Stephanie's Book Store Staff Picks
“Almost Sisters” by Joshilyn Jackson
I was given a copy of this charmer before it was published and have been a longtime fan of Joshilyn Jackson, a New York Times best-selling author living in Decatur, GA. I fell in love with her first book, “Gods in Alabama,” years ago. Her storytelling is so intimate and familiar to anyone who craves Southern Fiction. She weaves a beautiful tale about family, race, motherhood, and friendship. It is funny, but complicated. It is edgy, but familiar. It makes us confront hard truths and shines light on old family secrets. Here we meet Leia, a comic book illustrator, unexpectedly pregnant with an unknown Batman from a comic-con convention. This will be a mixed-race Batbaby, and that is just the beginning of the family drama. Her beloved grandmother in Alabama and her best friend are hiding progressive dementia and a long hidden body in the attic. To give more is unnecessary, just trust me and grab a copy today and dig into the messy beauty of Southern fiction..
"MunMun" by Jesse Andrews
Andrews, who previously wrote “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl,” has penned an alternate reality where every person's physical size is directly proportional to their wealth. But it's so much more than that. It's a study of justice, or rather injustice. It's a story of family and dear friends. One can upsize if they can get more "munmun" or money. He takes you on a teen's epic journey that is part Alice in Wonderland and part 1984. We follow Warner who is born the size of a rat, or “littlepoor.” The syntax is very odd, with lots of words runningtogetther. This is not distracting as one would think, but fits the overall deeply weird vibe of the entire story. I have never read a book like this one. It is painful to realize that money does rule the world and the world is not remotely fair. It is infuriating. Unfortunately, in times of deep income inequality in the world, it's a lesson that a YA reader would be wise to learn quite young.
Sarah's Book Store Staff Picks
"Three Cups of Deceit" by Jon Krakauer
Greg Mortenson, the best-selling author of “Three Cups of Tea,” is a man who has built his global reputation as a selfless humanitarian and children's crusader, and he's even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. But, as Jon Krakauer demonstrates in the extensively researched and penetrating book, he is not all that he appears to be. Based on wide-ranging interviews with former employees, board members, and others who have intimate knowledge of Mortenson and his charity, the Central Asia Institute, “Three Cups of Deceit” uncovers multiple layers of deception behind Mortenson's public image. Was his crusade really inspired by a desire to repay the kindness of villagers who nursed him back to health when he became lost on his descent down K2? Was he abducted and held for eight days by the Taliban? Has his charity built all the schools that he has claimed? This book is a passionately argued plea for the truth and a tragic tale of good intentions gone very wrong."
"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."
Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, recognizing opportunity, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
Ash's Book Store Staff Picks
"Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings"by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
"I defied them, as I have all my life defied everyone.”
― Linda Rodríguez McRobbie, "Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings"
You think you know the story. A princess falls in love with a prince and they live happily ever after. Or maybe you're more realistic and think a princess is forced to marry a prince and she just kind of deals with it because women had no other options back then. Both would be wrong in the eyes of these women. After all, Alfhild ran away from her prince and throne and became a pirate. Khutulun swore never to marry unless a man could beat her in a wrestling match. (Spoiler alert, no one ever beat her and after she won, she took their horses.) Lucrezia Borgia defied her Pope father (who was also like an Al Capone figure) and ran away with a man she loved. Christine of Sweden was raised as a boy and continued to act like one for the rest of her life. There's so many of these stories about real women in history that we don't discuss in school! Connect with the women who came before us and paved the road for all of us to be as amazing as we are today!
"The Norse Myths"by Kevin Crossley-Holland
“Men and women expected their share of trouble and the best of them attempted to use it, to rise above it and carve out a name for themselves through bravery and loyalty and generosity.”
― Kevin Crossley-Holland, "The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings"
We know their names: Odin, Thor, Loki, and Frigga. For the Gods' sake, we named our week days after them! Sunday (Sun), Monday (Moon), Tuesday (Tyr), Wednesday (Wodin/Odin), Thursday (Thor), Friday (Freyja/Frigga). Saturday is for Saturn, which is Roman, but we'll look past that. Norse Mythology is so important in regards to how we view the world today, our current pop culture, and the imprint one society can have upon others. The Vikings made their way to the Middle East, all across Europe, and even China! They made such a huge impact on the world, and yet we barely know anything about them. That's crazy! This should upset you! It upsets me! The raider/pillager angle we view them from isn't 100 percent accurate. Most were farmers. The idea that Loki is evil didn't come about until most, if not all, Vikings had already converted to Christianity and swirled the tales of Loki the trickster together with Satan. I recommend this 100 percent because the preconceived notions most of us have about the Norse Gods and Viking lifestyle couldn't be farther from the truth.