If you frequent bookstores in the West Georgia region, odds are you've met one of our favorite bibliophiles in the world, LaGrange librarian and golden sun princess April Butler! April really is a ray of bottled bookish sunshine and her love and enthusiasm for books will inspire you to get some pages turning for yourself. Below you'll find twelve of April's most highly recommended books, each described with her trademark passion--and a pinch of pixie dust while she's at it!
Diana Gabaldon$9.99 $9.19
Claire Randall is a former WWII nurse, and while on a second honeymoon in rural Scotland with a husband she hasn’t seen in five years, Claire finds an ancient stone circle and walks through. It transports her 200 years into the past to 1743. She is caught in a dangerous world as Scottish highlanders are at war with the British Army, and both sides are suspicious of this strange “outlander.” Claire’s safety relies on the Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser, and as their lives entwine, Claire is torn between two very different lives. This is a compulsive read (and one of my favorites) which is hard to fit into a genre as it is a historical fiction, with a dash of fantasy, and contains an epic love story. I give this steamy, gripping, and at times heartbreaking book two thumbs up!
Jenny Colgan$14.99 $13.79
The Bookshop on the Corner is a delightful story of Nina, a librarian who loses her job, and decides to do something crazy—open a mobile bookshop. The reader is transported to rural Scotland, as Nina moves to a cozy village much different from her life in the city. She meets a variety of characters, gives plenty of book suggestions, finds friendship, and even romance. This is the perfect book to curl up with a hot beverage, a blanket, and let Nina take you on her adventure. I read this book in one sitting, and I wanted to immediately pick it back up again.
Marissa Meyer$10.99 $10.11
The first book of the Lunar Chronicles reminds me of a mash up of Cinderella set in the world of Blade Runner. Cinder is a cyborg who works as a mechanic, and lives with her stepmother, two step-sisters, and the most delightful A.I. you’ll ever encounter named Iko. While this has the traditional Cinderella story, it’s set in a future world on the brink of war with the Lunar people, and a plague is ravaging the citizens of Earth. Each book in this series follows a different character, and if you are a fan of shows like Firefly due to the crew aspect, I suggest you read this series.
Helene Hanff$14.00 $12.88
This is the ultimate book for book and bookstore lovers. Helene Hanff lived in NYC and wrote for television in the 1940s-1950s, and she discovered Marks and Co. Bookshop in London through an advertisement. 84, Charing Cross Road is a collection of letters with a bookseller named Frank, and their resulting friendship over a twenty-year correspondence. If you are looking for a book that feels like a warm hug and gives you faith in humanity, look no further.
Katie O'Neill$17.99 $16.55
Who would have thought a children’s graphic novel about tea dragons (small creatures who grow tea leaves from their horns) would become one of my favorite books of 2019? Treat yourself to this charming and beautifully illustrated book about a young blacksmith’s apprentice as she learns to care for tea dragons and meets several friends along the way. The story features a diverse cast of characters and includes characters who are POC, LGTBQIA+, and disabled. The back of the book also features a list of different tea dragons, their temperaments, physical traits, what kind of tea they grow, and if you love this one, you will be pleased to know there are more! I’m not the only one who thinks this book is great, as it was the winner of several awards including the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids.
Connie Willis$18.00 $16.56
The year is 2060, and historians at Oxford University time travel to observe various points in history. Michael, Merope, and Polly all plan to travel to England during World War II to study what it was life was like during the London Blitz or in the countryside with evacuated children. They each have an assigned return date, but things seem to get increasingly more dangerous as the war goes on, and there seems to be a glitch in the system that allows them to time travel back home. If a time traveling historical fiction book doesn’t suit your fancy, this isn’t for you. However, if that sounds right up your alley and/or you love Doctor Who, I suggest checking out Connie Willis’s Oxford Time Travel series.
Alan Bradley$17.00 $15.64
Flavia de Luce maybe one of my all-time favorite characters. She’s only eleven, but she’s incredibly intelligent, has a penchant for poisons and chemistry, has a bicycle named Gladys, and has a habit of finding dead bodies. This is the first book to a mystery series set in the 1950s English countryside in a crumbling manor called Buckshaw, and it is chock-full of wonderful characters who make up the residents of the small town of Bishop’s Lacey. Let Flavia take you along with her as she rides Gladys through the streets “helping” the police solve murders.
Robert Jordan$10.99 $10.11
If you are looking to read your next big fantasy series, I give you book one to the 14-book epic The Wheel of Time series. It follows young sheepherder Rand al’Thor and his friends who meet a mysterious woman named Moiraine who tells them they must leave their small village after they are attacked by creatures of darkness called Trollocs and Myrddraal. This world is diverse in characters, culture, and setting, and the first book takes the main characters out of their quaint town to learn how to use the True Source (magic), learn court politics, fight Trollocs, and start their journey to defeat the Dark One. This is the perfect time to start the series since a tv show for Amazon Prime is currently in production.
Grady Hendrix$14.99 $13.79
You know those few books that you can’t get out of your head after you read them because they are so fun? This is one of those. It reads like a 1980s teen horror movie, but one with some humor and heart (like if John Hughes made a Mean Girls meets The Exorcist film). It’s 1988, and high school sophomores Abby and Gretchen are bffs. After a night out in the woods, Gretchen starts to act strangely. She becomes moody. Things happen around her that are unexplained, and Abby starts to believe Gretchen might be possessed. If you need a book that is a little spooky and a whole lot of fun, read this book.
Jasper Fforde$17.00 $15.64
Thursday Next is a literary detective in an alternate 1980s England, and she can literally jump into books. In this first installment, someone is kidnapping character from their books, and Jane Eyre goes missing! Thursday is out to solve the case, and mayhem and hilarity ensues. These are whimsical books perfect for any book lover who has ever wanted to get lost in a good book, and wished time travel was real, and that dodos were still alive.
Louisa May Alcott$16.00 $14.72
There are few stories I love as much as Little Women, and aspiring writer Jo was one of my favorite characters along with Hermione Granger when I was a kid. Set in Massachusetts during the Civil War, the March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are as different as can be, but they all long for their father to be home from the war. In this timeless story of family and perseverance, the reader will laugh, have their heart broken, and find hope. Recommended when you need a pick me up or miss your sisters/best friends.
Jen Campbell$19.99 $18.39
Are you a bibliophile who plans to visit the best local bookstores while on vacation? Do you like bookish facts, quotes, and interviews with authors? Do you like bookstores? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I implore you pick up The Bookshop Book. You will want to plan your next road trip to visit these amazing bookstores and the wonderful people who run them.