Amanda's Picks

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Piranesi Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781635577808
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 28th, 2021

This little novel is wonderfully weird and puzzling. Piranesi exists within a labyrinth whose lower floors are flooded with the sea and upper levels are filled with clouds. He is surrounded by an endless number of marble statues and knows of only one other human, The Other. More information reveals itself to Piranesi at the same time it is carefully revealed to the reader. It is a story unlike any other that I have read. The writing was dreamlike and the unraveling of the mystery keeps the reader captivated until the very end.


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Garlic and the Vampire Cover Image
By Bree Paulsen, Bree Paulsen (Illustrator)
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062995094
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Quill Tree Books - September 28th, 2021

The enchanted vegetables who live with a witch in this middle grade graphic novel are adorable. The unlikely heroine, Garlic, musters up all her courage to confront a vampire that has moved into their village. Garlic, and her friends, learn a valuable lesson about not judging a book by its cover. I love this debut by Bree Paulsen. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is a delight. It is a great book for fans of spooky but not scary.


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Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780374602604
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 7th, 2021

Sally Rooney’s latest novel is an intimate look at the lives of four thirty somethings during the present day. While the characters reflect on current affairs, climate change, beauty, art, etc. they also struggle looking within themselves and within their relationships to one another. It is brilliantly written and gives the reader PLENTY to relate to and think about. I am looking forward to revisiting it again someday in the future to see how it stands the test of time.


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Milo Imagines the World Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399549083
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - February 2nd, 2021

The award-winning duo of Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson have created a picture book that is vibrant, complex, and inclusive. This book encourages understanding by letting us see the world through Milo's eyes as he travels on the subway with his sister to visit his incarcerated parent. What I love most about this book is that it will prompt many different conversations on a variety of topics between children and their caregivers. It is a truly exceptional.


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Poison for Breakfast Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781324090625
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Liveright - August 31st, 2021

If you've grown up reading Lemony Snicket, you'll enjoy Poison for Breakfast. In this story, the reader follows Snicket as he tries to solve the mystery of who slipped a note under his door that read, "You had poison for breakfast" and whether or not he was actually poisoned. His stream of consciousness style is amusing and following him on this journey is both bewildering and a pleasure.


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Da Vinci's Cat Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063015258
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 25th, 2021

DaVinci's Cat is an exciting historical fiction fantasy for middle graders featuring two unlikely friends, The Big Three of the High Renaissance, and a time-travelling cat. It is well researched and filled with vivid descriptions of the characters and settings. You will feel as if you also stepped back in time to watch Raphael and Michelangelo at work in Rome. This a great choice for fans of fantasy, adventure, and history!


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All's Well: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982169664
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 3rd, 2021

All's Well is a bizarre trip with an erratic narrator and I loved every bit of it. Miranda Fitch is in pain. A pain that has affected every aspect of her life, including her job as a theatre professor and director. One night following rehearsal, she meets three suspicious men in a seedy bar and things begin to take an otherworldly turn. There's a lot to unpack about being a woman in pain that weaves in Shakespearean elements. Awad's writing is dark, unique, and brilliant. It's like a dream, or was it a nightmare?


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781328662057
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Mariner Books - April 2nd, 2019

This memoir about a therapist, her patients, and her own personal crisis took me on an emotional journey. It is truly transformative. Gottlieb explains the process of therapy in an honest and gentle way. The stories she shares about her patients and herself are relatable and enlightening. Sitting in on these sessions inspires the reader to reflect on themselves and what it means to be human. (A companion workbook will be coming out in November 2021!)


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Tokyo Ever After: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250766601
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Flatiron Books - May 18th, 2021

This story about a young Japanese American woman, Izumi, who discovers that she is a princess is so much fun! Discovering Japan along with Izumi is a treat for the reader. Of course there are comparisons to Princess Diaries, but I think Tokyo Ever After is a unique princess tale that holds its own by also exploring race and identity.


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Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419750915
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 23rd, 2021

I absolutely love this picture book. It has adorable illustrations, quirky characters, a valuable lesson, and glitter! What more could you want?


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Super Rabbit Boy’s Team-Up Trouble!: A Branches Book (Press Start! #10) Cover Image
By Thomas Flintham, Thomas Flintham (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9781338568998
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Scholastic Inc. - May 4th, 2021

Press Start is my most recommended early chapter series. In the latest installment, Super Rabbit Boy must learn how to work together with Mega Mole Girl to defeat King Viking and Miss Business. This is the perfect series to introduce to video game lovers who are ready to begin chapter books because it is exciting, silly, and has colorful illustrations on every page. My six year old loves it!


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Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982149673
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - March 2nd, 2021

In this thoroughly researched book, Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff travels with her three year old daughter to observe and study the parenting practices of Maya, Innuit, and Hadzabe families. The beginning of the book is particularly eye-opening as it examines and sort of blows the lid off of modern Western parenting. Following this, Dr. Doucleff shares the parenting practices she has learned from the families she observed that gave her immediate results. It is filled with advice that parents can use right away for children of any age, and will have many parents (myself included) reevaluating their current methods.


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Horse Girl Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593095485
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Penguin Workshop - March 30th, 2021

Horse Girl is a charming story about a seventh grade girl, Willa, who begins riding lessons at the prestigious Oakwood Riding Academy. It is like a middle grade Mean Girls but with horses. I especially enjoyed the footnotes that explain horse and riding terms for anyone not familiar with that world. It perfectly captured the awkwardness of middle school and establishing yourself in a friend group. I think Babysitter's Club fans will love this one!


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The Rock from the Sky Cover Image
By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781536215625
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Candlewick - April 13th, 2021

I am a huge fan of Jon Klassen, and he has done it again with The Rock from the Sky! He is able to hit that sweet spot of making both children and parents giggle at his sometimes cranky, sometimes oblivious, but always charming characters. The Rock from the Sky gives us these familiar characters with a little bit more story than we're used to from Klassen. It has the same deadpan humor, simple illustrations, and an ending we never saw coming.


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Infinite Country: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781982159467
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - March 2nd, 2021

This beautiful novel exploring the past and present of a Colombian family that is seperated by deportation is timely and impactful. The Andean myths sprinkled throughout are significant to the narrative and really make the book special. Engel's writing is magnificent. She says so much in few words.


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Allergic: A Graphic Novel Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781338568912
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Graphix - March 2nd, 2021

The main character in this graphic novel for ages 8-12, Maggie, is struggling with some changes in her life. She loves animals and thinks that a new puppy for her birthday is the answer to all her problems. When Maggie discovers she is highly allergic to animal dander she is crushed, will she be able to find the perfect pet?

This book was incredibly heartwarming and informative. As a mother to a child with allergies, I appreciate the way allergies were presented and explained. Maggie's reactions and treatment were presented with care through the dialogue and the illustrations. I highly recommend this book for children with allergies or who want to learn more about allergies. I deeply appreciate this representation for the allergic community. 


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The Electric Kingdom Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593202227
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - February 9th, 2021

David Arnold's haunting postapocalyptic novel takes place after a deadly Fly Flu has wreaked havoc on the world. The story follows a few survivors as they navigate the woods of New England to new desinations, avoiding swarms of infected flies and other violent people along the way. The writing is exceptional and the characters are complex and fully rounded. The Electric Kingdom presents many profound questions about humanity and touches your heart. As soon as I finished reading it, I flipped back to the first page.


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The Beast and the Bethany Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534478893
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few 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. 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
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501160837
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store 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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You Matter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534421691
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - June 2nd, 2020

This inspiring and affirming picture book written and illustrated by Christian Robinson is delightful. The simple, bright, and inclusive illustrations are accompanied with the valuable message that no matter what - you matter. I think that this would be an excellent gift for any child age 2-6 that they would cherish for a very long time.


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The Guest List: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062868930
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: William Morrow - June 2nd, 2020

The Guest List is a fast paced mystery that gave me lots of And Then There Were None vibes. It is atmospheric, filled with sketchy characters, and keeps you guessing right until the very end. If you need a juicy beach read, this is it.


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The Once and Future Witches Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316422048
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
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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Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds Cover Image
By Elise Gravel, Elise Gravel (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062982223
Availability: Not currently in stock, but we are happy to backorder and notify you when it arrives.
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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Things in Jars: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982121280
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few 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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Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524766719
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store 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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First Day Critter Jitters Cover Image
By Jory John, Liz Climo (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735228559
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
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 Grace Year: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250145444
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few 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 to order (usually within a few 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 to order (usually within a few 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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The Orphan of Salt Winds Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781947793224
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
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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