Christy Lefteri$17.00 $15.81
I read The Beekeeper of Aleppo, by Christy Lefteri in the spring and still think about this book. It tells the story of a Syrian beekeeper and his wife who leave their city of Aleppo to travel as refugees to England. Husband and wife, Afra and Nuri, flee from family tragedy and loss, but such trauma can’t be easily escaped. Painful memories unfurl as their journey progresses. Despite the damage inflicted, the love between husband and wife shine through and the strength of the human spirit prevails. From the tender descriptions of beekeeping to the horrific scenes detailed in the refugee camps, Lefteri captivated me with her rich, beautiful writing.
Jesmyn Ward$17.00 $15.81
I love her writing style which feels to me completely immersive. This story is set in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi and tells the story of one family’s experience of hurricane Katrina. Ward brings to life fully formed characters who have limited resources and few choices in the preparation for the storm. These characters share love, loyalty, and history that creates family. For me, the beauty of Ward’s writing, the development of her characters, and their relationships carried this story of love and the strength of family.
Andrew Krivak$17.99 $16.73
The quietest post-apocalyptic novel I’ve encountered. A girl and her father are the last humans on earth, and nature has reclaimed the planet. With touches of magical realism, and an allegorical feel, this survival story revels in nature’s beauty.
Lily King$27.00 $25.11
A poignant and intelligent novel about a struggling young writer, Casey, and the harsh realities that come with a creative career. King's wry humor and astute observations of the misgivings of youth make this story of love and loss a must-read this summer. Perfect for your next virtual book club or socially distanced afternoon at the lake.
Rebecca Makkai$18.00 $16.74
I can't believe it took me so long to read this fabulous page-turner of a novel from 2018 (National Book Award finalist, Pulitzer Prize finalist, etc etc etc). Makkai braids two moving and beautifully-drawn stories together — the beginning of the AIDS epidemic outbreak in Chicago among a group of young friends, and the harrowing family reconciliation of one of those characters some 30 years later. This is an exquisitely observed interpersonal drama, and Makkai's examination of heroism in all its forms makes it easy to recommend this one wholeheartedly. Just beautiful.
James Patterson and Bill Clinton$9.99 $9.29
It is rare that my husband and I both thoroughly enjoy the same book; our tastes are so different. However, we both found this novel utterly entertaining. It is a true page turner, the perfect escape. The fact that you might be getting a peek into the workings of the White House is a bonus.
Richard Wagamese$15.00 $13.95
Simultaneously devastating and hopeful. There is a powerful sort of beauty in Wagamese's storytelling that grips your heart. Recommended by Heather
Megan Hunter$14.00 $13.02
This book left me absolutely breathless. The prose (almost verse really) is surreal and Hunter's portrayal of new motherhood coinciding with the beginning of the end of the world (by floods) was SO beautiful, haunting and unforgettable. Two thumbs up. Recommended by Emily
Anne Fadiman$16.00 $14.88
Anne Fadiman is simply a terrific writer. Wonderfully engaging. Consistenly absorbing. This is her clear-eyed and tender-hearted memoir about her father, Clifton Fadiman, a poor Russian Jewish kid from Brooklyn turned famous literary gatekeeper. He was the New Yorker's staff book reviewer in the 1930s and editor in chief at Simon and Schuster. And, apparently, he loved wine. You dont have to love wine yourself to love this book (although it helps), as it is written in erudite but easygoing prose--the daughter's signature style. A real delight. Recommended by Emily
Caitlin Doughty and Landis Blair$15.95 $14.83
Does our culture handle death and grieving the right way? Take a trip with mortician Doughty to find out about different funeral practices around the globe. You'll learn about cultures that celebrate with their loved ones' mummies every few years, the invention of modern cremation, sky burials (where bodies are fed to vultures) among many other rituals. Illuminating, mindful and macabre. Recommended by Laura
Ashley Herring Blake$7.99 $7.43
This is such a gem of a book, and I really wish something like this had been around when I was 11 years old!! Ivy is immensely lovable and relatable as the middle child of a family who all seem (to Ivy) to be too busy for her. This is a book I won't forget. Recommended by Emily
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley$9.99 $9.29
A brother and sister are evacuated from London during WWII. They escape their unfortunate family life to discover a new beginning. In the home of an adult who takes them in, they blossom emotionally and are able to help each other grow. A wonderful story for all ages. Recommended by Liza
Erica Moroz and Diane Guerrero$8.99 $8.36
The utterly devastating, painfully accessible, imminently poignant tale of a family torn apart by deportation. 14 year old Guerrero's parents are suddenly scooped up in an ICE raid and she's left to navigate on her own.... timely... terrifying..... Recommended by Heather
Katherine Applegate$16.99 $15.80
This book is so original! The narrator is Red, an oak tree, who witnesses something beautiful and also something unfortunate. Red's role as the neighborhood's "wishing tree" becomes particularly important, and this book's message could not come at a better time. Loved it. Recommended by Emily
Katherine Arden$16.99 $15.80
Are you in the mood for something spooky? When Ollie's dad wins a weekend at a new ski resort, Ollie and her best friends are surprised to find out no one else made it through the blizzard to opening weekend, no one except a ghost hunter! Snowed in without power, mysterious events start to occur in this sequel to the equally scary Small Spaces. Don't look in mirrors, and whatever you do, don't listen to dead voices. Recommended by Laura
Dusti Bowling$8.95 $8.32
Gus-a bright 13-year-old who lives in Nowhere, Arizona- has only ONE night to do the impossible: go into the abandoned Dead Frenchman Mine and find enough gold to get his friend Rossi's dirt bike back from the school's biggest bully. SO GOOD: A plot that won't stop, terrific humor, and a truly lovable crew!! Recommended by Emily
Carl Hiaasen$7.99 $7.43
This book is hilarious! New kid Roy Eberhardt just moved from Montana to Florida and has unfortunately attracted the attention of his middle school's biggest bully but he is pretty fearless. A girl who pops a bike tire with her tooth, sparkly poisonous snakes, a dopey police officer and alligators stuck in port-o-potties underscored by dry one liners that made me laugh out loud. Fantastic! Recommended by Laura
Gene Stone and Michael Greger$35.00 $32.55
This book has totally changed the way that I eat! Doctor Greger goes through the leading causes of death in the United States and systematically presents research showing how changing your nutrition can prevent and even reverse these diseases. Emphasis is on cutting back on animal products and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. Information is presented in a hopeful, motivating manner, and you'll learn lots of fun facts along the way. Get ready to up your flax seed consumption! Recommended by Laura
Laurie Forest$12.99 $12.08
Yes, this novel revisits well-trodden themes of unrealized magical powers and coming of age. However, Forest brilliantly addresses this subject matter in a unique and fresh manner. With a basically good but flawed main character, the first few chapters are disturbing and force the reader to examine some of their own preconceived ideas. Yet as the protagonist grows, the story unfolds with understanding and hope. Any of these quotes could apply to this story: "History is written by the victors" "You've got to be taught to hate and fear" "When you know better, do better" Recommended by Sandy
Jandy Nelson$11.99 $11.15
As many young adult novels do, I'll Give You the Sun addresses the well-trodden themes of self-discovery, angst, and strife that is contained within every coming of age story. However, Nelson's fresh and unique approach makes tiresome themes seem innovative and shockingly advanced. Both heart-wrenching and fast-paced, the characters who reside within this newly discovered world are multi-dimensional, authentic and undeniably human. A juvenile dispute between twins is mirrored by an adult heartbreak, a tortured artist finds himself unwillingly tied to a broken family, a daughter loses herself to guilt and her dead mother's ghost, and a boy forgets how to live. As each individual traces their past, more and more is revealed in their desperate attempts to discern who they truly are. Recommended by Lexi
As political tension mounts, 13-year-old Shahen wants to move to America but his twin sister Sosi is in love and doesn't want to leave. when all the able-bodied men are rounded up, Papa and Mama send Sosi, Shahen and their little sister to run away in the mountains. Gripping, sad and beautiful. Recommended by Laura
Gripping YA-crossover (good for adults too) fiction. I learned so much about the Manson-girls era, about LA, and about how easy it is to find parallels between an individual life and the rise of America. Recommended by Emily
John Lewis Gaddis$18.00 $16.74
Professor Gaddis turns Yale's most sought-after course into a book that spans millennia as it explores fundamental concepts of leadership and political theory. In the first chapter, Gaddis ties the Vietnam War with King Xerxes and the Peloponnesian War and asks his readers to find connections between seemingly disparate times in history. Gaddis takes lessons from history's greatest political theorists and fiction writers, some recognizable and some not, to take a multi-disciplinary approach by facilitating 'conversations' between author Leo Tolstoy and thinkers such as Isaiah Berlin and Carl von Clausewitz. Recommended by Robin