Staff Favorites

By Book Review

By Book Review

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

V. E. Schwab

$26.99 $24.83

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Tj Klune

$27.99 $25.75

The Midnight Library

Matt Haig

$26.00 $23.92

Nora Seed has decided that she is done living. She has lost her dad, her job, her cat, and no longer speaks to her brother. No one needs her and no one will miss her. In between life and death Nora discovers the Midnight Library, a library filled with the many different versions of her life. Nora is given the opportunity to visit her different lives to find the perfect one for her - along the way she experiences a variety of jobs and romantic relationships that are both hers and not hers at all. Written with short chapters, we get to follow along with Nora as she tries to find the life that will make her truly - to her core - happy. I managed to read almost all of it in one sitting, I just couldn’t put it down! I thought that this was a great exploration of what it takes to be happy and content with your life. Fair warning though, this book did cause me to have a bit of an existential crisis and should not be read lightly when facing life-changing decisions.

The Four Winds

Kristin Hannah

$28.99 $26.67

Oh, how I love this book! So let me count the ways: 1. Elsa Wolcott Martenelli: a heroine we love from the beginning. 2. Texas in The Great Depression: Mother Nature creates a big dustbowl of dashed dreams and misery. But don’t let that stop you reading on. 3. Texans: people characterized by their courage, determination, resilience and hope. 4. California: much like the Goldrush, it’s rumored to have jobs and lots of money for people willing to work hard. (We know that’s probably not going to pan out.) 5. Most of All: This is Kristin Hannah writing at her best. In Elsa, she gives us a woman whose sense of fairness and devotion to her family and friends holds a wonder-filled story together. I couldn’t put it down.

Anxious People

Fredrik Backman

$28.00 $25.76

If you're a fan of Fredrik Backman like us, you will LOVE this book. Only available in Hardcover at the moment.

The Searcher

Tana French

$27.00 $24.84

I’ve been a Tana French fan since her first book, In the Woods. Those of you who are also fans know she is an Irish writer and her books are usually police mysteries - sometimes with recurring characters. This, however, is a standalone novel about a middle aged retired detective who has transplanted from Chicago to the backwoods farmland of Ireland. He finds himself involved in some pretty nasty situations in which he questions the appropriateness of his big-city policing skills. He’s negotiating in a closed community in a foreign country where traditions, loyalties and the lay of the land is nowhere near his past experience. French has placed the outsider front and center. She probes at the psyche of a person whose code of ethics can destabilize when pressured by a different way of looking at the world. In a place where matters are settled in the background and it isn’t always clear who people really are. The dialogue is pitch perfect and serves the plot well. The characters will stay with you.

Afterlife

Julia Alvarez

$16.95 $15.59

In this small, powerful book, Julia Alvarez creates a character for whom the power of language - especially literature - means as much as balancing the competing needs of family and service to others in need. It’s not an easy time for Antonia. She is 65 and just retired as a college English professor when her husband, Sam, dies unexpectedly. They had no children so Antonia’s grief and her struggle to find a new meaning for herself in a world without him begins with a carefully considered evaluation of what their relationship gave to her. When challenges arise, she imagines him in his afterlife sharing his thoughts and advice as he did when they were together. This gives her much consolation... Until her 3 loving and dramatic sisters invade her precarious solitude with their rivalries, demands, and life-changing issues. At the same time, she is expected to balance their needs with those of a pair of illegal immigrants who are desperate for her help. We are witnesses to her struggle for balance between competing demands. Afterlife is the kind of powerful and engaging book that gave me a lot to think about and ponder. It would make a great book group selection.

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)

Jeanine Cummins

$27.99 $25.75

I couldn’t put ‘American Dirt’ down. The plot is tight, unpredictable, and timely but not political. My heart was literally pounding during some chapters in the book. Not only is it a fast paced work of fiction but ‘American Dirt’ gives you great insight into the world of drug-lords, kingpins and the savage destruction they can bring upon innocent people, their families and entire towns. You can truly understand why people want to escape Mexico - for this family there was no alternative! What lengths would you go to for your child and for your survival? A great read from start to finish! Be prepared to be unable nor want to put this book down. Only in Hardcover

Writers & Lovers

Lily King

$27.00 $24.84

An extraordinary new novel of art, love, and ambition from Lily King, the New York Times bestselling author of Euphoria

The Pull of the Stars

Emma Donoghue

$28.00 $25.76

1918. Flu Pandemic. Maternity ward. Three days. Ireland ... But this is all really a backdrop for a searing portrait of women’s lives scarred by poverty and too many pregnancies. Three remarkable female characters are woven together in this very touching, historically accurate portrayal of life in the early 1900s. How far we have come and how far we have yet to go! The relationships are touching and sad but oh so real! In a time when we are all living through Covid-19, reading this about the 1918 Flu puts so many things into perspective. We are so lucky to live in this Century. Only in Hardcover

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead

$15.95 $14.67

I had not read a Colson Whitehead book before and after reading “The Nickel Boys”, I want (and need) to read “The Underground Railroad” (2016). I couldn’t put “The Nickel Boys” down. I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to reading historical fiction, especially when it centers around the persecuted and downtrodden. This book is based on true facts about a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children. Whitehead writes with gravity and care. It’s a painful story to read and for Elwood, a young black boy in the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future. Available in Paperback

The Guest List

Lucy Foley

$27.99 $25.75

A wonderful page turning suspense mystery on an island off the coast of Ireland, where a small “Guest List” have gathered to celebrate the marriage of a young couple. The grey, cold mood and atmosphere on the island are immediately set and a wonderful array of characters are served up for you, not dissimilar to an introduction in an Agatha Christie mystery. There are references to Boarding School and words such as “exeat” (a long weekend away from School or College)which I loved and could instantly relate to. You’ll believe that you’ve guessed the twist or the suspect and be wrong time and time again, which makes for early morning or late night reading, as I experienced! If you love a good Mystery, I highly recommend this one! Only in Hardcover. Comes out in Paperback in August 2021

Cilka's Journey

Heather Morris

$16.99 $15.63

(Author of “Tattooist Of Auschwitz”) If you’re like me and read “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and were both emotionally moved and horrified at the (fact-based) story of Lale and Gita, who were imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau, then you will no doubt want to read “Cilka’s Journey”. Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau notices her long beautiful hair and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. As horrific as Cilka’s time was in Auschwitz-Birkenau, what happened to her after the camp was liberated, was unimaginable. She was only 16 years old when her life changed forever. Now, entering adulthood, she is punished further by being tried and found guilty of being a “collaborator” with the Nazis and sent to a Gulag in Siberia. In this camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. Cilka finds a calling among the ill in the camp and is taken under the wing of a woman doctor. This is her story! Available in Paperback

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Heather Morris

$16.99 $15.63

This harrowing story of bravery and compassion under the most dire of circumstances puts you right there on the train headed for Auschwitz from the very first page. Based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who is forced to become a tattooist at Auschwitz-Birkenau, it is impossible to imagine the horror of being tasked with permanently marking your fellow prisoners under constant fear of death. What I found most inspiring about this unique Holocaust account is how Lale found the love of his life during history's darkest time, reminding me that sometimes love truly does conquer all. Available in Paperback

Washington Black

Esi Edugyan

$16.95 $15.59

Eleven-year-old George Washington Black - or Wash - a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is intially terrified when he is chosen to be the manservant of his master's brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is intiated into a world where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, they must abandon everything and flee. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again. Available in Paperback

Once Upon a River

Diane Setterfield

$17.99 $16.55

On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, a wounded stranger carries in the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later the girl stirs, and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Magic? As the days pass the child remains mute and unable to answer questions. Three families are keen to claim her: the wealthy mother of a kidnapped daughter missing for two years; a farming family sure it is their son's secret daughter; a parson's housekeeper, reminded of her younger sister. Each family has secrets, which must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known. Available in Paperback

Beartown

Fredrik Backman

$17.00 $15.64

This book is so much more than a story about a hockey town …. It’s about a dream & a traumatic incident that has a ripple effect on the town & the consequences they face. Beautifully written ….. I couldn’t put it down. Best selling author of ‘A Man Called Ove’ and his latest ‘Us Against You’ (Beartown #2) In paperback

Us Against You

Fredrik Backman

$17.00 $15.64

I love the way this man writes & his follow up to “Beartown” doesn’t disappoint. This story is about people - their strengths, weaknesses, loyalty, fears & friendships. There are so many great characters in this book - you feel their pain, you understand their fears and you want the good guys to prevail! There were moments in the book when I was internally screaming “nooooo” as I was rooting for the under dog! Best selling author of ‘A Man Called Ove’ and Beartown. In paperback

The Widows of Malabar Hill

Sujata Massey

$15.95 $14.67

Set in 1920’s Bombay, this historical mystery follows Perveen, the first female lawyer of her time, as she represents the estate of three widows who practice purdah with strict religious seclusion. As a result of this assignment, she must use her strength and persistence to solve a murder and fight for the widows’ rights in this compelling and enjoyable read. The historical detail transports you straight into the heart of Bombay with its rich culture. The first in a series, you will fall in love with this timeless heroine.

The Satapur Moonstone

Sujata Massey

$16.95 $15.59

Follow up to Widows of Malabar Hill with our protagonist Perveen. India in 1922. Set in lush, remote Sahyadri mountains, where the princely state of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur and the royal ladies are in a dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer's counsel is required. Enter Perveen.

Among the Shadows: A Detective Byron Mystery

Bruce Robert Coffin

$15.99 $14.71

Bruce Coffin is a local Portland Resident, retired in 2012 after 27 years in the Portland Police department, Mr Coffin knows detective work! His knowledge of police procedures & politics shines through in this, the first of three so far, in the Detective Byron mysteries. The plot, the characters & dialog have great fluidity & pace. A quick, easy read that you will not want to end. Detective Byron is a believable 2nd generation cop, who’s world is falling apart with the separation from his wife & a bad habit of relying a bit too much on the bottle. When someone dies under suspicious circumstances and they happen to be one of their own, an investigation ensues, revealing that there’s much more to it than originally thought. Sidebar - It’s set in & around Portland & refers to streets & local areas…. Making it even more fun to read.

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

Min Jin Lee

$16.99 $15.63

This beautifully written novel follows the life of Sunja, the daughter of a crippled fisherman. Pachinko is a story of migration, belonging and acceptance. Pachinko is also a game. Meticulously written, Min Jin Lee highlights the overlooked history of the largely ethnic-Korean community in Japan. Beginning in the early 1900s and spanning almost 100 years and three generations, the story moves from Korea to pre and postwar Osaka and finally Tokyo and Yokohama. Pachinko showcases the struggles of people in a foreign land, with great depth and insight. For lovers of historical fiction, this is a wonderful read! Enjoy!

The Huntress

Kate Quinn

$16.99 $15.63

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, suspense and a great fast paced story, then you won’t be disappointed with “The Huntress”. A fabulous follow up novel from Author Quinn’s “The Alice Network”. Based just after WWII with flashbacks to periods during the War in Russia, Austria, Siberia and Germany, we travel across the seas to Boston, where Jordan, an aspiring young photographer meets her father’s new girlfriend, Anneliese, who has settled in the United States after the war. But we also have the story of Nina, a female Russian bomber pilot, bent on revenge and Ian, a British Nazi hunter, who wants to see every Nazi before a Judge. Lots of threads, ultimately means lots of twists and the suspense of this thriller won’t let you put it down for long before you have to read more.