Sandy's Staff Picks

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House of Glass: A Novel By Sarah Pekkanen Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781250283993
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 6th, 2024

"Stella Hudson, a lawyer, serves as an advocate for children in contentious custody cases. She spends time with families and submits a recommendation to the judge about who should be given custody. 

Stella’s most recent case involves a young child, Rose, who witnessed the death of her nanny in a fall from her attic room. As a result of the trauma, Rose becomes mute. The police have been unable to determine whether it was an accident or murder, which puts Stella at a disadvantage as she tries to determine whether either parent could be guilty – and, therefore, ineligible for custody.  This is a story full of suspense and atmosphere. It is a page turner as the author weaves in Stella’s issues from childhood along with Rose’s. A really good read!"


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Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder By Salman Rushdie Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593730249
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - April 16th, 2024

"Although I have not read any of Salman Rushdie’s novels, I have been fascinated by him ever since Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his death upon the publication of his book Satanic Verses in 1989. Rushdie lived in London for many years under 24-hour-a-day protection. After moving to the United States, it appeared the need for protection waned, and he resumed a mostly normal life. That is, until a radicalized 24-year-old man savagely attacked him during a panel discussion at the Chatauqua Institute, where no protection was provided.  This is where the book begins. It’s a fascinating  account of the event, his recovery, and his need to comes to terms with his emotions and PTSD. This book is part of his therapy – his attempt to make sense of the attack. And he hopes that by having written it, he will be able to resume writing fiction.

Knife is a fast and fascinating read!"


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The God of the Woods: A Novel By Liz Moore Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593418918
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - July 2nd, 2024

"I love this book! What I appreciate about Liz Moore’s books is that each one is different from the others, all with unusual protagonists and gripping plots. 

The God of the Woods weaves different time periods in the history of a family and the camp that they own in the Adirondacks. Part mystery, part family saga, it’s a compelling read. Just make sure that you pay attention to the timeline at the head of each chapter. Each character is well drawn and plays a part in the mystery that draws you in. Like me, you may keep guessing what really happened and who is responsible until the very end. And the resolution is satisfying!"


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Darling Girls: A Novel By Sally Hepworth Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781250284525
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - April 23rd, 2024

"Fans of Sally Hepworth know that she likes to write about the dark side of family members – sisters, mothers-in law, spouses, and exes, among others. In Darling Girls, she examines the relationship of three young unrelated girls -Jessica, Alicia, and  Nora- who consider themselves sisters as a result of being the foster children of Holly Fairchild.  

The novel centers on the women as children and adults and their relationships with one another and their foster mother.   

This is the creepiest of Hepworth’s novels. It leads the reader to assume that the novel is heading in one direction only to have it veer in another. The atmosphere of uncertainty for the characters as well as for the reader makes this a very absorbing novel."


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Prom Mom: A Novel By Laura Lippman Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062998071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 2nd, 2024

"I am a long-time fan of Laura Lippman – and not just because she sets her books in and around Baltimore, my hometown.  Her latest book, Prom Mom, is SO good. It will keep you guessing from the meaning of its title to the very end.  This is mostly a psychological mystery that raises questions about redemption, loyalty, and truth. The characters are well drawn and the pacing is perfect. If you are new to Lippman’s writing, this book is a wonderful introduction. If you have already read her Tess Monahan series or her many stand-alone novels, you will no doubt find this one to be among her very best."


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Yellowface: A Novel By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063250833
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - May 16th, 2023

"Yellowface examines many of today’s cultural issues, including the cutthroat nature of the book publishing industry, the matter of who can tell stories about ethnicities not their own, and the power of social media to make or break a book’s sales and an author’s reputation. 

Kuang also tackles her characters’ motivations, morality, and delusions in insightful and entertaining ways.  I greatly enjoyed this book! It’s well written and kept me guessing the resolution until the very end."


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Cassandra in Reverse: A Reese's Book Club Pick By Holly Smale Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780778305446
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mira Books - July 9th, 2024

"This is a delightful book that pulls at all of one’s heartstrings. 

Cassandra is reminiscent of Eleanor Oliphant (the main character in Gail Honeyman’s best-selling novel), but she is not at all fine. In fact, she is far from it and the first one to admit it. However, she develops an interesting coping mechanism – time travel – that allows her to relive and try to correct all the events and conversations that don’t go as planned. Is this a good way to live one’s life? Casandra has some interesting thoughts about this."


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The Villa: A Novel By Rachel Hawkins Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250834591
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - November 7th, 2023

"The Villa is the first of Rachel Hawkins’14 novels that I have read, and I can’t wait to see what I have been missing! The story’s setting – a villa in Orvieto, Italy-is arguably a major character of the novel as it is the location of the two stories depicted in it. The first takes place in the summer 1974, and involves young musicians and a writer who hope to be inspired by the beauty and remoteness of the villa. The second story centers on two long-time best friends, one of whom is a best-selling self-help guru and the other her less successful mystery-writing friend. They visit the villa 50 years after the first story hoping to relax and finish their respective books. The two stories weave in and out and the events of 1974 begin to mirror and have an impact on the present-day lives of the visitors in ways one will find surprising."


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Romantic Comedy: A Novel By Curtis Sittenfeld Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399590962
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 26th, 2024

 "Romantic Comedy is a fictional behind-the scenes look at a tv show that’s a mash-up of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. Fans of those shows will notice that characters in the book may be thinly-veiled versions of Pete Davidson and Liz Lemon. Sittenfeld is one of my favorite writers as she is adept at writing both serious (Prep and Sisterland) and light-hearted (Eligible) books but this book is for fans of romance novels. It’s well-written and won’t disappoint!" 


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Really Good, Actually: A Novel By Monica Heisey Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063235427
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 16th, 2024

"If you are currently going through a breakup, this is not the book for you – unless you believe misery loves company. However, if you have survived a break-up, then you will find this book funny and hopeful.  And isn’t that what we want life to be?  

Maggie and her friends – the two Laurens and Amirah – navigate romantic relationships, professional ups and downs, and the bonds and limits of friendship in this engaging novel by Canadian writer Monica Heisey. After reading it, you will want to visit Toronto – and perhaps even move there!"


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The Soulmate: A Novel By Sally Hepworth Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250229717
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 5th, 2024

"Sally Hepworth’s newest novel makes me glad, once again, that I am not a member of her family or inner circle!  She questions – and skewers - family alliances and loyalties in all of her books, but The Soulmate is particularly unsettling. Ultimately, it asks: Whom should we trust, and is one’s gut instinct reliable? I recommend all of Hepworth’s books because the characters and plots are well-developed and each book is a page-turner."


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Rough Draft: A Memoir By Katy Tur Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982118198
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria/One Signal Publishers - May 2nd, 2023

"You think you have a crazy family? Read Katy Tur’s memoir and see how yours compares with hers.  

You may be familiar with Katy from her coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign and her book about it titled Unbelievable. She’s also the anchor of MSNBC’s Katy Tur Reports. Little of that figures into this book which delves into her unconventional upbringing by her pioneering helicopter journalist parents. Remember the OJ chase and the Rodney King riots? Katy’s parents covered them from their perch above the city. But this is only the beginning of Katy’s story that includes an honest look at her parents’ marriage and her estrangement from her father, who surprised Katy with his transition to a woman in his 60’s.  This is a fascinating story of a family as well as a look at how news has changed since the 1990’s."


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The Summer Place: A Novel By Jennifer Weiner Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781501133589
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 4th, 2023

"The Summer Place is another intricately woven and character- driven novel by best-selling author Jennifer Weiner. The action is divided between her beloved Cape Cod and New York City, and the story involves multiple plotlines that come together in surprising ways. Weiner has written another absorbing and touching book that is perfect for a summer afternoon by the pool, at the beach or on your favorite couch."


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That Summer: A Novel By Jennifer Weiner Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781501133558
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2022

"Note: That Summer is not a sequel to Big Summer!

That Summer is a book that mothers and their teen or young adult daughters might want to read together as the topic - sexual assault and its aftermath - is timely and epidemic in schools and on college campuses.  The story revolves around two women named Diana whose friendship develops as a result of their involvement with the same man. The central questions Weiner seeks to answer are: Can we make up for past bad behavior by living an upstanding life, and what does it take to make a victim of sexual assault whole – and is it even possible?

Although the topic is a heavy one, Weiner’s sharp eye for detail and ability to tell a good story balance out the painful parts."


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Ladyparts: A Memoir By Deborah Copaken Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781984855497
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 24th, 2023

"In addition to having a provocative title and cover, this book names names and pulls no punches.  Copaken's memoir mines her health crises, marriage, and financial freefall.  As a reader, you might feel like a voyeur peeking into the life of someone you think is at times brave and at others foolhardy.  Whether you find her whiny or a person deserving of admiration for getting out of bed most days, this is a compelling read.  Copaken, a longtime journalist and photographer, also seeks to educate her readers about the inequality that's inherent in our economy and exacerbated by the lack of affordable healthcare.

This book will educate, entertain, and aggravate you, but, most importantly, it will make you think."


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Lady in the Lake: A Novel By Laura Lippman Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062390028
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 23rd, 2020

"Laura Lippman is a former news reporter and the wife of David Simon, creator of the tv series The Wire and Treme. They met when both were working as journalists for The Baltimore Sun. As with most of her other novels, Lippman sets this story in Baltimore -- my hometown – and bases it on actual murders that occurred in the 1960’s and 70’s. Maddie Schwartz, the protagonist, becomes involved in the stories behind the murders and talks herself into a job at the local newspaper.

Sex, race, infidelity, and women’s roles outside of the home are all part of this interesting story. When you finish it, I recommend that you read another of Lippman’s mysteries!"


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Ask Again, Yes: A Novel By Mary Beth Keane Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781982106997
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Published: Scribner - May 5th, 2020

"I am a fan of stories about families and this one about the Gleesons and the Stanhopes does not disappoint!  Ask Again, Yes is a well-written account of two families headed by policemen in the NYPD. Both families deal with trauma that reverberates from one generation to the next. The characters are well drawn, and the plot makes the book a page-turner.   I really enjoyed the book and have recommended it many times to other readers."


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Mrs. Everything: A Novel By Jennifer Weiner Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781501133497
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - April 7th, 2020

"I have read everything Jennifer Weiner has written, but this book is her best!  It pulls you in immediately and keeps you reading because you want to know what happens to her characters, sisters Jo and Bethie.  Jo is loosely based on Weirner's own mother's journey from conformity to self-actualization.  Life is complicated and messy in all of Weiner's books, but this one has an ending full of compassion and reconciliation."


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Listen to the Marriage: A Novel By John Jay Osborn Cover Image
$17.00
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ISBN: 9781250234766
Published: Picador - October 8th, 2019

"Listen to the Marriage is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish it. I was intrigued by the title and was curious to see what the author had to say.

Steve and Gretchen are on the brink of divorce and decide to go to couple’s therapy to see if there is anything about their marriage worth saving. The therapist they see has her own issues to deal with, however, she gets Steve and Gretchen to understand that the marriage they have created has its own qualities and characteristics and should be listened to. Needless to say, the idea is a provocative one and the book is worth reading!"


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Everything I Never Told You: A Novel By Celeste Ng Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143127550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 12th, 2015

"Most readers seem to know Celeste Ng from having read her second novel, the best-selling Little Fires Everywhere, which was turned into a series by the same name. However, I would like to suggest that her first book – Everything I Never Told You – is the better of the two.

If you are a parent, this book is a difficult but compelling read. It deals with a Chinese-American family who has placed a great deal of pressure on their daughter Lydia, whom we find out in the first sentence of the book is dead. The rest of the novel deals with what happened to Lydia and the different ways her parents understand and process her death. I’m going to leave my recommendation there for fear of spoiling the reader’s experience. I just can’t recommend the book highly enough."