Monday, March 7, 2022

Staff Recommendations, Week of March 8, 2022

A few books we want to draw your attention to this week.

First, Daniel Goldin for Booth, the latest novel by celebrated author Karen Joy Fowler. Daniel says: "The first thing you should know about Karen Joy Fowler is that she’s not one to repeat herself. Coming off We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, still well known for The Jane Austen Book Club, and nominated for several Nebula short story awards earlier in her career (and winner in 2004), you probably wouldn’t have expected a historical novel that chronicles the family of John Wilkes Booth and his family, but that’s what we have. Expertly researched (including details about George Putnam, the namesake of this very novel’s imprint) but still packed with Fowler’s creative imagination to fill in the gaps with undocumented details, Booth ponders how relationships and experiences shape beliefs, and small acts, some positive, some not, can have big consequences. It’s also hard not to see parallels with the modern world. As one would say in the world of theater, bravo!"

We have a virtual event coming up this week with Fowler - Friday, March 11, 7 pm - she's in conversation with Wisconsin author Jane Hamilton. Click here for info & registration, please.

And now a couple of recommendations of middle grade books.

First, Kelly Barnhill's new novel, The Ogress and the Orphans, as recommended by Tim McCarthy: "It’s an elaborate story, woven in great detail with dragons and ogres and loving orphans, animals who converse with people, heroes alongside a treacherous villain, and a town which, once very lovely, has fallen apart. The demise of Stone-in-the-Glen began with a fire that destroyed perhaps the most beautiful library imaginable. Everything started to crumble from there, including the will of most citizens to support and believe in one another. They do have a polished and beloved Mayor, a world renowned dragon slayer, who tells them he can fix it all, while also telling them to suspect everyone else. Most of the townspeople have become reclusive and have no desire to understand the remarkable Ogress nearby, but the struggling orphans and the Ogress will meet. Perhaps there is magic in the world, and there certainly is magic in Barnhill’s beautiful words and her thoughtful perceptions of life."

We'll host author Barnhill In-Store on Wednesday, March 9, at 6:30 pm for our first kid-focused in-person event in more than two years, and we couldn't be happier that its Barnhill getting us back in action. Click here to register / get more info.

And Jen Steele on The Sheep, the Rooster, and the Duck, written and illustrated by Matt Phelan. Jen says: "Villains beware! The Sheep, the Rooster, and the Duck are sure to foil your outrageous plans. When Benjamin Franklin and other notable geniuses are kidnapped, it's up to France's superheroes to save the day. With the help of two precocious children, our heroes uncover multiple secret societies and a most heinous plot to take over the world. Matt Phelan has done it again with another lively novel and wonderful illustrations throughout."

See you next week with more new books!

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