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Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Magician's Land
by Lev Grossman

Publishers Weekly Grossman's final entry in the Magicians Trilogy (following The Magician King) brings Quentin Coldwater's story to a satisfying conclusion. After Quentin is banished from his beloved magical land of Fillory and fired from the Brakebills school of magic, he joins a wizardly heist masterminded by a talking bird. The target: a relic from one of the first children to visit Fillory, whose adventures were immortalized in a series of Narnia-like children's novels. During this mission, Quentin must confront his past mistakes and his role in the dying Fillory's future. Just as Quentin achieves a new maturity, so Grossman's trilogy becomes more than a sex-and-swearing satire of Harry Potter and Narnia. Grossman still can't resist winking at his novels' antecedents, as when a character uses the Harry Potter catchphrase "Mischief managed." Though the tone is occasionally too ironic, and Quentin's victories overly easy-such as a reconciliation with a key character from the first novel-this novel serves as an elegantly written third act to Quentin's bildungsroman, in which he at last learns responsibility and to not simply put childish things aside but understand them-and himself-anew. Fans of the trilogy will be pleased at how neatly it all resolves. Agent: Tina Bennett, WME. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal When he's not reviewing books for Time, Grossman writes engrossing fantasy that has won him the 2011 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best New Writer from the World Science Fiction Society. Here's the conclusion to a trilogy that started off by sending Quentin Coldwater to Fillory, the magical land he thought existed only in his childhood books. Now he's back at Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic, having been expelled from Fillory, and with Brakebills undergraduate Plum goes on a mission that unearths old friends, new secrets, and a spell that could create a newer, better Fillory. In our dreams! With an eight-city tour. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* The third and concluding volume in Grossman's epic Magicians trilogy finds former High King Quentin ejected from the magical kingdom of Fillory and, in short order, given the boot from a too-brief teaching stint at his old alma mater, Brakebills. What is Quentin to do? At loose ends, he joins a ragtag group of magicians including Plum, an expelled Brakebills student on a quest to find a mysterious case, contents unknown but presumed to be invaluable. Meanwhile, it appears, amid intimations of apocalypse, that Fillory is coming to an end, and the novel's action begins bouncing back and forth between the kingdom and the real world, where Quentin and Plum are now living in a New York town house, with Quentin determined to use an arcane spell to create a new magician's land. At this point, Quentin's former inamorata Alice shows up; but wait! Isn't she dead? Hmm . . . there is much more to the story, but suffice it to say that it is endlessly fascinating and always proceeds apace. In sum, this is an absolutely brilliant fantasy filled with memorable characters old and new and prodigious feats of imagination. At one point, Quentin muses, Magic and books: there aren't many things more important than that. The Magician's Land is ineffable proof of that claim. Fantasy fans will rejoice at its publication.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Banished from the magical land of -Fillory at the end of 2011's The Magician King, Quentin Coldwater plans to settle into a quiet life teaching at his magical alma mater, Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. His past is not so easily set aside, however, and when he is drawn into a shadowy conspiracy to steal an object that cannot be stolen, of course, it all leads back to -his homeland. -Quentin will need to seek out former mentors, old friends, and even his lost love if he is going to achieve his goals and save his kingdom. VERDICT From the trilogy's beginnings as a coming-of-age story, it is perhaps inevitable that Quentin will finally have to grow into his own as the series closes. Luckily that doesn't mean we don't get to spend quality time in the marvelous land of make-believe made real, Fillory. While Grossman consciously leans heavily on -Narnia and Hogwarts to create a frame of reference, this series taken as a whole brings new life and energy to the fantasy genre. The final volume will please fans looking for action, emotion, and, ultimately, closure. [See Prepub Alert, 2/10/14.] (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Independent Booksellers List
Click to search this book in our catalog Wild
by Cheryl Strayed

Library Journal Strayed delves into memoir after her fiction debut, Torch. She here recounts her experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 1995 after her mother's death and her own subsequent divorce. Designated a National Scenic Trail in 1968 but not completed until 1993, the PCT runs from Mexico to Canada, and Strayed hiked sections of it two summers after it was officially declared finished. She takes readers with her on the trail, and the transformation she experiences on its course is significant: she goes from feeling out of her element with a too-big backpack and too-small boots to finding a sense of home in the wilderness and with the allies she meets along the way. Readers will appreciate her vivid descriptions of the natural wonders near the PCT, particularly Mount Hood, Crater Lake, and the Sierras-what John Muir proclaimed the "Range of Light." VERDICT This book is less about the PCT and more about Strayed's own personal journey, which makes the story's scope a bit unclear. However, fans of her novel will likely enjoy this new book. [See Prepub Alert, 10/1/11.]-Karen McCoy, Northern Arizona Univ. Lib., Flagstaff (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly In the summer of 1995, at age 26 and feeling at the end of her rope emotionally, Strayed resolved to hike solo the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,663-mile wilderness route stretching from the Mexican border to the Canadian and traversing nine mountain ranges and three states. In this detailed, in-the-moment re-enactment, she delineates the travails and triumphs of those three grueling months. Living in Minneapolis, on the verge of divorcing her husband, Strayed was still reeling from the sudden death four years before of her mother from cancer; the ensuing years formed an erratic, confused time "like a crackling Fourth of July sparkler." Hiking the trail helped decide what direction her life would take, even though she had never seriously hiked or carried a pack before. Starting from Mojave, Calif., hauling a pack she called the Monster because it was so huge and heavy, she had to perform a dead lift to stand, and then could barely make a mile an hour. Eventually she began to experience "a kind of strange, abstract, retrospective fun," meeting the few other hikers along the way, all male; jettisoning some of the weight from her pack and burning books she had read; and encountering all manner of creature and acts of nature from rock slides to snow. Her account forms a charming, intrepid trial by fire, as she emerges from the ordeal bruised but not beaten, changed, a lone survivor. Agent: Janet Silver, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Echoing the ever-popular search for wilderness salvation by Chris McCandless (Back to the Wild, 2011) and every other modern-day disciple of Thoreau, Strayed tells the story of her emotional devastation after the death of her mother and the weeks she spent hiking the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail. As her family, marriage, and sanity go to pieces, Strayed drifts into spontaneous encounters with other men, to the consternation of her confused husband, and eventually hits rock bottom while shooting up heroin with a new boyfriend. Convinced that nothing else can save her, she latches onto the unlikely idea of a long solo hike. Woefully unprepared (she fails to read about the trail, buy boots that fit, or pack practically), she relies on the kindness and assistance of those she meets along the way, much as McCandless did. Clinging to the books she lugs along Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Adrienne Rich Strayed labors along the demanding trail, documenting her bruises, blisters, and greater troubles. Hiker wannabes will likely be inspired. Experienced backpackers will roll their eyes. But this chronicle, perfect for book clubs, is certain to spark lively conversation.--Mondor, Colleen Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Newbery Medal Winners
Click to search this book in our catalog Holes
by Louis Sachar

Book list Gr. 6^-9. Middle-schooler Stanley Yelnats is only the latest in a long line of Yelnats to encounter bad luck, but Stanley's serving of the family curse is a doozie. Wrongfully convicted of stealing a baseball star's sneakers, Stanley is sentenced to six months in a juvenile-detention center, Camp Green Lake. "There is no lake at Camp Green Lake," where Stanley and his fellow campers (imagine the cast from your favorite prison movie, kid version) must dig one five-by-five hole in the dry lake bed every day, ostensibly building character but actually aiding the sicko warden in her search for buried treasure. Sachar's novel mixes comedy, hard-hitting realistic drama, and outrageous fable in a combination that is, at best, unsettling. The comic elements, especially the banter between the boys (part scared teens, part Cool Hand Luke wanna-bes) work well, and the adventure story surrounding Stanley's rescue of his black friend Zero, who attempts to escape, provides both high drama and moving human emotion. But the ending, in which realism gives way to fable, while undeniably clever, seems to belong in another book entirely, dulling the impact of all that has gone before. These mismatched parts don't add up to a coherent whole, but they do deliver a fair share of entertaining and sometimes compelling moments. --Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-Stanley Yelnats IV has been wrongly accused of stealing a famous baseball player's valued sneakers and is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention home where the boys dig holes, five feet deep by five feet across, in the miserable Texas heat. It's just one more piece of bad luck that's befallen Stanley's family for generations as a result of the infamous curse of Madame Zeroni. Overweight Stanley, his hands bloodied from digging, figures that at the end of his sentence, he'll "...either be in great physical condition or else dead." Overcome by the useless work and his own feelings of futility, fellow inmate Zero runs away into the arid, desolate surroundings and Stanley, acting on impulse, embarks on a risky mission to save him. He unwittingly lays Madame Zeroni's curse to rest, finds buried treasure, survives yellow-spotted lizards, and gains wisdom and inner strength from the quirky turns of fate. In the almost mystical progress of their ascent of the rock edifice known as "Big Thumb," they discover their own invaluable worth and unwavering friendship. Each of the boys is painted as a distinct individual through Sachar's deftly chosen words. The author's ability to knit Stanley and Zero's compelling story in and out of a history of intriguing ancestors is captivating. Stanley's wit, integrity, faith, and wistful innocence will charm readers. A multitude of colorful characters coupled with the skillful braiding of ethnic folklore, American legend, and contemporary issues is a brilliant achievement. There is no question, kids will love Holes.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly This wry and loopy novel about a camp for juvenile delinquents in a dry Texas desert (once the largest lake in the state) by the author of There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom and the Wayside School series has some serious undercurrents. Stanley Yelnats (appropriately enough for a story about reversals, the protagonist's name is a palindrome) gets sent to Camp Green Lake to do penance, "a camp for bad boys." Never mind that Stanley didn't commit the crime he has been convicted of?he blames his bad luck on his "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather." He digs five-foot-deep holes with all the other "bad" boys under the baleful direction of the Warden, perhaps the most terrifying female since Big Nurse. Just when it seems as though this is going to be a weird YA cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Cool Hand Luke, the story takes off?along with Stanley, who flees camp after his buddy Zero?in a wholly unexpected direction to become a dazzling blend of social commentary, tall tale and magic realism. Readers (especially boys) will likely delight in the larger-than-life (truly Texas-style) manner in which Sachar fills in all the holes, as he ties together seemingly disparate story threads to dispel ghosts from the past and give everyone their just deserts. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Hush
by Chayil, Eishes

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-After six long years, Gittel is still haunted by her friend's suicide. Now 17, she knows what happened to Devory and why, but their ultra-Orthodox Jewish community has refused to accept the truth. The incest that led to Devory's death is not acknowledged, because "that doesn't happen in our community." This thoughtful, disturbing, and insightful novel provides an insider's view of an insular society that denies the reality of rape and oppression within its ranks. Gittel is poised to be married to a good man, the best fate she can obtain. The present action of the story is the unfolding of Gittel's arranged marriage, from negotiations between the families and her only meeting with her intended groom, to the wedding ceremony, young married life and the birth of her first child. But the plot revolves around her internal struggles to reconcile her faith and culture with the awful secrets that she knows and has witnessed. Her own purity-and therefore desirability-is linked to her silence. Speaking out carries too high a cost in a society in which the appearance of holiness and probity is everything. Family and social life within today's Chassidic community are portrayed with affection for the warmth and the enduring values but with a clear eye for the vulnerability of the young and the hurt. When Gittel finally does try to tell her friend's story, she comes up against the powerful men of the community. It is fitting that it is through the written word that both Gittel and the author are able to speak for the Devorys of the world.-Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list In this stunning debut, Chayil (a pseudonym) takes readers into a cloistered society and exposes its secrets. Moving back and forth between 2003 and the present, Gittel, living in a Brooklyn Hasidic community, remembers her best friend, Devory. Her family seemed like any other, lots of children, ultrareligious, but one night when Gittel sleeps over, she watches as Devory's brother forces Devory to do something under the covers. Gittel doesn't understand. This is a community where teenagers in arranged marriages don't learn about sex until days before the wedding. But when Devory hangs herself and the community covers up the reasons, Gittel is haunted by the girl she couldn't help. Taken from an incident in her own life, Chayil's cri de coeur might as easily have been published as an adult book. She does, however, have a wonderful way of getting inside a child's head. Readers may have trouble with the story's frequent Yiddish phrases and be shocked by its casual fear and hatred of goyland. But this is powerful stuff and a glimpse into places not often seen.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Margaret Fuller: A New American Life
by Megan Marshall

Publishers Weekly Pulitzer Prize finalist Marshall (The Peabody Sisters) takes on the life of a lesser-known American writer in this biography of Margaret Fuller, whose book Women in the Nineteenth Century was merely the most successful among those she produced during a lifetime of impassioned intellectual discourse, both public and private. Marshall sticks closely to the primary documents of Fuller's life. Though the biography reads as a narrative, the text is peppered with quotations from Fuller's letters, essays, fiction, and personal diaries. This abundance of detail sometimes descends into tedium. Though organized around places Fuller lived, the book's real driving force is her relationships, from the perfectionist father who gave her a thirst for education early on to the circle of academics and radicals over whom Fuller exerted her influence, among them Ralph Waldo Emerson. Marshall can't avoid the romantic scandal of Fuller's life-her accidental pregnancy by and secret marriage to the noble-born Giovanni Ossoli. The couple died in a shipwreck along with their newborn son soon after. But this scandal isn't the focus of the book. Instead, Marshall seeks to render the plight of a female intellectual struggling to balance societal expectations with her lofty ambitions and ideals. The book's success comes from the way that Marshall allows the reader to understand and empathize with Fuller in her plight. Agent: Katinka Matson, Brockman Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* The mind has a light of its own, wrote Margaret Fuller, and the radiance of her inner world vitalizes Marshall's profoundly simpatico portrait of this path-breaking feminist and courageous journalist and writer. Marshall encountered Fuller while working on her acclaimed first book, The Peabody Sisters (2005), and she inhabits Fuller's dramatic, oft-told story with unique intimacy by virtue of her fluency in and judicious quoting of Fuller's extraordinarily vivid letters. Marshall conveys Fuller's passionate intensity, unusual intellect and outsized personality, expansive sympathy, and extraordinary valor as she illuminates family struggles, social obstacles, and private heartache in conjunction with each phase of Fuller's phenomenal achievements as an innovative teacher, lecturer, and editor. Marshall brings stirring historical and psychological insights to Fuller's complicated relationship with Emerson and the other transcendentalists, her journey west and response to the horrific plight of Native Americans, her gripping dispatches on social ills as a front-page columnist for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, and her triumphs in Europe as America's first female foreign correspondent. How spectacularly detailed and compassionate Marshall's chronicle is of Fuller's scandalous love for an Italian soldier, the birth of their son, her heroic coverage of the 1849 siege of Rome, and her and her family's tragic deaths when their ship wrecks in sight of the American coast. A magnificent biography of a revolutionary thinker, witness, and writer.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Agatha Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Bubbles Unbound
by Sarah Strohmeyer

Library Journal : Bubbles Yablonsky, a 34-year-old hairdresser/divorcee, may dress and look like a blonde Barbie-doll bimbo, but she aspires to a more brain-intensive job as an investigative journalist. She grabs her main chance when she and a hunky but elusive photographer named Stiletto discover a dead body--along with the apparent perpetrator, who is drunk and just happens to be the antidrug-crusading wife of a local steel magnate. Suffice to say, Bubbles's revelatory story causes endless repercussions. A sexy, irrepressible heroine, riotous supporting characters, continual action, ubiquitous humor, and even a makeup tip or two make this a highly recommended series debut.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : Meet Bubbles Yablonsky, beautician-reporter-sleuth and blazing star of Strohmeyer's entertaining, establishment-bashing debut as a mystery writer. Like the mills that gird the book's seen-better-days steel town of Lehigh, Pa., the city is itself a seething cauldron. Battle lines are sharply drawn between the haves and have-nots. Bubbles is hell-bent on getting even with the overlords, especially her former husband, a heel who has gone over to the other side. Opportunity knocks when Bubbles incriminates a wealthy socialite in a brutal murder and then uncovers a murky past, where corpses are littered around the accused's steel-magnate husband. The going is never easy, as Bubbles faces more perils than Pauline: falling off a bridge in the arms of a potential suicide; dodging drive-by gunmen and car bombers; being handcuffed and fitted for cement boots; and always searching for a better way to display her cleavage. Armed with her certificate from Two Guys Community College, abetted by a quirky array of social castoffs and fueled by Doritos, Velveeta and Diet Pepsi, Bubbles overcomes every obstacle on her way to shaking the foundations of the corporate world and, in the process, leaving more than a few wrinkles in her ex's tailored Brooks Brothers suits. Hop in the Camaro and buckle up: Bubbles is behind the wheel, and a wild ride awaits. Agent, Heather Schroder at ICM.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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