Thursday, December 31, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Smoke and Mirrors

Gaiman's universe is awash in ancient myth and modern pith. Through 30 short stories he leads the reader into a fantastic, yet very tangible world where you can buy the Holy Grain at a thrift shop, there really are trolls under the bridge, and the fairy tales you thought you knew are never quite what they seem. Gaiman's first collection of short stories is a gem for old and new fans alike.

Reviewed by Jen R.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Staff Recommendation: The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

This new cookbook presents a tempting assortment of vegetarian, vegan and raw recipes, each brimming with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Essays intersperse the recipes, providing up-to-date information on nutrition, sustainable cuisine, and local foods. Each recipe is also equipped with a nutritional analysis so you can make informed food choices.

Reviewed by Jen R.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Ender's Game

Faced with the threat of invasion, Earth's governments have been sending their most precocious children to Battle School, hoping for a military savior. At five years old, Ender has no idea what lengths the authorities will go to make him into their perfect commander. Ender's Game is not only a fixture of science fiction, it is also an extremely well-crafted and thought-provoking novel.

Reviewed by Lauren

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Staff Recommendation: In The Time of Butterflies

Told from the perspective of the four Mirabel sisters, this is a heartbreaking story of life in the Dominican Republic under the Trujillo dictatorship and a fictional tribute to their real-life women who paid the ultimate price for resisting tyranny. Alvarez starts out gently, but the tension mounts as the sisters try to hold onto their ideals and each other in the face of growing danger.

Reviewed by Lauren

Friday, December 25, 2009

Did Santa bring a gift card to a store you don't like?

Bring it to us and use it in our store. We accept gift cards from several local and big-box stores - Home Depot, Barnes&Noble, Costco, etc. Give us a call to find out if we'll accept your gift card. Then, turn your unwanted gift card into that book you've been wanting that Santa forgot to leave under the tree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Staff Recommendation: The Brothers K

Like Dostoevsky's novel before it, this book is epic in scope: the family saga of the colorful Chances, the spiritual struggles and comings-of-age of the four brothers, a historical exploration of America during Vietnam, and a meditation on the zen of baseball. What's more, it is one of those rare novels that you will feel sorry to finish because it feels like saying goodbye.

Reviewed by Lauren

Monday, December 21, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Beast in the Garden

A fascinating read, especially for those living in the Boulder environs, Beast in the Garden highlights the delicate balance in which man and cat now exist. Working backwards from a fatal cougar attack, Baron combines thorough research with a style of prose that befits a thriller. Thought provoking and informative, this book will be of interest to all in the Front Range.

Reviewed by Matthew

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Death from the Skies

Death from the Skies by Philip Plait pokes fun of the impeding End of the World championed by the hordes of 2012ers yet at the same time offers hard science that backs up these macabre claims. A twisted book; one moment you'll be chuckling and the next you'll be headed outside for a breath of fresh air while you review the facts of doomsday. Have fun with this one. Peace!

Reviewed by Odysseus

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Child 44

This award-winning thriller is unique, compelling and intelligent. In Stalinist Russia, where crime and dissent are nonexistent, one security officer and war hero risks his career, family and ideology to pursue a serial killer whose crimes are covered up by the State. This novel, which reveals surprising truths about the killer, also has a suspenseful sequel, The Secret Speech.

Reviewed by Alyssa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Chronic City

Lethem's intelligent satire confuses reality with delusion, affection with deception, and comedy with tragedy. Meet Chase, a former child star, fiance of a space-stranded astronaut, and Perkus, a pot-smoking, paranoid cultural critic. They are adrift in Manhattan, where an escaped tiger causes buildings to collapse & the homeless find refuge in a luxury residence for dogs.

Reviewed by Alyssa

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Turning the Mind into an Ally

Mipham proposes that meditation is the solution to the cultural conundrum of training the mind like we train the body. Without relying on jargon or complicated philosophies, Mipham simply and eloquently describes how to begin your own meditation practice and learn how to control your thoughts, emotions and moods instead of allowing them to control you.

Reviewed by Jen R.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Republican Gomorrah

This book describes how the Republican Party, once considered a "big tent" party, has become increasingly aligned with the Christian Right in the last 50 years. Based on interviews, undercover research and dogged observation, Blumenthal brings clarity to the reasons behind the Republican party's increasingly value-based policy.

Reviewed by Chris

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Staff Recommendation: The Hidden Life of Deer

Think deer are lovely yet ultimately dull creatures? After reading this book, I can argue that these elusive animals are indeed fascinating. The author writes in a warmly informal tone. Her observations of the wildlife that frequent her farm are childlike in their wonder yet rooted in an extensive knowledge of animal behavior. A delightful book for animal lovers.

Reviewed by Tracy

Monday, December 7, 2009

Staff Recommendation: The Undertaking

These insightful “life studies” are more about the living than the dead: we fret over our mortality, make complicated (and sometimes silly) funeral arrangements, and despite it all, “the dead don’t care.” But they matter. Lynch’s prose is poetic, thoughtful, and even funny. And since the author is an undertaker, the viewpoint is certainly a unique one.

Recommended by Christine

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Cleaving

For those readers who enjoyed Julie and Julia, Cleaving offers the same witty writing style but a darker and more complex subject matter. When Julie is tempted into a love affair with a dark and handsome man from her past, she decides to leave town and distract herself by learning how to become a butcher. Her immersion in this new obsession is raw and animalistic, yet human.

Reviewed by Claire

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Staff Recommendation: Lost to the West

In early 2007, nearly 150,000 people worldwide eagerly listened to a podcast on Byzantine History. Lars Brownworth opened the minds of thousands to the fascinating and little-known history of the Eastern Roman Empire. Brownworth's dry humor and encyclopedic knowledge shines just as brightly in written form, from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance.

Reviewed by Jen R.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Staff Recommendation: The Insider's Guide to the Peace Corps

If you want a practical, thorough, and honest guide to volunteering with the Peace Corps, look no further. A seasoned Peace Corps veteran himself, Banerjee gives real answers to questions you may not have even thought to ask. Full of sound advice, and valuable resources, this guide is a must-have for anyone interested in joining.

Reviewed by Mari