Jenny's Picks

Jenny is a Pacific Northwest native and a lifelong bibliophile, with degrees in English Literature and Spanish from WWU. She most enjoys reading speculative fiction, mainly sci-fi and fantasy, but is also a knitting, gardening and science junkie. When she's not reading, odds are that she's either writing her own books or posting new entries on her book review blog,


Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss Among Vanishing Orcas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807014462
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press - February 25th, 2014

This memoir of studying orcas in Prince William Sound is a flawless blend of scientific facts and spiritual presence. It's one of my all-time favorite nature books.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618711659
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 1st, 2006

Oskar Schell goes in search of his meaning after his father is killed on 9/11. What unfolds is a beautifully creative tale of family, history, loss and love.

Henna House Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781476740270
Availability: Special Order
Published: Scribner Book Company - August 12th, 2014

This family saga follows Adela, a Yemenite Jew in the 1920's, through heartbreak and history. It's a vivid tale that highlights not only a rarely-represented ethnic community but also the traditional art of henna and its significance. This is a remarkable read. 

The Country of Ice Cream Star Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062227096
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - February 10th, 2015

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It's a rich, complex story that you can really sink your teeth into while truly becoming immersed in the story. Author Sandra Newman has even developed a speech pattern unique to the protagonist, Ice Cream, and uses that vernacular throughout. What a creative way to enhance the reading experience of a truly phenomenal story!

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American Gods Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780060558123
Availability: Special Order
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 1st, 2003

One of my favorites by Neil Gaiman! This dark, humorous, thoroughly engaging story follows a terrific battle between old gods and new, with a doubting ex-con in the middle of it all. You'll stay up all night to finish reading!

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616204518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - December 2nd, 2014

This might be one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. A.J. Fikry, embittered and alone, is content to run his small bookstore into the ground until an unexpected child appears in his life and changes everything. Every character has a special part to play...and so does the reader!

Electric City Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619023468
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - October 1st, 2014

Unlike most stories that center on a particular person, plot line or writing style, this novel is held together by one place: Electric City in upstate New York. It's the town itself that holds together the strands of the characters' lives as they go in different directions, and that brings them back to one another. 

The Windup Girl Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781597801584
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Night Shade Books - May 1st, 2010

In a future where biodiversity has shrunk drastically and most of the world is dependent on genetically  modified food sources, Bangkok teeters on the brink of civil war as Trade and Environmental factions clash over the future of Thailand. Some truly remarkable characters drive this fantastic story! It's one of my favorite sci-fi books of all time.

When We Were Animals Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316297936
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Mulholland Books - April 21st, 2015

This is not a soft, sweet love story. No, this love story is about corners and edges and the feel of your tongue scraping across your teeth. Read it for the incredibly stunning imagery, the visceral writing and the absolute clarity of the absurd that I can only compare with Oskar from Jonathan Safran Foer's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307352156
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - January 29th, 2013

If you're not an introvert yourself, you know one. Or three. Or fifteen. Introversion isn't a psychological condition; it's a personality type. Cain's book validates introversion as a vallid and even desirable trait while still supporting extroverts in our loud, larger-than-life American culture and explains the science. Using studies, interviews, and personal anecdotes, Cain paints a complete portrait of what it means, personally and scientifically, to be an introverty. This was a very insightful, positive read.

The Water Knife Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385352871
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 26th, 2015

With his signature intricate plot and unlikely combinations of characters, Paolo Bacigalupi brings us another near-future thriller taking place on the edge of disaster. I loved watching the paths of the three  main characters slowly but inexorably come toward one another, and the twist at the ending took me totally by surprise! This is the same kind of gritty, amazing writing that won "The Windup Girl" such acclaim.