“Sister Mine” by Tawni O’Dell. Shae-Lynn Penrose drives a cab in a town where no one needs a cab. A former police officer with a closet full of miniskirts, a recklessly sharp tongue and a tendency to get into fistfights, she has spent years carving out a life for herself and her son in the tiny coal-mining town where she grew up. But when the younger sister she thought was dead arrives on her doorstep, Shae-Lynn is forced to confront a host of family secrets she buried years before. Be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster ride with this latest from O’Dell. This is a masterfully unfolded, absolutely engrossing story as smart and sassy as it is wise.
“Storm Runners” by T. Jefferson Parker. Bestseller Parker’s 14th California crime novel opens with an unforgettable sentence: “Stromsoe was in high school when he met the boy who would someday murder his wife and son.” The wife and son are both killed by a bomb meant for Matt Stromsoe, an Orange County detective on the trail of his former classmate, Mike Tavarez, now a leader of La Eme, the Mexican mafia. That was a lifetime ago, and finally the spiral of personal destruction and despair seems to have come to an end. Parker’s trademark is the ability to create real characters, tangible, flawed, and heroic, and Stromsoe follows the tradition. Parker’s latest success is an absorbing thriller that continues to nudge him nearer to the top of the genre.
“Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. This is the astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard. Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. “Three Cups of Tea” combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit. (New in trade paper)
“The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy” by Jeanne Birdsall. Along with their loving but preoccupied botanist father and a clumsy dog, the motherless Penderwick sisters spend their summer holiday in the Massachusetts Berkshires in a rose-covered cottage on the grounds of a mansion. Suffused with affectionate humor, this charming, old-fashioned story feels familiar in the way the best books seem like old friends. Problems are solved and lessons learned in this wonderful, quaintly witty, humorous book. (Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature now in paperback) (Ages 8-12)
“Wolf! Wolf!” by John Rocco. This twisted treatment of Aesop’s fable flips everything readers know about the boy who cried wolf on its head and ends up where they never would have expected. From the brushstrokes of the hand-lettered title to the pink cherry blossoms featured with the wolf and the boy on the cover, ancient China unfolds as the stage and setting for this story. In this variant, children get a little insight into the wolf’s point of view: When the boy cries, “Wolf! Wolf!” the slightly deaf animal believes he is being summoned. Putting a new twist on a classic “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” this retelling finds a curmudgeonly wolf discovering what he’s been missing the most. (Ages 3-7)
Compiled by manager Susan Beck at The Book Seller, 107 Mill Street, Grass Valley, 272-2131. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. Ð 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Ð 5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. Ð 4 p.m.
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