Susan's Staff Picks

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Blood Like Mine By Stuart Neville Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781641295413
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hell's Hundred - August 6th, 2024

"Stuart Neville has written a modern-day horror story – ordinary life turned upside down by a random act of violence.  The lives of a mother and her daughter are drastically changed until the only thing left is for the mother to protect her daughter with everything she has and is.  Her daughter feels the same about her mother!"


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Symphony of Secrets: A novel By Brendan Slocumb Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593315453
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 23rd, 2024

"A new story by the author of The Violin Conspiracy. This is also about a musician – a composer.

A musicology professor is given the task to authenticate a long-lost composition by an acclaimed composer.

 

Every step he takes in the process reveals something that the composer hid for the decades that he lived and until now, no one has questioned his lies.

Who knew that such mysteries could hide within the music world – lies, threats, murder and intrigue!"


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The Glass Château: A Novel By Stephen P. Kiernan Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063227316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - June 20th, 2023

"Following WWII, France was still a battleground that would take years to rebuild – roads, bridges, rail lines, churches, schools and hospitals destroyed. People floundering and wandering, looking for a life.

Kiernan has given us a possible story of one of the wanderers.  Asher lost his young wife and daughter became an assassin for the Resistance and now is lost until he wandered into the Chateau Guerin, found others and eventually found a purpose. This sanctuary is populated by half a dozen others who are learning how to recreate large stained-glass windows for the nearby cathedral.

Many nods to Marc Chagall, philosophy, stained glass techniques, interesting characters learning to live again. A good story!"


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The Frozen River: A Novel By Ariel Lawhon Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385546874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - December 5th, 2023

"In this historical fiction ovel we meet another amazing woman who has been virtually unknown for over 200 years.

Martha Ballard was a midwife in the late 1700’s. She kept a diary of all the women and births that she assisted and her record shows that she never lost a woman and lost very few babies.

That would be remarkable enough but she also was a champion of women’s rights before anyone realized that women even had rights (except other women).

Because of her position and her diaries, she had a voice in court. She testified for the women who were wronged and was very interested in justice for them because usually women were penalized, fined and sometimes imprisoned for crimes of immorality. Men were not usually penalized.

This was a fascinating, well written story."


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Thornhedge By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250244093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - August 15th, 2023

"Intriguing… Charming and a good read –I fell in love with this fairy tale!

Some of the most well-known fairy tales have spells that are meant to protect or restrain the children in the tale. WE read them to our own children sometimes as cautionary tales – look what could happen to you if…

But what if some of these stories don’t give us the true picture?

What if the villain is the hero?

What if the imprisoned should be imprisoned?

What if some of the stories are meant to teach us different lessons than we thought?"


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Shoot the Moon By Isa Arsén Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593543887
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - October 10th, 2023

"Annie Fiske’s father was a scientist at Los Alamos, NM and was involved with the making of the bomb dropped in Japan to end the war. That work affected him and their entire family – Annie packed away most of her memories of her childhood into a box buried in her memories.

While some teams were working on the Appollo mission in 1969, she had discovered an anomaly in space and time that was evident within one small section of floor and she led a team researching what was essentially time travel.

While much of this novel is  historical fiction,  Annie and her research and life add some magic and mystery to the story of space exploration and the possibilities of the unknown within our world and in space and time.

If you liked The Time Traveler’s Wife – read this!"


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Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 (A Novel) By T. J. Newman Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982177911
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - May 30th, 2023

"Newman’s first book, Falling, was a white-knuckle suspense story about a plane that the hijackers on the ground were trying to direct on a suicide flight. Written by a stewardess who knows her planes, the suspense was unrelenting. 

Drowning is a worthy second book! A plane takes off from one of the Hawaiian islands and explodes almost immediately plunging into the sea. Evacuations begin but then an explosion sets the ocean of fire; those still in the plane close the doors and then the plane begins to sink. Once again, a fast and furious ride. We hear from those in the plane as they try to stay alive and from those on the shore as they try to plan a rescue…and the scenario continues to change."


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Rogue Justice: A Thriller (Avery Keene #2) By Stacey Abrams Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780385548328
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - May 23rd, 2023

"A second suspense story in which Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene is involved. Each can be read as a stand-alone book. Avery’s boss is still in a coma; she is not yet clerking for another judge, and a stranger dumps some information in her lap at a conference. As she runs after him, she sees a person shoot both the young man and the cabdriver driving him away.

Another puzzle reaching throughout the United States; judges who have been blackmailed in some of their cases and have made decisions regarding the electricity grid and the financial systems.  Abrams makes the connections understandable and also horrifying. If she can write it, someone can do it!!"


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Chain Gang All Stars: A Novel By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593469316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 23rd, 2024

"Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Celeste Ng(Our Missing Hearts) have given us stories where our present day views have morphed into a future that is now becoming all too believable. They, and now Adjei-Brenyah, have written about a marginalized group in our society – women, Asian-American children and their families and now those in our prison system and shown us the abyss we face.

 

Chain-Gang All Stars has married the Russell Crowe Gladiator movie with the 1900 stories of the Southern chain gangs and then the brilliant(?) businessmen turned the concept into a pay-for-view television show.

Great characters, brutal events, heartbreaking choices results in a very thought-provoking book!

Footnotes with current statistics, laws, corporations and real people added to my concerns for the future."


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No Two Persons: A Novel By Erica Bauermeister Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250284372
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - May 2nd, 2023

"Every Erica Bauermeister story is unique and worth reading in my opinion. I fell in love with Alice, the primary character in this novel. We meet her as a young girl living under the radar in her family where it is her older brother who gets all the attention and recognition.  She is content with her books and her mostly solitary life.  Eventually she wrote a novel about a boy named Theo and I fell in love again. For many of us, this is why we read. Finding an author whose characters live and breathe off the page and inhabit your thoughts and maybe even your soul. I would give this 10 stars!! Great story and beautiful writing."


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Someone Else's Shoes: A Novel By Jojo Moyes Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781984879318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 13th, 2024

"Nisha apparently has it all – everything she worked to achieve – an 18 year marriage to a rich older man, designer clothes, extravagant world travel, multiple homes and penthouse suites – but it all comes crashing down when her husband locks her out of her life – no money, no credit, no home, no passport, no way to get to her 15 year old son in boarding school in NY. 

With the strength found in new alliances with other women who are slowly working through their problems she finds herself re-evaluating what is important. She and the others begin as frenemies, become partners in schemes and eventually are truly friends of the heart. 

This was a funny, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes heartwarming and ultimately satisfying story."


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The God of Endings: A Novel By Jacqueline Holland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250856784
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - March 26th, 2024

"Holland has written a story about an immortal, but it is so far removed from the more traditional vampire story that I was drawn into the depths of the writing just to grasp how this woman could be so intriguing. 

As a child living in the 1830’s she is growing up in the aftermath of the Salem witch trials when some of the superstitions still are alive and well in small towns. When people begin to die from tuberculosis, the whispering starts – how to rid the bad spirits. When her father dies, the townspeople dig him up, burn his body and feed his ashes to his two children. A grandfather comes too late to save her brother but he whisks Anya away, tires to save her but when death in imminent, he bites her and gives her immortal life. 

The bulk of this story is about her finding meaning in life – she never wanted or wants to be immortal. She feeds on animals and tries to find value in life.  Phenomenally well written!"


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The Wishing Game: A Novel By Meg Shaffer Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593598856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 26th, 2024

"This is a fantastic story – one all should read - maybe because it will remind you of what books you loved as a child. And I believe you would love this as an adult reader.  Jack Masterson has written 66 books about the mysteries and delights of Clock Island which have thrilled and comforted children for a few generations. But a few years ago he stopped writing.  Just announced – Jack has a new book; 4 adults will be invited to Clock Island to solve a mystery and win the manuscript of his newest book. All 4 were fans as children and are still fans. They arrive and find themselves in their childhood wonderland and the game has the potential to change each of their lives.  Read it please!  10 stars from me!"


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Homecoming: A Historical Mystery By Kate Morton Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063020900
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 2nd, 2024

"Christmas Eve Day in 1959 in Adelaide Hills, Australia and a mother and 3 of her children are found dead at a picnic site; the baby is missing. 

This tragedy runs through three generations with no complete understanding of what actually happened that day. The secrets, the lies, the connections between people are not understood until a grandmother’s death. When her only granddaughter comes home to spend a last few days with her grandmother, she starts to review the stories and memories of her childhood. After Nora’s death, Jess searches through the grand old house for paperwork and finds a book about the Turner family tragedy. She recognizes the connections between this tragedy and her own family and she goes searching for answers. 

Well written descriptions of Australia, engaging mystery and the beginning of a family finally healing.   I highly recommend this story!"


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Beyond That, the Sea: A Novel By Laura Spence-Ash Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250854377
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Celadon Books - March 21st, 2023

"This is Bea’s story – as an eleven year old girl, she sails from London to Boston with other children to live through WWII safe from the London blitz and whatever follows. She finds a second family – mother, father, and two boys who become her bookends. One is slightly older; the other slightly younger and they are vastly different in temperament. She is the bridge between them.  It is also our story. The path we take from our teenage years into our adulthood is seldom the road we envisioned. It can be great but…there is often the feeling of nostalgia as we imagine the pathway of our teenage dreams.  Laura Spencer-Ash has written the words to this story as we follow both of Bea’s families through the years and she has magically captured those interior “what if” emotions."


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Weyward: A Novel By Emilia Hart Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250842725
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 27th, 2024

"Three women across five generations share the same bloodline and were all considered wayward (weird) by their neighbors and especially by the men in their lives.  The first was tried as a witch and escaped with help from friends.  The later women learned to stand up for themselves to some extent but it was only the third who put the historical pieces of her family history and mysteries together.  A very believable depiction of how unusual women were viewed with suspicion and fear and were often misunderstood and traumatized by the men in their families and their lives.  Well written story!!"


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A World of Curiosities: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #18) By Louise Penny Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781250888358
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - June 27th, 2023

"A new Louise Penny novel is always a reason to celebrate! This story begins with a university graduation and the hidden undercurrents felt by Inspector Gamache, Jean Paul and other associates. One of the graduates was a child at the scene of the crime when Gamache and Jean Paul first met.  At the time they thought they were rescuing two children but the intervening years have revealed pieces of the characters of both of the now adult children. In hindsight, the original crime might have been misinterpreted and if either of these children can be trusted, both Gamache and Jean Paul and their families are in danger. 

Good writing. Good story."


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Nora Goes Off Script By Annabel Monaghan Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593420058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 28th, 2023

"Nora is a mother with two children – and her husband is more like a third child than a responsible adult. She writes screenplays for a romance channel and when her husband leaves her and the kids, she writes the collapse of her marriage into a screenplay that is selected by a major movie company and they come to film at her small farm.  The iconic leading man brought a trailer to live in while filming and he likes the area so much that he stays. He pays her rent for the space his trailer occupies so she doesn’t want to tell him to leave.  Lots of laughs, some fun romance and true to life family dynamics make for an all around good read."


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Our Missing Hearts: Reese's Book Club (A Novel) By Celeste Ng Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593492666
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 22nd, 2023

"While centering this story around one family, Celeste Ng has given us a future possibility that would threaten and thereby affect all of us! Beautiful writing, engaging story. Bird and his mother and father have a story to tell that is both compelling and frightening. A cautionary tale...we may already be on the road to this future."


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Shutter (A Rita Todacheene Novel #1) By Ramona Emerson Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781641294812
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - April 25th, 2023

"Rita Todacheene lived with her grandmother on a Navajo reservation until her unusual ability ostracized her from most of the tribe. – ghosts talk to her. Now she lives in Albuquerque and works as a forensic psychologist. 

'Souls don’t scatter like the rest of the body…they are the best witnesses to their last breaths.' 

As witnesses they talk to Rita and her photographs are extraordinary because of this.  As the tension increases, Rita’s heritage and her skills merge to enable her to pursue a killer.  The dichotomy of crime in the city l and the tribal understanding of life made this a very interesting crime story. Definitely worth reading!"