Cheri's Past Picks 7

Staff Picks CheriHi!  I am Cheri, aka the Enthusiastic Bookseller. It is true I am very enthusiastic about books!  I am the store manager, children's book buyer, out of print detective and overall giant book fanatic. I originally hail from the Boston area, but lived in NYC for 20+ years so it's great to be back here in my home state, albeit on the far western side.  I'm an avid reader -- much more than children's stuff so take a look at all of my staff pick pages for some great hits in horror, true crime, literary fiction, mythology, mystery, magical realism and memoir.  I'm also a big fan of music, film, cats, photography and great food. 

See my older Staff Picks here

Cheri's Staff Picks:

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While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence By Meg Kissinger Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781250793775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness

Comments:

Hard-hitting, gut-wrenching, shocking and painful Meg Kissinger's family portrait is incredibly sad.  That said, I was completely engrossed and loved her writing style.  She is very brave to share such intimate details of her family to bring to light the issues surrounding mental illness -- and to work for better understanding and solutions.  This is a wonderful memoir that I think many people will relate to.  I definitely did.


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Schrader's Chord: A Novel By Scott Leeds Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250232076
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Nightfire - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Schrader's Chord

Comments:

I haven't read a book in a long time that so reminded me of early Stephen King novels. This reminded me of when I was younger and got sucked into Pet Sematary and was so scared but still stayed up until 1am to read it anyway. Schrader's Chord is a twisted story that braids together two things that I love: 1) records and 2) horror. How could I not love this book? This is like High Fidelity except with albums opening up the gates of hell and running from ghouls trying to kill them. Fun, fast-paced, great characters and I was only a little disappointed that John Lennon didn't reincarnate.


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What You Are Looking for Is in the Library By Michiko Aoyama Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781335005625
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Hanover Square Press - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: What You Are Looking for Is in the Library

Comments:

Bursting with inspiration, hope and charm, this book could easily be shelved in the Self-Help section as it truly bestows life-changing advice and wisdom.  Beautifully told, this book is full of surprises and heartfelt moments of realization.  A perfect read for anyone stuck in a rut and/or in need of some life guidance.


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Squash, the Cat By Sasha Mayer Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593566534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Studio - August 29th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Squash, the Cat

Comments:

Oh how I love Squash! And there amidst all the cuteness is a great lesson about making mistakes and forgiving each other. This one is a winner!


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A Tall Dark Trouble By Vanessa Montalban Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781638930129
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Zando Young Readers - August 29th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: A Tall Dark Trouble

Comments:

I so loved the Sanchez women!!  What an AWESOME book.  Atmospheric, magical, mysterious, with intergenerational curses and history with some romance and twists -- this story has it all.  I can't say enough good things.  


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I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me By Jamison Shea Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250909565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - August 29th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me

Comments:

Dark, haunting and thrilling this book had me freaked out in the best possible way.  It definitely made me think of the movie Black Swan, but was even more creepy.  Powerful and suspenseful this one will keep you reading into the night.


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The October Witches By Jennifer Claessen Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781665940528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 29th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The October Witches

Comments:

Enchanting and fun!  I loved Clemmie and her cousin Mirabelle as they are forced to work together to solve the mystery of their family's past. Full of witchery, mystery and adventure this is a great story for those who like Hocus Pocus or The Witches.


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The Sight: A Novel By Melanie Golding Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781639104611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crooked Lane Books - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Sight

Comments:

The Sight is a thrilling, suspenseful story featuring Faith, who is blind in one eye but can see when people die.  She is ostracized for this gift, even by her family which are part of a traveling circus.  Dark and quite sad, this tale was excellent for those that like carnival life stories.  And it also has a great twist.


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Grave Expectations: A Mystery By Alice Bell Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593470633
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Vintage - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Grave Expectations

Comments:

I adored this cozy-ish, paranormal mystery!  Based in England, the tale begins with Claire, a young medium that is accompanied by her childhood ghost friend Sophie. Sophie is her constant companion. They arrive at an estate in the countryside to entertain with a seance. Once they arrive, a death takes place on the property which spurs an investigation into why a certain ghostly skeleton is appearing in the library. Could one of the family members be in fact a murderer?  Fast-paced, very amusing and fun this book is a real pleasure.


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I Am Dog! By Peter Bently, Chris Chatterton (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Peter Bently, Chris Chatterton (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593520871
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Penguin Workshop - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: I Am Dog!

Comments:

ADORABLE!  Not much to say except this is SO CUTE!  A day in the life of a dog with illustrations that make you giggle and smile.

 


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Finch House By Ciera Burch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781665930543
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Finch House

Comments:

Finch House was such a great creepy story.  The house is alive and holding Micah captive!  Will she somehow find a way out?  And will she find help from her new friend Theo?  A perfect blend of spooky this is a great read for young Neil Gaiman fans and those that like layered stories.


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Nimbus By Jan Eldredge Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062680372
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Nimbus

Comments:

I love Nimbus!  Magical, witchy animal tale with great characters.  It's also a really great story about discovering your gifts and being courageous.  Adorable artwork as well!


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Deephaven (Deephaven Mystery #1) By Ethan M. Aldridge Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063283169
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Deephaven

Comments:

A magical school that promises to be a whole new beginning for Nev, but they do not realize what is to come.  Nev and friend Danny work to solve the secrets that are lurking within the strange school's walls.  This was super fun, eerie and twisty with beautiful illustrations throughout.


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The Philosophy of Modern Song By Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan (Read by), Jeff Bridges (With), Steve Buscemi (With), John Goodman (With), Oscar Isaac (With), Helen Mirren (With), Rita Moreno (With), Sissy Spacek (With), Alfre Woodard (With), Jeffrey Wright (With), Renée Zellweger (With) Cover Image
By Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan (Read by), Jeff Bridges (With), Steve Buscemi (With), John Goodman (With), Oscar Isaac (With), Helen Mirren (With), Rita Moreno (With), Sissy Spacek (With), Alfre Woodard (With), Jeffrey Wright (With), Renée Zellweger (With)
$34.99
ISBN: 9781797129518
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Audio - November 1st, 2022

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Philosophy of Modern Song (audiobook - listened on Libro.fm)

Comments:

I have trouble with audiobooks.  I get distracted easily and my mind wanders from the story. But this audiobook, well..... maybe I just need to have Bob Dylan, Helen Mirren, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Reba McIntyre, Alfre Woodard and others reading to me to keep me invested.  This is an AMAZINGLY written work by Bob Dylan examining songs that span many years and genres.  His interpretations are poetic and I thoroughly enjoyed his more technical deep dives that reveal parts of well-known songs that I would never have recognized.  This is a must-read or must-listen for music fans and Bob Dylan devotees.


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The Collector By Laura Kat Young Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781789099058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Titan Books - September 12th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Collector

Comments:

Every once in a while I come across a horror novel that goes beyond terror and sprouts insidious roots of sadness.  This is one of those novels.  To say that it's an easy breezy read would be untrue.  To say that it seeps into your consciousness to make you think about it during the day would be correct.  The dystopian world of the The Collector is one where "The Bureau" is in complete control of society.  It's Big Brother on steroids.  To the point where sadness and deep emotion is strictly forbidden.  Memories of any trauma or grief whatsoever are taken away by those that hold the job of "Collector." The main character holds this job. In order to preserve the rest of the storyline I will not divulge any further detail, but there were touches of each of the following throughout: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Giver and the movie Gattaca. Horrific yes, but has a huge dose of heartbreak. I felt bereaved when it ended and yet I loved it.


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A Study in Drowning By Ava Reid Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063211506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - September 19th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: A Study in Drowning

Comments:

I loved this story!  Not your typical fantasy, this is steeped in mystery.  It was a real pleasure to meet the main character Effy who has suffered some trauma at the hands of a professor and is doing her best to move forward.  She ends up at the crumbling mansion of her deceased literary idol tasked with restoration and meets Preston, a stodgy literature student that challenges her with his differing opinions.  The two of them embark on solving a puzzling mystery about the mansion and the author himself. Their world is rich with fae and folklore that makes it even more intriguing.  This is a really good story about a girl overcoming many obstacles to discover her own truth.  Sometimes it's good to have your beliefs challenged.


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The Library of Shadows By Rachel Moore Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063284630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - September 5th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Library of Shadows

Comments:

Super fun, paranormal romance with dark academia ambiance and a good sense of humor - this was a real treat! Students are disappearing, the library is haunted and so is the school - but Este isn't disturbed because she doesn't believe in ghosts - until she meets Mateo, a very real ghost that changes her beliefs and is also VERY cute. This is a perfect, fall cozy romance!


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Bright Young Women: A Novel By Jessica Knoll Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781501153228
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books - September 19th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Bright Young Women

Comments:

True crime has become so popular. I have become a true crime junkie. It's rare to see anything on the women that have survived an experience with a serial killer. This is a novel,  not true crime non-fiction, however it's clearly based on the person who gained notoriety for his 1970's killing sprees. And he barely gets a mention in the book - which I loved. The women in this novel are very real trauma survivors and the ride you take with them from the past to the present is harrowing but, also empowering in many ways. Why do we all like serial killer stories so much? The survivors and victims should have the spotlight.


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The Witches of Bone Hill: A Novel By Ava Morgyn Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250835437
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 26th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Witches of Bone Hill

Comments:

Practical Magic fans: pick this one up!  This is a suspenseful, magic-filled story of two sisters who upon inheriting Bone Hill, a glorious Victorian mansion filled with antiques, realize they have inherited a lot more from the family they never knew.  Mysterious, witchy, eerie and infused with a steamy romance, this is a great book about sisters and accepting who you are.  Perfect  to read with a cup of tea in a window seat overlooking falling leaves.


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The Hexologists By Josiah Bancroft Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316443302
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Orbit - September 26th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Hexologists

Comments:

The Hexologists is an alternate universe fantasy that involves a paranormal PI couple that deals with solving crimes of the magical type. The couple reminded me of Nick and Nora from The Thin Man series exuding great humor in this smartly written, masterful world Bancroft has created. Very similar in style to Terry Pratchett, I was taken in from the first page and my liking for the characters was immediate.  This was immensely enjoyable and funny!


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After the Forest By Kell Woods Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250852489
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - October 3rd, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: After the Forest

Comments:

A reimagining of Hansel and Gretel after 20 years have gone by.  This was such a fun read for anyone that likes adult fairy tales and dark fantasy.  Kell Woods had me fully entrenched in Greta's world - one that has shadowed forests filled with danger and people that cannot be trusted.  The baking magic in the book made me crave gingerbread for days!


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The Puppets of Spelhorst (The Norendy Tales) By Kate DiCamillo, Julie Morstad (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate DiCamillo, Julie Morstad (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536216752
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Candlewick - October 10th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Puppets of Spelhorst

Comments:

Five puppets are off on a journey asking themselves "who are we?" as they travel into the unknown. This is a beautifully told story filled with tenderness and truth. Julie Morstad is my favorite illustrator and her work shines magnificently in this tale.  Funny, wistful and charming, this feels like an instant classic.


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House Gone Quiet: Stories By Kelsey Norris Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781668016312
Availability: NOT ON HAND, but usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Scribner - October 17th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: House Gone Quiet: Stories

Comments:

This is an amazing collection of short stories. Superbly written, each one transported me to a completely different place. They are so good that once I finished one I couldn't wait to read the next. Kelsey Norris is definitely now on my list of authors to follow. 


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Let Us Descend: A Novel By Jesmyn Ward Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982104498
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - October 24th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: Let Us Descend

Comments:

Wow, I really don't have words for this masterpiece.  This book is so moving, horrifying, beautiful and haunting all at once.  The voice of Annis is unforgettable. 


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A Season of Monstrous Conceptions By Lina Rather Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781250884015
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - October 31st, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: A Season of Monstrous Conceptions

Comments:

Historical horror fiction set in 17th century London centering around a midwife with magical powers and a trend of deformed babies being born.  Fascinating and gruesome with a focus on the cruelty of the world against anyone that is considered "other" - which is as relevant today as it was back then. There is also a surprise queer love story that unfolds amidst all the madness.  My only complaint is the fact that it's a novella -- it was so gripping and was over so quickly!


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The Berry Pickers: A Novel By Amanda Peters Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781646221950
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - October 31st, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Berry Pickers

Comments:

I opened this book and could not put it down.  The voices of Joe and Norma jump off the page and it felt to me like this was a true story.  In essence, the plot deals with a Nova Scotia indigenous community that traveled to Maine every year to pick berries for work.  The youngest in the family, Ruthie goes missing on one occasion and it changes the course of the family forever.  Told from the perspective of Joe, the brother that carries the guilt of his younger sister's disappearance, this book is sad and  reflective, yet also is filled with such light and love. A beautiful debut.


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The Darcy Myth: Jane Austen, Literary Heartthrobs, and the Monsters They Taught Us to Love By Rachel Feder Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781683693574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - November 7th, 2023

Bookseller: Cheri

Title: The Darcy Myth: Jane Austen, Literary Heartthrobs, and the Monsters They Taught Us to Love

Comments:

This was such a fun read!  It's amazing how much influence these literary heartthrobs had on constructing my view of the "perfect" love at such a young age. Rachel Feder is hilarious in her explanations and I appreciated that she did not take the subject matter too seriously. I laughed quite a bit while reading and also felt it was eye-opening in many circumstances. A great pick for that friend or relative that's a huge fan of classic literature and swoony prince charming stories since childhood.