Staff Picks

Newtown Bookshop Staff Picks

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Transcendent Kingdom: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525658184
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 1st, 2020

"This is a deeply moving novel about a Ghanaian family living in Alabama and their struggles with depression, addiction, grief, and racism.  Gifty is a PhD student who is the voice of the book, living through her current struggles as well as looking back at her family history.  Science, religion, and their faith play a big part in the story.  I can't say enough about this book - it is powerful, amazing, well-written - just BRILLIANT!"  -Kathy's Staff Pick

A Week at the Shore: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250119513
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - May 19th, 2020

"From this bestselling author comes a GREAT read for Summer 2020!  The story revolves around the lives and relationships of three sisters as they reunite at their family beach house in Rhode Island.  In just seven days the lives of these three sisters will change forever and the bonds of sisterhood, friendship, and family will take on new and surprising meaning for all.  A light and fun summer read!"  -Kelli's Pick

Stray: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101875964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 19th, 2020

"A lot of memoir's are described as 'unflinching', but this one really is.  Danler writes about a difficult childhood and adolescence, her complicated relationships, and her own culpability with honesty and bravery.  I'm not typically a big memoir reader, but I found the writing propulsive enough to keep me hurtling through the pages.  Its a dark story at times, but it's shot through with light.  I think this one could lead to a fascinating book club discussion, but it'd be just as good read solo."  -Katie's Staff Pick

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984803160
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - November 17th, 2020

"Three second-born daughters take a life-changing trip to Italy in the hopes that they will break the family curse that all second-born daughters in their family will never find love.  You will just adore these three main characters who spend this journey celebrating love and family and you will become fully invested in their stories.  I just loved the wisdom of Aunt Poppy, the beautiful setting through Italy and their family tales. Just wonderful!!" - Kathy's Staff Pick

In Five Years: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982137441
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - March 10th, 2020

"What if you woke up and saw yourself five years from now and it is a very different place than you thought.  I really enjoyed this book and all its characters! It is a story of friendship, a story of the power of love, and a story of fate.  It is heartwarming and heartbreaking!  A twist and an emotional ending!"  -Katie's Staff Pick

28 Summers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316420044
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - June 16th, 2020

"After Mallory hosts her brother, Cooper's bachelor party at her cottage, Mallory and Jake enter into a secret relationship that lasts 28 years.  They cannot be together during the year so they spend each and every Labor Day weekend together on Nantucket at her beachfront cottage.  A Must READ Beach Read!  And how I love the descriptions of Nantucket - makes you want to visit!"  -Kathy's Staff Pick

All Adults Here: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634697
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 4th, 2020

"Astrid Strick, her three children, granddaughter, and assorted friends and small-town characrers are the heart of this sweet and funny book.  It all begins with a fatal acciddent, which triggers a snowball effect of retrieved memories, revelations, and life-changing decisions.  The dialogue is quick and snappy and the writing is perfectly paced for a quick read."  -Julie's Staff Pick

Ghosts of Harvard: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525510369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - May 5th, 2020

"Ghosts of Harvard is a powerful, emotional novel about a college age woman grieving her schizophrenic brother's death and her search for answers and her need for comfort.  There are lots of twists and turns making this read though-provoking and intense.  And Francesca's writing is just fabulous!"  -Katie's Staff Pick

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A true (as told to me) story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525654711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - March 17th, 2020

"What a beautiful story!  'Nobody Will Tell You This But Me' is the memoir about the relationship between Bess Kalb and her grandmother.  Bess has saved every voicemail from her grandmother so the reader gets to experience her grandmother firsthand.  It is a sweet, funny, and moving memoir!  Loved it!"  -Kathy's Staff Pick

Big Summer: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501133510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - May 5th, 2020

"This was a terrific summer read set on beautiful Cape Cod during a disastrous wedding scenerio.  The story weaves through the complexity of the female relationship beween Daphne and her 'best friend' Drue, the impact of social media on relationships, and how to forgive once the past is exposed.  I was all in with this book and hope you will be too."  -Kelli's Staff Pick

My Dark Vanessa: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062941503
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - March 10th, 2020

"At 15-years-old, Vanessa Wye has a 'relationship' with her teacher.  Now at 32, another former student has come forward to accuse the same teacher of sexual assault - and she wants Vanessa to come forward too.  But Vanessa doesn't feel like a victim.  She wanted the relationship - didn't she?  Even if she's never been able to truly move on, even if she researches the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder late at night and recognizes all the symptoms.  A complex, sympathetic look at a complicated issue.  It may be too heavy a subject manner for some readers, but I encourage you to pick up and give it a try.  It's an important conversation - and also a great book!"  -Katie's Staff Pick

True Story: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984877680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - August 4th, 2020

"Alice Lovett was assaulted in her sleep during high school.  Now, as an adult she finally wants to tell her side of the story.  But how to do that when she doesn't remember the event itself?  Told in prose, screenplays, college essay drafts, and unsent e-mails, this inventive, fascinating read kept me guessing.  My idea of 'truth' evolved as Alice revealed it little by little.  If you're getting sick of reading the same things or find yourself in a reading rut - or just want a great book - I really recommend this one!"  -Katie's Staff Pick

The Lions of Fifth Avenue: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524744618
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - August 4th, 2020

"Fiona Davis is outstanding once again in this suspenseful historical novel about a family living in an apartment within New York Public Library.  In 1913, Laura Lyons finds herself in a tug of war between her larger than life ambition and the needs of her family.  Fast forward to 1993, and granddaughter Sadie Donovan is the curator at the library.  When Sadie discovers a connection between stolen books and her grandmother, she sets out to find the truth.  Fiona's remarkable blend of facts and fiction about this historic building, her attention to detail and meticulous research are remarkable."  -Kelli's Staff Pick

The Exiles: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062356345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Custom House - August 25th, 2020

"This book is just AMAZING - one of the best books I read in 2020!  Once again, Christina Baker Kline tells an incredible story.  This historical fiction title takes place in the mid-1800's about Britain's colonization of Australia and how they would send their convicts to Australia and how they took over the land from the Aboriginals.  It is told through the perspective of 3 women and speaks to their torment and suffering as well as to redemption and renewal.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!"  -Kathy's Staff Picks

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338635171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - May 19th, 2020

"I loved this story of war, betrayal, and intrigue set during the 10th Hunger Games!  I enjoyed learning more about the world of Panem and especially the Capitol, and it was exciting to see the origins of some things I never expected explanations for.  (Eventual President) Snow is a compelling main character and he's surrounded by people that I liked and rooted for.  It's a long book, but I found myself turning the pages just as fast as I did in the original series.  Fans of the series, don't miss out!"  -Katie's Staff Pick

Migrations: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250204028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - August 4th, 2020

"Set in the Artic, this novel dares to question what the world would look like in the midst of mass extinction, when only a few birds and fish remain alongside humans.  Couple that with an unusual female lead, Franny, and you have a story that won't be forgotten.  McConaghy's writing style is lyrical and tight; I could feel the chill and see the beauty of the Artic through Franny's musings alone.  As the reader follows an epic journey across the migration route of artic terns, he/she is given insight on the ways humanity can both create and destroy.  All in all, 'Migrations' is the kind of book that will devestate you, cradle you, and sweep you off your feet."  -Kiley's Staff Pick

Enter the Aardvark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316536158
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 24th, 2020

"I enjoyed every moment of this delightfully offbeat novel about taxidermy, a nasty politician, a possible ghost, and yes, an aardvark.  Sound weird?  I thought so too, but I read it based off someone else's 'just trust me' recommendation and I'm so glad I did.  This book is a very sharp and successful satire (it's so smart!), and I marveled at the connections the author made between the different strands of the story.  At first, you don't think they can possibly come together, but in the end they do.  Most of all, I was constantly surprised by this book, and if only for that I'd recommend it.  I can promise this'll be the most original thing you read this year!"  -Katie's Staff Pick

Don't Look for Me: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250198709
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 15th, 2020

"Wow!! This book grabbed me from the start and was heart pounding and nail biting!  Molly Clarke was coming home late one evening in a storm and her car broke down.  A note was found at a hotel that she was just walking away from her life to start new.  But what really happened?  And will her daughter just let her go without looking for her?  This had lots of twists and had me guessing until the end!  You must read this!!"  -Kathy's Staff Pick

The Book of Longings: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525429760
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - April 21st, 2020

"Ana is a brilliant and rebellious young woman who marries the 18-year-old Jesus.  She and Jesus were both in the process of following their inner passions.... Each understoof the depth of the other's calling and loved and supported each other enough to make some unconventional choices.  Ana's story will resonate with women today who understand that women are still silenced and underappreciated in many ways.  Kidd's characterization of Jesus is about the human Jesus as he was growing into his future.  Sue Monk Kidd has written a compelling, lovely story without trying to contradict any Biblical truths.  Here is a possibility written in a compelling, heartfelt way.  I loved it!!!"  -Susan's Staff Pick

State of Wonder: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062049810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 8th, 2012

"Though one of Patchett's older novels, 'State of Wonder" remains incredibly current and happens to be in my top ten novels of all time.  Following the journey of a pharmeceutical lab worker, Marina, readers are taken all the way to the Amazon in order to investigate the death of one of Marina's coworkers and check in on the head scientist of a novel research project.  From the very beginning, the writing is intriguing, and the characters are, if not always likable, fascinating.  While ready, I fell in love with science and culture the same way Marina dad: completely and with little fear.  For scientists, lovers of Amazonia, and just plain old people, 'State of Wonder' is a triumph."  -Kiley's Staff Pick