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Danielle's Picks

After perusing her shelves, Danielle realized she prefers her books to be British classics, have British authors, or be set in Britain. When she leaps back across the pond, she also loves to read mystery, historical fiction, and teen fantasy. She is slowly but steadily upping her science fiction intake.

We Were Liars (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780385741262
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Delacorte Press, 5/2014
Cadence's life is supposed to be perfect—after all she is a Sinclair, one of the wealthiest, most esteemed families on the east coast. But after a terrible accident at her family's private island estate, Cadence is struggling not only to physically recover from her injuries but to even remember the dark truths of what happened that night. E. Lockhart takes what could be a "poor me I'm rich and sad" story and transforms it into a gripping, complex and beautifully tragic novel about families and heartbreak—we can suffer in trying to do the right thing.

ISBN-13: 9780062217134
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books, 8/2013
My teen reads are usually historically themed or action-packed romps so to say this book was unexpected for me is an understatement. Where I was expecting to find the typical ‘boy meets girl and they fall in love’ story, I was surprised to find a witty, philosophical and realistic telling of high school love and all the nerdiness, laughter and tragedy that comes with it. The author’s decision to tell a poignant and comically-tragic story from a male perspective, especially in a genre that increasingly favors female protagonists, adds a subtle layer of depth and enhances the narrative without seeming contrived. Comparisons to teen author king John Green are inevitable but Robyn Schneider proves an adept storyteller worthy of being called his contemporary.

ISBN-13: 9781118216064
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Wiley (TP), 11/2012
Even a novice knitter like myself can't help but be awestruck by the beautiful designs in this book. Ranging from everyday wear like the insect laced "Metamorphosis" sweater to the die-hard-fan Galadriel hooded dress, Lohr's patterns pay homage to the literary works that inspired them. I can't wait to make the Scout To Kill a Mockingbird cardigan for my daughter!

ISBN-13: 9781402279362
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 4/2013
Who will Isabella be as she flies, twists and trots her way through the library? Black Beauty? Captain Nemo? Dorothy? Come along on this imaginative adventure as Isabella discovers that the best person to be is always yourself.

ISBN-13: 9780544022492
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphia, 3/2013
Ismae has known nothing but hardship and brutality in her short seventeen years. With the help of a hedge priest, Ismae is rescued and brought to the nuns at the convent of St. Mortain. The convent serves the old gods and Ismae soon learns that she has been blessed with a gift from Death himself, the ability to see Death's dark mark upon those he has deemed treacherous. Along with the other initiates, Ismae is trained to be an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death, a journey which takes her into the heart of the royal court of Brittany. There she is charged with keeping the young Queen safe not only from the power hungry nobles of the court but from the treason lurking within her own royal family. Ismae's task leads her to not only to question the motives of those around her but also to challenge her own devotion St. Mortain and her place with the convent.

ISBN-13: 9780500650066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Thames & Hudson, 10/2012
Re-imaginings of fairy tales pop up quite frequently, but The Fairy-Tale Princess is no half-hearted retelling. Artist Su Blackwell gives seven classic tales (Cinderella, The Frog Prince, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Princess and the Pea, Snow White, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty) an added layer of enchantment with her gorgeous paper sculptures. Meticulously designed and crafted, Blackwell's work will capture children and adults alike and quickly become a treasured bedtime read.

ISBN-13: 9780553593617
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bantam, 4/2012
After postponing her academic career in advanced mathematics at MIT, Maggie Hope finds herself in London just before the Blitz, trying to sell the home she inherited from her deceased and relatively unknown grandmother. The transition from graduate student to Londoner is tough at first, but she soon finds herself enamored by the city and decides to stay and do her part for the war effort as a secretary in Churchill’s War Rooms. Once there, she discovers that even the most seemingly insignificant member of Churchill’s staff can find herself in the middle of IRA bombing schemes and Nazi assassination plots. My favorite historical novels always teach me something about the time period, and MacNeil did just that. Meticulously researched, the author presents a vivid and compelling picture of wartime London that never gets in the way of suspense or the flow of the story. Maggie and her friends’ modern attitudes towards the social politics and taboos of the day can seem a bit far-fetched, but MacNeil never allows her characters to become ridiculous. It has been a while since I read a book that I didn't want to put down, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, Princess Elizabeth's Spy.

ISBN-13: 9781594203336
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 2/2012
Although Bringing Up Bébé is a parenting book it's far from a preachy "the French are so much better" how-to guide. Instead the author humorously recounts her attempts at raising her children in Paris while following a few simple but practical French parenting philosophies: enforcing strict set of boundaries but are allowing kids an enormous amount of freedom and autonomy within those boundaries, education as opposed to discipline, and always acknowledging adults with "bonjour" and "au revoir". Druckerman also encourages American parents to change the way they perceive their roles as parents and to not base their lives so much around the kids. Having adult only time is ok, even necessary for your sanity! Being a very new mom, I really feel this book provided me great insight into the different approaches to parenting and made me feel much more confident in my own parenting decisions.

The Night Circus (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780307744432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor, 9/2012
The Night Circus is the wondrous tale of the duel between Marco and Celia, two young illusionists chosen as children to be pawns in their teacher's battle for supremacy. The fantastical stage for the showdown is Night Circus, a traveling circus in which the pair have complete control to imagine and create the world they and the other performers live in. But no contest comes without a price and a winner can only be declared when one of them is left standing. Author Erin Morgenstern seamlessly weaves Marco and Celia's alternating points of view without losing the narrative or the readers connection to the characters. Descriptions of the different tents created by pair have a lyrical, poetic beauty that perfectly encompasses the atmospheric and almost tragically Greek feeling of the novel. A must read for fans of Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Kate Morton.

ISBN-13: 9780316196994
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Mulholland Books, 11/2011
In the first Sherlock Holmes novel authorized by the Conan-Doyle estate, Anthony Horowitz does a superb job of reintroducing Holmes and Watson while maintaining the tone and prose that made the original stories so alluring. What begins as a simple case of burglary soon has the pair plunging into the harsh, depraved London streets in search of the dangerous and elusive House of Silk. And as they investigate, Holmes and Watson discover how deeply entwined the House has become with those whose influence permeates the highest echelons of the British government and society.

The Distant Hours (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781439152799
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Washington Square Press, 7/2011
It was a dark and stormy night... okay, that infamous line is never used, but it might as well have been. Morton’s haunting tale is reminiscent of classic gothics novels like Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre while flawlessly interweaving two timelines: the contemporary story of Edie Burchill as she delves into her mother’s mysterious past, and the actual events that occurred when her mother was evacuated as a child from London to the country during WWII. For over a year, she lived with the sisters Blythe and their elderly father at gothic Castle Middlehurst. On a whim, Edie arranges a tour of the castle and discovers the three reclusive sisters are still in residence.  After having an unnerving encounter with the youngest daughter Juniper, Edie realizes that there are some dark family secrets which her mother may be a part of. Why have the sisters never left the castle?  Is Juniper’s madness purely because her fiancé jilted her 40 years previously? Why was Raymond Blythe so secretive about the origins of his book? What really happened that night in 1941?  The truth will shock and linger on with you long after the story has ended.    —Danielle

ISBN-13: 9780312658908
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin, 1/2011
Allison Hewitt is Trapped is not your typical zombie book. Written as a blog, complete with reader comments, we encounter Allison and her bookstore coworkers mid-zombie apocalypse hiding out in the employee break room. Realizing that no help is coming and with food dwindling, Allison and her crew head out in search of permanent safety. But fighting off the ravenous undead is the least of Allison's troubles as she attempts to avoid and escape from groups of religious zealots and paramilitary survivalists. Roux does a fantastic job of combining humor with slash-and-hack fighting action, all the while detailing those in-between and quiet moments that most adventure stories leave out. You’ll get caught up in Allison's struggle, feeling like you're right there with her, swinging that axe. —Danielle

Cleopatra: A Life (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780316001946
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books, 9/2011

History has whittled the legacy of Cleopatra down to an Egyptian harlot, successful only because of her power to seduce the most influential men of her time. Absent in these accounts is the remarkable intelligence, wit, and cunning that Cleopatra employed to lead Hellenistic Egypt into the most peaceful, prosperous and economically stable reign it had ever known. By piecing together historical records and chopping away the absurd and melodramatic hearsay of other accounts, Schiff has created an elegant narrative chronicling the rise and fall of one of history's most fascinating and misrepresented monarchs. -Danielle

ISBN-13: 9781889392394
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Windsor Peak Press, 11/2010

Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things I have ever done! While other wedding planning books just added to my anxiety with their never ending to-do lists and rigid “do’s” and “don’ts”, this book helped to plan the perfect wedding for me. Although the emphasis is saving money, Bridal Bargains is awesome for overall planning and inspiring you to get creative on a budget. —Danielle

ISBN-13: 9780061433061
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: HarperCollins, 9/2011
Tiffany Aching, now nearly 16 years old and official witch of The Chalk, is living the unglamorous life taking care of those in need. But when people she has known all her life start looking at her differently, becoming suspicious and scared of her, Tiffany knows something is up to no good. The Cunning Man is out there spreading malice wherever he goes and as the general public becomes more anti-witch, it is up to Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegles to stop him—before the witch hunts begin again. Pratchett's characteristic tongue-in-cheek humor will leave both old fans and newcomers yearning for more. —Danielle

ISBN-13: 9780452297234
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Plume, 4/2011
Admit it. You loved the 80's. You rocked the Flock of Seagulls hair cut, partied hard to Lita Ford, and lost your voice screaming for New Kids on the Block. So did author Rob Sheffield. Talking to Girls About Duran Duran is not only a smart, funny nod to the music, but to the memories and emotions that those songs conjure up, even two decades later. Each song-themed chapter can stand alone and doesn't necessarily require you to know the song, but is that much more poignant if you do. For the songs you don't know, you may find yourself re-living their glory days through YouTube videos. —Danielle

One Day (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780307474711
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage, 6/2010
In One Day, David Nicholls takes what could have been a simplistic piece of 'chick-lit' and turns it into a engaging, witty, real, and at times heartbreaking story of friendship and love. It follows the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew on July 15 every year for 20 years, starting with their first meeting on July 15, 1988, the night of their University graduation. Dex and Em retain a dynamic relationship through the years, growing up and growing apart, finding love and success while also learning about failure and the harshness of life's unpredictability. Fans of Nick Hornby will not be disappointed. —Danielle

ISBN-13: 9780763652890
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Candlewick, 2/2011
Mary, an ex-thief mysteriously saved from the gallows and brought to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, has eagerly accepted a position with The Agency, the secret female spy corps hidden within the school. Her first assignment is working as a lady's companion with the Thorolds, a family whose patriarch is suspected of smuggling. The father ignores Mary, the daughter detests her, and the mother is practically an invalid. But in this household, everyone hiding something, doing all they can to outsmart each other and prevent their own secrets from coming out. Mary finds a potential ally in handsome James Easton, but with her own secret to hide, finding the criminal might just be more than she can handle. —Danielle

Blackout (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780345519832
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Spectra, 9/2010
In Blackout, Connie Willis returns to the time travel universe made popular in Doomsday Book, taking us to WWII England with three historians: one observing the evacuation of Dunkirk from Dover, one observing the children evacuated to rural England and one working as a shop girl during the Blitz. Willis's time-traveling historians have a lot to contend with, not only the hardships of living as 'contemps' in WWII England, but the fear that their mechanism of time-travel has gone disastrously awry, stranding them in WWII England forever, and potentially allowing them to change the course of history. Ending with a cliffhanger, I am eagerly awaiting All Clear, the sequel due out in October 2010. —Danielle

Shades of Grey (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780143118589
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 3/2011
If you've read and loved Fforde in the past, stop right here. There's no need to read this review. Buy, read, enjoy. For first timers, get ready to step into clever, satirical and uniquely Fforde world. Shades of Grey introduces us to red-seeing Eddie Russet and his seemingly Utopian world that revolves entirely around color and one's ability to perceive hues. With the help of grey named Jane, Eddie is about to discover that behind the veneer of order and manners, there is a dark secret that threatens the very foundation of society. —Danielle

Wolf Hall (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780312429980
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador, 8/2010
Most books about Henry VIII's court focus solely on the monarch or Anne Bolyen, but in this novel Mantel takes a different route, invoking the voice of royal adviser Thomas Cromwell. Born to humble beginnings, Cromwell's ambition, wit and uncanny ability to make money carry him to the Tudor court. There he is faced with the momentous tasks of annulling Henry's first marriage and reforming the Church of England. This book was not a quick read but at the end had me wishing it wasn't over! —Danielle

Juliet, Naked (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781594484773
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Trade, 9/2010
For a book that is about regret, I found Juliet, Naked to be surprisingly optimistic. The story centers on two couples: Annie and Duncan; and Duncan and his fascination with reclusive rocker Tucker Crowe. When Annie and Duncan receive Juliet, Naked, an acoustic version of Tucker's greatest album, it forces all three to re-examine the direction of their lives. My favorite part was the ending: realistic but hopeful. —Danielle

ISBN-13: 9780446697712
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Grand Central Publishing, 8/2010
Arrested Devolopment is one of my favorite shows, so when I read that Tobias "never-nude" Funke (Cross's character) had a book out, I was psyched. There were multiple times while reading that I laughed out loud, "" being a particular favorite. While many find his humor irreverent, I love that he speaks his mind with no apologies. —Danielle

ISBN-13: 9781416596363
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books, 2/2010
Chelsea Handler's latest collections can only be described as wild, uninhibited storytelling at its best. In Vodka, she embraces the mundane and horrifyingly embarrassing moments in life, transforming them into wickedly funny stories. The audio book is highly recommended for long work drives or road trips! —Danielle

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