Gretchen's staff picks, news, blogs, and other posts

Staff Picks and Reviews

Room's staff love to recommend titles and answer questions about books! Click on our names below and you'll find some of our favorite titles in our favorite sections of the store!

Sandi's Picks. General fiction, gardening, mystery, cooking.

Nancy's Picks. Spirituality, general fiction, memoir, nonfiction, and more.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

This set of three interwoven stories explores so much about the American Born Chinese experience, the stereotypes kids encounter from their friends and the media, the internalized racism they struggle with. It deals with heavy stuff but the panels and text are full of lush humor and wry insight, never giving in to either nihilism or naive optimism.

American Born Chinese Cover Image
By Gene Luen Yang, Gene Luen Yang (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780312384487
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Square Fish - December 23rd, 2008

The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

If you like epic fantasy but are bored of reading the same old tropes, check this series out! Rothfuss has a masterful way with language and the characters and the intricacies of the world he's built and the story he's telling. Deserves all the high praise it's gotten. Find out more and read the entertaining blog on !

The Wise Man's Fear Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756404734
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Daw Books - March 1st, 2011

Book 2. Also available as an eBook!

The Name of the Wind Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756405892
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Daw Books - April 7th, 2009

Book 1. Also available as an eBook and in Mass Market paperback.

Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson

Engrossing characters, wonderfully detailed and evocative of the late 80s in which it's set, these felt like real people and all of their flaws and triumphs and tragedies strike home. If you're interested in the straight-edge punk culture this is the novel for you.

Ten Thousand Saints Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780062021021
Availability: Special Order
Published: Ecco Press - June 7th, 2011

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

The best cookbook I own. I love having more specific cookbooks, but I find more and more that I check Bittman first. His approach is easily adapted and very accessible for those of us who are teaching ourselves to cook, and his style teaches you useful cooking techniques by ingredient, as well as how to adapt recipes for what you have in your kitchen instead of requiring particular ingredients.

Staff Pick Logo
How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition): 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food Cover Image
ISBN: 9780764578656
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 1st, 2008

Also available in paperback!

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780764524837
Availability: Special Order
Published: Houghton Mifflin - January 1st, 2000

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

One of the most important SF/F books to come out last year. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

Who Fears Death? Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756406691
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Daw Books - June 7th, 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

This is a tough but rewarding read--Donoghue pulls off five-year-old Jack's voice wonderfully, and injects a lot of hope into a truly horrifying situation, without letting the narrative seem too easy. Donoghue is at the top of her game here.

Room Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316098328
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 18th, 2011

Among Others by Jo Walton

Jo Walton's latest novel is one of the most astonishing, affecting, and deeply personal pieces of fiction I've read in years. It'll appeal most to readers of science fiction and fantasy, especially those of us who grew up on it and for whom books resonated into the rest of our lives.

Among Others Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780765321534
Availability: Special Order
Published: Tor Books - January 18th, 2011

Secret Feminist Cabal by Helen Merrick

This book is a refreshingly community-centric look at sites of feminist struggle in SF fandom, as opposed to a feminist literary criticism approach which has been more popular, and which has been the focus of most of the work I've read on feminist science fiction.

The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminisms Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933500331
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aqueduct Press - December 1st, 2009

Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Barry Root

Gorgeously drawn story of a plastic bag that gets blown through several stops before ending back up where it began. A great introduction to the consequences of littering and the importance of recycling for everyone. Perfect gift for the eco-friendly children in your life!

Bag in the Wind Cover Image
By Ted Kooser, Barry Root (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763630010
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - February 23rd, 2010


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