Signed First Editions Selections

Our past selections and special offerings have received recognition including a Caldecott Medal, a Caldecott Honor, The YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, the National Book Award, a 2016 Great Lakes Great Reads, a Story Prize Winner and two nominees, and many starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and the School Library Journal.
 

October 2017 selections:

Children's Picture BookMiguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote by Margarita Engle (Author), Raul Colón (Illustrator)
From Michelle in the Children's Department: Through Engle's masterful free verse, we learn about the difficult life of Miguel Cervantes, father of the modern novel, whose vivid daydreams of daring knights provided refuge from his family's troubles and inspired one of the world's most influential books, Don Quixote. Gorgeous pen and ink illustrations perfectly contrast Miguel's dreams with his reality, speaking to the power of story in our lives. A beautiful and engaging book to treasure. (Starred reviews in School Library Journaland Kirkus)
 

Young Adult Literature: Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart
From Broche in the Children's Department: In this second thriller by beloved YA author, e. lockhart (known for her Printz Award-winning book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks), the reader must decide which story relayed by which character is the truth. We know Jule is a liar. We know Imogen is a cheater. Which one is the murderess? Which one is still alive? The flashback structure of the tale makes you flip faster and faster through the pages to discover (what may or may not be) the truth. (Starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly)
 

Adult Literature: Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin
From Mamie: Helprin's books take up an inordinate amount of space on my "favorites" bookshelf. A Soldier of the Great Warand In Sunlight and In Shadow are on my top ten list of favorite books. This new novel has earned a prominent place on the shelf too. I am always taken by Helprin's gorgeous, dense writing, and the way he weaves a compelling story; but one of the things I love most about him is the way he talks about the attraction that men have for women in ways that are fresh and alluring. I raced almost to the end of this 400-page book, captivated by the story, and then crept through the final pages, reluctant to be finished. (Starred review in Kirkus)

 

September 2017 selections:

Children's Picture Book: How to Be An Elephant by Katherine Roy
From Children's Department: I fell in love with the beautiful illustrations in this picture book inspired by the life of Flannery O'Connor. A young girl brings home a peacock to be the king of her fowl collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. The girl tries everything to get the peacock to display his plumage. When she adds the queen of the birds, a peahen, to her collection, the peacock immediately spreads his glorious tail. From Kirkus: "Feathered friends of many varieties adorn this charming volume that evokes bygone times of unfettered outdoor play and highlights a little-known episode in the life of a remarkable woman." 

Young Adult Literature: Warcross by Marie Lu
From the Children's Department: The first of two novels, Warcross (Warcross #1), has all the elements of an article in the tech magazine, Wired: teen hackers, viral video games, international internet spies. It's obvious that Marie Lu knows the video game industry inside and out as she takes the main character, Emika Chen, from a simple hacker trying to make ends meet to the top of the industry while trying to solve a more sinister plot to sabotage the game. We couldn't put this one down! (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus)

Adult Literature: Five-Carat Soul by James McBride

From Mamie: Sometimes, after I've read a great book by an author, I judge! When I picked up a copy of James McBride's new collection of stories, Five-Carat Soul, I was prepared to be disappointed. How could he possibly top The Good Lord Bird? Was I ever surprised in the best way possible! These stories have all the magnificent qualities of the National Book Award-winning novel: quirky and poignant and hilarious characters amid life in myriad situations, humanity at its most human presented in beautiful writing. A couple of multi-story combinations read like novellas, and satisfied my need to know more about the most interesting of those characters. McBride has set the bar high once again. 

(Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus)

 


August 2017 selections:

Children's Picture Book: The King of the Birds by Acree Graham Macam, author; Natalie Nelson, illustrator (signed by both)

From Mamie: I fell in love with the beautiful illustrations in this picture book inspired by the life of Flannery O'Connor. A young girl brings home a peacock to be the king of her fowl collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. The girl tries everything to get the peacock to display his plumage. When she adds the queen of the birds, a peahen, to her collection, the peacock immediately spreads his glorious tail. From Kirkus: "Feathered friends of many varieties adorn this charming volume that evokes bygone times of unfettered outdoor play and highlights a little-known episode in the life of a remarkable woman." 

Young Adult Literature: Refugee by Alan Gratz
From Cindy in the Children's Department: A superbly written, historically-based account of three children and their families who face continuing threats to their lives as they leave their homes in search of safety, freedom, and hope for the future. With stories from 1939, 1994, and 2015, Refugeetells the horrific struggles of those who flee areas where oppression, hunger, and violence reign, for the chance to have the lives so many of us take for granted. (Starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly)

Adult Literature: We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy
From our store manager, Sarah: I was completely immersed in Estep Nagy's debut novel, We Shall Not All Sleep, a perfectly constructed story of two families vacationing on an island in Maine during the Cold War summer of 1964. Nagy contrasts the warm, idyllic, beautifully rendered setting with the chill of manipulations and deceptions both personal and political. The family dynamics could best be summed up by the father, who explains to his young son how important it is to "learn when to lie, to whom, and to do it well." (You can read Sarah's Q&A with Estep Nagy here.)

July 2017 selections:
Adult Literature: House of Names by Colm Tóibín

This re-telling of the story of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon and their children—the ill-fated Iphigeneia, vengeful Electra, and the ineffectual son Orestes—reads like a fast-paced novel. Exploring the themes of revenge, lust (both sexual and wander-), wars and the depths to which men will go to win them, and questions of faith in the gods, House of Names is full of intrigue and surprises. If you’re familiar with this story, the book will still be a great read, because Tóibín’s writing is wonderful, and he detours from the original story in places to make it fresh. (Starred review in Publisher’s Weekly)

Young Adult Literature: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Former store owner, Nancy Olson, loved Sarah Dessen from the first book she wrote. In Dessen’s newest novel, the main character, Louna, is jaded about romance because of the death of her first love and dealing with difficult brides through her family’s wedding business. Her disillusionment is challenged when the brother of one of the brides, Ambrose, enters the picture. From Kirkus: “Romance, humor, kindhearted characters, and a touch of painful reality make this another sure bet for Dessen fans.”

Children's Picture Book: Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel by Adam Rubin (author), Daniel Salmieri (illustrator) (signed by the author)

What do you get when you put dragons in a time machine looking for taco seeds? Lots of laughs. Things quickly get out of hand as they try to calibrate the time machine and get to the right time in history. In the end, dragons and figures from the past meet for a big taco celebration. From The Children’s Book Review: “If you thought that Dragons Love Tacos was as satisfyingly ludicrous as we did, then you and your fellow dragon/taco lovers are going to devour Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel with relish (or guacamole and mild salsa).”

 

June 2017 selections:
Adult Literature: Signals: New and Selected Stories, Tim Gatreaux
From Mamie's staff pick review: If you want to develop empathy for the marginalized among us, read these stories. Gautreaux is to the Louisiana bayou what Ron Rash is to the Appalachians: a master at bringing out the flavor of the region. Through his delightful characterization and dark comedy, I came to an understanding with thieves, kidnappers, and those who reach out to help others without a thought to the consequences. He's mostly known for his novels, but Gautreaux can tell a story short with the best of them! (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus)

Young Adult Literature: Beyond the Bright Sea, Lauren Wolk
From Cindy in the Children's Department: I adored Lauren Wolk's Newbery Honor book, Wolf Hollow, and thought it would be very difficult for her to write another story with the same depth of character and emotion. Amazingly, this author has met and surpassed this challenge with Beyond the Bright Sea. Twelve-year-old Crow loves Osh, the independent island man who rescued her from a rickety skiff when she was hours old, but she now yearns to know the truth of her birth parents. Set in 1925 on the Elizabeth Islands off Massachusetts, Beyond the Bright Sea is an exposition of family and personal identity that you will not soon forget. (Starred review in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus)

 

Children's Picture Book: Take Your Time: A Tale of Harriet, the Galapagos Tortoise, by Eva Furrow and Donna Jo Napoli, Illustrated by Laurel Molk
From Cindy in the Children's Department: The whimsical joy on Harriet's face reflects her inner understanding that each day and every journey should be savored for what is encountered along the way. Despite being urged to move quickly and get to her destination in record time, Harriet takes her time, relishing each moment. A delightfully illustrated nature tale for children, and a reminder for all that life in the slow lane is where you get the best view.

 

A note about our July selections: Both the adult book (House of Names by Colm Toibin) and the YA novel (Once and For All by Sarah Dessen) can be shipped along with the June books. If we don't hear from you, we'll ship the books monthly as usual. (Sarah Dessen will read from Once and For All at the store Saturday, June 10, at 2 pm. This is a signing line ticket event.)

PAST SELECTIONS (Some may still be available signed; let us know if you are interested in a previous selection):

2017

Adult Literature:
January: Perfect Little World, Kevin Wilson

February: A Separation, Katie Kitamura
March: Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
April: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
May: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

Young Adult Literature:
January: Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team, Steve Sheinkin

February: The Ethan I Was Before, Ali Standish
March: Caraval, Stephanie Garber
April: Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
May: The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

Children's Picture Book:
January: The Tree in the Courtyard, Jeff Gottesfeld (Author), Peter McCarty (Illustrator). - Signed by the illustrator

February: Robins! How They Grow Up, Eileen Christelow (author and illustrator).
March: Noisy Night, Mac Barnett (Author) and Brian Biggs (Illustrator) .
April: A Cat Named Swan by Holly Hobbie (author and illustrator)
May: The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch (Author), Marjorie Priceman (Illustrator) - signed by the illustrator

2016

Adult Literature:
January: My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout
February: None
March: Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, Lee Smith
April: Chasing the North Star, Robert Morgan
May: Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett
June: Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Chris Cleave
July: Miss Jane, Brad Watson
August: Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
September Here I Am, Jonathan Safran Foer
October Commonwealth, Ann Patchett
November The Wonder, Emma Donogue
December No selection

 

 

Young Adult Literature:
January: Anna and the Swallow Man, Gavriel Savit
February: Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys
March:  The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner
April: Raymie Nightingale, Kate DiCamillo
May: Wolf Hollow, Lauren Wolk
June: Steeplejack, A J Hartley
July: And I Darken, Kiersten White
August: The Left-Handed Fate, Kate Milford
September Kids of Appetite, David Arnold
October When the Sea Turned to Silver, Grace Lin
November The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon
December What Light, Jay Asher

 

Children’s Picture Book:
January: Little Tree, Loren Long
February: Surf's Up, Kwame Alexander
March: One More Dino on the Floor, Kelly Lyons
April: Waiting for High Tide, Nikki McClure
May: Flying Frogs and Walking Fish, Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
There is a Tribe of Kids, Lane Smith
June:  Nobody Likes a Goblin, Ben Hatke
July: City Shapes, Diana Murray  (Author), Bryan Collier (Illustrator)
School’s First Day of School, Adam Rex (Author) and Christian Robinson (Illustrator)
August: Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, Kenard Pak
September My Washington, DC, Kathy Jakobsen
October Before Morning, Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommer
November A Small Thing... But Big, Tony Johnston (Author) and Hadley Hooper (Illustrator) (signed by the illustrator)
December Waiting for Snow, Marsha Diane Arnold (Author) and Renata Liwska (Illustrator) (signed by the author)

2015

Adult Literature:
September: Sweet Caress, William Boyd
October: The Secret Chord, Geraldine Brooks
November: God’s Kingdom, Howard Frank Mosher
December: 13 Ways of Looking, Colum McCann

Young Adult Literature:
September: Trouble in Me, Jack Gantos
October: Zeroes, Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti     
November: Carry On, Rainbow Rowell
December: Not If I See You First, Eric Lindstrom

Children’s Picture Book:
September: Dewey Bob, Judy Schachner
October: Waiting, Kevin Henkes
November: Finding Winnie, Lindsay Mattick, Sophie Blackall 
December: Oskar & the Eight Blessings, Tanya & Richard Simon (Authors); Mark Siegal, (Illustrator)

Special Offerings:
The Marvels, Brian Selznick
Fortune Smiles, Adam Johnson