Staff Picks

Marya Johnston

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maryafrom Marya Johnston (owner)

My reading is very eclectic. I read everything! My favorite book is always the last one I read. (I have come up with a couple for you, though):

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.  I loved it!

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko
Anyone that knows me knows that this has been my favorite non-fiction book of the last couple of years. This is the story of the Spring of 1983. Because of the massive El Nino that winter, the massive snowmelt sent runoff racing down the Colorado River toward Glen Canyon Dam. As federal officials scrambled to avoid one of the most dramatic dam failures in history, a trio of river guides secretly launched a hand-built wooden dory named the Emerald Mile into the Colorado to try to make a record for the fastest non-motorized trip through the Grand Canyon. This was a thrilling book to read and I especially loved it because I knew some of those river people.

Only Child by Guojing
This stunningly beautiful wordless picture book is my new favorite in the Children’s book section. A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But…home and family are very far away. How will she get back there? It’s been on many “best book of the year” lists even though it came out in December.

marya

from Marya Johnston (owner)… My reading is very eclectic. I read everything! My favorite book is always the last one I read. (I have come up with a couple for you, though): The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates […]

Jannike Caspari

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From: Grand Junction, CO

Who: I just graduated from GJHS and am planning on attending college in Germany next year.

Read: Older Readers (12-14) and YA (15+)

 

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton                                                                                                                                       Filled with action, mystery, and romance, Rebel of the Sands was impossible to put down. Amani has always wanted to get out of Dustwalk and she’s willing to sacrifice everything she has to fulfill her dream. When she meets Jin at the Pistol Pit, she knows that he’ll be her ticket out but she never thought her escape would come on the back of a mythical horse, running from the Sultan’s army. Along the way, she fights mystical beasts, falls in love, and tries to figure out what she truly believes in: the Sultan’s corrupt rule or the Rebel Prince’s rebellion. With unexpected twists every other chapter, this book is a must-read!

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This is probably my favorite YA romance ever! Rivaling The Fault in Our Stars, Everything, Everything follows “Bubble Baby” Madeleine as she battles against her allergy to everything and falls in love with her next door neighbor Ollie. With an unexpected twist at the end, this is my #1 book to recommend to anyone interested in a cute and hilarious story.

Echo by Pan Muñoz Ryan
An older historical fiction, Echo follows three children between 1940s Germany, Pennsylvania and California. All three children are given a magical harmonica that helps them sort through the problems set on them by the time period. In classic Pam Muñoz Ryan style, Echo hooks you from the very first page to the very last sentence.

from Jannike Caspari… From: Grand Junction, CO Who: I just graduated from GJHS and am planning on attending college in Germany next year. Read: Older Readers (12-14) and YA (15+)   Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton                                                                                                                                       Filled with action, mystery, and romance, Rebel of the Sands was impossible to put down. Amani has […]

Anthony Kellum

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anthonyfrom Anthony Kellum

From: Anchorage, Alaska

Mini Bio: Graduated from CMU with a degree in English Lit. Currently also working as a teacher’s aide at Rifle Middle School.

Reading Emphasis: I primarily pick up Science Fiction or Fantasy novels, but I’ve also read a typical amount of canonized English texts.

For YA and/or Fantasy readers: The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Pratchett is held by many as one of the most talented satirists we’ve seen, and one of the few to do so with a Fantasy series. Pratchett’s five book Young Adult series, referred to as the Tiffany Aching Adventures, is sure to bring laughter to readers of all ages. The series opens with Wee Free Men. In this text readers make a young witch from ‘the Chalk’  still learning about her powers. This young woman displays grit, resourcefulness, and a limitless supply of questions. When villains from fairy tales begin appearing on the Chalk and Tiffany’s brother goes missing, she must join forces with tiny blue men in order to bring a stop to the madness. This book sparks questions about identity, societal norms, and how to define ‘real’ in a world where the laws of nature are constantly changing.

Science Fiction: Empire Star by Samuel Delany
Delany is a Nebula Award winning author, yet Empire Star still exceeded all my expectations. This novella comes in at roughly 90 pages, and I finished it in one sitting the three times I have picked it up. The plot revolves around 18 year old Comet Jo. Comet Jo is considered a lesser being living in on a near worthless planet. Taking an opportunity to leave Comet Jo encounters a series of tutors who help he grapple with the question of existence.  Using heavily distorted language and concepts of time Delany introduces readers to the idea of simplex, complex, and multiplex consciousness. He then proceeds to explore the relationship between knowing something and understanding it. This text is a must read for all Science Fiction fans.

When You’re Looking to Mix it Up With Something Weird: Pick up anything by Haruki Murakami
Blending fantasy, sci-fi, absurdity, realism, mythology, and everything in between Murakami’s novels are sure to leave readers wondering what exactly it was they just read. All that being said, they are absolute page turners sure to make your heart race from start to finish.

from Anthony Kellum… From: Anchorage, Alaska Mini Bio: Graduated from CMU with a degree in English Lit. Currently also working as a teacher’s aide at Rifle Middle School. Reading Emphasis: I primarily pick up Science Fiction or Fantasy novels, but I’ve also read a typical amount of canonized English texts. For YA and/or Fantasy readers: […]

Mary Rankin

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maryfrom Mary Rankin

From: Grand Junction

Who: Senior at GJ HS

Types of books: I like to read nonfiction and realistic fiction.

Favorite book of 2015:
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Saint Anything follows Sydney, a responsible and down to earl girl, who shows how life can be much more complicated than what meets the eye. This book is perfect for a young teenager who is just starting to build their own path in life. Experiences are explored and raw emotions are expressed, and the lesson to be your true self is taught. This book will touch your heart and take you on a journey that won’t be forgotten.

Favorite nonfiction book:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken follows the true story of the unbreakable Louis Zamperini. Louis lived an incredible life and started out as a delinquent and turned into one of the greatest Olympic athletes in history. When WW II broke out, he followed his responsibilities and became an airman. In May of 1943, Louis’ plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and was captured by the Japanese. This book tells the story of a man with an optimistic spirit and an indestructible will to survive. It’s a story everyone should read, and it will leave you with a lasting inspiration.

from Mary Rankin… From: Grand Junction Who: Senior at GJ HS Types of books: I like to read nonfiction and realistic fiction. Favorite book of 2015: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen Saint Anything follows Sydney, a responsible and down to earl girl, who shows how life can be much more complicated than what meets the […]

Laura White

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Hi, my name is Laura White. I was born and raised in Grand Junction.

I am a retired reading interventionist and Irlen Screener.

I love to read Murder Mysteries  that take place in the SouthWest, as well as Native American stories. Children’s books are my absolute favorite!

My Staff Picks are:

Never Sniff a Gift Fish by Patrick McManus
This is my first pick because of sentimental as well as entertainment reasons. My grand father had me read these books because it reminded us both of our fishing and hunting trips together.

Artifacts of Death by Rich Curtin
This murder mystery takes place in Moab, Utah. It is my favorite series.

The Napping House by Audrey Woods
I love the snoring grannie! The illustrations make this book a real delight!

from Laura White… Hi, my name is Laura White. I was born and raised in Grand Junction. I am a retired reading interventionist and Irlen Screener. I love to read Murder Mysteries  that take place in the SouthWest, as well as Native American stories. Children’s books are my absolute favorite! My Staff Picks are: Never […]