Robin's Picks

Robin Allen is the owner of Forever Books.  A former history teacher turned entrepreneur, she opened Forever Books on April Fools Day in 1999 after the closing of a local children's bookstore.  When not at the store or working for the store (rare), she enjoys reading non-fiction history, memoirs, political works, and fiction.  She also loves spending time with her two nieces.  Robin has served on the board and as Board President of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.  

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The Chilbury Ladies' Choir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781101906750
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - February 14th, 2017

It’s 1940, and in Chilbury, Kent, England, the women are doing their best to maintain morale and that includes keeping the choir going despite the lack of male voices. Reminiscent of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the PBS series Home Fires, it captures the experience of the war from a woman’s perspective. If you like home-front and small English village settings you’ll enjoy this.


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History of Wolves Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802125873
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - January 3rd, 2017

14-yr-old Linda, an observant loner growing up in the Minnesota woods, becomes intrigued with the Gardners, the young family that moves in across the lake from her home. As she gets to know them and is hired to babysit their unusual child, she realizes that something is amiss, and secrets are slowly revealed.  Kirkus calls it a literary tour de force and Booklist recommends History of Wolves for lovers of character-driven literary fiction.

 


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The Bear and the Nightingale Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101885932
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - January 10th, 2017

Part fairy tale, part folklore, this is an old tale told around the fire during the harsh, bitter winters of 14th century Russia that come to life for the storytellers.  An unusual book that is a treat to read on a cold winter night, under the covers.


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A Certain Age Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062404961
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - January 3rd, 2017

Now in paperback. It’s the Jazz Age, and glamorous, rich Theresa is having an affair with a much younger WWI flying ace.  Married to a much older man with a lover of his own, Theresa helps orchestrate nuptials between her ne’er-do-well brother and a much younger woman whose family has a murderous secret.  An easy, yet smart, enjoyable read with a BIG surprise!


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The Spy Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781524732066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - November 22nd, 2016

A striking novel about the Dutch courtesan Mata Hari and exotic dancer who was executed in 1917 for treason and in all likelihood was innocent. By the author of the bestselling novel The Alchemist.


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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780778319801
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mira Books - January 31st, 2017

Now in paperback. Sentimental and charming novel about Arthur Pepper, a 69-year-old endearing widower who has set routines, until he finds a gold charm bracelet in his wife’s shoe.  Each charm represents a part of his wife’s life he knew nothing about, and he’s off on adventures for answers, disrupting everything around him.  Reminiscent of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Little Paris Bookshop. 


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Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781400069880
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - November 22nd, 2016

I hesitated reading this because of all I’ve read about Queen Victoria, but Baird gives us a fresh look at the life of the famous queen with her strengths and weaknesses.

Absorbing and engaging.


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Mincemeat: The Education of an Italian Chef Cover Image
By Leonardo Lucarelli, Lorena Rossi Gori (Translator), Danielle Rossi (Translator)
$25.95
ISBN: 9781590517918
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press (NY) - December 6th, 2016

If you read and loved Anthony Bourdain’s tell-all Kitchen Confidential, this is the book for you!  Unbelievable saga of a young man’s journey as a cook in Italy and life working in a restaurant. Highly entertaining but a bit shocking!


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The Bookshop on the Corner Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062467256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - September 20th, 2016

When a shy English librarian’s job is downsized, what does she do?  Buy a panel truck, turn it into a moving bookstore, and move the Scottish Highlands, of course!  This is the perfect light, fun, and enjoyable read, with a tongue-in-cheek nod to the Outlander series; a bit of a guilty weekend pleasure after a hard week. Just yummy.


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The Mortifications Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101905692
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tim Duggan Books - October 4th, 2016

Soledad leaves her husband in Cuba, taking her twins to the U.S. to start a new life in Hartford, Connecticut.  But this is a simplistic description!  It doesn’t tell you of his wonderful writing, the wrenching relationships and their longing. Kirkus Reviews said it best: “Searching, heartbreaking, and achingly beautiful.”


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The Second Mrs. Hockaday Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781616205812
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - January 10th, 2017

Only two days after marrying Placidia, her Confederate Major is called to war, leaving his young wife alone to run his farm, care for his two-year-old son, and manage the slaves, none of which she's equipped to do. The story unfolds through their letters to each other and between Placidia’s friend and herself.  Solid historical novel that’s a very enjoyable read, great for book clubs, too.


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The Second Life of Nick Mason Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399574320
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 17th, 2016

Chicagoan Mason is sprung from prison after only serving 5 years of a 25-year sentence for a murder he didn’t commit.  The catch:  he now works for the Chicago crime boss who had him released.  While he’s set up in the lap of luxury, he must answer the cellphone given him 24/7and do what is he is instructed to do, no questions asked.  Tightly-wound thriller. The first in a planned series; can’t wait the next installment!!


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The House at the Edge of Night Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812998795
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - July 12th, 2016

Unforgettable saga that chronicles four generations of an Italian family living on a small, sparsely populated island off the coast of Sicily. It begins with Armedeo, an orphan, with his arrival on the island in 1914 to become its first doctor, and follows his progeny through world wars to the 21st century.  Delightful!


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A Gentleman in Moscow Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780670026197
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - September 6th, 2016

In 1922 the Bolsheviks sentence Count Alexander Rostov to house arrest in the luxurious Metropol Hotel in Moscow for political crimes; however, he is moved from his suite of rooms to a spare attic room.  How he copes with the span of 30 years in confinement makes for an inspiring, moving, and thoroughly enjoyable read.  I can’t rave enough about this spectacular novel!


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Commonwealth Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062491794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 13th, 2016

An uninvited guest arrives at a christening with a bottle of gin, kisses the hostess, setting into motion the chaos that affects two families for decades.  Supposedly, Commonwealth is Patchett’s “most autobiographical novel.”  This award-winning author of Bel Canto has written one of her best yet!


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News of the World Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062409201
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 4th, 2016

After the Civil War, widowed70-year-old Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels the Plains, reading newspapers to crowds for a dime each. Along the way, he agrees to deliver 10-year-old Johanna to Texas relatives; she was captured by the Kiowa tribe at age six and has no memory of any other life.  Their journey and their relationship make for heartrending reading, a true joy of a novel in a small package. I savored every page.


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Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781492632122
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks - September 6th, 2016

Carlson recounts his fascinating journey from life as an 11-year-old living on his own in a rough neighborhood to working for Disney to becoming the founder of world-renowned Breakfast in America restaurants in Paris.  What a story!  (I’d think twice before starting a business in France, but ooo-la-la! To live in Paris!) Warning: read on a full stomach; it’s yummy! With recipes.


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Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385535731
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - September 20th, 2016

Highly esteemed biographer Millard recounts the story of a young Winston Churchill and his experience in the Boer War:  His capture, courage, and harrowing escape and survival, only to rejoin the fight.  A part of Churchill’s life we rarely hear about. Exceptional!


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In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101904657
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Archetype - September 13th, 2016

The title says it all: If you have memories of watching The Carol Burnett Show, you’ll love her latest book with all the inside stories and gossipy trivia about the stars and how the show was produced.


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Irena's Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781476778501
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - September 27th, 2016

A remarkable story of the “female Schindler” who smuggled thousands of Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation during WWII.

I found it astonishing, moving, and unforgettable.


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Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062410313
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 4th, 2016

The author (who became the first female U.S. Army Intelligence officer to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Germany during the Cold War) tells the story of her mother’s escape from behind the Iron Curtain in Berlin, leaving her family behind to deal with the shocking life under Communist Russian rule.


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The 2017 spring/summer event season at Forever Books is taking off!

Bestselling returning authors, Indie Next List books, award-winning journalists, and more! 

Plus storytime for the little ones every Third Thursday at 10:45 AM.

 

Click on each picture to see more info on the event, book, and author...

  Saturday, April 29

 Independent Bookstore Day  

 Book Signing with the authors of Discover St. Joseph 1-3 PM 

 Free Advance Reader's copy with every purchase over $20 

  

 

 Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 PM

 Wine and Cheese with Renee Rosen, author of Windy City Blues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Saturday, May 6

 Children's Book Week Celebration

Ongoing storytimes before and after Blossomtime Parade

 

 

 

Saturday, May 13 at 1-3 PM  

Book Signing with Elaine Thomopoulos, author of Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor