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Baker Books Spring Staff Picks

If you're in the mood for a good book but don't know where to begin looking, let our knowledgeable staff recommend some of their favorite titles. These books consist of current releases, classic titles, and undiscovered gems and are as diverse in their subject matter as our staff are eclectic in their tastes. The list is updated bi-monthly so you can rest-assured that you are being kept well-informed of our current reading trends.

Fiction Staff Picks
Non-Fiction Staff Picks | Children's Staff Picks

Angels Game
Handpicked by Ian, Bookseller, basketball enthusiast, and youth mentor
Specialties include bestsellers, sports, and spirituality
Angels Game
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
   The Angel's Game is a haunting tale, masterfully told. Ruiz Zafon crafts a shadowy world of words you won't soon forget! This book has it all: a plot chock full of turns and twists, the characters vivid, the atmosphere rich, the dialogue sharp, and every page suffused with a searing intelligence. Ruiz Zafon will have you reading well into the night about writers, the souls of their books, and the demonic forces unleashed in their creation. Easily my favorite writer working today.


Lockdown
Handpicked by Ian, Bookseller, basketball enthusiast, and youth mentor
Specialties include bestsellers, sports, and spirituality
Lockdown
Walter Dean Myers
   In Lockdown, Walter Dean Myers confronts the tough realities of juvenile incarceration and life in impoverished inner cities. This is the story of one young man's life behind bars and his struggle to overcome the forces that are keeping him locked down. Along the way he's inspired to change by love for his younger sister and an unlikely friendship. Myers fans both young and old, won't be dissapointed.


Tigers Curse
Handpicked by Ian, Bookseller, basketball enthusiast, and youth mentor
Specialties include bestsellers, sports, and spirituality
Tigers Curse
Colleen Houck
   Blending together both a fantastical adventure and a budding romance, Colleen Houck has created a series that will grasp readers in its claws and won't let them go! For 17 year old Kelsey Hayes, a summer job working at a local circus turns into a harrowing adventure through the ancient forests and temples of India. Here we encounter long standing curses, magical amulets, goddesses, and ghoulish creatures. On their journey, Kelsey and her cursed tiger Ren faces innumerable obstacles. This is sure to be an entertaining read for young adults!


Finkler Question
Handpicked by Magoo, Bookseller, radio DJ and werewolf
Specialties include magazines, fiction, and young adult
Finkler Question
Howard Jacobson
   This book grew on me slowly until I had a handle on the various characters, and by page forty I was entirely charmed. The ideas and philosophies explored in this novel through the inner lives and conversations of the characters make for heavy reading indeed but it is a very lively story. A serious but very funny novel is served well by the predominantly Jewish characters and the one Jew(ish) wannabe whose actions and misdeeds further the plot. Sparkling gems on nearly every page brighten the word play until it gleams.

Handpicked by Deborah, Owner of Baker Books.
Specialties include mystery, non-fiction, and fiction.
A Red Herring Without Mustard
Alan Bradley
   A Red Herring... A Red Herring Without Mustard is the third in the series of Flavia de Luce Novels by Alan Bradley. Flavia is the charming, precocious eleven year old sleuth who finds herself in situations that even an adult wouldn't want to be found. The setting is early twentieth century England in the lovely hamlet of Bishops Lacey. The clash between the old way of doing things and the new is prevalent, with Flavia left to her own devices to solve the mysteries which she is clever in doing. I wondered about following the doings of an eleven year old but the prose is wonderful and so descriptive. One is captivated by her indomitable spirit and the antics which she gets into with her two older sisters who couldn't care less about her. The era is also very intriguing and I think would appeal to all ages. I found it to be very enlightening and entertaining. I have read all three. Enjoy.

Handpicked by Mimi, Children's Book Buyer, Manager and parent
Specialties include children's, young adult and fiction
Between Shades of Gray
Ruta Sepetys
   Between Shades... It was not until 1991 that the citizens of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia gained their freedom from Russia and were able to openly speak about the hundreds of thousands who perished on as a result of Stalin's ethnic cleansing in that part of the world. The few who risked recording their stories through journals and drawings buried them for fear of being found out. Between Shades of Gray, based on a true story, is told through a beautiful and talented sixteen year old girl who's world is destroyed by Russian soldiers who violently burst into their home one night. Lena, her mother and younger brother are taken away for no apparent reason, other than that Stalin had declared academics, artists, lawyers and many others "enemies of the state". Unimagineable for us now, people were transported thousands of miles into Siberia and lived under horrific conditions, or died, for ten or twelve years. When finally returned to their countries, life remained difficult as they were still occupied by the Russians. Between Shades of Gray is a heartbreaking, yet wonderful story of love, determination and just how far the human spirit can carry one. I truly loved all aspects of this book.

Moon Over...
Handpicked by Cindi, Antiquarian Bookseller and Gardener
Specialties include used books, local books, and Zombies
Moon Over Manifest
Clare Vanderpool
   A very compelling historical mystery about who anyone really is. We are made of the facts we are told, but what if those facts have been changed? A good "old fashioned" story.



Non-Fiction Staff Picks
Fiction Staff Picks | Children's Staff Picks

Grow Fruit
Handpicked by Cindi, Antiquarian Bookseller and Gardener
Specialties include used books, local books, and Zombies
Grow Fruit
Alan Buckingham
   Fantastic book. Great illustrations. Abundant pictures of diseases, pruning, tree training, and varieties. Its textbook quality with step-by-step advice made it simple to follow. Foolproof!


This Old House...
Handpicked by Ken, Bookseller and model shipwright
Specialties include local & maritime history, New England and bestsellers
This Old House Weekend Remodels: Paint Ideas & Projects
the Editors of This Old House Magazine
   Selecting colors for a room to be repainted is made easy with a section on complementary colors, contrasts, and types of paint. Later sections show how colors work within a room, on walls and trim, showing the effects that can be achieved. With certain finishes and tones, the look is one of colonial elegance, while with differeny choices the room can appear chic and modern. Practical advice on selecting brushes and equipment, applying paint, and the use of additives make this an ideal choice when planning the remodeling or redecorating of a room or house, and something a homeowber would want to hold on to for future projects, or the following weekend. Filled with ideas and information, this book is both an excellent reference and a source of inspiration.

Aged to Perfection...
Handpicked by Ken, Bookseller and model shipwright
Specialties include local & maritime history, New England and bestsellers
Aged to Perfection: Adding Rustic Charm to Your Modern Home Inside & Out
Leslie Linsley
   From its clever, textured cover to the serenely beautiful interiors pictured inside, this modest volume is a treasure trove of design ideas. Making a new space look like it's been around for a couple of centures is a subtle process, easily over- or under-done. But, after a study of the interiors in this book, the reader should have a sense of what works and what doesn't. Chapters highlight various and incorporaging vintage collections into an interior. Author Linsley describes the traditional elements that make an old house look the way it does, and how these can be added to a new house with modern technology for the best of both worlds -or centuries.

Instant Physicist
Handpicked by Joyce, Bookseller, book group leader extraordinaire & parent
Specialties include fiction, natural science, anthropology/sociology
Instant Physicist
Richard A. Muller
   Do not let the title scare you! This is a collection of questions, with humorous illustrations, about how the world works. Why are astronaughts weightless in space? Which is safer, Botox or Plutonium? What do pit vipers and Stinger missiles have in common? These questions and many more are answered by physics professor Richard Muller in clear, concise language targeted for the average reader. If you are curious as to why Pluto was kicked out of the "planet club," this is the book for you.



Children's Staff Picks
Non-Fiction Staff Picks | Fiction Staff Picks

Dog Loves...
Handpicked by Joyce, Bookseller, book group leader extraordinaire & parent
Specialties include fiction, natural science, anthropology/sociology
Dog Loves Books
Louise Yates
   Children and adults who love reading will instantly relate to this engaging dog. Dog loves the smell, feel, and power of books. As a new bookstore owner, Dog relishes the task of readying his books for sale. While awaiting his first customers, he is carried away to other times and spaces by the stories he reads. The author's illustrations are charming and humorous. This book is a treasure that devoted readers, like Dog, will share for years to come.

Oceanology...
Handpicked by Ken, Bookseller and model shipwright
Specialties include local & maritime history, New England and bestsellers
Oceanology Handbook: A Course for Underwater Explorers
Professor Pierre Arronax
   Part of the phenomenal "-ology" series of books, this colorful, charming little hardcover packs a lot of history and science into a neat "journal" as it might have been compiled by Professor Arronax of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." The information presented is not limited to Verne's time or universe, however. Cook, Darwin, and even Melville find their way into the book, along with a concise presentation of a very modern understanding of oceanography and marine zoology, despite the Victorian trappings and graphic design.This would make a great book for any child interested in science, the sea and its creatures, or a young collector of books from "-ology" series.

Say Hello...
Handpicked by Mimi, Children's Book Buyer, Manager and parent
Specialties include children's, young adult and fiction
Say Hello to Zorro!
Carter Goodrich
   Although we all know someone who is annoyingly set in their ways and routines, I would guess that few of those people have the appeal of Mr. Bud. Mr. Bud has his own toys, his own schedule, his own chair, you name it, but Nobody has a face and especially nose quite like Mr. Buds. (You might say he has me at nose...!) One day a new dog named Zorro arrives on Mr. Buds turf and the fur begins to fly! Luckily, friendship tops other instincts and in the end we have a really sweet and funny dog story that kids (and grown-ups who are set in their ways) will relate to.

Where's Walrus
Handpicked by Magoo, Bookseller, radio DJ and werewolf
Specialties include magazines, fiction, and young adult
Where's Walrus
Stephen Savage
   A lovable walrus sneaks out of the zoo and evades the zookeeper at every turn in this amazing adventure. I couldn't help but cheer him on as he made a series of fantastic and clever escapes, all without saying a word. Here's to the clever animal who can escape by hiding in plain sight!



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