Sara F. Staff Picks


 

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The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780316201568
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 2nd, 2013

A middle grade book about a set of twins that discover that their grandmother is actually The Fairy Godmother. As in Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. And that there is a whole world where fairy tales are real. I mean what kid can resist checking that world out? A really well put together fun book full of fairy tales turned upside down. Addictive, wonderful and oh so fun The Wishing Spell (Land of Stories Book 1) is great at any age.


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The Poet X Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: HarperTeen - March 6th, 2018

This book was a shock to the system. It was an absolutely electrifying read. Told in free verse the story of Xiomara made me smile, made me cry and made me proud to be a Hispanic woman. Although my teenage years are far behind me I felt a sense of kinship with Xiomara and her experiences being a young beautiful curvy woman. The stares and hollers of men, the lust and desires she felt but that she had to deny, the many questions she had but couldn't ask her super religious mother. While a young adult novel this book will resonant with any and all who wish to read it. For at its core it is simply about learning to be your own person.

-- Sara


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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062319784
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper - February 27th, 2018

What a read. This book was so fascinating! And 100% creepy. Michelle McNamara brought all the terror and pain and panic of that time to life here in the present. I have read only a few true crime books, as I am extremely picky when it comes to getting a narrative right when it comes to things that have actually happened. Michelle McNamara got the balance between fact and emotion down just right. She made me feel the fear that the various victims felt but she also let me know what the facts of each individual attack was. I felt for the victims but I also felt informed. And in perfect measure I was totally and utterly outraged and creeped out. It baffles my mind that a man like that had the cunning and the smarts to do what he did for so long and disappear into the darkness, when his acts of terror, his endless crimes against those he killed and those he left behind were of such a horrendous nature. I understand Ms. McNamara's obsession with the maniac. After reading it with no concrete understanding of who he was or why he did what he did I want to dive in, find those message boards and start my own investigation. A shout out to all the people that worked and are still working tirelessly to try to find this guy. This is a great read. Worth it all the way, from first moments to last pages. I recommend this to anyone that wants a good true crime book and doesn't mind being completely unsettled

-- Sara


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The Song of Achilles: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062060624
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Ecco - August 28th, 2012

This retelling of the Achilles myth is an absolute must read. You get totally immersed in the story and the characters and the beauty and tragedy of it all. It is one of those books that sweeps you up and ties you down all at the same time. It's the type of book that sneaks up on you and once it has you in its grasp it won't let go. I still think about it, weeks and many books later, and how great it was. I highly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys Greek myths and legends or anyone that wants to get into them. It is a truly engrossing and wonderful read.

-- Sara


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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062444134
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper Voyager - July 5th, 2016

I read this for the first meeting of the Romance book club, it had been on my TBR list for awhile but I never got around to it, until the first meeting was looming. AND WOW! What a book. It was 1000% worth reading and losing sleep over. It had a little bit of all the things in it and it was just so incredible! The characters were nothing short of perfect and the story was so engaging and all I wanted to do was read. All the time. It was on my mind 24/7. This is a must buy for sci/fi fans of all sorts! Don't be distracted by the "romance book club" part because it is not your typical romance, it is a sci/fi extravaganza!

-- Sara


Tangerine: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062686664
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Published: Ecco - March 27th, 2018

I heard about this book from her editor at a HarperCollins day event and right off the bat it sounded intriguing. When I got an ARC of it I dove right in to the sultry spicy world of Morocco. It was so well done, and so perfectly spin-tingling. I don't want to give anything away so all I will say is that this book is spooky and suspenseful and strange in all the best ways.

-- Sara


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Americanah Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307455925
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Anchor - March 4th, 2014

I know that at this point everyone has probably read this book. It took me awhile to get to this but it was not for lack of desire to read it. In fact I have been dying to read it for years I just kept putting it off for other books. And then I read it. And it was amazing. It was beautiful and tragic in subtle ways and some not so subtle ways. It was so worth the read and worth the wait and worth all of it. I truly enjoyed the book and found it to be so wonderful to read, every day I looked forward to the moment I could open the book and start reading again. If you haven't yet read it I highly recommend it. It's just a good, solid, beautiful book.

-- Sara


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The Mother: A Novel Cover Image
$16.49
ISBN: 9780062440815
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Amistad - May 9th, 2017

This book is heartbreaking. This book is beautiful. This book is sad. This book finds hope. I read this for our Selects program and I tore through it. It is a quick and intense read and so worth it. I fought for this book to be sent because I knew that it would be a winner. It moved me and stuck with me and I think that anyone who reads this will feel the same.

-- Sara


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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781616204518
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Published: Algonquin Books - December 2nd, 2014

The story of A.J. Fikry, a grumpy widower running the only book store on a remote island where, ever since his wife died, A.J. has been seen as the outcast. One night A.J. finds a little girl left in his shop with a note stating that the little girl's mother had to leave her behind and that she thought a bookshop would be the best place. A moving and unusual tale about the power of fatherhood, books and learning to love again. This book blew me away, I was absolutely stunned by how incredible everything came together. The writing alone was something I think few people can pull off, but something that I think Gabrielle Zevin conquered. A truly lovely tale and something that just has to be read.

-- Sara


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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780375725609
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Published: Vintage - February 10th, 2004

It’s 1893 and the very first world's fair is about to begin in Chicago. Using the fair as a lure, a serial killer meticulously plans and executes a number of gruesome murders. Perfectly blending fact and brilliant storytelling, Erik Larson has brought to life a truly terrifying and yet intriguing time in history. I felt as if I were reading a murder mystery rather than a nonfiction account of a very dark point, and at the same time, a period of great triumph for Chicago. A truly immersive read, The Devil in the White City, is informative and fascinating, a must read!

-- Sara


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The Power Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316547611
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Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 10th, 2017

This book blew me away. Naomi Alderman created something truly perfect when she wrote The Power. I found myself unable to put the book down or to stop thinking about when I was forced to take a break. This is a book that will stay with you for all the very best reasons. Her ability to totally immerse her reader in this new world is unparalleled and absolutely worth every second. I highly recommend this for anyone who is looking for an all around incredible book.

-- Sara


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The Half-Drowned King: A Novel (The Golden Wolf Saga #1) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062563699
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Harper - August 1st, 2017

"Are you looking for a good adventure story? A story about vikings perhaps? Norse gods? Feasts? Well look no further, The Half-Drowned King is the book for you. A debut novel that takes us into the world of viking Norway where kings are the men that conquer the most land and heroes are those that go raiding on the high seas and die honorably in battle. We meet Ragnvald, who is on his first raiding trip to prove his manhood. After being betrayed he swears revenge on those that have wronged and this begins an epic adventure, Full of warring kings, feasting, games and endless mind games, The Half-Drowned King is the perfect Nordic adventure tale. Read the full review over at the Book Culture blog, then stop into your local Book Culture to buy the book!"

-- Sara


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The Martian: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780553418026
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Broadway Books - October 28th, 2014

Before reading this I had never been one for science fiction but I had always loved science and I had always loved fiction. I finally decided to try it out and this book was absolutely the perfect book to experiment with. It was so well written and so well researched that I had a very hard time remembering that this was a debut novel. Everything was so well done that I fell even more in love with Mars and found myself growing very attached to the character as well as the author. Andy Weir has such a talent that I am an instant fan and I can't wait to see where he takes me next.

-- Sara


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Throne of Glass Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781619630345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - May 7th, 2013

When I read this, the first in a series, I was in such a young adult fantasy type of mood and this novel delivered on all those counts and so many more. From the very first chapter I knew that this book was going to be something special, the main character was a strong, feisty woman that no matter how many times she had been beaten down, kept getting back up. Full of adventure, magic and superbly written Throne of Glass is an addicting and wonderful read. If you need a little fantasy in your life this is the book for you. A true masterpiece.

-- Sara


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The Night Circus Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307744432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Anchor - July 3rd, 2012

It took me many years before I finally decided to read it. As soon as I started it I knew that I had made a huge mistake in waiting so long. This book is, in my opinion, perfection, from the writing, to the story, to the characters there is not a wrong sentence or phrase or moment in all 516 pages. There are very few books that I find perfection in but this is certainly one of them. I don't want to say too much because most of the magic comes from the initial reading, so all I have left to say is, read it.

-- Sara


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Misery: A Novel Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781501156748
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Pocket Books - February 28th, 2017

The master of horror has once again brought to life a terrifyingly perfect tale. Paul Sheldon is an author of unrivaled fame, known mainly for his Misery Chastain novels that has spanned his entire career, and he has finally had enough of Misery. Enter Annie Wilkes who will stop at literally nothing to get Paul to bring her favorite character back to life. Perfectly written, and with just the right amount of creepy Misery is in my mind a perfect book. Never have I finished a book with such a smile on my face.

-- Joe


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Wideacre: A Novel (The Wideacre Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780743249294
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Touchstone - July 2nd, 2003

The first in a trilogy, Wideacre introduces us to Beatrice Lacey, beautiful, ambitious, strong willed and willing to do anything to keep possession of her beloved Wideacre. Beautifully written and as close to a sweeping English epic that one can get in the modern age of shorter is better, Philippa Gregory has given us one of the most intriguing books I have read in a very long while. This book is full of twists, turns, surprises, betrayals, love and secrets and it is just the beginning.

-- Sara


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The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143125389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2014

A incredibly intricate tale of a widower who moves to the English countryside to try to move on and rediscover his love of collecting and restoring rare books. When he comes across an old painting that resembles his wife he begins a journey to discover its origins. What he finds is a centuries old mystery that tries to answer a question that has been plaguing scholars for years, did Shakespeare write the plays he became famous for? When the people he enlists for help begin to disappear Peter starts to worry that maybe what he stumbled upon may be something left unanswered. Written between three time periods and traveling all over England and all over time The Bookman's Tale is a mystery wrapped in an adventure story and tied up with delicious literary intrigue. Well written and beautifully put together this is a great book for those that love books, Shakespeare or a good mystery.

-- Sara


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The Summer Tree (Fionavar Tapestry #1) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451458223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Ace - April 1st, 2001

This is the first in a truly brilliant fantasy trilogy. Starting in our world five university students meet a man named Lauren Silvercloak. He tells them that not only is magic real but that there are other worlds and he asks that they come to his world to celebrate the fifth decade of their king. Scared, skeptical and a little intrigued the five decide to take him up on his strange offer and away they go to Fionavar and an adventure that they never could have seen coming. This novel blew me away and after I finished it all I wanted was more. So perfectly written and incredibly timed I have to recommend this book to anyone and everyone that loves not only a good fantasy but a good story in general.

-- Sara


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Alice (The Chronicles of Alice) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780425266793
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Ace - August 4th, 2015

A dark and terrifying retelling of Alice in wonderland Christina Henry takes us into the darkest parts of our minds and just let us sit there. I loved this from the twisted opening to the dark and uncomfortable end. Every part of this story looked at the sweet Alice in Wonderland tale in a brand new and very grimy light. A great read if you enjoy a little hair raising terror. Read with the lights on. You will regret nothing!

-- Sara


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A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143119685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - December 27th, 2011

If ever the old adage of 'don't judge a book by its cover' (or in this case its title) stands true it is for this fantastic sci-fi/fantasy novel. Diana Bishop is a perfectly ordinary professor. Or so she tries to be. She is on sabbatical at Oxford so that she can spend some time doing research into old Alchemical texts at the Bodleian library. When she sees a rare text with illustrations that she has never come across before she thinks she has just gotten lucky and discovered a rare find. How wrong she is. An incredibly well written adventure full of love, mystery, magic and characters that leap off the page. For anyone that likes even a touch of the mystical this book is the way to go. First in a trilogy so be prepared for a long and incredible journey.

-- Sara


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The Book Thief Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780375842207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2007

A truly incredible story, told from Death's point of view about, a young girl that even in the darkest times discovers a way to find happiness. 'The Book Thief' shows us the true magic of books and how reading can take us into different worlds. This is a book for anyone that wants to fall in love with reading all over again. Well written, beautifully crafted and perfectly put together 'The Book Thief' is a must read.

-- Sara


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Mystic River Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780688163167
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: William Morrow - February 1st, 2001

A group of young boys are playing in the streets one fateful afternoon when a couple of 'cops' come by. One of the boys is taken away and so begins a dark and harrowing journey that changes the lives of the entire town. Dark, mysterious and shocking in so many ways 'Mystic River' is a truly wonderful read. Dennis Lehane takes the mystery and suspense genre and turns it on it's head in this novel. Perfectly written and truly edge-of-your-seat-stay-up-all-night good this is a perfect pick for anyone who wants a ride on the dark side.

-- Sara