So you’ve resolved to read more this year—fantastic! That also means you might be in the market for some brilliant and highly recommended titles to add to your must-read list for 2020, and we just happen to have the perfect place to start—our new Books of the Month program!
Books of the Month was created to engage and inspire you—our avid readers. Each month we aim to spark new and exciting conversations around powerful narratives with thoughtfully selected stories picked by our amazing team of booksellers. We love a really good book recommendation and look forward to sharing ours with you.
Our choices this month range from a heart-racing thriller set in the brutal isolation of the Australian outback to an unflinchingly honest memoir that travels from Oregon to Patagonia. We shine a light on an up and coming author’s clever look at two women ultimately finding their power in eerily similar patriarchies, some sixty years apart, and complete our list with a hilarious new middle grade novel that mashes together a class of lovable misfits and academic train wrecks and a teacher who just wants to retire.
Thriller of the Month
The Lost Man, by Jane Harper
“Jane Harper has done it again! This standalone novel takes the reader on a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the Australian Outback as Nathan tries to solve the mystery of his brother’s death and learns that his family has more to hide than he could have ever imagined.” – Heidi Shinbaum, Bookseller, Brentwood, TN
Two brothers meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches deep in the Australian outback—where their third brother lies dead at their feet. With no sign of foul play and a victim with seemingly everything to live for, eldest brother Nathan starts his search to understand what led his brother Cameron to his fate. With a brutal climate and formidable landscape looming over the story, Nathan will wade through haunting urban legends and be forced to reckon with his family’s own secret history of violence.
Just when you think you have all the pieces in place, this slow burn thriller will casually rebut all your theories, keeping you guessing until the very end. Thoroughly atmospheric and filled with compelling characters, this is a story that stays with you long after you finish reading.
Non-Fiction Book of the Month
“To Shake the Sleeping Self is a remarkable story of self-reflection and growth. Jedidiah Jenkins’s humor, wit and honesty easily made this one of my favorite books. You’ll laugh, cry, and grow, all within 330 pages.” – Stephen Harrington, Visual Merchandiser, New York, NY
Terrified of being funneled into a life he didn’t choose, Jedidiah Jenkins decides to set off on an epic adventure all his own, spending sixteen months cycling from Oregon to Patagonia—and chronicling his meditations and experiences on Instagram along the way. While a yearning for the great unknown may be in his blood—his father is the author of the classic A Walk Across America—this is more than just a travelogue. Emboldened by his travel companion and the people he meets along the way, Jedidiah focuses as much energy on his internal quest for self-discovery, grappling with questions of faith and his own identity.
A powerful reminder that extraordinary things can happen when we truly embrace uncertainty and escape our comfort zones, this poetic and inspirational memoir takes a piercing look at the fears we carry and those moments of bravery that can set us free.
Children’s Book of the Month
The Unteachables, by Gordon Korman
“Any book that makes me both laugh out loud and tear up on the subway will always hold a special place in my heart. I found I unexpectedly learned a lot from the misfit group known as Unteachables, and their journey to connect with each other will resonate with every kid in a classroom today.” – Shannon Devito, Book Buyer, New York, NY
Isolated from the rest of the student body in Room 117, the Unteachables are just that—an infamous group of middle school misfits with a colorful array of quirks, they are considered simply irredeemable. To add to the fun, their newly assigned teacher Mr. Kermit is the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. Once a rising star, Mr. Kermit’s career was rocked by a cheating scandal some 26 years prior, and now the only thing he cares about is counting down the days until early retirement. When a gutsy vuvuzela heist rallies them all together, the Unteachables and Mr. Kermit might finally get their true shot at redemption after all.
Hilarious, insightful, and deeply heartfelt, with a rotating first person narrative that keeps things lively and completely entertaining, this true underdog story shows that a little kindness can ignite the hidden spark in all of us.
Discover Book of the Month
Recipe for a Perfect Wife, by Karma Brown
“Recipe for a Perfect Wife has all of the ingredients required to make a page turning story that you will not want to put down. Rife with secrets, intricate storylines, and compelling characters—not to mention a recipe for the perfect meatloaf—Karma Brown’s latest is a tasty read this winter.” — Marisa Gothie, Bookseller, Wilmington, DE
After reluctantly leaving New York City for the suburbs, newlywed Alice struggles with shifting roles at home and achieving domestic bliss in a new fixer-upper. When she discovers a vintage cookbook in her basement, the allure of cooking up Baked Alaska and Chicken à la King soon leads her into the darker story of the woman who previously owned the house, unfolding in notes tucked into the book. As Alice discovers striking parallels between this woman’s life and her own, she is finally forced to focus on the trajectory of her own life, questioning the foundation of her marriage and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.
This mesmerizing dual narrative of a modern-day woman and a quintessential 1950s housewife is at once witty and charming and dark and sinister—much like its focus characters. With great care and gravity, this book offers a satisfying look at the lies we tell to feed the secrets we keep.