Holly has worked full time as a bookseller since 1980. She has served on the board of Northwest Bookfest and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Her favorite books are children's books (the kind with pictures) and cookbooks (the kind with pictures) and she is a devoted fan of Ray Bradbury and Kate DiCamillo.
Reviews & Recommendations
I was introduced to (and charmed by) Vivian Howard through her PBS series A Chef's Life. But I became utterly captivated by her after reading her cookbooks; her writing is so approachable and warm it's like visiting with your BFF who cooks like a demon. This second book will deliver what the title promises, too. With a little bit of planning you can add one (or more!) of these 'flavor heroes' to your home repertoire and transform your cooking. My favs are Can-do Kraut (which make hot dogs feel like being at the ballpark), R-Rated Onions (did a grilled cheese ever taste better?), and Red Weapons (which is for just about everything). Invite this gal pal in for a conversation, you're going to love what she has to say about cooking.
At the advent of the Spontaneous Anthropormorphizing Event, foxes, weasels, and rabbits (among others) began to live as humans. They hold jobs and own homes, which is the crux of Fforde's brilliantly scathing new novel. Rabbits are particularly vulnerable to scrutiny and cruelty from humans, which has given rise to a great deal of bureaucratic control in the form of multiple government programs and agencies. Peter Knox is one of the rare humans who can distinguish individual rabbits and as such has secretly been a "spotter" for the Rabbit Control Board. Peter's quiet life in Much Hemlock goes well off course when his crush from University, Connie (you guessed it, a rabbit), moves in next door. Fforde's satire is razor sharp in its timeliness and will leave you laughing and wincing at the same time.
After the birth of her first child, Blythe is having trouble bonding with her daughter Violet. And as Violet grows from a difficult baby to a troubled child, Blythe begins to think there may be something malevolent about Violet. Her husband, of course dismisses the idea and attributes Blythe's perspective on a myriad of excuses. Part of Audrain's brilliance is how she sketches the details, leaving conclusions ambiguous. The unrelenting pacing will keep readers on the hook until the last line.
There is so much to love about this book! The main character Bea is a "big girl", in the common parlance, plus-sized, who is a fashion blogger. Bea and her posse are dedicated viewers of the dating show Main Squeeze but after tuning in for the new season, Bea takes to her blog to berate the show for its lack of diversity among the contestants. Which leads her to be the next bachelorette to look for love—in front of the whole world. And while Bea has felt the sting of body shaming, she is not without a healthy dose of self-esteem. If you are ready to cheer for the underdog (or really more accurately the everywoman) One to Watch is the one to read!
In 25 or 30 years, when our children are reading aloud to their children about pirates, princes, and little women, they will also be reading from battered and cherished copies of "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane". This is a timeless, amazing book with all the beauty and heartache of the human condition stuffed into a rabbit named Edward Tulane.
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If you are looking for a laugh (and I mean laugh so hard bodily fluids might expel), then Unabrow is your book. Una LaMarche is the soul-sibling to Tina Fey and Jenny Lawson (meaning she has a definite tilt to her worldview).
America is on the brink of a devastating war. Televisions as large as a wall are populated by reality shows. Ear buds help us tune each other out.
Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953 and still holds devastating relevance today. Is reading important? Are books essential?
This wondrous book tells the familiar tale of best friends facing separation because one family is moving away. Daniela's "número uno best friend" Evelyn Del Rey is moving, but rather than dwell on the sadness of it, the friends spend their last day playing as they always have. The beauty of the love these friends have shines brightly with the words of Meg Medina and the art of Sonia Sanchez. A truly lovely book that will both help young people who may be facing loss and captivate grownups who remember so clearly the pure joy of our childhood friends.
For 11-year-old Yumi, the pressure is on. She has to help at her parents' restaurant, and they want her to attend prep classes over the summer to help her chances of getting a scholarship. They don't share Yumi's dream of stand-up comedy. A case of mistaken identity allows Yumi to attend comedy camp (taught by her comedic idol, nonetheless). Here, Yumi begins to make friends and test her wings and not just at comedy. But the web of lies she weaves with her parents and her new friends is fragile, and the fallout is inevitable. In the end, what Yumi learns about herself by being someone else is no joke. A super great read for those of us who struggle with shyness and harbor big dreams.
Ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents are offered a job managing the Calivista Motel and the whole family can live at the motel for free. If it sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. The truth is grueling work, low wages, and a heartless owner. The themes of poverty and racism (and their opposites of generosity and friendship) make this such a powerful book! Here is a book to share with everyone - kids and grown-ups alike, it will change the way you see the world!
It's every booklover's nightmare: banned books. And for high-school senior Clara, it is particularly painful as the books that have meant the most to her, the books that have shaped and fashioned her life, are on her school's list of 'prohibited media' (a veritable greatest hits of banned books sure to inspire further investigation outside this novel). To fight back, Clara starts an underground library of contraband books out of her locker and is only too pleased to make deliveries between classes or at lunch. That is, until Clara's staunch conviction in the purity of books is questioned after the shocking actions of one of her classmates is tied to a banned book he was reading. Author Connis creates a truly provocative scenario that examines censorship, activism, and how we confront our own prejudices.
Chloe's life has become very small and insulated because of her chronic pain, so she puts her mind to it to change that by creating a list of experiences to accomplish. Moving into her own apartment is a big first step and that leads her to someone who may help her with other exploits. The building manager, Red, takes an interest in helping Chloe to accomplish her goals while taking a decidedly romantic interest in Chloe as well. Hibbert tackles important themes of interracial romance, disability, and verbal abuse all the while keeping the banter (and the bedroom) spicy hot!