Melissa had a career in finance prior to opening the bookstore. While it is comforting that “debits always equal credits”, owning a bookstore is so much more fun and rewarding! Melissa loves to read all different genres of books. Getting immersed in story is so fantastic! When she is not working at the store or reading, Melissa loves to hike, garden, cook, and kayak and watch hockey or football games.
Very clever and funny story. Poor Milo gets sucked into Ogregon through his dryer! He ends up in crazy adventures. The Ogres are huge, but not very bright. Milo's quick thinking to survive and help his friends!
Lisa's books just keep getting better and better! Christine and Marcus desperately want a baby and decided on a sperm donor. When they see a man arrested for several murders, Christine is desperate to find out the truth about donor #3319...Riveting!!
Wow! A second book as good as the first! Creepy subway stalking and families that appear ok - but maybe they are not. The main protagonists Zoe and Kelly are fun to root for. Great ending twist - I could not put this one down!
First novel by Kate and it is a good one! Beautifully written - a single mom loses her daughter and is devastated. She keeps searching long after authorities give up. Her daughter was taken by a scammer and they are on the lam. All the while Carmen tries to keep her memories of her mom alive. Compelling!
Wonderful debut novel- very clever magic and a suspenseful story. Meet Ivy and Seb - a sister and brother duo. They are resourceful and look out for each other. Can't wait for book two!!
Another gem of a book by my favorite middle grade author. Julia's quirky narrative is endearing and makes you feel like you are right there on the stage. I loved how she "grew" - in knowledge about herself and life!
What a great read! Part mystery, part thievery, part treachery. Memorable characters and well-written story. I can't wait for her next book!
Bad Book Series
This second book in the "Bad Book" series is as fun as the first! Back on Price Island the kids stumble onto a dangerous plot and find a cave with a dragon! Luckily Clay can communicate with the dragon which is pretty cool. Funny and clever with twists and turns! A good one!!
Yet another "killer" debut author from Great Britain! The Widow is a well-constructed mystery with great characters. Jean, the widow of a controlling husband who may be a child killer. Sparkes, the relentless detective who keeps digging. Kate, the reporter chasing the big scoop. All have mixed motives, and obsessions. Loved it!!!
Beautifully written story - descriptive of the Alaska wilds and the depth to which people will hide their secrets. I loved the character and how well Halverson wove their stories and secrets together. A memorable read!
I loved this book! Very compelling story with a complex protagonist. Could Professor Huston have murdered his family? If not, why did he vanish that night? Very suspenseful and well written!
Debut novel with both sympathetic and creepy characters. Plot twists I didn't' see coming! I Let You Go is a compelling read that keeps you guessing until the end.
Very well-done, exciting read! And it is the first in a new series. Evan is a likable former assassin. He's trying to help people now, not kill them. When another "Orphan" is on his tail, he still tries to do the right thing. Can't wait for book #2!
One of my favorite books this year! A wonderful story about Audrey and Aaron - two kids with "special gifts" they aren't proud of and other kids make fun of. They meet at a Wilderness Camp and together with Kate and Louis they learn the real meaning of friendship and team work. It's great!
Do you love mysteries? Art history? The Muralist is a wonderful blend of both. Shapiro's second novel is really good! Blending fictional and historical artists. The depression era in New York comes to life. Loved it!
Beautifully written and magically told - I felt like I was riding on the journey with Pinme and Yishan. Historical fantasy at its best. I loved it!
Another great read - perhaps even better than What She Knew. Family drama and dysfunction, social media issues, and bullying - all wrapped up in a very good story. Clever and convincing!
This book took Caldwell 10 years to research and write - and it shows! Fans of Dan Brown will love the detailed Roman and Orthodox Catholic history. The characters are very compelling too. I couldn't wait to find out how Ugo died, but I didn't' want the book to end either!!
New author with a fun first book! Travel with Pru and ABE to a world right outside their sleepy town of Middleton. Norse mythology, Greek Gods, Russian folklore, a talking squirrel and a mysterious "detective" all play a role in this "Entirely True Store"! Enjoy.
Another magical book from Kelly! When Luna is enmagicked as a baby, her caretakers try to keep it a secret. She, in turn, doesn't tell them when she feels the tug of magic in her life. Witches, tiny dragons, a sad town, and most importantly the magic of love and family - a wonderful book!
Very cute story by a wonderful author. Appleblossom may be the smallest of the 13 possum litter, but she sure finds a way into quite an adventure. Great choice for children just starting to read middle school books!
It's hard to believe this is the 3rd to last book in my favorite mystery series! I think Grafton's books get better and better - more complex storylines and sinister characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Yikes! The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins may be his best thriller yet. He is a master at weaving together a story told at break-neck speed. I could not put it down and was sad when I was finished!
The 11th Chief Inspector Gamache novel and it may be Penny's best yet! A haunting story blending both new and old character with an ancient time in history near Three Pines. Still my favorite mystery series and I read lots of them!
This was a fun read! Charlie is a top tennis player who in her mid 20s decides she must win a grand slam - soon! She changes coaches, tactics and her wardrobe. Success starts to come, but at what price? Charlie must decide who she really is!
It is wonderful to find a teen read with friendship that feels real and a story that is heartwarming and funny too. This is Kris' first book and it's a good one!
What a good debut novel!! Fans of Gone Girl will enjoy the troubled, hard to like characters who you want to "get it together." The story unfolds in a clever way and there are plenty of twists and turns. I loved it!!
This is a book that you think about long after finishing it. Compelling story about the aftermath of a husband's murder. Well-written and a mystery that keeps unraveling right to the finish.
Another well-crafted story! I enjoyed it as much as his first book One Second After. The aftermath of the EMT's is still being felt in Black Mountain, NC. While food is less scarce, folks are scared when there is a "national draft." Town leader Matherson realizes not all is what it seems and challenges the directive. Loved it!
One of my favorite books this year! An endearing story about a teacher who mattered to three young boys with different lives. Teachers really do make an impression on our children - and Ms. Bixby was one special teacher.
Debut author Flynn Berry did a great job with this thriller. It was hart to put down. A combination of a well-constructed story that was well-written. I have a sister and kind of understand Nora's obsession with finding her sister's killer.
I really enjoy Silva's writing style. His storyline and character development are great - before you know it a couple hours have gone by and you are sucked into international espionage and intrigue. A great summer read!
Bo Tully's latest "who done it" is a fun read. Bo is rather witty and he likes the ladies. At the same time he has a complex mystery to solve. I enjoy this series and can't wait for the next one!
I enjoy Jason's sports columns in the Wall Street Journal and loved Little Victories! Laugh out loud funny and at times very touching. His thoughts about what is really important resonated with me.
This is a very enjoyable read - perfect for summer! The mother-daughter story and relationship was compelling. How do you keep close with career and family pressures and new significant other? Delinsky's novels are thoughtful and well-done!
I was worried that a new author would just not do justice to Lisbeth, but Lagercrantz sure did! The story includes characters from prior books and some new villains too. Lisbeth sure is smart and clever and still able to get herself in trouble. I love a character who is flawed but seeks justice and rights wrongs!
I enjoyed Harper Lee's first book - it is not as tightly written as To Kill a Mockingbird, but it is her voice, her prose that make sit special. Scout comes home and finds her father is different than she remembers. Children do put their parents on a pedestal!Also, a Marlene and Derrick staff favorite.
This is a cute story - perfect for 8-9 year olds who love animals and nature. The adventures of Jed, TsTs and Chai are fun to follow. Their view of the forest and their world - through "squirrel eyes" is clever and memorable. Very fun!
Well-done murder mystery at an all girls school with plenty of "interesting" teachers and students. When Hazel and Daisy started their Detective Agency they never dreamed they would land a challenging mystery right in their school! Very well told and fun!
Very creative story about a young boy, Billy, and his "favorite" plush toy, Ollie. When Ollie is stolen, Billy sneaks out at night to find him! Funny, heartwarming, a teeny bit scary and full of imagination!
Truly a gem of a book! Doyle's ability to weave a story around a pine marten and the interconnectedness of the natural world was wonderful and special. This is a book I will cherish for a long time and share with family and friends.A Marlene and Mike staff favorite too.
Wonderful animal/friendship story! Roz lands on a wild island and has to learn how to live there and try to make friends. She "mothers" a baby goose and becomes a valuable member of the island. There are challenges too and Roz has tough decisions to make. Great transition from chapter books. 8-9 year old read. Loved it!!Also, a Derrick staff pick!
What if you could read a passage from a famous book and then be in the story and meet the characters on a strange island?! Robin Hood. Hercules. Tom Sawyer and more work together to help Billy escape from danger and hunt for hidden treasure. A very fun, imaginative read!
Lisa's books are such a fast-paced read! I enjoy her storylines and characters very much. Her portrayal of sociopaths is both chilling and fascinating. Every Fifteen Minutes was a great read with twists and turns along the way!
A strong debut novel, an international thriller with interesting characters and a great plot. Zander weaves a fast paced story that kept me turning the pages late at night!
Finally a dystopian series that I think will be as great as Hunger Games and Divergent! This is a really good story with many compelling characters. It is action-packed with a hint of romance down the road. The writing is so descriptive too. I loved it!
Also, a Melanie staff pick!
The Stranger is Coben at his best. He weaves internet secrets, relationships with deceit and blackmail into a great page turner. He is a master of suspense at the top of his game!
Oh how I LOVED this store! The bond between animals and humans is quite special. peter and Pax shared that bond. When they were forced to separate, each had to learn they could get along with "their kind" too. Yet they longed to find each other. A gem!!
Wow - a wonderful new series that was a fun read! I loved getting to know Chloe and Horace as they learned the power and responsibility of being keepers. Awesome cliff hanger - can't wait for the next story!
A very well researched and vivid story about four teens during WWII - their journey to escape war torn Germany by sea. Each teen harbors secrets, fears and regrets, yet they forge friendships as they try to survive. Great book!
Mary's first book - Good Girl - was very good and Pretty Baby is better!! A homeless girl with a baby, a woman who always wanted more children...Such a well-crafted story with twists and turns. A new favorite thriller writer for sure!
Sara travels from Sweden to Iowa to finally meet her pen pal and fellow book lover, only to discover Amy had passed away. She decides to open a book store with Amy's books - to see if the folks in Broken Wheel might discover a love of reading. And she discovers so much more!
Fun "fairy tale" debut! Filled with colorful characters - a princess, a dragon, a goblin and more! Alice, Alice and the Boy with No Name romp through the country side - ever hopeful the goblin will give better clues to his riddles. Enjoy!
This is Krakauer at his best. He takes a difficult, important topic and delves into the trauma and challenges faced by the victims. He also provides ample research on the failings of our judicial system to investigate and prosecute these crimes. An important read!
Also, a Marlene staff pick!
Sixth century Britain - what drab and depressing times! This tale of two elderly people travelling to find their son is haunting and beautifully told. What is memory? If you could get lost memories back what would you do with the bad ones? Deep things to consider on a treacherous journey!
Inge has to move in with her grandma and live in a town where girls have no fun! Inge just can't help but get into trouble... This is a wonderful story of how life can be hard and yet good things happen when you open your heart!
Another great debut novel by a British author! Tina weaves a clever story about a woman who walks away from her family and builds a new identity. Why?? What happened in Emily's past that was so traumatic?? I stayed up late to find out!
Also, a Derrick staff pick!
Bad Book Series
Bad Magic is a fun and clever story! Clay ends up in this weird "camp" with strange cabin mates and a llama who eats carrot tops! I loved how Clay figured out what was going on and I hope there is a sequel to this story!
This is a book I will treasure and read again. Eve is a beautifully written story. Young is so good at sharing a warm, comfortable narrative of God's love for each and every person. He weaves scripture and science together and it works well with the story. I'll be thankful I had the chance to read another gem of a book every day!
This is a really wonderful story! It reminded me a bit of Harry Potter - a story with heartbreak, adventure, magic and unique friendships. I couldn't put it down and was sad when it ended.
New author with wonderful first book - great for young readers after chapter books. Carley can't sleep at night - it is hard to stay awake at school! She meets a fiddle playing rat and learns how the whistle trees came to grow in her town. She may be different, but she learns how special she is too! Enjoy!
What an entertaining read - quite well-done for a first novel! Ritter's characters are memorable and quirky too! I'm pretty sure this will be the first of a very enjoyable series.Also a Derrick staff pick!
Set in tsarist Russia, Maguire's new book is a fun, adventurous story. There's a cranky old witch, a talking cat and two young ladies who switch places by accident. They learn a lot about people with different backgrounds having so much in common.
Also a Susan staff pick!
I really enjoyed this novel about the challenges of maintaining friendships over time - especially when boys are notices as "maybe" more than friends. Very well-written!
Debut novel - hard to believe - it is so good! Estes does tons of research and it shows. A beautifully told story - so descriptive of place and the main characters Mei Lien and Inara.One of my favorite reads in a long time. A really excellent book club choice!
A very well-written and believable story. Cal and Frida live "off the grid" or what is left of the grid in post-apocalyptic California. They are resourceful on their own, but decide to join a colony of folks and their lives change dramatically. Edan's first novel is good!!
An exceptional book- Science fiction melded with “communication challenges” when Peter leaves his wife Bea for a new colony of native people asking to learn more about Jesus. A quite fantastic read!
This is a clever story with characters sharing life stories - lies, truths and somewhere in between. Trapped in an old cabin during a giant snow storm, Eric and Danielle learn about each other's lives under stressful circumstances. Witty banter made me laugh out loud too!
Malcolm's debut novel is a beautifully narrated story of the west in the 50s. Is it better for society to build and expand or to preserve sacred places? So descriptive of place and well-developed characters. I can see why this book has received so many accolades!
I enjoyed this book very much! Told in her voice, the narrative about growing up in a small town in the Swat Valley was very compelling. Her father's passion for schools and the power of knowledge was a key factor in her finding her voice.
When a missing person case turns into a grisly murder, Cormoran Strike puts his detective skills to work for the victim's widow. Galbraith's second novel has enough suspects to keep you guessing until the end. A good read!
This non-fiction book is about a young man's torment and ultimate redemption after a distracted driving tragedy. Interwoven narrative of the lives impacted, with the neuroscientists studying the psychology of attention, is riveting. I believe everyone with a cell phone and a car needs to read this book! It sure made me stop and think.
Very entertaining story about a young girl trying to figure out why her grandfather painted an egg over another painting. Was it famous art? Was it stolen? Why keep it hidden? So many questions for Theo and her friend Bodhi to ponder and solve.
This book really helped me understand why we attempt to multitask and why it is the wrong approach! I have an endless “to do” list and Zack’s book has so many practical tips. It is engaging, sometimes funny and oh so helpful!
Mo and Dale MysteriesI really enjoy these mysteries - set in the South, there are plenty of quirky, funny characters. Mo and Dale are quite talented sleuths, they find a way to solve the mystery!
Sheriff Bo Tully has a robbery and a murder to solve - all while keeping a "watchful eye" on the ladies in town. McManus weaves a good mystery with the funny, quirky folks of Blight!
This is a beautifully written memoir! Blending their very different Christian and Muslim backgrounds proved to be both challenging and enlightening. I though about Krista and Ismail long after I finished this book!
This methodology for organizing the wide range of things we need to remember has greatly improved my productivity!! It is a great guide with enough examples to help implement the concepts. Less "things" fall through the cracks!
This is the first Scottoline book I have read. I really enjoyed it! There were many well done twists and turns in a story that felt very believable. Oh how a split second decision can snowball downhill pretty quickly!
This is a beautifully crafted book -three stories all interwoven with a mystical harmonica and three children's dreams of becoming musicians. Set during World War II, the effects of war are felt by Friedrich, Mike and Ivy and their families. I loved it!!
Kubica's debut novel is quite the page turner, with narrative from several perspectives, we slowly learn that Mia's abduction involved many layers of deception. Enjoy!!
Pavone's second book is as good as his first one The Expats! A very clever story set in the U.S. and abroad. An anonymous manuscript leads desperate people to try and keep it from being published. I could not put it down!
Interesting narration in "first person plural" where we learn about many different wives and their challenges with being part of the secret Los Alamos community. It is hard to imagine the stress and uncertainty trying to raise children in new surroundings and a tough climate!
What an endearing, memorable book!! A.J. isn't easy to love at first, but as the story evolves, you can't help but root for him and his quirky bookstore. A truly special story!!
This is a Derrick and Caitlin staff pick as well.
A successful therapist writes a book telling women they "should have known"...Then her life and marriage are turned upside down and she finds herself looking at her life realizing she should have known!! A compelling read.
What an incredibly great story!! Willow Chance is a memorable young woman who faces tragedy with both curiosity and longing. She is one to root for and the other characters add so much to her story. Highly recommended!!Also a Susan staff favorite!
This is one of Grisham's best novels in quite awhile. Set three years after the events in A Time to Kill, old issues still haunt the folks in Clanton. When a wealthy man leaves a stunning will, family members go to court! I Couldn't put it down!!
Oh how I love Louise Penny's beautifully written mysteries. Her characters and beautiful sense of place make her stories so wonderful to savor. I never want the book to end! The best literary mysteries I have come to enjoy and enjoy.
Sweet Salt Air is one of Delinsky's best in quite some time. Memorable characters and a descriptive sense of place made me feel like I was on the island with Nicole and Charlotte. A wonderful story about friendship, secrets and forgiveness, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
What a clever plot, a book within a book, twists and turns that leave you guessing. Joel Dicker's first novel is an international bestseller for many good reasons. What is the "truth" - young author Marcus Goldman works to clear his mentor's name and learns way too many dark secrets in the process. A GREAT summer read!!
The English Girl is a terrific espionage thriller with complex characters, political intrigue and enough twists to keep you guessing. A great read!
This is a great read - first in a series with great characters and a mystery with good twists and turns. Cormoran Strike is a character you can sympathize with and root for too! A very well done mystery that I could not put down.
This book makes you think about the future - is a world where we can be 100% transparent about everything in our lives a good thing? What are the ramifications, and what if we don't want to participate? Eggers is a thought-provoking writer!
Plenty of plot twists and clever back and forth narrative made this book a good page turner. As I read the story I kept changing my mind about liking and then disliking both Nick and Amy. A clever, fun read!
It is hard to believe this magical story was written 25 years ago! "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation." What a profound thought! This is a book I think you will treasure.
One dinner, two couples, two children, one impulsive crime. Koch weaves a story with many layers and morality issues. Parents think highly of their children, but how far do they go or should they go to protect them?? Thought provoking!!
This is a fun, quirky story - part detective, part a musing on technology. I thoroughly enjoyed Sloan's passion for the written word! His description of the TALL bookshelves full of ancient books made me want to climb the ladder and see what was there.
What a super camping cookbook! I made 12 recipes on my last camping trip and all were delicious. There are "at home" versions for the grill recipes too. My go-to camping cookbook from now on!
I think Chip and Dan write excellent business books and Decisive is certainly well done! They give great examples and clear strategies for both understanding and improving your decision making process.
Common sense "rules" for great customer service. An authentic approach to interacting with all sorts of different people. Cockerell has wonderful insights from his many years at Walt Disney World. Loved it!
Very enjoyable - characters are memorable - great mix of magic and historical issues in the 50s. When things get tough, wouldn't it be great to escape as a bird?!
Wildwood SeriesCleverly written series set in a "forest" on the edge of Portland. Prue and Curtis have special powers in a strange world of creatures with both good and bad intentions. I loved it!Also, a Derrick staff pick!
Hector Tobar's novel is a well-written story about race, class and immigration issues set in Orange County, CA. Miscommunication mixed with good intentions leads the parents and their maid to make poor choices with great consequences.
First time author with a gem of a book! Unique, clever, creative story - it is hard to describe how much I enjoyed this book! Dive into The Night Circus and prepare to be dazzled.
I was fortunate to see a wolverine on my first trip to Glacier National Park. How fortunate! This book taught me so much about these fascinating animals. They are wild and fierce and their environment is in peril. Read this book and learn a lot!
A true classic and a favorite of my childhood! This is a wonderful story filled with adventure, mysticism, morality and unique friendships. A book to treasure!
I love finding a "new" mystery writer and starting with the first book! Lackberg is a talented writer. If you have enjoyed Larsson and Mankell like I have, give her a try! I can't wait to read more of her books!
Rebecca did an excellent job bringing Henrietta's fascinating story to life. I had no idea about her contribution to science. It is fun to learn new things through a biography that reads like a good novel. I highly recommend this book!
What a great read! I have used checklists in the past, but now will do so much more regularly. Gawanda provides so many interesting real life situations where checklists either could have or did save lives. I love fascinating, well-written non-fiction like this book!
Hunger Game SeriesI wasn't sure I would like the premise of the story - games where children could perish. The books are so much more than that. Family, friendships, alliances and how the choices we make define our lives. A very well done series!Also a Derrick staff pick!
Arbinger Institute BooksBusiness books by The Arbinger Institute are top notch. Thoughtful research, real life examples, and timeless ideas. I have gained so much insight from their books and refer back to them too!
This book's premise felt all too real! One Second After is set in a small North Carolina town one second after an electromagnetic pulse bomb is detonated. With no power, transportation or communication, people struggle to cope and yet find courageous ways to unite and survive.
Far and away my favorite mystery series! Penny's character development and wonderful descriptions of the surrounding countryside and the charming B & B. Yes there is always a mystery to solve, but there is so much more!!
Wonderful parable style management book! As a business owner and leader, there were great reminders of what people value in a leader and how to be more connected to your team.Highly recommend!Also, a Jinny staff pick!
This book is a classic for a good reason - it works! Our minds are so full of information and those negative voices in our heads get in the way of progress and success. Learning to "just notice" has been huge for me. Give it a try!!
This moving story grabbed my heart on the first page. So descriptive and lyrical - Kidd tells us about Lily and her search for a mother. It is memorable - a book I think of often and love to share!
Rick Bass is one of my very favorite nature writers! I found this book to be one to treasure - so descriptive of place. Rick is a true voice for the wilderness and why it is so imperative to keep some places wild.
Very insightful way of teaching us to "tune out" the ego side of our minds and trust our innate talents. Simple tips on focus and concentration. I found this book to be very helpful and a great reminder of how we human beings are able to learn new skills and excel.
I LOVE this journal!! Sarah provides wonderful quotes to ponder as you jot down daily blessings. I find it so helpful to remind myself of so many things to be grateful for.
Wow I got so many great tips from this book - too many to count! From mental preparation, pre-match warm up and learning how to size up your opponent. Brad keeps it simple and practical - strategies that will work for club players at all levels.