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March 2020: Peggy

From Mamie: Peggy has worked at Quail Ridge Books for just over a year and has been a customer for more than fifteen. Lamenting the fact that reading doesn’t burn more calories, she has recently added audio books on long walks.  Peggy has lived in nine different states and has found book clubs to be a great way to connect and find friends. Here are ten of her favorite books ranging from classics to more recent arrivals.


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Back Bay $16.99). A lovely, magical, dream-like novel. A childless couple moves to Alaska to stave off grief and begin again. This book is chock-full of quiet charm and stunning nature.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Hogarth $17). I love a great saga and this one takes you on a wild ride spanning a contemporary Irishman’s lifetime. Beautifully written and insightful.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Penguin $18). This legendary sweeping tale of migrant farm workers during the Great Depression is one of my all-time favorites.  It’s an immensely satisfying story that rips your heart out. And you’ll never forget that ending.

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett (Mariner $15.99). Here is the novel that launched Ann Patchett’s career. Set in Kentucky at a Catholic home for unwed mothers, the story pulls you in and surprises you from page one as our protagonist arrives at the home pregnant but not unwed.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper $16.99). This is the book that convinced me I had to visit Africa (some day!).  An evangelical Baptist missionary takes his family to live in the Belgian Congo in 1959. Gorgeous and epic.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (William Morrow $17.99). I certainly have a love for the absurd, and this book does not disappoint. Owen Meany is simply a character you will never forget.

The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy (Dial Press $17.00). A memoir of Pat Conroy’s year teaching on an island off South Carolina, so isolated that on his arrival the students didn’t know what country they lived in. An amazing tale that includes humor and plenty of self-deprecation for Conroy’s youthful optimism.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller (Viking $28). A remarkable, beautifully written memoir by the 2015 Stanford University rape victim who reclaims her name and identity by sharing her story. Told without self-pity, this is an important and scathing indictment of our justice system and the reporting of sexual assault cases.  This book feels like a must-read if our country is to ever do better.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (Picador $17). For anyone who may not get out of this world alive! Gawande gives us plenty to think about regarding end-of-life care. This book will change the way you look at aging, terminal illness, and how we care for those we love. 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Penguin $17). Everyone who reads this book falls in love with Count Rostov and the world he creates under house arrest at the grand Metropol hotel. An elegant and witty work of historical fiction set in Stalinist Russia. Not reading this book would be tragic.

Staff Pick Badge
The Snow Child: A Novel By Eowyn Ivey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316175661
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Back Bay Books - November 6th, 2012

In this magical debut, a couple's lives are changed forever by the arrival of a little girl, wild and secretive, on their snowy doorstep.

Staff Pick Badge
The Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel By John Boyne Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524760793
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Hogarth - March 6th, 2018

Named Book of the Month Club's Book of the Year, 2017
Selected one of New York Times Readers’ Favorite Books of 2017
Winner of the 2018 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award 

The Grapes of Wrath By John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (Introduction by), Robert DeMott (Notes by) Cover Image
By John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (Introduction by), Robert DeMott (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780143039433
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Penguin Classics - March 28th, 2006

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

A Penguin Classic

The Patron Saint of Liars: A Novel By Ann Patchett Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547520209
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Harper Perennial - April 19th, 2011

A New York Times Notable Book

Acclaimed author Ann Patchett's debut novel, hailed as "beautifully written . . . a first novel that second- and third-time novelists would envy for its grace, insight, and compassion” (Boston Herald)

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel By Barbara Kingsolver Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060786502
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - July 5th, 2005

New York Times Bestseller • An Oprah Book Club Pick

“Powerful . . . [Kingsolver] has with infinitely steady hands worked the prickly threads of religion, politics, race, sin and redemption into a thing of terrible beauty.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel By John Irving Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062204097
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Mariner Books Classics - April 3rd, 2012

“A remarkable novel. . . . A Prayer for Owen Meany is a rare creation in the somehow exhausted world of late twentieth-century fiction—it is an amazingly brave piece of work . . . so extraordinary, so original, and so enriching. . . .

The Water Is Wide: A Memoir By Pat Conroy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553381573
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - March 26th, 2002

A “miraculous” (Newsweek) human drama, based on a true story, from the renowned author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini

Know My Name: A Memoir By Chanel Miller Cover Image
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9780735223707
Published: Viking - September 24th, 2019

Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and an instant New York Times bestseller, Chanel Miller's breathtaking memoir "gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter." (The Wrap).

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End By Atul Gawande Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250076229
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Picador - September 5th, 2017

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and Chicago Tribune, now in paperback with a new reading group guide

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel By Amor Towles Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143110439
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Penguin Books - March 26th, 2019

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a Showtime/Paramount series starring Ewan McGregor as Count Alexander Rostov

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