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Terry's Traffic Light Delights

 
 
These are some of Terry's favorite books of the season:

There are so many great new books this year!

Check out her favorites here (older favorites are still listed below).

 

 

 

 

Terry and Liz Moore practicing social distancing at Ladies, Lunch & Literacy on March 11, 2020.

Ordinary Hazards: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982126957
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria Books - August 18th, 2020

This exceptional debut takes place over a single night at a bar called The Final Final, the last bar on the edge of a small town in upstate New York. We know we are in for heartbreak, that is clear from the beginning, but what we don’t know is how much we will come to care about Emma and Lucas, their history and their present. Ordinary Hazards begins when Emma sits down at her local bar at 5 PM and introduces us to the other bar regulars, interweaving their backstories in a flawlessly told narrative.  Emma is the only Final Final regular who is not from this town … Her upbringing ensured that she would have a first-class education and that she has been successful in her career. The puzzle of how she finds herself here, alone and unwilling to leave the bar, begins to unwind as the hours tick by. You will be mesmerized by her story and by Bruno’s writing which draws you in and never lets you go, even after you turn the last page. – Terry


Migrations: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250204028
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Flatiron Books - August 4th, 2020

This is a masterful book that takes on the both the climate crises of the future and the crisis of the soul of the main character, Fanny Stone. Fanny has a dark history and an even darker outlook on the world and her own future in it. She is passionate about saving wildlife on our planet, which is almost entirely extinct when the book begins. She is determined to follow three Arctic terns she marked when they were nesting in Greenland and finds the one captain that will allow her to board and follow their migration south. In an alternate narrative, Fanny’s history is revealed slowly, introducing us to her family and to her husband and how she discovered them. Her internal battles with loneliness, despair and with attachment make up the rest of this narrative. What I loved about Migrations is not only the many meanings of this word for this novel, but the haunting themes that make this a unique and original work.  – Terry


Musical Chairs: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501176418
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - July 21st, 2020

Bridget Stratton, daughter of famous composer and conductor, Edward Stratton, plans to spend the summer in romantic bliss with her current boyfriend. These plans go quickly awry when, one by one, her adult children begin to arrive at their summer home, in the midst in their own transitional moments. Her best friend, and partner in their chamber group, Will also finds his way to Her Connecticut country home, questioning all aspects of his life and his future. Added to the mix are Bridget’s sister Gwen and her Father who “summer” in the same area along with their households. This summer becomes a turning point and it is both heartwarming and funny as each character finds their way to their next chapter. It was a pleasure to read about this family of musicians and their summer of transitions.


The Last Flight Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781728215723
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - June 23rd, 2020

Two women. Two different backgrounds. Both have very good reasons for wanting to escape their current lives and keep their identities hidden from others. One lives a privileged life in New York City, married to the son of a well-known Congresswoman. The other lives in Berkley off the grid. When they meet by chance at JFK and recognize that they both need to disappear, they decide to switch plane tickets and identities. When one of the flights crashes before it reaches its destination, the action really begins. This is a unique thriller which draws you into the background of both women and will have you turning the pages until the unexpected, but perfect ending.


The Summer Deal: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062897916
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 2nd, 2020

Shalvis’ latest heart-filled entry is smart, funny, and the perfect read for this moment in time. With her options limited, Brynn Turner returns to her childhood home of Wildstone, and is immediately confronted with a panic attack, a run in with her middle school heartthrob, and her childhood nemesis. After recovering from her panic attack, she decides to move in with both of these childhood friends who currently share a house in Wildstone. So many life lessons here … some of the best ones originating from the 5-year-olds Brynn teaches at the local school. And then there are the many secrets that are held close to the vest by each of the housemates. The set-up is perfect and even though we may know where this is going … it is great fun getting there. Signed copies available in June. – Terry


The Imperfects Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780778305071
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Park Row - May 5th, 2020

This collection of imperfect humans makes for a fun family drama with bits of intrigue, history, love and hope. The three Miller siblings have not been close for a very long time … for oh so many reasons. The oldest, Ashley escaped from their small family home as soon as she reached college age, making a bee line for a world of successful ventures resulting in a “perfect” life with prosperous husband and two children, living in a beautiful home … at least until recently. Middle child Jake has had some success as a film maker but now finds himself working at Trader Joes with a pregnant girlfriend, lots of debt … and estranged from his sisters. The youngest, Beck had the most promising beginning, being whip smart and great in school. That promise was dimed due to some errors of judgment in high school and beyond. Their mother Deborah left them with their grandmother after her husband left her and she went on a search for her next steps in life.

The Imperfects are brought together again when their beloved grandmother Helen dies.  But this is not where the story begins. It begins in Vienna in 1918 … and it is the discovery of their family history that drives the plot. It is an absorbing and satisfying adventure for this wonderful family.

Meet Amy at Smart Summer Reads on Sunday, August 30 in Manhattan Beach.


If I Had Your Face: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593129463
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - April 21st, 2020

If I Had Your Face is a remarkable achievement. Like other books that teach us about life in another country, this one takes us where no American could ever travel. This story of four young women living in Seoul and introduces the reader to the world of the Room Salon, a gathering place for men of means where they are served by beautiful women … in all the ways you might imagine. Also examined are Korean definitions of beauty and the extremes young women will go to obtain it. Kyuri has risen from the depths of poverty and despair to become a sought-after beauty in one such establishment. The price she pays is more than the money she earns, but she does not have many alternatives. Her roommate Miho is a talented artist who has been given amazing opportunities to pursue her education and has gained exposure to a class of friends she never could have imagined. Ara and Sujin are roommates in the same building as the other two and their friendship and stories contribute to this snapshot of contemporary South Korea.


The Holdout: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399591778
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 18th, 2020

Ten years ago, a Los Angeles jury decided that an accused murderer was not guilty. Maya Seale was instrumental in that decision. She was the holdout on the jury, and it was her conviction that determined the eventual outcome in the jury room.

In the present day, Maya is a confident, successful defense attorney for a prominent Los Angeles firm. In fact, her career choice was due, in part to her experience in the courtroom. During a reunion for the ten-year anniversary of this infamous trial decision, one of the jurors is found murdered and Maya finds herself in the middle of yet another murder investigation and more questions about the original case. There are many unexpected twists and turns as we get to know the other members of the jury and Maia questions everything she believes … in the justice system and in herself. Lots of food for thought here, along with a fast-moving plot and a character we hope to see again.


The Antidote for Everything Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984802835
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - February 18th, 2020

On our shelves now, this page-turner takes the reader into a hospital setting ... and right into ethical dilemmas of many varieties. I could not put it down.


Long Bright River: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525540670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - January 7th, 2020

I could not love this novel any more than I do. Besides amazing writing and wonderful pacing, this is truly a story for our time. Michela (Mickey) Fitzpatrick is a single mother and a beat officer in the outskirts of Philadelphia. She struggles at work with a male-dominated force that treats her as an outsider, particularly since her partner, Truman Dawes has been on medical leave. Her son Thomas is the joy of her life but trying to balance work and home is challenging every day. And she finds it difficult to set her personal history aside when her sister Kacey, goes missing. Kacey is an addict, as were their parents; their mother died, and their father abandoned them when they were very young. For this, and many other reasons, Mickey cannot abandon her sister and her search for Kacey is what drives the book’s plot. But what I really loved about this book is the focus on relationships and how our decisions and words shape our lives and impact others … lots of truth here. Lots of wisdom and heart too. Do not miss this book.  – Terry


Dear Edward: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984854780
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: The Dial Press - January 6th, 2020

This intensely personal novel is uplifting and engrossing and heartbreaking.  Edward of the title, the lone survivor of a plane crash, loses everything he cherishes even as he has gained his life to live while others perished. And while his journey is painful, we are drawn to him while he struggles, not just with loss and notoriety, but also with adolescence, a new life and new school. And while we may have read other survivor stories in the past, there is something about Edward’s journey that is as unique as the second narrative of the lives he shared on the airplane during its flight.

In an alternating narrative, we meet his fellow passengers on this doomed flight, learning about their lives, losses, and wishes for the future as the minutes tick away on the airplane before it crashes. The newly pregnant Linda Stollen is flying into what she hopes will be a new chance at love. Army veteran Benjamin Stillman, who has been injured in more ways than his physical wounds, cannot fathom his life outside of combat. The ailing, but mega wealthy Crispin Cox has had quite the life building a fortune and dealing with multiple ex-wives. We also meet a family of four, a junk bond trader and several others. Their histories are ours to cherish as we know they will not live through this ordeal

The mystery of what happened that day drives much of the plot, but ultimately what is important is the survivors and how one teenager can make a difference. This is a book to be cherished. – Terry


An Old Man's Game: An Amos Parisman Mystery Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781945551642
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Prospect Park Books - December 3rd, 2019

I have not had this much fun in a mystery debut in many, many years. Not only does Weinberger (and his aging, retired detective Amos Parisman) have a great sense of humor … but his take on Los Angeles makes this a joy to read for all of us locals. Amos has long since retired but is called back into the action by the Board of Directors of his local temple to investigate the death of their rabbi, who died during lunch at the iconic Canter’s Deli on LA’s west side. Amos takes us on a ride through Los Angeles via his lifetime of experience thinking through the mysteries of life and death while mentoring his sidekick (and ex-professional wrestler) Omar Villasenor. I loved every minute and look forward to the next installment. 


Coached to Death (A Cat & Gilley Life Coach Mystery #1) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781496720337
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington - October 29th, 2019

Laurie has done it again with another winning series! And we get to fall in love all over again with returning character faves, Cat Cooper and Gilley Gillespie as they join forces as “besties” to become a resourceful (and hilarious) crime solving duo, taking Cat’s new digs in the Hamptons by storm. Cat is putting the finishing touches on her new home and Gilley is living in her guest house. She is trying to adjust to her life as a single woman and start up her new career as a life coach. The trouble starts almost immediately when her neighbor Heather Holland treats her with distain and then taunts her into attending a party where she is hazed in the most public way. Cat, of course, does not bother to hide her thoughts or feelings about Heather in front of the entire party.

When Heather is found dead in her home, Cat is the first suspect and another humiliation is in store when the local homicide detective decides to make an example of her. What to do? Find out who the real killer is, of course!! Combining forces with Gilley to solve the crime while simultaneously entering the dating scene … there is plenty going on and the entertainment jumps out on every page. I can’t wait for #2! – Terry


Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358023937
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 8th, 2019

Beginning with a wonderful name for a leading character and a fantastic title, this third outing for Racculia is a treat. Tuesday Mooney leads a wonderful life as a researcher for the fundraising arm of a Boston hospital, has a fabulous best friend, Dex, with whom she plays (and wins) trivia contests and participates in karaoke at the local bars, but she is still haunted by the dissappearance of her best friend in high school. When a local billionaire dies and proclaims a treasure hunt in his self-written obituary, Tuesday and Dex begin an adventure involving literary clues, mysterious millionaires, and new friends. This gem of a book is part mystery, part ghost story and loads of fun.

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is also about loss, friendship, family secrets, and self-acceptance. It is one of those rare novels that has it all. 


Time After Time: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812993431
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - June 11th, 2019

Grunwald’s latest book is a treat in every way. As in the past, she has selected a piece of history we know nothing about and emersed us in the time period. Her latest novel, is set during WWII novel and takes place primarily in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal from 1937 to 1947 when Joe Reynolds finds Nora Lansing on the floor of the terminal lobby following his shift working as a leverman, a job guiding trains into Grand Central Terminal. Joe and Nora come to understand that she is caught between two worlds after a tragic train accident, but this does not create enough of a barrier to these two who are immediately drawn to each other. Even as the war penetrates the life of the terminal and everyone around them their love story persists. Time takes on a different meaning for Joe and Nora and readers will not view war, train terminals, and time in the same way after reading this beautful novel.


Courting Mr. Lincoln: A Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781616208479
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - April 23rd, 2019

I could not be more in love with this pitch-perfect, charming version of our history, the art of courtship, and these two extraordinary people. In 1840 Springfield, Illinois life is quite rustic but society and its expectations are any thing but. Into this mix, arrives Mary Todd a guest in her sister’s house with the expectation that she will make a match … and move out! She is wildly outspoken and certainly a woman ahead of her time. Abraham Lincoln arrives a bit earlier than Mary and is deeply embroiled in politics and law with very little expectation for what his life holds. He was raised without the benefit of learning the ins and outs of society but is helped through his deficit by his roommate and friend Joshua Speed. His learning process is as charming as his integrity and watching these two strong individuals through their courtship is a treat … unlike any other I have read


Miracle Creek: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374156022
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - April 16th, 2019

This expansive and extraordinary debut is much more than a court drama about a fire that killed two people. In fact, the courtroom serves as the backdrop for uncovering the many lies and secrets held in this small community in Virginia while masterfully telling the story of the Yoo family and the lives they changed forever. Miracle Creek draws on the author’s immigrant experience and artfully uses that experience to draw an authentic picture of those struggles. It is hard to do justice to a book that is both compulsively readable and yet uses its elegant prose to draw you in to so many intertwining stories of family, children, and the intricacies of dealing with special needs children. Ultimately, it about how one person and one decision can impact so many lives in both positive and negative ways. This is an author to watch.

Angie Kim is our inaugural Creating Conversations Book Club author. Meet Angie on May 9, 2019 in our Redondo Beach store.


Confessions of an Innocent Man: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781524743888
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - April 9th, 2019

This is the best legal thriller I have read in a very long time. And the fact that it is based on the real-life experiences of David Dow, Founder and Director of the Texas Innocence Network, makes it even more compelling. Rafael Zhettah is a descendant of Mexican immigrants. He is an excellent chef and the proprietor of a restaurant in Houston. He meets the love of his life at his restaurant and despite the differences in their ages and backgrounds they are happily married … up until the day she is murdered in their home.

Rafael is wrongly accused of her murder and ends up on death row in Texas. His death row experience is at once harrowing and fascinating and you will not be able to tear yourself away from the details of Rafael’s life in prison. There will be no spoiler alerts in this review, I only want to say that readers will be surprised and then surprised again at the turns of Rafael’s story while in a parallel narrative he relives the details of his marriage, which is nothing less than a grand love story. The insight and commentary on our legal system add to this suspenseful tale without taking anything away from this story about an Innocent Man.

I predict that Dow will be the next Andrew Vachss, championing those without a voice and shedding light on our justice system which is mostly unknown by most of us.


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781328662057
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 2nd, 2019

I could not put down this compulsively readable memoir about a therapist and her clients, combined with her own journey to mental health with her own therapist. This sneak peek into what happens behind closed doors is fascinating, but the insight we gain as we read Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is even more valuable. We can’t help but learn something about ourselves, how we can change (for the better) and the roles we play in our relationships with others.

Meet Lori on Independent bookstore day on April 27 in our Redondo Beach store.


Lights All Night Long: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525558736
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - April 2nd, 2019

In this exceptional novel, readers are transported to a small mining town in Russia where there are few prospects and no escape from daily drudgery, weather, and broken political system. From this environment, 15-year-old Ilya is a standout for his intelligence and his drive to learn English. For these reasons he is chosen to be an exchange student in Leffie, Louisiana, a goal he has had since he was a small boy. His excitement for this new opportunity is colored by his concern and love for his troubled, older brother, Vladimir who has been jailed for a crime he did not commit. Their tumultuous relationship is the focus of this book though their love for each other cannot be denied. Told in alternate chapters from Ilya’s life in Berlozhniki prior to boarding the plane to the US and his experiences with his host family in the United States, this is a story of love and devotion on both sides of the world.

Meet Lydia at our lunch in her honor on May 8 at Tin Roof Bistro Manhattan Beach.


The Falconer: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781501193224
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - January 29th, 2019

There is so much I love about this exceptional debut; the language, the characters, the setting, and the sense that you are learning anew from an age-old experience. It is a coming of age story that is poetic, honest, insightful and beautifully written from the viewpoint of 17-year-old Lucy (Loose) Adler who is an extraordinary basketball player, social outcast, and out-of-the-box thinker. She is also in love with her best friend and fellow basketball player Percy. They have been inseparable since they were 5 years old, sharing hoops, drugs, secrets, and experiences, even as Lucy hides this one very big secret from him. Against the backdrop of New York City and their extremely different backgrounds, these two friends are most comfortable when they are together.

What I loved about this book is that I found so many passages worth re-reading, while the familiarity of the day and the age brought me back to many of my experiences from a similar time. This an author to watch!

Meet Dana on April 12 at a lunch in her honor in Manhattan Beach.


Virgil Wander Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802128782
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - October 2nd, 2018

I could not be more in love with Enger's characters, midwestern town, and gorgeous writing. Virgil Wander is an integral part of Greenstone, Minnesota, a small town that you are easily and willingly drawn into as you learn about its inhabitants and history.

Years prior to the start of this novel, Virgil Wander moved to Greenstone and bought a movie theatre called The Empress and then dedicated himself to spending his inheritance investing in it. When that path threatened to eat away all his savings, he took a second job as City Clerk where he is in the center of all small-town politics. At the start of the novel, Virgil inadvertently drives his car off an embankment, and the whole town watches his recovery and helps him heal. His recovery takes an interesting turn when a Norwegian visitor, Rune Eliassen, wanders into town with his imaginative designs for kites. The flight of these beautiful kites impacts the entire town and even those who passes by.

There is comfort in these pages as you hang out with Virgil, Rune, and the other inhabitants of this fine town. This is a book with big heart in a small landscape with solid midwestern roots. I hope I don't have to wait 10 more years for the next novel by this gem of an author.


Ohio Cover Image
Not Available
ISBN: 9781501174476
Availability: Hard to Find - Unlikely to be Available
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 21st, 2018

From the start of this beautifully-written fiction debut, you know you are reading a rare piece of art that is also an entirely new reading experience. Markley has written an amazing portrait of Middle America, capturing the heart and soul of parts of our country at the beginning of the 21st century. He does this through the lens of four high school friends that all converge in their home town of New Canaan, Ohio, in 2013, 12 years after the tragedy of 9/11, the event which shaped much of their adolescence and adulthood. He has also written a complicated, intricate novel about small towns, secrets, friendships, unspeakable tragedy, love, war, and more. Much of Ohio is hard to read. All of Ohio worthy of discussion. It is certainly the novel of a generation that continues to have impact on today’s future. 

Meet Stephen Markley at lunch on September 26.


The Kiss Quotient Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780451490803
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - June 5th, 2018

Prepare to be charmed. And enlightened!

Without fail, every time I read a novel with an autistic character, I cannot help but relate to that character at least in some way. I think we are all on the spectrum somewhere and characters like Stella Lane remind us of this. We could all use this insight to do a better job communicating compassionately to everyone in our lives. I love this book for its simplicity, its characterization of autism, and of course, for a great love story. And I should mention, this is a very sexy novel. Put this on your summer reading list!


How to Stop Time Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525522874
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - February 6th, 2018

Tom Hazard is 436 years old, though he looks like he is in his 40s. He was born in 1581 and, unlike the rest of us; he ages only one year every 15 years. Not only does his condition keep him young, it protects him from illness. This may sound like the ultimate immortal life, but for Tom it has been a lonely and sad existence since his wife died of The Plague in 1623.

In the late 1800s, Tom discovers that there are other people in the world with the same condition and he joins their “society” for his protection (and theirs). He finds himself living by rules that make his life, well, unlivable. But, what keeps Tom going is the hope that he will be reunited with his daughter Marion, who he believes, has inherited his condition.

The story of Tom’s life through the centuries and the famous people he meets (Shakespeare and F. Scott Fitzgerald!) is mixed seamlessly with the narrative of his current life as a history teacher (of course!) in London. Tom’s observations are a poignant commentary about the current issues of the day and the meaning of life. This is an engaging and fun read for everyone.