Newtown Bookshop Staff Picks
(Many more staff picks are on the shelves at our store)
Tom's Staff Pick: What did Socrates, Michelangelo, and Mozart have in common? Eric Weiner answers that question in Geography of Genius: part travel guide, part history lesson, and part humorous contemplation of what prompts creativity and genius. Weiner will have you thinking about the nature of genius and how we can help our families, cities, and country to nurture their creativity.
Amy's Staff Pick: The sequel to Moyes’ bestselling novel Me Before You, After You revisits Louisa Clark as she begins the next chapter of her life. Moyes adeptly brings the reader back to where she left off while introducing new characters you’ll come to know as if they were your own friends and family. A story of many kinds of love, this book will pluck at your heartstrings and have you putting aside your to-do list in order to spend time curled up with this great read. Hard to put down!
Katie's Staff Pick:
This is more of a connected short story collection than a novel. Each story shares a character and in some way involves food, whether it’s a new father eager to share braised pork shoulder with his newborn daughter (not quite yet, the doctor says) or a middle school student growing incredibly hot peppers in her closet (with mom and dad’s approval, of course).
Written with a real eye for those weird, but life-changing moments we’ve all had. A tale of food, family, and the families we find when our own let us down. Stradal is a debut author to watch.
Tom's Staff Pick:
In “The Road to Little Dribbling,” Bill Bryson combines a travel guide and history lesson with wry, biting commentary on modern society. As a follow-up to his earlier “Notes from a Small Island”, once again we find him meandering through his adopted home country of England, finding unique places, interesting people, and good pubs (lots of good pubs). Bryson’s insistence on taking the road less traveled (by foot for the most part!) is a great antidote to our constantly connected, instant-on society.
Kathy's Staff Pick: Loved this character based debut novel with a sci-fi feel from Jessica Chiarella. Four patients who are either terminally ill or paralyzed receive a genetically perfect body from cloning. These four people then must learn to live with their now perfect body and assimilate back into their world with their family and friends. Have their friends and family moved on? Where is the real connection between us, is it between our physical being or between our heart and soul?
Susan's Staff Pick:
Cameron has written other dog stories but in this one he is in new territory. He has written a possibility … a story of the first dog.
The story begins in the current day as an archeological dig discovers a grave of a man and large wolf buried together and what seems to be the remains of a collar by the wolf. Cameron then tells us the life story of the tribesman abandoned by his tribe and the wolf who became his companion.
This is reminiscent of other prehistory stories such as Clan of the Cave Bear, but for those of us who love dogs it is a compelling story of how early man and wolf began the love affair between man and dog.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Helene's Staff Pick: This multigenerational saga is a combination of historical fiction and the supernatural as family secrets are revealed and redemption is ultimately achieved.
Set in the Puget Sound, the plot centers around the crumbling 100 year old Riddell House, where 14-year-old Trevor Riddell and his father have come to live. As Trevor seeks to discover his paternal family's background, he uncovers long-hidden family secrets which continue to influence current family members' behavior. In his quest, Trevor meets the spirits of long dead family members who cannot rest until the long ago mandate for Riddell House to retur to the forestland is realized.
A Sudden Light is a fascinating and well-written saga whose intriguing characters and plot draw the reader into Trevor's quest. Use of the supernatural is effective as the spirit world and reality move the story into a satisfying resolution.
Lindsey's Staff Pick: If you are interested in United States History, this is an entertaining look at many of our former presidents. Kate Bower interviews numerous long standing members of the White House staff to give an inside look at what has happened behind closed doors at the White House! Get to know more about the presidents, their wives and their children! A very entertaining read!
Kathy's Staff Pick: What an inspiring story of a boy who grew up in South Central LA and ended up going to Beverly Hills High because he was granted a permit to do so. This boy grew up to coach and teach at Beverly Hills in a powerful story fillwed with great lessons, stories of social change and stories of facing adversity. Sometimes an unexpected friendship really does make a difference. Loved this!!
Maria's Staff Pick:
Set in present day London, Vermont and centering around
the now crumbling Tower Motel; McMahon weaves three connected story lines in different time periods to form one creepy, atmospheric and twisitng tale.
With no lack of things that go bump in the night… this read was thoroughly enjoyable!
Susan's Staff Pick: Belfoure’s writing has brought New York City alive during the Gilded Age. In 1886 the regimented society seems to be guided by the strict rules of the old Knickerbocker families however, underneath the façade are real people who are either unable to follow the rules or are so bored that they look for fun. We are introduced to one such family. The three children have all diverged from the strict path – one is a gambler in over his head, one wants to be a writer and searches for material and the third is a young teen looking for fun. Their architect father is blackmailed to use his building plans and his knowledge of high society to pay his son’s debts by planning major robberies for a crime boss This is all a house of cards that might come crashing down but instead we have a great story of an interesting balancing act for all of the family members. Fun!