October 2014 – Inkwood Books Staff Picks


AFTERWORLDS by SCOTT WESTERFELD – “In Scott Westerfeld’s new book Afterworlds, readers are treated to two stories in one!Afterworlds is set up with alternating chapters where the reader is first introduced to Darcy Patel, a writer, who has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, aptly titled Afterworlds. Next the reader is immersed in the world of her novel and gets to follow her character Lizzie along on a suspenseful and thrilling ride. If you are looking for a fantastic new read then this book is a must!” – ERIN

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS by MARLON JAMES – “I was first introduced to Marlon James through his incredible novel The Book of Night Women. I’d never read anyone quite like him, and his debut – John Crow’s Devil, which I read immediately afterwards – is just as stunning. So I was thrilled when  I got my hands on this, his newest book, which centers around the 1976 attempted assassination of Bob Marley. Told from a vast array of characters, from warring gang members of West Kingston to ghosts long gone to CIA operatives on the island, we’re catapaulted from the Marley Catalyst into the 80s and 90s and the drastically reconstructed Jamaica. This is a fascinating look into the political and social complexities of Jamaica, the history and effect of meddlesome U.S. policies, and – unsurpisingly – a smashing good story.” – AMANDA

THE EXPEDITIONERS and the SECRET OF KING TRITON’S LAIR by S.S. TAYLOR – “The West children are back in another action-packed installment of the steampunk series The Expeditioners! Kit has recieved another secret map from his father, the famous expeditioner Alexander West, and this time must delve into the deep and dangerous seas of King Triton’s Lair to figure out his dad’s cryptic message. Kit’s willing to risk everything to figure it out, but when it comes to the lives of his brother and sister, and of his best friend Sukey, does he really have what it takes? I LOVE this series. Wonderful characters, beautiful illustrations, a great story and a great message.” – AMANDA

FLEABRAIN LOVES FRANNY by JOANNE ROCKLIN – “Set in 1952, Franny is learning to accept her polio diagnosis and the emotions that come with it. Charlotte’s Web has just been published and Franny is hoping to find a friend like Charlotte to comfort her. Enter Fleabrain, a funny, heartwarming bug that lives on the end of her dog’s tail. Rocklin’s sense of humor and writing style will appeal to readers who loved Out of My Mind and Wonder. Perfect for families to read together, classroom discussions and a sure pick for media specialists. I loved Franny, Fleabrain and this book. Don’t miss it!” – STEFANI

HOW TO BUILD A GIRL by CAITLIN MORAN – “In the council estates of Wolverhampton, England in 1990, 14-year old Johanna humiliates herself on live television. Shortly thereafter, she decides to re-invent herself as Dolly Wilde, a fast-talking, hard-drinking sex-adventurer who writes for the local music rag. Never mind the fact that she doesn’t drink, that she’s a virgin, and that her music collection is comprised solely of the Beatles and the Bee Gees. Armed with eyeliner, a fair amount of Thunderbird 20/20, and pure determination, Dolly breaks onto the scene and makes a new life for herself. But, as she comes to realize, the hardest – and most heartbreaking – changes are the ones we make within. Absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious, inspiring and profound, Moran has written the coming-of-age of our time, one I hope every woman – no matter what stage of “building” she’s in – will read.” – AMANDA

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by JANDY NELSON – “How to do justice to a novel that allows you to know each character so intimately that their pain and triumphs are your own? I fell head-over-heels for twins Noah and Jude. I couldn’t resist Noah, who has a penchant for contextualizing his life into paintings, or Jude, who takes to keeping onions in her pockets to avoid serious illness. The two share an almost other-worldly bond, but as life rapidly spins beyond their control and they retreat into their own internalized worlds, they lose touch with the others’ heart. Their journey back to one another is absolutely stunning. Peppered with beautiful imagery and quirky excerpts from Grandma Sweetwine’s folksy bible, I’ll Give You the Sun is a book you’ll wanna hold close to your heart. Or maybe I should just say, I want to give this book to everyone I have ever or will ever meet.” – AMANDA

A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by SANDY HALL – “A Little Something Different is a contemporary romance told in a unique way. The reader is introduced to 14 different points of view and not one of them are the main characters, Lea and Gabe. Each and every one of the characters that the reader is exposed to believe that Lea and Gabe are perfect for each other and they are all doing their part to try and make sure that they both see that they belong together. Overall, this book wasa cute and light read. Not to mention, it’s this month’s YA Book Club Pick!” – Erin

THE MATHEMATICIAN’S SHIVA by STUART ROJSTACZER Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch’s mother, Rachela,  is a famous mathematician and professor at the University of Wisconsin. The family would like to mourn her death with the traditional Jewish shiva, but there is a rumor that Rachela has solved a famous mathematical problem and taken the solution to her grave. Ahilarious and socially awkward group of mathematicians arrives in Madison to crash the shiva and will stop at nothing to find out if  the rumor is true. Very funny and quirky, the author – a Ph.D. geophysicist – brilliantly captures human nature and our will to solve the impossible.” – STEFANI

A SUDDEN LIGHT by GARTH STEIN – “A much-anticipated new novel by the author of the bestselling The Art of Racing in the Rain. The narrator is 14 year-old Trevor Riddell who is reminiscing about the summer of 1990 spent on the family estate, Riddell House, on Puget Sound. Even though Trevor’s great-grandfather was a lumber baron who made a fortune clear-cutting large parcels of land in the U.S., the family is going through financial -and marital- troubles. Trevor’s dad has returned to the family estate to meet with his sister and father and convince them to get power of attorney over the family patriarch and sell the land for financial gain. Trevor decides it’s his job to save the family and his parent’s marriage. The secrets he uncovers are truly haunting and darkly mysterious. Stein has used his immense ability with dialogue to tell a ghost story, a coming-of -age story and a family saga in an offbeat and surprising way. This one will keep you up at night.” – STEFANI

THE UN-AMERICANS by MOLLY ANTOPOL – “The characters that inhabit Antopol’s absurdly excellent debut story collection are all tossed between the Old World and the New, both figuratively and literally. She deals masterfully with the plight of the emigrant, of the perpetual outsider, looking for home and hoping it still exists. From the newly widowed Ukrainian woman returning home to the Jewish grandmother recalling her escape from the communist wave in Europe, these are tales of survival; of the common and uncommon bonds of humanity; and of the breaking-down and building-up of life.” – Amanda

THE YOUNG ELITES by MARIE LU – “The Young Elites is a dark spellbinding adventure that will keep you on your toes. Personally, I did not want it to end and can’t wait for the next in the series. While the setting and the plot held their own it was the characters that made the book. They were all fascinating and yet devastating at the same time. If you are a fan of supernatural and/or dystopian read than this book is for you!” – ERIN

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