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Ann's Picks



We're All in This Together Cover Image
ISBN: 9780771050657
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: McClelland & Stewart - January 15th, 2019

I'm partial to stories about wacky, interesting and/or dysfunctional families that have a happy ending.  Or at least an ending that doesn't end in too much grief.  Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Matilda by Roald Dahl, anything by John Irving, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. The list could go on and on.

We're All in This Together by Amy Jones fits the bill.  The Parker family has come together because the grandmother has gone over a waterfall in a barrel and survived. The question of course is why?

Over the course of a few days the fractured family fractures even more. In hilarious and heartbreaking ways. 

The story is set in Thunder Bay and Duluth which gives it a familiar midwestern feel.  This is a terrific book and I highly recommend.

My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love Cover Image
By Dessa
ISBN: 9781524742294
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - September 18th, 2018

Dessa! My new favorite writer.  I think I have a little crush on her.

Her writing is brave, crisp, funny, and relateable. And did I mention funny?

Their Eyes Were Watching God CD Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060776534
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Caedmon - November 23rd, 2004

If you are going on a road trip, this is the audio book to make the miles fly by.  

The language is lovely, poetic, musical, haunting. The story will stay with you long after the book ends.

There There: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

Highly recommend.

Warlight: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525521198
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 8th, 2018

The Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524760793
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth - March 6th, 2018

My absolutely favorite new book!

Ghost Boys Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316262286
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 17th, 2018

This is my pick to win the Newbery Award for 2018. It's an important book that should be read in schools everywhere.

After being shot by a white police officer who thought a toy gun was real, twelve year old Jerome's ghost observes his family and community in the aftermath of this tragedy.  Another ghost, a boy named Emmet Till, guides Jerome and helps him process what has happened. 

Connecting the deaths of these boys brings historical racism, concious and unconcious, to life in this heartbreaking story. 


Speechless Cover Image
ISBN: 9781536200928
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - November 6th, 2018

Speechless is a story, a learning experience, in which a boy named Jimmy learns how to really see his cousin, Patrick,  who has died at age 13. 

Jimmy is asked, told really, to give a eulogy for his cousin Patrick's funeral. Every time Jimmy and Patrick have been together things have turned into disaster because Patrick was so volatile. Throughout the book Jimmy is desperately searching for one fond memory he can talk about in the eulogy. Every birthday party, 4th of July picnic, school concert, even a walk to the drugstore, has turned into a crisis. Jimmy's starting to panic that he won't have a nice thing to say about Patrick.

This poignant book is an exploration of families and how they do and don't listen to one another.

Although aimed at middle schoolers, many adults would benefit from reading this story. Plus, it's really funny!


The Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476796093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 3rd, 2018

May 6th, 1965 is still vivid in my memory.  While our apartment in Minneapolis didn't get hit, I remember huddling in the basement with our neighbors while my dad was outside watching the storm. Before the sirens went off, mom had said we could run and get ice cream at Sonny's but to get right home.  I swear I saw tumbleweeds rolling down Lyndale Avenue which was really weird. The sky was green, the air still.  Something big was coming.

I read with morbid fascination THE MAN WHO CAUGHT THE STORM and couldn't put it down. 

From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525509127
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 10th, 2018

A really fun and interesting memoir about working in the White House during the Obama years.  Not so much a policy wonk read, more of a work hard, party hard, behind the scenes look at one young woman's incredible devotion to her job and the president she served.  Loved it!

The Witch Elm: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224629
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - October 9th, 2018

The Witch Elm is my introduction to Tana French's work. Where have I been all these years??

This novel is about a guy called Toby. He's a regular, mostly likeable fella who's never had to work or try very hard to be successful. He can usually twist in or out of most predicaments. 

One night he's nearly beaten to death by burglars and this rocks his world.  He goes to stay with an uncle who's dying and soon after, a young relative finds a skull in the trunk of a tree in his uncle's yard. His refuge is now a crime scene and detectives are questioning every family member.

The author is a master at building suspense so as the plot thickens, so does the tension.

I couldn't put this book down.


Louisiana's Way Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763694630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - October 2nd, 2018

Louisiana is one of the characters in Kate's earlier novels, Raymie Nightingale. I'm so glad Louisiana's shining voice is back in this wonderful new story.

His Favorites: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476799391
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - August 14th, 2018

A well told and still timely tale of a young girls abuse at the hands of an older authority figure. 

Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062641359
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - June 12th, 2018




Bearskin: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062742797
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - June 12th, 2018



Manhattan Beach: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476716749
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 5th, 2018


Anna Kerrigan lives with her mother, Agnes, an ex-Ziegfeld Follies dancer, her handicapped sister Lydia and her troubled father, Eddie, in an apartment in Brooklyn. It's the depression and Eddie is happy to be employed, even if what he does is mob-related. Anna often accompanies him on his "errands" and is torn between the freedom being with her father gives her and the safety of their apartment where Lydia is mostly confined.

Years later, during the war, Eddie has disappeared and Anna goes to work at the Brooklyn Naval Yard and becomes the first female diver so she can support her mother and sister.

One night, a chance meeting at a nightclub puts her in contact with someone who may know what happened to her father.

I was hoping this would be as good as her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, and it may, in fact, be better. 

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476796628
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - October 2nd, 2018

A graphic memoir.  Liked it very much.

My Absolute Darling: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735211186
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - June 26th, 2018

This is a powerful, horrifying coming of age story about a girl who had to come of age way too young.

Turtle (Julia) is raised by her monster of a father outside Mendocino, CA. She's lean and mean and knows more about guns than most gun experts.  A quiet girl, with no friends, she spends alot of time in her own head trying to figure out the meaning of things. She has had to study her father and learn not to make him angry so she studies everyone else too, so she can protect her father and thus ensure her own survival.

Turtle spends the majority of her time outdoors. The beauty and rugged landscape she embraces, the ocean and tides, the insects and wildlife are her family as well. A family she can rely on and understand.

Beautifully descriptive, this is a survival story to match any I've ever read.

Vox Cover Image
ISBN: 9780440000785
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - August 21st, 2018

Getting "VOXED" may be the new term for being silenced. In this frightening new novel women wear a special wristband (you can pick your color) that gives them a little reminder not to speak more than 100 words per day.  Disciplining your children? Comforting them when they have a bad dream? Making a phone call? All things of the past. Unless you've saved enough words.  Reading, driving, opening the mail, things we take for granted now are gone as well.  
This is a chilling reminder of how quickly women's rights can vanish and how hard it is to get them back. 

Grief Cottage: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632867056
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - May 8th, 2018

I loved this from the first sentence! 

Marcus is eleven when his mother dies and he's sent to live with his great-aunt Charlotte, a reclusive artist living on an island off the coast of South Carolina. They get along fine but Marcus spends most of his time alone, guarding the turtle nests and exploring the abandonded cottage at the end of the island. He's fascinated by the story of a boy and his parents who vanished during a hurricane while staying in this cottage. 

His aunt's haunted past, the haunted past of the cottage and Marcus's own loss all lead him on a journey of self-discovery.

This is a beautiful novel that I highly recommend

Spoonbenders: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525432418
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 26th, 2018

Kooky with a big heart is how I think of this delightful novel. The Telemachus family is made up of psychics and con artists, some of them struggle with whether to use their powers for good or for cash. Then the mafia and the CIA come calling and chaos reigns except for the one person who saw it all coming......

The Gargoyle Hunters: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101970904
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 6th, 2018

What a great read! A coming of age story about a 13 year old boy who helps his father steal architectural antiques from buildings in New York City in 1974. Adventure, hijinks, young love and wonderful, wise writing had me turning down pages so I can go back and savor them again. Ultimately a love letter to New York City. I'll never visit there again without looking up.