Staff Suggestions


Our most popular section of the store, Staff Suggestions is a great place to discover an overlooked gem. Many of our staff picks also come in ebooks - just click on the title of the book and look under other editions. Enjoy!

 

 

Gemini (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781451627930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 3/2014

If you like a book that is a combination of Grey's Anatomy, CSI, and Sherlock Holmes, Gemini is for you. It had me so enthralled that I had to remind myself to breath. It had me in tears at the unfairness these characters faced. It was pure magic to read a book with moments where you wanted to beat the characters up, but then moments later, you wanted to take them in your arms and cry with them. This book is a must-read if you are a reader who loves getting lost in a great book.

- Kat


The Sea House (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250043344
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Press, 4/2014

Set in the Scottish Islands and drawing on the magical stories of the Selkies (which I loved learning about - mythical creatures with sea form in the water and human form on land) this is a great story to simply get lost in. There's a big house with long buried secrets and characters on a path of self-discovery and healing. I love how the present is intermingled with the past and how Gifford weaves together the narratives of the 3 main characters. Love Kate Morton or Lucinda Riley? You'll love The Sea House.

-Sue


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781616203214
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 4/2014

BOOK LOVERS! BOOKSTORE FOLKS! You'll love this story with its unconventional characters and many literary references. Shelf talkers even start each chapter giving you insight on bookstore owner AJ Fikry. The story takes off when AJ finds Maya, an abandoned baby in the store with a note pinned to her coat.  With Maya, Island Books becomes "the" place for the whole community.  It's a fast paced story which I read in a day.  It's also quirky and may seem unbelievable but it alwayscomes down to this: books have a magical way of connecting us all. 

- Sue


$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307962904
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 4/2014

Astonish Me is Shipstead’s 2nd novel after her successful debut, Seating Arrangements. You don’t have to be a ballet enthusiast to embrace this story of love, friendship, truth and secrets.  It’s an impressive psychological study of talent, betrayal and parenthood. Told in alternating chapters of time and characters, we see  how intense the world of ballet is through the eyes of a group of friends whose lives are entwined over a period of 20+ years.

-Sue

 


$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780307377937
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Pantheon, 4/2014

And the Dark Sacred Night is one of those multi-layered family stories – underlies a deep secret. Kit Noonan needs to find the answer to who his father is or was... a never-shared secret his mother refused to divulge. Until now. This is a novel that will make you steal away an hour here and there to move through... and then be sorry to have it end.

-Barb

 


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780307885913
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Crown, 4/2014

The much loved memoirist, Frances Mayes (known for Under the Tuscan Sun) recounts her childhood growing up in the pre-civil rights era South. At times poignantly sad and recognizably funny, yet compelling in its honesty, Under Magnolia is a lovely and wise read.

-Barb

 


The Enchanted (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780062285508
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 3/2014

To put it right out there, this book is DARK, despairing, and there is some very tough content! Still interested? Great, because the writing is brilliant and feels very real. Go inside a prison – then go deep into the characters’ backgrounds. Enough said!

- Lori


$28.00
ISBN-13: 9781451666199
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atria Books, 3/2014

If you are a voyeur of a certain ilk – obsessed with the lifestyles of the rich and famous, then this is the book for you. Granted there’s some New York real estate history to get through, but even that has a certain fascination. Once the author gets to the heart of the matter – the super wealthy who come to occupy Fifteen Central Park West – you won’t be able to think straight. The excess and the extravagance will make your head spin. Gross’ books are synonymous with high-falutin gossip and this one is no exception.

- Peggy


Bad Wolf (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250043993
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Minotaur Books, 1/2014

Following in her own very large footsteps Neuhaus lays it all on the line with Bad Wolf. Two seemingly unrelated murders tax the police force to its limits. It doesn't help that the various detectives involved in the cases have their own personal problems. While I love Neuhaus' writing, her real strong suit is her fearlessness in tackling the evil that grows around us – police and political corruption, family lies and treachery, and most notably child abuse. For this alone, it is worth while reading.

- Peggy


Missing You (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780525953494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Dutton Adult, 3/2014

Warning! Beware of men from your past popping up; and if you are thinking about giving internet dating a try, you never will again after reading this twisted thriller. Detective Kat Donovan sees a photo of her ex-fiancée on a dating site while at the same time a teenage boy seeks her out to help him find his missing mother. What she discovers in her investigation is shocking and sinister. A page-turner to the end.

- Julie

The Martian (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780804139021
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Crown, 2/2014

This is a must read for anyone who is a space nerd. The Astronaut Mark Watney finds himself stranded on Mars after a dust storm kills all the members of his crew. The book is a study in the use of ingenuity and engineering skills. Mark is alone and has no food so he begins growing potatoes. As he faces problem after problem, you, the reader, are on the edge of your seat wondering if he will get off of Mars alive. This is a real thriller from start to finish.

-Bonnie


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781400065752
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 1/2014

The format of this novel pulls you in quickly with initially short chapters that set a stage and then lengthen into a story of hard work, mystery, love and resolution. The story is set around Rebecca, an accomplished 60-something woman who is smart, talented, sexy and financially down on her luck. Here is a lead character you can really get behind.

- Barb


The Accident (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780385348454
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Crown, 3/2014

 

Literary agent Isabel Reed’s life changes dramatically after she receives an anonymous manuscript. The manuscript, entitled The Accident, is an expose about a very powerful businessman who has friends in the CIA and beyond. Everyone wants the manuscript destroyed and Isabel must escape in order to save her life. A masterful thriller with a lot of twists at the end.

- Elizabeth


The Unamericans (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780393241136
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 2/2014

I think of great short stories as finely polished gems – small, luminous and perfectly formed. Molly Antopol’s new short story collection meets all those qualities.  The stories move from the United States to Soviet Russia to Israel, all exploring the forces of history – how people’s lives and relationships are impacted by their leanings toward Communism, their roles as dissidents and their circumstances as immigrants. As I read these stories, I found myself attracted to these deeply sympathetic characters as they struggle for footing in an uncertain world, hounded by forces beyond their control.  Their voices are intimate and powerful and resonate with searing beauty. Molly Antopol is a superb young talent that I hope you will enjoy “meeting.” 

- Roxanne     


$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780385536493
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Doubleday, 2/2014

I always like to read about strong women characters - and this is surely one of the best!  Based on the true murder of a "mill girl" and her trial in 1833, this is a captivating story of independence, love, courage and friendship.  This is an accurate depiction of the textile mills of Lowell, MA, and the women that left the farms and difficult circumstances to join this new way of life... The Daring Ladies of Lowell is a fast and moving read! 

-Barb


$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780847842780
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Rizzoli Ex Libris, 3/2014

This Italian masterpiece on WWI is a rare insider's view of the war. At times hilarious (like Hogan's Heroes) and at others a sober philosophical look at war. This anecdotal memoir should be on your bookshelf if you love Hemingway, books on war, classics, or history. This was a great conversation that I didn't want to end!

-Jamie


Andrew's Brain (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781400068814
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 1/2014


There's an old saying that goes: “the mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.” In Doctorow's latest novel, we are given a look into one such terrible master: Andrew's Brain. The story, told in stream-of-conscioussness narration, plays like a puzzle. As more parts come together, the stranger the mind of Andrew becomes.

-Jesse


Bark: Stories (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780307594136
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 3/2014


I might be biased writing this because I devour anything Lorrie Moore has ever written (but then again, who doesn’t), but Lorrie Moore’s long-awaited collection of short stories doesn’t disappoint… at all. Her ability to tell a story and develop dialogue & characters is so masterful and so effortless that you almost can’t believe these people aren’t real. Describing a neighbor’s purple flowers like “grape candies scattered in the grass” is one of the most beautiful sentences I’ve heard in quite a while – there’s a litany of these in Bark for you to uncover.

-Courtney


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781620405031
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 2/2014


The author employs an unusual (but effective) group narrative to convey the complexities, frustrations and anonymity of being a wife of a physicist in Los Alamos – referring, of course, to the Manhattan Project and the invention of the "gadget," which led to the end of World War II and the beginning of the Atomic Age. So many lives lost but so many saved...  Putting myself in their position, I don't know if I could have maintained pride in my husband's “accomplishments” or shame in what it wrought.

-Mary T.


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780385351836
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 2/2014

Whoa! Where did this book come from? Ever since his work with The Office, I’ve always been a fan of B.J. Novak, but I was genuinely surprised by how much I loved this book. Cute, famous actors don’t tend to write many things of substance, you know?  One More Thing is smart, so funny and provocative. It's like if Shel Silverstein wrote prose for adults. If that makes any sense, you definitely don’t want to miss this awesome book.

- Courtney


$22.95
ISBN-13: 9780385350815
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 1/2014

When an author can take a typical event and describe it as no other has done, I enjoy it!  Jenny Offill has done just that.  This novel (short story or snippet of life?) follows a young woman through many years. There is love, heartache, scenes of everyday life, etc., etc.  But, the way it's told made me nod my head in agreement a few times, laugh out loud several times, and truly "get" it.  Quick, witty, and honest.

- Lori


On Such a Full Sea (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9781594486104
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 1/2014

In any prose writing contest, I'll take Mr. Lee, thank you. His words and style are so effortlessly beautiful they drip off the page. Part dystopian, part sci-fi, part coming-of-age, On Such a Full Sea presents ideas, characters and story that won't soon be forgotten.

- Andrew


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781439167007
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner, 2/2014

Juliet Dufresne finds herself surrounded by strong, weak, crazed and even cruel men when she attempts to locate her “missing in action” brother on the Italian front. Despite the hardships of nursing, losing friends and coping with the men who are severely shell-shocked, Juliet falls in love with the doctor whose patient has perhaps the information she needs to find Tuck, her brother. You won’t want to put the book down.

- Andie


Wake (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780812995138
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 2/2014

 

Three women, haunted by loved ones lost in battle during WWI, have interwoven stories leading up to the 2nd anniversary of Armistice Day. Each moving account will strike a chord as the body of the Unknown Soldier is ceremoniously transported through London. Very powerful and elegant storytelling. Wake will resonate with every generation of reader because, as one character puts it, “England didn’t win and Germany wouldn’t have won it, either. War wins and keeps winning over and over again.”

- Mary T.

 


Orfeo (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780393240825
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 1/2014

Loosely based on the Greek myth of Orpheus, Richard Powers' new novel Orfeo is a stunning tale of expansive reach. After being mistaken for a bioterrorist, Composer Peter Els goes on the run from government agents. As he flees he retraces his life's history: former lovers, his eccentric collaborator, his absent daughter, the line that divides classical and avant-garde music, and ultimately, an understanding of art and creation. Highly recommended.

- Jesse


$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780385537629
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Doubleday, 1/2014

Based on the true life, never-solved mystery of the disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater, this entertaining novel will keep you hooked until the very last page! Told through the voices of 3 women: his wife, Stella; his showgirl/mistress Ritzi; and Maria, the maid, Ariel Lawhon vividly describes the smoky, crime-ridden Prohibition era of NYC. A real page-turner.

-Barb


$27.00
ISBN-13: 9780679643753
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 1/2014

The perfect mix of Woody Allen and David Sedaris, Gary Shteyngart recalls the immigrant experience in painful – but poignant – detail. Born in Leningrad in the early 70s, and struggling to shed his misfit shield, Shteyngart’s memoir is a delight to read as he finds even more shades of his already fantastic literary voice to reveal.

- Courtney


The Kept (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780062236739
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 1/2014

The Kept really starts out with a bang. Literally. On the surface, this is a revenge story. At its heart, this impressive novel is about family and love. A young boy and his mother are the protagonists in a story with great characters.

- Andrew


$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780670024780
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 1/2014

Based on a true story and some amazing history, The Invention of Wings is a brilliant and wonderful book! Slavery, rebellion, abolition and characters that will crawl into your heart and mind are all part of this grand tale. With alternating chapters told from Handful (a slave) and Sarah (her owner), watch as their relationship – dare call it a friendship – grows as they grow. Loved it!

- Lori


$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780618726349
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), 12/2013

Art in NYC – every page of this delightful history is a snapshot of the time from the late 19th century to now. Crazy, insightful, sublime, drug-riddled… I couldn’t put this down. Inside the Dream Palace is a terrific, fun and slightly creepy look at the hotel of our bohemian dreams.

-Nancy


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781250047595
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Press, 11/2013

What ho! A new Jeeves and B? Sebastian Faulks delivers all the wit and fun you’d expect from this homage to the master. Delightful!

-Jamie


$30.00
ISBN-13: 9781590176740
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: New York Review Books, 9/2013
In 1933, Patrick Leigh Fermor had had enough school and no clear idea of what he would do to make a living – except that he wanted to write. So, he decided the most logical thing to do would be to walk across Europe from Holland to Constantinople. With an enormous amount of chutzpah and just a few pounds in his pocket, the insightful memoirs Fermor wrote have delighted us all. Ideal for travel enthusiasts.
-Nancy

$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780385521703
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Spiegel & Grau, 5/2013

Why does the Israeli conflict continue to be a political challenge? Ari Shavit has been both a soldier and peace activist. He is the perfect person to bring a balanced examination to the complex history of Israel. Enlightening and well-written, My Promised Land presents a clear view of a complicated problem.

- Jamie


$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780670014651
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 9/2013

This is a big change of pace from previous Coetzee novels. Written primarily in dialogue, Coetzee pairs a mysterious duo – Simon & David – in the mysterious land of Novilla. Ostensibly the title seems of little importance; yet, as the story progresses and the characters develop, the novel’s philosophies provide an astute biblical allegory.

- Jesse


$19.95
ISBN-13: 9781594746444
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Quirk Books, 11/2013

Please let there be a sequel with more rebellious ladies! Think of all those women over the centuries that were supposed to conform to patriarchal cultures… what a crock! These ladies took control of their lives for good or bad (well, really bad in some cases). With sections like usurpers, warriors and mad women, this is chock full of rousing stories of real life, self-empowered women. Loved it!
-Julie


$25.99
ISBN-13: 9781439140215
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 11/2013

“It was the sort of day that didn’t give a damn.” I was captivated by the first 2 paragraphs of the prologue, and the rest of this modern-day Russian thriller lived up to them! My favorite thriller of the year: fabulous writing, great locations, exceptional characters – this one has it all.

-Julie


Havisham (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781250037275
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picador, 11/2013

I have always loved the eccentricity of Miss Havisham (Great Expectations), so I was thrilled to read this new novel about her early years. Do you want to know why she was left at the altar – causing her to wear her wedding dress the rest of her life? Or why she left the wedding food to rot? Or why she bricked up her windows to keep light out? Or what happened to her wealth? Or why she chose to live in cobwebs and squalor? Well, you need to read this book! I loved it!

-Val


$29.99
ISBN-13: 9780062107312
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ecco Press, 11/2013

This sumptuous, epic novel transports us from bustling Shanghai to a desolate village in the most remote areas of China. Rigid class distinctions and exceedingly heartbreaking limitations for females are the backdrop here for three generations of fascinating women. Courtesan culture is explored, including Young Violet’s virginity being auctioned off to the highest bidder. There is much sorrow here, but also beauty and hope.

- Julie

Rivers (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781451699425
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 9/2013

Imagine a U.S. where everything south of Tennessee is uninhabitable from raging storms. Climate change has gone awry in this edge-of-your-seat story, complete with strong characters and equally strong writing.

- Andrew

$27.99
ISBN-13: 9780062236678
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 11/2013

I sheepishly have to admit this is the first Ann Patchett book I’ve read! Yet, I’m ok with it because I feel like I’ve really come to know her through these 23 marvelous short stories. They’re honest, funny and warm – filled with thoughtful advice and wisdom. Ann shares her life as a daughter, wife, author, dog lover, student and bookstore owner. You’ll feel like a close friend is confiding in you. I loved the stories and can’t wait to read her novels now.

-Sue


We Are Water (Hardcover)

$29.99
ISBN-13: 9780061941023
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 10/2013

I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in Wally Lamb’s stunning new novel. Orion Oh is unmoored after his wife leaves him to marry another woman. As his story unfolds and we meet his family, a series of buried secrets come to light. Another moving and revelatory saga from the incomparable Mr. Lamb.

- Julie


The Goldfinch (Hardcover)

$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780316055437
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 10/2013

In her long overdue third novel, Donna Tartt weaves a coming-of-age story filled with adventures that takes the reader from New York City to Las Vegas to Amsterdam. The 13-year-old protagonist, Theo, finds himself orphaned after the tragic death of his mother. The only thing he cares about now is a painting of a goldfinch done by his mother’s favorite painter, Fabritius. The painting turns out to be both his destruction and his redemption. Through it, Theo is drawn into the dark side of New York City’s art world and eventually, into the light of salvation.

- Elizabeth


$28.95
ISBN-13: 9780670024858
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 10/2013

In the early 1800s, Botany is still a man’s science, unfortunately; but that doesn’t mean a thing to the young and brilliant Alma Whitaker. Fortunate enough to grow up immersed within her parents’ world of academia, Alma commands a remarkable knowledge of the natural world. When it comes to her own self, though, she has much to learn. The Signature of All Things is impeccably researched, complete with rich botanical descriptions and intricate scientific detail. As the story spans both the globe and almost two entire centuries, I savored every page of this brilliant historical fiction novel.

- Kaley


$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780385350839
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 10/2013

The perfect showcase to her prolific range, The Most Of proves that Nora Ephron could (and did) do it all. From journalism to screenplays, novels to essays, there’s not a page of writing here that isn’t spared by Ephron’s affable charm. Fans of hers are sure to find something new in this diverse collection, while new readers will be enriched by one of America’s great essayists.

- Jesse

 


$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780307958341
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 10/2013

I was captivated by the plight of Jane Franklin, Benjamin’s beloved sister. In spite of the “choices” available to my generation, I found her life story shockingly familiar. Jill Lepore describes Ben Franklin in a whole new light – lending both a personal perspective to the era and leaving lots of questions in my mind about exactly how far we’ve come in this country.

- Jamie

 


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780547863382
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 10/2013

Hitler’s Furies is for any fan of WWII history. Bravely, it asks the question, “What were all of the women of the Third Reich doing during the Holocaust?” The answer is quite shocking, as many of the wives, secretaries and nurses of the Reich were fully participating in the atrocities and extermination of the Jews. I love it when I feel like I’m reading new history, and this book showed me something I’ve never seen before.

- Andrew


Quiet Dell (Hardcover)

$28.00
ISBN-13: 9781439172537
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner, 10/2013

Phillips retells the horrific story of a serial killer who preys upon widowed women. The angelic children, the betrayed women, and the faithful dog are, indeed, real life characters. But, Phillips’ ability to blend fact and fiction meticulously together brings this story to life. The heroic Emily Thornhill’s passion, anger, love, and ultimate sacrifice swiftly move the plot. Allied with the banker who funds the investigation, they stop at nothing until justice is found.

-Andie

 


Longbourn (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780385351232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 10/2013

This is the “downstairs” version of Pride and Prejudice – the intimate lives of the maids, housekeepers and footmen, and it’s so FUN and wonderful! Even Jane herself would be enthralled. With fully realized characters, a very romantic plot and tantalizing glimpses of all our favorite literary figures, I savored every moment. I trust you will, too!

- Mary T.


The Circle (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780385351393
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 10/2013

With the same tone and tenor as 1984 or Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron, Dave Eggers' The Circle reads like a modern-day dystopic story, but – horrifyingly enough – paints a much more plausible reality. With companies like Google and Facebook dominating the social stratosphere, interconnection on a global scale doesn’t seem far off at all. And, in The Circle, a warning to those blissful few, Eggers proves just how much of humanity is lost in the name of technological progress.

- Courtney

 


The Aftermath (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307958266
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 9/2013

Orphans living like scavengers in the woods, military officers occupying palatial homes with former residents kicked out into the streets, black market food and medicine, weapons, and tension so thick, you can cut it with a knife. This is Germany a year after WWII.

-Mary T.