Staff Picks - 2011 November & December

WildwoodWildwood by Colin Meloy

Wildwood is a hidden, magical forest stuffed with great oddities, as Prue finds out when she hunts for her baby brother, who has been kidnapped by crows. The debut novel (and beginning of the Wildwood Chronicles) by the acclaimed and eccentric songwriter of the band The Decemberists. ~ Jeremy Ferris
Dead End in NorveltDead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

An hilariously, grossly exaggerated (but not-entirely-untrue) account of a summer spent grounded but hardly bored. Each character has a huge personality, from the arthritic, history obsessed obituary writer, to the Hell's Angels who unexpectedly move into the otherwise quiet town, to Jack's paranoid bomb-shelter-and-airplanerunway- building dad. ~ Jeremy Ferris
The Only OnesThe Only Ones by Aaron Starmer

After many lonely years on an island, young Martin ventures to shore to find a world in which everyone except 40 teenagers has vanished. In his mind are the blueprints for a machine that may fill the world again. A truly gripping story with mysterious elements that are beyond earthly explanation. ~ Jeremy Ferris
The Watch That Ends The NightThe Watch That Ends The Night by Allan Wolf

The riveting story of the Titanic never ceases to intrigue readers. Allan Wolf's historical fiction tells the story in verse woven with archival data. Told from many perspectives, from across all classes,the story comes alive. Author's notes at the back provide fascinating facts and even a key to Morse Code. ~ Cynthia Richards
Barefoot Books World AtlasBarefoot Books World Atlas by Nick Crane

Uniquely packed with information about the way local environments mold communities and cultures and the ideas and initiatives that are shaping the future. A book for all ages that combines a pull-out world map, fold-out booklets and panels that reveal fascinating facts for every corner of the globe! ~ Jessica Wood

I Want My Hat BackI Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

A bear politely conducts an investigation to find his beloved missing hat, with a twist ending. A silly picture book to be enjoyed by most everyone, with illustrations that are just as perfect and simple as the dialogue. ~ Jeremy Ferris

The Mice of Nibbling VillageThe Mice of Nibbling Village by Margaret Greaves

The poems in this charming volume have strong rhythms and solid rhyme patterns. Victorian-clad mice going about their domestic duties are the subject of these narrative poems, accompanied by lovely watercolor illustrations. ~ Jessica Wood
I Am SmallI Am Small by Emma Dodd

This richly illustrated book tells the story through the eyes of a baby penguin, who finds the world enormous! In the end, he realizes that his mom thinks he is the biggest thing in her world. Minimal text with magnificent illustrations makes this book a timeless gem. ~ Fran Tobia
Over and Under the SnowOver and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

This is my favorite new winter book! Beautiful illustrations accompany a wonderful story about a girl and her dad skiing through the woods as they discover hidden animal worlds under the snow. ~ Whitney Kaaz
The High StreetThe High Street by Alice Melvin

Detailed illustrations and fun fold-out pages keep kids entertained as they help Sally search for the unique items on her shopping list. ~ Whitney Kaaz
A House in the WoodsA House in the Woods by Inga Moore

With lush, whimsically detailed illustrations and a cast of endearing, industrious characters, Inga Moore constructs an inviting story of friendship. ~ Jessica Woods
The Sniffles for BearThe Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker

Our favorite Bear and Mouse are back for another hilarious story. Poor Bear has a terrible cold and fears he might not make it. But of course his trusty friend Mouse is there to cheer him with a song and a book even if Bear does not appreciate his sunny disposition. ~ Whitney Kaaz
StuckStuck by Oliver Jeffers

Floyd's kite is stuck in a tree and he's determined to free it. However it remains elusive as he throws the most incongruous items to do his bidding, and they, too, become stuck. An absurdly funny story deftly handled - a book worth rescuing from any tree. ~ Jessica Wood
Red SledRed Sled by Lita Judge

In this nearly wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures takes a child's sled for a nighttime joy ride. Gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, complemented by humorous expressions and pitch-perfect sound effects-sure to become a wintertime favorite. ~ Jessica Wood
The Twelve Days of ChristmasThe Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long

This stunningly illustrated version of the Christmas favorite is a visual feast for all ages. With each day, the scenes become more complex as characters from the preceding verses are elegantly incorporated. Children will delight in finding the "hidden pictures" and adults will enjoy reading and singing along. ~ Cynthia Richards
Can You See What I See? Toyland ExpressCan You See What I See? Toyland Express by Walter Wick

A new search-and-find story about the life of a toy train: starting in the workshop, abandoned in an attic, finally rescued at a yard sale and into a new home. With more than 250 hidden objects to discover in this richly photographed picture book. ~ Fran Tobia
White Truffles in WinterWhite Truffles in Winter by N. M. Kelby

A great feast of a novel based on facts (and rumors) about Auguste Escoffier. Romantic and detailed, the story follows the great chef who changed the course of culinary history, as he cooked and schemed his way through a tempestuous Europe between the two World Wars. Larger than life famous characters, who sparkled and flared at the time, provide a wonderful amuse bouche and champagne bubbles for the mind in nearly every chapter ~ Karen Frank
Theft of SwordsTheft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

A great, character-driven fantasy epic that will have you on the edge of your seat. While the world Sullivan creates is complete with dwarves, elves and magical demons, it is the all-too-human emotions of the protagonists that drive this novel. ~ Chris Morrow
The Marriage PlotThe Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

This is the first novel I've read by Eugenides... and I don't know why I haven't picked him up before! This is a wonderfully refreshing novel that takes an unique spin on life after college. The reader follows Madeleine, a self-proclaimed "Victorianist," Leonard, a temperamental but brilliant scientist, and Mitchell, the love-struck religion-seeking young man from Detroit, as they try to discover who they are (and what exactly to do!) post-graduation in the 1980's. .. ~ Jess Krawczyk
Tag ManTag Manby Archer Mayor

Joe Gunther faces one of his most complex and puzzling cases, while coming to terms with a great personal tragedy and changes in his VBI staff. Archer Mayor at his very best. ~ Louise Jones
  The Angel EsmeraldaThe Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo

A wonderful collection written between 1979 and 2011. In the title story, The Angel Esmeralda, two nuns see the likeness of a brutally murdered girl on a billboard every evening. The Starveling is about a man who spends his days at movie theaters after one screening decides to follow a young woman he sees there. DeLillo is a master story teller and beautiful writer whose short stories are gems. ~ Sarah Knight
How To Survive The TitanicHow To Survive The Titanic by Frances Wilson

J. Bruce Ismay lived for 25 years after the night he stepped into a lifeboat from the sinking Titanic. Although a number of men lived through the disaster, many people on both sides of the Atlantic felt that Ismay, as Chairman of the Board of the White Star Line, should not have been one of them. Fascinating study of an enigmatic man, whose cardinal sin in the eyes of the world was saving himself. ~ Alden Graves
Inferno: The Word at War 1939-1945Inferno: The Word at War 1939-1945 by Max Hastings

One of the finest World War II historians delivers his long awaited singlevolume history - and it's been worth the wait. Brilliant insights, masterful command of sources, superb writing that wears its scholarship lightly. Certain to take its place in the front ranks of works of its kind. ~ Bill Lewis
The Unconquered: In Search Of The Amazon's Last Uncontacted TribesThe Unconquered: In Search Of The Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes by Scott Wallace

Wallace, a writer for National Geographic, accompanied an expedition through the Brazilian rainforest in search of the secretive Arrow People. A spine-tingling adventure, with extraordinary, real-life characters; a fascinating study of the anthropology, politics, flora and fauna of a highly dangerous world. ~ Louise Jones
Into The SilenceInto The Silence by Wade Davis

A remarkable historical tapestry woven from the superior certainties of imperial Britain, the ghastly experience of war, and the inspiring capacity of humans to persevere, discover, and achieve. For readers not in a rush this is a singular reading experience. ~ Bill Lewis
Van Gogh: The LifeVan Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith

We all know how Van Gogh's life ended, but the story of how a Dutch drop-out created some of history's most dazzling images still inspires. The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of Jackson Pollock weave his searing letters, sketches and fresh research to bring another tempestuous personality to life. ~ Charles Bottomley
My SongMy Song by Harry Belafonte

The singer/actor/activist takes a dispassionate look at his passionate and complicated life with an honesty and clarity that demands attention. While most memoirists are either apologists for their lives or are just not very self aware, Belafonte confronts his life head-on and with the kind of no-nonsense attitude that he brought to his career and his politics. A terrific memoir of a national icon, but also a great chronicle of the times he lived in. Highest recommendation. ~ Erik Barnum
Make The Bread, Buy The ButterMake The Bread, Buy The Butter by Jennifer Reese

This is a marvelous, witty and seriously useful addition to any cookbook collection. As someone who is always looking for ways to get back to a sustainable homemade lifestyle, I love the simple recipes for everyday family foods as well as novelty items. The bonus...hilarious comments about the relative ease or difficulty of each recipe. ~ Karen Frank
DishDish by Shax Riegler

My interest in dishes is normally limited to the food on them, but for those of you who love dishes for themselves, this is THE book, showcasing centuries-old dinner plates, classic styles, holiday patterns, children's plates as well as designs by masters from the world of fine arts. One of the most delightful, unusual art books of the season. ~ Stan Hynds


Cook's Illustrated CookbookCook's Illustrated Cookbook by Cook's Illustrated Magazine

Two- thousand recipes from 20 years of Chris Kimball's marvelous magazine. This complete cookbook, well illustrated, is a blessing. Now I can clear my shelves of all of those magazines I've been saving for - yes - 20 years! ~ Louise Jones
Relics: Travels in Nature's Time MachineRelics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine by Piotr Naskrecki

The world-renowned zoologist and wildlife photographer defines a relic as "a creature or habitat that, while acted upon by evolution, remains remarkably similar to its earliest manifestations in the fossil record." Think horseshoe crabs, rare ferns and pitcher plants, ancient frogs, reptiles, plenty of fantastical bugs. As eye-popping and brain-bending as Naskrecki's The Smaller Majority. ~ Stan Hynds
Momofuku Milk BarMomofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi

It's here! Momofuku dessert cookbook is here! Tosi's recipes are imaginative takes on childhood's favorite foods. Cereal milk ice cream made with milk from the bottom of a cereal bowls sounds so tasty. What could be better than cornflake chocolate-chip marshmallow cookies. And for exotic tastes there's a recipe for croissants made with kimchi and blue cheese. A great gift for a foodie friend or yourself. ~ Sarah Knight
A Little History of the WorldA Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich

Read it to yourself or read it aloud to a child. Gombrich's 70 year old classic, finally translated into English, is pure pleasure. A marvelous introduction to the many stories about the human race. ~ Stan Hynds
My Indian KitchenMy Indian Kitchen by Hari Nayak

This beautiful, new, user-friendly cookbook guided me through my first foray into Indian cooking. The results met with enthusiastic approval. Now, after Chicken Curry in a Hurry and Spicy Coconut Green Beans, my family can't wait for another sublimely fragrant Indian meal. ~ Stan Hynds
Sweet Judy Blue EyesSweet Judy Blue Eyes by Judy Collins

The lovely, legendary, inimitable Judy Collins has introduced a new generation to her extraordinary voice with her children's books, Over the Rainbow and When You Wish Upon a Star. On her visit to the Northshire in October, she presented her new memoir which focuses on the great "folk scare" of the 1960s and early 70s. A signed copy from a living legend makes a great gift. ~ Stan Hynds
Gift CardsNorthshire Bookstore Gift Cards

A gift card is the perfect solution for hard-to-shop-for people. And everyone else.There's no expiration date and the card can be used online.