Barb's Picks

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9781250012180
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin, 10/2012

I admit that I fell in love with Slaughterhouse-Five in 1970. And I admit that I almost spilled a drink on Vonnegut when he came to speak at BSU in the mid-1980s. So I loved this entertaining, well-researched biography of this outrageous, satiric author.

- Barb


$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780670025695
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 2/2013

Even better and more complicated than the first Sean Stranahan mystery. Set in the mountains and fly-fishing streams of Montana, it's perfect for lovers of a good story even if they don't know how to tie a fly.

- Barb


ISBN-13: 9780345540645
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Del Rey, 7/2013
I loved this collection of long short stories with commentary by the author. Willis's speculative fiction feels like Ray Bradbury with a sprinkle of Terry Pratchett. There are silent alien visitors who only respond to choral music. Then there's a humorous parody of academic writing “proving” that Emily Dickinson's poetry referenced the 1897 Martian invasion that H. G. Wells described. A perfect introduction to one of my favorite science fiction writers.   -Barb

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780767904469
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Broadway Books, 9/1999

A book for lovers of the outdoors, sailing, or the Arctic. Alvah Simon spent months alone on his sailboat trapped in the long polar night. Although I would never do what he did, I enjoyed vicariously sharing his experiences, his observations of the local Inuit culture, and his personal revelations about life.

- Barb


Sweet Tooth (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9780345803450
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Anchor, 8/2013

A spy love story for writers and readers. After Cambridge graduate Serena Frome is recruited in 1972 by MI5, she's assigned to project Sweet Tooth. Her job is to mind Tom Haley, a promising young novelist. While Serena reads his short stories so do we. Predictably, Tom doesn't know she works for MI5. Predictably, they fall in love. Unpredictably, the book ends . . . well you didn't really think I'd tell you how it ends, did you?   

--Barb  


Little Century (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781250033369
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picador, 7/2013

If you've ever driven between Burns and Bend, you know how desolate the landscape is. Now go back a hundred and fifty years. Imagine how you would feel if you were eighteen-year-old, Chicagoan Esther Chambers and you were arriving in Century, Oregon for the first time. Because Eastern Oregon is seldom the setting for novels, I was drawn to this debut novel. I loved the way the landscape defined the characters and how it created the conflicts between homesteaders, cattlemen and sheepherders.   

--Barb  


$26.99
ISBN-13: 9781476711959
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 11/2013

Since I enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale, I was thrilled to finally get another book by Diane Setterfield that incorporated the unseen and the ghostly. I loved the mystery of Mr. Black's identity. But I also loved the details of the inner workings of Mr. Bellman's cathedral-like store dedicated to Victorian mourning. A page-turning trip back into Victorian England with detours into the lives and mythology of rooks.

--Barb 




Guests on Earth (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9781616202538
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 10/2013

This novel is an engaging portrait of life at the famous Highland Hospital in Asheville, NC in the 1930s & 1940s and its most famous off-and-on-again patient—Zelda Fitzgerald. However, it's also a coming of age story of Evalina Toussaint, the orphaned child of an exotic dancer. Evalina is committed to Highland after a suicide attempt, and she shares art therapy with Zelda. The details of hospital life were fascinating, especially its innovative treatment regime of exercise, diet, art,occupational therapy and occasionally shock therapy.

--Barb    


Letters from Skye (Hardcover)


ISBN-13: 9780345542601
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Ballantine Books, 7/2013

This is a great book for people who enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society like I did. During WWII, a daughter learns the secret of her mother's affair during WWI. Told through letters, this is a novel for people who believe in second chances.

--Barb  



Don't Ever Get Old (Paperback)

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9781250028921
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Minotaur Books, 4/2013

At 87, Buck Schatz is still a smart, tough sonofabitch. Sure, he can no longer tackle the bad guys he chases, but that's what twenty-some grandsons are for.

--Barb 



$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780307271600
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 11/2013

I'm not primarily a non-fiction reader, but I loved reading this book by the author of Wild Swans. The official stories of Cixi are displayed at the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, but Chang debunks the tourist-guide portrayal of Cixi as cruel and evil. She had her flaws, and like other Chinese rulers she did order some people killed. However, she was also the ruler who modernized China, outlawed foot-binding, and brought years of peace and prosperity to China. A fascinating person and a fascinating book.    

--Barb   


$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780062208293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 10/2013

This novel imagines that 86 year old Queen Elizabeth II is depressed over her uselessness and the sameness of palace life. Through an odd set of circumstances, she walks out of the palace grounds to get some more cheddar for her favorite horse and ends up on a public train to Edinburgh. A sweet novel with lots of interesting, quirky, kind, and all around good characters. A great book for readers who enjoy the Number 1 Ladies Detective novels like I do. I think Precious Ramotswe and the Queen would have enjoyed riding the train together.   

--Barb  


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781476710839
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atria Books, 12/2013

I loved this detailed, unsentimental memoir of working as a ranch hand on the Sun Ranch in Montana. Andrews lived and worked on land where elk, cattle and wolves travel on separate seasonal paths that intersect and often collide. Neither pro or anti-wolf, his story presents the complexity of ranching and predators. His chapter on predators is unforgettable. With clean, well-lighted prose and his black and white photos, Andrews refuses to simplify the problem. He will probably be damned by the extremes at both end of the debate, but his respect for both sides is part of what I enjoyed about this book.   

--Barb 

 


MaddAddam (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780385528788
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Nan A. Talese, 9/2013

I love Atwood's speculative fiction because it always takes current events and twists them into the future. MaddAddam didn't disappoint me with its story of the aftermath of the Waterless Flood pandemic. I read the first two books in this trilogy years ago, so I was happy this one included a summary of the previous events. It's a satisfying ending to a provocative dystopian trilogy.

--Barb    


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780762448654
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Running Press, 3/2013

I chortled at Federle's witty description of classic and contemporary novels. His intriguing, privately-tested drink recipes made me want to buy a Cobbler shaker and whip up a batch of “Lord of the Mai-Tais.” Or maybe a “Brave New Swirled” or a “Huckleberry Sin.” This book includes sections with non-alcoholic drinks (“Refreshments for Recovering Readers”), snacks (“Bar Bites for Book Hounds”) and group-sized drink recipes (“Bevvies for Book Clubs”). Toast your inner literary nerd with this book or give a copy to a friend.

--Barb 

 


$28.95
ISBN-13: 9780670024858
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 10/2013

A fascinating historical novel for people like me who enjoy botany, travel and philosophy. Born in 1800 in Philadelphia, Alma Whittaker is an insatiable seeker of knowledge and a self-taught botanist. Old scientific and religious ideas are being challenged, and so is Alma.  

--Barb 


The Crane Wife (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594205477
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 1/2014

The strangest book I've read, and one of the best. A mixture of a contemporary literary novel and a mythic story of Japanese gods and goddesses. If you are ready to try something different, give this novel a try.  

--Barb 

 


The Abomination (Hardcover)


ISBN-13: 9780062264336
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Harper Torch, 6/2013

It's shocking enough when a priest's body washes up on shore near Venice, but it's an abomination when the autopsy reveals the priest is a woman. Solving this murder requires the unique skills of Second Lieutenant Holly Boland, Captain Kat Tapo, and Danielle Barbo--the webmaster who created the virtual Venice called Carnivia. A taunt thriller based on extensive research, Abomination involves the U.S. Army, the Venice police, the Catholic church, and the Italian Mafia.

--Barb 




The Abduction (Hardcover)

$26.99
ISBN-13: 9780062267047
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 6/2014

Darker than the first book in the Carnivia trilogy, but just as engrossing. Another book that I stayed up until midnight to finish. Conspiracies inside of conspiracies abound after an American teenager is kidnapped in Venice. To save her, Second Lieutenant Holly Boland, Captain Kat Tapo, and webmaster Danielle Barbo pool their resources. The kidnappers seem to be working for either an anti-American protest group, the U.S. Army, the Vatican, the Venetian police, or a disgruntled Carnivia administrator.   

--Barb 


The Bees (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780062331151
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ecco Press, 5/2014

Being bee-ignorant, I had no idea what was going to happen next in this book. Seeing the world through the eyes of Flora 717, a worker bee, changed my view of the flowers in my garden. Because Flora 717 is different genetically from her sister floras, she ends us disrupting the normal hierarchy of the hive. But she also helps solve hive crises like an attack by wasps and the unexpected death of the queen. A fascinating, compelling read with an unpredictable (unless you're a bee) ending.



Hunting Shadows (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780062237187
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow & Company, 1/2014

This was my first book in the Ian Rutledge series, and I loved it. Set in 1920s rural England, Rutledge is haunted by shadows of his WWI experiences. Both the good and the bad characters struggle to cope with what they saw or did during the war. Especially those who were assigned to be snipers. To other soldiers and civilians, snipers were seen as despicable. Being a sniper wasn't even noted in their military service record. When a two prominent men are killed by sniper shots, Rutledge has to uncover all those men in the nearby villages who were snipers in the war.