Staff Picks 2013 August

The August 2013 Staff Picks can also be viewed or printed as a PDF
Staff Picks August 2013 (950KB)

BrewsterBrewster by Mark Slouka. Like the foreboding poetry in a favorite rock song, you know from the first compelling lines that this novel is going to bring you to your knees, and it does. A beautiful, dramatic tribute to that window of time in youth when friendships are the core of life and their brilliance is everything. ~ Nancy Scheemaker

A coming of age story, but so much more - an invitation to live in the hearts of four teens in a blue-collar town in the late 1960s. The writing is spare yet evocative, brimming with touchstones that evoke the common threads of experience running through us all. Highest recommendation. ~ Erik Barnum

A Marker to Measure DriftA Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Maksik. Jacqueline, a young Liberian refugee, comes to a Greek island, her shaky memories suffused with profound loss and shadowy images. This shattering, gorgeous novel explores profound political and existential themes of survival and hope, each sentence a dagger to the heart. ~ Amy V. Palmer

We made it! We're in! Saratoga is now the second home to Northshire Bookstore. We're thrilled to be part of this wonderful, welcoming community and we look forward to getting to know our fellow booklovers there, and discovering the particular passions of our new, dynamic and diverse staff members in Saratoga.

You're Invited!

On Sunday, September 29th from noon to 5 p.m., we will host a community-wide celebration, with entertainment, refreshments and fun. We hope to see you all - from both sides of the border - there to help officially inaugurate the new store.

Do you like to talk books?
Join an existing Manchester group:
email Erik

Saratoga area groups can register for group discount by emailing
9th NEW! CLASSIC MYSTERY Five tales by Edgar Allan Poe in Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe; The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

12th WOMEN READ Beautiful Ruins by Jessica Walter

13th COOKBOOK Three Guys from Miami Celebrate Cuban by Lingren, Musilbay, Castillo

15th MYSTERY & THILLER Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten

19th FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH No meeting this month

21st HISTORY Field Trip to Bennington

29th POETRY Favorite Poet Month for members
The Long EarthThe Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. Imagine you could step into a world untouched by man. Now take another step, and another. The worlds don't end! You have just entered the fantastic minds of Prachett and Baxter and you won't want to leave until the book is finished. ~ Talon Birns
Let the Great World SpinLet the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. In this beautifully lyrical story, McCann shares interconnected and varied varied perspectives centered around the same bizarre event - a man walking a high wire between the World Trade Towers in 1970's New York City. Take your time and savor this one. ~ Sarah Walcott Train DreamsTrain Dreams by Denis Johnson. This meditative novella explores a classic American myth through the life of an Idahoan railroad laborer. The spare, often magical mix of history and Native American tall tales depicts the life of a solitary man at one with and lost in the landscape of the fading American West. ~ Amy V. Palmer Kobo Soy Candles ($25.99). Beautiful scented soy candles with a twist - the seeds of the plants that inspire each candle's fragrance are infused in their recycled paper boxes. Plant the box and lavender, sunflowers, wildflowers, poppies, timothy grass, mint, thyme or wild tomatoes grow! Made in the USA. ~ Alison Clark
Son of a GunSon of a Gun: A Memoir by Justin St.Germain. In 2001 the author's mother was murdered in the Arizona desert, possibly by her fifth husband, an excop. The persistent memories and unrelenting pain drive a quest to make sense of her life and death. A searing, spare, unexpected mother son memoir. ~ Amy V. Palmer The DesertersThe Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II by Charles Glass. More than 150,000 British and American soldiers deserted during WWII but the subject gets little attention from most historians. This smoothly written work raises sobering and disturbing questions about the stress of continual combat and the limits of individual endurance. Who's a coward? Who's a casualty? ~ Bill Lewis
Bonnie Naumann from our new Saratoga store is all ready to share her dark favorites. Will she be the Saratoga staffer we can count on for the latest from the heart of darkness?
Buried Memories: Katie Beers' StoryBuried Memories by Katie Beers. If you read A Child Called It or Speak and were looking for another chilling tale of trauma, read Katie's story of childhood abuse and kidnapping. One of my self-proclaimed "dark" high school students recommended it too.
The Girl in the LeavesThe Girl In The Leaves by Robert Scott. Follow the trail as four Ohio teens go missing in the fall of 2010 at the hands of Matthew Hoffman. One of his victims, Sarah, was discovered alive in a pile of leaves in Hoffman's home.
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from SudanThey Poured Fire On Us From the Sky by Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng and Alephonsian Deng. Three lost boys, child survivors of the Sudanese conflict, describe their trek across 1,000 miles of war-torn country rife with land mines, crocodiles, starvation, predatory animals and extreme conditions.
Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West's Greatest EscapeShot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West's Greatest Escape by Mark Lee Gardner. The botched robbery of a Northfield, Minnesota, bank set off one of the largest manhunts in American history, pursuing the James/Younger gang. A thrilling chronicle of the ordeal of the notorious robbers escaping the noose slowly tightening around them. ~ Alden Graves More Scenes from the Rural LifeMore Scenes from the Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg. In this ode to the changing tides of rural life, The New York Times columnist shares more vignettes of his upstate New York farm, contemplating the perils of modern farming and where our food comes from. An enjoyable read to pick up over and over again. ~ Martha Cornwell
Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New DomesticityHomeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar. From canning pickles to sewing to homeschooling, blogs are enabling women to share a new kind of domesticity. Are these new homemakers advancing women's roles or setting feminism back? A refreshing dose of analysis and skepticism on this widespread DIY culture. ~ Martha Cornwell Lost Girls: An Unsolved American MysteryLost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker. In May, 2010, searchers for a woman who had frantically begged for help from residents of Oak Beach, Long Island, and then vanished, uncovered the skeletal remains of nearly a dozen prostitutes. A contemporary horror story of doomed lives and tragic destinies that may still be unfolding. ~ Alden Graves
Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan FarmBootstrapper by Mardi Jo Link. A fantastic book about selfreliance and using the power of family to move on from the very rock bottom of life. This book will make you want to hug your family and never let them go. A must-read for any single mother or do-it-yourselfer. ~ Krysta Piccoli Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative MedicineDo You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine by Paul A. Offit M.D. Scientific research shows how alternative medicines take advantage of desperation for "natural" cures, but provide dangerous, expensive, untested, unregulated treatments. Offit says medicine has been hijacked by the media, who claim to know better than doctors. ~ Krysta Piccoli
The PlayboyThe Playboy by Chester Brown. Who knew a love of pornography could involve so much shame, fear and paranoia? As usual, the awardwinning Brown uses his "comic memoir" to expose uncomfortable but profound truths. Just wash your hands afterwards. ~ Charles Bottomley