Amanda's Picks

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The Beast and the Bethany Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534478893
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Aladdin - December 8th, 2020

The Beast and the Bethany is a very clever book about a vain man, a greedy beast, and an extremely disagreeable little girl. The story is equally as hilarious as it is dark. I loved every minute of it. It is getting lots of buzz as a children’s version of The Picture of Dorian Gray and drawing comparisons to Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl. I felt like it was a middle grade version of Little Shop of Horrors and I wasn’t surprised to find out that the author has a theatrical background. The illustrations were a treat, and there are many important lessons to be learned from this story. This is the first in a series that I can’t wait to continue!


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Anxious People: A Novel Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9781501160837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Click Through for Each Location's Stock
Published: Atria Books - September 8th, 2020

This is a story about idiots (according to the author’s own words) that will restore some of your faith in humanity. Yes, these are fictional characters, but they moved me so deeply that they reminded me of myself and people from my own life. I am in complete awe of Backman’s writing. Most of the time I was either laughing, gasping, crying, or rolling my eyes along with the characters. The transitions between hilarious and tender moments happened so seamlessly that they blew my mind. I think one of the biggest takeaways from this novel is that none of us adults really know what we’re doing, but we should keep on doing the best that we can.


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Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds Cover Image
By Elise Gravel, Elise Gravel (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062982223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Click Through for Each Location's Stock
Published: HarperAlley - October 6th, 2020

A funny and fascinating graphic novel for children ages 6-10. Arlo, a crow, has crowned himself the king of the birds. Over the course of the story, Arlo shares crow facts with his new friend Pips to prove that he is one special bird. Fans of Narwhal and Jelly are going to love this book!


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The Once and Future Witches Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316422048
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Published: Redhook - October 13th, 2020

I have become a fan of historical fiction fantasy mostly due to the writing of Alix E. Harrow. In her latest work, The Once and Future Witches, the reader is introduced to the three Eastwood sisters during the suffragette movement. The sisters become involved with the suffragists but also delve into the will, the words, and the ways of witchcraft. I appreciated reading about the sisters' sibling dynamic and their emotional journey to repair their relationships with one another. The spells that mark the beginning of each new chapter were a treat. Fans of Erin Morgernstern and Gregory Maguire will enjoy this “witchy as hell” tale.


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Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524766719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Click Through for Each Location's Stock
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2020

Cozy up with the first book in this new early chapter series by Caldecott Honor winner Lauren Castillo. Recommended for ages 5-9, this sweet book is about making new friends and being a good friend. It is a peaceful story accompanied by lovely illustrations that will make it an instant bedtime favorite.


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In a Jar Cover Image
By Deborah Marcero, Deborah Marcero (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525514596
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - January 21st, 2020

Llewellyn and Evelyn collect extraordinary things together in jars. The two friends cherish their time together and their special discoveries until one day Evelyn moves away. How will the little bunnies share their finds together now? This is a gorgeous picture book to add to a child's collection that is about the beautiful memories friends can make together.


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First Day Critter Jitters Cover Image
By Jory John, Liz Climo (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735228559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Click Through for Each Location's Stock
Published: Dial Books - July 7th, 2020

I'm a big Liz Climo and Jory John fan and this picture book did not disappoint! It is hilarious, adorable, and helpful. I highly recommend it for children feeling a little anxious or nervous about a new beginning.


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The Gifted School: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525534976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Click Through for Each Location's Stock
Published: Riverhead Books - June 30th, 2020

A fast-paced story about a group of friends and parents who are competing to get their children into a new exclusive school for exceptional students. Set in Colorado, this smart novel keeps you entertained with familiar characters and explosive revelations. I can't wait to see what Bruce Holsinger writes next.


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Things in Jars: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982121280
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Atria Books - February 4th, 2020

A cast of characters including a pipe-smoking female detective, a seven-foot tall maid with a lovely baritone, a dead boxer with living tattoos, a young girl and her one-eyed doll, plus more await you in this Gothic mystery novel by Jess Kidd. Set in Victorian London, Bridie Devine has been tasked with finding a kidnapped young girl who may have supernatural abilities. The tale is told by a gifted storyteller who expertly combines hilarious, heartbreaking, and horrific moments. I didn’t want it to end.


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A Good Neighborhood: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250237279
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Published: St. Martin's Press - March 10th, 2020

In a departure from her bestselling historical fiction, the author writes a story about a contemporary neighborhood in North Carolina. This book is a perfect book club selection for the new year because there is plenty to discuss about class, race, love, and more. The story of two completely different families who become neighbors poses many questions. What makes a neighborhood “good?” What does it mean to be a good neighbor? And above all, what does it mean to be a good person? A Good Neighborhood will stay with you long after you read the final page.


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The Grace Year: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250145444
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Wednesday Books - October 8th, 2019

In this YA dystopian thriller, sixteen year old girls are banished to the wilderness for a year to release their “magic” and return purified and prepared for marriage. Tierney James realizes that her greatest threat may not be the elements or poachers of the wilderness; it may very well be the other girls. This fierce page-turner is a timely examination of women’s relationships with one another and survival in a fragmented society.


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The Ten Thousand Doors of January Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316421997
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Redhook - September 10th, 2019

The Ten Thousand Doors of January took me on an adventure through generations, continents, and worlds. It is a beautiful mix of genres but ultimately a coming-of-age story about exploration, change, family, and true love. I was lost in January's world and fascinated by the book-within-a-book that had a completely different tone. If you need a magical escape, this is the book for you!


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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781524731656
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Knopf - May 21st, 2018

This true crime story about the fall of Silicon Valley startup, Theranos, and its CEO and founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is expertly researched and told. The details are so insane, I couldn't put it down. I'm fascinated by this story and the fact that Holmes was so magnetic she could sell a technology that never worked. Bill Gates also recommends this book!


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Skulls! Cover Image
By Blair Thornburgh, Scott Campbell (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534414006
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - July 23rd, 2019

"Skulls are safe and snug, like a car seat for your brain." I can't wait to share this book with my four year old. The information told in the main text focuses on the science of the skull in a fun and lighthearted way. It's a positive look at a very important part of our bodies. Scott Campbell's watercolor illustrations are lovely. Not your typical picture book, but it's so fun!


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The Dreamers: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780812994162
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Random House - January 15th, 2019

In a small college town in California, a contagious illness quickly spreads among the residents. The infected cannot be roused from slumber and are displaying heightened levels of brain activity. It is clear they are dreaming, but of what? This is a thought-provoking novel written in clear and elegant prose. The book flows like a dream.


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Dandy Cover Image
By Ame Dyckman, Charles Santoso (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316362955
Availability: The book is not currently in stock at our stores. Please call us for price and availability.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 2nd, 2019

The story of a father trying to destroy the dandelion growing in his perfect lawn and his daughter's efforts to save and befriend it. This book is precious and has a valuable message.


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The Orphan of Salt Winds Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781947793224
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available in 1-3 days.
Published: Tin House Books - January 15th, 2019

The exceptional imagery used in this novel sets it apart from other historical fiction placed in Word War II. I felt as if I arrived at the marsh alongside the young orphan Virginia and felt the decay of the home in her later years. The events that haunt the elder Virginia are revealed in an unforgettable way.


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Dear Boy,: A Celebration of Cool, Clever, Compassionate You! Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062422514
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Click Through for Each Location's Stock
Published: HarperCollins - April 23rd, 2019

This is a companion book to the #1 NYT bestseller Dear Girl,. It is an inspirational picture book for boys ages 4-8. The lessons and advice are accompanied with stunning illustrations and it is the perfect book for caretakers to read with their own dear boy!


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Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316204262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Click Through for Each Location's Stock
Published: Back Bay Books - April 2nd, 2013

This book is thoroughly entertaining. It is whip-smart, hilarious, and heartwarming all at the same time. Agoraphobic Bernadette is loving, eccentric, and gone. It is up to her teenage daughter Bee to find her. A modern day epistolary that will make you belly laugh.


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