Maria's Staff Picks

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Signal Fires: A novel By Dani Shapiro Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593534724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - October 18th, 2022

"The book opens with a crash, followed by a lie and an unspoken agreement to never speak of it again.  A profound and haunting narrative of family secrets and memories not shared, Shapiro’s thoughtfully rendered Signal Fires holds the reader in awe of its surpassing beauty.  A story not easily forgotten; to say I loved it would be an understatement."


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Babysitter: A novel By Joyce Carol Oates Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593535172
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - August 23rd, 2022

"Set in 1970’s Detroit Babysitter is a compelling account of an overlooked (well to do) housewife having a (sordid) affair with a dangerous man the same time as a serial killer is on the loose preying on the city’s (vulnerable) children.

A propulsive read; Oates is a master at pulling you in to her stories, and you are trapped, (like it or not)."


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The House Party: A Novel By Rita Cameron Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063218062
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - September 13th, 2022

"Rita Cameron’s The House Party explores how a small town – composed of wealthy and working class families- deals with (or ignores) the destruction of a new but unoccupied home after a party of reveling  local teens goes horribly wrong.

Smartly written and set in fictional “New Falls” PA town across the bridge from Lambertville, NJ this story is sure to resonate with its readers."


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The It Girl By Ruth Ware Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982155261
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - July 12th, 2022

"Hannah is spiraling out of control… 

Ten years after her vibrant & captivating best friend was found dead in the dorm room they shared everyone has moved on with their lives.  When the man convicted of the killing dies in prison, Hannah now married (and pregnant) to the dead girls former boyfriend), cannot let go that he proclaimed his innocence to his dying day.   Knowing it was her testimony that put him away, Hannah is convinced she must unearth the truth, even if it means upending old friendships, her own marriage and putting her health and that of her unborn child in peril.  Stellar fun!"


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Any Other Family By Eleanor Brown Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593328545
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 12th, 2022

"Three families raising four adopted biological siblings embark on a two week vacation in hope of growing closer… 

Let the wild rumpus start! Brown’s latest novel is an insightful, endearing and keen observation on adoption, parenting and the ties that bind us together."


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Magpie By Elizabeth Day Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982187606
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 3rd, 2022

"Marissa and Jack are made for each other, soul mates you might say; a bright future awaits…so when financial setback strikes they both agree it would be helpful to take on a lodger.  Enter Kate, who at first seems ideal but soon Marissa is finding her too pushy, too flirty and too much in their business.  Kate must go.  Magpie is a riveting psychological thriller with a terribly terrific plot twist."


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Mercy Street: A Novel By Jennifer Haigh Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780061763304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 1st, 2022

"In her latest novel, Mercy Street, Haigh's main characters are not living the life they'd expected for themselves or even imagined...failed relationships, lost jobs and a general dissatisfaction with themselves and the world around them.

 As their lives intersect and tensions build encircling each of them, Haigh pulls us into the personal and political , while blending their stories and outcomes with both clarity and humor."


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The Lioness: A Novel By Chris Bohjalian Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385544825
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - May 10th, 2022

"It's 1964 and Hollwood star Kate Barstow, recently wed, has brought a group of friends along for her honeymoon photo shoot in Tanzania.

What begins as an idyllic getaway in the wilds of Africa turns quickly to a nightmare reality when Russian mercenaries kidnap the group; killing the guides in cold blood.

The groups only hope is to somehow survive their captors. the blistering sun and the wild animals of the Serengeti.

Told through each character's eyes; Bohjalian capture you from the start of this fast-paced thriller."


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Talk to Me: A Novel By T.C. Boyle Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063052833
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - June 14th, 2022

"The best thing about beginning a T.C. Boyle novel is knowing you’re in for a terrific read. His books raw and full of human emotion.  Boyle is able to capture people and places in such a way that long after you finish reading, you still recall them…and behind these stories a steady drive of a larger message.  Talk To Me centers around animal behaviorist Guy Schermerhorn and the chimp Sam he has raised since infancy (and taught Sign language). Guy, on a mission to keep his funding, agrees to a TV spot to “show off” Sam.  College student Aimme comes on board to help care for Sam. Soon, Guy, Sam and Aimee are completely smitten.  What ensues is both hilarious and thought provoking…positing questions like: can we talk to animals; can they answer and reveal deep emotions and feelings?  I highly recommend T.C. Boyle’s Talk To Me."


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Crossroads: A Novel By Jonathan Franzen Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781250858702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - October 4th, 2022

"It’s 1971 and America is at a moral and political crossroads and so is the Hildebrandt family.  Assistant Pastor Russ Hildebrandt, scorned by his own kids as well as the church youth group who have turned to a younger hipper leader, finds himself obsessed with an attractive widowed parishioner.  His wife Marion is coming to terms with her hidden sordid past and Russ’s waning attention. The three oldest kids are at odds with the direction their lives are taking and the youngest son seems oblivious to the family fracturing around him.

Franzen’s detailed charecterizations and robust storytelling are at full throttle in this latest book."


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Ghosts: A novel By Dolly Alderton Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593313978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - July 5th, 2022

"'Ghosted: When someone cuts off all communication with no explanation and disappears without a trace.'  Nice, huh.

The 1st time I heard of this term (and its implicated consequences) was from my youngest daughter.  It made me reflect on the downward spiral of civilization.

Alderton is both hilarious and poignant in the telling of this modern day tale.  Her irreverent 'Brit humor' and precise observations lend themselves seamlessly to this topic…love and loss…sudden loss…gut wrenching loss.  This book is just so well done: the characters, the plot line, the ending. Brilliant!  You should read it!"


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The Photographer: A Novel By Mary Dixie Carter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250790354
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - August 16th, 2022

"Delta Dawn (yes, like the song) is a popular children’s party photographer for NYC’s elite.  She has a talent for capturing and editing these moments the way the parents envision their lives- perfect…no tears or tantrums.  But, Delta has a problem with boundaries. After shooting Natalie Straubs 11th Birthday party, Delta becomes captivated by The Straubs…and finds ways to insert herself into their ebullient lifestyle.  Soon, she is minding Natalie, drinking their expensive wine while bathing in the master bath.  As she blurs the line between what’s real and what’s not, how far will she go to be a part of their lives."


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Dark Tides: A Novel (The Fairmile Series #2) By Philippa Gregory Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781501187193
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - June 8th, 2021

"When I read Dark Tides, I wasn’t aware it was a sequel- I’m actually glad for that.  Had I known certain characters background or agenda some of the mystery would have been lost in its reading.

Gregory has created this very compelling story.  1670- a mysterious beautiful widow from Venice and a wealthy English man arrive at the same time at a shabby home on the Thames, each seeking to settle old scores…love and greed, loyalty and betrayal. 

An intriguing book that keeps you guessing."


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The Other Black Girl: A Novel By Zakiya Dalila Harris Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982160142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - June 7th, 2022

"Harris’s innovative debut novel is a suspense/scifi mash-up with razor sharp social commentary.  Terrific satire and compelling characters set in the workplace of a successful NYC publishing company, this genre-bending book will have you thinking…Wait, what?  A crazy good read."


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Good Neighbors: A Novel By Sarah Langan Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781982144371
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Washington Square Press - October 5th, 2021

"You remember The Crucible, right?  Well, talk about a witch hunt…

Sarah Langen’s Good Neighbors searing commentary on suburbia will have you riveted, a bit repulsed,  and giving your own neighbors a second look.  Set in the near future, the story focuses on a cataclysmic event that took place in 2027 and the subsequent fallout that followed. Clever, funny, and sometimes wrenchingly sad Good Neighbors is a good read."


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We Run the Tides: A Novel By Vendela Vida Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062936240
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - October 12th, 2021

"Female adolescence, in all its potent and scary splendor, is on display in this impressive new book from author Vendela Vida.  The story is set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s Sea Cliff Neighborhood in the 1980s… Eulabee who is “13 going on 14” has had a falling out with her best friend, the popular Maria Fabiola. She finds herself alone, an outcast amongst her once closest confidantes.  When Maria Fabiola disappears one day, as in Poof. Gone. Eulabee is shaken but suspicious. What ensues is a readers delight!  A compelling book. I highly recommend it."


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Friends and Strangers: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) By J. Courtney Sullivan Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525436478
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 27th, 2021

“'Mom blogs, Juggling jobs & Personal probs- Oh My!'

J. Courtney Sullivan’s latest novel will certainly resonate with parents raising kids in today’s busy and ever-changing world.  On a deeper level it speaks to the isolation one can feel mothering a young child; the strain of dealing with aging parents and difficult family dynamics; overstepping boundaries in the name of helping out.  In other words, Sullivan writes the everyday and ordinary life and she does it extremely well.  Insightful and LOL funny, I very much enjoyed this read."


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Hollywood Park: A Memoir By Mikel Jollett Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250621559
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Celadon Books - March 22nd, 2022

"Mikel Jollet was born into the commune turned infamous cult Synanon. At age five he leaves (think escapes) in the middle of the night with his mom and older brother.  The life that follows is riddled with poverty and strife.  Almost a Triptych: boy, teenager, man; Jollets powerfully told story is utterly captivating.  The raw beauty and poetic prose of his writing lends light to the telling of this unforgetable book."


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The Searcher: A Novel By Tana French Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780735224674
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - November 2nd, 2021

"Ah…but Tana French can spin a tale… characters charming yet menacing with a plot as twisting as the Irish country roads.  Cal Hooper-former Chicago detective has moved into a small Irish village snuggled next to the mountains. He’s in search of a simple and quiet life, no drama, maybe get a dog.  Trey Reddy-a young impoverished mountain kid is in search of answers, a brother gone off missing and no one seeming to care much. So much for Cal’s peace and quiet.  The Searcher is an atmospheric jewel of a read. As with all French’s books it will be hard to put down. To quote a line:  ‘S only gorgeous!"


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Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel By Celeste Ng Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735224315
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 7th, 2019

"This book is  part domestic drama and thriller.  From the onset of this suburban set story you know much is to be revealed.  Along the way it becomes apparent Ng’s book is also a powerful statement on social norms, the power of art, and the family ties that bind and those that strangle.  An excellent read."