I haven't read half as many books as I should have, and I like less than half of them half as well as they deserve. (Needless to say, I like Tolkien!)

I used to enjoy reading actual adult books, from great literary classics to the latest sci-fi and fantasy, or books about history, spirituality, or cooking. Now, I work on the children's side of the store, and I have a daughter in elementary school. Kids’ books are great!

I first came to New Hampshire almost 20 years ago to study literature at New England College in Henniker.  I loved it so much up here that I never left.  I'm always ready to escape into a good fantasy or sci-fi novel, but will usually read anything fiction if the book stays still long enough.  With non-fiction, I am more selective, focusing on topics I'm interested in learning about.  My bookshelf is large a mix of history, mostly the medieval time period, along with culinary history and the history of the Romani people.  I also enjoy books about eastern and new age spirituality, and natural and alternative healing.

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Free-Range Kids Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780470574751
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Jossey-Bass - April 19th, 2010

Carolyn's March 2014 pick

Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry) by Lenore Skenazy

This book sprang out of the author's decision to let her nine year old ride the New York subway by himself, and the public outcry of "how could she do that!" that followed.  It raises the question have we as parents, in our desire to keep our children safe, gone too far?  Where is the line between practical and paranoid?  How much risk is necessary risk.  And how much, or is any risk at all, too much?
I grew up, a child of the 80's, with "overprotective" parents.  I still did things as a six and seven year old that I can't imagine letting my daughter of the same age do today.  Has the world become less safe, or just our perception of it? Are our current methods of parental protection as a society really producing safety for our children, or are we just raising a generation who are incapable of handling the real world because they have never been properly prepared for it?
I may not agree with everything the author says.  But it does have me questioning the motives of my own decisions as a parent, and thinking outside the protective bubble.  Very well researched, very thought provoking.  

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The Hobbit Cover Image
By Peter Sis (Illustrator), J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN: 9780618150823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - September 25th, 2001

Carolyn's December 2013 pick

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
What can I say about this classic that hasn’t already been said?  Come, read the book that helped to found a genre of fiction. Take a journey that will stay with you a lifetime, “Far over the misty mountains cold to dungeons deep and cavern old.”
As many fans do, I picked up this book to read again in anticipation of the new movie coming out.  I am never disappointed.  Now, I also have the pleasure of introducing my daughter to Bilbo, Gandalf, and their unforgettable adventure.

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The Night Watch Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594482304
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 27th, 2006

Carolyn's October 2013 pick

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Starting at the end of World War II, the story moves backwards through time, illuminating the desires and passions, hopes and fears, of its characters, as they struggle to live and love through the difficulty of wartime.  A much slower pace than some of the author's other novels, without the same tension or suspense, I enjoyed how interwoven the characters become.  This novel is not a linear plot going from start to finish, but rather a twisting exploration of relationships, and both the light and dark nature of love.