Let Midtown Reader Brighten Your Spring Adventures

Spring in Tallahassee has arrived with its wonderfully bold colors, delightful temperatures, and longer days (not to mention more pollen than one town should ever have to endure). As part of this dazzling time of year, many of you will find time to escape to the seashore, hit the slopes for the final snowfall of the season, or find a quiet spot in the warm sun shining in the parks and greenways of our scenic hometown.

As you relish these promising moments of the new season, Midtown Reader wants to help you find the perfect book to accompany you to the beach, in the park, or by the fire at the ski lodge. We offer a diverse selection of books, and our friendly, welcoming staff provides a customized shopping experience so that you can select the ideal book for your spring adventures.

To get you started, here are some recommendations for you, your friends, and your family:

Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult

Just recently released in paperback, Small Great Things has quickly become a book club favorite.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime.

Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family--especially her teenage son--as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and her lawyer, a white public defender, must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others--and themselves--might be wrong.

"It's Jodi Picoult, the prime provider of literary soul food. This riveting drama is sure to be supremely satisfying and a bravely thought-provoking tale on the dangers of prejudice." --Redbook

Chicago, David Mamet

A big-shouldered, big-trouble thriller set in mobbed-up 1920s Chicago--a city where some people knew too much, and where everyone should have known better.

Mike Hodge--veteran of the Great War, big shot of the Chicago Tribune, medium fry--probably shouldn't have fallen in love with Annie Walsh. Then, again, maybe the man who killed Annie Walsh have known better than to trifle with Mike Hodge. In Chicago, David Mamet has created a bracing, kaleidoscopic page-turner that roars through the Windy City's underground on its way to a thunderclap of a conclusion.

"The story moves at a careening pace... Mamet's book does Chicago--and organized crime—proud. An evocative, impressive return that Mamet fans will welcome."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents' passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if that means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates, and the family begins to fracture. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

Red Sparrow, Jason Matthews

Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova, a spy trained in the art of seduction, has been assigned to Nathaniel Nash, a CIA officer who handles the organization's most sensitive Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

"Not since the good old days of the Cold War has a classic spy thriller like Red Sparrow come along. Jason Matthews is not making it up; he has lived this life and this story, and it shows on every page. High-level espionage, pulse-pounding danger, sex, double agents and double crosses. What more can any reader want?”—Nelson DeMille

Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, Craig Pittman

These stories could only be true in Florida! This book is hilarious, engrossing, and meant to be shared with everybody at the beach house. And, most importantly, Midtown Reader currently has copies autographed by award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Craig Pittman.

Florida couldn't be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree. The Sunshine State is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it's also known for its perils-alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its manmade fantasies. But there is far more to Florida than its sideshow freakiness. Oh, Florida! explains how Florida secretly, subtly influences all the other states in the Union, both for good and for ill.

The Lost City of the Monkey God, Douglas Preston

For centuries, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran jungle, called the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, a swashbuckling journalist returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

In 2012, bestselling author Doug Preston identified a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization in the Honduran interior. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quick mud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

"A great true adventure, filled with danger, close calls, better-than-Hollywood characters, and a lost world that reaches through time and into everyone's future. One of the best nonfiction books I've read."-- Robert Kurson, New York Times bestselling author

Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

Tallahassee’s very own Jeff VanderMeer “weaves together an otherworldly tale of the supernatural and the half-human. Delightfully, this page-turner is the first in a trilogy.”—Heather Paulson, ALA Booklist (starred review)

Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky

In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.

"Kurlansky continues to prove himself remarkably adept at taking a most unlikely candidate and telling its tale with epic grandeur.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time will be released as a movie from Disney on March 9, starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. So, pick up your copy from Midtown Reader and enjoy this literary gem before seeing the film!

On a stormy night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe on a most dangerous and extraordinary adventure - one that will threaten their lives and our universe - as they become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

"A book that every young person should read, a book that provides a road map for seeking knowledge and compassion even at the worst of times, a book to make the world a better place.”—Cory Doctorow

Tumble & Blue, Cassie Beasley

When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant good luck to the poor soul foolish enough to face him. But in 1817, when TWO fools reach him at the same time, the night's fate is split. With disastrous consequences for both . . . and their descendants. Half of the descendants have great fates, and the other half have terrible ones.

Now, Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery are determined to fix their ancestors' mistakes and banish the bad luck that's followed them around for all of their lives. They're going to face Munch the gator themselves, and they're going to reclaim their destinies. But what if the legend of Munch is nothing but a legend, after all?

Full of friendship, family, and the everyday magic and adventure, Cassie Beasley (from rural Georgia, where, when she's not writing, she helps out on the family pecan farm) has written another crowd-pleasing heart-warmer.