Claire's Picks

Claire is a left-handed Appalachian, born and raised in West Virginia, two facts of which, she is inordinately proud. She is bored by long walks on the beach, but if you put her in the woods with her dog and her toddler on her back well, that's bliss. Make no mistake, however! She does love to read, namely slightly surreal stories, often dark, with some mystery and history thrown in. Sound vague?  See below.

Greenglass House Cover Image
By Kate Milford, Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544052703
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarion Books - August 26th, 2014

I just love a mystery involving orphans, snowstorms, old houses on mountaintops, ghosts, stained glass, and smugglers, don't you? Well, if you do, this story has all of these things and more. Milo thinks he's settling in for a nice, relaxing holiday with his adoptive parents at their inn when his plans are disrupted by a host of very strange people who converge on Greenglass House for mysterious reasons. Curl up with a cup of tea and this book when the weather starts to turn cool. Lovely.

The Terminals Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250011558
Availability: Special Order
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - October 14th, 2014

Imagine you are a healthy, athletic teenager and you have been told you have an inoperable brain condition that will decrease your life expectancy to one year. Then imagine a stranger comes into your hospital room and tells you that you could spend that final year on top-secret missions ensuring that you would die a hero's death instead of wasting away in a hospital. What would you do? This latest book by Bellingham's own, Royce Scott Buckingham, is clever, suspenseful, and action-packed, but also so sophisticated and emotionally engaging that it stayed with me long after I turned the last page.

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A Sudden Light Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781439187036
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 30th, 2014

This is a book about family secrets and a ghost. Not new ideas, certainly, but Steins' story of a young boy returning to the family mansion with his dad during a trial separation from his mother is, at times, gut-wrenching in the discomfort that dredging up the past brings. And this family has a particularly grim past as timber barons that essentially raped any land that it owned. This is a story about debts to be paid and amends to be made, about family and honoring loved ones who have gone before us. It's also just plain spooky.

An Object of Beauty Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446573658
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 15th, 2011

One of the things that I love about reading Steve Martin's books is that in my head, as I'm reading, I hear his voice telling the story. The other, is how incredibly smart the writing is. This one tackles the world of high art, complete with color reproductions throughout. It's a great story, very imaginative and smoothly written. How could it not be? It's Steve Martin, after all. --Claire

Code Name Verity Cover Image
ISBN: 9781423152880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - May 7th, 2013

This one is rare gem. Historical fiction, taking place during WWII in France centering around the friendship of two teenage girls. One, a pilot and the other, an accidental spy. Officially, this is a young adult book, but I believe it's a perfect cross-over to adult fiction because of the top-notch writing and adult nature of the content. This is one to savor. --Claire

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062113764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - February 26th, 2013

Hands down, my favorite book of 2013 thus far! I will be plugging this one all year long. With such well-developed characters and plot,this one is destined to be a book group selection. 

The Death of Bees Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062209856
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - October 22nd, 2013

Two young sisters bury their junkie parents in the garden behind their house in the projects of Glasgow. Now they must continue to live without the world finding out their secret, but someone is watching from next door. This is one dark story, folks, but I dare you to read it and not fall in love with these girls. --Claire

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385720960
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - April 19th, 2011

It's true. Sometimes I judge a book by its cover AND its title. In this case it paid off because this little book charmed me from page one. It is the haunting story of Rose Edelstein who, on her ninth birthday, discovers that she has an unnerving ability. She can actually taste all of her mother's emotions in every bite of the birthday cake that she lovingly made for her. And they aren't at all the emotions that she would have expected. The rest of the story of Rose and her odd little family is intriguing, puzzling, and thoroughly thought-provoking. A perfect book group candidate. --Claire

The Shadow of the Wind Cover Image
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves (Translator)
ISBN: 9780143034902
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 25th, 2005

This one has everything that I love in a novel. All of the elements listed above, plus love

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain Cover Image
ISBN: 9780786884025
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hyperion Books - August 21st, 2002

A tragic, totally riveting biography that reveals just how complex and conflicted Cobain really was.

The Book of Lost Things Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743298902
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - October 16th, 2007

The perfect book. --Claire

The Little Prince Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156012195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 29th, 2000

I can't imagine life without this book. --Claire

Catch-22 Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780684833392
Availability: Special Order
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 4th, 1996

This one always, always makes me laugh out loud, no matter how many times I read it. --Claire

Of Human Bondage Cover Image
By W. Somerset Maugham, Robert Calder (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780140185225
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 1st, 1992

This is one of those high school assigned reading books that I re-read every couple of years and of which I never, ever get tired. --Claire

Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I Cover Image
By Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062024688
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - August 30th, 2011

The Outside Boy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451229489
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New American Library - June 1st, 2010

The Maze Runner Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385737951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - August 24th, 2010