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shelfies

Beneath the Canvas: 3 Books That Reveal What the Artist Meant

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There’s a kind of magic in a piece of art in that it contains more than what meets the eye. For this week’s selection, Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA, founded in 1894 and the oldest and largest indie bookstore west of the Mississippi, has chosen to peer behind the canvas and reveal the deeper meanings in works of art. Our curator this week is book buyer Sherri Gallentine who has three gems you might want to add to your holiday wish list. The Master of the Prado by Javier Sierra (Atria Books; November 17, 2015) “Sierra’s unusual fictionalized memoir begins in 1990 when Sierra encounters a man in Madrid’s Prado Museum, whom he refers to as ‘The Master of the…

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Hidden History: 3 Books That Crack Open Past Secrets

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We’ve all been thrilled by the hidden corners of history so deftly incorporated into the novels of suspense writers like Steve Berry and Dan Brown, but you don’t have to wait for your next thriller to discover them for yourself. Our history is a treasure trove of fascinating information, much of which remains hidden until we crack open a truly revealing book. If you’re looking to revel in the previously unknown, Copperfield’s Books has some terrific reads. Copperfield’s of California will celebrate its 35th year in 2016 and with bookstores in seven locations (and an eighth coming next year), they might be just around your corner. These picks were selected by Copperfield’s frontlist buyer Sheryl Cotleur: Ivory Vikings: The Mystery…

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A Better Tomorrow: 3 Books that Can Change the World

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In the words of the musical that wowed America Thursday night, “Don’t bring me no bad news.” It seems like that’s all we see in the headlines lately, but Odyssey Bookshop has the balm that heals: their selection of “Books that Can Change the World.” First opened in 1963, Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts is known throughout the state as a “unique place to look for books.” They even survived two major fires in the 1980s thanks to the assistance of the community and Mount Holyoke College and today, the anchor store of the Village Commons is still going strong. Manager and Fiction Buyer Emily Crowe turned to her knowledgeable staff for these selections: Trace: Memory, History, Race, and…

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Apocalypse Now: 3 Tales for the End of the World as We Know It

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From The Road to Armageddon, we’re riveted by apocalyptic tales. It goes well beyond the despair and explosions; we’re always intrigued when humans must face insurmountable odds. This is why our friends at McLean & Eakin booksellers have given us their favorite apocalyptic tales. One of the best independent bookstores in all of Michigan, they’ve got book clubs, numerous store events, and one heckuva staff. Previously, they delivered several fantastic summer lovin’ books and now, owner Matthew Norcross has given us three more must-reads. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Vintage, 2015) “A Shakespearean troupe wanders the northern shores of lake Michigan after a pandemic has ravaged the world. Short listed for the National Book Award, this novel is…

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Going South: 3 Books That Explore Life Below the Mason-Dixon Line

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In The World’s Largest Man: A Memoir author Harrison Scott Key tries to explain the southern United States: “The South is a strange place, one that can’t be fit inside a movie, a place that dares you to simplify it, like a prime number, like a Bible story, like my father.” For our latest round of Shelfie picks, we return to our friends at Square Books, located in the historic town square of Oxford, Mississippi and boasting three separate buildings and its own café. Back in September, they gave us three great books to keep you up past your bedtime. This week manager Lyn Roberts is focusing on the rich tapestry of the South. South Toward Home: Travels in Southern…

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All in the Family: 3 Books that Explore the Ties that Bind

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There’s no getting around it—as we build toward the holidays we’re going to have to spend at least some time with family. To put it all in perspective we have three books about families in emotional crisis. There’s nothing like peeking at someone else’s family drama to appreciate your own family. This week’s recommendations are brought to us by Jill Miner, owner of Saturn Booksellers, a popular independent bookstore that has won the Michigan Retailer of the Year Award for small businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Pineapple Award for Best Customer Service. The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro (Algonquin Books, November 3, 2015) “During Roosevelt’s WPA program, artists were put to work creating large-scale pieces for public spaces.…

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Everyday Heroes: 3 Novels about the Road to Redemption

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When facing life’s biggest challenges, even ordinary folk can become heroes. Events coordinator Sam Kaas of Village Books in Bellingham, Washington chose this week’s theme; “Three Tales of Messy Redemption and Defiant Perseverance.” He was influenced by the great Northwest writer Brian Doyle (Mink River, The Plover), who says that his books are about “ordinary, strange, flawed people who stare into the face of terrifying darkness, join hands, and march forward.” City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (Knopf, October 13, 2015) “A massive, gritty, and ultimately triumphant novel, City On Fire follows an ensemble cast—artists, writers, journalists, cops, punks, kids—through six tumultuous months in New York City, from New Year’s Eve, 1976 to the devastating, city-wide blackout of July 13…

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Unique Writing: 3 Books That Offer Fresh Forms of Prose

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Tired of the same old, narrative style? This week we offer three books that dive deeper and offer fresh prose styles, thanks to recommendations from our friends at City Lights Books in San Francisco. These books brilliantly employ unique methods of writing to bring their stories to life. One of the country’s largest independent bookstores and publishers, City Lights also has the distinction of being the nation’s first all-paperback store. It’s been five decades since the Beatnicks discovered Jack Kerouac at this book lover’s landmark, which is why the store masthead reads, “A Literary Meetingplace Since 1953.” This week’s selections are: Counternarratives by John Keene (New Directions, 2015) Bookseller Tân Khánh Cao says: “If I had to read one book…

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3 Shelfies from Chappaqua Library about First love and Sentimentality

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Summer is a time for romance and adventure. You’re undoubtedly having your own memorable experiences during these fleeting warm-weather months (carpe diem, no?) and to enhance that experience, why not back it up with several amazing books? Why not turn the pages of a riveting novel where themes like young love, magic, mystery and historical suspense transport you to another world? For this week’s Shelfie Picks, we turn to Chappaqua Public Library, a library in the suburbs an hour north of New York City. Chappaqua counts certain former White House residents among their neighbors. From independent book stores to great libraries, we support champions of great books and Chappaqua was nice enough to participate. Reference Librarian Vicki Fuqua recommended three…

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Shelfie Picks: Strand Book Store’s New Contemporary Classics

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Sure, there’s plenty of light summer reading. We went to McLean and Eakin for wonderful summer lovin’ picks, turned to Skylight Books for summer adventures with coming-of-age twists, and even chatted with Elin Hilderbrand, the “Queen of the Summer Novel.” But just occasionally, those lazy summer days inspire deeper thought and encourage us to delve into untested waters. We want to turn the pages of a book that, while still accessible and enjoyable, makes us think and question. That’s what inspiring literary works do, right? A few excellent literary fiction novels have arrived this summer and to help us select three that go above and beyond, we headed to Strand Book Store, “New York City’s legendary home of 18 miles of books.”…

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Shelfies from The Booksmith Brings Out our Inner Explorer

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In our lives, we must all take a journey. The exploration of ourselves and our world is precisely what makes life worth living. A rich tapestry of personal and geographical discovery molds us into the individuals we become, and ultimately allows us to amass valuable memories. That is why we’re honoring Space Exploration Day and offering three new books that encourage us to be adventurous in both mind and body. On July 20, 1969, man walked on the moon; where will your adventure take you? For added inspiration, we turned to The Booksmith, one of the country’s best independent bookstores located on Haight Street in the heart of San Francisco. A 39-year-old establishment “with a focus on unusual literary fiction and…

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Shelfies with Skylight Books: Summer Adventures with a Coming-of-Age Twist

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Ah, summer. There’s just something about the warmer days that invoke feelings of love and adventure. It’s a season that makes us all feel young again; with that wistful, melancholy irony, we look back at our developing years during the carefree days of summer. We all wish we’d had wisdom beyond our years, the foresight to appreciate those days as they were happening. “If only I could go back…” we dreamily inform the waves. But at your side are several books that take you away and perhaps, take you back. That’s because Skylight Books has graciously provided you with three brand new, wonderfully inspired titles that will keep the pages turning while the sun rises high over a picturesque beach.…

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Shelfies Inspired by ThrillerFest and Comic-Con, Thanks to Mysterious Galaxy

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With ThrillerFest and Comic-Con landing on the same weekend, this week’s Shelfie Picks were a no-brainer: We needed some fantastic sci-fi, fantasy, and general thriller novels to recommend. If you’re traveling to either of the aforementioned events this weekend, or you plan to travel elsewhere this summer, you need some thrilling diversions. Who wants to stare at the back of an airplane seat for hours? The train has some old-world charm but eventually, it tries to put you to sleep. And heaven forbid if you’re traveling by bus; then you really need something to take you to another world. Enter three new novels by some of the genre’s most respected and successful authors. These picks come courtesy of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, an…

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Independence Day Shelfies from Written Words Bookstore: Honoring our roots

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When you’re firing up the barbecue on Saturday, dismissing everyone’s advice and recommendations because you are the grill master, you should take some time to consider. The meat needs proper time to cook, anyway. Perhaps you could cast a reflective eye on the holiday in question, and wonder about this country’s history. If you’re a novice when it comes to your American past, have no fear: This week’s Shelfie Picks consist of entertaining, accessible reads that will put you in touch with your roots. We went to Written Words Bookstore (please note their new address in Shelton, CT!) for these Independence Day recommendations and owner Dorothy Broder was nice enough to deliver three absolute winners. Here they are: 1. The War That…

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Beach Shelfie picks courtesy of Tattered Cover Bookstore

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The brutal winter is over and everyone is jockeying for position on the beach. When you’re out there, lounging by the waves and soaking up the rays, you’ll want a good book. It’s likely that you want a fun, gripping, fast-moving story that might just include an exotic setting. So, we asked Tattered Cover Bookstore to recommend three books that should be packed alongside the blanket and sunblock in the picnic basket. Lead Buyer Cathy Langer was nice enough to give us several new titles that will stimulate the mind as you listen to the waves. Check ’em out: 1. The Rocks by Peter Nichols (Riverhead Books, May 26, 2015) Set on the island of Mallorca and revolving around a…

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