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April's Picks

April suggests these books:

Jewelweed Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571311009
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Milkweed Editions - May 14th, 2013

David Rhodes returns to Words, WI where he picks up the lives of some of his characters in Driftless. This is a story of redemption, hope, faith, and overcoming life's darkest moments. I loved Driftless, but this seems even more tightly written and so very lyrical and fulfilling. A genuine pleasure to read. I highly recommend this!

Ordinary Grace: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451645828
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Atria Books - March 26th, 2013

A bittersweet mystery told through the voice of Frank, a thirteen year old Minnesota boy. During the summer of 1961, tragedy comes to his small town in the form of five unexplained deaths. Young Frank finds everything in his world is changing beyond his control. Very moving, and like all good mysteries, there is an unexpected twist at the end.

A Good American Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399157592
Availability: Special Order - May be out of print or not presently available
Published: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam - February 7th, 2012

Yes, this is another immigrant story, but the characters (and in some cases I do mean CHARACTERS!) are so fresh and so real that you can't help but want to stay up late reading to see what happens to them. Alex George is a wonderful story-teller, there are tears, laughs and all of the human foibles that comprise our lives. I ADORE this book!

Legend Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399256752
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - November 29th, 2011

Calling all fans of The Hunger Games. This is the first book of an expected trilogy. Film rights have already been sold! The U.S. has been split apart and suffers from "plagues" which kill many, as well as an on-going battle between The Republic (the government) and the Colonies (revolutionaries). This book doesn't have The Reaping but instead has The Trials which all children age 10 must go through. June and Day have grown up in totally disparate lives but come together at age 15 in the most dramatic of circumstances. The pace is lightning quick, with unexpected twists of plot. A great young adult read, I'll be eagerly awaiting the subsequent title release, as well as the film.

The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062110831
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Harper - April 23rd, 2013

A wonderful debut novel, perfect for fans of Night Circus, Harry Potter or anyone who can accept a setting in which the ordinary rules of our reality don't apply. The main characters are a golem (woman made from clay) and a jinni( a sprite from the dessert). By chance these two displaced characters come together in 1899 Manhattan. They are alike only in that they aren't human. Humans bring them together and then wrench them apart. A delightful read! You'll find yourself cheering for these two most unlikely heroes!

The Book Thief Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375842207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2007

Yet another novel set in Nazi Germany. This one is told through the eyes of Liesel, who becomes the Book Thief. She adores books, and that is a hard passion to feed in Nazi Germany. There are brutal scenes, but also movingly beautiful humanity blended in. We are once again reminded that humans faced with the worst tribulations often exhibit the very best actions. This book will stick with me for a long time! I dare you to read this and not be moved.

The Snow Child: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316175678
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Reagan Arthur Books - February 2012

Eowyn Ivey paints a magical fairy-tale of snowflakes, a beautiful wisp of a little girl and a very lonely childless couple against the harsh backdrop of the Alaskan winter wilderness. It's up to the reader to decide if the little girl actually exists or if she has just been conjured up from the desires and tribulations of the pioneering couple, who are trying to wrestle some sort of life out of the Alaskan wilderness. Truly an enchanting story!

The Puzzle King Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616200169
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - November 2nd, 2010

The story of three sisters from Germany, the choices they make and where their lives lead, due to those choices.  Two sisters come to America, where one marries a man who eventually becomes the "puzzle king".  They become fabulously wealthy but still lack the one thing he most yearns for. The second sister returns to Germany.  The third sister stays her entire life in Germany.  As Nazism builds, the married couple returns to Germany where the story ends in an unexpected plot twist.  This was a delightful read made even better by the fact that it is based on the real history of the author's family.

You Know When the Men Are Gone Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399157202
Availability: Special Order - May be out of print or not presently available
Published: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam - January 20th, 2011

Through the author's first hand knowledge of military life, we are allowed a glimpse into the way of life that is our American military. Through a series of interwoven stories we feel the loss, expectations, joy and turmoil that these families experience as they grapple with events that are not their own creation.A very literal description of a life that most of us civilians have never seen, but will linger with us long after we close the final page. A true reminder of why we should always honor those who have made the decision to protect and promote our American way of life.

The Singer's Gun Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936071647
Availability: Special Order - May be out of print or not presently available
Published: Unbridled Books - April 6th, 2009

Lives, loves and plots go awry in this suspenseful novel.  The author slowly divulges twists and turns to us, keeping us waiting for the next revelation.  You'll be guessing how it turns out until you turn the last page.  Much more than the average suspense thriller!

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--A Love Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061997167
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - February 2011

An inside look at the courtship, subsequent marriage and birth of the first child of the author of Pioneer Woman Cooks and her "Marlboro Man". Told with lots of down-home humor and an irresistable sense of wonder and life's ups and downs.

The House of Tomorrow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425238882
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Berkley - March 2011

This book is for anyone who was ever a teenager searching for their place with other teens, the opposite sex, and the world in general. Told in the voice of a 16 year old boy, it will bring back so many memories, some great and others not so good! I really enjoyed this read!

The Cougar Club: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061771262
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 26th, 2010

Three 40+ year old friends, find themselves all at crossroads in their lives.  This book is a romp through the territory of how we think our lives will be and how they really turn out!  Very entertaining, true "Chick Lit". 

The Stormchasers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525951551
Availability: Special Order - May be out of print or not presently available
Published: Dutton Adult - May 27th, 2010

How far will a person go to save their twin?  That's the central question of The Stormchasers.  The story is told against the backdrop of tornado alley--including many storms!  A very satisfying story.

Before I Fall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061726804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - March 2nd, 2010

If you died today, what would you want to change about your last day on earth??  Our main character in this novel, 17 year old Samantha, has that chance not once but multiple times...trying to get that last day right!  Written for a Young Adult audience, but I couldn't put it down!! 

In a Heartbeat Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780802720689
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Walker Childrens - February 2010

A very touching Young Adult read, looking at Organ Donation and the mystery of where our memories are kept!  A book of a tragic ending of one young life  coupled with the bright beginning to another life, and the responsibility that such a gift invokes.  Great Read!  Written by Loretta Ellsworth, who visited Book Vault in May 2010.

Home: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312428549
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - September 2009

This story returns the reader to Gilead, Iowa, where the black sheep of the family Jack Boughton has returned home after a 20 plus year self imposed exile.  His youngest sister is also there, caring for their failing father.  Told in Marilynne Robinson's beautiful prose, a very lyrically satisfying re-telling of the Prodigal Son parable.  Pleasing on so many levels.

The Distant Hours Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439152782
Availability: Special Order - May be out of print or not presently available
Published: Atria Books - November 9th, 2010

A castle, three spinster sisters (one of whom is crazy), mysteries on several layers. Beautifully written story of place, duty and desperation. Slow moving but a very satisfying read. I absolutely loved this book!

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594486401
Availability: Special Order - May be out of print or not presently available
Published: Riverhead Books - June 26th, 2013

This is the heart breaking tale of what happens when parents try to create a fairy tale life by cocooning their children. The problem being that children always grow up...parents are never enough. The repeated story of how our youtful choices can and will follow us throughout our lifetimes. Sometimes making our futures and sometimes limiting or even ending our futures.