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Range by David Epstein

Title:  Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Author: David Epstein


The common advice is to focus!  Become an expert.  But  more evidence is mounting to show that those with wide ranging interests and abilities are better at adapting to a changing world.  This book will be of interest to anyone who wants to do more than one thing.

Review by:  Ben


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Title:  The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Author: Kim Michele Richardson


Cussy Mary Carter is the last of the blue-skinned people of Kentucky and has faced prejudice all of her life.  She only wants to be left alone to be able to deliver books to folks that don’t have easy access.  She travels the hills as part of Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project bringing books and companionship to the hillfolk.  But as trouble brews it’s only too easy to blame the blue-skinned girl.

Review by:  Jannelle


A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

Title:  A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Author: Krystal Sutherland


Esther Soler is convinced that her family is cursed. Each member of her family has developed a phobia and eventually died in a fashion related to their fear. Determined to make it through life without developing a phobia, Esther avoids everything she thinks has the capability of causing a traumatic event. Then she runs into Jonah Smallwood, an old friend of hers. This is a fun story about two teens spending their summer overcoming fears and learning to live life to the fullest, and I highly recommend. 


Review by:  Bethany


Bad girls with perfect faces by Lynn Weingarten

Title:  Bad girls with perfect faces

Author: Lynn Weingarten


Sasha and Xavier are best friends. Little does Xavier know Sasha is desperately in love with him. For all Xavier knows, Sasha doesn’t believe in relationships. Xavier on the other hand has spent the past few months trying to get over his entrancing ex girlfriend, Ivy. When Ivy comes back into Xavier’s life, Sasha is determined to prove that she hasn’t changed. But how far will she go to prove to Xavier that Ivy is not the right person for him?

This book is exciting, with twists and turns. It kept me guessing the whole time I was reading.  I loved it!

Review by:  Melia


Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

Title:  Nemesis

Author: Brendan Reichs


It’s Min’s 16th birthday, and she’s about to die – again.  Min has kept this secret her entire life.  But this time, things are different.  Slowly, the lives of her entire sophomore class in Fire Lake, Idaho begin to unravel as they begin to realize that what they believed to be true about their quiet little town is all a lie.  This book for young adults had me guessing until the end.  Books 2 and 3 (Genesis and Chrysalis) are now available so you don’t have to wait to see what happens!

Review by:  Jannelle


Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds by Brandon Sanderson

Title:  Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds

Author: Brandon Sanderson


Stephen Leeds is not insane. Sure, he’s delusional, and he speaks to people who aren’t there; but he’s perfectly sane. Whenever Stephen learns a new subject, an ‘aspect’ appears to personify the information. Within hours he can master any subject just by creating a new aspect. This makes him an unmatched genius and to amuse himself he will solve difficult cases that few could even hope to solve. Legion is three of those cases, all culminating into a complete and satisfying character arc for the character of Stephen Leeds.

Review by:  Chandler


The Bad Seed by Jory John

Title:  The Bad Seed

Author: Jory John


This book is about a young sunflower seed who had a rough start in life resulting in his bad decisions. He gets labeled as a bad seed by his peers and ends up living up to that label. I love that this story introduces the concept that people aren’t just simply good or bad and that everyone has the capacity to change.


Review by:  Rubi


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Title:  The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris


The story is one that should never be forgotten. It is based on the accounts of Lale and his time in Auschwitz. How he became a tattooist in Auschwitz since he knew several languages, and did what he could to help others survive the brutality of all that was there.  Through it all he still found his one love Gita. Stories like this have been told over and over again but we should never forget. I cried through many of the pages of this book. I am amazed and inspired at the strength of the human spirit and the will to survive.


Review by:  Julie


The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

Title:  The Mortal Word

Author: Genevieve Cogman


This book is the fourth in the invisible library series. It does not disappoint! Irene and Val and Kai are charged with having to figure out who killed a top dragon official in a top-secret peace conference between the Fae and the dragons. The backdrop is Paris and Victorian era. But what’s wonderful about the series is that it has a little bit of steam punk little of this and that to get you on a roller coaster and can’t wait to see how it ends!!!

Review by: Julie


Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Title:  Travelling Cat Chronicles

Author: Hiro Arikawa


As a cat owner who always wonders what my cat is up to while I’m away, I found this short read moving and endearing. Initially light and whimsical, the simple prose twists into a tale of love and kindness. The story centers around a journey taken by cat and cat-owner, filled with simple moments of contentment and loyalty. Arikawa’s imaginative and playful voice throughout the novel provides a refreshingly sincere take on the joys of life. This book is a truly heartwarming weekend read.


Review by:  Allison


The Snuggle Is Real by Frida Clements

Title:  The Snuggle Is Real

Author: Frida Clements


The Snuggle Is Real is a great gift for the pun lover in your family.  The pages are filled with puny animals of all sizes. Laugh and cringe with this fun coffee table book.

Review by:  Aly


The Lost Art of Reading by David Ulin

Title:  The Lost Art of Reading

Author: David Ulin


Now, more than ever we need to be reading.  And not the kind of reading you do on your phone, or while surfing Facebook. But real reading.  David Ulin writes, "... we need a certain kind of silence, an ability to filter out the noise. That seems increasingly elusive in our over networked society,..." There is value in the long form, value in getting-lost-in-a-book.  So why not give yourself that opportunity? Pick up a good book. You could start with this one.

Review by:  Ben


Made Out of Stars by Meera Lee Patel

Title:  Made Out of Stars      

Author: Meera Lee Patel


This is a lovely guided journal. It’s perfect for the young woman who desires to know herself more fully, but isn’t sure how to begin. There are whimsical illustrations and inspiring thoughts on each page and thought provoking questions to ponder.

It would be a wonderful gift for the young women on your list.

Review by:  Dianne



The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Title:  The Book of Boy

Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock


The Book of Boy is, I have to say, a very enjoyable and endearing story. Set against the medieval backdrop of 1350, declared a Holy Year by the pope, the plot is a simple, ‘episodic’ adventure-quest written in a simple style and with an unforgettable cast of characters. Each chapter is a story unto itself, little insights about life are provided along the way.

This easy read is a perfect ‘break book’ (read amidst a series of heavier writing) and it can be finished in a sitting (tea or coffee recommended).

Review by:  Kat


A Brush With Shadows by Anna Lee Huber

Title:  A Brush With Shadows

Author: Anna Lee Huber


This is part of the lady Darby series.

One of my favorite winter cozy reading mysteries. Lady Darby and her husband Sebastian return to his childhood home to locate his missing cousin. He comes home to an ailing grandfather and a missing cousin. This may just be a cozy read but it will keep you guessing till the very end! These books definitely keep me up at night till I finish!

Review by:  Julie


The Perfectionists by Simon Winchester

Title:  The Perfectionists

Author: Simon Winchester


One should read Simon Winchester not only for the interesting history lessons, but because of the great writing, in my opinion.  In the Perfectionists he takes us on a trip through the industrial revolution from the perspective of more and more precision.  As our technology has advanced, we have become more exacting in our measurements.  Without this, we wouldn’t have the world we live in today.

Review by:  Ben


Concrete Mama now back in print

Concrete Mama: Prison Profiles from Walla Walla now in stock.

Originally published in 1981, Concrete Mama revealed a previously unseen stark and complex world of life on the inside, for which it won the Washington State Book Award. Long unavailable yet still relevant, it is revitalized in a second edition with an introduction by scholar Dan Berger that provides historical context for the book's ongoing resonance, along with several previously unpublished photographs.


Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Title:  Daring Greatly

Author: Brene Brown


Maybe due to social or cultural stigma, many of us see vulnerability as a weakness, but I dare you to read this book anyways. Brene Brown combines years of research and data as well as personal experiences to create quite a thought provoking book on how to grow from a place of authenticity and self-worth. She brings up how shame stops us from living a life of authenticity and whole-heartedness. In the chapters, she teaches that having the courage to show up as our imperfect selves creates an emotional resiliency that leads to a more fulfilling life.

Review by:  Rubi


The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Title:  The Defining Decade

Author: Meg Jay

Review:   I am a relatively young person in my mid-twenties. I know I don’t have all the answers, but this book helps me feel like a few of the answers are at least within reach. Dr. Jay has a doctorate in clinical psychology, and through this book has written about her experiences counseling and guiding young adults. She takes an in-depth look into how being deliberate about the choices made in work, love, the brain, and the body influence life satisfaction in later years. I completed this short read in two days, but I already know that I’ll be thinking about the impact this book has had on my life for a while. I would recommend this book to every young adult and to every person who has a young adult in their life – it’s that good.

Review by:  Allison


Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

Title:  Marilla of Green Gables

Author: Sarah McCoy


Finally!  The story of Marilla Cuthbert has been brought to life.  Sarah McCoy does a lovely job of sharing the story of siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert before Anne arrives in the halls of Green Gables.  I thoroughly enjoyed returning to Prince Edward Island to witness the childhood of Marilla.

Review by:  Jannelle