Staff Picks

The Open Book Staff is an eclectic crew of readers.  We read everything from the most serious literary fiction to history to graphic novels.  Jessica Howard, the store manager, is an expert on contemporary fiction. She devours the newest books so that she can tell you about them. Terry likes thrillers and mysteries.  Richard is the nonfiction reader.  Rachel, Sara, Bret, Vincent, Danielle and L.J. read all kinds of books.  Ask anyone of us what we have read lately and we will be happy to tell you.

ISBN-13: 9780758254092
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 4/2011
This was Jessica's pick for the April newsletter. It's a riveting depiction of life in the south during segregation.

The Peach Keeper (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780553807226
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bantam, 4/2011
Terry picked this book to talk about in our April newsletter. It's set in Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.

ISBN-13: 9781439125687
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2/2011
This memoir of a Russian childhood just before the wall came down is sometimes heartrending and always fascinating.

The Weird Sisters (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780399157226
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2/2011
A major new talent tackles the complicated terrain of sisters, the power of books, and the places we decide to call home.

ISBN-13: 9780060594664
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow, 10/2010
One of Jessica's favorites!  This book combines the southern atmosphere of The Help with a bit of a mystery!

ISBN-13: 9780812981223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2/2011
Now in paperback!  Westhampton's own Helen Simonson has written a lovely novel with a sharp wit.  You will not soon forget Major Pettigrew!

Alice I Have Been (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780385344142
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bantam, 12/2010
Part love story, part literary mystery, Melanie Benjamin’s spellbinding historical novel leads readers on an unforgettable journey down the rabbit hole, to tell the story of a woman whose own life became the stuff of legend. Her name is Alice Liddell Hargreaves, but to the world she’ll always be known simply as “Alice,” the girl who followed the White Rabbit into a wonderland of Mad Hatters, Queens of Hearts, and Cheshire Cats. Now, nearing her eighty-first birthday, she looks back on a life of intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. First as a young woman, then as a wife, mother, and widow, she’ll experience adventures the likes of which not even her fictional counterpart could have imagined. Yet from glittering balls and royal romances to a world plunged into war, she’ll always be the same determined, undaunted Alice who, at ten years old, urged a shy, stuttering Oxford professor to write down one of his fanciful stories, thus changing her life forever.

Annabel (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780802170828
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat, 1/2011
Kathleen Winter’s luminous debut novel is a deeply affecting portrait of life in an enchanting seaside town and the trials of growing up unique in a restrictive environment. In 1968, into the devastating, spare atmosphere of the remote coastal town of Labrador, Canada, a child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor fully girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret—the baby’s parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbor and midwife, Thomasina. Though Treadway makes the difficult decision to raise the child as a boy named Wayne, the women continue to quietly nurture the boy’s female side. And as Wayne grows into adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting society of his father, his shadow-self, a girl he thinks of as “Annabel,” is never entirely extinguished. Kathleen Winter has crafted a literary gem about the urge to unveil mysterious truth in a culture that shuns contradiction, and the body’s insistence on coming home. A daringly unusual debut full of unforgettable beauty, Annabel introduces a remarkable new voice to American readers.

ISBN-13: 9780345418012
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ballantine Books, 6/1997
"Packed with fascinatingly bizarre characters and propelled by an explosive narrative, this novel is a masterful piece of black humor - a comedy of death and tragedy layered with a rich mosaic of pathos, compassion, barbed with trenchant insights into the human condition." -- The Hartford Courant