Meg Recommends!

What book from your childhood had the biggest impact on you as a reader?

    I have fond memories of Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. I wasn't tangibly aware of the powerful sensation at the time, but this is one of the first memories I have of being transported to places I've never been by the words in a book. 

What was your favorite 'adult' book that you read as a teenager?

    I remember being fascinated with A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. With these great caricatures of society all woven together in this complex story spanning two cities, I was struck by his sheer art of storytelling.    

After years spent as a bookseller, what is a hidden gem that you wish more people knew about?

    Man-eaters by Chelsea Cain (now 3 volumes of it!) Hilarious & creepy- a must-read feminist satire.    

Who is an author that you have just recently discovered?

    V.E. Schwab. I just read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and now I need more.

What is a book that you enjoyed unexpectedly -- whether because of subject matter, genre, style, etc?

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. "Kids killing each other in an arena? While the rich citizens cheer? No really, it's great." And it is. It was the first book in a while where I went from the last page of one book to immediately cracking open the next, in one sitting. And since the heroine turns everything around in the end, there's a "you can change the world" message in there.    

What was the best book you've read during quarantine, or during the pandemic in general?

    The Guest List by Lucy Foley did a great job of getting me out of my own head and making me forget the state of things for a bit. Just a really good mystery to get lost in.
 


Read below for book recommendations from Meg...

click here to return to STAFF RECOMMENDS page

 

Staff Pick Badge
The Black Witch (Black Witch Chronicles #1) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781335468864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Harlequin Teen - August 7th, 2018

This is an impressive debut, beginning a great YA series about magic, friendship and righting the wrongs of history.

Our narrator is the granddaughter of the Black Witch, the infamous witch who saved their people in the Realm War. But her uncanny physical resemblance is where the similarities end. Plain & ordinary Elloren is perfectly happy to just start her training as an apothecary, but the university brings more challenges than she ever expected.

There she is thrown amongst all the other races and creatures of the realm (elves, shapeshifters, selkies, demons and more- all those she was brought up to see as both inferior and dangerous) and slowly learns all is not as she believed. Whose history book tells the truth? Does she herself have magic after all? Why aren’t the creatures trying to kill her, isn’t that what they do??

Not just your average YA fantasy with witches and demons, this series skillfully portrays widespread racism and sexism, while masterfully illustrating the power and importance of education, from both books and people. Everyone must face their prejudices, learn the truth, and cease judging anyone on where they came from, the clothes on their back, the people they love or the color of their skin. The fate of the world depends on it.

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
Legendborn (The Legendborn Cycle) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534441606
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 15th, 2020

A program for high schoolers at UNC is just what 16-year-old Bree Matthews needs to escape the grief of her mother’s death. But then she sees something she wasn’t supposed to. An attempt to erase her memory fails its purpose, and instead brings up memories of the night she actual wants to forget, and now she questions whether her mother’s death was even an accident at all.

Starting to unravel her mother’s past, Bree finds herself on a path of self-discovery she never expected, and is suddenly caught up in a secret society of wizards and (brilliantly reimagined by Deonn) the descendants of a certain ancient order of knights who sat at a round table.

This is a really solid fantasy debut, with some all-too real struggles of racism and classism, and Bree is a great new heroine for the YA fantasy-loving crowd."

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
The Guest List: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062868947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 3rd, 2021

"If you need a quick, entertaining read, this is it. I don’t usually gravitate towards mysteries, but after a friend (who doesn’t either) told me she couldn’t put it down, I thought I’d at least start it… and then I couldn’t stop.

A smallish group of people have gathered for a wedding on an island off the coast of Ireland. The usual crowd is there -- some family, some old school friends, lots of alcohol, and the storm that threatens to ruin it all. But we get the story from five different narrators, revealing through flashbacks that they all have secrets -- and that a lot of them are jerks, so really any one of them could be the murderer. And even though we know something happened near the beginning of the story, I realized at page 240 that, not only did I have zero inkling of whodunnit, but because of the way the pieces are unfolding, I don’t even know who’s been murdered!

I don’t want to give away anything else. Just know I, indeed, did have trouble putting this one down -- which is rare for me these days. This is a great one for the rainy days coming up."

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake [A Baking Book] Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780399581427
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Ten Speed Press - March 12th, 2019

"A great cookbook for truly simple (and delicious) cakes. Separate recipes for cakes and toppings make it easy to create any combination you crave, but the chart in the back with pairing suggestions is also very handy. I highly recommend both the Milk & Honey and the Chocolatey Chocolate cakes."

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
CatStronauts: Mission Moon Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316307451
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 18th, 2017

"This is my new favorite graphic novel series for kids. In this first installment, the Catstronauts are called upon to save the planet in a global energy crisis. The situation feeling vaguely familiar, I can’t help but wish they could help us with our current problems with as much, in the end, can-do determination. Packed with humor, and of course, cats in space."

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062574206
Availability: Not in stock, usually ships to store in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - December 18th, 2018

"A great read-aloud, full of quirky animals, with wonderful illustrations!"

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
Man-Eaters Volume 1 Cover Image
By Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk (Artist), Lia Miternique (Artist)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534311435
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Image Comics - March 5th, 2019

A highly entertaining satire where girls turn into man-eating cats at puberty. Cain’s dystopia is masterfully laid out, including advertisements for anti-estrogen cleaner and safety tips for boys, making it all the more eerily conceivable. Hilarious, creepy and a must-read for feminists everywhere."

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
The Catawampus Cat Cover Image
By Jason Carter Eaton, Gus Gordon (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780553509717
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - March 21st, 2017

The catawampus cat strolls into town, slightly askew. Slowly the residents begin to notice him, and tilt their heads trying to figure him out. And as they shift their perspective, they see the world from a whole new angle!

And then the cat does what only a cat would, stretches and straightens himself out and strolls right back out of town without a word.

Great Illustrations and a funny story."

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
Yummy Yucky (Leslie Patricelli board books) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780763619503
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Candlewick - September 15th, 2003

All of Leslie Patricelli's board books are adorable, but this one especially.

A great book of opposites!"

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
Girl Waits with Gun (A Kopp Sisters Novel #1) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780544800830
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Mariner Books - May 3rd, 2016

Girl Waits with Gun is the first book in Amy Stewart's series about one of the country's first female deputy sheriffs. I had actually forgotten that it was based on a true story until the very end, but this makes it all the more enthralling for me.

Taking place in 1914, it definitely reads like a period drama (someone's got to buy the TV rights to this!), but this is just my cup of tea lately. An accident occurs where an automobile crashes into a horse & buggy, and what should be a normal resolution instead unravels to involve a nefarious gang and certain crimes of the past, while our narrator internally struggles with a secret of her own.

It took me a little bit to get hooked, because a lot of this book is "the set-up" of who our heroine is on her way to becoming, but the quick-witted narrator and her eccentric sisters were enough to keep me going until I was all-in.

I really needed something with a good heroine, some quirky characters, and just enough drama to keep it chugging along, but light enough to not be disturbing, and this more than hit the spot. Consider me hooked for the long haul!"

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
Otis Cover Image
By Loren Long, Loren Long (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399252488
Availability: Not in stock, usually ships to store in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - September 22nd, 2009

A put-aside tractor discovers he's needed after all. Not only are the illustrations in this book utterly adorable, it's a heartwarming tale as well. 

Check out the whole series of picture books and board books!"

--Meg, Longfellow Books


Staff Pick Badge
I'm a Girl! Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781619639751
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - May 31st, 2016

Follow along as our narrator navigates life, reminding everyone she is, in fact, a girl, despite the assumptions of others. Girls may like dolls, but they also like boats, and can be loud and fast, sweet and sour!

A great tale about being yourself and being proud of it, no matter what the stereotypes say."

--Meg, Longfellow Books