Best Books of 2011

Announcing our 2011 Book of the Year

VERY SPECIAL OFFER
$10 Hardcover with Autographed Bookplate
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$10 HARdcovER WITH AuTogRApHEd BookplATE!

lIMITEd TIME onlY

Hudson BooksEllERs 2011

Book oF THE

YEAR
By Jonathan Evison

West of Here
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

A big sprawling book, Jonathan Evison’s West of Here tells the many intertwined tales of the citizens of the fictional town of Port Bonita, Washington. Blending the stories of the town’s pioneering founders with those of their successors some 100 years later, this novel manages to be both hugely entertaining and insightful. Funny, intensely smart, and as well crafted a book as you are likely to pick up this year this one is not to be missed. - Matt, VP of Book Operations, Los Angeles, CA “We are born haunted,” he said, his voice weak, but still clear. “Haunted by our fathers and mothers and daughters, and by people we don’t remember. We are haunted by otherness, by the path not taken, by the life unlived. We are haunted by the changing winds and the ebbing tides of history. And even as our own flame burns brightest, we are haunted by the embers of the first dying fire. But mostly,” said Lord Jim, “we are haunted by ourselves.” - From West of Here
FUN FACT: In his teens, Evison was the founding member and frontman of the Seattle punk band
March of Crimes, which included future members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

BEST

Ready Player One
Ernest Cline

FICTION

$24.00
Crown

In a bleak near future where millions escape reality by jacking into the online world OASIS one boy starts on the epic quest to defeat the challenges designed by the game’s creator. Whoever completes the quest first wins control of the game. OASIS is full of ‘80s nostalgia and fans of video games, Dungeons and Dragons, and John Hughes movies will want to dive right in. Ernest Cline is the new Willie Wonka and he is giving out golden tickets to the year’s grandest adventure. - Justin, Marketing Manager, Atlanta, GA

The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt
Short listed for the Man Booker Prize this picaresque western is the story of the brothers Sisters, Eli and Charles, two assassins doing their master’s bidding in Gold Rush era Oregon and Northern California. Eli and Charles have been ordered to hunt down and kill a prospector and inventor named Mr. Warm. The tale of their deeds and misdeeds on the way as narrated in brother Eli’s distinctive and knottily articulate vernacular is gritty and at times brutal but more often than not laugh out loud funny. - Matt, VP of Book Operations, Los Angeles, CA

$24.99
Harper Collins

The Language of Flowers
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Victoria Jones has lived in 32 foster homes by the time she turns 18. At this point she leaves a group home and lives on the streets in San Francisco. A compassionate florist takes her on as an assistant when she realizes she has a special feel for flowers. She not only excels at floral arrangements, she uses the Victorian method of communication by sending messages through the meaning of flowers (daffodils mean new beginnings, thistle means misanthropy, hyacinth means constancy.) The story of the 18-yearold Victoria is told along side that of her at 9 years old, hoping to be adopted by Elizabeth, a foster mother. The unhappy ending of the earlier story informs the rest of Victoria’s life and her struggle to develop trusting relationships. This is a lovely story of using the outdated method of flowers to communicate in the modern world. You will cringe, empathize and ultimately be warmed by Victoria’s journey. - Sydne, Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA

$25.00
Random House

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead
Sara Gran
Claire DeWitt, a private investigator from Brooklyn, comes to post-Katrina New Orleans to look for an Assistant District Attorney who disappeared after the storm. She learned her trade by studying with her mentor Constance Darling and uses the 1959 French manual Detection by Jacques Silette as her bible. Her methods are unconventional to say the least. Rather than speak with his known enemies or interview his friends, Claire relies on dreams, drugs and the I Ching, among other things. As she catches up with old acquaintances and meets some shady characters of the New Orleans streets, we accompany her on a journey through a ravaged city and get a glimpse into the chaotic upbringing that brought her to where she is now – the self-designated world’s greatest PI. Her unusual style and her quirky search are engaging and leave the reader anxious for the next mystery into which Claire will be drawn. - Sydne, Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA

$24.00
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
Ben Loory
Fractured fairy tales with sharp pointy teeth: Loory’s collection of short contemporary fables is unlike anything I’ve come across. There’s something hypnotic and dreamy about Loory’s prose that only serves to set the hook deeper. Sad and funny and occasionally scary, these are the kind of stories that stick in your brain pan. - Matt, VP of Book Operations, Los Angeles, CA $15.00
Penguin

FUN FACT: Ernest Cline wrote the 2009 film Fanboys.

Best Books of 2011

The Tiger’s Wife
Tea Obreht

FICTION con’t

BEST NON-

$15.00
Random House

A blend of Old World fairy tale and contemporary realism, The Tiger’s Wife is a lovely portrayal of a region and its people, torn apart by war, and by human nature, but still imbued with an ineffable and timeless magic. Tea Obreht was chosen as the youngest writer in The New Yorker’s 20 best American writers under 40, and her novel has received so many gushing reviews they are in danger of sinking under the hyperbole, which would be a shame. In its colorful characters and lyrical language, its imaginative power and compelling story, The Tiger’s Wife is truly rewarding. - Sara, VP of Book Purchasing, Atlanta, GA

The Tragedy of Arthur
Arthur Phillips
The Tragedy of Arthur is so much fun. It is deliciously audacious, a novel purporting to be an introduction to a newly discovered Shakespeare play. And yes, Phillips includes the play as well, complete with scholarly annotations. Questions of authorship abound, especially since Arthur Phillip’s father - a convicted con artist – played a major role in the discovery, and Arthur himself may not be a reliable narrator. Whether or not you see the hand of the Bard in the play is almost beside the point. It is a tour de force of a farce, a framework to pose questions about the nature of art and perception, family and relationships. - Sara, VP of Book Purchasing, Atlanta, GA

$26.00
Random House

The Fates Will Find Their Way
Hannah Pittard
Every once in a blue moon a book comes along that not only entertains, but has deep meaning, and teaches us life lessons. This is one of those books. As the story unfolds Hannah, with a heavy heart, reminds us that certain outcomes are unavoidable, absolutely can not be affected, and are completely unpredictable. We learn that we hate ourselves when hearing about other people’s tragedies, those solitary moments of feeling relieved, of suddenly being indescribably thankful it’s not us, a simple relief that we are here, and that we are alive. Expect to reevaluate all of what you carry inside as a human being. - Mike, Assistant General Manager, Albuquerque, NM

$22.99
Harper Collins

We the Animals
Justin Torres
We the Animals is a non-traditional coming of age story through the eyes of a young child as he grows up. The family consists of a mom who is white, dad who is Puerto Rican, and their three rambunctious sons. This book gives an insider look into a family no stranger to problems. Problems of money, anger, relationships, community, etc. I read this book in one sitting and I was honestly blown away by it. - Mark, Airport General Manager, Roanoke, VA
$18.00
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Best Books of 2011

FUN FACT: Arthur Phillips is a five-time Jeopardy! champion.

FAVORITES
Sara
1. 2. 3.

BOOKSELLER
VP of Book Purchasing, Atlanta, GA

West of Here by Jonathan Evison Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick You Must Go and Win by Alina Simone There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Alina Simone. She’s an indie artist, born in the Ukraine in 1974, raised in Massachusetts, whose most successful recording is an album covering (in Russian) a Russian punk singer. As it happens, I really like the album. But I would never have guessed how much I’d like You Must Go and Win. It is funny and cynical and moving and educational. Yes, I learned that you can shake an Italian suitor by imparting views on obscure religious castrati sects. And why Craig’s list auditions for female vocalists are bad news. And that a bed on top of a bathroom in a Brooklyn apartment runs about $500/month. And why not to stand in the front row at a Russian strip club. Awesome. 4. The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht 5. Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips 6. I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive by Steve Earle 7. Claire DeWitt & The City of the Dead by Sara Gran 8. Bossypants by Tina Fey 9. Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov 10. Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean

Mike
1. 2. 3. 4.

Assistant General Manager, Albuquerque, NM
Sex on the Moon by Ben Mezrich The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard Ready Player One by Ernest Cline The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale Benjamin Hale’s life long fascination with the primate house at his local zoo became the idea behind this novel. The idea of a memoir from the perspective of a neurotic hyper-intelligent perverse chimpanzee who is delivering his life story to his therapist is a great conceit for a novel. Hale’s entertaining approach of capturing the voice of the character is apparent, as the reader will notice it is speech driven. Many heavy questions rised throughout the book such as what differentiates animal consciousness from human consciousness, and humanity from animality. 5. Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler 6. Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson 7. Flashback by Dan Simmons 8. I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells 9. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan 10. Gideon’s Sword by Douglas Preston

Best Books of 2011

$25.95
W.W. Norton

Andre Dubus III Growing up poor in a mill town outside of Boston where a capacity for violence was a survival requirement, Andre Dubus learned to live for its thrill. His memoir, Townie, is brutal, yet beautiful and compelling. His story could have been anybody’s, from a certain place and time, but it also could only have been his, with a certain sensibility and narrative power wielded by this famous author, son of another famous author. The best kind of memoir. - Reid, Buyer, Atlanta, GA

Townie

Bossypants

Tina Fey A hilarious autobiography of the funniest woman on Saturday Night Live since original cast member Gilda Radner. Informative peek into the wit and weirdness of a funny lady with Pennsylvania origins who became “The” Sarah Palin impersonator. You’ll like what you find! - Ron, Regional Book Manager, Los Angeles, CA
$26.99
Little, Brown & Company

$16.99
Granta

John Freeman Ten years on and the world has changed quite markedly. With this edition of Granta, the contributors look at the lasting effects of September 11, 2001 from a global perspective. From a reporter in the tribal regions of Pakistan, to a view of current life in Paris, or even to the examination of the self-immolation of a Tunisian fruit vendor that led to the Arab Spring, the essayists and poets bring to light the changed world from a decade on. A powerful, complex look at today’s world that is well worth the read. - Ed, Manager of Inventory Planning & Analysis, Atlanta, GA

Granta 116: Ten Years Later

The Swerve

$26.95
W.W. Norton

Stephen Greenblatt Stephen Greenblatt, the renowned historian & scholar of Will in the World, has written another great book for the bibliophile. This time he has turned his attention to the Renaissance, and crafted a story which narratively reads like a literary thriller. He brings his readers along the journey of the discovery of perhaps the only surviving copy made of Lucretius’ work On the Nature of Things and what that has meant for Western civilization. - Anne, Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA

Best Books of 2011

NON

BEST

FICTION

FUN FACT: In 2004, Tina Fey made her film debut as writer and
co-star of the teen comedy Mean Girls.

The Heart and the Fist

$27.00
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Eric Greitens Eric Greitens worked in some of the roughest refugee camps in the world. After seeing the destruction that violence wreaked on so many lives, he trained to be a Navy SEAL so he could take the fight to the enemy. It is an amazing tale of one man’s extraordinary leadership and service as both a humanitarian and a warrior. He is a true inspiration. - Reid, Buyer, Atlanta, GA

$30.00
Grand Central

Christopher Hitchens You may not always agree with Hitchens politics or his sense of humor (for instance his essay Why Women Aren’t Funny caused a furor for obvious reasons) but his prose here as always is point on and his ability to provoke and engage is unparalleled amongst his contemporaries. What we have here is a hefty collection of essays of recent vintage on subjects ranging from politics to literature to contemporary culture- funny, savage and erudite. Tasty quick reads for pondering, agree or disagree. - Matt, VP of Book Operations, Los Angeles, CA

Arguably

FAVORITES
Matt
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. VP of Book Operations, Los Angeles, CA

BOOKSELLER

West of Here by Jonathan Evison Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt Granta 116: 10 Years Later by John Freeman Arguably by Christopher Hitchens Zazen by Vanessa Veselka Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt We the Animals by Justin Torres The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens

NON

BEST

FICTION con’t

FUN FACT: Eric Greitens is a sub-3 hour Marathon runner and
the winner of the Shamrock Marathon at Camp Fallujah, Iraq.

Best Books of 2011

Goldie and Kurt like to soak in the crystal blue waters of S Aspen. Tina and Jeff are absolutely mad for Route 80W

Lying on a beach feels a little “first thought” to me. I prefe there. You may end up sleeping on an old wicker couch with

Mary did --- traveling arduously back to the place of your b

in the background. It’s a modern-day manger. Our annual pi

December 26, or, as they ca

- From Bossypa

In the Garden of Beasts

Erik Larson In the Garden of Beasts brings to life Berlin during Adolf Hitler’s early control and chronicles his push toward absolute power. Erik Larson writes history like a bestselling political thriller... fast, gripping, exciting and always with an unexpected twist. - Ron, Regional Book Manager, Los Angeles, CA
$26.00
Crown

What It Is Like to Go to War

$25.00
Grove Atlantic

Karl Marlantes This should be required reading for not just veterans and active military, but for our politicians who send those men to war. Karl Marlantes lays himself open in this narrative of his Vietnam experience. He focuses on the impact that war had on him; its emotional, psychological, and mental effects. His deep reflection and careful analysis grant even those who haven’t served the insight on the consequences of combat on an individual. - Ed, Manager of Inventory Planning & Analysis, Atlanta, GA

Best Books of 2011

NON

BEST

FICTION con’t

St. Barts. Melanie and Antonio prefer the festive chill of between Philadelphia and Youngstown! We never miss it.

er the retro chic of spending Christmas just like Joseph and a dog licking your face while an Ab Rocket infomercial plays

birth to be counted, with no guarantee of a bed when you get

ilgrimage from one set of in-laws to the other happens every

all it in Canada: Boring Day.

ants by Tina Fey

Sex on the Moon

$26.95
Knopf Doubleday

Ben Mezrich Ben Mezrich is a professional at showing the reader the human side of tragic events that occur. He relates the emotions of all the characters involved in a proficient and skillful way. Wrapped in a perfect reading bundle, this book is ready to be opened and enjoyed by Fiction and Nonfiction fans alike. - Mike, Assistant General Manager, Albuquerque, NM

The Psychopath Test
Jon Ronson
Ronson takes us on a meandering trip to explore who psychopaths are, how to determine who they are and how they got labeled as such. This is not dry reportage, this is a likeable neurotic on a quest through several countries meeting several crazy people. Or are they? One is in prison in England who pled insanity in hopes of receiving a lesser sentence. The more he tries to convince his jailers that he isn’t crazy, the more they are sure that he is. Ronson interviews a leader of a Haitian death squad who is in prison for mortgage fraud, and a corporate down-sizing expert with frightening statues of predatory animals at his home. He takes a three day seminar from the creator of the psychopath test after which everyone who crosses Ronson’s path is suspect. It appears that psychopath is not clear cut, it depends on who’s asking the questions and who interprets the answers. The only sure thing is that Jon Ronson is entertaining. - Sydne, Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA

$25.95
Penguin Press

NON

BEST

FICTION con’t

Best Books of 2011

BUSINESS
Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain
Ryan Blair with Don Yaeger

INTEREST
$25.95
Penguin Group

Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain is often criticized for being just P.R.; however, those who state that miss the point. Ryan teaches us through the lessons he learned, which are pure inspiration. Going from gang member and even serving time, to entrepreneur. From having the right influences, listening to the right people, and try/fail/adjust mentality we learn not to give up. Dream big. Ryan didn’t try to do everything by himself but shows how, pride aside, with the right mentors and networking goals are met with accomplishments. - Mark, Airport General Manager, Roanoke, VA

Money and Power
William D. Cohan
This book is a must read for anyone in the financial services industry. Goldman Sachs has always been considered the “gold standard” in the investment industry. Cohan gives us an in-depth look at how Goldman has positioned themselves to be at the nexus of every major financial change. They frequently bet on both sides of a transaction and always come out the winner. An important read about a company that affects the world economy more than even the experts care to admit. - Justin, Marketing Manager, Atlanta, GA

$30.50
Knopf Doubleday

FAVORITES
Justin
Marketing Manager, Atlanta, GA
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 2. Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen I am not a fan of alien or government conspiracy theories, but I love this book. The real story behind Area 51’s secrecy is one hundred times more bizarre and unnerving than anything the crackpots can come up with. Jacobsen brings to light all of the formerly classified projects and experiments that happened in this large base out side of Las Vegas. This book has a little of everything: spies, top secret war machines, lies and deception, and an in-depth look at what was really happening during the “cold war.” 3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 4. Kingpin by Kevin Poulsen 5. Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff 6. Money & Power by William D. Cohan 7. Divergent by Veronica Roth 8. Bossypants by Tina Fey 9. 1493 by Charles C. Mann 10. Zone One by Colson Whitehead

BOOKSELLER

Best Books of 2011

FUN FACT: Ryan Blair was the winner of the DSN Global Turn
Around Award in 2010.

BUSINESS
Tell to Win

INTEREST con’t
$26.00
Crown

Peter Guber The best way to connect to your clients and customers is through storytelling. In Tell to Win, Peter Guber anecdotally relates how to emotionally reach the people with whom you interact. A great story is easier to remember and relate to than cold data, creating stronger, tighter bonds. All in all, a quick read that guides you in the art of storytelling.- Ed, Manager of Inventory Planning & Analysis, Atlanta, GA

$25.95
W.W. Norton

Michael Lewis In The Big Short Michael Lewis gave us the inside look at the investors who predicted the mortgage crisis. Boomerang tells the story behind the global financial crisis. If things looked bad when the investment banks were about to go under, you can imagine how it is going to be when Greece, France, and Spain default. Governments absorbed the bad investments for the financial services industry and they will pay when people’s faith in their ability to back their debts falters. - Justin, Marketing Manager, Atlanta, GA

Boomerang

The Quest

Daniel Yergin By the author of the Pulitzer winning title The Prize, The Quest continues the story of the search for sources of energy and what this means for the world both politically and economically. The Quest is an important book for our time! - Anne, Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA
$37.95
Penguin Group

FUN FACT: Films Peter Guber personally produced or executive
produced have earned over $3 billion worldwide and include the box office hits The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Batman and Flashdance.

Best Books of 2011

FAVORITES
Anne
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA

BOOKSELLER

My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder Howe Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer Beijing Welcomes You by Tom Scocca Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem

Ed
1.

Manager of Inventory Analysis and Planning, Atlanta, GA

2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane Dennis Lehane goes back to his start, with Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, who twelve years on find themselves involved once again with Amanda McCready, picking up threads from Gone Baby Gone. Life has changed in many ways for these two, now married and parents. Thankfully, Lehane hasn’t, with a thriller that delivers all the way through. You couldn’t ask for a grittier trek through the streets of Boston, a satisfying trip to the very end. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline The Adjustment by Scott Phillips Scott Phillips’ The Adjustment immediately joins the ranks of noir, post-war classics. Wayne Ogden is a fixer, a go-to guy for the head of an airplane manufacturer. But more than that, he is a man out of step with the quiet streets of Wichita. With shades of Jim Thompson and Raymond Chandler, Phillips brings a compelling, yet vicious and dark voice to the genre. 2030 by Albert Brooks The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta Walking Dead Volume 14 by Robert Kirkman The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt Sixkill by Robert B. Parker What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

Best Books of 2011

FAVORITES
Sydne
Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA
1. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh 2. Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran 3. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles A Manhattan socialite sees a photograph of a friend that she hasn’t seen for 30 years and this sends us back to New Year’s Eve, 1937. This is before Americans are aware of the looming war, the time of Carole Lombard and William Powell comedies, when $3 can be shared by two girls out on the town. This is post-Gatsby and pre-Holly Golightly. The plot is not necessarily original – we’ve all read about girls reinventing themselves in the big city, about the man of your dreams turning out to be something else, of the rich kids frolicking while the poor ones struggle. The pleasure of this first novel is the glorious use of the language. With an appealing narrator, interesting side characters and a couple of surprising twists, this is a tasty martini of a story. 4. Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso 5. The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom 6. The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott 7. House of Prayer No. 2 by Mark Richard 8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain 9. I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck 10. The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson

BOOKSELLER

Ron

Regional Book Manager, Los Angeles, CA
1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand The amazing life odyssey of Louis Zamperini. 1936 Olympic Track Team Member...WWII Bombardier...Prisoner of war...American Hero.. You can’t stop reading once you start Laura Hillenbrand’s (Seabiscuit) telling of Zamperini’s gut-wrenching determination to survive at all cost against the extraordinary horrors of WWII captivity. 2. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff 3. West of Here by Jonathan Evison 4. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick 5. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson 6. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson 7. Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach 8. The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens 9. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo 10. Bossypants by Tina Fey

Best Books of 2011

BEST YOUNG
Chris Van Allsburg

READERS

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick
Fourteen bestselling authors take their turn to each write a short story based on one the fourteen black & white illustrations of two-time Caldecott award winning illustrator Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji and Polar Express). These imaginative illustrations first appeared in his earlier bestseller, Mysteries of Harris Burdick. - Ron, Regional Book Manager, Los Angeles, CA

$24.99
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness, Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd A Monster Calls is a book about nightmares, monsters and death; a darkly beautiful and
moving story about a 13-year-old boy who must cope with the fact that his mother has terminal cancer. When a monster begins to show up at his window on a regular basis, exactly at 12:07am, Conor is surprisingly unafraid. Sinister, shadowy illustrations reinforce the atmosphere of despair. Despite its subject, or perhaps because of it, this is a book to treasure. - Sara, VP of Book Purchasing, Atlanta, GA

$16.99
Candlewick

Okay for Now

Gary D. Schmidt Ok for Now is one of the best novels written for children I’ve read this year. You can’t
help but root for Doug, the main protagonist, as he navigates everything that life has thrown at him and even after the book ends I could only hope that he will really be ok. - Anne, Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA

$16.99
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick
Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, takes us on another magical adventure in Wonderstruck. Continued use of his pioneering medium pairing cinematic drawings with text makes perfect sense for this tale of an orphaned boy who loses his hearing and goes on a quest to find his father. It’s gloriously nostalgic, but packs enough action and emotion to engage kids of all ages. - Sara, VP of Book Purchasing, Atlanta, GA

$29.99
Scholastic

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children combines photography and fiction in a manner
that works extremely well with the story. Our young hero, Jacob, has recently suffered a family tragedy and while trying to make sense of what has happened he discovers the mystery surrounding his grandfather. Just who or what is Miss Peregrine? What is the relationship she shared with his grandfather? Why were the children living at Miss Peregrine’s home segregated from the rest of the island’s inhabitants, are the children dangerous in some way? - Anne, Book Buyer, Atlanta, GA

$17.99
Quirk

Best Books of 2011

FUN FACT: Brian Selznick once worked at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City where he painted the windows for holidays and book events.

from

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
“The Girl in the Storm” by Ben Loory
There once was a girl who was lost in a storm. She wandered this way and that, this way and that, trying to find a way home. But the sky was too dark, and the rain too fierce; all the girl did was go in circles. Then, suddenly, there were arms around her. Strong arms–good strong arms. And they picked the girl up and carried her away. When she woke, she was lying in bed. It was a warm bed–very warm–by a roaring fire. The blankets were soft, and she was dry. She looked around the room. There were paintings on the walls. There was a hot cup of tea on the nightstand. Hello? called the girl. Hello? Hello? A young man appeared in the doorway. He looked down at the girl with a kind, quiet smile. Feel better? he said. And she did. The girl stayed with the man for quite a long time, until she had all her strength back. I guess it’s time for me to go home, she said, and started to gather her clothes. But when she got to the door, she saw the rain was still falling. If anything, it was falling even harder. So she took off her clothes again, and went back to bed, and lay in the man’s arms a little longer. This went on for many, many years, and eventually the girl grew very old. And then one day she discovered on the wall by the door the switch that turned the rain on and off. She stood there staring at the beautiful day outside, and then down at the simple little switch. She listened as the birds flew by the window, singing. And then she turned and went back to bed. In the night, that night, the man woke up. Did the rain stop? he said. I dreamt it did. And the girl put her arms around the man and held him tight. It may have, she said. But it’s all right.

I have never much liked Shakespeare. I find the plays more pleasant to read than to watch, but I could do without him, up to and including this unstoppable and unfortunate book. I know that is not a very literary or learned thing to confess, but there it is. I wonder if there isn’t a large and shy population of tasteful readers who secretly agree with me. I would add that The Tragedy of Arthur is as good as most of his stuff, or as bad, and I suppose it is plausible (vocabulary, style, etc.) that he wrote it. Full disclosure: I state that as the party with the most money to be made in this venture. As a cab driver asked in an ironic tone when I told him I was contractually bound to write something about Shakespeare, “And what hasn’t been written about him yet?” Perhaps this: although it is probably not evident to anyone outside my immediate family and friends, my own career as a novelist has been shadowed by my family’s relationship to Shakespeare, specifically my father and twin sister’s adoration of his work. A certain amount of cheap psychology turns out to be true: because of our family’s early dynamics, I have as an adult always tried to impress these two idealized readers with my own language and imagination, and have always hoped someday to hear them say they preferred me and my work to Shakespeare and his. - From The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips

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