The Impossible Knife of Memory

Laurie Halse Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory is a remarkable book that looks at the impact of post traumatic stress disorder not only for the person with it but for the family members around them.  After jumping from place to place, Hayley and her dad have decided to attempt to settle down in upstate New York.  After returning from Iraq Hayley’s dad  struggles with demons making it next to impossible to keep a steady job or pay bills.  In fact, some days he can’t even leave his room because he is  stuck in his nightmares of war.  However, Hayley is optimistic that she can have a normal life here, perhaps even a boyfriend.

“You could drive a truck through the amount of space between forgetting and not remembering.”  This  is one of my favorite lines in this book and it captures the essence of the story.  Anderson is an amazing writer who captures the sensitivity and compassion between  a father and daughter both dealing with PTSD.  The characters are wonderful and the plot is fast-paced and intriguing.  This is a book I highly recommend.

Tucson Festival of Books 2014 Wrap-Up

We had another fabulous book festival this year.  Our booth had almost 50 authors for book signings and it was wonderful.  We would like to thank all of the amazing authors who join as well as all of our staff and volunteers.  Here is a brief look at who was at our booth.  Some of the authors were missed in pictures because sometimes things were just a little crazy.

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February Book Clubs

Here are our book clubs for the month of February:

In-Store discussions

February 6th (7 PM) Non-Fiction Book Group:  Elsewhere by Richard Russo (Tucson Festival of Books 2014 author)

February 19th (7 PM) Fiction Book Group:  The Camel Bookmobile by Marsha Hamilton

February 26th (7 PM) Mystery Book Group:  Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

Online Discussions (click here to join our forum)

Landry Park by Bethany Hagen (Tucson Festival of Books 2014 author)

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike (Tucson Festival of Books 2014 author)

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (Tucson Festival of Books 2014 author)

New Releases

Here are a few new releases for the week:

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (she will be attending the Tucson Festival of Books-TFOB-2014)

Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah

Standup Guy by Stuart Woods (The latest novel featuring Stone Barrington)

Home of the Braised by Julie Hyzy (Book 7 in the White House Chef Mystery-paperback)

Black Arts by Faith Hunter (The latest novel featuring Jane Yellowrock-paperback)

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews (re-issued paperback)

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler (paperback)

Seekers:  Return to the Wild Book 4:  Forest of Wolves by Erin Hunter

Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble by Nick Bruel

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson (hardcover picture book)


Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak is a compelling and memorable YA fiction novel.  I have to confess that even though I had heard incredible reviews about this novel I was reluctant to read it.  I knew the subject matter was going to be intense, but I had no idea how well written and insightful the story was going to be.  Melinda’s freshman year is not turning out exactly how she thought it would.  Everyone is talking and laughing about her behind her back, especially her ex-bestfriend, all because she called the cops to break-up the end of summer party.  However, no one knows the truth about why she called the cops, and once they find out everything is going to drastically change.

The characters are fantastic. They are all well developed and I  liked the sarcasm and wit of Melinda’s voice.  Halse Anderson’s writing style is captivating and I enjoy the way she told the entire story through Melinda’s voice.  She still shows you how everyone is dealing with the events of the infamous night, but it is all Melinda’s opinions on how everyone is reacting.  I think this made a delicate subject approachable for people to read.  This is a great book to start a hard conversation with people and an excellent read.