July’s Bestsellers

Here are our bestsellers for the end of July:

1  A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

2  My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

3  The English Girl by Daniel Silva

4  Wonder by RJ Palacio

5  Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

6  State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

7  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

8  Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

9  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

10  I Could Pee on This:  And Other Poems By Cats by Francesco Marciuliano

Looking For Alaska

I know that we have reviewed several of John Green’s novels before, but they are truly incredible YA reads.  His first book Looking For Alaska is the story about Miles, or Pudge as they call him, moving to Alabama to attend boarding school.  He felt that the only way to find his ” Great Perhaps” is to leave home and embark on a new adventure.  Once at school, he meets the Colonel and Alaska, who are both ready to shake up Pudge’s dull life.

This was a great debut novel for John Green.  It is no wonder he won the Printz Award for this book.  Green captured Alabama life perfectly.  I could feel the heat of summer and then in winter I could feel the frozen grass.  His characters are so genuine and complex.  They seem like real teenagers struggling with all the issues that come with growing up, drugs, drinking, and yes even the decision to have or to not have sex.  Green didn’t sugar coat the characters or their life decisions, he simple told a story about life.  I recommend his book not only to teens but also adults; his books always have amazing characters who tackle life head-on.

August Book Clubs

Here are our book clubs for August:

August 7th (7 PM) Non-Fiction Book Club:  The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction by Linda Gordon

August 14th (7 PM) Local Author Book Club:  La Malinche by Jane Eppinga.  Jane will also be joining us for our book discussion.

August 17th (4 PM) YA Book Club:  Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, Unremembered by Jessica Brody, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  This is our FIERCE READS party so read one or read all four.  Also online at Goodreads.

August 21st (7 PM) Fiction Book Club:  Left Neglect by Lisa Genova

August 28th ( 7 PM) Mystery Book Club:  The Expats by Chris Pavone

FIERCE READS Party

Join us for our FIERCE READS party on August 17th at 4 PM.  We will be chatting about the four books mention above and having raffles for for the following books with autographed nameplates:  Of Triton by Anna Banks, Monument 14:  Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne, Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, and Unremembered by Jessica Brody.  We will also be raffling off tote bags with a selection of YA advance reads.  Everyone is welcome to attend our fabulous event.

Hysteria

Hysteria by Megan Miranda is a gripping psychological YA read that is sure to capture your attention and refuse to let go.  In one tragic instant everything changes for Mallory.  Accused of murdering her boyfriend, Mallory is forced to leave her hometown and go to boarding school to flee the anger of the community.  But even miles away from the crime, Mallory is unable to escape.  Someone is breaking into her dorm room and following her around campus.  She is also waking up with markings on her shoulder.  Needless to say, Mallory is afraid to get close to anyone and is feeling scared of the nights.

I loved this book!  Miranda captures the guilt and panic, dare I say hysteria,  that comes after a self-defense death perfectly.  My favorite part about this book was the way the memories of that one night kept creeping back into Mallory’s mind.  It made the story so much more suspenseful as we slowly learned about what really happened.  Although, Miranda did a great job of keeping you interested  in Mallory’s present life as well.  I had to know what was going on in the school that is filled with secrets and lies.  This story is filled with plot turns and a quick reading pace that will keep you fully engaged in the tale.  If you are looking for a new YA read, this would be an excellent choice.

Dead Ever After

Charlaine Harris’ Dead Ever After concludes the story of Sookie Stackhouse in a very dramatic but satisfying way.  Sookie’s life has become a bit hectic lately.  Her relationship with Eric is on rocky ground, things with Sam are still weird but starting to  get back to normal, and now she is being charged with murder.  The news of her being arrested immediately brings all of her old friends back to help and support her.  And of course, Sookie will not rest until she discovers who the true murderer is.

I thought Dead Ever After was a nice wrap up to the series.   The book was filled with everything that we have grown to love about Sookie and Bon Temps.  Sookie was still funny, there was an exciting mystery to solve, and of course a touch of romance to keep things interesting.   Harris made sure to bring back characters that we all loved as well as the not so loved, giving a little closure with all of the characters.  There have been mixed feeling about who Sookie finally falls in love with and stays with, but I thought it was perfect.   I think that Harris picked the perfect person for Sookie.  When you think about all the things that she loves and who she is as a person, then you realize how perfect the ending truly is.  I am looking forward to what Harris creates next.  She did leave a little wiggle room for a few spin off series featuring some of the other characters, but who knows what she will come up with. In the meantime, there’s always her other series to read.  Our staff favorite, aside from the True Blood series, would be the Grave series.  It is a fantastic paranormal mystery.

Wednesday Sisters

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton is a dynamic story about friendship and family. Frankie and her husband leave their Chicago life behind and move to California. New friendships blossom as she starts taking her children to the park, and before long the Wednesday Sisters Writing Society has formed. All of the women love literature and it just seemed natural for them to start writing. Of course, life often interrupts the Writing Society.

I really liked this book. I thought that Waite Clayton’s characters were excellent. They were easy to relate to and I was immediately drawn into their lives. Some of the women were quirky and they were all incredibly likable. I also liked that each one was very different from the others and yet they all meshed perfectly. Waite Clayton captured the sixties perfectly; it was fascinating to read about the political turmoil and how the characters responded to it. I have already started The Wednesday Daughters. I am excited to catch-up with the next generation.

Meg Waite Clayton will be joining us on Saturday July 27th for a book signing from 1:30-3:00 PM.  Be sure to stop in the store to meet Meg Waite Clayton and get her latest novel autographed.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman was an outstanding fantasy read.  It was a dark tale that at times had me a bit frightened, but is such an incredible story that I read it in a couple of sittings.  A middle-aged man heading to his home town  for a funeral decides to drive by his old family home.  The house is no longer the one that  he remembers, but that doesn’t stop him from recalling the bizarre occurrences that happened the summer of his 7th year.    The more he remembers the more he realizes that something dark was unleashed and that somehow his old friend Letty found a way to protect him.

I am not typically a fantasy reader, but Gaiman’s writing is so eloquent and picturesque that I found myself loving this book.  His characters were easy to relate to,  even though we are hearing the story from a 7 year old perspective.  It was easy to understand his feelings  and  why so much of what had happened to him alluded him.  This was a fantastic read that will stay with you long after you have been have finished.