Friday, July 26, 2013

Fairy Tale Friday

     Fairy tales never seem to get old, probably because they're so much fun. In honor of our favorite fairy tales, every Friday for the next month, the Book House blog will be featuring Fairy Tale Friday. 

   This week we'd like to share with our readers The American Fairy Trilogy by: Sarah Zettel.

    These are the adventures of Callie LeRoux, who has been hiding in plain sight in a small town in Kansas. When the Dust Bowl Descends, and her mother disappears, Callie is forced to go in search of the secrets of her past. A thrilling fantasy adventure set in the 1930's!
                                  Book One: Dust Girl
Book Two: Golden Girl 
Book Three: Has yet to be released! 
      (But we're anxiously waiting for it.)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jabba the Puppett Is On His Way!

       Before there was Darth Vader & Son, or Vader's Little Princess, there was Tom Angleberger's Star Wars inspired children's books Origami Yoda. The series has been a huge hit with children and parents alike and continues to grow. On August 6th, 2013,  the fourth book in the series, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. will be released.While we all eagerly await the books arrival, we can get a kick out of admiring the Little Book House's new Jabba the Puppett display!
      If you'd like to pre-order a copy of The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet you can call the Book House at (518) 489-4761.

The series in order:
1. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
2. Darth Paper Strikes Back 
3. The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee 

    May the force be with you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

If You Like Sarah Dessen, You'll Love These Titles

    What do you do now that you've read every single Sarah Dessen book that ever was?
Just Listen, there are many fabulous authors for Someone Like You---come Along for the Ride!

    These are some of my favourites in the genre:

Joan Bauer: 
  • Almost Home 
  • Close to Famous
  • Hope Was Here
  • Rules of the Road
  • Peeled
Maureen Johnson: 
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • Last Little Blue Envelopes
  • Suite Scarlett
Steven Kluger:
  • My Most Excellent Year 
Rainbow Rowell:
  • Eleanor & Park
  • Fangirl (Coming out 9/10/13)  
*Rainbow Rowell has also written an excellent book for adults entitled, Attachments
Heather Hepler:
  • The Cupcake Queen
  • Love? Maybe
Wendy Mass:
  • A Mango Shaped Space

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mom & Me & Mom by: Maya Angelou

     At 85 years old, Maya Angelou lives the life of a true Renaissance woman. She's written about her life in a series of autobiographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in which Maya Angelou recalls growing up in the South and being exposed to racism at an early age.     In her seventh autobiography, Mom & Me & Mom,  Angelou writes in depth about her mother Vivian Baxter and the relationship they shared.
     Having lived with her paternal grandmother until the age of 13, Maya Angelou wasn't comfortable with the idea of moving in with her mother. Instead of calling Vivian Baxter "mother", Angelou referred to her as Lady. The nickname stuck and soon enough everyone who knew Vivian Baxter began to call her Lady.
     The stories Angelou shares about Lady illustrate her unwavering loyalty to her children and her astonishing bravery. Mom & Me & Mom is a reflection of the power of motherhood written with Maya Angelou's classic, lyrical prose. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Guilty Pleasures

There's no doubt that 50 Shades of Grey has spiced up Romance as a genre. But 50 Shades certainly isn't the only romance novel out there that's guaranteed to keep you hooked. Alexis, our Romance novel expert, has recently revived our Romance section to include a wide array of novels, including the popular uprising genre New Adult. (You can read all about the New Adult genre here in Alexis' most recent blog post.)
      Whether you're looking for a mild, medium, or hot read, we have it!

 Here are just a few of many books on Alexis' shelf:

If you like your romance novels on the mild side, try:
    1. Beautiful Disaster by: Jamie McGuire
       Abby Abernathy is trying to make it through college without making her presence, or her past, known. Though loud-mouth Travis Maddox isn't going to make that possible. Travis is known for his reputation with girls so when Travis and Abby lock eyes at one of his infamous fights, he's sure that he can win her over. Travis soon finds out that he's underestimated Abby. While she may seem innocent and shy on the outside, her past is just as checkered as Travis'.
     Beautiful Disaster is passionate read about two headstrong characters who can't help but fall in love. Best part is, Jamie McGuire has written Abby and Travis' story through Travis' point of view in her newest novel, Walking Disaster. Alexis and I both loved these two romantic reads.

 If you're looking for a romance novel right between mild and hot, try:

     2. Thoughtless by: S.C. Stephens (The first in the trilogy!) 
         " Kiera and her boyfriend Denny move across the country to live with his rockstar friend, Kellan. When sparks fly between Kellan and Kiera, can she resist? A powerful trilogy about love, loss, and fighting for happiness." -Alexis

If you want a really hot romance, try:
    3. The Breathless Trilogy by: Maya Banks (The first is Rush)
          "Gabe, Jace, and Ash are young billionaire play boys. Each book follows one as they find love. All three novels are full of lots of lust, fights, and deception, but always give you a perfect ending." -Alexis

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stern Men by: Elizabeth Gilbert

  Book of the Day:
Stern Men by: Elizabeth Gilbert

       If you can't wait for Elizabeth Gilbert's new novel, Signature of All Things, than you might want to pick up Gilbert's first novel, Stern Men. Originally published in 2000, there's been talk of Stern Men going out of print. So when my friend Hannah and I spotted a copy in a used bookstore in Salem, Massachusetts, I told her she had to grab it. Not knowing if the rumors are true or not, I couldn't let her pass up the chance to read such a great book.
       The sharing doesn't stop there. Fellow co-worker, Rick, has also picked up a copy to bring on an upcoming vacation to New England.
        Truth be told, I can't stop recommending Stern Men. 

        Off the coast of Maine, between Fort Niles Island and Courne Have Island a feud has been brewing for decades over the ocean that lies between the island. The local lobstermen all want to fish in the sweet spot of ocean water. But as the saying goes, you can't always get what you want.
          To Ruth Thomas, Fort Niles is home. She's grown up in two homes, her first home being with her stubborn father. Her second home being with the Pommeroy's large, but loving, family of boys and a big-hearted Mrs. Pommeroy. Ruth knows how to be tough, it's in her blood. When you have a father who's a lobstermen, you quickly learn how to work hard and get what you want. Even Mrs. Pommeroy's motherly care can't smooth out Ruth's spitfire personality.
           Determined to rebel against her mother, Ruth throws away her education at a fancy boarding school at the age of 18 and sets off to be a stern man. Earning a spot on a lobstering boat is hard enough as it is, but being a young woman makes it even harder when the local lobstermen refuse to break out of their old ways. If any girl can earn a spot on a lobstering boat, it'd be Ruth Thomas.
        She may not be a romantic, but that won't stop Ruth from running into love despite the consequences. The same way being a woman won't stop her from calling herself a stern man.

     Elizabeth Gilbert has crafted a smart novel with a dash of romance. While Gilbert will satisfy your reading cravings, she'll leave you be longing for lobster. 


Friday, July 12, 2013

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by: Anton DiSclafani

        The Book House Book of the Day: 
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by: Anton DiSclafani

   Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is without a doubt, the best novel I've read so far this summer. Thea Atwell's role in a family tragedy has her sent away to Yonahlossee in the middle of the Great Depression. She's always been a talented rider after spending years practicing on her pony, Sasi. But Thea doesn't want to go to camp, she wants to stay close to her family in Florida. Growing up, family was all Thea had. Living on a secluded citrus farm meant never coming into contact with the outside world. Thea didn't have friends, didn't go to a public school. Instead her brother and twin, Sam, and her were home-schooled. Who needs friends when you have a twin?
          As she reaches young-adulthood, Thea starts to notice physical and mental changes. Though Thea isn't the only one to notice these changes. There's a person watching from the sidelines who may just break her family apart.
       While Thea has made her share of new friends, she's still careful about how much she reveals about herself. Not all the girls at Yonahlossee are loyal to each other and in a camp full of girls, secrets and rumors are bound to spread.
     Mrs. Holmes doesn't make life easy for Thea either. Her and her husband, Mr. Holmes, run the camp together. Thea can't read Mrs. Holmes like she can most people. She can never tell when Mrs. Holmes is impressed or displeased with her. When Thea begins to teach the Holmes children how to ride horses, Thea decides that Mr. and Mrs. Holmes simply aren't right together. His soft demeanor is no match for her stoic nature. Maybe Mr. Holmes' demeanor is the reason why Thea finds herself enjoying his presence. Or maybe it's because of his handsome, slender figure. Whatever the reason, Thea begins enjoying Yonahlossee more and more. She slowly finds herself disconnecting from her past and riding into an uncertain future. 
        This novel has everything I could ask for in a book. A perfect blend of seduction, suspense, history, and excellent writing. This coming of age tale will have you holding on tight until the end.
          The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is also featured the Indie Bestseller list.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rainy Reads

          I love a nice rainy day once in a while. Nothing beats the cliche of curling up with a light blanket and a good book. But let's be honest, all this rain is just depressing. In my opinion, a novel can cure just about anything. Here are some funny reads to substitute the sunshine during this dreary period of weather.

        1. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by: David Sedaris
               I'm convinced that this is Sedaris' best book yet. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls isn't just a collection of funny essays. Sedaris has also written a handful of hilarious (and maybe even a little disturbing) poems centered around his hatred for dogs. I know, it sounds horrible, but they are tear-jerking funny. This is coming from a person who adores their dog. 

              If Sedaris' poetry doesn't reel you in than maybe the recollection of his first colonoscopy will. Still not convinced? Well, there is that one essay about how he almost bought the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy...
                David Sedaris never fails to entertain. Trust me, I'm a bookseller.

 2. The Sex Lives of Cannibals by: J. Maarten Troost
               Troost's travelogue may have you re-considering traveling to a nice secluded island. At the age of 26, Troost has racked up his share of useless degrees and has gone through a slew of temporary jobs. Fed up with getting no where in life, he decides it's a good idea to move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati.
               The peaceful island seems too good to be true...because it is. Turns out the fish are toxic, the water is polluted, and the locals are anything but sane.
               Keep an eye out for Troost's newest book that's set to come out August 20th, 2013 entitled, Headhunters on My Doorstep: A True Treasure Island Ghost Story. It's sure to be just as ridiculous.
        3. Bite Me by: Christopher Moore
              I discovered Christopher Moore's novels as a Sophmore in high school. Before then, I didn't realize novels could be so outrageously funny. Bite Me is the third in Moore's vampire love story series. While You Suck, Bloodsucking Fiends, and Bite Me all follow the same characters, they certainly don't have to be read in order.
              Before you roll your eyes at the thought of another vampire romance novel, don't. I promise you that you haven't read a vampire novel like one of Christopher Moore's. Nothing compares to this eccentric, gothic comedy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ramadan Reads

      Monday evening the sacred month long Muslim holiday, Ramadan began.In honor of the holiday, The Little Book House has set up a Ramadan display that includes some beautiful children's Ramadan reads, a few of which are featured below.

1.Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta 1325-1354 by: James Rumford
     This world traveler, James Rumford, has retold Ibn Battuta's journey through many Islamic lands using written and illustrative storytelling. He weaves intricate and elaborate ancient Arab maps within the story to take you through the life and travels of Ibn Battuta.

2.  My Name is Bilal by: Asma Mobin-Uddin
         Ayesha is a young Muslim girl who is struggling to assimilate into an American school. She becomes a victim of bullying because of two boys ignorance.
         Bilal is a witness to Aseya's bullying and wants to stand up for her. But standing up to the bullies also means exposing the fact that Bilal is also Muslim.While Bilal wants to protect his friend, he doesn't want to become the bullies new target.
         A heart-warming story about two young people who struggle to find their place and identity. This is a book every child should read and enjoy.


3. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by:Hera Khan
This book uses beautiful and colorful illustrations to explain (and celebrate) some Islamic traditions. Fun and informative!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

Every month The Book House, Little Book House, and Market Block Books release a combined newsletter that helps keep our customers up to date with all our new events as well as some new releases. Find out what fiction and non-fiction books have made their paperback debuts or just scroll through for some great recommendations. Be sure to look through the archives for even more book recommendations.
Don't miss the chance to meet your favorite local authors!  Subscribing is super easy, just click here and type in your    e-mail address.

Caldecott Medal 75th Anniversary

      In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal, The Little
Book House employees have put together a window display full of Caldecott winners and honorees that will be on display for the rest of the summer.
       While admiring my co-worker', I began to think about my favorite Caldecott books. Which lead me to ask some of my co-workers what their favorites are.
  Here are our Caldecott picks!

Rachel:  As manager of the Little Book House, Rachel has read tons of great children's book. She is the Little Book House guru. When I asked what her favorite Caldecott winner/honoree book is, I instantly knew I was being unfair. If you ask a bookseller what their favorite book is you'll never get just one title. But Rachel told me her heart is torn between The Snowy Day by: Ezra Jack Keats and  Umbrella by: Taro Yashima, which she read as a child. Both beautiful, classic tales.

Khahilia: I love Khai's taste in books. She reads the most interesting things! It only seemed fitting that she would choose Anansi the Spider: A Tale from Ashanti by: Gerald McDermott. Anansi is rich in traditional West African designs and full of bold color. It's gorgeous both in the story and the illustrations.

Alexis: Anyone who knows Alexis knows that she has a spunky, outgoing personality. Her passion for books is evident. I wasn't the least bit surprised when she chose Where the Wild Things Are by: Maurice Sendak as one of her favorite Caldecott winners. While the movie may have given Where the Wild Things Are a popularity boost, it doesn't compare to sitting down and reading about Max's adventures.

Rick: Rick and I often talk about our love for New England and nature. So his choice, Make Way for Ducklings by: Robert McCloskey, wasn't surprising either. In fact, after talking to my co-workers, I realize that we all picked books that seem to reflect some part of our personalities.

          As for me, I will always love Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type by: Doreen Cronin which tells the story about a group of literate cows that type up a list of demands that the farmer needs to fulfill if he wants the cows to produce anymore milk.
I'm sure my co-workers weren't surprised.

In addition to Caldecott winners/honorees, the Little Book House has stocked up on a great selection of summer reading books. If you don't have time to browse, you can call us at (518) 489-4761 and ask us to put aside a copy of the book you're looking for. If we don't have the book you're looking for in stock, we'd be more than happy to order it for you! It usually only takes a few business days for books to arrive.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Short Story Saturday

         Sometimes my brain just can't handle a whole novel. Especially when I'm on the go or waiting in a doctor's office and don't want to get suck into a story that I can't snap out of. It's times like those that have me turning to short stories. Times when I just want a satisfactory taste of a story without feeling like I'm sitting down for a four-course meal.
       Here are some delicious short-stories for your literary sweet tooth.

1. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by: Lydia Davis 
          You might have heard about Davis recently winning the Man Booker International Prize. But you might not realize that this award winning author resides right in Albany. The Man Booker International prize isn't given for any specific piece of work, but for an author's collection works. Which would explain why MacMillan has published this lovely collection of Davis' short stories.
          Davis' collection is an absolute treat. If you ask me, Davis is changing the way author's write short stories. She's known more for her three sentence stories than she is her longer short stories. Being able to entice a reader with only a few sentences is a true talent that Lydia Davis has mastered. 

2. Dear Life by: Alice Munro 
           Munro recently announced that she is officially retiring from writing. Claiming that there will be no more short stories after her newest collection, Dear Life, which came out late last year. The stories within this collection are a perfect reflection of the title. They all give the reader insight into the human nature. You can't read these stories without realizing how unpredictable a seemingly normal life can be. Not to mention, the paperback version of Dear Life is set to be released July 30th, 2013. 

3. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by: Karen Russell
         In 2012 Karen Russell became a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her novel, Swamplandia. Her quirky story-telling is back in this collection of oddball tales. Whether it's writings about two vampires sucking lemons or a group of factory girls turning into silk human silk worms, Russell's writing is always unpredictable. You might pick up Vampires in the Lemon Grove for the crazy plots. But you'll stay for the writing, it's the icing on the cake. 


Friday, July 5, 2013

The Uninvited Guests by: Sadie Jones

Book House Book of the Day
The Uninvited Guests by: Sadie Jones  

 Emerald Torrington just wants to have a nice birthday celebration in her beloved home. But the Torrington is estate is quickly taken over by a group of less than fortunate train crash survivors and one mysterious man, Charles Traversham-Beechers, who also happens to be an old acquaintance of Emerald's mother. 
 The storm outside is nothing compared to the storm inside the Torrington home when Charles proposes that they play a game that will threaten the credibility of everyone involved. Meanwhile, Smudge Torrington is planning her own Great Undertaking. Jones' novel is the perfect blend of suspense and quirkiness with a dash of romance thrown in. I finished this otherworldly adventure novel in one sitting.
 This novel is too much fun to pass up. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book of the Day: The Boyfriend App by: Katie Sise

   Sunday, June 30th, Katie Sise signed copies of her young adult novel, The Boyfriend App for a crowd of readers.
   Audrey McCarthy wants out of high school. During her senior year things are rapidly changing and not for the better. With her father's passing and a dear friend turning into an enemy, Audrey just wants a fresh start in college.
   In order to pay for college tuition, Audrey enters a competition that is looking for the best app designed by a high schooler. The $200,000 prize could surely put Audrey through college. So she sets off to develop the Boyfriend App. After the Boyfriend App takes off, Audrey becomes the center attention at school. She's getting kissed by hot boys and befriend by the popular girls. Despite all the new popularity, Audrey begins to wonder if her Boyfriend App works as well as she hoped it would...

        This cute romantic comedy is perfect for teens that are looking for a fun, summer read! The Book House has a limited amount of autographed copies that are still up for grabs!

Monday, July 1, 2013

In the Body of the World: A Memoir by: Eve Ensler

        I knew Eve Ensler's new memoir would be great. How could it not be? After all, Ensler has fearlessly traveled to lands where women are worth less than cattle. She has been a feminist and activist for years, creating safe havens for women in poverty ridden countries. In short, she's pretty amazing and so is her writing. 
        In the Body of the World is partly about Ensler's attempts to connect herself to her body after years of feeling isolated from herself as a result of physical and mental abuse. Even more so, it's about the bitter irony of her fight with uterine cancer. She often contemplates why this cancer has infected her body and left this physical void within her. She writes about this journey with brutal, yet beautiful honesty.   
         Ensler's insight into the world of women shocks us and forces us to look at the world through different perspectives during difficult times. 
Keep a box of tissues near by, you'll need them.