Hard to believe it but we’ve recently added even more great books to our collection. They may look familiar-many of them are NY Times bestsellers, award winners or bookclub favorites. You can, as always, find a list of our new titles here, but let’s take a moment to get to know some of them a little better…
P.S. You can find out more about a particular by clicking on its title.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (recommended by Heather):
“In a time when actual books are filling up tag-sale dollar boxes, alone with VHS tapes and old beepers, [this book] reminds us that there is an intimate, adventurous joy in the palpable, papery things called novels, and in the warm little secret societies we used to call ‘bookstores.’ Robin Sloan’s novel is delightfully funny, provocative, deft, and even thrilling. And for reasons more than just nostalgia, I could not stop turning these actual pages.”-John Hodgman
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (recommended by Bill):
As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart—half tavern, half temple—stands Brokeland.
When ex–NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship.
An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own, Telegraph Avenue is the great American novel we’ve been waiting for. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, triumphant, it is Michael Chabon’s most dazzling book yet.-Indiebound
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (recommended by John):
Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life—something like his old life—exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return—not enough fuel to get him home—following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face—in the people he meets, and in himself—is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.-book description
Young Adult Notables:
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak:
“It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.”-author description
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt:
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain. In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.-NPR’s Backseat Bookclub
Ashfall by Mike Mullins
“This post-apocalyptic tale is one that combines reality with the stuff of nightmares, crawls under your skin, and forces you to question your own courage and survival instincts. After a fight with his mother, 15-year-old Alex is left at home while his parents and sister go to visit his aunt and uncle 140 miles away. Within hours of their leaving, the world changes — a supervolcano in Yellowstone erupts, blackening the sky, disabling the power and water lines and covering the continent in ash. Alex sets out to find his family, but the horrors of the catastrophe escalate as food and shelter become scarce and the ashfall disrupts Earth’s natural weather patterns, triggering an early winter. During his journey, Alex faces inevitable evils that are only too believable, but he also glimpses kindness and generosity that offer a hint of hope in a world gone dark.”-NPR Top 5 Young Adult Books of 2011