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Liza's Picks


Liza Bernard has had many careers including weaver, cookbook writer, art show director, graphic designer, and bookseller. All of these taught her the different skills needed to do the many things necessary to keep the Norwich Bookstore afloat. She lives in Pomfret with husband Brian and daughter Rachel (when she is home from college), who was known as the "bookstore baby" because she spent a lot of time here when both the bookstore and she were under a year old!




ISBN: 9781481443364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - September 29th, 2015

Special powers, high adventure, good guys doing bad things, bad guys doing good things... They are not Heroes, they are Zeroes, and until a falling out a year ago, they had been honing their special skills. After a series of bad coincidences, the must join forces again to put things right. Westerfeld hooked me in the first chapter and I could not put this book down!

ISBN: 9780525428756
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - September 8th, 2015

It's 1969 and 12-year-old Mimi has just moved to Vermont from California. She is a shy but strong girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut, who is interested in woodwork at a time when shop class was open only to boys, and wants to be accepted for herself, not seen as odd because her father is African-American and her mother Japanese. Written in verse, this is the story of family, friendship, and self-discovery that sheds a gentle light on the intentional and unintentional bigotry in our culture.

ISBN: 9780316380867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 22nd, 2015

Powerfully told in the first person, this is the story of grief and healing, friendship and remorse. The Worst Thing might be learning that your best friend drowned, or is it the worst because you had a major disagreement, or that you are growing up and apart. Middle school is bewildering for Suzy, but she finds her way in unique and unexpected ways.

ISBN: 9780062369543
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - September 8th, 2015

This fast-paced novel explores human strengths and shortcomings in two alternating storylines. ​​A hospice nurse learns about healing from her patient, while he, an aging professor, learns about living from her. ​The other story is his last manuscript about ​a Japanese bomber in ​WWII​ ​that he asks the nurse to read aloud. Meanwhile, she applies the lessons learned to helping her husband, newly returned from a third tour of Iraq and suffering  with PTSD, reenter civilian life and rebuild their relationship. Lots of important content...

ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 14th, 2015

Coates writes about fear and it's corrosive effects on our culture from a very personal perspective. He persuades us that we need a new way of understanding American history, a new story, and new names for ourselves and others in order for humanity to survive and thrive.

Between the World and Me is urgently needed! It should be required reading for everyone in America: high schools and colleges; church groups and businesses; and especially all law enforcement and justice department personnel.

This is a book I wish had not needed to be written... and I am grateful to Coates for the courage to share his views.

By Edna O'Brien, John Banville (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780316378260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 5th, 2015

Don't be put off by the size of this book -- it is a collection of stories that you can dip into as time allows. Some of the shorter ones will blow your socks off! A few of the longer stories, I returned to the beginning as soon as I finished them to enjoy the masterful storytelling again. O'Brien's use of language with the Irish turn of a phrase, her surprising plot twists, and the unique yet universal characters she introduces create small universes in which readers may immerse themselves for a short while.

ISBN: 9781609452520
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - April 7th, 2015

Set in 1963 Cuba, our narrator is an 82-year-old woman looking back on her life and the revolution. It is a novel about aging, regrets, and the power of stories. The teller and the listeners are all transformed by the haunting tales of family and love, war and loss woven into the story.

ISBN: 9780062229182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 17th, 2015

A 10-year-old southern California girl travels to Vietnam with her grandmother to find closure about her grandfather and the war. Contemporary issues, cultural differences, and history are explored. At it's heart, this is a story of family ties and the importance of true friends.

By Brian Selznick, Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780545448680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - September 15th, 2015

Histories within stories within drawings... Selznick's portrait of the theatre and the lure of the sea offer the structure and movement to this magically complex novel presented partly in prose and partly in full page detailed illustration. But the "true" story in this exceptional book is about connections with family and and friends; and the power of love and trust and understanding. 

ISBN: 9781101875896
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 26th, 2015

Craving company during the long nights, an older widow invites a neighboring widower to help her alleviate their loneliness by sharing her bed, as friends, nothing more. They fend off gossipy townsfolk, and their unique and tender relationship is deepened by the extended stay of a grandson. Challenges are mounted by extended family and heart wrenching decisions must be made.

A long time fan of Haruf's writing, I am only disappointed that this poignant and eloquent novel is his last.

ISBN: 9780061134111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Teen - April 21st, 2015

A haunting and beautiful portrait of a bright, artistic fifteen-year-old boy and his experience with schizophrenia. Magically fantastical and hauntingly realistic scenes carry the reader into this scary and all-to-common other world. Based on his son's story, Shusterman gives voice to amazing internal and external dialogues. Reading this novel helped me form a deeper understanding of this condition that affects many.

ISBN: 9780803740167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - March 10th, 2015

The confusing time for tweens portrayed in graphic format... Friends, interests, and parents are all points of contention for twelve-year-old Astrid. She is intrigued after watching a Roller Derby, and learns to skate, makes the team, and figures out that the world is not black and white. Jamieson has a gift for portraying emotions, action, and information in this tightly-paced story.

ISBN: 9781632860361
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 19th, 2015

A quirky novel that takes on important issues in the guise of the work-a-day world of a London bus driver. The relationship between drivers and management, the problem of showing up early, and conflicting ideas on how to improve the system, especially for those who do not believe the "only true path is the maintenance of headway." Dryly witty and thought provoking.

ISBN: 9780553497281
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 8th, 2015

Being 13 is hard! Having his dad die was devastating and then seeing his dad's favorite hat on "Junk Man" tipped Owen over the edge. But there are consequences to throwing bricks at people, and in the process of serving his unconventional probation, Owen finds not only redemption, but friends, and a new way of looking at the world.

By Jeffrey Lent, Emma Ewbank (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781620404966
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - April 7th, 2015

Set in upstate NY just after the Civil War, a small community struggles with trust, faith, and love in the aftermath of sudden killings. Who is to be believed, who is ultimately responsible? Jeffrey Lent recreates the time and place in such fine detail that the reader is present: can feel the dust and grit, struggles with the conflicting desires. His best yet!


ISBN: 9780544147997
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harcourt Brace and Company - November 18th, 2014

Curiosity, adventure, calamity and then more curiosity... See the world from a cat's point of view!