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Staff Pick Logo
The Apostle Killer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612195797
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House Publishing - September 20th, 2016

Did Jesus really die on the cross? Investigator Cassius Gallio isn’t buying it. There has to be some conspiracy, some medical trickery, some sneaky thing going on. Trouble is, the CCTV cameras show nothing terribly suspicious. Disoriented? Don’t worry, it doesn’t last long.

             Beard drops readers into a world that’s simultaneously ancient and modern, and guess what? You totally fall into it: A present-day police procedural about the cult of Jesus. Pontius Pilate is the corrupt boss, Judas a Confidential Informant, and this new “religion” possibly a terrorist cell headed by the Apostles. Then these twelve men start dying in horrible ways and Cassius must race to save the next one before this martyrdom thing gets out of hand. Sales of t-shirts and touristy trinkets are skyrocketing. It’s a P.R. nightmare, and the internet isn’t making his job any easier.

Obviously this isn’t for everyone, but it is genius—the perfect gift for someone who likes “weird edgy stuff.” What begins as a clever twist on an timeless tale actually turns into a contemplation of faith and the role of our media, a thriller that dares to speculate how the modern world might react to something as miraculous as a resurrection. One of my top ten of the year. ~ Dana


Staff Pick Logo
The Trees Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632862839
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - August 2nd, 2016

What drew me in was the cover. What made me stay was the characters. The story that Shaw weaves is absolutely fantastic, and it’s peopled with some of the most human characters I’ve come across in the hundreds of books I’ve read.

             Overnight, England is covered in a dense forest. Trees spring out of the soil like weeds, growing to fantastic heights that normally are only seen in old growth forests. Towns are destroyed, as the trees have no qualms about where to sprout, destroying homes, cars, business, and lives.

             Forty-something Adrien Thomas is at home alone, his wife having gone away on business to Ireland. Aging hippie Hannah is having tea on her deck while her sixteen year old son Seb sleeps inside. Inoue Hiroko is in England on a class trip from Japan. Then the trees come and throw everything into motion. Adrien begrudgingly joins Hannah and Seb on a trek west, where they are soon joined by Hiroko. They make their way through the forest filled with plants, animals, and creatures that are even stranger than fiction.

To be honest, I hated Adrien at first, but by the end of the novel, he was my favorite character. He embodies the fear, self-loathing, and humanity in all of us, and the way that Ali Shaw is able to make these characters leap off the page is absolutely stunning. After a slow start, I sat down and devoured over three hundred pages in one day, and I was emotionally exhausted when it was over.

As far as books go, this is one of my new favorites. The prose, characters, and story left absolutely nothing to be desired. Fantastic. ~ Ezra


Staff Pick Logo
Darktown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501133862
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Published: Atria Books - September 13th, 2016

This is one of my go-to mystery suggestions right now. It will appeal to those who like their murder on the literary side, those who like historical tales and those who like things a little dark. Set in the South during the late forties, this novel is about the first black police officers in Atlanta, GA.

             As you can imagine, not everyone is happy about this. It interrupts the status quo, and these men—some WWII veterans—have steep uphill battle ahead of them. Restricted to the “dark” side of town, given badges but not guns or cars, they are virtually powerless, hamstrung from the ingrained racism of the times. So what happens when they suspect the white cops of corruption and murder? How do they prove their case? It’s an infuriating, suspenseful, and tense ride. For fans of: The Far Empty by J. Todd Scott (in mood), Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye (in subject) ~ Dana


Staff Pick Logo
The Couple Next Door Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780735221086
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - August 23rd, 2016

Anne and Marco’s new baby is missing. She was home sleeping in her crib. They just went next door for a drink with the neighbors. We dive in quickly and deeply. By page 40, the police arrive and they're not alone. Marco explains to his wife Anne, "they're not tracking dogs. They're cadaver dogs." Yikes.

             I love working with the detectives in my books, trying to figure things out with them. I enjoy the challenge of trying to solve the mystery. 

             LaPena gives a good, strong, feasible jolt to the ending. 

             A total surprise. ~ Jen


Staff Pick Logo
The Nix Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101946619
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Published: Knopf Publishing Group - August 30th, 2016

Ghosts and Politics! What could go wrong? A big ambitious novel covering several decades from 1960s Chicago to our present preoccupation with fame and video games.

             A 60 year old woman throws gravel at a  contentious presidential candidate. Her estranged son sees her on TV, locates her and finally comes to realize why she left so very long ago. The angst leads her back to a Norwegian “haunt” (a “Nix”) that has spooked her family for generations.

             This debut novel is very well-paced and filled with the ironies of our times. There is even a chapter (one sentence long!) that deals entirely with what happens to your body when obsessed with video games.

The characters have unique personalities but I guarantee that the reader can identify with many of them. The writing reminds me of early John Irving, Jonathan Franzen, and Donna Tartt. Utterly convincing, entertaining, and inspiring - this is one of my favorite novels of 2016. ~ Dianne


Staff Pick Logo
Fields Where They Lay Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781616957469
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Soho Crime - October 25th, 2016

This is technically my only “holiday” themed book on this list. And I’m really recommending anything and everything by Hallinan rather than this single title. This is the latest in his Junior Bender mysteries, a quirky L.A. series starring Junior Bender, a professional thief who moonlights as a kind of P.I. for other criminals. He’s a good guy, despite his occupation, with his own moral code. His solutions to some cases aren’t exactly what the client asked for, especially if that client is particularly slimy.

             In this installment, the guy who hires him is a Russian Mobster trying to go legit and he wants to know why shoplifting at his shopping mall is on the rise. Junior has until Christmas Eve—three days away—to figure it out, a most literal “dead”line. Chaos ensues, and then the lightbulb goes off. Another case solved. Smart, funny mysteries. ~ Dana


Staff Pick Logo
The Daily Show (the Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests Cover Image
By Jon Stewart (Foreword by), Chris Smith
ISBN: 9781455565382
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 22nd, 2016

A complete and uncensored behind-the-scenes look at one of the most groundbreaking shows in American history? What else really needs to be said here?  I still laugh thinking about Jon Stewart’s America: The Book (If pro is the opposite of con, does that make Congress the opposite of Progress?), and can’t wait to get my hands on this. ~ Dana


Staff Pick Logo
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399588174
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - November 15th, 2016

This memoir by the new Daily Show host is getting starred reviews left and right.  The title refers to Noah’s birth – the child of a white father and black mother in Apartheid South Africa – an illegal and surreal beginning to a fascinating life.  Given his wit and intelligence, this promises to be an entertaining and illuminating read. ~ Dana


Staff Pick Logo
Moonglow: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062225559
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Published: Harper - November 22nd, 2016

A new, deeply personal novel from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, and Telegraph Avenue, this is a haunting and loving homage to Chabon’s grandparents. Based on conversations with his own terminally ill grandfather, Moonglow traverses midcentury America and Europe from WWII to the moon landing. ~ Dana


The Secret Keepers Cover Image
By Trenton Lee Stewart, Diana Sudyka (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316389556
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 27th, 2016

From the author of one of my favorite kid’s books, Mysterious Benedict Society, comes this stand-alone novel of adventure, a magical watch and, well, secrets.  Stewart’s writing balances thrills with intelligent plots, never writing down to kids.  A gorgeous, tantalizing cover encases a story sure to please both boys and girls. (age 10+) ~ Dana


By Gaslight Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374160531
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 4th, 2016

A 700 page whomper of a mystery that immerses readers into Victorian London.  Two men hunt con man Edward Shade. William Pinkerton is trying to solve a case that eluded his father, and Adam Foole is a bit of a scoundrel looking to avenge his lover’s death. Eventually, they join forces and delve into the city’s underground in search of the elusive Shade. An atmospheric and compelling historical novel perfect for long winter’s night.  ~ D


Heartless Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250044655
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - November 8th, 2016

You’ve been listening to me gush about Meyer for years. I’m a huge fan of her Lunar Chronicles, a futuristic retelling of classic fairy tales. She’s a master of suspense and twisty plotting, and always throws in enough humor to keep things from getting too heavy or overly dramatic.  Heartless imagines the origin story of the cruel Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Once upon a time, she was just a young girl who wanted to fall in love. Then everything went horribly wrong. (age 13+) ~ D


Judgmental Maps: Your City. Judged. Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250068545
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Published: Flatiron Books - November 8th, 2016

Oh, goodness. This is probably the most politically incorrect book we have in the store. Comedian Gillaspie breaks down major US cities by demographics. But these aren’t the demographics you see on the news, and, frankly, most are the kind I can’t list here. But it is hysterical. And, as with all satire, it’s funny because of the underlying truth in it all. Wonderful graphics and tongue-in-cheek commentary. ~ Dana


The Terranauts: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062349408
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - October 25th, 2016

Seal eight people in an experimental dome to see if it’s possible to recreate Earth living conditions off-world. While the project’s motto is “nothing in, nothing out,” the crew’s every action is monitored by Mission Control, and some of it even released to the media.  What could go wrong? ~ D


Dancers After Dark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780761189336
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Workman Publishing - October 18th, 2016

Photographer Matter has a knack for capturing dancers in the almost weightless state of motion, when gravity seems but a suggestion, and bones seem malleable.  In the hours between dusk and dawn, whether in dramatic city lights or a country sunset, Matter and his flexible, graceful friends captured this stunning collection of images. Practiced with clothes, then shot without. And no one got arrested. Amazing. ~ Dana


Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color Cover Image
By Chuck Palahniuk, Duncan Fegredo (Illustrator), Lee Bermejo (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781506703114
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dark Horse Books - October 25th, 2016

Eight new stories from the incomparable mind of Chuck P, illustrated by noted graphic novel artists, and colored in by you. Chuck’s appeal to readers: "Maybe between your colors, the artists' designs, and my stories we can create something that endures. Something worth keeping. Let's create a well-bound book that can sit on any shelf and be available for a new generation to discover and enjoy." For adults. ~ Dana


Gardens of Awe and Folly: A Traveler's Journal on the Meaning of Life and Gardening Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632860279
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Published: Bloomsbury USA - March 1st, 2016

It’s a good idea to keep a few garden themed art books around to help get through the winter. This lovely travel/gardening book takes the reader from Paris to Morocco then back to the States. Watercolor  paintings, local culture, and plants, plants, plants! Jennifer and I thoroughly enjoyed its ambiance. ~ Dianne


The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries from a Secret World Cover Image
By Peter Wohlleben, Tim Flannery (Foreword by), Jane Billinghurst (Translator)
ISBN: 9781771642484
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - September 13th, 2016

Trees as social beings? The interdependence of trees, fungi, insects, and other animals as presented from his research brings astonishment and reverence with every chapter. This is the book that the reader exclaims ‘listen to this!” It is also a book to savor and perhaps read more than once. You will never look at trees the same way again. Necessary and fascinating. ~ Dianne


All the Presidents' Gardens: Madison's Cabbages to Kennedy's Roses--How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781604695892
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press (OR) - April 27th, 2016

Fact and fancy; history and beauty - this lavishly illustrated garden tour of America’s most famous residence is essential for those who love history and gardening. If you thought that D.C was just cherry trees, think again! From Washington to Obama, these gardens are diverse and ever changing - just like America itself. ~ Dianne


Upstream: Selected Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594206702
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Published: Penguin Press - October 11th, 2016

One of America’s favorite poets discusses her influences- both natural and literary. She seamlessly unites a life of work and love. Of course she says it best: “I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” She positions herself “upstream” and encourages us to keep moving. ~ Dianne


The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062262264
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Published: William Morrow - May 31st, 2016

I am enthralled by this non-fiction collection.  From frivolous to serious these essays ROCK! I especially love his take on libraries and literature. He takes a deep look at history, myth, and culture and then gives our culture (he’s British) the modern classic American Gods. I can’t imagine contemporary literature without this author. ~ Dianne             

Homemade: Finnish Rye, Feed Sack Fashion, and Other Simple Ingredients from My Life in Food Cover Image
ISBN: 9780816695799
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Minnesota Press - October 1st, 2016

The author of 29 books on Finnish culture and cooking. This memoir chronicles her family life in rural Minnesota and continues with her culinary fame and expertise. There are even recipes. Despite decades of cooking she appears to have never lost her rural Finnish roots. ~ Dianne


Today Will Be Different Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316403436
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Published: Little Brown and Company - October 4th, 2016

From the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette? comes another intelligent and quirky read. The protagonist’s modest attempts at daily improvements go awry when the mundane meets deeply buried family secrets. From its inventive structure (there’s a graphic novel within the plot) to its “I didn’t see it coming” ending, this novel is sure to please fans of Semple’s work. ~ Dianne


The Devils of Cardona Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781101982730
Availability: Special Order
Published: Riverhead Books - June 14th, 2016

A thrilling and thoughtful historical novel set in 16th Century Spain. Religious intolerance and xenophobia are played out in the daily lives of kings and commoners as Christianity and Islam are engaged in an idealogical war again. With the intrigue of Wolf Hall  and the pacing of DaVinci Code, it begs for a sequel. ~ Dianne


Flashlight (Junior Library Guild Selection) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452118949
Availability: Backordered
Published: Chronicle Books (CA) - August 12th, 2014

Indoors or out--a flashlight is necessary and fun! This wordless book is cleverly illustrated. Most of the page is dark. As the little boy shines his light into the woods many creatures large and small are illuminated. A flashlight, this book, and maybe a prop pillow and your little bedtime reader is good to go! ~ Dianne


On Heights & Hunger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944853006
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Outpost19 - September 6th, 2016

Josh is, bar-none, the best writing professor I’ve had. He is generous and deeply intelligent. But I’m not promoting his book simply for that. Josh’s calm, controlled talent quietly leaps out at you, and while you may think you just started one of his pieces, you’ll find yourself at its end. These are autobiographical meditations on his relationship to trees (he is both a former professional tree climber as well as tree feller). Here he finds the divine in leaves and branches. ~ Michael


The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812998702
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Published: Random House - September 20th, 2016

This is less a celeb-worship bio than it is a how-to guide to harness your inner Bill. It’s self-help. Here’s a man who will cover your eyes on a Chicago street corner and whisper “No one will believe you” into your ear. Or he’ll crash your college party at 1 a.m. when no one will remember. As the author shows, Bill has a qi, a Tao about him in the way he plays with the world. ~ Michael


Tek: The Modern Cave Boy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316338059
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 4th, 2016

Tek’s like all the other cave boys, except he’s attached to his devices. His phone, his tablet, his videogames. His friends miss him, but all he cares about is, well, what we care about. The village doesn’t know what to do - until the electricity goes down. Tek peers away from his screens and see the world for all its beauty. (Ages 4-8)  ~ Michael


Great City Maps Cover Image
ISBN: 9781465453587
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Published: DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) - September 6th, 2016

I’m a cartophile. I love maps. They reveal history, planning, topography and sometimes genius (or idiocy, depending on the cartographer). The Smithsonian Institute has curated the history of city mapping into one accessible volume. Included in these pages are some of the original painted maps which beautifully described (though imperfectly) the products of history’s first urban planners all the way to modern satellite works of art. ~ Michael


Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632170576
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Published: Sasquatch Books - October 11th, 2016

This beautiful combination of history and graphics tells the stories of some of history’s most important, but forgotten women (told, of course, by women). Here we have Shirley Chisholm (the first woman to run for president), Rachel Carson (who wrote Silent Spring and effectively launched the modern environmental movement), Gwendolyn Brooks (Pulitzer Prize winner and champion of female literacy) and myriad other women who shaped the world we know today. ~ Michael


Mechanica Cover Image
ISBN: 9781499803433
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Bee Books - August 30th, 2016

Future Earth. The warnings of science have gone unheeded and vast spaces of the planet are uninhabitable. So what do humans do? Tinker more. In this field guide to an imagined world of tomorrow, we encounter mechanical butterflies (Mechanical Papilo), artificial eagles (Aquila Artificialis), automated bats (Vespertillo Automatismus) and other brave new species competing for resources in lands of plenty pollution. This steam-punky volume works for all ages. ~ Michael


What the F: What Swearing Reveals about Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves Cover Image
ISBN: 9780465060917
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Published: Basic Books - September 13th, 2016

Swearing is both celebrated and chastised in our culture, at one moment hilarious, at another hideous. Bergen takes us on a journey through the science of swearing, the history of censorship, and the social politics of this controversial topic. Face it: There’s someone in your life who loves dropping the F-bomb, so get them this effing book. ~ Michael


Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393254549
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 6th, 2016

Have a person in your life who is simultaneously addicted to and repulsed by social media? I think we all do. This is the book for them. Carr, a technology critic, turns his searing prose to Silicon Valley and asks the questions we’re all pondering. For example: “If I like their post am I elevating political discourse?” ~ Michael


Makoons (Birchbark House #5) Cover Image
By Louise Erdrich, Louise Erdrich (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780060577933
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - August 9th, 2016

The Birchbark House series are historical children's books set in mid-19th century around Lake Superior that will, in the end, span 100 years. Makoons, Ojibwa for 'little bear', continues the story with his twin, Chickadee (book four) as they move west with their family to the Great Plains of the Dakota Territory. These stories are beautifully rendered and filled with so much emotion and description. (Ages 8-12) ~ Jen


Mother Fox and Her Cubs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500650899
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Published: Thames & Hudson - November 15th, 2016

Momenceau is a French paper artist who created a unique paper cutting and folding technique while working on her masters degree.  This is the result, and it is magnificent.  As mama fox is out playing in the snow with her kits, two of them stray. An enchanting story to be sure but also a classic addition for any young family's growing library for kids! (Ages 4-7) ~ Jen


Waiting for Snow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544416871
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Published: Houghton Mifflin - November 1st, 2016

Let's judge this book by it's cover because the cuteness starts there!  Charming, adorable woodland animals trying to conjure snow. Badger gathers his friends and they try everything, even throwing pebbles at the sky.  The warm, soft animals come to life on each page as a collection of vignettes teach the friends patience while they wait for the first flakes to fall.  (Ages 3- 7 years. Awwww factor, ageless.) ~ Jen


Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga Cover Image
By Jennifer Croll, Ada Buchholc (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781554517855
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Published: Annick Press - October 11th, 2016

Calling all fashionistas!  How did Coco Chanel change the course of WWII?  How did Madonna use fashion as a tool linking politics and feminism?  Fun, flashy, engaging, interesting and educational but with a serious undercurrent.  I'm 53 and couldn't stop reading.  Themes include; couture, fashion, women, history and biography. (Ages 12+) ~ Jen


A Life Well Played: My Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250085948
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Published: St. Martin's Press - October 4th, 2016

This is The King’s thirteenth book and came out one week to the day after his death. In Life,  golfing great Arnold Palmer takes stock of his life.  A treasure trove of anecdotes, bits of wisdom and business advice and acumen for golfers and non alike to celebrate and cherish.  There is even an endearing story about his eponymous drink. ~ Jen


The Backyard Birdsong Guide Eastern and Central North America: A Guide to Listening Cover Image
By Donald Kroodsma, Larry McQueen (Illustrator), Jon Janosik (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9781943645015
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Cornell Lab Publishing Group - April 12th, 2016

Don't just look at birds, listen to them too!  Get to know your backyard with this beautifully crafted and organized field guide.  This was THE hit of the summer at our house!  Out of town guests, neighbors, children.... everyone clamored to press the fun audio button but that's just the beginning as you get sucked in to the story of each bird too. Stories and facts abound in this audio-enhanced field guide which includes accompanying website. And we may have had cocktails and bird song quizzes -  but you didn't hear it from me. ~ Jen


Mine to Mill: History of the Great Lakes Iron Trade: From Sault Ste. Marie to the Lower Lake Ports Cover Image
ISBN: 9780764349010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schiffer Publishing - October 28th, 2015

An amazing, comprehensive, unprecedented compendium of postcard photography medium from a renowned deltiologist. With over 300 photographs following the iron ore trade on the Great Lakes between 1900 and 1980.  An unparalleled passion published into this 128 page hardcover, sure to be cherished by nautical enthusiasts, mining buffs and lovers of all things Great Lakes and regional history. ~ Jen


Soul at the White Heat: Inspiration, Obsession, and the Writing Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062564504
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Published: Ecco - September 20th, 2016

For those who love to read about writing!  A new collection of personal essays from this American master: prolific novelist, poet, playwright and now Professor Emeritas. National Book Award winner Oates ponders, "Why do we write?" An imaginative exploration of the writing life including its "joys, anxieties and futilities."  Oates describes her quest to understand a writer's inspiration and shares rare candor and insight into her own process. ~ Jen


Super Sushi Ramen Express: One Family's Journey Through the Belly of Japan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250099808
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Published: Picador USA - September 6th, 2016

Apart from the fantastic title, what drew me to this book was the subject matter. Booth writes about his travels around Japan with his wife and two children. Booth and his family make it their goal to experience Japan in the best way possible—by eating. For anyone who loves travel writing or food writing, this book is a fantastic combination of both of them. Plus, the cover makes it look good on any bookshelf. ~ Ezra


The Secret History of Twin Peaks Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250075581
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Published: Flatiron Books - October 18th, 2016

If you like Twin Peaks, then this book is a must-have. This book is a brilliant way to inform fans what has happened in the twenty years since the show ended. Offering new insights on the history of the strange town, Secret History of Twin Peaks is a perfect way to bridge the gap that leads to the new season of the show in 2017. ~ Ezra


Trigger Mortis: A James Bond Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062395115
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - September 6th, 2016

What intrigued me about this book was the fact that it’s a James Bond novel written more than forty years after the death of Ian Fleming. However, Horowitz draws from the characters and ideas created by Fleming, and brings us a brand new and original James Bond story. For fans of anything James Bond, or even just spy thrillers in general, I highly recommend this book. ~ Ezra


The New and Improved Romie Futch Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040157
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Published: Tin House Books - October 1st, 2015

Giant hogs, sketchy experiments, taxidermy, and relationship troubles, Romie Futch really has it all. Focused around a southern anti-hero, Elliot creates a strange story of redemption and monstrous pigs in America’s New South.

             To read Romie Futch is to step into a world where anything is possible, which includes supernatural hogs and neuroscience procedures to remap the human brain. For those who like the weird, the wild, and the surreal, this book is a good choice. ~ Ezra


The Explorers Guild, Volume 1: A Passage to Shambhala Cover Image
By Kevin Costner, Jon Baird, Rick Ross (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781476727400
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Published: Atria Books - October 11th, 2016

When I think of Kevin Costner, I don’t think of books, but this book is highly engaging. Part prose, part graphic novel, this is one book that draws the reader in both with the aesthetic and with the story. For those people who still have giddy schoolboy dreams of exploring lost jungles and unfamiliar terrains, this book is the perfect choice. ~ Ezra


A Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147517609
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Published: Plume Books - August 9th, 2016

The best way to describe Robert Evans is brave. In his book, he discusses historical methods of vice, from the ancient Mayans to the Scythians. He takes it upon himself to sample just about every method of vice that he discusses, and even includes recipes so that the reader can join in. From taking a shot of his own urine mixed with tobacco and garlic, to brewing his own Sumerian date wine, Evans tries it all. History has never been so enjoyable. ~ Ezra


Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627796330
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Published: Metropolitan Books - June 21st, 2016

Foster really goes above and beyond when he tries to understand what life is like for our animal friends. Whether it’s living in a Welsh hillside and eating worms like a badger or rooting around in the garbage of London like a fox, Foster immerses himself fully in the down and dirty world of animals. For anyone who loves nature writing, Foster offers a fantastic option. ~ Ezra


Mice of the Round Table #1: A Tail of Camelot Cover Image
By Julie Leung, Lindsey Carr (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062403995
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Published: HarperCollins - October 4th, 2016

As a lover of the Redwall books, this book struck a chord with me. It follows the young mouse Calib Christopher, son of a knight, who has grand dreams of chivalry.

             After tragedy strikes, Calib embarks on an epic quest outside of the castle of Camelot and finds himself in the company of a host of new friends. For anyone who remembers the books of Brian Jacques as fondly as I do, Leung’s new series is a great callback to the animals of Redwall Abbey. (Ages 8+) ~ Ezra


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 2) Cover Image
By J. K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780545791328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 4th, 2016

Holy cow, these books are amazing. I grew up reading the Harry Potter books and watching the movies, but these illustrated editions are something completely new. Kay brings Rowling’s creations to life like the movies never did. I recently purchased the illustrated version of Sorcerer’s Stone, which was released last year, and will likely be purchasing Chamber of Secrets soon. These books are a must-have for any Harry Potter fans. ~ Ezra


Appetites: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062409959
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - October 25th, 2016

This is not a beautiful cookbook. There is no delicacy, no froufy garnishes. C’mon, it’s AB. He’s an opinionated dude who likes to eat, and some recipes are little more than rants with a few instructions thrown in. And he doesn’t shy away from low-brow ingredients (Spam, anyone?). These are recipes he makes at home for his daughter and her friends. Basic stuff from around the world. So, no, this isn’t a beautiful cookbook. But it is a fun one. And if you’re a fan of AB, it’s a must-have. He scolds, he swears, he shames, he encourages, and he orders (his opinion of Thanksgiving sweet potatoes? “Put those goddamn marshmallows away”). And my favorite piece of advice? “Get the best ingredients. Try not to fuck them up.” It’s a blast.

He’s a wonderful writer, and the photos are often hilarious. Will this become my “go-to” cookbook? No. but it’s entertaining as hell, and with it, Bourdain claims his transformation into “a psychotic, anally retentive, bad-tempered Ina Garten” is complete. ~ Dana


Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307464897
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - October 25th, 2016

She’s got a new one, too:  Cooking For Jeffrey. This is truly the couple’s favorite recipes, including, of course, her famous Lemon Chicken. I think she makes it every Friday night. And it’s awesome, even on a Tuesday. This is her usual simple but elegant recipes - everything is company-worthy, but easy enough to make for the kids.  I’ve yet to try a bad one from her. ~ Dana


Guy Fieri Family Food: 125 Real-Deal Recipes--Kitchen Tested, Home Approved Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062244734
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Cookbooks - October 11th, 2016

Another chef that I’ve had good luck with - he’s probably the antithesis of Ina (not sure how this page became all about her). Where her recipes are basic but delicious, Guy’s tend to be a little more complicated, with bigger, bolder flavors. These recipes aren’t difficult, but are a little more involved than the Contessa’s. I love his flavor profiles, and many of his recipes are staples in my house. If you can get past the hairspray and bling,  he’s worth checking out.  ~ Dana


Alton Brown: EVERYDAYCOOK: this time it's personal Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101885710
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - September 27th, 2016

Alton Brown spearheaded the trend to understanding the science behind flavors. I was glued to his shows as a kid. But this book is different: “it’s personal.” These are the dishes Brown cooks when he’s hungry, not in the pursuit of science. And they’re divided up by time of day: morning, evening, “later,” and in between. Here’s what a chef makes, and why you should too. ~ Michael


The Adventures of Fat Rice: Recipes from the Chicago Restaurant Inspired by Macau Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607748953
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 25th, 2016

This is a cookbook formatted as a graphic novel. Inspired by the blend of Chinese and Portuguese cooking, the founders of Fat Rice restaurant in Chicago have produced homage to the region of Macau, where Eastern and Western culinary arts met under Portuguese colonialism. Turning these pages is like unearthing hidden treasures.  ~ Michael


Forest Feast Gatherings: Simple Vegetarian Menus for Hosting Friends & Family Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419722455
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - September 27th, 2016

I would set up outside the bookshop on Third Street and hawk this book voluntarily for the author.  Featuring over 100 recipes with nary a double-boiler or measuring cup to be found;  simplicity is the order of the day with emphasis not only on preparation but serving and displaying as well.  Gleeson stresses seasonal local produce and explains why mood and ambience matter and how most people always seem to get it wrong!  ~ Jen


Cuba!: Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607749868
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ten Speed Press - September 20th, 2016

 Okay, so you aren’t planning a trip to Cuba soon. Me neither. But we can still eat like comandantes. Like the country itself, this book is “brazen, bold, and colorful,” pulsing with stunning images and mouthwatering recipes. Put another way, I opened to a random page containing a recipe for Havanese Pork Loin, and my belly let out an audible growl. (For the record, I’d had a big breakfast.) If only this came out during embargo. ~ Michael


Great Bowls of Food: Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Broth Bowls, and More Cover Image
ISBN: 9781581573381
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Countryman Press - May 24th, 2016

Traditional yet hip - everyone loves to eat from bowls. These cooks from Minnesota know how the folks in the UP like to eat. One-dish nutritious fare for everyone.  ~ Dianne


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