Jen's Picks


Jen moved here from Salt Lake City and marvels at reaching her dreams of choosing a graduate program (and getting in), working in a charming bookstore, and living in the Northwest. She leads the feminist book group, helps with author and community events, and delights in making inaudible sound effects.

Favorite genres: Historical fiction and young adult sprinkled with social justice themes
Favorite authors include Zora Neale Hurston, Bryce Courtenay, and Annie Dillard. 


The Big Orange Splot Cover Image
ISBN: 9780590445108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - June 1st, 1993

I can't stop sharing this book with friends, big and small, to see them smile at the way Originally published in 1977, The Big Orange Splot shows the wonder of expressing who you really are. Even though all the neighbors like each house on the street to be orderly and neat, Mr. Plumbeam rallies to turn an accidental big orange splot on his roof into a masterpiece of a home. As neighbors visit Mr. Plumbean to convince him to restore order to the street, he says, "My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams." Suddenly each one allows his or her dreams to take shape until the street becomes an amazing array of ships and castles and balloons and other fantastic places. The phrases the neighbors use to describe Mr. Plumbeam crack me up. "He's got bees in his bonnet, bats in his belfry, and knots in his noodle." A bright celebration of individuality!

Netherland (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307388773
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 2009

The first aspect that drew me into this book was the language. I savored words I had never heard before, and reread sentences that filled me with delight. Christophanous, pluvial, salvific, lustrous, pecuniary, and others continue to dance around in my mind. No grand events take place in the book, but the protagonist shares simple frustrations, sorrows, and pleasures in a way that makes ordinary experiences worth pondering. Without experience of either, this book made me want to watch recreational cricket and stroll through post-9/11 Manhattan.

Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict Cover Image
By Irene Vilar, Robin Morgan (Foreword by)
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ISBN: 9781590513200
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Other Press (NY) - October 6th, 2009

Irene Vilar speaks bluntly about the sorrows of her life and her family in a way that made me ache and marvel at a family so full of suffering. She breaks free by finding her voice, which offers readers the meaning and context to the maddening repetition of trauma. Despite the extreme circumstances of Vilar's story, Impossible Motherhood inspires me to claim life with greater vigor and responsibility.

The Power of One Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345410054
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 29th, 1996

Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446675505
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 1st, 2000

Staff Pick Logo
Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679740247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - September 1st, 1992

Learning to Love You More Cover Image
ISBN: 9783791337333
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Prestel Publishing - September 20th, 2007

Sark's New Creative Companion: Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit Cover Image
By Sark
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ISBN: 9781587612343
Availability: Special Order
Published: Celestial Arts - May 1st, 2005

Stargirl Cover Image
ISBN: 9780440416777
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Laurel Leaf Library - May 11th, 2004

Ocean Sea (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375703959
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 13th, 2000

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061233326
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - September 10th, 2013