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Picks: Kathie's formative years were as a school secretary and library assistant, making her transition to nearly any of the various jobs in the bookstore a natural fit; Book Group Coordinator, merchanidising assistant and a helping hand in the world of displays. She likes reading historical fiction and if you see her in the children’s section most likely she will remind you how wonderful Stuart Little is and how to this day she can remember reading Island of the Blue Dolphins on the floor of her public library. Funny she should end up living on an island herself.
A sweet book about family, gardening and much more. From the charming cover to the earthworms called "secret agents," you will enjoy this story about never giving up and learning from your mistakes, both in the garden and in life. Ages 4-adult.
Everybody's Welcome is so adorable! A charming story that will inspire "everybody" to care for one another no matter the problem. A very timely tale to share with your little ones.
For all you library lovers out there The Library Book is fascinating. I say this because, for one thing I’m still thinking about it! Staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief among others, Susan Orlean’s research on this stunning time in Los Angeles was amazing. If you want to step back a little and remember your earlier days at the library, and hear about some library history, this is the book!
Best selling author E. Lockhart weaves a smart, chilling tale that is a must read for the summer and beyond! It’s a story so well told that it takes on a riveting Gatsbyesque momentum to the end. Cady Sinclair and her family spend their summers on a private island off Cape Cod, and on this island the haunting secrets begin. Teens, and adults as well, won’t forget the summers of the “Liars.” I know I won’t. Ages 12 & up.
After just a few pages you will know you are about to read something very special. No wonder it's a best-seller and a book group favorite! Gifted author Min Jin Lee delivers a beautiful historical novel following characters and generations from Korea to Japan. NPR describes it best when they say
"Pachinko is the kind of book that can open your eyes and fill them with tears at the same time." I can't describe it any better than that.
A New York Times best seller, this is a wonderful collaboration involving family stories and recipes. I’ve always admired Gaines’s decorating talents, and now we can enjoy her secrets in the kitchen, too. While we might not be able to get to Waco, Texas to visit Magnolia Table restaurant in person, we can now make a slice of the pie she so beautifully shows us in the book
When I finished this wonderful biography, I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. National Book Awards winner "Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson was such a joy to read, each page was like tasting "butter" simple, smooth, and so rich! No wonder all the awards came to this author - my highest recommend! ~Kathie
We have a new star in middle readers! Debut novelist Beasley takes us on an adventure of magic, mystery, and hope! As Micah’s grandfather lies dying, Micah sets off with good friend Jenny to find the magician who promised his grandfather a miracle. With reviews comparing this book to the likes of Big Fish, Peter Pan, and the works of Roald Dahl, I’d say Cassie is in pretty good company! Ages 9-12. ~ Kathie
This little book is a real gem! A great way to start off the school year! Share with a friend and pass it along! Also, check out Ishi and author on YouTube!
If you loved Isak Dinesen’s classic memoir Out of Africa like I did, you will be happy to know you can go back to that same time and place. McLain, best selling author of The Paris Wife, brings us the story of famous aviator Beryl Markham, beginning with her early years in Africa. Once again I am mesmerized by her talented storytelling of this very strong character and gorgeous setting of Africa. Paula McLain does it again. This is my favorite book of the year!
Pure fun from the start! Quinn, known for his Chet & Bernie adult mystery series, brings middle readers a mystery of their own. Eleven-year-old Birdie and her new friend, Bowser, whom she just adopted from the pound, set off to solve their first mystery! Why would someone steal from Birdie’s Grammy’s bait & tackle shop? Fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie will enjoy the special bond that Bowser & Birdie have, with tons of good humor thrown in. I’m looking forward to more Bowser & Birdie mysteries sure to come! Ages 8-12.
Students who love historical fiction will want to add this one to their collection. From the very first page you feel like you’re right there with Stella and her little brother—out late at night seeing something that would be extremely troubling for anyone, especially young children. Stella’s story, set in 1932 segregated North Carolina, takes us on a courageous journey of hope. This one’s a keeper! Ages 9-13
From best selling Young Adult author Rowell comes the really funny, tender novel of Georgie McCool, a comedy writer living in LA. with her family. A marriage in trouble, a dream script needed by Christmas, some hilarious dialogue between characters, and a pinch of magical realism thrown in—Landline is a delight to read! ~ Kathie
Seattle author known for her best selling food memoir A Homemade Life and world famous cooking blog Orangette, Wizenberg continues her story on marriage, life, and the opening of Delancey, the Ballard wood-fired pizza restaurant she started with her husband. This is a charming account of two talented people trying to find their niche in the world, written with humor and candor. I enjoyed it. ~ Kathie
This collection of poetry is simply stunning! I think children will be fascinated by the blind cave fish in the darkest of waters, the mountain goats in the highest peaks, and other interesting creatures in their habitats. The mysteriously beautiful illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Ed Young will amaze young readers, and the book as a whole could serve as a wonderful introduction to poetry. Ages 4-12. ~ Kathie
This beautifully told novel “And the Mountains Echoed” written by master storyteller Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner) is woven together like a cherished blanket handed down by generation to generation, each chapter like a short story connected to the first. I was mesmerized by it - this tale of family, the decisions they make, the bonds that ties them together and tear them apart. From Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek Island of Tinos, this story is one you won’t forget! ~Kathie
What a special treat it is to read this endearing story about a brave little mouse, by an author new to children’s books. With magnificent detailed illustrations that are simply stunning, kids will love the adventure of the flying mouse and, along the way, learn a little history about the worldfamous aviator Charles Lindbergh. One of my favorite stories of the year! Ages 6-9
Snuggle up with your kids and read the sweetest book of the season! Take them to dreamland, but first have them pick out their favorite animal to travel with! Emily Martin writes and illustrates this beautiful bedtime story you will surely cherish for years to come. Ages 2-5. ~ Kathie
This is a fascinating biography about Kate Sessions, the first woman to graduate from UC Berkeley with a science degree. Kate grew up surrounded by trees and brought that love to San Diego, which then had very few trees. Kate started a movement and now, 100 years later, San Diego is known for its lush gardens and beautiful parks. ~ Kathie
Talented authors House and Vaswani write a refreshing novel about friendship and current issues from two points of view: Meena, born in India and currently living in New York City; and River, born and raised in rural Kentucky. Pen pals through a school program, these remarkable young people develop a special bond in an engrossing and heartwarming story that unfolds through their letters. I really enjoyed this! Ages 9-12 ~ Kathie
Going back to the tale of Peter Pan holds wonderful memories. However, this beautifully written account, narrated by Tinker Bell, goes to a beginning we don’t hear about in the Disney version—the story of how Peter Pan and Tiger Lily met and fell in love. Teens will love this exciting, romantic, tragic, and truly enchanting love story that takes you away just as though you were a little child—only a little different this time. Ages 13 & up. ~ Kathie
This delightful picture book is one of the most creative stories I’ve seen in a long time. Duncan’s crayons have quit, and each one has left him a letter about the frustrations of being a crayon of a certain color and what it's like being under or overused. It’s hysterical! Your kids will never see their crayons the same after this very funny book! Ages 3-7. ~ Kathie
I knew from the very first page that I was about to read something really special. Far Far Away, by award winning author Tom McNeal is a modern day fairy tale about Jeremy, an out casted boy who hears voices in his head, a quick witted girl named Ginger, and a famous ghost named Jacob Grimm, yes, from “The Brothers Grimm.” Put all this together, add a town named “Never Better” and a mother that disappears after she eats a bite of cake and you have one very strange and wonderful story that keeps you turning pages until the end. You won’t want to put this one down! Kathie
What an inspiring book, now adapted for young readers by Michael French, originally written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder. A fascinating story of a special man named Paul Farmer. A doctor caring for the poorest of the poor in Haiti and all over the world, and doing it with such passion that it makes you want to join the team! Any young person planning on going into the medical field some day or any kind of public service will want to put this on their list of must reads. I really enjoyed learning about this amazing man who says "health care is a human right" I agree! ~Kathie
You won’t be able to resist sitting down with your kids for a afternoon tea party after reading this wonderful new picture book. With charming illustrations and clever storytelling, this tea party has a special guest coming that you won’t forget!
Ages 3-5 ~ Kathie
This charming story catches you on the first page and keeps you to the end. Harold Fry, recently retired and living with his wife in a small English village, receives a letter from a co-worker from over twenty years ago. Queenie Hennessy, writing from a hospice, is dying of cancer, and is writing to say goodbye. Harold goes to the mailbox to send off a reply, and instead starts on the walk of a lifetime. You will smile, tear up, and most of all you will love this story of incredible heart. ~ Kathie
This book is amazing! Author Terry Tempest Williams' life has been amazing! While reading “When Women Were Birds” I found myself wanting to underline a sentence or two on almost every page, that’s how powerful her writing is. Her story takes us on a journey of all the different voices that have been present in her life, and the discovery of journals left to her by her mother were all blank.The mystery of why she did this was fascinating to read. ~Kathie
I have never been to Paris but after reading "Paris Wife" by Paula McLain I feel like I have. This novel about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley Richardson was in one word "intoxicating." Narrated by Hadley's voice throughout I felt like I was in the same room with them. From the early days of the exciting 1920's in Paris, to the heartbreaking end of their tumulus marriage, you will truly understand after reading this book why Ernest Hemingway said "I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her, she was the best and truest and loveliest person I have ever known." ~Kathie
I was always curious about the letters from citizens that President Obama reads every day, so when Washington Post writer Saslow's book came out, I was eager to read it. This book explores the lives behind the letters, and shows how Americans are dealing with hard economic times. It turned out to be a very inspiring read. I can't imagine a president not being profoundly affected by the letters. ~ Kathie
Bestselling author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers delivers another delightful story about a young boy named Wilfred and his moose Marcel.The fun and very creative illustrations make the charming characters come to life.Children who love their pets and the outdoors will enjoy reading “This Moose Belongs To Me” I sure did! ~Kathie
A wonderful message for young children. Author/illustrator Jeffers (Stuck, Up and Down) comes through again with a fresh new series that you will love sharing with your kids. Ages 2-5 ~ Kathie
Diane Keaton is someone I’ve always enjoyed on screen, so I was pretty sure I would enjoy her memoir—and I was right. Her wit and humor come through brilliantly in her writing. This is more than just the autobiography of an actress—it’s a touching tribute to the author’s mother, whom she adored, and a very real American story most people can identify with. Keaton’s warm authenticity comes through on every page—just what I was hoping for! ~ Kathie
From the plains of Africa comes an enchanting, touching, and beautifully illustrated tale. You will treasure reading this story to your little ones at night. Ages 2-5 ~Kathie
What a wonderful story of a very brave dog who became known as “Baltic”. Lost at sea and rescued by a scientific research vessel’s crew, this true story made news around the world. Author and illustrator Monica Carnesi was inspired to write about the story after hearing of it on NPR. A story your children won’t forget and will be cheering for “Baltic”on every page to survive!~Kathie
Sora and the Cloud is a enchanting story of a little boy and his new friend “Cloud” both go on an adventure flying high over the city. Author Felicia Hoshino says “I wanted Sora and the Cloud to be bilingual, simply so that both my husband and I could enjoy reading it to our children in each of our native languages; for myself English and for my husband in Japanese.” Beautifully written and illustrated, you will love reading it with your children. ~Kathie
I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but this time you can because the inside of “Unlikely Friendships” by Jennifer S. Holland is just as special as the outside cover. 47 amazing animal stories from all over the world, Ms. Holland, a senior writer for National Geographic magazine shares stories of such tenderness between these “unlikely” animals. Whether or not their friendship comes from pure survival instinct or simply curiosity, the stories are remarkable. One of my favorites is the golden retriever and the koi fish from Oregon. The incredible photography catches special moments that these wonderful animals have found with each other. Looking for a great book for that animal lover in your life, you’ve just found it! :)Kathie
This timeless classic is one of my favorites. I remember reading about Karana, the young Indian girl surviving alone on her island, and being totally immersed in her story, as though I was feeling both her strength and isolation. Based on a true story and winner of the Newbery Medal in 1961, it still, to this day, holds the same fascination for me
This is a tender story of family, first loves, and what sadly happened to Japanese Americans in Seattle during World War II. A beautifully written novel that begins with Henry recently widowed and finding himself once again at the Panama Hotel looking back on his life. Henry is Chinese and meets his first love of his life Keiko, who is Japanese. Their friendship is so sweet but abruptly ends when Keiko and her family are evacuated to an internment camp. It’s also a story of a strong father son relationship, with Henry not wanting to repeat past mistakes with his son. With all the local history in this tale it feels very personal - I loved it! ~Kathie
I’m starting to believe that books truly find their readers. After seeing this novel several times at the bookstore, and being intrigued by its title, I finally brought it home. The story starts in 1946 when London writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger who lives 30 miles off the north coast of France on the island of Guernsey, then under Nazi occupation. A book Juliet owned and sold ends up with this stranger and through letters their friendship begins. A group of unique characters follow to tell us the story of the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society". Juliet’s letters are full of wit and charm, along with bits of history that illuminate this difficult time. Truly a lovely story. ~ Kathie
I loved this compelling at times heart wrenching story of a girl named Sarah and her family taken by French police who were arresting Jewish families during the Nazi directed roundup in Paris,1942. A younger brother is hiding in a cupboard for safety and Sarah promises to come back for him. Julia a current day American journalist determined to find out what happened back then discovers how her family has links to that horrible time in French history.This story catches you on the first page and never let’s you go. I didn’t want it to end. ~Kathie
Every time I look at this amazing book I feel awestruck at its beautiful message— the silent story of a man’s immigration to a new land. Don’t miss this very special graphic novel, from the artistic cover to each wordless page. Ages 10 & up
Moloka'i is a heart-breaking novel and storytelling at its best! It follows Rachel, a young Hawai’ian girl whose dreams are broken the day she is taken from her family and sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined settlement for lepers on the island of Moloka’i. Rich in history and characters, this very special story will stay with you forever. ~ Kathie