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Ahoy 2016!

We the staff at WORD are starting off the new year with a giant "to be read" pile. There's a stunning new novel from Toni Morrison, a fascinating look at the end of cancer and a new illustrated version of the wizard book that launched a hundred million readers. 

WORD recommends these books this January... 

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Fiction We Love:

 
          

Shriver by Chris Belden (ebook available)
Shriver gets the invite to participate in a writer's conference based on his notorious one-hit-wonder novel "Goat Time". The problem is, Shriver himself is not the man that they assume he is. He's never written anything in his life. How does he make it through the conference surrounded by an offbeat set of characters (including a detective eyeing him up as prime suspect of a missing persons case) all while pretending to be a literary genius? Part thriller and ALL dark satirical comedy, Belden kept me laughing and questioning...who IS the real Shriver? (Kristina)

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (ebook available)

In elegantly simple prose, this short novel takes the reader through the long lasting effects of witnessing and experiencing violence during childhood. But the picture painted is not empty of hope; Morrison shows that even as trauma informs how adults live their lives, it's possible to overcome detachment by forming meaningful relationships with people. This book is engaging but brief; no words are minced, which I found refreshing. (Mal)

Thirteen Ways of Thinking by Colum McCann (ebook available)
It's difficult to explain my admiration for this guy's writing. It's so deceptively simple, but it's a simplicity that belies some real sublime mystery. His writing is hypnotic and gorgeous, and these stories are no different. (Gabe)

         

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (ebook available
As a social experiment, Rosemary's parents raise her alongside a chimp, Fern. Rosemary grows up feeling like Fern is her twin sister and is devastated when Fern becomes violent and is taken away. Rosemary is affected by the experiment and has constant feelings of abandonment throughout her life. It is a highly unusual and engaging novel; and the best book I've read this year. (Anna)


The Rook  by Daniel O'Malley 
Myfanwy Thomas opens her eyes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies, she has no idea how they got there, or for that matter how she got there. She has no memory at all and as a letter in her pocket written by the person she used to be explains that's only the start of her problems. She learns she's a Rook, a high level operative in a secret organization that protects the world from supernatural threats and that they won't react well to one of their senior agents suddenly being a security risk, not to mention there is a mole in their agency who wants her dead, if only she remembered who it was. Fans of Simon R. Green's Nightside and Secret Histories series will especially love this supernatural spy novel by Daniel O'Malley.  (Will) 


The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Told through the eyes of two young friends from a fictional town in southern India this engaging novel explores the ideas of family roles, integrity, and the human spirit. There's Anil, a young man who is on the final stages of his medical degree. He's taken a residency thousands of miles away from home in Dallas. There's Leena, whose arranged marriage nearly kills her. How these two manage to save each other in the process of facing family and social expectations is inspiring and fascinating. Gowda has a straightforward, honest style that moves quickly. I just could not put this one down. (Katelyn) 

Nonfiction We Love:

        

The River of Lost Footsteps by Thant Myint-U (ebook available)
Myanmar (Burma) has an incredibly complicated and distraught political history. However, with the popular election of the National League for Democracy party lead by Aung San Suu Kyi in November, the future looks a little bit brighter. In this fascinating and personal history of the country, Thant Myint-U goes way back to discover what makes governing this beautiful country so difficult. (Ally Jane)

The Death of Cancer by Vincent DeVita and Elizabeth De-Vita-Raeburn 
Dr. DeVita, renowned oncologist, researcher, former physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and a former cancer patient, believes that we will soon have the tools to cure all cancers. In this memoir of his 50 years in medicine, he tells of his triumphs, his failures, and his unshakeable belief that cancer can be conquered. He has seen the multiple drug protocols he helped develop save the lives of thousands. Now he has written a gripping, often emotional, account of the medical advances that have been made, often at great cost, and the steps that need to be taken to finally kill cancer. (Kerry)

Get up and Stay Up by Danny Croft 

This is not your ordinary how-to. Graphically indexed for quick reference, Danny Crofts breaks graffiti into its composite pieces: from home made ink to avoiding third rails in any country, from counter-surveillance to the defendants' guide to arrest to a quick note on lingo. But at the end of the day, in Crofts' words, "what keeps us going is the basis of the art form, Getting up." Beautifully designed and incredibly useful, this is an AWESOME book. (Ashanti)

Books for Teens, Tweens, and Littles:


          
 
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure (ebook available)
This powerful, beautifully written young adult novel centers around Lucille. Her mom hasn't returned from a solo vacation and her dad has been gone a while now. So now she's caring for her younger sister all by herself and trying to keep it a secret from everyone. She's also falling hard for her longtime best friend's twin brother. Complicated. The prose in this is sharp and artfully crafted. You will be surprised by many turns of phrase along with interesting and unexpected twists of plot. (Katelyn)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
Harry Potter has never looked this good. Full-color illustrations -- acrylics, water colors, oils -- with full spreads and smaller designs on nearly every page; it's a truly immersive experience. Every year another illustrated edition will be released, which means a whole new generation of Potterheads have a chance to grow up with Harry and his friends. I can't wait to re-read the whole series. (Emma)


Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, & Emily Jenkins
With their magic being unpredictable, Nory, Elliott, Andres, and Bax are sent to the Upside-Down Magic class at Dunwiddle Magic School. This is a great fantasy story about accepting differences in yourself even when others around you don't. Good for younger fans of Harry Potter. (Lydia)

This has been another production of the book-lovin' fools at:

WORD Bookstores

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Open 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., seven days a week
718.383.0096

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Open 8 a.m. - 9 p.m., seven days a week
201.763.6611


And always open at: wordbookstores.com

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