Our Recommendations

  • If I Was Your Girl

    If I Was Your Girl Cover Image
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    This is such an important, timely narrative, well-written and a joy to read. Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. She’s funny, smart, and a huge Star Wars nerd. She also happens to be transgender -- a horrific incident at her last school has been the catalyst for transferring schools. Now, Amanda worries about opening up to her new friends, with good reason. A story of love, acceptance, and full of hope, this book made me cry in the best possible way! -- Antonia

    — From If I Was Your Girl


    The award-winning, big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are, and a love story you can't help but root for

    Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she's determined not to get too close to anyone.

    But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can't help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda's terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won't be able to see past it.

    Because the secret that Amanda's been keeping? It's that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

    Stonewall Book Award Winner
    Walter Dean Myers Honor Book for Outstanding Children's Literature
    iBooks YA Novel of the Year
    A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
    A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
    An Amazon Best Book of the Year
    A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
    A Zoella Book Club Selection
    A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year
    A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year
    IndieNext Top 10
    One of Flavorwire's 50 Books Every Modern Teenager Should Read

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781250078407
    ISBN-10: 1250078407
    Publisher: Flatiron Books
    Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
    Pages: 288
    Language: English
  • Barbarian Days

    Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life Cover Image
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    A sympathetic and clear-eyed examination of an American boyhood. This is an adventure story and a social history. Great writing!! A must read and a Pulitzer winner. -- Frayda

    — From Barbarian Days


    **Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**

    "Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery. . . . a coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard." --Sports Illustrated

    Included in President Obama's 2016 Summer Reading List

    Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.

    Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses--off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships forged in challenging waves.

    Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly--he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui--is served up with rueful humor. As Finnegan's travels take him ever farther afield, he discovers the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissects the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, and navigates the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity.

    Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little-understood art.

    Praise for Barbarian Days

    "Without a doubt, the finest surf book I've ever read . . . But on a more fundamental level, Barbarian Days offers a clear-eyed vision of American boyhood. Like Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, it is a sympathetic examination of what happens when literary ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the world." --The New York Times Magazine

    "Incandescent . . . I'd sooner press this book upon on a nonsurfer, in part because nothing I've read so accurately describes the feeling of being stoked or the despair of being held under. . . . But] it's also about a writer's life and, even more generally, a quester's life, more carefully observed and precisely rendered than any I've read in a long time." --Los Angeles Times

    About the Author

    WILLIAM FINNEGAN is the author of Cold New World, A Complicated War, Dateline Soweto, and Crossing the Line. He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography. A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987, he lives in Manhattan. From the Hardcover edition.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780143109396
    ISBN-10: 0143109391
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
    Pages: 464
    Language: English
  • A Touch of Stardust

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    A Touch of Stardust Cover Image
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    Staff Reviews

    A fun novel set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Julie Crawford, an aspiring screenwriter, has a backstage pass to the notorious filming of Gone With the Wind. She also questions the studio’s reluctance to tackle the war raging in Europe (or their overseas box office numbers…) Filled with historical goodies and gossip!

    — Antonia

    A fun novel set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Alcott’s heroine, an aspiring screenwriter, has a backstage pass to the notorious filming of Gone With The Wind; she also questions the studio’s initial reluctance to tackle war raging in Europe (or their overseas box office numbers…). Filled with historical goodies and gossip!



    — From A Touch of Stardust


    From the New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Dressmaker comes a blockbuster novel that takes you behind the scenes of the filming of Gone with the Wind, while turning the spotlight on the passionate romance between its dashing leading man, Clark Gable, and the blithe, free-spirited actress Carole Lombard.
    When Julie Crawford leaves Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Hollywood, she never imagines she ll cross paths with Carole Lombard, the dazzling actress fromJulie's provincial Midwestern hometown. The young woman has dreams of becoming a screenwriter, but the only job Julie's able to find is one in the studio publicity office of the notoriously demanding producerDavid O. Selznick, who is busy burning through directors, writers, and money as he films Gone with the Wind.
    Although tensions run high on the set, Julie finds she can step onto the back lot, take in the smell of smoky gunpowder and the soft rustle of hoop skirts, and feel the magical world of Gone with the Wind come to life. Julie's access to real-life magic comes whenCarole Lombard hires her as an assistant and invites her into the glamorous world Carole shares with Clark Gable, who is about to move into movie history as the dashing Rhett Butler.
    Carole Lombard, happily profane and uninhibited, makes no secret of her relationship with Gable, whichposes something of a problem for the studio because Gable is technically still married and the last thing the film needs is more negative publicity. Julie is there to fend off the overly curious reporters, hoping to prevent details about the affair from slipping out. But she can barely keep up with her blond employer, let alone control what comes out of Carole's mouth, and as their friendship grows Julie soon finds she doesn t want to. Carole, both wise and funny, becomes Julie's model for breaking free of the past.
    In the ever-widening scope of this story, Julie is given a front-row seat to not one but two of the greatest love affairs of all time: the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Scarlett and Rhett, and offscreen, the deepening love between Carole andClark. Yet beneath the shiny facade, things in Hollywood are never quite what they seem, and Julie mustlearn to balance her career aspirations and her own budding romance with the outsized personalities and overheated drama on set. Vivid, romantic, and filledwith Old Hollywood details, A Touch of Stardustwill entrance, surprise, and delight.

    About the Author

    KATE ALCOTT is the pseudonym for journalist Patricia O Brien, who has written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. As Kate Alcott, she is theNew York Timesbestselling author ofThe DressmakerandThe Daring Ladies of Lowell. She lives in Washington, D.C. The many stories shared by her late husband, Frank Mankiewicz, who grew up in a legendary film family, helped her bring Old Hollywood to life."
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780385539043
    ISBN-10: 0385539045
    Publisher: Doubleday Books
    Publication Date: February 17th, 2015
    Pages: 304
    Language: English
  • The Sunlit Night

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    Take a trip to the far northern reaches of Norway in this finely composed first novel. The Sunlit Night is a potent but potable novel of young young, loss, vikings, and art.


    — From The Sunlit Night


    A stunning debut novel--which Jonathan Safran Foer calls "lyrical as a poem, psychologically rich as a thriller."

    In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended--Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father's last wish: to be buried "at the top of the world." They have come to learn how to be alone.

    But in Lofoten, an archipelago of six tiny islands in the Norwegian Sea, ninety-five miles north of the Arctic Circle, they form a bond that fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes, offering solace amidst great uncertainty. With nimble and sure-footed prose, Dinerstein reveals that no matter how far we travel to claim our own territory, it is ultimately love that gives us our place in the world.

    About the Author

    REBECCA DINERSTEIN is the author of Lofoten, a bilingual English-Norwegian collection of poems. She received her B.A. from Yale and her M.F.A. in Fiction from New York University, where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter @beckydinerstein.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781632861122
    ISBN-10: 1632861127
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
    Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
    Pages: 272
    Language: English
  • The Bone Clocks

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    David Mitchell’s novels are a little bit like Gothic Cathedrals: the beauty of their raw materials and their grand overall design smack you in the face immediately, but you could lose hours (or, years, if you’re getting your PhD) studying the intricacies of their design. Multiple voices, like flying buttresses, keep the narrative from collapsing under its own weight. Set from the 1980s up until 2046, this might be Mitchell’s grandest work yet. Like an ancient house of worship, it is spellbinding, and beautiful and masterfully crafted -- something of a miracle to behold, whether you’re a believer or not.


    — From The Bone Clocks


    The New York Times bestseller by the author of Cloud Atlas - Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize - Named One of the Top Ten Fiction Books of the Year by Time, Entertainment Weekly, and O: The Oprah Magazine - A New York Times Notable Book - An American Library Association Notable Book - Winner of the World Fantasy Award

    Named to more than 20 year-end best of lists, including
    NPR - San Francisco Chronicle - The Atlantic - The Guardian - Slate - BuzzFeed

    Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

    "With The Bone Clocks, David] Mitchell rises to meet and match the legacy of Cloud Atlas."--Los Angeles Times

    Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people," Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

    For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics--and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly's life, affecting all the people Holly loves--even the ones who are not yet born.

    A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting on the war in Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list--all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

    Rich with character and realms of possibility, The Bone Clocks is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together by a writer The Washington Post calls "the novelist who's been showing us the future of fiction."

    An elegant conjurer of interconnected tales, a genre-bending daredevil, and a master prose stylist, David Mitchell has become one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks, crackles with invention and wit and sheer storytelling pleasure--it is fiction at its most spellbinding.

    Praise for The Bone Clocks

    "One of the most entertaining and thrilling novels I've read in a long time."--Meg Wolitzer, NPR

    " Mitchell] writes with a furious intensity and slapped-awake vitality, with a delight in language and all the rabbit holes of experience."--The New York Times Book Review

    "Intensely compelling . . . fantastically witty . . . offers up a rich selection of domestic realism, gothic fantasy and apocalyptic speculation."--The Washington Post

    " A] time-traveling, culture-crossing, genre-bending marvel of a novel."--O: The Oprah Magazine

    "Great fun . . . a tour de force . . . Mitchell] channels his narrators with vivid expertise."--San Francisco Chronicle

    About the Author

    David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780812976823
    ISBN-10: 0812976827
    Publisher: Random House Trade
    Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
    Pages: 656
    Language: English
  • The Gracekeepers

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    An entrancing tale perfect for fans of Station Eleven and The Night Circus! I loved this watery post-apocalyptic world of supple prose and hardscrabble wonders.



    — From The Gracekeepers


    For readers of The Night Circus and Station Eleven, a lyrical and absorbing debut set in a world covered by water
    As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.
    In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives--offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.
    Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.
    Finalist, Lambda Literary Award.

    About the Author

    KIRSTY LOGAN is an award-winning writer based in Scotland. She regularly performs her stories at events and festivals around the UK and Europe. The Gracekeepers is her debut novel.

    Coverage from NPR

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780553446616
    ISBN-10: 0553446614
    Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
    Publication Date: May 19th, 2015
    Pages: 320
    Language: English
  • The Familiar, Volume 1

    The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May Cover Image
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    While this book may appear, at first glance, to be essentially unreadable, rest assured there are great pleasures to be found within. Danielewski is simply too smart and too cool to fail, even if this, his current project, seems hugely ambitious (this is, allegedly, Volume One from a total of 27). Full disclosure: I haven’t (yet!) read it, but just holding it gives me a kind of literary arousal. (I have read his other stuff; it is thoroughly amazing). Recommended for the patient and the daring.


    — From The Familiar, Volume 1



    The Familiar Volume 1 Wherein the cat is found . . .

    From the author of the international best seller House of Leaves and National Book Award-nominated Only Revolutions comes a monumental new novel as dazzling as it is riveting. The Familiar (Volume 1) ranges from Mexico to Southeast Asia, from Venice, Italy, to Venice, California, with nine lives hanging in the balance, each called upon to make a terrifying choice. They include a therapist-in-training grappling with daughters as demanding as her patients; an ambitious East L.A. gang member contracted for violence; two scientists in Marfa, Texas, on the run from an organization powerful beyond imagining; plus a recovering addict in Singapore summoned at midnight by a desperate billionaire; and a programmer near Silicon Beach whose game engine might unleash consequences far exceeding the entertainment he intends. At the very heart, though, is a twelve-year-old girl named Xanther who one rainy day in May sets out with her father to get a dog, only to end up trying to save a creature as fragile as it is dangerous . . . which will change not only her life and the lives of those she has yet to encounter, but this world, too--or at least the world we think we know and the future we take for granted.

    (With full-color illustrations throughout.)

    THE FAMILIAR continues...

    The Familiar Volume 2 Wherein the cat is hungry . . .
    The Familiar Volume 3 Wherein the cat is blind . . .
    The Familiar Volume 4 Wherein the cat is toothless . . .
    The Familiar Volume 5 Wherein the cat is named . . .

    About the Author

    MARK Z. DANIELEWSKI was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles.

    Coverage from NPR

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780375714948
    ISBN-10: 0375714944
    Publisher: Pantheon Books
    Publication Date: May 12th, 2015
    Pages: 880
    Language: English
  • Everythng I Never Told You

    Everything I Never Told You Cover Image
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    The title of this book refers to the secrets every family keeps from each other.  The unsaid are often the things you will regret or remember. Beautifully written.


    — From Everythng I Never Told You


    New York Times Bestseller - A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice - Winner of the Alex Award- Winner of the APALA Award for Fiction - NEA Big Read Selection

    Don't miss Celeste Ng's new novel, Little Fires Everywhere, coming September 2017.


    NPR - San Francisco Chronicle - Entertainment Weekly - The Huffington Post - Buzzfeed - Amazon - Grantland - Booklist - St. Louis Post Dispatch - Shelf Awareness - Book Riot - School Library Journal - Bustle - Time Out New York - Mashable - Cleveland Plain Dealer

    "Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet." So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

    About the Author

    CELESTE NG grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son. She is the author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780143127550
    ISBN-10: 0143127551
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Publication Date: May 12th, 2015
    Pages: 320
    Language: English
  • The Children Act

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    Judgment, both personal and professional, is at the heart of this short, lovely novel.  Moral dilemmas in marriage and religion provide the drama, while McEwan's singular writing provides the compassion.


    — From The Children Act


    One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Vogue, BookRiot
    Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judgewho presides over cases in the family division. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude, and sensitivity.Buther professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.
    At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: Adam, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, is refusing for religious reasons the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents echo his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely expressed faith? In the course of reaching a decision, Fiona visits Adam in the hospital an encounter that stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

    About the Author

    IAN McEWAN is the bestselling author of fifteen books, including the novels Sweet Tooth; Solar, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; On Chesil Beach; Saturday; Atonement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the W. H. Smith Literary Award; The Comfort of Strangers and Black Dogs, both short-listed for the Booker Prize; Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize; and The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Award; as well as the story collections First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and In Between the Sheets.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781101872871
    ISBN-10: 110187287X
    Publisher: Anchor Books
    Publication Date: April 28th, 2015
    Pages: 240
    Language: English
  • The Sixth Extinction

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    Masterfully written, The Sixth Extinction combines first-rate science reporting with lyrical, clear descriptions of vanishing species. Outstanding, life-changing read!


    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2015

    — From The Sixth Extinction



    A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes

    Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

    Coverage from NPR

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781250062185
    ISBN-10: 1250062187
    Publisher: Picador USA
    Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
    Pages: 336
    Language: English


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