When there's a deal on a great book, we want you to know about it! Usually, we'll highlight Kindle books, just because they seem to have the best sales, but if there's a deal on a hard copy, we'll let you know about that, too. We will ONLY post sales for books someone on our staff has read and recommended (or, very occasionally, books that we really, really want to read but haven't gotten around to yet). Prices are correct when we post them here, but always check before you buy—digital prices can change frequently.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23
HSL BOOK DEALS OF THE DAY
Suzanne is officially on the record as a fan of Herriot's stories of life as a vet in rural England: "These are comfort books for me and one of the few series that has been given the universal thumbs-up by everyone who I’ve forced to read them." And the audiobook is read by Jim Dale, so you know it's going to be just as good.
Lin-Manuel Miranda recommends this book as a great read for theater kids, so I'm not really sure how we can talk about this book in any way that is not anticlimactic after a recommendation like that! But this story about a small-town boy who takes the bus to NYC to audition for "E.T.: The Musical" really is pure drama geek delight.
We recommended this in the magazine as part of our essential Alaska reading list, but you don't have to be studying the Last Frontier to appreciate this story about a school teacher who brings literature, learning, and fun to the children in a remote Alaskan village.
Suzanne says: "If you prefer your wolves and evil plots a big closer to home, Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty is the start of another great middle school series, set in the Biltmore Estate and the surrounding forests and mountains of Asheville, Tenn. I’ve visited Biltmore several times, and it’s a treat to see the rooms I’ve toured come alive in Beatty’s version of life at Biltmore in 1899. Serafina, daughter of one of the house employees, prowls the house at night and designates herself Chief Rat Catcher, but children both upstairs and downstairs are going missing and Serafina soon realizes that there are evil forces at work, discovering her own magical heritage in the meantime."
Pratchett's at his witty, philosophical best in this YA novel about the survivors of a tsunami who must overcome their differences to recreate society in the wake of a disaster. There are so many good conversations about about religion, responsibility, destiny, and society waiting inside this book.
From the fall 2014 issue: "Callum’s father has always taught him to avoid magic—so Callum is determined to do whatever it takes to get kicked out of the magical school he’s forced to attend."
AUDIOBOOK: Shelli says this series-starter "has everything that my son likes: nature (the characters are all animals), adventure, and rebellion (he is a Star Wars fan, after all)." Read her full review.
One of Suzanne's favorite books of 2015, specifically her "Favorite New Sarah Vowell Book About America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman and Alexander Hamilton’s Best Bud the Marquis de Lafayette Which Has, Disappointingly, Not All That Much Hamilton But Which is Wildly Entertaining Nonetheless, As Are All of Sarah Vowell’s Books of History."
From the brother-sister author team behind Babymouse comes this late elementary/early middle grades graphic novel about a girl visiting her grandparents in Florida—which sounds fun, until Sunny realizes that Florida doesn't mean constant amusement parks and does mean a neighborhood full of retirees. Things get better when she makes a friend.
M.T. Anderson is one of those authors who always surprises you—you may not know what you're going to get, but you know it's going to be worth reading. Feed is the kick-off to Anderson's futuristic dystopia, a world in which people connect to the internet via brain implants, allowing a constant stream of information (and shopping opportunities). It's a bleak, fascinating look at a world that doesn't seem that far away.
AUDIOBOOK: Eccentric millionaire Samuel Westing is dead, and now his heirs—most of whom have no idea what their connection to Westing might be—must compete in a decidedly weird competition to see who inherits his fortune.
AUDIOBOOK: Kate Winslet reads one of the all-time great Roald Dahl books: A story about a girl named Matilda who loves to read. Even though her family's awful and her school possibly even worse, Matilda's love of books (and unexpected mental powers) help her find a place where she belongs and a happily ever after of her own. Funny and charming.
AUDIOBOOK: I raved about this book when it came out—it's one of those gorgeous, lingering books that stays with you after you've finished. Strands of different stories weave together as a girl who swallows magic after she's adopted by a kindly witch learns about her power and past.
AUDIOBOOK: We've mentioned Anderson's subversively brilliant Seeds of America trilogy on the blog before (see Carrie's thoughtful review), and this first book is a great place to start your American Revolution studies this summer. What does "freedom" mean to people who aren't, by definition, free?
AUDIOBOOK: People who are slightly obsessed with books (cough! me! cough!) will appreciate this book-based mystery/puzzle story, in which Emily and her new friend try to solve the clues in a famous puzzler's new challenge.
AUDIOBOOK: Shelli loves this Little House in the Big Woods-ish story chronicling the everyday, seasonal life of a young Ojibwa girl living on the shores of Lake Superior in the 1840s. Great listen-aloud for U.S. History students.
AUDIOBOOK: Tim Curry leads a full cast in the reading of this first book in the tragic life of the Baudelaire orphans, in which Violet, Klaus, and Sunny lose their parents in a suspicious fire and are sent to live with a not-so-benevolent Count Olaf, who plans to steal their fortune.