Bookshelf

November Books

FICTION

Into the Forest, by Christina Henry, edited by Lindy Ryan

Deep in the dark forest, in a cottage that spins on birds’ legs behind a fence topped with human skulls, lives the Baba Yaga. A guardian of the water of life, she lives with her sisters and takes to the skies in a giant mortar and pestle, creating tempests as she goes. Those who come across the Baba Yaga may find help, or hindrance, or horror. She is wild, she is woman, she is witch — and these are her tales. Edited by Lindy Ryan, this collection brings together the voices of Gwendolyn Kiste, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Mercedes M. Yardley, Monique Snyman, Donna Lynch, Lisa Quigley and R. J. Joseph, with an introduction by Christina Henry.

Flight, by Lynn Steger Strong

It’s Dec. 22, and siblings Henry, Kate and Martin have traveled with their spouses to Henry’s house in upstate New York. This is the first Christmas the siblings are without their mother and the first not at their mother’s Florida house. Over the course of the next three days, old resentments and instabilities arise as the siblings, with a gaggle of children afoot, attempt to perform familiar rituals, while also trying to decide what to do with their mother’s house, their sole inheritance. As tensions rise, the whole group is forced to come together unexpectedly when a local mother and daughter need help.

We Are the Light, by Matthew Quick

Lucas Goodgame lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania, a quaint suburb that has been torn apart by a recent tragedy. Everyone in Majestic sees Lucas as a hero — everyone, that is, except Lucas himself. Insisting that his deceased wife, Darcy, visits him every night in the form of an angel, Lucas spends his time writing letters to his former Jungian analyst, Karl. It is only when Eli, an 18-year-old man the community has ostracized, begins camping out in Lucas’ backyard that an unlikely alliance takes shape, and the two embark on a journey to heal their neighbors and, most importantly, themselves. We Are the Light is an unforgettable novel about the quicksand of grief and the daily miracle of love from the bestselling author of The Silver Linings.

Foster, by Claire Keegan

It is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A child is taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when or if she will be brought home again. In the Kinsellas’ house, she finds an affection and warmth she has not known and slowly, in their care, begins to blossom. But there is something unspoken in this new household — where everything is so well tended to — and this summer must soon come to an end. Winner of the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award, this internationally bestselling contemporary classic is available for the first time in the U.S. in a full, stand-alone edition.

 

NONFICTION

Friends, Lovers and The Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir, by Matthew Perry

The star of Friends takes us behind the scenes of the hit sitcom and his struggles with addiction in this candid, funny and revelatory memoir that delivers a powerful message of hope and persistence. “Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.” So begins the riveting story that takes us along on his journey from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in the aftermath of a life-threatening health scare. Before the frequent hospital visits and stints in rehab, there was 5-year-old Matthew, who traveled from Montreal to Los Angeles, shuffling between his separated parents; 14-year-old Matthew, who was a nationally ranked tennis star in Canada; 24-year-old Matthew, who nabbed a coveted role as a lead cast member on the talked-about pilot then called Friends Like Us . . . and so much more. Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Unflinchingly honest, moving and uproariously funny, this is the book fans have been waiting for.

 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Pookie’s Thanksgiving, by Sandra Boynton

Little Pookie loves his mama and his family, but he especially loves pie! This fun celebration of food and family is the perfect Thanksgiving book for little ones. (Ages birth-3.)

How It’s Made: The Creation of Everyday Items, by Thomas Gerencer

From airplanes to basketballs to gummy vitamins, find out how they’re made in this fun tell-all title that’s perfect for any inquisitive budding scientist. (Ages 7-12.)

Terry’s Crew, by Terry Crews and Cory Thomas

Terry’s crew at his new school may not look like the typical friend group but, together, they can do anything they set their minds to! With themes of respect, hard work, school success and commitment to family and friends, this graphic novel is sure to be a hit. Available on Nov. 8. (Ages 9-12.)

Outside Nowhere, by Adam Borba

Parker Kelbrook’s father sends him halfway across the country to work on a farm alongside five other kids who find him less than charming. As Parker learns to roll up his sleeves and keep his head down, strange things start happening. After he awakens one morning to find a 1,700-pound dairy cow on the roof of a barn, he suspects that something magical and mysterious is growing in the farm’s fields. (Ages 10-13.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

Bookshelf

October Books

FICTION

Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic — including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was 9 years old. Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change. From the bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, the highly anticipated Our Missing Hearts is a deeply suspenseful novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child in a society consumed by fear.

Signal Fires, by Dani Shapiro

On a summer night in 1985, three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car and, in an instant, everything on Division Street changes. Each of their lives, and that of Ben Wilf, a young doctor who arrives on the scene, is shattered. For the Wilf family, the circumstances of that fatal accident will become the deepest kind of secret, one so dangerous it can never be spoken about. But, time moves on, even on Division Street. Years later a new family, the Shenkmans, arrive. When Waldo, the Shenkmans’ brilliant, lonely son, befriends Dr. Wilf — now retired and struggling with his wife’s decline — past events come hurtling back in ways no one could have foreseen.

Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenage single mother, living in a trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves and crushing losses. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.

NONFICTION

The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, by Stacy Schiff

Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the American Revolution, “Samuel Adams was the man.” With high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, Adams led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history. Schiff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, returns Adams to his seat of glory, introducing us to the shrewd, eloquent, and intensely disciplined man who supplied the moral backbone of the American Revolution. A singular figure at a singular moment, Adams packaged and amplified the Boston Massacre. He helped to mastermind the Boston Tea Party. He employed every tool in an innovative arsenal to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him, creating the cause that created a country. For his efforts he became the most wanted man in America: When Paul Revere rode to Lexington in 1775, it was to warn Adams that he was about to be arrested for treason. Schiff brings her masterful skills to Adams’ improbable life, illuminating his transformation from aimless son of a well-off family to tireless, beguiling radical who mobilized the colonies. 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Farmhouse, by Sophie Blackall

Houses tell stories of important days and nothing-much days, of laughter and people and animals, of tiny important things once loved and now left behind. Farmhouse honors all of those things in loving collage and illustration. Kids will love it, but parents and grandparents may just find they have stories of their own to tell.  (Ages 4-8.)

Hey, Bruce!, by Ryan Higgins

You have laughed with him, flown south with him, and raised a flock of baby geese with him, and now you can interact with him. Bruce, the bear just grumpy enough to love, is back in this fun title that will send him flying through the air and have books tumbling off the shelves into the hands of delighted young readers. (Ages 2-5).

Set Sail for Pancakes!, by Tim Kleyn

Breakfast food books are the new hot(cake) item in the kid’s section. Sail the high seas with Margot and Grandpa as they try to find the perfect ingredients for a delicious breakfast, then make a batch of your own. (Ages 3-7.)

My Pet Feet, by Josh Funk

Awakening to a world with feet instead of ferrets, hoses instead of horses, and flocks of cows instead of crows, when the letter R goes missing an entire town goes upside down in this funny picture book packed with visual jokes. A must for story time, bedtime or anytime. (Ages 3-7.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

Bookshelf

September Books

FICTION

We Spread, by Iain Reid

Penny, an artist, has lived in the same apartment for decades, surrounded by the artifacts and keepsakes of her long life. She is resigned to the mundane rituals of old age, until things start to slip. Before her longtime partner passed away, provisions were made for a room in a unique long-term care residence, where Penny finds herself after one too many “incidents.” Initially, all is well. She even begins to paint again. But as the days start to blur together, Penny — with a growing sense of unrest and distrust — starts to lose her grip on the passage of time and on her place in the world. Is she succumbing to the subtly destructive effects of aging, or is she an unknowing participant in something more unsettling? Reid’s genre-defying third novel explores questions of conformity, art, productivity, relationships and what, ultimately, it means to grow old.

If I Survive You, by Jonathan Escoffery

In the 1970s, Topper and Sanya flee to Miami as political violence consumes their native Kingston, Jamaica. But America, as the couple and their two children learn, is far from the Promised Land. The family pushes on through Hurricane Andrew and later the 2008 recession, living in a house so cursed that the pet fish launches itself out of its own tank rather than stay. Even as things fall apart, the family remains motivated by what their younger son, Trelawny, calls “the exquisite, racking compulsion to survive.” Masterfully constructed with heart and humor, the linked stories in If I Survive You center on Trelawny as he struggles to carve out a place for himself.

Lark Ascending, by Silas House

As fires devastate most of the United States, Lark and his family secure a place on a refugee boat headed to Ireland, the last country not yet overrun by extremists and rumored to be accepting American refugees. But Lark is the only one to survive the trip, and once ashore, he doesn’t find the safe haven he’d hoped for. As he runs for his life, Lark finds an abandoned dog, who becomes his closest companion, and a woman in search of her lost son. Together they form a makeshift family and attempt to reach Glendalough, a place they believe will offer protection. But can any community provide the safety that they seek?

The Marsh Queen, by Virginia Hartman

Loni Murrow is an accomplished bird artist at the Smithsonian who loves her job. But when she receives a call from her younger brother summoning her back home to help their obstinate mother recover after an accident, Loni’s neat, contained life in Washington, D.C., is thrown into chaos. Going through her mother’s things, Loni uncovers scraps and snippets of a time in her life she would prefer to forget — a childhood marked by her father, Boyd’s, death by drowning. When Loni comes across a single, cryptic note from a stranger, she begins a dangerous quest to discover the truth about Boyd’s death. Pulled between worlds — her professional accomplishments in Washington, and the small town of her childhood — Loni must decide whether to delve beneath the surface into murky half-truths and either avenge the past or bury it, once and for all.

NONFICTION

One Hundred Saturdays, by Michael Frank

The remarkable story of 99-year-old Stella Levi, whose conversations with the writer Michael Frank over the course of six years bring to life the vibrant world of Jewish Rhodes, the deportation to Auschwitz that extinguished 90 percent of her community, and the resilience and wisdom of the woman who lived to tell the tale. With nearly a century of life behind her, Levi had never before spoken in detail about her past. Frank came to her Greenwich Village apartment one Saturday afternoon to ask her a question about the Juderia, the neighborhood in Rhodes where she’d grown up in a Jewish community that had thrived there for half a millennium. Neither of them could know this was the first of one hundred Saturdays that they would spend in each other’s company as Stella traveled back in time to conjure what it felt like to come of age on this legendary island in the eastern Aegean, which the Italians began governing as an official possession in 1923 and transformed over the next two decades until the Germans seized control and deported the entire Juderia to Auschwitz. Probing and courageous, candid and sly, Stella’s stories reveal what it was like to grow up in an extraordinary place in an extraordinary time. PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws.

Bookshelf

August Books

FICTION

The Book Eaters, by Sunyi Dean

Out on the Yorkshire moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries. Devon, like all other book eater women, is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairy tales and cautionary stories. But real life doesn’t always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger — not for books, but for human minds.

Delphi, by Clare Pollard
An unnamed classics professor looks for guidance in the prophecies of the ancient world when she finds herself confronting chilling questions about control and surrender as COVID-19 descends. Navigating the tightening grip of lockdown, a marriage in crisis, and a 10-year-old son who seems increasingly unreachable, the narrator focuses on different types of prophecy to make sense of her increasingly surreal world. The result is an audacious, ominous novel that embodies the profound tensions of our era.

The Last White Man, by Mohsin Hamid
One morning, a man wakes up to find himself transformed. Overnight, Anders’ skin has turned dark, and the reflection in the mirror seems a stranger to him. At first he shares his secret only with Oona, an old friend turned new lover. Soon, reports of similar events begin to surface. Across the land, people are awakening in new incarnations, uncertain how their neighbors, friends and family will greet them. Some see the transformations as the long-dreaded overturning of the established order that must be resisted to a bitter end. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: an opportunity to see ourselves, face-to-face, anew.

Carrie Soto Is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Carrie Soto retired from professional tennis at the age of 31 with an impressive record, including the most grand slam titles of all time. Now, six years later, a younger set of players is on the court, and one of them, Nicki Chan, is about to break her record — but not if Carrie can help it. At 37 years old, she makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway.

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs, by Sidik Fofana
Set in a Harlem housing project, a tight-knit cast of characters grapples with their personal obstacles, ambitions and triumphs while anticipating a looming rent hike that could jeopardize their futures and change life as they know it. The shared stakes in the face of gentrification bind the stories together, delivering an immersive, novel-like reading experience.
Love on the Brain, by Ali Hazelwood
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuro-engineering project — a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia — Marie would accept without hesitation. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward. Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle.


CHILDREN’S BOOKS

The Queen of Kindergarten,  by Derrick Barnes

The queen of kindergarten has new braids, a sparkly tiara and a chariot (well, a pickup truck) to take her to school on the first day. She is caring and kind and brightens every room she enters. The first day will be a breeze! This wonderful little book should be required reading for every new kindergartner. (Ages 4-6.)

Who’s in the Picture?,  by Susie Brooks

Art museums don’t have to be stodgy — you can simply look for dogs or horses or your favorite foods in the paintings! Take a closer look at over 20 famous paintings by Frida Kahlo, Henri Rousseau, Winslow Homer and many more in this playful search-and-find book. A fabulous way for kids (and adults) to experience art for fun. (Ages 4 and up.)

The Perfect Rock, by Sarah Noble

Cute and clever and oh, so charming, the three otter siblings each set out to find the perfect rock — a rock to carry in the pouch underneath an arm, to be the tool that they will keep for life. But when all three siblings choose the same rock, they learn a solid lesson about what is truly important. (Ages 3-6.)

Pop Out Around the World: Read, Build and Play from New York to Beijing

Bring the world to your kid’s playroom with this fun, interactive book featuring six world cities with pop-out buildable pieces representing each. Create a hot dog cart in New York; Big Ben in London; The Great Wall in Beijing; the Opera House in Sydney; and much more. Perfect for home-school families and armchair travelers alike. (Ages 4-7.)

Invisible, by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Community service gains a whole new meaning for five middle school students in this must-have dual language graphic novel. Edgar award-winning author Christina Diaz Gonzalez even adds a signature mystery twist to the story that is sure to resonate with anyone who ever felt lost in the wild world of middle school. (Ages 9-13.)  PS

Compiled by Angie Tally and Kimberly Daniels Taws.

Bookshelf

July Books

FICTION

The Ruins, by Phoebe Wynne
If you are in need of a riveting Gothic novel set on the dazzling French coast, this is your next read. A group of abhorrent, self-absorbed British school chums gather at a French chateau with spouses and children in tow. As old secrets surface and bad behaviors erupt, the neglected children suffer until it all comes to a cataclysmic end. This is an intense, white-knuckle trip of a story you won’t soon forget.
Fellowship Point, by Alice Elliott Darkb
Celebrated children’s book author Agnes Lee is determined to secure her legacy — to complete what she knows will be the final volume of her pseudonymously written Franklin Square novels; and even more consuming, to permanently protect the majestic peninsula in Maine known as Fellowship Point. To donate the land to a trust, Agnes must convince shareholders to dissolve a generations-old partnership. And one of those shareholders is her best friend, Polly Wister. Fellowship Point is the masterful story of a lifelong friendship between two very different women with shared histories and buried secrets, tested in the twilight of their lives, set across the arc of the 20th century.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
On a bitter cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even 25 years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts. Spanning 30 years, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect.

 

The Poet’s House, by Jean Thompson
Carla is in her 20s, working for a landscaper, lacking confidence, still unsure what direction her life will take. Viridian is a lauded and lovely aging poet whose reputation has been defined by her infamous affair with a famous male poet, Mathias, many years earlier. When Carla is hired to work at Viridian’s house, she is perplexed by this community of writers: their tendency to recite lines in conversation, the stories of their many liaisons, their endless wine-soaked nights. And still she becomes enamored with Viridian and her whole circle, and especially with the power of words, the “ache and hunger that can both be awakened and soothed by a poem,” a hunger that Carla feels sharply at this stagnating moment in her young life. Thompson’s novel is at once delightfully funny and wise, an unforgettable story about a young woman who discovers the insular world of writers.

 

Calling for a Blanket Dance, by Oscar Hokeah
Told in a series of voices, Calling for a Blanket Dance is a moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity. It takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle through the multigenerational perspectives of his family — his father’s injury at the hands of corrupt police; his mother’s struggle to hold on to her job and care for her husband; the constant resettlement of the family; and, the legacy of centuries of injustice. Ever must take the strength given to him by his relatives to save not only himself but also the next generation of family in this honest, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story.

 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

The World’s Longest Licorice Rope, by Matt Myers

The best picture books are the ones that make readers giggle, inspire curiosity and elicit a genuine hmmmmm? The World’s Longest Licorice Rope does all three. Join us Tuesday, July 26, at 4 p.m. at The Country Bookshop to celebrate the book’s birthday. There will be snacks and a surprise ending. Tickets are available at https://ticketmesandhills.com/events/myers-madness-7-26-2022. (Ages 4-8.)

 

First Words USA

From the redwood forests to the Gulf stream waters, this book was made for you and me! Celebrate America’s birthday with this fun first words book featuring all things USA.  (Ages birth-2.)

 

I Just Want to Say Goodnight, by Rachel Isadora

With monkeys, chickens, goats and ants, this one is anything but the typical going-to-bed book. You’ll fall in love with the clever and charming LaLa and may not mind reading this one again and again and again. (Ages 1-3.)

 

The Pet Potato, by Josh Lacey

Pets come in all sizes and colors and shapes. In Albert’s case, the shape is, well, a potato! This fun read-aloud is perfect for any family considering bringing a new pet into the home — even if it is a vegetable. (Ages 4-7.)

 

Wild Horses, by Melissa Marr

Chestnut, gray, bay. You’ll fall in love with horses of every color in this stunning real-picture picture book just perfect for any young horse lover. (Ages 4-8.)

 

See You Someday Soon, by Pat Zietlow Miller

So many of the ones we love are so very far away. This sweet story with retro illustrations will help keep those faraway friends and family close at heart. (Ages 3-7.)  PS

Compiled by Angie Tally and Kimberly Daniels Taws

Bookshelf

June Books

FICTION

It All Comes Down to This, by Therese Anne Fowler

The Geller sisters — Beck, Claire and Sophie — are a trio of strong-minded women whose pragmatic, widowed mother, Marti, will die soon and take her secrets with her. Marti has ensured that her modest estate is easy for her family to deal with once she’s gone — including a provision that the family’s summer cottage on Mount Desert Island, Maine, must be sold. Beck, the eldest, is a freelance journalist whose marriage looks more like a sibling bond than a passionate partnership. The Maine cottage has been essential to her secret wish to write a novel. Despite her accomplishments as a pediatric cardiologist, Claire, the middle daughter, has always felt like the Geller misfit. Her secret, unrequited love for the wrong man, is slowly destroying her. Youngest daughter Sophie appears to live an Instagram-ready life, filled with glamorous work and travel. In reality, her existence is a cash-strapped house of cards that may crash at any moment. Enter C.J. Reynolds, an enigmatic Southerner and ex-con with his own hidden past who complicates the situation. All is not what it seems, and everything is about to change.

 

Jackie & Me, by Louis Bayard

In the spring of 1951, débutante Jacqueline Bouvier, working for the Washington Times-Herald, meets Jack Kennedy, a charming congressman from a notorious and powerful family, at a party in Washington, D.C. Young, rebellious, eager to break free from her mother, Jackie is drawn to the elusive young politician. Jack, busy with House duties during the week and Senate campaigning on the weekend (as well as his other now-well-known extracurricular activities) convinces his best friend and fixer, Lem Billings, to court Jackie on his behalf. Only gradually does Jackie begin to realize that she is being groomed to be the perfect political wife. Sharply written by the bestselling author of Courting Mr. Lincoln, this historical novel draws a picture of Jackie as never before seen, in a story about love, sacrifice, friendship and betrayal.

 

Woman of Light, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Luz “Little Light” Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, is left to fend for herself after her older brother, Diego, a snake charmer and factory worker, is run out of town by a violent mob. As Luz navigates 1930s Denver on her own, she begins to have visions that transport her to her Indigenous homeland in the nearby Lost Territory. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion. Woman of Light is a transfixing novel about survival, family secrets and love, filled with an unforgettable cast of characters.

 

Horse, by Geraldine Brooks

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Brooks braids a story that sweeps from antebellum racetracks to the vibrant post-World War II art scene in Manhattan, all the way to the Smithsonian’s high-tech osteology labs. Kentucky, 1850 — A bright bay foal, Lexington, and his enslaved groom forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. An itinerant young artist who makes his name from paintings of the horse takes up arms for the Union and reconnects with the stallion and his groom on a dangerous night far from the glamour of any racetrack. New York City, 1954 — Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a 19th century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance. Washington, D.C., 2019 — As a Smithsonian scientist studies the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, an art historian seeks the lost history of the Black trainers and grooms often depicted with the horse. Leaning heavily on Lexington’s remarkable true story, both on the track and during the Civil War, Brooks highlights the unsung contribution of the Black horsemen on whose expertise vast fortunes relied.

 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Bearnard Writes a Book, by Deborah Underwood

Bearnard the bear wants Gertie the goose to have her very own book. Their adventure in writing comes complete with dragons, volcanoes and rampaging monsters. This adorable adventure story even has a literary surprise ending. (Ages 4-7.)

 

Pineapple Princess, by Sabina Hahn

Any old princess can have a sparkly, bedazzled crown but it takes a warrior queen to fully embrace a more . . . natural option. Move over Fancy Nancy, there’s a new girl in town, and she’s, well, a little bit sticky. (Ages 3-7).

 

Gardens Are For Growing, by Chelsea Tornetto

There’s a special bond between daddies and daughters, and this adorable picture book celebrates that together time through the seasons in a family’s garden. Perfect for Earth Day, Father’s Day or graduations. Fans of Love You Forever will declare this a must have. (Ages 3-6).

 

The Curious Book of Lists, by Tracy Turner

What’s the world’s slimiest creature? Which are the deadliest snakes? How many countries exist with no coastline? Find out all this and more in The Curious Book of Lists. This would be a fun one to keep on the dinner table. (Ages 8-12).   PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

Bookshelf

May Books

FICTION

Trust, by Hernan Diaz

Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit. Diaz’s Trust is an unparalleled novel about money, power, intimacy and perception that puts these competing narratives into conversation with one another.

Bitter Orange Tree, by Jokha Alharthi

Zuhour, an Omani student at a British university, attempts to form friendships and assimilate in Britain, but she can’t help ruminating on the relationships that have been central to her life. Most prominent is her strong emotional bond with Bint Amir, a woman she always thought of as her grandmother, who passed away just after Zuhour left the Arabian Peninsula. As the historical narrative of Bint Amir’s challenged circumstances unfurls in captivating fragments, so too does Zuhour’s isolated and unfulfilled present, one narrative segueing into another as time slips and dreams mingle with memories. Bitter Orange Tree is a profound exploration of social status, wealth, desire, and female agency by the Man Booker International prize-winning author.

Metropolis, by B.A. Shapiro

In this masterful novel of psychological suspense, the lives of a cast of unforgettable characters intersect when a harrowing accident occurs at the Metropolis Storage Warehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We meet Serge, an unstable but brilliant street photographer who lives in his unit overflowing with thousands of undeveloped pictures; Zach, the building’s owner, who develops Serge’s photos as he searches for clues to the accident; Marta, an undocumented immigrant who is finishing her dissertation and hiding from ICE; Liddy, an abused wife and mother, who recreates her children’s bedroom in her unit; Jason, who has left his corporate firm and now practices law from his storage unit; and Rose, the office manager, who takes kickbacks to let renters live in the building and has her own complicated family history. As they dip in and out of one another’s lives, Shapiro, the New York Times bestselling author, both dismantles the myth of the American dream and builds tension to an exciting climax.

NONFICTION

Phil: The Rip Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar, by Alan Shipnuck

A juicy and freewheeling biography of legendary golf champion Phil Mickelson, who has led a big, controversial life. In this raw, uncensored and unauthorized biography, the longtime Sports Illustrated writer and bestselling author captures a singular life defined by thrilling victories, crushing defeats, and countless controversies. All of Mickelson’s warring impulses are on display in these pages: a smart-ass who built an empire on being the consummate professional; a loving husband dogged by salacious rumors; a high-stakes gambler who knows the house always wins but can’t tear himself away. While celebrating Mickelson’s random acts of kindness and generosity of spirit — to which friends and strangers alike can attest — Shipnuck writes about the true scale of Mickelson’s gambling losses; the inside story of the acrimonious breakup between Phil and his longtime caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay; and the secretive backstory of the Saudi golf league that Mickelson championed.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

My Blue-Ribbon Horse, by Elizabeth Letts

Even if it’s just a backyard pony, there’s something extraordinary about the bond between a horse and their human. And it’s made even more amazing when that backyard pony has an extraordinary ability. This tale of Snowman, the jumping pony, is perfect to share with anyone in the mood for a true feel-good story. (Ages 4-8.)

Kitty, by Rebecca Jordan-Glum

A simple weekend of cat sitting becomes a wild adventure in this hilarious story of mistaken identity. (Ages 3-6.)

Perfectly Pegasus, by Jessie Sima

If you’ve ever wished on a falling star, you’ll have wished for a book as sweet and adorable as this one. And maybe you also wished for a friend . . . guess what? Perfectly Pegasus has that too. Delightful magical fun from the author of Not Quite Narwhal. (Ages 3-6.)

Once Upon a Time, by Stuart Gibbs

Tim is just a peasant, but he’s brave, determined, clever and dreams big. When Princess Grace is abducted by the evil Stinx, Prince Ruprecht needs a legion of knights to aid him in her rescue. Tim doesn’t know how to wield anything more dangerous than a water bucket, but this could be his big chance. Share this one as a family read-together or listen to the amazing audio, but don’t miss the first in what will surely be another wildly successful series from Gibbs. (Ages 7-12.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

Bookshelf

April Books

FICTION

Search, by Michelle Huneven

Dana Potowski is a restaurant critic and food writer, and a longtime member of a progressive Unitarian Universalist congregation in Southern California. Just as she’s finishing the book tour for her latest bestseller, Dana is asked to join the church search committee for a new minister. Under pressure to find her next book idea, she agrees, and resolves to secretly pen a memoir, with recipes, about the experience. Search follows the travails of the committee and their candidates — and becomes its own media sensation. A wry and wise tale, the James Beard Award-winning author’s food writing and recipes add flavor to a delightful journey.

Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus

Meet Elizabeth Zott: a one-of-a-kind scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show. Zott is not your average woman. In fact, she would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. Calvin Evans, her lonely, brilliant, Nobel Prize-nominated colleague falls in love with — of all things — her mind. True chemistry results. But like science, life is unpredictable. Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Her unusual approach to cooking proves revolutionary, but as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Laugh-out-loud funny, this must-read debut novel is studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters. Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

Wingwalkers, by Taylor Brown 

One part epic adventure, one part love story, and one large part American history, Wingwalkers follows the adventures of Della and Zeno Marigold, a pair of Depression-era barnstormers who are funding their journey West by performing death-defying aerial stunts from town to town. When their paths cross with William Faulkner (a thwarted fighter pilot in real life) during a dramatic air show, there will be unexpected consequences for all. With scintillating prose and an action-packed plot, Brown captures the true essence of a bygone era, and sheds a new light on the heart and motivations of one of America’s greatest authors.

NONFICTION

Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau,
by Ben Shattuck

On an autumn morning in 1849, Henry David Thoreau stepped out his front door to walk the beaches of Cape Cod. Over a century and a half later, Ben Shattuck does the same. With little more than a loaf of bread, brick of cheese and a notebook, Shattuck sets out to retrace Thoreau’s path through the Cape’s outer beaches, from the elbow to Provincetown’s fingertip. This is the first of six journeys taken by Shattuck, each one inspired by a walk once taken by Thoreau. Along the way, he encounters unexpected characters, landscapes and stories, seeing for himself the restorative effects that walking can have on a dampened spirit. Intimate, entertaining and beautifully crafted, Six Walks is a tribute to the ways nature can inspire us all.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

What’s Inside a Flower, by Rachel Ignotofsky

Not your ordinary boring science book, What’s Inside a Flower is an art book, a science book, and the book any budding wildlife biologist would want. Stunning illustrations teach not only parts of a flower but the ways they interact with the world. This is the perfect book to welcome spring. (Ages 8-12.)

Cat’s First Baby, by Natalie Nelson

This oh-so-cute newborn baby book is perfect for everyone whose first child was a furbaby. Adding the real thing can be tough for everyone, but shared nap times, snack times and playtimes can bring the whole new family together. (Ages birth-3.)

After the Buzz Comes the Bee, by Robie Rogge

With illustrations by the Caldecott honor-winning Rachel Isadora and a fun flip-the-flap format, After the Buzz Comes the Bee may be everyone’s new favorite animal book. Perfect for lap-time reading. (Ages 3-6.)

I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared,
by Seth Myers

Being big and furry doesn’t equate with being big and brave. That’s when it’s good to have a friend to help get you through the tough spots.  (Ages 3-7.)

Flames of Hope: Wings of Fire Book No. 15, by Tui T. Sutherland

Dedicated Wings of Fire series readers will be waiting at bookshop doors when this final book in the Lost Continent Prophecy Arc hits the shelves. (Ages 9-13.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

Bookshelf

March Books

FICTION

The Great Passion, by James Runcie

In 1727, Stefan Silbermann is a grief-stricken 13-year-old, struggling with the death of his mother and his removal to a school in distant Leipzig. Despite his father’s insistence that he try not to think of his mother too much, Stefan is haunted by her absence, and to make matters worse, he’s bullied by his new classmates. But when the school’s cantor, Johann Sebastian Bach, takes notice of his new pupil’s beautiful singing voice, Stefan’s life is permanently changed. A meditation on grief and music, The Great Passion is an imaginative tour de force.

How Strange a Season, by Megan Mayhew Bergman

With flawless intuition and depth, Bergman presents an unforgettable story collection featuring women seeking self, identity, independence and control of their circumstances. Each page crackles with life: A recently separated woman fills a huge terrarium with endangered flowers to establish a small world only she can control in an attempt to heal her broken heart; a competitive swimmer negotiates over which days she will fulfill her wifely duties, and which days she will keep for herself; a peach farmer wonders if her orchard will survive a drought; and, generations of a family in South Carolina struggle with fidelity and their cruel past, some clinging to old ways and others painfully carving new paths. Bergman’s provocative prose asks the questions: What are we leaving behind for our descendants to hold, and what price will they pay for our mistakes?

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, by Teri M. Brown

When Ivanna opens the door to uniformed officers, her tranquil life is torn to pieces, leaving behind a broken woman who must learn to endure cold, starvation and the memories of a man who died in the act of betrayal. Using her thrift, ingenuity and a bit of luck, she finds a way to survive in Soviet Ukraine, along with her daughter, Yevtsye. The question remains: Will she be strong enough to withstand her daughter’s deceit and the eventual downfall of the nation she has devoted her life to?

NONFICTION

The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice, by Benjamin Gilmer

In a powerful true story expanding on one of the most popular This American Life episodes of all time, a rural physician learns that a former doctor at his clinic committed a shocking crime, leading him to uncover an undiagnosed mental health crisis in our broken prison system. When family physician Dr. Benjamin Gilmer began working at the Cane Creek clinic in rural North Carolina, he was following in the footsteps of a man with the same last name. His predecessor, Dr. Vince Gilmer, was beloved by his patients and community — right up until the shocking moment when he strangled his ailing father and then returned to the clinic for a regular day of work.

Poor Richard’s Women: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father, by Nancy Rubin Stuart

In a vivid portrait of the women who loved, nurtured and defended the thrifty inventor-statesman of the American Revolution, Poor Richard’s Women reveals the long-neglected voices of the women behind Benjamin Franklin, America’s famous scientist and Founding Father who loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. What emerges from Stuart’s pen is a colorful and poignant portrait of women in the age of revolution.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill

It’s difficult to be kind in an unkind place, but being a good neighbor means you may have to do the difficult thing sometimes. The Newbery Award-winning Barnhill has written another literary masterpiece destined to become a classic for discerning readers both young and old. (Ages 10-14.)

Pretty Perfect Kitty-Corn,
by Shannon Hale

True friends are as precious as the last cookie, but as Unicorn finds out, you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect friend. Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham have teamed up for another fun, rhyming Kitty-Corn tale that guarantees giggles. (Ages 4-7.) Meet the author and illustrator at The Country Bookshop, Wednesday, March 9, at 4 p.m.

Snail’s Ark, by Irene Latham

Kangaroos, zebras, lions, elephants — we all know they came on the ark two-by-two, but what about the snails? As it turns out, when the weather turns rough and the creek begins to rise, snails stick together. (Ages 3-6.)

A Grandma’s Magic, by Charlotte Offsay

When a baby is born, a magical thing happens: A grandma is born too, and she is instantly granted so many magical powers. Celebrate grandma magic with this oh-so-cute homage to the one who loves us best in the world. (Ages 3-6 and 45-98.)

Swim, Duck, Swim!, by Jennifer Harney

In the pond, not everything always goes as planned. When it’s duck No. 3’s turn to swim . . . she improvises. A cute take on being yourself and doing your best, this adorable title is perfect for Easter or any time young readers are struggling to fit in. (Ages 2-5.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

Bookshelf

February Books

FICTION

Carolina Built, by Kianna Alexander

Based on the life of real estate magnate Josephine N. Leary, Carolina Built tells the story of a woman born into slavery who gained her freedom at the age of 9 and succeeds in building a real estate empire in Edenton, North Carolina. Striving to create a legacy for her two daughters, Josephine teaches herself to be a businesswoman, to manage her finances, and to make smart investments. But with each passing year, it grows more and more difficult to juggle work and family obligations. Alexander brings Leary to life in her page-turning book of historical fiction as Josephine becomes a wife, landowner, business partner and visionary.

Love and Saffron, by Kim Fay

This witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine. When 27-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter — and a gift of saffron — to 59-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a food writer. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine. While she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she’s never tasted fresh garlic. The two women bond through their letters, building a closeness that sustains them through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the unexpected events in their own lives. Told in three parts, this tender and honest book is a reminder that we are never finished growing, changing and loving.

The Christie Affair, by Nina de Gramont

“A long time ago, in another country, I nearly killed a woman . . . ” So begins The Christie Affair, a stunning new novel that reimagines the unexplained 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie that captivated the world. The story is narrated by Miss Nan O’Dea, a fictional character based on a real person who infiltrated the wealthy, rarified world of author Christie and her husband, Archie — a world of London townhomes, country houses, shooting parties and tennis matches. First, she became part of their world, and then she became Archie’s mistress. What did it have to do with the mysterious 11 days that Agatha Christie went missing? The answer takes you back in time, to Ireland, to a young girl in love, to a time before The Great War, to a star-crossed couple destined to be together until war and their shameful secrets tore them apart.

Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson

In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past — a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California, beginning and ending with her famous black cake. Eleanor Bennett passes away in present-day California, leaving behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake — made from a family recipe — and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking journey that unfolds challenges everything the siblings thought they knew about their family, the secrets their mother held back, and the mystery of a long-lost child.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Love You By Heart, by Peter H. Reynolds

Triumphs, joys, fumbles, falls, when you truly love someone, you love all of them. The perfect little gem for Valentine’s Day, or any day, because when you love someone, you love them warts and all. (All ages.)

Bob Ross, Peapod the Squirrel, and the Happy Accident, by Robb Pearlman

Mistakes are just happy accidents when Bob Ross and Peapod are in the art studio. Celebrate art! Creativity! Fun! This little book encourages young artists to go with the flow. (Ages 4-7.)

Smooch!: A Celebration of the Enduring Power of Love, by Karen Kilpatrick

Whether you’re in the pool, the tub, or get licked by your furry friend, nothing can wipe away the kiss of someone who loves you. For family members who cannot be together this Valentine’s Day, this adorable title is the perfect way to say, “I love you.” (Ages 3-6.)

Bold Words from Black Women: Inspiration and Truths from 50 Leaders Who Helped Shape Our World, by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli

From Alice Walker to Zora Neale Hurston, this stunning collection features quotes and portraits of 50 amazing Black women. An absolute must-have for young readers. (Age 6 to adult.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.