August 2020 Staff Picks

Aug 21, 2020 | Staff Picks

The final days of summer are upon us. The leaves, already turning rich hues of burgandy and gold, seem to promise a spectacular display yet to come. We hope you are able to take a few moments to relish the beauty of another Maine fall, and perhaps with a good book in hand. Here are some books we’ve enjoyed this month, and we hope you do too.


Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is a very visual novel with a strong sense of ‘place.’ It’s descriptive such that I could picture everything as it was unfolding. The characters are well-drawn and the narrative so intriguing I couldn’t wait to pick the book back up again! The novel is Emily Bronte (dark, eerie) crossed with Isabel Allende (magical realism) with a smidge of H.P. Lovecraft (old school horror) thrown in for good measure.

Bonus: it’s currently in development as a dramatic series for HULU. And I. CAN’T. WAIT.



One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

For a fun read that celebrates the complexity of body diversity, try One to Watch. Imagine if they let a fat person on the Bachelorette… would the world come crashing to a halt because she didn’t conform to the narrow standard of beauty that mainstream American television producers demand? No. But you’d never believe it from what’s on screen.


The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente

Storytelling at its finest. Book one of the duology introduces a lonely girl who is banished to the palace gardens because of a curse that cast strange ink tattoos across her eyes. Words sparkle and dance throughout the markings weaving together dazzling tales of shape-shifting women, kind beasts, cruel kings, and living stars. Each story builds upon the last to create an adventure of epic proportions, perfect for grown-up readers.


The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels

A charming story of cats, delectable baked goods, flying (to “air out” the cats) and adventures of “just the right size”. Join Miss Petitfour and her cats: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles for five magical days.



A Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

What if Jesus had a wife?  This book imagines that.  It is neither pious nor overtly “religious” and is rooted and grounded in the historical reality of the Greco-Roman world of the first century of the Christian Era. Sue Monk Kidd tells a good story with fascinating characters.  I couldn’t put it down. Be sure to read the author’s note at the end.


The Finisher by Peter Lovesey

Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series returns. Lovesey, an expert on Victorian sport, combines the historic setting of Bath, an exercise-adverse detective, and the challenges of a modern half-marathon.