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CHANGING HANDS STAFF PICKS 2017

We also present you with our Best Kid's Books of the 2017! Curated by our fabulous kids team.
Staff Pick Logo
Not Quite Narwhal Cover Image
By Jessie Sima, Jessie Sima (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481469098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - February 14th, 2017

This beautifully illustrated book is about a unicorn named Kelp who knows he is different from his narwhal friends, but they accept him anyways! After being swept away by the ocean and discovering that he is actually a unicorn, Kelp learns that he doesn't have to be one thing or another and unites his friends in a party on the shoreline. It is a classic story of accepting what your differences are and being true to who you are! ~Amanda


Staff Pick Logo
Found Audio Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781937512576
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - July 11th, 2017

Found Audio was a breath of fresh air this year, something completely different, something strange. ~Amy


Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781454923459
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sterling Children's Books - September 5th, 2017

Dusti Bowling's charming middle grade novel is packed with diverse characters, mystery and humor. Aven is a spitfire of a character. Her spunky personality and can-do attitude is reminiscent of Anne Shirley -- one of the greatest literary heroines from my own childhood. She reminds us that it doesn't matter who you are or what your challenges are in life, if you try your best and believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything. ~Brandi


Staff Pick Logo
All Our Wrong Todays Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781101985137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books - February 7th, 2017

Alternate realities, time travel, wit, what's not to love about this book? Tom Barren comes from a technological utopia. That is until he screws up reality by a time travel mistake and creates the reality we live in now. Thanks a lot Tom. Told in first person narrative directly to the reader, Tom gives a hilarious recap of his many mistakes and his bumbling attempts to make things right. Told in short chapters, you'll find yourself saying,"Just one more chapter," until you find that there are no chapters left. Not since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy have I laughed so much. So, pick up a copy, read and enjoy! ~Brandi

That event that happened in the past that changed the way we think and live today? It never happened. Well, technically, it DID happen, but not the way it happened the first time that it occurred. Time travel is a tricky deal. Just be careful where, and WHEN you go. Don't ruin it for the rest of us. ~Jeff


History of Wolves Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802127389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - November 7th, 2017

A punch to the heart lies at the center of History of Wolves—a punch readers may not see coming until some critical point when they look up from the page and realize what Fridlund has been doing to them all along: setting them up to knock them down. Hard. In this tremendous debut, she writes with unbelievable craft and depth of feeling about girlhood, sexual awakening, guilt, belief, and above all the shattering limits of faith. The result is a novel of huge power, one destined to be among the most talked-about of the season. ~Brandon


A Closed and Common Orbit Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062569400
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - March 14th, 2017

Becky Chambers continues to impress in this follow-up to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. While the previous novel will add to the experience, it is by no means required reading to enjoy this deep space romp. Her ability to create small, personal stories in the backdrop of a massive universe of aliens and AI kept me hooked the whole way through. I consumed this book with fervor. Part of the book follows an artificial intelligence being reborn and facing persecution, while the other half puts you in the shoes of a young escaped clone, as she lives among the toxic wastes of an alien planet. Fans of Firefly, Titan A.E., or Mad Max: Fury Road will all find something both fresh and familiar from this second novel in the Wayfarers saga. This book is thought-provoking, full of heart, and always engrossing. ~Cameron


Staff Pick Logo
The Natural Way of Things Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609453626
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - June 28th, 2016

Despite having read this book way back in January 2017, and having read some really great stuff this year, The Natural Way of Things stands out against every other book. In a year when The Handmaid's Tale was all the rage, (partially because of the TV mini-series and partially because of current politics), Atwood fans may have overlooked this ferocious whirlwind of a novel, and they should remedy that right now. I read this novel in one day, I literally could not stop thinking about it. It's a brutal tale of slavery, sexism, rage, and retribution. My adrenaline was pumping as I turned each page, I felt almost drunk on the anger and desire for vengeance coursing just beneath the grimy, bruised skin of the main characters. The book is a brutal analogy of the position of women's bodies in society: a thing apart from the actual woman, an object to be looked at, desired, touched, taken, a thing wanted yet hated, a thing to be controlled by others. Want a real mind f*ck? This novel is based on a true story! ~Camilla


Staff Pick Logo
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

This is a collection of stories that you can feel in your bones-- erotic, disturbing, strange, gorgeous. It pulses with both freshness and resonance (which, in my opinion, is hard to do!). ~Caroline

Carmen Maria Machado is nothing short of extraordinary. She writes with astonishing emotional depth and profound insight into the body and soul of what it means to be a woman. The stories she tells in this haunting collection are as surreal as nightmares and as intimately personal as diary entries, disturbing with their horrors even as they enchant with their seductive beauty. Her Body and Other Parties is a treasure chest full of dark marvels, a Pandora's Box you'll want to open again and again. Go ahead: take a peek inside. ~Jason


This Phenomenal Life: The Amazing Ways We Are Connected with Our Universe Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781493026869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lyons Press - March 1st, 2017

Thank you Misha Blaise! With colors like a night sky or deep woodland fuchsias, drawings that swirl with life, essential truths and other stunning things we know about our universe, this book makes me the happiest in 2017! I truly feel that I’m stepping into a magical world as I turn the pages; I’m delighted to be reminded of its wonders. This book does it for me...as true as a walk in the woods, I emerge from it with my own sense of awe recharged, my heart and eyes delighted by this book. ~Claudia
 


No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399593574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - May 16th, 2017

I'm a big fan of the Jack Reacher novels, and always look forward to the next book. This collection of short stories, including one new one, gave me a nice Reacher fix, and filled in some of the gaps for stories I had missed. Why am I a big fan of Jack Reacher novels? Oh, that would take me to deep in to the darker reaches of my mind. Better not to go there! ~Dan K.


Staff Pick Logo
Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501126062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 5th, 2017


Mrs. Caliban Cover Image
By Rachel Ingalls, Rivka Galchen (Introduction by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811226691
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 28th, 2017

Wonderfully weird and sad, Mrs. Caliban is about a grief-stricken woman who falls in love, and cheats on her husband with, a strange fish monster-man. The monster is on the run from the lab he was being kept at because he killed the scientists who were abusing him. If it sounds odd, it is, but it's also beautifully written, and achingly tragic while maintaining a pitch-perfect sense of humor throughout. ~Danny


Energy and Civilization: A History Cover Image
$39.95
ISBN: 9780262035774
Availability: Backordered
Published: Mit Press - May 12th, 2017

So much fun to read and covers more then I can slim down to a few sentences. This is history that explains with clarity but drives you down paths to find more and on your own. Takes into account almost every aspect of civilization that is balanced and refined. This will be a reference for many far into the future. ~Drew


Leonardo Da Vinci Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781501139154
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 17th, 2017

Everyone knows who Leonardo da Vinci is, but nobody really knows anything about the man behind the legend. That's where Walter Isaacson with his biography about the quintessential renaissance man steps in. Isaacson does a masterful job of untying the Gordian knot that is the figure of Leonardo da Vinci, by following a semi-chronological narrative of his life focusing on the many works (some unfinished) that Leonardo created throughout his life. Leonardo is shown less as a superhuman painting god, and more as a deeply inquisitive man, who was fascinated by almost every aspect of life. The book shines brightest when it covers the details of Leonardo's greatest works, dispelling them of any otherworldly quality, while revealing a very human deliberation behind them. Reading Leonardo da Vinci makes one feel that they too should observe one's world with the eye of a master, and with patience even we may describe the tongue of the woodpecker. ~Elijah


If the Creek Don't Rise Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781492647454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - August 1st, 2017

Debut novelist, Leah Weiss, impresses with her ability to make the residents of the fictional Baines Creek in Appalachia come fully alive. They are each in their way tenacious, complicated, infuriating, knowing, and utterly believable. You will not be able to resist giving them your heart. This novel positively sings. It's like a classic country song come to life (an opinion of which I'm sure Ms. Sadie Blue would approve!). ~Elisa


Staff Pick Logo
The Book of Mistakes Cover Image
By Corinna Luyken, Corinna Luyken (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780735227927
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - April 18th, 2017

Such a lovely picture book! The sparse text reads almost like a poem, and the illustrations are kooky and funny, with surprises with every turn of the page. I love that this book celebrates mistakes -- as opportunities, as inspiration, as the secret to stumbling upon even bigger and better ideas. ~Emmy


Staff Pick Logo
Anything Is Possible Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812989403
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - April 25th, 2017

If you read My Name is Lucy Barton and loved it but were left wondering who Lucy Barton truly was or where she might have gone when she left the small town in Illinois where she grew up, this new novel by Elizabeth Strout will fill in the blanks. Strout is a brilliant writer, her prose is read out loud beautiful and her characters totally believable and memorable. There is intense emotion in these connected stories, complicated lives, interwoven and overlapping drama that leaves you wanting to start the book over from the beginning because there is a chance that you missed a few bits the first time around and missing anything Strout has to say would be a travesty. ~Gayle


Staff Pick Logo
Homesick for Another World: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399562884
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - January 17th, 2017

Otessa Mosfegh opens up the cracks and crevasses of humanity and lets us peer inside. I've never read longing and denial so clearly and devastatingly written. These stories are populated by characters on the fringe, all of them with an overwhelming sense of displacement, captured in a moment teetering on the edge of tragedy. Homesick for Another World hits all the right notes. ~Heather


Staff Pick Logo
Lincoln in the Bardo Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812995343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 14th, 2017

I listened to this masterpiece on Libro.fm when it was released in January, and no other book this year made such a lasting impression on me. I spent the first bit of the audiobook confused, then entranced, then dazzled. When it ended, I went right back to the beginning and listened to the whole thing again. Saunders uses history to draw the lines of his story, and then colors them in with fantasy. That Man Booker prize was well-deserved! ~Jalen


The Autobiography of Gucci Mane Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501165320
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 19th, 2017

I just really love Gucci Mane. ~Joe


No One Cares about Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316341172
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - March 21st, 2017

History, memoir, policy all wrapped up in the incredible story of a family's continuing relationship with mental illness. This book chips away at stigma. It reveals the countless hours spent by caregivers seeking assistance and the winding paths they must take. It outlines our medical, political and social history with mental illness and challenges us all to do better. These are my people and this is a great way for others to peek inside the world!! ~Julie


It Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781501142970
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - January 5th, 2016

This book is so much more than I ever expected it could be. Yes, it is all that people claim it is, but it goes deeper than that. It paints a picture of a town's deep and troubled history, and shows us that sometimes the horrors of life are scarier than anything you could dream up. Even if you've seen an adaptation of this I highly recommend reading this for the full experience of the town of Derry and Pennywise the Dancing Clown. ~Kaitlyn


The Chilbury Ladies' Choir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101906774
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - September 5th, 2017

Written in such a personable way you feel like these women could be your neighbors and friends. Delightful, funny and poignant this book swept me away right into the world where these ladies stuck by each other in very trying times and showed how extraordinary they were. ~Kay


All You Need Is Kill Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781421527611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viz Media - July 21st, 2009

This book is action-packed, and not very heavy. It sucks you into a world filled with time travel, aliens, and mechanized battle suits. It's also not very long, so you can read it in one sitting. ~Kevin


Behind Her Eyes: A Suspenseful Psychological Thriller Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250111173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 31st, 2017

Really, really good. Keeps you wrapped up with the story, no dull moments and it makes you wonder. Very nice plot twists mingled throughout with a boomer at the end. This is a story of lies, secrets, deception and mental illness, it’s dark and gripping and compulsive. It has all the ingredients and more that I expect from a psychological thriller, intriguing characters, well plotted and it certainly messed with my head! I LOVED this psychological thriller. The ending? Wow! .....just Wow! Never saw it coming at all! ~Kim


Staff Pick Logo
The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - March 13th, 1998

Everyone I knew read this excellent novel in the 80s. Except me. But after hearing Margaret Atwood interviewed last week, I knew it was time. Devoured it in 3 days, non-stop. Atwood just wrote a new intro for it in 2017 in which she compares what we're experiencing "in the wake of the recent American election" to the conditions that led up to the dystopia she depicts so brilliantly in The Handmaid's Tale. To see what she envisioned now playing itself out in our lives is both scary and essential if we are to resist and derail such a future while there's still time. As one reviewer advised, "Read it while it's still allowed." Tip--the new intro is great but it contains spoilers. Save it for last. ~Bob
 


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