"I recently finished A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza.  An Indie pick for June 2018.  The story follows two generations of an Indian/American/Muslim family and the haunting family dynamics that are familiar to all cultures.  Mirza writes with such detail and with such relatable issues that you feel as if you know the family and can literally feel the emotions imparted by each of the characters, especially Amar.  I'd highly recommend it if you are looking for a quick read and one that promises to look at your family structure and the common threads we all share -  love, loss, and life." - Annette

Book Jacket:

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best? 

A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home. 

A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.

Stop in to grab a copy while this book is still hot for your next summer read. 

 

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

 Bookseller and BooksandTea podcast co-host Cori recommends Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker (as do many of us wine lovers at the shop).

 "I have loved wine and been fascinated by the world  of wine tastings and sommeliers ever since I lived in N. California and spent lots of time exploring wine country.  This is classic immersive journalism.  Bosker decides that she wants to learn all there is to know about tasting and selling wine culminating with her taking a very tough exam to become a sommelier... in a year...  A process that takes many, many years...  With her inside sharing of the world of fine dining and wine mixed with her research and interactions with specialists in psychology, neuroscience, chemistry, and marketing, she takes you on an educational adventure. " - Cori

From the back cover:

Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine—until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor. Astounded by their fervor and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.” 

With boundless curiosity, humor, and a healthy dose of skepticism, Bosker takes the reader inside underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories, and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine? What she learns will change the way you drink wine—and, perhaps, the way you live—forever.

Interested in learning more about that wine you've been thinking about all week? Pick up a copy of Cork Dork in store today!

Ayiti by Roxane Gay

Bookseller and writer Margarita recommends Roxane Gay's Ayiti.

"A re-release of Gay's debut short story collection, Ayiti is a poignant perspective on the Haitian diaspora in modern day. What is it like to be an outsider to your home? In a place you call home? 

These short stories are filled with characters I never wanted to leave. I wanted to laugh and cry with them, stick up for them, and be angry with them. Gay's writing has always been honest, and this debut of short stories is strikingly brave. For readers who are uncomfortable with speaking so openly and honestly (uncensored) with sensitive issues, it may be a hard read but I promise that these are subjects that need to be talked about."

 

From the back cover:

 

Roxane Gay is an award winning literary voice praised for her fearless and vivid prose, and her debut collection Ayiti exemplifies the raw talent that made her "one of the voices of our age" (National Post, Canada). Clever and haunting by turns, Ayiti explores the Haitian diaspora experience. A married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. Wise, fanciful, and daring, Ayiti is the book that put Roxane Gay on the map and now, with two previously uncollected stories, confirms her singular vision. 

A fast read, pick up a copy in store today!

The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick

Owner Ben Shaffer recommends The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick.

 

"This book presupposes that the Allies lost WWII and the United States was divided up between the Nazis and Japan and there is a banned book that is very popular that presupposes that the USA won WWII. I know. 🤯
Apparently PKD wrote the book with the help of the I Ching, which features prominently in the story, and uses actual hexagrams from questions posed to the I Ching in the text.
It’s an interesting read, although PKD uses a somewhat halting style of writing when representing his characters thoughts and emotions.
I would rate this as quite good and definitely weird, with really extraordinary character progression. Especially Mr. Tagomi. Wow."

 

 

From the back cover:

It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a warand is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.

This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.

 

Interested in learning more about this alternative history, science fiction book? Stop in to grab a copy and tell us what you think!

We the Animals by Justin Torres

General Manager Carla  recommends Justin Torres' debut novel We the Animals.

"Torres deftly weaves the self professed flash fiction into a perfectly curated strand of interrelated stories to create this deeply personal novel."

From the inside flap:

Three brothers tear their way through childhood smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn he's Puerto Rican, she's white and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times.
     Life in this home is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense family unity that surrounds a child to the resilience and permanence of brotherhood to the profound alienation a young man endures as he begins to see himself in the world, this novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sucker-punch powerful. It leaves us reminded that our madness is both caused by, and alleviated by, our families, and that we might not reconcile who we are with who our loved ones see, or who we want to be for them.
     Written in magical language with unforgettable images, We the Animals is a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up, how deeply we are formed by our earliest bonds, and how we are ultimately propelled at escape velocity toward our futures.

 

Torres' We the Animals is currently set to release in theaters in early August this year. 

We The Animals Film

Circe by Madeline Miller

Bookseller and co-host of the podcast Books and Tea, Cori Cusker recommends Circe by Madeline Miller. 

"So, I was totally one of those little kids that was obsessed with mythology and fairytales.  Upon starting Circe, it all came rushing back!  This is an adult tale from the perspective of Circe.  If you have heard of her, you probably know her as the witch that turned men into pigs and minor role in The Odyssey.   Miller creates a likeable character who grew up as an unloved misfit.  As she begins to discover her powers, her father is pressured into banishing her to live alone on an island.  It becomes a story of a woman who learns how to love, discovers how to accept herself, be a parent, and live independently.  All things anyone of any time should be able to relate to!" - Cori

 

Book Description:

"In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world."

Pick up a copy today at Bright Side!

The Magic of Tiny Business by Sharon Rowe

Lisa Lamberson, Bright Side Owner recommends Sharon Rowe's new book, The Magic of Tiny Business:

"The Magic of Tiny Business (the author was at Bright Side last week for World's Ocean Day) by Sharon Rowe.  It's an awesome reminder of why it's great to own Mountain Sports and Bright Side and work with both teams to create great retail spaces.  The biggest take away for me is the "Need to do" and "Nice to do" distinction to help prioritize all the things that running two not so small business can present." - Lisa

Book Description:

"Too many of us feel trapped by work that keeps us from living our purpose. We fantasize about starting our own business, yet we're warned against falling into debt, working eighty hours a week, and coping with the pressure to grow. Eco-Bags Products founder Sharon Rowe says there's another way: go tiny. 

Like a tiny house, a tiny business is built on maintaining a laser focus on what is essential by living an intentional life. As an entrepreneur and mother, Rowe is most concerned with putting family first, maintaining financial security, and doing something that makes an impact in the world. Using the success story of Eco-Bags Products, Rowe distills the step-by-step process of building a profitable, right-scaled, sustainable venture that doesn't compromise your values. She shows you how to test your concept, manage your money and priorities, and more, while staying true to the "tiny" ethos.

Pick up a copy at Bright Side today!

Educated by Tara Westover

Owner Annette Avery recommends Tara Westover's Educated:

"I'm always amazed at the grit and determination of people.  Tara wrote this memoir about her life and never receiving a formal education until college.  Fundamentalist Mormon family in the hills of Idaho.  Fast, riveting read.  Families....we all are a part of them and some are more unique (messed up) than others.  Tara never attended school as a child or young adult.  She studied and took the ACT to be admitted to BYU.  Education changed her life (as you can imagine). 

Great read!!"

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.