Growing up in Hamilton, Montana, blocks away from an awesome independent bookstore, Marisa got hooked on reading at an early age. In high school she worked at the bookstore and then headed off to the book mecca of Portland, Oregon for college. She came to Walden, Vermont in 2010 for a farming internship and was so taken with the area that she decided to stay. She is so excited to be working at a bookstore again, especially one as lovely as The Galaxy Bookshop! Marisa particularly loves browsing the children’s section for new books to read to her 5 year old son, Rio.
Trajectory, by Richard Russo. I love a good short story collection and this one does not disappoint. Richard Russo’s stories are full of defeated characters that manage to keep their sense of humor and who you can’t help but root for.
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, by Cherise Wolas. This book gripped me from the beginning and I could not put it down. Joan Ashby is a literary prodigy who gives up her career to raise a family. When her sons are finally grown, she returns to writing, only to face a betrayal of epic proportion which forces her to look at her life choices in a whole new light.
Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk. I’m generally a firm believer that ‘The book was better than the movie’, but in the case of Fight Club, I have a hard time choosing, so I finally allowed myself to like both equally. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I recommend doing both!
Uncommon Type, by Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks has long been one of my favorite actors, so when I heard he was coming out with a short story collection (one of my favorite genres) I was very excited and he did not disappoint! Hanks brings you into his characters worlds swiftly and joyfully and leaves you wanting more. I hope this first collection is not his last.
Quiet Until the Thaw, by Alexandra Fuller. Nothing I have to say will do this book justice. Beautifully written, spare, yet full of depth, this is a short novel worth visiting again and again.
The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson. This sprawling work of non-fiction follows 3 different families in 3 different waves of the migration of African Americans from the American South to the North. A compelling work that opened my eyes to a portion of history I hadn’t encountered before I would recommend this book to anyone interested in race relations in America today.
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. This book made me cry by page 11 and those were the first of many tears. Ruth, a black labor and delivery nurse, is forbidden to touch the baby of a white supremacist couple and when the baby dies, Ruth is taken to court. What follows is a look at race in America and how we choose to see, or not see, what is right in front of our eyes.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. This has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember and is my go to book when I’m having a bad day.
Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann. I love short stories and Colum McCann is one of my very favorite authors. He writes characters that you care about and I find myself thinking about them long after I close one of his books. I particularly loved the short story ‘What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?’ about an author who is writing a New Year’s Eve story for a magazine and the process he goes through to flesh out his characters. I like imagine it’s what Colum McCann does as well, but who knows?
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larsen. When twelve-year-old genius cartographer T. S. Spivet receives an unexpected phone call from the Smithsonian announcing he has won the prestigious Baird Award, life as normal (if you consider mapping dinner table conversations normal) is interrupted and a wild cross-country adventure begins, taking T. S. from his family home just north of Divide, Montana, to the museum’s hallowed halls.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry. My 6th grade teacher read this book to our class and it completely blew my mind. I pick it up again every few years and it always brings me back to the first time I heard it.
Dalva, by Jim Harrison. Jim Harrison liked to write about women, fishing and drinking. You can tell he truly loved all three things.
The Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition. My dad gave me this cookbook a few years ago because he was horrified that, at the age of 28, I didn’t own it. Now that I have it, I’m not quite sure how I lived without it.
The Waterhole, by Graeme Base This book was given to my son when he turned one and has been a favorite ever since. Simple concept with amazing illustrations, it keeps him occupied for ages!
Trigger Warning, by Neil Gaiman. I am a big Neil Gaiman fan and this collection of short stories is a great example of why I love his writing. Dark, mysterious, funny and fantastical, I recommend this collection whether it’s your first experience with Neil Gaiman or your twentieth.