Jane's Staff Recommendations

Welcome to Jane's recommendations! Jane's life long passion for reading has blossomed into over 20 years of bookselling! As a bookseller, Jane's best moments, are helping readers connect with an unclaimed literary treasure that either will be perfect for book club reading, or will just fit the right occasion for a child's special event, or will perhaps be a title that a reader recommends to her, which, of course, she loves all things British! And lives by the words of Cicero: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

Check out what Jane has been reading below! 

Staff Pick Logo
A Man Called Ove Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476738024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - May 5th, 2015

"Fifty-nine year old Ove is facing life after enormous losses, becoming a curmudgeon with an apparently boundless sense of irascibility. Yet, Ove's deeply held trove of responsive love is released when an unanticipated encounter literally barges into his life and unlocks his hardened heart. This is a thoughtfully unforgettable tale that touches the soul of every reader and I have added it to my list of favorites." --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Winter Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609452957
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - January 5th, 2016

"Reimagined slice-of-Thomas Hardy-life focusing on the complicated relationship with his obsessive second wife and the ingénue actress portraying Hardy's most infamous heroine 'Tess.' Creatively curious and illuminating novel that will send readers back to the Hardy'esque landscape titles on their bookshelves!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492623441
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - January 19th, 2016

"I love books about books and this beautiful story is about how a small dying Midwestern town is regenerated with the arrival of Swedish bookseller, Sara Lindqvist, who has come to meet her bookloving pen pal, Amy Harris, only to find out that she has died. The townspeople of Broken Wheel, Iowa, in mourning for their beloved Amy, invite Sara to live in Amy's house. Rewarding this hospitality and honoring Amy's memory, Sara opens a bookshop, inventoried with Amy's vast collection of books. As Sara is determined that everyone who lives in Broken Wheel will be matched with just the right book, this community of diverse and engaging characters come to know the transformative power of living between the pages of books...and beyond! This is an inspiringly perceptive and heartwarming ode to reading that booklovers and book clubs will want to add to their list of favorites." --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
The Lake House Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451649352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - June 7th, 2016

"Set along Cornwall's winding coast, Loeanneth, the lake house estate of Eleanor and Anthony Edevane and their four children, holds the answer to the mysterious 1933 disappearance of the youngest child, Theo, during the family's annual Midsummer Eve party Devastated, the Edevanes abandon their beloved lake house and live their remaining years in London. Seventy years later, Alice Edevane, Theo's sister and successful writer of suspense novels, realizes that she can no longer escape the inexplicable secrets of her family's shattered past. Momentum gathers when London Sgt. Det. Sadie Sparrow, on administrative leave, retreats to her grandfather's house in Cornwall and discovers an overgrown path leading to the neglected Loeanneth. Gradually, she unravels the tangled threads of the Edevane's multigenerational fabric of betrayal and deception, challenging everything Alice has ever known about her family ties. With each long-held secret exposed and the realization of harm heedlessly inflicted, the plot-ending twist's revelation of the final truth will completely intrigue readers. This is author Kate Morton at her best with masterful storytelling to be savored on lingering warm summer days or during long chilly winter nights!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin: An Anthology Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780300215052
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - October 6th, 2015

"With the same witty literary commentary he uses in his bestselling novella The Uncommon Reader, Bennett compiles a highly personal and accessible anthology of his six favorite poets, from the more recognized Thomas Hardy, Philip Larkin, A.E. Housman, W.H. Auden, to the more obscure John Betjeman and Louis MacNeice. Amusing anecdotal details of their lives are interspersed with thoughtfully chosen verses, such as Hardy's most controversial and final novel Jude the Obscure inspiring his writing of the poetic lines of "...O, the journeying boy..." or that selections from Housman's "The Shropshire Lad" were recited by a friend consoling writer Oscar Wilde during his time in prison. Wry and candid asides and reactions by Bennett add to the enjoyment of this common sense approach to the transformative power of reading poetry. A timeless literary gem, belonging on all booklovers' shelves, this is a poetry collection for the Every-Person, perhaps evoking reader's memories of a favorite line of verse. Engaging, enlightening and endlessly yielding, I thoroughly enjoyed every word!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Everything I Never Told You Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143127550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 12th, 2015

"Set against the social fabric of 1970's small town Ohio, this is a complex portrait of a Chinese American family living through the tragic death of their beloved 16-year-old daughter. As parents and siblings search for truth, they face coming to terms with the regret of 'never' honestly sharing their unrealistic ambitions for and deep resentments of each other. Is it too late for this shattered family to repair itself if they are willing to pick up the pieces? Beautifully written debut novel, with exceptionally moving character development that will provoke a variety of reader reactions. Perfect book club reading!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Offshore Cover Image
By Penelope Fitzgerald, Alan Hollinghurst (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544361515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 14th, 2014

"Resonating from remnants of the author's own curious life, this is the elegant story of an eccentric group of barge dwellers moored on the shore of the Thames at Battersea, London. Prompted by a leak on the Dreadnaught barge just as it is going up for sale, readers come to realize how fully this community, who live neither on land nor sea, are anchored to each other in friendship and self sacrifice. Winner of the 1979 Man Booker Prize, and reprinted to coincide with the recent highly acclaimed Fitzgerald biography by Hermione Lee, this is a literary gem of the 20th century that is an endlessly yielding reading experience!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
The Little Paris Bookshop Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780553418798
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - March 22nd, 2016

"Parisian bookseller, Jean Perdu, is proprietor of the Literary Apothecary bookshop, housed in a converted barge on the Seine. He believes that the selection of just the right book is the remedy to mend the broken hearts of his patrons -- recommends Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog as an effective cure for "if such-and-such-happens-isms," George Orwell's 1984 to curtail gullibility and apathy, Elizabeth von Arnim's Enchanted April to overcome indecision, etc. Jean, however, is unable to cure through literature the heartbreak he suffers from losing his true love, Manon, who suddenly left 20 years ago, leaving behind a letter that Jean has never opened. Friendships with Max, a bestselling author going through writer's block, and Catherine, a woman displaced by an abusive relationship, prompt Jean to finally read Manon's letter. Inspired to resolve his relationship with Manon, Jean, along with Max, lifts anchor and steers the Literary Apothecary south on the waterways of France to Provence. Jean's quest will take him into the quaint riverfront villages where he sells books for food and encounters an unpredictable cast of characters, all confirming his belief in the transformative power of reading. A captivatingly beautiful story of a man's quixotic literary journey from loss and grief into new friendships and unsinkable optimism. C'est le livre pour les amateurs de livres! This is the book for booklovers!" --Jane


When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780544535022
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin - December 2nd, 2014

"This is an extraordinary slice of World War II history that recounts the little known story of the vital importance books played in sustaining the morale of the American soldiers at the front. Using the slogan ‘Books are our weapons in this war of Ideas,’ what started as a book drive grew into a remarkable concerted effort by American libraries and publishers to create the American Service Edition (ASE) paperback format of a collection of diverse titles, of which most popularly read in the trenches were Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Not only was this heroic war effort successful, but its postwar translation saw a change in the publishing industry with not only the rise of the paperback format making reading more accessible, but also the provision within the G.I. Bill of Rights of the opportunity of free education for veterans. This is an amazing story of the transformative power of reading that is the perfect book for readers who love history and books about books. I have a whole new appreciation for the books on my bookshelves!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812989816
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - March 1st, 2016

"Miss Queenie Hennessy is dying and she starts writing an extended letter that takes readers into the backstory of her relationship with former brewery colleague, Harold Fry, who is walking a 637 mile trek to see her, sending postcards along the way, asking her to "wait for me." As simultaneous quixotic journeys are taken, one by foot along the open roads and one with pen on paper from the confines of hospice, this gracefully written story reveals Queenie's life and what led to her sudden move away, 20 years ago, from Harold's friendship to the consolation of a sea garden cottage in the north of England. Reminiscent in tone, with a supportive cast of well-drawn characters who are a blend of heartbreak, humor, and joy, Queenie's journey is storytelling at its best. Read as a companion to the Booker shortlisted title The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry or as a stand-alone compassionate portrait of one woman's life filled with selfless love and steadfast hope, this is an engaging story that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned. I loved it!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading Too Much Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781101872093
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 3rd, 2015

"Traveling the Haworth moor of the Brönte sisters sets off a query between the author and a friend as to whether Jane Eyre or Catherine Earnshaw is to be the more admired heroine. Part memoir of growing up in an Iraqi-Jewish family and part literary commentary from an authorial perspective, readers will travel on a journey of self discovery focusing on the impact that the joy of reading has on shaping our lives, in all its fluidity. Among chapters revisiting the heroines of favorite books, as diverse as fairy tales’ The Little Mermaid, Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennett, Margaret Mitchel's Scarlett O'Hara, E. M. Forster's Lucy Honeychurch, etc., the author culminates with a reflection of the tales of Scheherazade. Writers and readers alike will enjoy this multilayered examination for its honest and witty insights. For readers who enjoyed Rebecca Mead's nonfiction My Life in Middlemarch or Alan Bennett's fictional The Uncommon Reader, this is your next book! I was fascinated!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
The Bookshop Cover Image
By Penelope Fitzgerald, David Nicholls (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544484092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 9th, 2015

"When middle-aged widow Florence Green opens a bookshop in a small British town's abandoned building, she is met with a sudden challenge by the local patron who wishes to turn the Old House into an arts center. Provincial pettiness ramps up when the just published Nabakov's Lolita becomes the featured window display. First published in 1978 and shortlisted for the Booker award, this literary gem of a novella is being republished with an introduction by British writer David Nicholls. Following upon the Hermione Lee biography Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life, named as one of NYT's top ten books of 2014, the author is now receiving the well deserved recognition, posthumously, that she deserves. More reprints of her novels will soon be released with new introductions, but The Bookshop is my favorite for its elegant writing and thought provoking look at the power of money and class." --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Unmentionables Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617751943
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Akashic Books - January 7th, 2014

"As America enters World War I, 1917 rural Emporia, Illinois awakens to the forces of change when dress reform activist Marian Elliott Adams sweeps on to the visiting Chautauqua tent stage one summer night, advocating for the unlacing of the oppressive corset strings binding the unmentionable undergarments that hinder women from fully participating in community and workplace opportunities. Captivated by the message is not only Deuce Garland, the progressive newspaper editor whose publishing of the town truths is strangled by the controlling purse strings of his domineering father-in-law, but also Deuce's 19 year old stepdaughter, Helen, who hopes to escape Emporia to join the suffrage movement. A sprained ankle delays Marian's departure and forces her to take the time to face her own motivations for choosing the itinerant lifestyle. From small town Midwest to big city Chicago and a war torn French village, Marian, Deuce and Helen untie the restrictive strings of their corseted lives and confront the unmentionable barriers to gender, race, social class and freedom of the press. Readers will be fascinated by this timeless glimpse into a slice of American history on the brink of significant change, whose memorable characters are both vulnerable and engaging. I loved this book!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812983456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - March 26th, 2013

"Setting out to post a letter to a dying former colleague in hopes of bringing her the ultimate consolation, Harold Fry walks past the first mailbox and, unintentionally, walks north the entire 627 mile length of England from his village home in the south. With regretful memories, painful foot blisters, and a variety of unpredictable character encounters, Harold's quixotic journey to save someone else becomes his journey of self-discovery. This emotionally thought provoking modern day parable, with surprising plot twists, will engage readers from page one. I loved every mile I walked with Harold!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Florence Gordon Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780544309869
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 23rd, 2014

"Finally, at 75 years of age, New York women's rights activist and celebrated writer, Florence Gordon, has reached the time of life to set her no-nonsense insights into a memoir, only to have that plan interrupted by the sudden retirement of her longtime editor, the impertinent demands of an ex-husband and the marital squabbles of a returning son and daughter-in-law. When an unexpected diagnosis further intrudes on Florence's plans, and she is forced to make life altering decisions, it is to her trusted granddaughter Emily that Florence looks for assistance. Readers will be both captivated and annoyed by this family's attempt to resolve their conflicts and by a fascinating matriarch who is all the more valued for her inherent straightforwardness. Florence Gordon is one literary character I would love to meet for lunch!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
The Vanishing Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781401341947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hyperion Books - January 21st, 2014

"Escaping a life in shambles, Julia Bishop seeks refuge at the remote Lake Superior shores mansion, Havenwood, accepting employment as a companion to the aging, yet publicly presumed deceased horror author, Amaris Sinclair. In time, will Julia's new found security be a true 'haven' or be reminiscent of a frightful scene from the celebrated Sinclair novels? Haunted passageways, a terrifying ghostly intruder, unnerving séances and an accursed Windigo Native American legend are expertly woven into this spellbinding Midwest Gothic tale of intrigue, mystery and romance that will immediately captivate readers from page one." --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781451641981
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 10th, 2014

"Written with both the compassion of a daughter's heart and the insight of an experienced investigative science journalist, the shocking statistics behind the medical community's use of technology to prolong life beyond its natural end are revealed. When her father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, informed decisions for his end of life care are complicated by the fact that he lives with a previously inserted pacemaker. Contrasting the practices of Slow-Med which recognizes the natural end of life using palliative and hospice care against the procedures of Tech-Med which uses devices that result in enormous profits and prestige, this beautifully written and straightforward memoir is benchmark reading for anyone planning their advance directive health care plan. Don't sign on the bottom line until you read this groundbreaking book!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Instructions for a Heatwave Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780345804716
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - May 6th, 2014

"What happens to one Irish family living in London during the oppressive 1976 summer heat wave when patriarch Richard Riordan mysteriously disappears on a seemingly simple walk to buy the morning newspaper? As his three adult children return home to support their mother, Gretta, past resentments and longstanding secrets emerge in this insightful portrait of a family in crisis. I was immediately engaged with all of the characters who are both perceptively fragile and endearing. Subtle graceful writing at its best!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
A Long Way from Verona Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609451417
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - November 5th, 2013

"A girl's aspiration to become a writer is disrupted by her adolescence lived out not only against the backdrop of World War II England, but also by the constraints of her provincial school education. Gardam, a twice awarded Whitbread Prize author, gives readers a precocious protagonist who perseveres with wit and humor to become her authentic self. Originally published in 1971, readers will cheer young Jessie on in this gem of a novel that deserves to be back in print!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
A Hundred Flowers Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250022547
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 27th, 2013

"Set against the backdrop of Mao's Cultural Revolution is the story of one family's struggle to survive as innocence and betrayal are in counterpoint with each other. Gail Tsukiyama writes with a soulful pen that will embrace every reader's heart." --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Glitter and Glue: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345532855
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - February 17th, 2015

"In an attempt to not become her mother, the stoical 'gluestick' of the Corrigan family, and much preferring her father's glittery cheerful warmth, the author reflects on the multi-layered bonds of mothers and daughters. While striking out on an adventurous world round trip in her early 20's, Kelly's awakening comes when she runs out of money in Australia and takes a job as a nanny for a recently widowed father with two young child. Unraveling the threads of previous misunderstandings, Kelly transitions to a loving appreciation of her mother, realizing that glitter cannot stick without glue! Witty, wise and inspiring memoir that will move readers to both tears and laughter." --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Passing Cover Image
By Nella Larsen, Thadious M. Davis (Introduction by), Thadious M. Davis (Notes by)
$13.00
ISBN: 9780142437278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 4th, 2003

"Published in 1929, this under-read American classic by one of the best Harlem Renaissance women writers depicts the life relationship of two friends of mixed-blood ancestry. Initially meeting in Chicago and reuniting years later in New York City, Irene remains close to her Harlem community while Clare has chosen to 'pass' for white. Consequences of both women's decisions come to an unexpected conclusion in the plot's ambiguous ending that continues to be the subject of endless discussions. Don't miss this profoundly moving novella that resonates with today's social scene!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Longbourn Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385351232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 8th, 2013

"There is life beyond scrubbing the mud off of Elizabeth's petticoat in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as readers are given a starkly contrasting portrayal of life in the Bennett household below stairs. Giving voice to four characters only briefly mentioned in Austen's classic, this is a compelling story filled with intrigue, history and romance. Whether read by dedicated Janeites as an insightful companion to the original masterpiece or by curious readers of historical fiction as a reimaging of servant life in Regency England, this is an absolutely enlightening and entertaining read!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Nora Webster Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781439170939
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 2nd, 2015

"Living in a small insulated 1970's Irish town, a recently widowed 40'ish mother of four attempts to reshape her life, despite the best intentions of family and friends who consistently involve themselves in this effort. Facing the decisions to sell the beloved family summer house and to reluctantly return to her previous employment, Nora's journey toward widowhood, concurrently caring for her 2 younger children and working through her own grief. Ultimately, it is in accepting an invitation to audition for an opening in a semi-professional choral group that Nora slowly awakens from being an object of pity to finding, both literally and metaphorically, her own lyrically pitch-perfect voice. Authored by a master of the written word, readers will be inspired by this sensitively drawn portrait of a woman who finds renewed confidence and peace. This I an unforgettable reading experience!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
We Are Not Ourselves Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476756677
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 2nd, 2015

"After being raised by alcoholic Irish immigrant parents, Eileen Tumulty is driven to course a life away from her Queens New York childhood and toward a future of fulfilling the American Dream. Well educated as a nurse, she rises to the top of her profession and marries Ed Leary, envisioning that he will accept more lucrative financial opportunities beyond being just a college professor. Together Ed and Eileen welcome the birth of a son and their dream of buying a home in the suburbs becomes a reality. Yet, when their controlled life journey toward upward mobility is interrupted by an uncontrollable diagnosis, Eileen's great expectations are crushed and she must choose the ultimate truth of what will define the ourselves in the vulnerable Leary family. An ambitious multigenerational family story, written with hope and graceful insight, that will engage readers from page one!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Euphoria Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802123701
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - April 14th, 2015

"Inspired by the life of Margaret Mead, this is a powerful story of discovering and understanding by three young anthropologists studying the behavior of New Guinea native tribes, only to unlock the dynamics of their own academic competiveness and greed and personal jealousies. Set in 1930's New Guinea, this is an exotic and haunting reimagining of the early days of modern anthropology by an author who has done her research. 20th century historical fiction at its best!" --Jane


Staff Pick Logo
Noah's Wife Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399159237
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 26th, 2016

"Beautifully written story of a town whose existence is threatened by endlessly drenching rain and for whom the townspeople appear to have lost all hope. The arrival of the newly assigned minister, Noah, cannot seem to break through their despair as he begins to have his own crisis of faith. As the waters rise and threaten the viability of the town's zoo, its main tourist attraction, it is Noah's Wife who leads a small band of townspeople into rescuing the animals and relocating them in the town's abandoned shops and people's houses, lending a bit of gentle humor to the story. Yet, when that effort and sandbagging can no longer hold back the advancing flood risk, the citizens, along with the animals, move to the highest point in the town, the church. Readers will fall in love with an unpredicatable cast of characters who truly realize what it takes to rely on each other and ultimately come to share a renewed sense of hope as an unsinkable community!" --Jane