Community Reads and Recommendations...

It's hard to shop without coming into the store. We're still welcoming customers from 11-7 Mondays - Saturdays, and 12-6 on Sundays, but trafffic is definitely slowing down.  Many of our customers will ask for recommendations, and we're always happy to offer up our opinions.  We also ask customers for their recommendations to read ourselves and to pass on to other readers.  So if you're not sure what to read, I've outlined a few of my latest reads/listens. With permission of one of our great customers, Nancy, I'm also listing her favorites from 2019.  I promise you - my list is good, but Nancy's is great.  She has NEVER steered me wrong, and from what I understand, she shares this list with a wide group of friends who will say the same. Read on for more info, and please add titles, comments or reviews!


  • A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler -   Narrated by an unknown third person from the "good neighborhood"  who often breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the reader.  Assumptions are shattered, reputations are ruined and a seemingly minor issue becomes major and brings out the worst in even the best neighbors. Things escalate quickly but realistically. I loved it. 
  • Actress by Anne Enright - I listened to this story on narrated by the author herself. She's a brilliant writer and hearing her read her own novel -- which is part fictional memoir and part fictional biography -- made the story seem even more real. 
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell -- So well written. Tough material. You'll be amazed and shocked and disgusted knowing that although this story is fictional, the events the writer describes are all too real.
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle - Listening to this now.  If you like Emily Giffin, Lauren Weisberger or Kristin Hannah novels (outside of The Nightingale), this is a good fit.  Sad, sweet, lovely. 
  • Remembrance by Rita Wood -- Slavery, magical realism and voodoo - compelling. I'd like to hear what other readers thought of the ending... I'm on the fence. 

From Nancy: 

  • The Testaments- Margaret Atwood- Thrilling sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale—eerily contemporary 
  • Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo – Beautifully written stories of black womanhood (Winner of Booker Prize with Margaret Atwood) 
  • The Dutch House- Anne Patchett – A brother and sister, shut out of their family, dwell on their past— boring premise, fascinating read
  • Mostly Dead Things – Karen Arnett – High jinks and low jinks in the world of taxidermy
  • The Paragon Hotel – Lindsey Faye -Race, love and the Ku Klux Klan in 1920’s Oregon 
  • The Lost Man – Jane Harper – her best Australian mystery to date
  • Fleishman is in Trouble – Taffy Brodesser-Akner – story of a marriage breakup from both sides—hilarious and touching 
  • Miracle Creek – Angie Kim – special needs children treated with high pressure oxygen therapy when something goes terribly wrong
  • Olive, Again – Ruth Strout – Olive Kitteridge’s life after her husband’s death; she’s still bitchy, wise and regretful
  • The Island of Sea Women – Lisa See – Korean women divers on their own island diving collective
  •  Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware – Creepy smart house: twisty-turny, riveting
  •  Conviction – Denise Mina – Podcast addiction leads to something darker by a great Scottish mystery writer
  •  The Giver of Stars – Jojo Moyes – An Eleanor Roosevelt/WPA Project:  Pack horse librarians in the Kentucky mountains—not welcomed by all
  •  The Family Fang – Kevin Wilson- what happens when your parents are performance artists- weird, brilliant novel (Also recommend Wilson’s Nothing to See Here and Perfect Little World)
  •  On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong- lyrical, touching, painful story of Vietnamese immigrants
  •  Orange World and Other Stories – Karen Russell- Russell at her finest short story telling