What Christopher is reading

"A man who does not think for himself does not think at all."

-Oscar Wilde

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Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of Pell Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781524797768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - February 26th, 2019

What if the traditional hero of the piece is incapacitated at the outset of the adventure? The background characters come to the foreground in this twisted fairytale. If you only read one book this year with a talking goat that poops in fear, let this be the one. If you need a book that appeals to your inner 10 year-old, but with very adult humor, likewise this is the one.


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The Martin Chronicles Cover Image
By John Fried, Greg Baglia (Read by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781549149931
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 8th, 2019

The Martin Chronicles is the new This Boy's Life (Wolff). Martin grows up in 1980s Manhattan. Along the way, he experiences the first pangs of love, cruelty from peers, and a constantly vacillating hot and cold relationship with his cousin Evie, on her own mysterious journey. Classic coming of age, well-written and moving.


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Utes: The Mountain People Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781555664497
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Johnson Books - February 2012

Sometimes it's hard to imagine life in Colorado before interstates, tunnels, and ski resorts. But, of course there were people here for centuries before European settlement. Who were they? How did they live? I find myself wondering these things while backpacking, standing in the mountains, trying to imagine surviving the harsh Winter. Your American History class probably never covered these incredible original mountain people.


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The Martin Chronicles Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781538729830
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 8th, 2019

The Martin Chronicles is the new This Boy's Life (Wolff). Martin grows up in 1980s Manhattan. Along the way, he experiences the first pangs of love, cruelty from peers, and a constantly vacillating hot and cold relationship with his cousin Evie, on her own mysterious journey. Classic coming of age, well-written and moving.


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The Heart of a Boy: Celebrating the Strength and Spirit of Boyhood Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781523505517
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing Company - April 2nd, 2019

Ask Maddox about perseverance (p. 128). Ask Dylan about courage (p. 189). Ask Sam about resilience (p. 115) and Owen about brownie batter and basketball (p. 59). The Heart of a Boy explores what it is to be a boy through passions, fears,and humor. Combining beautiful photography with the boys' own words, this book says so much in the simplest way.


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Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival Cover Image
By Lindsay Moore, Lindsay Moore (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062791283
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - January 22nd, 2019

"Polar Bears are patient beasts." Sea Bear is the remarkable story of a polar bear swimming across the Arctic as Summer sets in and the ice begins to break apart, hunting, and encountering other creatures of the North. Beautiful artwork combines with insightful text to glimpse the life of a bear living in an environment very different from ours.


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The Wall in the Middle of the Book Cover Image
By Jon Agee, Jon Agee (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555452
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - October 2nd, 2018

The grass is always scarier on the other side, the monster in the closet, the first day of class, the ogre on the other side of the wall. At least it always seems scarier ... until you face it. A young knight imagines all the terrifying things on the other side of his wall only to find a new friend and a new adventure.


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Where the Crawdads Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735219090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

Who can survive on the very fringes of society? One very smart, capable young girl named Kya. Owens uses alternating chapters to explore Kya's life and survival along with an investigation into a mysterious death some years after Kya's childhood. The connection will keep the reader guessing. This book is a mystery but, so, so much more. It is a story of vulnerability and exploitation. It is a meditation on the importance of community, friendship, the family found when the family one is born to is absent.


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Ohio Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501174476
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 21st, 2018

No one has the whole story...ever. We're all heroes and villains. Ohio explores the endless ways in which the lives of former high school classmates intersect, how they shaped, how they built, how they destroyed each other. Each of them also holds a piece of a larger, darker story. Ohio is an incredible character study, compelling, and very well-crafted.


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Who Left the Light On? (Yonder) Cover Image
By Richard Marnier, Emma Ramadan (Translated by), Aude Maurel (Illustrator)
$21.99
ISBN: 9781632061898
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Restless Books - November 20th, 2018

In a neighborhood where all the houses are exactly the same, differences slowly creep in. At first, no one knows who left the light on. But, by the end the neighborhood has embraced the many ways to be. A deceptively simple look at diversity and self-expression.


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Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9780393635751
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 8th, 2018

This book is for EVERYONE, not just Shakespeare fans. In the opening chapter, Greenblatt describes how Shakespeare used historical and fantastic episodes to explore current events. Greenblatt goes on to do the same by using Shakespeare's opus to explore the motives, rise, public face vs private life, and inevitable downfall of the tyrant. Relevant today as it was 400 years ago.


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The Order of Time Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780735216105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 8th, 2018

For the armchair physicist, for fans of Neil Degrasse Tyson. Rovelli is a theoretical physicist working at the very frontier of human knowledge. What is the stuff that is time? How do we perceive time and why? What does it mean to say "now"? What is the smallest unit of time and why do we experience it as a smooth flow from one event to the next? Rovelli explores this thing we take for granted, breaks down our understanding, and builds it back up. Fascinating!


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Knights vs. Dinosaurs Cover Image
By Matt Phelan, Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062686237
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - October 23rd, 2018

Around the Round Table, Arthur's knights boast of how many dragons they have slain ... even though secretely no one has ever seen one. To teach them a lesson, Merlin sends them on a quest that pits them against the next best thing. Adventure, bravery, and a silent Black Knight who is more than meets the eye! Adults will also hear echoes of Monty Python, "RUN AWAY!!!"


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Copyboy Cover Image
By Vince Vawter, Alessia Trunfio (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781630791056
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Capstone Editions - August 2018

Victor is a boy with a mission. His friend and mentor, Mr. Spiro, has just passed away and Victor is supposed to spread his ashes at the mouth of the Mississippi. Victor also works at a newspaper, loves words, but has a hard time with them due to his stutter. Copyboy explores adversity, friendship, family, and duty against the backdrop of the late '60s.


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Celine: A novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780451493897
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf - March 7th, 2017

Colorado's own Peter Heller returns with his third novel. Fans of The Dog Stars and The Painter will find the same beautiful language, rounded and unique characters, and passages dripping with the ambiance of the modern West. Celine is the story of an aging private eye (based on Heller's own mother) who just can't seem to retire. She's made reuniting families her life's work and when the beautiful and tragic Gabriela contacts her out of the blue, she can't resist taking the case. The story interlaces the mystery of the disappearance of Gabriela's father with scenes from Celine's childhood. Celine is a story of how inconvenient people can still simply disappear into the woods. It's a story of loss, acceptance, and family.


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Norse Mythology Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393609097
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 7th, 2017

Norse Mythology is, as the name implies, a modern interpretation on classic tales of Odin, Thor, and the gang. Don't know what Ragnarok is? Find out. Is Fenrir about to eat the moon? Maybe. When the gods are about to have a party and need a bottomless cauldron of beer, can they make that happen? Not without hijinks. Gaiman uses traditional source material (the Eddas) while writing with firmly modern sensibilities and humor. More a collection of short stories than a continuous narrative, it moves quite quickly and remains entertaining to the very end.


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The Meaning of Human Existence Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781631491146
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 7th, 2015

History, art, and of course religion all aim to place humanity in context. Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? How do we live in this world? Can we live beyond this world? The Meaning of Human Existence proposes that the existing models to analyze ourselves are lacking. For Wilson, our species is a product of our evolution. We are as we are because the natural world, pressures, and shear chance molded us. As humanity takes ever greater control of our biological destiny by changing our environment, changing the pressures to which we are subject, and even changing our genetic code, Wilson believes it is imperative that we understand the humans we are creating. An engaging and though provoking set of essays poised at a tipping point in human history.


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Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061779756
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 9th, 2012

What if Van Gogh's death wasn't a suicide? Friends of Van Gogh and Impressionist painters Lucien Lessard and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec take on the role of amateur detectives unravelling the mystery connecting the deaths of several painters, a mysterious woman who may have been a model for all of them, a pushy paint salesman, and the color blue. Hysterical and historical, Moore layers his humor with an incredible attention to detail and exhaustive research. A must-read for art fans who need a laugh.


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Dark Eden: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780804138680
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - April 2014

Dark Eden is like no other science fiction I have read. Although it takes place in the future after 5 humans crash land on a distant planet lit only by bioluminescent plants and animals, the action is 5 generations removed from them and follows their descendants who live a hunter-gatherer existence while waiting for rescue and return to Earth. They have an oral tradition to keep the stories and values of Earth alive. Their chief commandment is to stay in the valley of the original crash. However, food is getting scarce. One young man dares to question the wisdom of their deepest held beliefs, insisting that their ancestors would want them to survive and spread beyond the mountain known only as the Snowy Dark. Dark Eden explores the foundations of society, the strength and pitfall of deeply held beliefs, and what it takes to break free from them. Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and well-deserved.


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The Serpent of Venice: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780061779763
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: William Morrow - April 22nd, 2014

Pocket the Fool is back. This time Moore has stitched together Othello, Merchant of Venice and thrown in a dash of Poe’s Cask of Amontillado, creating a Renaissance Italian backdrop for Pocket to navigate and in short order to get himself in trouble. Lamenting the loss of his beloved Cordelia, Pocket has his eyes set on revenge and not even a frisky sea monster can keep him from his goal. But, the incompetence of his companions might. As always, Moore’s research and care in weaving his poached source material along with real history ultimately creates a wholly fresh and funny read. Shakespeare purists steer clear. But, I think the Bard would approve.


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Fiend: A Novel Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780770436339
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - April 8th, 2014

Christopher says: Pop-culture has gone zombie crazy! What do zombies and addicts have in common? An irrepressible need to satisfy a hunger. Stenson hops on the zombie bandwagon with a cast of characters who are very much off the wagon, heroin addicts. Chase and his buddy Typewriter wake up after a bender to a world of zombies. You get all the running, screaming, zombie-killing action mixed with the pressure to get that next hit. Maybe the apocalypse is the pressure Chase needs to get clean or maybe he’ll climb further down the rabbit hole. The world of drugs is as foreign to me as Neptune, yet I enjoyed this book as a glimpse into the world of addiction and the altered sense of reality, priorities, and ethics … all rolled into an action-packed nail-biter.


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The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143125020
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 25th, 2014

 

Christopher says: Wow! I don’t use exclamations lightly. But, this book deserves it. Jansma has taken patches of vignettes and pieced them together into a beautiful quilt. Imagine being told the same story over and over, but with an ever-changing set of circumstances, details, and even characters. Yet, the ultimate truth of the story is revealed as much by the differences as by the similarities. It very nearly defies explanation, much better experienced. The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is an exploration of the mania of writing, friendship, love, the lies we tell others, the lies we tell ourselves and the greater truths hidden in our lies.

 


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East of Denver Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780142196885
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Plume Books - June 25th, 2013

Staycey Williams returns to the family farm on the Eastern Plains to bury his cat. But, his quick trip from Denver turns into an unexpected move when he discovers his father is sliding deeper into senility.  The small-town life Stacey had escaped comes rushing back as he reconnects with high school chums, battles the crooked banker, and realizes just how little he knows about farming. Poignant and funny, Hill’s debut is perfect for every father, every son, and anyone who has lived through the role reversals that can happen in a family as child becomes care-giver.


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A Marker to Measure Drift Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307962577
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - July 30th, 2013

Christopher says: Jaqueline has lost everything, absolutely everything. She’s lost her family, her home, even her country. A Liberian refugee turned homeless drifter on the island of Santorini, she must try to eke out the most basic existence, while haunted by a past which is slowly revealed to the reader. The books is a glimpse into a wholly unfamiliar world on so many levels, yet stripped down to the basics connecting each and every one of us.


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The Explorer (The Anomaly Quartet #1) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062229410
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Voyager - January 2nd, 2013

Christopher says: Smythe has streamlined his science fiction to the barest of elements. No aliens, no war, no impending ecological disaster. Society is plugging along as functionally (or not) as it is today. Instead, the story follows a group of astronauts selected for the first mission into deep space, exploration for exploration’s sake. But things go horribly wrong and the crew begins dying off one by one. The last survivor is Cormac, the journalist selected to record the mission. It becomes the story of his unraveling as he faces his own demise. Smythe also adds a new twist to the idea that your life flashes before your eyes right before you die. Putting the “science” in science fiction, it explores causality, destiny versus self-determination, and asks what sacrifices we are willing to make to keep science moving forward.


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The Boy: A Novel Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780316206242
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - January 28th, 2014

Christopher says: I picked it up for the provocative cover. I stayed for the story of a woman I desperately wanted to like, but whose life is a train-wreck of bad choices. Anna is an intelligent, accomplished, forty-something woman and doting mother haunted by a disastrous marriage, a divorce that propelled her to another hemisphere, and a history of alcoholism that she only seems to have under control. But, a party at her friend and neighbor’s leads to meeting Jack, the boy, a 20-year-old college drop-out and eldest son of her neighbor. Jack pursues Anna relentlessly, despite her objections, and the egg-shell of control Anna has cracks. Not even all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can put her life back together again.


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The Starboard Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250023438
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 29th, 2013

Christopher says: In a world of privilege, Jaguars, Renoirs, and competitive sailing, Jason Prosper has already lost what money can’t buy; a best friend and lover. At Bellingham Academy, a last shot boarding school for those on their third strike, Jason must learn to rebuild his life and navigate the stormy seas of friendship and love. But, the Eastern upper crust is a small community, by turns fiercely loyal and hopelessly unforgiving, where escape from the past is a near impossibility. Dermont recreates the pain and promise of youth with beautiful clarity. She peoples her world with young adults doing their level best to assume the adult roles their world demands, complete with flaws, fears, and insecurities masked by false bravado.


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A Working Theory of Love: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780143124191
Availability: Special Order
Published: Penguin Books - August 27th, 2013

 

Christopher says: Neill comes to grips with bachelorhood and tries to understand what keeps going wrong in all of his relationships, all while having conversations with his deceased father in the form of a computer A.I. he’s developing. A strange and humorous look at love, how it works, and how it falls apart.


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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250037756
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Picador - September 24th, 2013

If Dan Brown married a librarian, this would be their child. Clay Jannon needs a job, any job. He finds one in a most unusual bookstore. Oh sure, this store carries a few classics, even a few popular books. But, the bulk of the store is devoted to the “Waybacklist,” a strange collection that nobody buys, only borrows. The customers for the Waybacklist are also a very different breed, mostly older, usually frantic, definitely quirky, and definitely a part of something outside the box. A centuries-old and irresistible mystery begins to unfold and Clay finds himself front and center in the plot to unravel it. Once upon a time, books were the height of technology, as revolutionary as Facebook and Twitter. But, in an age when you can Google almost anything, how do you Google information only contained in a 500 year old book? How can you interface the old with the new? Unlike the protagonist of a Dan Brown novel, Clay Jannon understands the absurdity of his quest. A fun and creative debut and a must for bibliophiles and technophiles alike.


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Unholy Night Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780446563109
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 13th, 2012

Christopher says: I came to this book expecting something much more in the vein of Christopher Moore’s Lamb, with bawdy, slapstick humor and playful irreverence on every page. What I found was a much more sincere what-if story … with just a touch of dark sarcasm. Little is written about the three wise men of the nativity. Grahame-Smith poses a very unusual what-if. What if the wise men were not kings, but thieves on the run who get themselves tangled up in bigger events than they ever imagined possible? Graphic violence is tempered by heroism in unlikely characters. An engaging read from a best-selling author.


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Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812975628
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 20th, 2012

Christopher says: Collins continues in his fine tradition of taking the simplest of daily occurrences and packing them with profound meaning. The narrator of the title poem uses the act of reading horoscopes as way to imagine things that the departed are unable to do. Accessible and engaging, Collins is perfect for the casual reader and the serious student of poetry.


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The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781614290070
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Wisdom Publications - April 10th, 2012

Christopher says: Mindfulness, a core concept in Buddhism, is a deliberate and acute awareness. Moore examines this concept through a collection of quotations from writers, artists, and philosophers on the writer’s process, life, and mental approach to the world. Written in short entries, it’s less a cover-to-cover read and more a collection of daily meditations. Although it’s written from a Buddhist framework, it is accessible and relevant to anyone who has ever faced the terror of looking at a blank page and knowing you have to fill it.


Strange Flesh Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781451627589
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 12th, 2013

Christopher says: At first glance, Strange Flesh would seem to be a novel with finite niche appeal. It is an erotic, techno-thriller set in the near future, drawing on the works of the Marquis de Sade for inspiration. Lines are blurred as online worlds become frighteningly real. Perhaps the most important question it asks is whether technology frees us to try and experience things we would otherwise never dare or does it create an increasingly inauthentic simulation. Strange Flesh is well-paced and provoking.


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True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780375712012
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf - November 2011

Christopher says: It’s been more than 30 years since publication of The Official Preppy Handbook. But, with upturned collars coming back, the preppy way is still going strong and True Prep gives us a modern guide to that domestically foreign way of life. From family to manners, from clothes to where we summer, and even a section on what we don’t talk about, True Prep provides the essential tongue-in-cheek truth.


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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400032808
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Anchor - June 8th, 2004

Christopher says: In Under the Banner of Heaven, Krakauer traces the development of a religion from founding to ideological splintering and carrying forward into modern times, showing how in short order people using the same underpinnings arrive at very different expressions of faith. While the book centers on the Mormon faith and its various incarnations, it has much broader implications for the nature of faith, its uses and abuses, and how by minor twists of logic one justifies radical and even anti-social behavior.


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Outlander: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780385319959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delta - August 10th, 1998

Christopher says: People who don’t like fantasy should try Outlander. In reality, it’s a “fish out of water” story when a woman from the 1950’s finds herself transported for unknown reasons to 1700’s Scotland. Rich in historical detail and at times intensely erotic, Outlander will have you riveted and begging for more.


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Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet #1) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780312853235
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - August 15th, 1992

Christopher says: School is war for “Ender,” literally, training children to fight alien invaders. The more promise Ender shows as a leader, the more difficult the challenges become. How much can a child take before breaking? Thought provoking and emotional, a must-read for adolescents on the verge of adulthood.


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Lord of the Flies Cover Image
By William Golding, Lois Lowry (Afterword by), Jennifer Buehler (Contributions by)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780399501487
Availability: Not Currently On The Shelf, But We Can Ship It To You In 3-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 16th, 2003

Christopher says: Before The Hunger Games, there was Lord of the Flies. A plane crash leaves a group of school boys stranded on an island with no adults. Golding explores humanity’s true nature through the absolutism of childhood. Are humans basically good or basically evil? Does “might make right”?


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Lolita (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679723165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 13th, 1989

Christopher says: A thoroughly engrossing character study, Lolita has stood the test of time as one of the most important treatises on the nature of obsession. Nobokov puts the reader squarely and uncomfortably in the head of a grown man obsessed with a teenage girl.