Book List, Seasonal Picks, Staff Picks

Summer Staff Picks, Round 4

Welcome to the Summer Staff Picks, Round 4! Every summer, each staff members picks a set number of books that they think make great warm weather and vacation reads. They right a blurb for every book, and we put them out on display in the store for all our customers to see (this year they’re to the left when you walk in the front door, along the wall!)

What we don’t always share, however, is our competitive nature. We never want to be coming across as used car salesmen at the store, but behind the scenes, we’re always subtly checking out whose picks have sold more copies. This year, we decided to change it up, and outright share that this is a competition among us on the staff, and the books you buy determine the winner!

Here’s how it works: Every staff member has picked between 5 and 8 titles that they think make great summer reads. The person who’s picks collectively sell the most during June, July and August wins the competition at the end of the summer (we don’t get a prize, just bragging rights). Each staff member’s name below links to that staff members summer picks (all of them, not just the featured one). Each week we’ll feature one book from each staff member here on the blog and whoever’s featured book sells the most that week gets 10 bonus points to their final tally. The button “Summer Staff Picks #2” right below takes you to this week’s featured titles. If you’ve already read a book on the list and loved it, mention it in the comments and the staff member who picked it gets a bonus point for each mention!

Basically, we hope you like the books and help us nurture our competitive sides!

This book is absolutely blowing me away! I love how McNamara adds in personal touches from her own life to show how she got into true crime when she was a teenager. I am in total awe of how much research she did in order to complete as much of the book as she did before her untimely passing. I did not know before reading this that she was the one who coined the name “Golden State Killer.” I wish I could read more from her, but her work has helped to catch the GSK, so we can at least thank her for that.


One of the greatest adventure stories of all time—pirates! buried treasure! exotic lands! swarthy villains!—Treasure Island is a delight to read whether you are eight or eighty years old. A perfect diversion for those of us seeking some excitement during what will surely be a low-key summer. There’s no beating Long John Silver when it comes to charming rapscallions! Arrrggh!


I haven’t read anything like El Dorado Freddy’s before. This poetry collection provides so much; a commentary on fast food and consumer culture, a snapshot into life in the American Midwest, a story about a soon-to-be father, and enough hilarious lines to keep you laughing the entire way through. This is my current frontrunner for my favorite book of the year and I’d recommend it even to people who don’t have a passion for poetry. This makes a great coffee table book, and often turns into one you just can’t put down.


This books was written for anyone who has ever had to work retail before. Set in a definitely not ikea inspired furniture store on the set up before black friday everything seems to be going horrible as normal for the people forced to stay overnight. Until that is the ghosts come out. You see it seems that the ghosts see the pain that everyone is in and all they want to do is help, they just want to make everyone all better no matter what!


Who doesn’t love a good “hate to love” romance trope? “The Hating Game” follows Lucy and Joshua, executive assistants at a publishing company who share the same office but absolutely HATE each other. When they both are up for the same promotion, the tension between them increases. It was just so much fun to read about their back and forth banter. If you are in the mood for a fun New Adult romance, try this one out!


This jaw-dropping book is FINALLY in paperback, which is the excuse you’ve been waiting for to check it out. Bad Blood, a shocking investigative account of a blood testing startup based in lies and falsehoods, has everything: scams and cons, magical thinking and cult-like loyalty, scientific and medical untruths, billions of dollars, thuggish lawyers, and regular people just trying to make things right. But most importantly, it’s a cautionary tale of what can go wrong when we put too much faith in Silicon Valley. Oh, and the trial of Elizabeth Holmes–the primary con artist of this story–is set to begin this fall, so now is the perfect time to get caught up! Once you’ve read the book, follow it up with the podcast The Dropout.


This timely book painstakingly documents the discovery of HIV and AIDS, and how incompetence and/or indifference in several organizations allowed it to become an epidemic. It still newly infects 1.7 million people each year. Like the famous AIDS memorial quilt, the book is a patchwork of people and the roles they played in the story of AIDS. Scientists, activists, the gay community, the blood banks, and the government all made progress and missteps in the fight against AIDS. And some in particular (looking at you, President Reagan), could have done more in their positions of power and sadly didn’t.


An ode to bookworms and introvert everywhere, THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL, had me smiling and laughing long after I’d finished the last page. With a literary style combined with a Hallmark rom-com, this book weaves the story of introverted indie bookstore employee Nina Hill who finds herself shoved out of her comfort zone via a large extended family she didn’t know she had and a sweet annoyingly persistent suitor. At turns hilarious and poignant, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to smile.


This is a moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, both headed by rookie cops. Behind closed doors, the loneliness of one wife and the instabillity of the other set the stage for a horrific tragedy that influences the next four decades for both families. The son of one family and the daughter of the other become close. What ensues with the parents is a psych ward commitment, alcoholism, estrangement and infidelity. It is a thoughtful and insightful story about love, family and especially forgiveness. It shows how childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood. This story may break your heart but also give you hope.


Little Fires Everywhere is a beautifully written story filled with lies, secrets, drama and angst. This novel is about two very different families that reside within the seemingly perfect community of Shaker Heights a suburb of Cleveland.


If you haven’t seen or heard of Iliza, allow me to introduce her to you. She is a stand-up comic (but so much more!) and she won Last Comic Standing – the youngest and first woman to ever do so. Her honest and confident approach to life make her a role model for all young women, as well as her peers. And she freely admits that she doesn’t have everything sorted out – that her life is still a work in progress and her success is not a measuring stick for others’. The topics she covers in Girl Logic stem from the female-centered topics of her stand-up and focuses on three primary relationships: the relationship with have with ourselves, with other women, and with men.


Don’t forget to comment the title of ones that you’ve read and loved to help the staff member who recommended it get bonus points!

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