Titcombs Recommends: Staff Reviews & New Releases
From Elizabeth: The Book Lover by Maryann McFadden
The Book Lover is the name of a charming book shop which acts as one of the main characters in this story of broken marriages, secrets, friendships and little white lies. Ruth, the owner of the book shop, is struggling to keep her business alive and come to terms with changes in her life. First time author Lucy works endlessly to get her novel in the hands of booksellers and readers. Her efforts take her to a small town in the northeast where she encounters new friends, finds the resolve to pursue her writing career and faces the reality of a failed marriage. The well developed characters and the subject will make this story a sure selection for book clubs. $14.99
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead--and celebrating it all--as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more. From childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, Quindlen uses the events of her own life to illuminate our own. Along with the downsides of age, she says, can come wisdom, a perspective on life that makes it satisfying and even joyful. Candid, funny, moving, "Lots""of Candles, Plenty of Cake" is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen's status as America's laureate of real life. Limited number of signed copies available now.
List Price: $26.00 Our Price: $20.80
From Karen: Canada by Richard Ford
Pulitzer prize winning author Richard Ford has crafted a stunning tale of a young man's life being turned inside out when his parents do the unthinkable and he is sent from Great Falls, Montana to his unknown future in rural Canada. His descriptions of the bleak hamlet in Saskatchewan are spellbinding. I can't say much about the plot because it would ruin your enjoyment of the twists and turns this story will take you on. A remarkable novel from one of America's most talented authors. List Price: $27.99 Our Price: $22.39, Available May 22nd.
In One Person by John Irving A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love--tormented, funny, and affecting--and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a "sexual suspect," a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of "terminal cases," The World According to Garp. List Price: $28.00 Our Price: $22.40 Available May 8th.
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Bethia Mayfield is a restless and curious young woman growing up in Martha's vineyard in the 1660s amid a small band of pioneering English Puritans. At age twelve, she meets Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret bond that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's father is a Calvinist minister who seeks to convert the native Wampanoag, and Caleb becomes a prize in the contest between old ways and new, eventually becoming the first Native American graduate of Harvard College. Inspired by a true story. $16.00
In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance--and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler's true character and ruthless ambition. $16.00
From Elizabeth: This is the House by Deborah Hill
Drawing on a memoir of a mariner of the 18th century plus church and town records the author has spun a believable tale of life on Cape Cod after the Revolutionary War. The story is set in a sea faring town on the north shore of the Cape. Molly and Elijah Merrick face many obstacles when they set up housekeeping in the village of Rockford. The challenges of several generations living together, the danger of life at sea and romantic entanglements will hold your attention to the very last page. $17.95
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, "State of Wonder" is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy. $15.99, Available May 8th.
Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother's death, Roland is sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a "skin-man" preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast's most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him for the following day's trials by reciting a story from the "Magic Tales of the Eld "that his mother often read to him at bedtime. List Price: $27.00 Our Price: $21.60
Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Cork and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm. Amid the wreckage, Cork and Jenny discover the body of a teenage girl. She wasn't killed by the storm, however; she'd been bound and tortured before she died. Nearby, underneath a tangle of branches, they also find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrated, but still very much alive. $15.00
From Elisa: The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman This cookbook is for someone who cooks like me. At any given day there could be a sweet potato, a head of broccoli and chicken breasts in my pantry or fridge. But many times when I go to cook something I am bored by the same old thing. Katie Workman takes the "same old thing" ingredients and turns them into delightfully yummy dishes that are healthy and easy to prepare. She gives you several choices on a theme. For example three different turkey wraps that will appeal to everyone in the family without breaking the bank buying 20 different ingredients. This section also comes with a Wrap Blueprint which delivers enough variety to last for years. Workman offers recipes, tips, techniques, attitude and wisdom for staying happy in the kitchen while proudly keeping it homemade. Another plus for me was seeing "what the kids can do" sidebars which suggest ways kids can help in the kitchen. $16.95
Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms by Richard Fortey
Richard Fortey, former senior paleontologist at London's Natural History Museum, has written a fascinating book about his search for animals and plants that have survived nearly unchanged for millions of years, including horseshoe crabs and lizard-like tuatara on a log in New Zealand "looking as if it were resting after a stroll from the Triassic."
Written in buoyant, sparkling prose, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms is a marvelously captivating exploration of the world's old-timers combining the very best of science writing with an explorer's sense of adventure and wonder. List Price: $28.95 Our Price: $23.16
Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchel Zuckoff
On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over "Shangri-La," a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through. Drawn from interviews, declassified U.S. Army documents, personal photos and mementos, a survivor's diary, a rescuer's journal, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this incredible true-life adventure for the first time. $15.95
Children's Picture Books
From Vicky: When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, & Pterosaurs Took Flight: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life in the Triassic by Hannah Bonner.
This is a great book for dinosaur and science crazy children! Did you know that there was a huge extinction at the end of the Permian period caused in large part by enormous lava flows in Siberia? This book shows some of the many animals that appeared (including dinosaurs!) as life reorganized itself on land, sea and air during the Triassic period which followed. This is a very readable and fun book filled with lots of facts and great illustrations. Ages: 7-12 $17.95
From Vicky: Taka-chan and I: A Dog's Journey to Japan by Runcible (as told to Betty Jean Lifton).
We were so excited to hear that this delightful and beautifully illustrated book from the 1960s has just been reprinted! Runcible is a Weimaraner dog who digs a hole on a beach on Cape Cod and ends up in Japan. There he meets a little girl named Taka-chan, who has been imprisoned in a large house by a fierce sea dragon. Can Runcible find a way to free Taka-chan and reunite her with her family?
Author Betty Jean Lifton, wife of psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, lived in Wellfleet and Japan. She was a lifelong student of Japanese folklore and her book feels much like a Japanese folk tale. Eikoh Hosoe is one of Japan's leading photographers, whose work has been exhibited around the world. His beautiful black and white photos perfectly illustrate this unusual tale. Runcible was born in Framingham, Massachusetts and adopted by the Liftons. Runcible appeared out of a hole on a beach in Japan when he met Eikoh Hosoe. Highly recommended for ages 5 to adult! $16.95
Aliens on Vacation by Clete Smith
David isn't happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his crazy grandmother in "Middle-of-Nowhere," Washington. Arriving at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he is surprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is an off-earth portal and his grandma the gate-keeper, allowing aliens to vacation on Earth. Will David blow Granny's cover, forcing the B&B to shut down for good, or will the intergalactic police have to intervene? Ages 9-12. $6.99
Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan (Kane Chronicles Book #3)Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Ages 8-12. $19.99
From Vicky: Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
Summer of the Gypsy Moths tells the story of Stella, an 11 year old girl who has moved in with her Great Aunt Louise in a house by the ocean on Cape Cod. Stella loves the sense of order and stability with her great aunt, since her mother is unreliable and far way "finding herself". Great Aunt Louise also takes in a foster child named Angel to help keep Stella company, but the girls do not get along. When Great Aunt Louise suddenly dies, the girls fear that they will be put in foster care and decide to keep the death a secret. They work hard to open the summer rental cottages on the property and learn to trust and accept each other as they work together. I loved every single character in the book and how they interacted with each other. It was also fun to read about life in a Cape Cod summer cottage community. Sara Pennypacker is the author of the very popular Clementine books. Ages 8-12. $15.99
The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz The Daring Book for Girls is the manual for everything that girls need to know-and that doesn't mean sewing buttonholes! Whether it's female heroes in history, secret note-passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double dutch, the perfect cartwheel or the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking, this book has it all. But it's not just a guide to giggling at sleepovers-although that's included, of course! Whether readers consider themselves tomboys, girly-girls, or a little bit of both, this book is every girl's invitation to adventure. Also includes a list of "books that will change your life." Ages 9-12. $12.99, Hardcover
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
The bestselling book for every boy from eight to eighty, covering essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses*, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is. In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage. This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun-building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world's best paper airplanes. Ages 9-12. $12.99, Hardcover
The Daring Book for Girls and The Dangerous Book for Boys are fabulous books at a fabulous price! They will make an excellent gift for all boys and girls.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
If you have read Veronica Roth's Divergent, you have certainly been waiting for today!! Finally, the second book in this wildly popular dystopian series is available. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. Insurgent is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with twists, heartbreaks, romance and powerful insights about human nature. Ages 14 and up. $17.99
From Vicky: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Ismae is a 17 year old girl in 15th century Brittany who is rescued from a brutal arranged marriage and brought to the convent of St. Mortaine, whose sisters serve the god of death. The sisters train her as an assassin and handmaiden to Death. Her first task is to protect the young Duchess of Brittany and kill the traitor in her court. To do this, she is assigned to impersonate the mistress of the mysterious and possibly traitorous Gavriel Duval. The story is a wonderful blend of fantasy and historical fiction. It grabs you from its violent start and is impossible to put down. Ismae is a remarkably complex, strong and sympathetic main character. This is the first in a trilogy. Ages 14 and up. $16.99.
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed--as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows--with every fiber of her being--that Ben has somehow brought her back to life. Ages 13 and up. $17.99