"Don't Miss These" Reading List
By Laura Hinds
Diary of a Bookseller
of a Bookseller is Shaun Bythell's funny and fascinating
memoir of a year in the life at the helm of The Bookshop,
in the small village of Wigtown, Scotland—and of the
delightfully odd locals, unusual staff, eccentric customers,
and surreal buying trips that make up his life there as he
struggles to build his business . . . and be polite ...
first thought of taking over the store, it seemed like a great
idea: The Bookshop is Scotland's largest second-hand store,
with over one hundred thousand books in a glorious old house
with twisting corridors and roaring fireplaces, set in a tiny,
beautiful town by the sea. It seemed like a book-lover's paradise
. . .
Until Bythell did indeed buy the store.
In this wry and hilarious diary, he tells us what happened
next—the trials and tribulations of being a small businessman;
of learning that customers can be, um, eccentric; and of wrangling
with his own staff of oddballs (such as ski-suit-wearing,
dumpster-diving Nicky). And perhaps none are quirkier than
the charmingly cantankerous bookseller Bythell himself turns
out to be.
But then too
there are the buying trips to old estates and auctions, with
the thrill of discovery, as well as the satisfaction of pressing
upon people the books that you love . . .
a mordant wit and keen eye, Bythell is seduced by the growing
charm of small-town life, despite —or maybe because
of—all the peculiar characters there.
Meet Ove. He’s
a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes
as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window.
He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse.
People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.”
But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around
with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior
there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning
a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move
in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox,
it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt
cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing
up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and
a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
by Karen Thompson Walker
One night in
an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California,
a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and
doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into
the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither
can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital.
When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds
herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic
takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young
couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet
streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other
for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.
by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels
of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before.
They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?
luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and
beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities
contained within a human life—if only we are awakened
Dimity and the Heart of Gold
It's almost Christmas
in the small English village of Finch--and everyone is sick.
Though many of the villagers regretfully decline their invitations
to Emma Harris's annual Christmas bash, Lori Shepherd has
no intention of missing it. When the winter weather takes
a turn for the worse, it's agreed that none of the guests
will leave until morning. There's general merriment as the
Christmas party becomes a pajama party--until a car appears
in the winding driveway and promptly slides off the slick
pavement and into a ditch.
Trout--a lost and scatterbrained, middle-aged woman--is mercifully
unhurt and invited to stay the night. While she catches her
breath, Emma asks her other guests if they would like a tour
of the Manor--including an odd room that puzzles her. Several
guests put forth guesses as to its purpose, but it's Tilly
who correctly identifies the room as a chapel. Placing a palm
on one of the ornately-carved panels, Tilly finds a hidden
compartment concealing a pile of glittering treasure--including
an exquisitely decorated heart made of solid gold. Where did
it come from, and why does it look so different from everything
else in the chapel? Why didn't Emma even know about this hidden
compartment in her own home until now--and how did Tilly?
With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly
help and Tilly's bewildering store of knowledge, Lori and
friends set out to unravel the mystery behind the heart of
gold. And, against all odds--and Christmas finally comes to
grandfather has been booked by a cruise line to give lectures
on birds and other environmental topics as part of their ship’s
education/entertainment itinerary, and Grandfather has arranged
for a passel of family members to join him.
vacation quickly becomes a nightmare when they wake up to
find themselves broken down and in need of repairs in the
Bermuda Triangle. To keep the stranded passengers calm, Meg’s
family and friends band together to keep things organized
and provide entertainment. Some even take up the cause of
nursing an injured tern back to health.
get even worse when a crew member announces to all that a
woman has jumped overboard, leaving behind her shoes, shawl,
and a note. The note reveals she's the mortal enemy of group
of writers who came on board for a retreat, and the group
is split on whether suicide is in-character for her. Meanwhile,
grandfather’s assistant Trevor seems to have gone missing
decides not to investigate, saying he'll notify American authorities
when they reach their destination. But Meg's father thinks
they should find out whether there was foul play while the
prime suspects are all stuck on board. Who wanted the writer
dead? Why doesn’t the captain seem concerned? What happened
to Trevor? It'll be a race against the clock to solve these
mysteries before they make the necessary repairs and return
Endearment is the twenty-fifth book in New York Times
bestselling author Donna Andrews' hilarious Mag Langslow mystery
Golden Tresses of the Dead
is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey,
the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s
sister Ophelia is, at last, getting hitched, like a mule to
a wagon. “A church is a wonderful place for a wedding,”
muses Flavia, “surrounded as it is by the legions of
the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every
promise made at the altar.” Flavia is not your normal
twelve-year-old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of
poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable
detection skills to the point where she had little choice
but to turn professional. So Flavia and dependable Dogger,
estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire, set up
shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve—not
so simple an endeavor with her odious little moon-faced cousin,
Undine, constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere.
Little does she know that their first case will be extremely
close to home, beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s
wedding cake: a human finger.
actor Leo Pierson's Art Nouveau treasures have been stolen,
including a one-of-a-kind Lalique glass dragonfly he claims
is cursed. David Randall, 302 Grace Street's private eye,
agrees to recover the valuables before he realizes murder
has raised its ugly head in the Parkland art community. Samuel
Gallant of the museum board is missing, until Randall and
his landlord/consultant Camden find Gallant's body stuffed
in a museum closet. When another board member suffers a fatal
accident and the art critic for the Parkland Herald is attacked,
Randall suspects the stolen dragonfly is indeed cursed. He
investigates Richard Mason, curator of the Little Gallery,
whose artwork consists of ugly mechanical sculptures, and
Nancy Piper, finance manager at the Parkland Art Museum.
Camden struggles against psychic visions he's had since birth,
taking pills to limit sudden intense visions. His wife, Ellin,
fends off Matt Grabber, a television celebrity healer threatening
to take over her Psychic Service Network and using his two
large pythons to emphasize his bid. The pythons take a liking
to Camden, upping his stress level, while he takes more pills
hoping his visions?and the snakes?disappear. Kit, a new tenant
at Grace Street, is a young rock star who is also psychic.
As Camden becomes more addicted, Kit becomes an early warning
system, alerting Randall to the next attack.
to solve the murders, find the jeweled collection, help Cam,
deter Grabber and his pythons, romance the young lovely Kary,
and avoid stray curses. A spirit on the Other Side surprisingly
requests his help, a spirit with ties to the stolen pieces
of Art Nouveau.