As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

October 30, 2010

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: Don't Miss This MADELINE Spoof by Rick Walton & Nathan Hale

Art by Nathan Hale posted with permission
This is a delicious Halloween TREAT, compliments of the spooktacular picture book author, Rick Walton, and his eerily-awesome accomplice, illustrator Nathan Hale.

For the past couple of weeks, Nathan has been posting pages of their new online collaboration: a Halloween spoof of the classic tale MADELINE.

It shouldn't be missed!

The story starts on the October 18th post of Nathan's blog, so scroll down to that date, then move up from there. Make sure you read the pages in order from the top to bottom of each new post, rather than reading from bottom to top as you scroll up the blog page.

You will likely need to make your browser window a bit wider to view both pages on each post (just click and slide one side of your window once you're on the site).

So run, run - before the goblins get you - to

Here is a sneak peak:

A Very Hairy Scary StoryRick Walton is the author of this very funny spoof, and his original stories (over 70 of them!) are just as great! Take a look: Rick Walton's Amazon Author Page

The Twelve Bots of ChristmasBe sure to check out Nathan's new release, THE TWELVE BOTS OF CHRISTMAS, and his other great works of kidlit: Nathan Hale's Amazon Page

MadelineMADELINE was written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans in 1939. Everyone should own their own copy of this timeless tale!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Bookshop Talk!


Martina the Beautiful Cockroach
Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn't know coffee beans about love and marriage. That's where her Cuban family comes in. While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful . . . some shocking advice. You want me to do what? Martina gasps. At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela's unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails the Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love.

Review by Stephanie Huang Porter - Mother, Writer, & Food Junkie
“Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha was a beautiful cockroach” begins the delicious Cuban folktale about love and marriage retold by Carmen Agra Deedy, and filled with rich, colorful and fascinating illustrations by Michael Austin.

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach is a picture book, but for anyone that has been, or will be in the world of dating, this book is also for you. Martina discovers the wisdom of her Abuela’s wise coffee test as she picks a suitable suitor. Abuela’s test teaches Martina to see how her suitors treat her when they are angry, and then decide whether they are someone worth choosing. Sometimes there are many, many suitors to filter out, and sometimes the right one is right under our nose.

I fell in love with Martina’s story after hearing Deedy, who is also a masterful story teller, share this story with a crowd of spell-bound adults. She weaves magic with her inflections, winks and words. As her captivated audience I sat perched on the edge of my seat, laughing, smiling and tickled at all her puns.

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach is so much more than just words on the printed page, you really have to experience it for yourself. You must hear it read, preferably by someone willing to do the voices for Don Gallo, the rooster; Don Cerdo, the pig; and Don Lagarto, the lizard. I won’t spoil the book by telling you what happens, as it is simply... adorable.

This book is a favorite to read to my girls. My daughters love the story and enjoy repeating, “Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha Beautiful Muchacha, Won’t you be my wife?”
I hope that by reading this story to my young daughters, they will grow to be wise women, who know how to pick a suitable suitor.

Market: Picture Book
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: None
Mature Themes: family, love and marriage

Book formats:
Martina the Beautiful Cockroach (hardcover)
Martina Una Cucarachita Muy Linda / Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: Un Cuento Cubano / A Cuban Folktale (Spanish Edition) (Spanish edition)

To learn more about the author, visit: Carmen Agra Deedy

October 27, 2010

Ten Questions with Jessica Day George, Featuring Guy Gavriel Kay

Photo Credit: Beth Gwin
Guy Gavriel Kay's books defy description.  Although they are shelved in fantasy, don't ever make the mistake of thinking, Oh, yeah, it's one of those things with a wizard and a ring and some little people.  The truth is that each book is based on years of research into a real and diverse historical period, and written so gorgeously that I have literally been brought to tears by a simple sentence.  (Please don't tell Guy that last bit, though, I will never live it down.)

In A SONG FOR ARBONNE, we see a vision of France in the age of courtly love that has never been seen before.  In TIGANA, it's Italy under the di Medicis as viewed through Guy's unique mirror.  Each one of his books is different, strange, and wonderful.  Do I have a favorite?  Well, it's hard to say!  A SONG FOR ARBONNE was the first one I read, and it will always have a special place in my heart.  His newest book, UNDER HEAVEN, simply took my breath away.  And sometimes, when I'm by myself, I like to read the last chapter of LORD OF EMPERORS, and have a bit of a cathartic cry . . . (Seriously, don't tell Guy.)

And so, without further ado, Ten Questions With Jessica Day George presents: Guy Gavriel Kay!

Jessica Day George: Almost all of your books (the exception being the FIONAVAR TAPESTRY trilogy) are based on historical periods in Europe that shaped those particular nations, such as Italy in the Renaissance (TIGANA) or Spain during the time of El Cid (THE LIONS OF AL-RASSAN).  But your most recent book, UNDER HEAVEN, was based on Tang Dynasty China.  This is rather far afield for you; what drew you to this time and place?

Guy Gavriel Kay: In the broadest sense, I find the past itself, going back enough, to be ‘a far country’, so I didn’t actually feel I was doing something startlingly different by heading towards China with this book. 6th century Byzantium, Al-Andalus of the 11th century, or a Viking trading island are so remote from ‘us’ that they require just as much research and imaginative empathy to try to evoke. And of course the underlying idea that we cannot entirely escape our own time and place, as writers or readers, is one reason I use the fantastic: to share with readers the up-front awareness that ‘invention’ is underlying the story and history and characters.

JDG: You originally studied law, what was the catalyst that made you say, Never mind, I’m going to write instead?

GGK: Not so much a ‘never mind’ as the gradual discovery that I was able to make a living and eventually support a family in the scribbling trade. My original expectation was that I would be a courtroom lawyer and struggle to find time at the margins of that life to write.

JDG: Have you ever had moments when you thought: Oh, how I wish I’d stuck with the law?

GGK: Very, very rarely. Maybe when (as right now!) I am between books and facing the steep uphill climb of figuring out the next one!

JDG: Having once razzed me for purchasing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, pray tell what hockey team do you support?

GGK: Can anyone with a sense of history not be a Montreal Canadiens fan? Having said that, I really shouldn’t have needled you for having a Leafs sweater. In an American it is kind of endearing.

JDG: What is a normal writing day like for you?  (Do you have certain rituals, schedule, can’t sit down to write without a cup of tea and a bowl of gummi bears at hand, etc?)

GGK: Who tattled about the gummi bears? I soak them in Macallan single malt scotch. Ahem. Very few rituals other than the raw, cold fact of sitting down at the desk every morning, without fail, when in mid-book. I often start the day dealing with emails from overnight, I call it my typing warm-up exercises.

JDG: I know better than to ask for any details, but do you mind just answering yes or no: are you working on something right now?  Or taking a little break?

GGK: Researching. Brooding. Swearing rather a lot. What is this ‘little break’ concept of which you speak? Not comprehend.

JDG: You have never done a direct sequel to one of your books (as it’s clear that SAILING TO SARANTIUM and LORD OF EMPERORS were just one long book, THE SARANTINE MOSIAC).  Again, without asking for any details, have you ever considered returning to one of your previous “worlds” for another book?

GGK: I consider a wide variety of things between books. Nothing is ruled out, in part because when I finish one I almost never know what’s coming next.  In many ways it is commercially silly of me not to do more sequels, the market tilts in that direction, but I find it far more creatively exciting (and, alas, demanding) to head for a different part of the forest each time.

JDG: You spend a great deal of time doing research for each of your books.  How do your books take shape:  Do you begin with an outline of the book, or merely a germ of an idea?  Do you do any writing at all on the book itself while you’re researching, or wait until you’ve amassed all the information for the background? (Does this question make any sense?)

GGK: Never an outline. I’m like Graham Greene who, famously, said that he never outlined because if he knew where the book was going he started to feel like a stenographer. (Having noted this, I have many, many friends who do outline … no writer should tell another, or a would-be writer, how to go about things. This, I feel strongly about.) I tend to start with time and place, then theme, then characters, and plot comes last, emerging from the others. Research does continue once I’ve started writing (new things I ‘need to know’ keep cropping up.)

JDG: Do you prefer to keep your manuscripts under wraps until you feel they are complete, or do you have your wife or other trusted readers look at pieces and give you feedback? (I swear I’m not fishing to get a manuscript here, but I won’t even let my husband LOOK at something until we reach galley-stage.  I’m fascinated by writers who let people look at bits and pieces of unfinished manuscripts.)

GGK: Funny, I show your husband all of MY stuff early …

Actually, we’re alike in this. I don’t tend to show anything until I’m done. On occasion I have had to let editors see a partial manuscript so they can begin thinking about covers, marketing, etc. I hate doing it, though. I write, revise, revise again, and then again., then show it. But once more, those who like feedback en route … perfectly legitimate, if that is how their creativity works.

JDG: And lastly: You are to be buried in Egyptian splendor and must take everything with you that you will need in the afterlife.   What five books will you take to enjoy in the hereafter?

GGK: The Da Vinci Code. The Twilight series. Shopaholic …

Oh, God, Jessica. I cannot even begin to answer this one without wincing, and it comes up all the time. Try this: Shakespeare. The Greek dramatists (in varying translations for comparison). Dante (ditto for translations). A fat, fat world poetry anthology. Montaigne (a personal hero). Sounds miserably high-flying, but we’re talking eternity here, right? A fun novel ain’t gonna cut it.

Guy Gavriel Kay's books include: The Fionavar Tapestry (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road), Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, The Lions of al-Rassan, The Sarantine Mosiac (Sailing to Sarantium, Lord of Emperors), The Last Light of the Sun, Ysabel, and Under Heaven. Here is a bit more about two of these books:


A Song for ArbonneBased on the troubadour culture that rose in Provence during the High Middle Ages, this panoramic, absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world. . . . The matriarchal, cultured land of Arbonne is rent by a feud between its two most powerful dukes, the noble troubador Bertran de Talair and Urte de Miraval, over long-dead Aelis, lover of one, wife of the other and once heir to the country's throne. . . . Into this cauldron of brewing disaster comes the mysterious Gorhaut mercenary Blaise, who takes service with Bertran and averts an attempt on his life. The revelation of Blaise's lineage and a claim for sanctuary by his sister-in-law set the stage for a brutal clash between the two cultures. Intertwined is the tale of a young woman troubadour whose role suggests the sweep of the drama to come. Kay creates a vivid world of love and music, magic and death in a realm that resembles ours but is just different enough to enrich the fantasy genre. (from Publisher's Weekly)

And Guy Gavriel Kay's latest release, UNDER HEAVEN:

Under HeavenInspired by the glory and power of Tang dynasty China, Guy Gavriel Kay has created a masterpiece. It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father's last great battles. In recognition of his labors and his filial piety, an unlikely source has sent him a dangerous gift: 250 Sardian horses. You give a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You give him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor. Wisely, the gift comes with the stipulation that Tai must claim the horses in person. Otherwise he would probably be dead already... (Amazon Product Description)

You can find the author's website here: Guy Gavriel Kay

October 26, 2010

THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 1905

The Scarlet Pimpernel (Forgotten Books)
The story takes place during the Reign of Terror.  Sir Percy Blakeney is an English gentleman and baronet that is horrified by what is happening in France.  He uses his resources and money along with many of his friends and connections in France to rescue as many Aristocrats in France and give them safe passage to England. Sir Percy is married to a beautiful Frenchwoman named Marguerite St. Just.  Early in their marriage Percy discovers that Marguerite sent the Marquis de St. Cyr and his entire family to the gillotine.  From that point on he does not trust her and will not reveal anything to her. Marguerite wanted revenge on the Marquis but she never intended to have him killed.  Later on her brother is taken by the French for being in the League of the Pimpernel.  Marguerite is blackmailed by citizen Chauvelin who will stop at nothing to capture the Pimpernel. (Amazon Product Description)

Review by Mattie Noall- aspiring writer, avid reader, and busy mother of 6.

This book is one of my most loved books and is an instant classic. Anyone who falls in love with the Old English and their way of life will love this book.

My first experience with this book was actually through one of the movie versions. The 1982 TV version is excellent. It stars Anthony Andrews as Sir Percy Blakeney and Jane Seymour as Marguerite St. Just. I liked the movie so much that I went looking to see if there was a book. Sure enough there was.

Some of characters in the book never know what the other characters are doing. To them, everything is as the Pimpernel is, elusive. One of the greatest things about being the reader is that we see what everyone is doing. We see the Pimpernel and his band on their adventures, Chauvelin and his schemes to find the Pimpernel, Marguerite and her distaste for her husband, Percy and his great love for his wife that he will not show. The only thing that is truly elusive to the characters and the reader is the ending. I absolutely love the end. I never get tired of reading this book and neither will you.

If you have never read The Scarlet Pimpernel, you are missing out. I highly recommend this book for everyone. One of the best phrases in the book come from Percy. He takes himself to be rather a poet and makes up a small verse about the Pimpernel. It goes like this:

We seek him here, we seek him there.
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in Heaven? Is he in Hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.

Everyone takes Percy to be a great fop so they just laugh at him whenever he says his verse, but really he is as clever as a fox. By acting like an imbecile no one would think of him as the brave and stalwart Pimpernel.

Market: Adult Fiction                                                                        
Language: Minimal (Old English style)                                             
Sensuality: None
Violence: Talk mostly about the number of dead by guillotine
Mature Themes: Anger, Beheading, Love, Danger, Suspense

Book formats:
The Scarlet Pimpernel (Forgotten Books) (paperback)

To learn more about the author, who really was an actual Baroness, visit: Baroness Orczy

October 24, 2010

THE THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner, 1996 *Newbery Honor Book*

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1)"I can steal anything." After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task -- to steal a hidden treasure from another land. To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.

Review by Emily, high school student and bibliophile.

I have only found two other people who have read this book: The person who recommended it to me, and a random stranger who saw the cover and started telling me all her favorite scenes, and how this book was so woefully unread. It shouldn't be; it's a Newbery Honor book. I am so lucky that I found it, in any case.

As they journey to Attolia to find their prize, Gen shows himself to be whiny, irritating, intelligent, and observant, with all the maturity of a five-year-old. As such, he is one of my favorite characters ever. He isn't perfect, but he realizes his flaws and accepts them, and tries to grow up a little.

The other characters are just as well-drawn, from the aristocratic and insufferable Ambiades to the taciturn captain of the guard, Pol, and they are hilariously portrayed through Gen's eyes. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the whole books was his initial reaction to Ambiades and Sophos, the apprentices of the magus. He labels them as Useless the Elder and Useless the Younger and finds excuses to tease and torment them the whole way to Attolia.

The book doesn't end when expected, and there are some rather spectacular and surprising scenes that appear near the end. Every time I read this book, I find some new complexity that I hadn't realized the third (or fifth or seventh) time around. I recommend it to everyone I know eventually.

There are lots of good books in the Young Adult genre, but this is one of the best that I have ever found.
The premise of this story is that the main character, Gen, can steal anything. He lands himself in prison trying to prove his point by stealing the king's seal, and stays there until one of the king's officials, the magus, hauls Gen out to steal something for him. The object in question is legendary: a stone that confers undeniable kingship on whoever holds it. The magus wants his king to use this legend to further his favor with the people.

Market: Young Adult
Language: Mild/Moderate
Sensuality: None
Violence: Moderate
Mature Themes: Lying, theft (it is a book about a thief), betrayal

Book formats:
The Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1) (paperback)
The Thief (Kindle)

To learn more about the author, visit: Megan Whalen Turner

Extra Gush: Amy has to jump in here to say that this is also one of her favorite books because it's the beginning of a fantastic series! To date, there are 4 books in the series, and books 2 & 3 are my personal favorites. These two books in particular are likely the most enjoyable for adults because they include complicated political and marital relationships that are rarely seen in Young Adult novels. Also because most of the point of view characters are adults. At the same time, though, none of the books are above the heads of teens. The books are very well done all around! So I'm going to include links to those as well, but I'll give you fair warning: DO NOT read the teaser information if you don't want the previous books in the series spoiled. In other words, if you're tempted to peek, just order one book at a time :)

The Thief, which is reviewed above, is Book 1. And these are Books 2, 3 & 4 in order from left to right:

The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, Book 2)          The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, Book 3)          A Conspiracy of Kings

October 22, 2010


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle)
January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name. (Amazon product description)

Review by Ann Marie Atkinson, book lover

One of the reasons I bought this book was because I have a friend who grew up on Guernsey Island during World War II. She and her sister were evacuated to England, with other children during the war. She has told me many stories about those years.

This book is about this same time period, during the German occupation of Guernsey Island. The authors make the characters come alive through letters. (The story about the two authors who wrote it is amazing in itself.) It is both informative and wildly funny. If you don’t believe a book about World War II could be funny, just trust me and go get a copy to read! Then you too, will become a member of this wonderful, wacky society.

I have heard nothing but positive reports about this book. Every book club I am aware of is reading it, or has already done so. I loved the format. It is written entirely in letter form—very easy to read and you can hardly wait for a return letter. It was very endearing, comical, romantic, and had enough twists and turns to keep you turning pages way after you should be sound asleep or busy doing the dishes!

I love books that teach me new information. I felt like I had lived on Guernsey, when I finished. I also felt I had a new circle of friends. I kept forgetting the characters in the book were fictional. I hated to see the last page come. It will be one of those books that will be on "Best" books lists, forever.

It is delightful and delicious.

Market:   Adult Fiction
Language:  Mild
Sensuality:  Mild
Violence:  Moderate - the mildest book concerning war that I have read.
Mature Themes:  Survival  skills during war time.  Death and other "uglies" that go along with war.
Book formats:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle) (paperback)
Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (hardcover)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Kindle)

To learn more about the authors, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, go here

October 20, 2010

CROWN DUEL by Sherwood Smith, 2002

Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court Duel)Young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances. In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one. (Amazon product description)

Review by Michelle Witte, bookstore owner

I’ve always been a girl—a very girly girl—but there’s also a part of me that wants to take on the bad guys and kick butt. At the end of long, hard, butt-kicking day, though, I want some romance, too. I imagine that’s the biggest reason why I adore Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. I related to Meliara, the young Countess of a backwater province who fights a lopsided war against a tyrannical king.

The thing about Mel, though, is that she gets nearly everything wrong when it comes to fighting and politics. Her courage keeps her going and impresses the right people in the end, but it’s not an easy road.

I won’t say much plot-wise since Crown Duel is actually a combination of two books: Crown Duel and Court Duel. The publisher was nice enough to print a newer edition with both in one book, saving readers some money, as well as from a night tossing in bed itching for that next book.

I loved this book from the moment I read it, not just because it’s a fun read filled with adventure, romance, a bit of magic, fancy parties, and a kick-butt heroine . . . Okay, that is why I loved it. Honestly, that’s what I want from my life, so to see someone else—even fictional—stumble through and make a mess of it while actually doing the right thing . . . that’s me in a nutshell.

Good fiction = stories we can place ourselves in. I’d say this is excellent fiction, because in many ways I was Mel. Now where’s my smart, handsome, dashing hero?

Market: Young Adult
Language: Very mild, if any
Sensuality: Very chaste
Violence: References to war/torture, nothing violent ever described in detail
Mature Themes: Considers implications of war/politics and how people act/react to it

Book formats:

To learn more about the author, visit: Sherwood Smith

October 18, 2010


Jonathan Strange & Mr NorrellIt's 1808 and that Corsican upstart Napoleon is battering the English army and navy. Enter Mr. Norrell, a fusty but ambitious scholar from the Yorkshire countryside and the first practical magician in hundreds of years. What better way to demonstrate his revival of British magic than to change the course of the Napoleonic wars? Susanna Clarke's ingenious first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, has the cleverness and lightness of touch of the Harry Potter series, but is less a fairy tale of good versus evil than a fantastic comedy of manners, complete with elaborate false footnotes, occasional period spellings, and a dense, lively mythology teeming beneath the narrative. (Amazon product description/review)

Review by Rebecca Garcia, Student at NYU

What can I possibly tell you about Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.  It was the first book that I read in 2006 and I knew immediately that no other book could possibly measure up to the greatness contained therein.  Since the first time I read this book, I have been singing its praises ever since.

I’m sure you’ve heard it be called the “Harry Potter” for adults. Well, it’s not. It is not at all like Harry Potter. The similarities begin and end with the books taking place in England and there is magic.  While Harry Potter is a beautiful and well-constructed world and a damn good story that was meant for children, this book wasn’t meant for children.  It is about an adult for adults about adults. That doesn’t mean a young reader who has a high reading level can’t enjoy it. It is just that a lot of young readers would find the length daunting and find it boring.  Nevertheless, I am here to tell you that Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is as excellent or even more excellent than Harry Potter.
The simplest summary I could give is that this is a story about two British magicians trying to revive British magic at the dawn of the 19th century. For you see, in the world carefully constructed by Susanna Clarke, Britain had a glorious tradition of Magic that broke down and deteriorated. The glorious tradition is no more when a certain Mr John Segundus asks the Learned Society of York Magicians why no one is performing magic any more. Why is there no longer practical magic in England?
But then, it turns out that there is a practicing Magician in Yorkshire by the name of Mr Gilbert Norrell and Mr Norrell is determined to restore England to its former magical glory on his own.
Add fairies, false charlatan magicians, wayward students that later become rivals, devoted wives, epic footnotes, alternate history, the Duke of Wellington, 19th century style writing and prose style, 700+ pages of glorious book, and you have got yourself the recipe for a thumping good time.
Read it. Love it. Revel in it.
Market: Adult                                                             
Language: Mild 
Sensuality: Nothing Objectionable
Violence: Death, War, Raising the dead, Crazy fairies

Mature Themes: Death, War, Madness, Crazy fairies

Book Formats:

To learn more about the author, visit: Susanna Clarke

October 17, 2010

And the WINNERS are . . .

* * *

CONGRATULATIONS to our winners of the Sara Zarr book giveaway:

Hannah Priggemeier
Stephanie Huang Porter
Emily Sonderegger

They each get to choose one of Sara Zarr's novels, compliments of Bookshop Talk. Good luck picking just one:

Story of a Girl          Sweethearts          Once Was Lost

Keep your eye out for a new GIVEAWAY that will be announced within the next few weeks! You can win your choice of any book that we've already reviewed here on Bookshop Talk!