Maria's Staff Picks

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Talk to Me: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063052857
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 14th, 2021

"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 Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374181178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 5th, 2021

"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 Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593319857
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - August 3rd, 2021

"'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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Dark Tides: A Novel (The Fairmile Series #2) 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 Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982160135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - June 1st, 2021

"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 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 Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062936240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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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The Photographer: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250790330
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - May 25th, 2021

"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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Friends and Strangers: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) 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 Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250621566
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - May 26th, 2020

"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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A Woman Is No Man: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062699770
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 4th, 2020

"A powerful debut novel from author Etaf Rum.  Set in contemporary Brooklyn, Rum writes about Arab-American women…women oppressed and silenced; severe  limitations set on them because as the author herself was told: a woman is no man.  Yet, these women endure with resilience and spirit.  A complex telling, it is both a familiar story of familial lies, secrets kept and the devastating consequences that follow… At the same time it shines light on the darker aspects of tradional Arab culture.  A brave offering from a new and vital voice in fiction."


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The Searcher: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780735224674
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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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The Chain Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316531238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - September 22nd, 2020

"Forget page-turner… This book is a page-“terror”. You will rip through it!  The unthinkable: your child is kidnapped.  Money must be paid; and it gets worse.  You must kidnap another child or yours will die.  They too, must pay and kidnap a child or you must kill their child, and on and on it goes.  The Chain is fast paced Suspense at it’s best…"


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Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735224315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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."


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The Rent Collector Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781609077051
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shadow Mountain - October 1st, 2013

"Author Cameron Wright was moved by his son's documentary on one family's struggle living as trash pickers in an immense Cambodian waste dump.  He wondered what their life might be like if one of them was taught to read.  The Rent Collector is that fictional story.  Through its powerful and poignant telling, one realizes the transformative force of literacy and it's capacity to retore and rebuild lives."