New Releases - Staff Picks


The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama by Roland Merullo
With humor and wisdom born of a life lived with empathy and humanism, Merullo imagines a scenario where The Pope and The Dalai Lama attempt to disguise their famous personages and take a break from global fame to contemplate the real nature of their mission. Part madcap caper and part spiritual retreat, the novel addresses important issues while showing the “all too human” side of these illustrious religious leader. Characters from the “Breakfast With Buddha” trilogy make an appearance bringing this author’s theme full circle. ~ Reviewed by Karen Frank
Barkskins Barkskins by Annie Proulx (NOW IN PAPER)
This novel rightfully belongs to a select group that are worthy of being regarded as examples of epic American literature. The centuries-spanning story of a single family, working in various aspects of the timber industry, is Ms. Proulx’s best book since The Shipping News. Reading it is a little like taking a ride down a raging river in the wilderness, but the author’s abiding concern for the sanctity of nature is evident on every page. Don't let its length deter you, this is a literary journey well worth taking. ~ Reviewed by Alden Graves
The Upside of Unrequited The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Twins hit the milestones of childhood together...losing teeth, double digits... Molly thought relationships would be the same, but at 17, her sister has had summer flings and makeouts, and Molly has had 24 unrequited crushes (25 counting Lin-Manuel Maranda, but he's special).
Molly feels like she's falling behind, especially when Cassie announces she has a girlfriend and their moms' announce they're finally having the wedding the law never allowed. Molly determines to stop playing safe with her heart and make a move... but on who? This is not just another love story but a story of becoming yourself, of sisters and family, first jobs and crush #26... ~ Reviewed by Leah Moore
Beck Beck by Mal Peet
Beck recounts the story of a biracial orphan who lives in a constant state of upheaval. After being transferred from one horrible orphanage to one horrible monastery, Beck seeks solace as a drifter—taking odd jobs as they come, and eating only enough not to starve. Like Peet's other works, Beck endures and transforms in many ways over the course of his life: although the story begins during Beck's dark childhood, the novel concludes in his uncertain adult years—right as he discovers love. Yet the long arc of Beck's existence is punctuated by memories better erased than kept, moments that readers will question and ponder long after his story's end. Sophisticated readers familiar with Peet, fans of historical fiction, and readers of all ages prepared for complex emotions and adult themes will embrace Beck as one of the best books of the year. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo