Most recent staff pick: Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone. As a relatively new gluten-free and mostly dairy-free eater, I found this book to a be a really excellent resource for simple recipes and ideas for how to eat with these new dietary challenges in a less stressful way. The author (a food magazine editor and writer) had to learn how to restructure her family's diets due to her son Isaiah's gluten and dairy sensitivities. I have picked this book up a lot for inspiration and am studying the basics that she lays out to help make my food shopping smarter and cooking meals easier. Doughnuts, fritters, corn cakes and waffles! Who knew?
Most recent staff pick: Wizzywig by Ed Piskor. Remember that movie Hackers with Angelina Jolie before she got famous? This book is like that movie combined with Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, but as a fictionalized documentary made after the hacker has been caught. It tells the story of how he became a hacker phenom, how he lived underground, and the struggle to get him freed after he's in federal prison. It's not just fluff and fun, though -- it offers some pretty scathing commentary on the effect of media on public perception of pretty much everything.
Adrian, the world's only illiterate bookseller
Most recent staff pick: Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown. With illustrations by our favorite artist, Peter Brown, Creepy Carrots is an adorable and just-the-right-amount-of-creepy-without-being-too-scary picture book. Jasper Rabbit is a clueless carrot thief who starts getting haunted by creepy carrots who eventually teach him a lesson. The gorgeous black, white, and orange illustrations totally set the scene and Adrian has loved reading this one over and over already. A perfect early Halloween gift.
Most recent staff pick: The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. A powerful work of fiction set in the Iraq war and penned by an Iraq war veteran, The Yellow Birds renders the shattering experience of soldiering with great beauty and deep emotion.
Most recent staff pick: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm still a little incoherent about how much I love Maggie Steifvater's new novel, which pairs Blue Sargent, the daughter of a psychic, with a quartet of sharply drawn private-school boys, each holding a secret or two. Each character is so exact, I could almost hear their voices as I read (and I definitely wanted to go exploring the Virginia countryside with them). Stiefvater combines familiar elements -- mystery, ghost story, adventure, nervous teen attraction -- for a twisty, spooky read that never quite plays out as you expect. The Raven Boys is my new favorite YA in a year full of excellent YA novels.
Jenny, children's specialist
Most recent staff pick: In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz. Gidwitz, author of last year's A Tale Dark and Grimm, is back with more horrifyingly dark fairy tales. Jack and Jill meet sinister mermaids, homicidal goblins, and a disgusting, yet somehow lovable giant salamander in this collection of tales not for the faint of heart (or stomach).
Stephanie, manager emeritus
Most recent staff pick: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I haven't read a book so quickly in ages (and I'm not alone--everyone I know who's read this book finished in one or two days). Devoured it. I'm a fan of Flynn's earlier books, but this one blows them, and almost all other literary thrillers, out of the water. I don't want to say too much about it because I don't want to spoil anything for you, so you'll just have to trust me. It's creepy and haunting, it's chilling, it's hilarious, it's required reading this summer.