Book List, Staff Picks

Top Selling Staff Picks of 2020

In continuing our 2020 Best of lists here at Towne Book Center, we’re excited to share the top selling staff recommendations of 2020! Each cover links to the book’s page on our website!

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

I eagerly waited for this book and it did not disappoint.  This is the story of Jake and Mallory who meet in 1993, during Labor Day weekend, for a bachelor party held in Mallory’s brother’s honor.  However, the party is a disaster, and everyone leaves except Mallory and Jake and so begins their intense, 28 year, summer relationship.  It is reminiscent of the movie, Same Time Next Year, with Jake and Mallory only meeting each year during Labor Day weekend in Nantucket at Mallory’s beach cottage.  During the other 362 days, except in a leap year, they live with their respective families, which for Jake is his wife Ursula, who has political ambitions, and his daughter, while Mallory is a teacher and single mother raising a son in Nantucket.   


A “captivating and bittersweet” novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Summer of ’69: Their secret love affair has lasted for decades—but this could be the summer that changes everything (People).
When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.
There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?
Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere—through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise—until Mallory learns she’s dying.
Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner is the perfect lighthearted read. I love reading books about books and bookstores and booksellers. Nina, our protagonist, is certainly a new favorite heroine with a distinct air of Austen about her. And a bonus! There’s an homage to Pride & Prejudice in the book and characterizations, and it’s a tear-free read!


As a long time bookseller, I related to Nina on so many levels: from living with way too many books in her home, to wanting one job-to find the right book for the right person, and believing that there is one out there for everyone. After losing her library job in England, Nina takes a risk and moves to Scotland to transform a van into a bookmobile. She learns to live in the real world instead of through her books. The romance that develops between Nina and her landlord is touching. This is a feel good story to read with a warm beverage in front of a fire, while dreaming of being in the Scottish Highlands.


Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.
Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.
Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile — a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. 
From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

I absolutely loved The Jane Austen Society. As I read, I felt I was walking around Chawton, immersing myself in the world of her colorful inhabitants, surprised by how they handled certain situations, while simultaneously feeling like they were behaving exactly as they should. The plot is intricate and beautifully woven, written by the hand of the master storyteller, it’s a great book for Austen lovers and historical fiction lovers alike!


Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.
A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I love this book so much! It is so cute and so happy. I love that it isn’t a crazy dramatic book, but instead a cute and fluffy romance. I love Alex and Henry as characters, and I love seeing the progression going from enemies to friends, and then eventually to lovers. This is one of the best romances that I have ever read, and I look forward to the author’s other future novels!


RED, WHITE, AND ROYAL BLUE is by definition a romance, hitting all the plot points in the formula up to and including the inevitable happily-ever-after, but there is a depth to this romance that makes the story stand out. Heavy issues of today, fantastic family relationships, and a truly wonderful queer romance combine into a funny and warmhearted read that will have you laughing and crying but always feeling good. Read this book and smile!


What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I think it is best if you go into “We Were Liars” without knowing much, but I highly recommend this thrilling and mysterious novel that you won’t want to put down! The story takes place on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts where four families live every summer. Although this is a short book, the depth and meaning behind E. Lockhart’s words will have you thinking about this story long after you read the last page.


A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth. 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood is a departure from Sarah Maas’ previous books, not just in that it’s her first adult fantasy, but in that it is more of an urban fantasy and, delightfully, references Norse mythology! I’ve enjoyed each of her books thus far and am so excited to share her new series with customers at the store, as well as delight in reading it myself!


Sarah J. Maas’s brand-new CRESCENT CITY series begins with House of Earth and Blood: the story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Madeline Miller continues to blow me away with her writing. I read “The Song of Achilles” a while back, and that made Miller an automatic buy author for me. “Circe” is truly an experience to read, and I mean that in the best possible way. The character building of Circe as a character was exquisitely done and she has become one of my favorite mythological figures ever. I learned more about Greek mythology’s side characters than I have from anywhere else. I loved watching Circe really become her own strong and independent person after being so dependent on everyone else for a long time, and I loved seeing her become stronger with her magic. This was just an absolutely phenomenal book, and I would recommend this to anyone who has a yearning to learn more about mythology that doesn’t include the Greek gods and goddesses


In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child — not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power — the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

This book is one that I would recommend going into knowing nothing about it. Just know that it involves an immortal girl who gave up her mortal life to avoid a forced marriage and therefore is forgotten by everyone she’s ever met, the darkness that made her immortal, and the first person to remember her in her 300 years of life.


In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

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.


For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

Imagine a world not too different from ours…are you imagining it? Good! Now add magic and magical creatures. If you’re doing this right you should be able to picture the world of The House In The Cerulean Sea. In this world not quite our own there exist magical children, sometimes these children are orphaned and so specific orphanages for magical children had to be set up. Which is where Linus comes in. Linus is an inspector of these orphanages and while his life is droll and boring he is quite competent at his job, thats why he gets given a special assignment. He is to asses a house unlike any other with six magical children who could end the world and the mysterious Arthur Parnassus who runs Marsyas Island Orphanage. What Linus finds though could end his own world, for the better! Part love story, part fantasy, part finding yourself and one hundred percent finding your tribe this book is the perfect balm for the roughnes of the last year. T.J. said that he wrote this so that at the end you could sigh contentedly and hug the book close, I’ve gotta say he succeeded!


Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world.
Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia

As a personal challenge, I decided to read a novel outside of my typical genre which is fiction. Therefore I selected this horror novel and it did not disappoint. The author uses descriptive language to slowly establish a well thought out story line which weaves a tale of an evil home called High Point and its disturbing residents.


An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids answers the question that many of us who grew up watching Scooby Doo have asked at least once, what happened once the gang grew up? In Meddling Kids the answer is…nothing great. Daphne is a bartender with PTSD, Velma is a combat nut, Fred is dead and haunting Shaggy who takes drugs to keep the ghost of his childhood friend quiet. There is still a Great Dane though so don’t worry! This book is full of Scooby Doo goodness as the gang has to reunite solve the mystery that caused them to break up, its a Scooby Doo and Cthullu mystery guys!!


In 1977, four teenagers and a dog—Andy (the tomboy), Nate (the nerd), Kerri (the bookworm), Peter (the jock), and Tim (the Weimaraner)—solved the mystery ofSleepy Lake. The trail of an amphibian monster terrorizing the quiet town of Blyton Hills leads the gang to spend a night in Deboën Mansion and apprehend a familiar culprit: a bitter old man in a mask. 
Now, in 1990, the twenty-something former teen detectives are lost souls. Plagued by night terrors and Peter’s tragic death, the three survivors have been running from their demons. When the man they apprehended all those years ago makes parole, Andy tracks him down to confirm what she’s always known—they got the wrong guy. Now she’ll need to get the gang back together and return to Blyton Hills to find out what really happened in 1977, and this time, she’s sure they’re not looking for another man in a mask.
A mad scientist’s concoction of H. P. Lovecraft, teen detectives, and a love of Americana, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a story filled with rich horror, thrilling twists, outright hilarity, and surprising poignancy.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

A really fun romp through the gated communities of the south during the early 90’s, with a vampire thrown in too! I have really enjoyed all of Grady Hendrix’s novels thus far and am happy to say that this one continues the tradition. The vampire was good and spooky and it was super refreshing to not just have him feed on peoples blood but also create suffering in the communities as well. Best moment in the book was when the two women were comparing the best ways to clean up after themselves, I literally cackled.


Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this ’90s-set horror novel about a women’s book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.
One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor’s handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in. 
Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

After waiting for years for Solutions and Other Problems, and wondering if Allie herself was doing okay, I couldn’t believe it when it arrived at the store for me to read. Full of Allie’s signature illustrations and humor, it’s the book her fans have been waiting for, answering many questions about how her life has been since Hyperbole and a Half, and also full of all sorts of stories from her life as a whole, from childhood through elder-millennial-hood. I can’t wait to share this book with her existing fans and new readers alike. I laughed out loud so hard I cried, and I teared up at the serious parts in the middle, the chapters where she recounts what happened when and after her sister died. Allie has delivered a book that will encourage you to cry out “me too!”, particularly when it comes to all instances relating to the small children she’s interacted with over the years.


Brosh is back with another heartbreaking and relatable book about childhood, humorous animals, and life’s absurdities. But she also covers an episode of overwhelming loss and grief that is a gut punch when it’s revealed. With her signature MS Paint cartoons she takes us on an analytical journey of her frustrations and heartache, and in insightful longer pieces she delves deeper into what causes her confusion and pain and how she copes with it all.


For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—returns with a new collection of comedic, autobiographical, and illustrated essays.
Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh’s childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.
This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features all-new material with more than 1,600 pieces of art. Solutions and Other Problems marks the return of a beloved American humorist who has “the observational skills of a scientist, the creativity of an artist, and the wit of a comedian” (Bill Gates).

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince is an epic tale of FaerieLand nestled inside a dark coming-of-age story. Holly Black’s words draw you into this dark, magical world so well you will never want to leave, as a human girl named Jude fights for her place among the fey, in a dangerous game against the youngest prince that may not be all it seems. Complex characters with hidden motives, a fierce female protagonist, and a twisted, but darkly humorous relationship combine into one truly enjoyable read.


By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

In my opinion this is the best book written by Jennifer Weiner. It has everything you would expect from reading Ms Weiner’s previous novels yet so much more. She begins the story with the main character, Daphne Berg, in an altercation with a gentleman in a bar, which subsequently is posted online. After this incident, Daphne becomes a social media influencer, and starts the difficult journey of self acceptance. As the second half unfolds, approximately six years later, Daphnes former best friend Drue, invites her to Cape Cod for her wedding and to be a bridesmaid. During the wedding weekend, an untimely death occurs. Now Daphne snd her friends become amateur sleuths as they try to uncover and determine why and who murdered this person. Ultimately, this is the story of friendship, family and learning to accept oneself flaws and all. If you enjoy this book I suggest Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand.


A deliciously funny, remarkably poignant, and simply unputdownable novel about the power of friendship, the lure of frenemies, and the importance of making peace with yourself through all life’s ups and down. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Good in Bed and Best Friends Forever, Big Summer is the perfect escape with one of the most lovable heroines to come to the page in years.
Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.
Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.
A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.

The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington

An enchanting middle grade novel of contemporary fiction with a touch of magical realism combine in this story of a young girl’s telepathic bond with the elephant that saved her life and her search for her lost family. Wonderfully written and full of magic, mystery, and animals, The Elephant’s Girl is a lovely tale of belonging and is perfect for anyone who has always wanted to know what their favorite animal is thinking.


A magical adventure about a girl with a mysterious connection with the elephant who saved her life, for fans of Katherine Applegate and Jennifer Holm.
An elephant never forgets, but Lexington Willow can’t remember what happened before a tornado swept her away when she was a toddler. All she knows is that it landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo; and there an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her birth family, Lex grew up at the zoo with Nyah and her elephant family; her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in her ear.
Now that she’s twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind’s protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah’s message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. As she hunts for answers, Lex must summon the courage to leave the secure borders of her zoo to discover who she really is–and why the tornado brought her here all those years ago.

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Shore continues Jenny Colgan’s Bookshop series and in this installment she takes us back to the small village of Kirrinfief on the banks of Loch Ness. Our new heroine is responsible for Nina’s book bus while she’s awaiting the birth of her first “wee bairn” and it’s another charming book of love and hope in the Scottish Highlands.


A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.
Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her four year old son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where shouting football fans keep them awake all night. Hari’s dad, Jaz, a charismatic but perpetually broke DJ, is no help at all. But his sister Surinder comes to Zoe’s aid, hooking her up with a job as far away from the urban crush as possible: a bookshop on the banks of Loch Ness. And there’s a second job to cover housing: Zoe will be an au pair for three children at a genuine castle in the Scottish Highlands. 
But while Scotland is everything Zoe dreamed of—clear skies, brisk fresh air, blessed quiet—everything else is a bit of a mess. The Urquart family castle is grand, but crumbling, the childrens’ single dad is a wreck, and the kids have been kicked out of school and left to their own devices. Zoe has her work cut out for her, and is determined to rise to the challenge, especially when she sees how happily Hari has taken to their new home.
With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

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