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Dear Friends,
Peter and I returned from the Winter Institute, the annual conference for the American Booksellers Association and came back with many ideas and scores of new books.  We had the opportunity to meet and greet with new authors, or authors with new books including Chris Hayes, Christina Baker Kline (who will be visiting us soon) Tony Perrotta, Ann Patchette and many, many more.  We talked about the importance of the independent bookstore and exchanged a multitude of ideas.  We all agreed we wanted our stores to be safe havens, a place to share ideas and be accepted, a meeting place for thinking people.

We talked about new books and old books.  We spend a lot of time featuring our new books and realized the importance of keeping older books in the forefront.  You may not have read them and they are well worth reading.  For that reason we will feature each month some of our favorite old books.  Look for the blurbs on the shelves highlighting them. Tell us what books you have enjoyed and we will try to feature those too.  Each year at this meeting we have a book swap where we are asked to bring a book we have read and want to remind everyone its well worth reading and each year I bring Angle of Respose  or Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.  Have you read them? 
Looking forward to seeing you at BookTowne on any given day or for some of our special events.
Rita, Debra, Maribeth, Jenna, Kira, and Peter
Upcoming Events
New Staff Picks
History of Wolves by Emily Fridland
"What's the difference between what you want to believe and what you do? And what's the difference between what you think and what you end up doing? Linda, a teenager raised on a defunct commune in rural, northern Minnesota by unusual and neglectful parents, asks these questions as she struggles to understand the actions of the adults in her life. The setting and characters are unique and artfully written. It will keep you thinking days later. With so many characters and plot layers to discuss, it's a perfect book club choice!

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
"This depiction of the woman in Andrew Wyeth's Painting Christina's World is incredibly touching and moving.  I have loved the works of Andrew Wyeth and this picture among them.  Anyone who shares my feelings of this art work cannot help but be totally engaged in Baker Kline's novel. She brings us into Christina's world in such a way that you feel for Christina and her life.  It is the unfolding of a masterpiece in hands of a beautiful writer.The Christina of the novel grows up on a farm with the lifestyle of a hard working family whose lives are dependent on the elements.  The simple life is hard and particularly hard for a handicapped child.  As with most challenges, you deal with them as the norm until you can't anymore.  Andrew Wyeth painted Christina and her house many times over 20 years and captured her world at the end.  Christina Baker Kline has likewise captured the essence of the painting in her brilliant book.She gives life to the painting.  I will never look at this moving piece in the same way again. " 
*Christina Baker Kline will be at the Brielle Library Thursday 4/6!  RSVP & more info HERE !
Great Books this Black History Month

New Books out this February
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
"Tom Barren is a time traveler. From 2016. A different 2016 from ours, that is. It's complicated. You see, he traveled from his techno-perfect utopian 2016 back to 1964 and really messed things up, leaving us with our current world. Now, the 2016 Tom-in-our-world, given the chance to return to 1964 and fix what he broke and return the world to the spiffy state he knows, faces the dilemma of loyalty to friends and family from his world versus the possibility of settling down with the love of his life in our grungy world. Whichever he chooses, people he loves will cease to exist. I predict the clever, witty, and poignant All Our Wrong Todays will be a huge bestseller for screenwriter and first-time novelist Elan Mastai."-Clay Belcher, Signs of Life, Lawrence, KS
4321 by Paul Auster 
"I celebrate whenever there's something new by Paul Auster. I wasn't prepared, though, for just how moved, awed, and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand novel 4 3 2 1. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that's the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece."
-Mitchell Kaplan (M), Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Order Here
Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk
"Join 85-year-old Lillian on a New Year's Eve stroll through Manhattan, a city as changed by time as Lillian herself. As with Joyce's Ulysses, the reader is privy to a life told in snapshots of memory within a single day. Based loosely on the life of Margaret Fishback, Lillian is a former Depression-era advertising copywriter for R.H. Macy's and a poet of light verse. She is also a mother and an ex-wife. Rooney's work has a light touch, but she is never frivolous. Rooney has the capacity to portray depth within brevity, pain within humor. Here is a novel that both entertains and enlightens, a balance rarely achieved."
-Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI
A Separation by Katie Kitamura
"We all have a secret self, parts of our personalities that are unknowable, even to the people closest to us. In A Separation, Kitamura stays largely inside the narrator's head, musing on a great many things: the muddled truth that can exist between married couples, the precise pain of infidelity, the myriad tiny betrayals we commit every day. Her prose is perfect, spare and beautiful, and her observations are spot-on. Some of her sentences were so good they startled me out of the story, which might sound like a bad thing, but it really isn't. It just meant I spent a little longer with this book, my mind wandering like the narrator's."
-Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Order Here
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill
"If there is Canadian magical realism, this is it! The Lonely Hearts Hotel is the charming story of Rose and Pierrot, two children raised in a Montreal orphanage in the early 20th century. O'Neill traces their romance from their childhood of entertaining rich people in their homes to their less salubrious post-orphanage careers. When Rose and Pierrot meet again as adults, magic happens-but can this magic survive the rigors of the real world? Fantastic and fabulous in the truest sense of both words." 
- Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
Manasquan Reads: BookTowne's January Bestsellers