Staff Picks: Quirky and Gifty

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Do You Read Me?: Bookstores Around the World Cover Image
By Gestalten (Editor), Marianne Julia Strauss (Editor), Jürgen Boos (Preface by)
$60.00
ISBN: 9783899559941
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Gestalten - June 9th, 2020

In an industry based on a universal object: the book, you might mistakenly think all bookstores are alike. Happily, Do You Read Me? illustrates that the essence of the independent bookstore is shaped by the people who work and shop there. Peruse radically different styles of bookshops from austere (one in Japan sells only one selection per week) to opulent (another in Portugal is architecturally astonishing and sells tickets for entrance). Each selection is a portrait of bookish passion, and the quality of production of the book itself makes me absolutely giddy! Gestalten has created an art book, and yes (blushing furiously), Wild Rumpus is graciously included. This book is a gift for anyone missing the in-person shopping experience! Please shop local and keep this hallowed tradition called bookselling alive!

Collette


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The Lost Spells Cover Image
By Robert MacFarlane, Jackie Morris (Illustrator)
$26.00
ISBN: 9781487007799
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Anansi International - October 27th, 2020

This little treasure bears magic of the strongest sort: that of the natural world. Poems and paintings brim with life, weaving through moths’ wings, oak branches, and swift-filled skies. Enchantments of all sorts—playful tongue twisters, healing charms, and wistful lullabies—accompany pages saturated with rich illustrations of plants and animals. This book of spells is sure to entrance readers of all ages.

Claire

 


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World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781571313652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 8th, 2020

A collection of nature essays on subjects ranging from memories of childhood family trips to questions asked during a national bird counting day with the author’s two young sons. Nezhukumatathil writes with a poetic economy of words that brings every short chapter into sharp focus. Reading it, I felt joyfully immersed in our world of wonders.

Collette


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Telephone Tales Cover Image
By Gianni Rodari, Valerio Vidali (Illustrator), Antony Shugaar (Translator)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781592702848
Availability: Backordered
Published: Enchanted Lion Books - September 8th, 2020

Full of whimsy and wonder, this beautifully-made book is an ideal gift for families at any stage. Each story is short (perfect for reading aloud) and sandwiched between vibrant, wonderful illustrations that will be delightful to adults and children alike. Discover each character again and again and let the book guide you through a gorgeous journey!

Linda


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A Curious Collection of Peculiar Creatures: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (Curious Collection of Creatures) Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781615196937
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: The Experiment - November 3rd, 2020

Most people choose from the same pool of favorite animals: the kingly lion, the mighty eagle, the fearsome shark. But have you ever considered the bristly Antarctic scale worm? Or the follicly-challenged hairless Chinese crested dog? In this gorgeously-illustrated book, Bayly points the spotlight toward some rather strange, yet no less fascinating, animals who deserve a closer look. It’s their time to shine, in all their toothy, tentacled, and definitely peculiar glory.

Anna


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Storey's Curious Compendium of Practical and Obscure Skills: 214 Things You Can Actually Learn How to Do Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781635861914
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - September 15th, 2020

Getting bored with being stuck at home? Now is the perfect time to master a new craft or skill! Look no further than this Curious Compendium. Packed with intriguing visual tutorials, this book will teach you to rewire a lamp, identify bird calls, and even shear a sheep. Perfect for restless minds and life-long learners.

Alec


Bookstore Cats Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781943876525
Availability: Special Order
Published: Glitterati - September 5th, 2017

“Page 106 is the very best page in the book and should be enlarged and framed!”  . . .  Booker T.

“NO! Page 109 is the one that people should spend time staring at and use for their screen saver” . . . Walter Dean

“HOLD THE PHONE! Check out the guy on the bottom of page 111. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.” . . . Trini Lopez

Book recommended by the unbiased cats of Wild Rumpus


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062976581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: HarperOne - October 22nd, 2019

I felt something get caught in my throat. My eyes welled with tears. And I knew this would be a book for my grandson. For those ages 1-99, it is an offering of hope so elusive in present times. “‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ ‘Kind,’ said the boy.’” Fans of Winnie-the-Pooh will love the brilliance of the seemingly simple text brimming with profundity. Sweet, but not too sweet. Perfect. Like cake.

Carmelle


The Seventh Voyage: Star Diaries Cover Image
By Stanislaw Lem, Jon J. Muth (Illustrator), Michael Kandel (Translated by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780545004626
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Graphix - October 1st, 2019

What would you do if you were stuck on a spaceship with only yourself? Astronaut Ijon Tichy’s solo space mission goes awry when he gets caught in an interstellar time loop. If that wasn’t strange enough, future and past versions of himself keep popping up. Now Ijon must put all his minds together to escape. Brought to new life with mesmerizing watercolors, this graphic novel rendition of Stanislaw Lem’s absurd short story is sure to delight established science-fiction nerds and emerging enthusiasts alike.

Claire


The Little Book of Lost Words: Collywobbles, Snollygosters, and 86 Other Surprisingly Useful Terms Worth Resurrecting Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780399582677
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Ten Speed Press - September 3rd, 2019

Calling all logophiles and wordsmiths: this is the book for you. This compact collection presents words from days of yore accompanied by sumptuous Renaissance/Neoclassic art and quippy examples of how each word can be used in a modern context. Lost Words can serve as a guide to spice up your causerie (informal chat) or be enjoyed as a quick read while you latibulate (hide in a corner) in your favorite snuggery (cozy place) with your grimalkin (cat).

Claire


How to Raise a Reader Cover Image
By Pamela Paul, Maria Russo, Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator), Lisk Feng (Illustrator), Vera Brosgol (Illustrator), Monica Garwood (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781523505302
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Workman Publishing Company - September 3rd, 2019

Bookish families, rejoice! From two New York Times Book Review editors comes a dynamic, easily digestible guide to fostering children’s love of reading. The authors organize their practical (literary party favors!) and often myth-busting (yes, comics count!) advice into short sections that busy parents can breeze through during fleeting free moments. They also provide up-to-date, diverse lists of recommended books organized not only into reading levels but also into topics like “Books that Make Us Laugh” and “Kindness and Empathy.” Full-color illustrations make this an attractive as well as a useful gift for your favorite family of readers.

Leigh


Look Hamlet Cover Image
By Barbro Lindgren, Anna Höglund (Illustrator), Rachel Willson-Broyles (Translated by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781632062598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Restless Books - October 29th, 2019

What would you get if you took Hamlet and boiled it down to the absolute minimum amount of text necessary to convey the story? And you cast the main character as a gloomy bunny holding a handbag? You would get Look Hamlet by Barbro Lindgren and Anna Höglund. This darkly hilarious gem of a book concisely tells the story of Shakespeare's tragic Danish prince with just a handful of words to accompany its morose, Edward Gorey-esque illustrations. Pithy. Brief. Excellent.
 
Alec


The I Wonder Bookstore: (Japanese Books, Book Lover Gifts, Interactive Books for Kids) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781452176512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Chronicle Books - February 12th, 2019

As a book lover, finding a little tome that is not only charming and cute, but also describes your love for books is an absolute treat! That is exactly how I felt as I picked up The I Wonder Bookstore. This cheery story chronicles the day in the life of a bookseller who only sells books about books. We get a glimpse into each of his recommendations he gives his customers, all of which are cheeky, witty, and absurd stories surrounding interactions with books, both real and imaginary. Recently translated from the original Japanese, this book will fill you with delight, not unlike the books within it! Crack it open, take a whiff of that new book smell, and read on!    

Heather


We Travel So Far Cover Image
By Laura Knowles, Chris Madden (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781770859852
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Firefly Books - August 15th, 2018

In this fascinating introduction to animal migration around the globe, mesmerizing illustrations and poetic language let us see and hear the movement of wildebeests, European eels, and monarch butterflies as they travel by land, sea, and sky. In the end, we consider the most migratory of all creatures—people—and ask why we, too, undertake amazing journeys. Less a comprehensive encyclopedia than an engaging point of departure, this book is sure to captivate naturalists both young
and old.

Katie


Everything & Everywhere: A Fact-Filled Adventure for Curious Globe-Trotters (Travel Book for Children, Kids Adventure Book, World Fact Book for Kids) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781452165141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Chronicle Books - October 9th, 2018

Looking for a global adventure this holiday season? Allow Martin’s stunning watercolor illustrations to transport you to the streets of Hong Kong, New Delhi, Moscow, Reykjavik, and more. Explore the millions of vending machines of Tokyo,
the stray cats of Cairo, and the botecos of Rio de Janeiro. An informative, funny, vibrant, and curiositysatisfying gift for people of all ages!

Kara


The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid Cover Image
By Dylan Thuras, Rosemary Mosco, Joy Ang (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781523503544
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Workman Publishing Company - September 18th, 2018

Calling all adventurers and seekers of the mysterious and unexplained: have we got the perfect guide for you! Travel the world and discover places and phenomena you’ve never heard of—sometimes near your own home town! From the creators of Atlas Obscura comes the wonderful young explorer’s edition by the same name. It’s easy to lose yourself in Joy Ang’s luscious illustrations, depicting dozens of
bizarre occurrences and beautiful mysteries, both natural and man-made. Want to learn about a cave full of crystals that weigh more than ten elephants? Or a lake full of skeletons? How about a place called Snake Island? This book has got you covered. Put on your explorer’s hat and get reading!

Heather


Cake: A Cookbook Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781101981542
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - April 10th, 2018

Kalman’s is a jewel of a cake book! Hers is full of homemade pleasures for any
occasion whether it be a “let’s celebrate!” or a “something sweet to soothe a soul.” Flour, butter, sugar, eggs, stories, and art are all folded in with care. Sweet memories of baking and frosting with kids is such a simple delight. And serving cake almost becomes a holy event—“I made this for you!” As food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman says, “Welcome to Cake.”

Ellen


Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year Cover Image
By Nosy Crow, Frann Preston-Gannon (Illustrator), Fiona Waters (Editor)
$40.00
ISBN: 9781536202472
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Nosy Crow - October 9th, 2018

Each holiday season, I try to find a gift that might be appreciated long beyond the
holidays. This year, it’s this massive and elegant collection of poetry. A perfect family gift, a lovely tradition and a challenge: who can memorize a poem a week? A month? What if each person in your family could take a turn bringing the day’s poem to the dinner table—to be read aloud, or better still, recited from memory!
Learning a poem ‘by heart’ is infinitely more satisfying than memorizing
passwords or numbers, and it engages the heart and the brain in a
philosophical question and answer period. That said, I need to go brush up
on my Robert Frost: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…”

Collette


How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals Cover Image
By Sy Montgomery, Rebecca Green (Illustrator)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780544938328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - September 25th, 2018

Acclaimed nature writer Sy Montgomery relates thirteen pivotal moments in her life’s journey, each viewed through the lens of a significant animal encounter, ranging from terrier to emu to octopus. Her sense of awe and devotion are infectious and the accumulated result is a sincere but never simplistic sojourn inside “the wildness that keeps us sane and whole, the wild, delicious hunger for life.” With magnificent two-color design and lush, playful illustrations by Rebecca Green, this is a heartwarming and tactile treasure for critterlovers and anyone seeking effective relief from despair and irony.

Theo