The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Annette says:

I recently finished The Guest Book by Sarah Blake published in early May by St. Martin’s Press.

Guestbook.jpg

Prepare to be a guest in this book as Blake weaves you through three generations of the Milton family lives that revolve and center around an island off of the Maine coast.  This book begins during the period between WWI and WWII and concludes in the present day.  I found Blake’s rich storytelling mirroring many of the same social, racial, prejudice and privileged issues that we are still currently struggling with today.  Even though this is a work of fiction, I found myself asking "what has history taught us" and realizing that we as a society still have so much to learn.  This is a great summer read capturing all of the components that readers love - loss, family secrets, history and much more.  Once you are done reading, you feel like you can sign your own name in the Milton guest book having taken the journey with the family for three generations.

From Macmillan:

“A lifetime of secrets. A history untold.

No. It is a simple word, uttered on a summer porch in 1936. And it will haunt Kitty Milton for the rest of her life. Kitty and her husband, Ogden, are both from families considered the backbone of the country. But this refusal will come to be Kitty’s defining moment, and its consequences will ripple through the Milton family for generations. For while they summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir.

In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists the times are changing. And in one night, everything does.

So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth.

Moving through three generations and back and forth in time, The Guest Book asks how we remember and what we choose to forget. It shows the untold secrets we inherit and pass on, unknowingly echoing our parents and grandparents. Sarah Blake’s triumphant novel tells the story of a family and a country that buries its past in quiet, until the present calls forth a reckoning.”

Caterpillar Summer

Amy suggests:

Caterpillar.jpg

An intriguing middle reader that will appeal to all ages. Cat has gotten used to taking care of her brother, Chicken, who is likely on the spectrum of Autism. So much so, that Cat feels like she isn't allowed to be a kid herself sometimes. The summer they spend with their once estranged grandparents on Gingerbread Island will change everything. I love reading middle readers because it is fascinating to see the world through a child's eyes.

From Bloomsbury:

“This beautifully written, emotional debut perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt or Ali Benjamin tells the story a girl, her special needs brother, and the summer they will never forget.

"An engaging, honest book." --Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Newbery Honor-winning author of The War That Saved My Life


"A beautiful story of family, forgiveness, life on an island, and growing up.”--Kate Messner, author of Breakout and The Seventh Wish


Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond--Cat is one of the few people who can keep Chicken happy. When he has a "meltdown" she's the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She's the one who knows what Chicken needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat has been the glue holding her family together. 

But even the strongest glue sometimes struggles to hold. When a summer trip doesn't go according to plan, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they never knew. For the first time in years, Cat has the opportunity to be a kid again, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken or strained relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another's shoes. “

Portrait of a Bookseller: Cori

CORI

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

I would describe myself as a book matchmaker.  I will make your literary dreams come true with the perfect book for you.

Last book you loved:

Rough Magic by  by Lara Prior-Palmer

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Where are you originally from?

Madison, Indiana

What did you do before you come to Bright Side?

I still do it… I work as a professor at NAU in the first year experience. I have worked in colleges for 15 years. I am also well versed in sustainability and career development.

What is the best part of your job?

Finding books customers are excited to read, and getting to read books before they come out!

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

Tennis, biking, hiking, and drinking good wine.

Recommend an author or book you think everyone should read:

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams. It describes all the health benefits of being in nature.

Do you collect any particular types of books?

Stephen King, and sometimes classics with pretty covers.

What book do you want to be written into?

I want to say Stephen King, but nothing is ever easy for his characters. A safer bet might be a character in a cormoran Strike mystery by Robert Galbraith, or Louise Penny’s Three Pines mystery series.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Bookworm Problems

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

“Reading should be an enjoyable experience. Don’t feel like you have to read something or check off everything on a list. Go with what excites or interests you.” James Mustich, author of 1000 Books to Read Before You Die

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Ben says:

“A truly refreshing addition to the Sci-fi/ Space Opera genre about a young woman, Mahit, who is sent across the galaxy to represent her seemingly insignificant mining community in the city-planet heart of an ever expanding empire. After arriving Mahit determines that her predecessor's death was almost certainly murder. She enlists the help of a few locals to uncover the truth behind the killing, and ultimately the impending "annexation" of her home. But, far from home and alone, who can she trust?
This story has compelling characters, and an expertly crafted setting that serves to place as much pressure on the main character, and her predicament, as any of the other players in the story. Imaginative and fun while attaining surprising depth and nuance, this should top your list for new fiction this spring. “

From the publisher:

“This incredible opening to the trilogy recalls the best of John le Carré, Iain M. Banks’s Culture novels and Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy.

In a war of lies she seeks the truth . . .

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire’s interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no one will admit his death wasn’t accidental – and she might be next.

Now Mahit must navigate the capital’s enticing yet deadly halls of power, to discover dangerous truths. And while she hunts for the killer, Mahit must somehow prevent the rapacious Empire from annexing her home: a small, fiercely independent mining station.

As she sinks deeper into an alien culture that is all too seductive, Mahit engages in intrigues of her own. For she’s hiding an extraordinary technological secret, one which might destroy her station and its way of life. Or it might save them from annihilation.

A Memory Called Empire is book one in the Texicalaan trilogy.”

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Amy says:

esp

I haven't read Esperanza Rising written by Pam Munoz Ryan, published by Scholastic, in a long time but its memory has certainly stuck with me. A historical fiction based on what the author imagines life could have been like for her grandmother this is a coming of age story will capture the heart of any reader. Great to read aloud to young kids, middle readers, or adults. I remember listing to the audio CD on a car trip with my mom and brother, and by the end we were all crying. Esperanza is an inspiring character and her story is very relevant to today's immigration. 

From the publisher:

“Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico, and that she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstance; Mama's life, and her own, depend on it. 
Pam Munoz Ryan eloquently portrays the Mexican workers' plight in this abundant and passionate novel that gives voice to those who have historically been denied one.”

Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

Ben says:

shad

I just finished “The Shadow of What Was Lost” by James Islington. Pretty standard Fantasy fare, but  with some novel elements that allowed it to succeed where other doorstop-fantasy has grown stale and predictable of late (for me, at least). The story (book 1 of 3) follows a group of characters whose lives become inextricably intertwined with each other’s as mysterious forces push them together and force them apart while they adventure through a world of magic and magical creatures.  And while that all falls pretty squarely into the fantasy paradigm (no big surprises there) what this book does offer is a very murky understanding of each character’s underlying motives, and therefore a deep sense of mystery. Generally PG-13 with occasional vivid descriptions of extreme violence. This series probably falls squarely in the Adult category along with anything by R. Scott Bakker, The Black Company series, or The Expanse series. 

From the author:

“It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them - the Gifted - are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion's Four Tenets, vastly limiting their powers.

As a Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and others like him are despised. But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything.

To the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian's wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is...

And in the far north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir.”

Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

Sam says:

pol

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. 

she

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:

lumb

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:

toni

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


lisa n jack.jpg

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Sam says:

fou

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:

 

breakfast at.jpg

"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:

APlaceForUsFeatimage-830x625.jpg

"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!