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Ann's Picks



A Cosmology of Monsters: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524747671
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Pantheon - September 17th, 2019

Another quirky family (in this case, really quirky!) story that I tend to favor. 

The Wandering Dark is a family operated house of horrors. The Turner family is plagued by something, each of them in a different way. Noah, the youngest,  is often left to fend for himself when the rest of the family is off running the family business. But Noah is not allowed to help because it's too scary. By himself and lonely, he befriends the scary creature who scratches on his window nightly. His life is shaped by this strange friend until unanswered questions lead to tragedies and loss. 

I'm not usually a fan of horror but this strangely tender book gives me a different impression of the genre.

A Place for Us: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524763565
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: SJP for Hogarth - March 5th, 2019

A quietly powerful story of a Muslim American family's struggles to do what is expected of them and to figure out what they expect from themselves and each other. And which is more important.

I was very moved by this story.  



The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385537070
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - July 16th, 2019

Read this straight through. Devastating.


Save Me from Dangerous Men: A Novel (Nikki Griffin #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250170248
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - March 19th, 2019

Bookseller by day, private investigator/vigilante by night Nikki Griffin is the bookselling pal we all want. She gives great reading recommendations and then teaches your abusive boyfriend a lesson he won't forget. Then she saves the world.

Women Talking Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635572582
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - April 2nd, 2019

Wow. Read it! 

The Saturday Night Ghost Club: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143133933
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - July 9th, 2019

Loved this! Jake Baker is an un-cool kid who knows it and owns it. He spends a lot of time with his eccentric uncle Calvin who owns an "Occultorium Shop". Together with Billy Yellowbird, Jakes only friend, they explore local ghost legends. Over the course of one summer, the legends begin to hit close to home and things start to spin out of control. Wry humor, fantastic dialogue, and the fact that Davidson's storytelling totally nails what it's like to be on the verge of adulthood make this book one to savor. 

All the Greys on Greene Street Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451479532
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 4th, 2019

I loved this book!  It's a story about a young girl, Olympia, and her art and having to be the adult in her New York loft household while her mom suffers from severe depression. Ollie sees the world as an artist so this book is very visual and touching.  It's as if you're seeing the world with fresh eyes. Olympia is a character I would like to see in more novels. Ms. Tucker, can we hope for another?

Disappearing Earth: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520412
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 14th, 2019

The setting of this novel is an isolated community on the east coast of Russia, the Kamchatka Peninsula. In the first chapter two young girls - sisters, go missing. Each chapter after that is a short story about different women that may have connections to the missing girls. But how? The authors skillful telling of this year in the aftermath of the kidnapping ropes you into the very different lives these women lead. And through it all you are still wondering what happened to these girls. The way this novel is put together is so original and compelling I can't recommend it enough. 


We're All in This Together Cover Image
ISBN: 9780771050657
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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.

Bowlaway: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062862853
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - February 5th, 2019

Elizabeth McCracken is a favorite writer of mine.

The Kirkus review says "Her psychological acuity transforms what might otherwise have been a twee clutter of oddball details into moving metaphors for the human condition."  And, "McCracken's parade of Dickensian grotesques fall in love, feud, reproduce, vanish, and reappear, all with a ridiculous dignity that many readers, if they’re honest, will cringe to recognize from their own lives."

BOWLAWAY is a big goofy delight of a story with writing that dazzles. 


Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524798628
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - March 5th, 2019

I tore through this. A fun read for your beach vacation. 




Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101947869
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

A really interesting look at a murder/insurance scam case that Harper Lee spent years investigating and writing about.  Author Casey Cep has done a wonderful job researching this case and then wrapping in what is known about Lee's research and time spent in the small Alabama towns where these crimes were committed.
Harper Lee's research and notes for In Cold Blood were copious so there must be volumes on these crimes as well.
We can only wonder about all the treasures buried in Harper Lee's vault. 

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.


My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - November 20th, 2018

Good read!

Their Eyes Were Watching God CD Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060776534
Availability: Backordered
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.

Hey, Kiddo (National Book Award Finalist) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545902489
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphix - October 9th, 2018

National Book Award finalist.

An illustrated memoir about a family struggling with addiction. I loved it and think kids 12 and up will too.

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!