Rosemary's Picks

Rosemary started at Malaprop's in 2018. She's new to Asheville but not to bookstores, having worked for 16 years at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh.  She has a range of book loves, but especially non-fiction, mystery, and children's books.  If you bring a dog in the store, she's sure to offer it a dog treat.  She loves Asheville and Malaprop's. 


Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062688842
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 25th, 2018

Beautiful Country Burn Again is arguably the most engaging, scathing, funny, and insightful political book of the year (and we've had a bumper crop of them).  The award-winning novelist covers all the craziness of the 2016 campaign, from every perspective. Bernie rallies, Hillary angst, Republican candidate meltdown - it's all here. And just in case you've forgotten what a roller coaster 2016 was, he alternates his frontline reporting with chapters quickly covering each month's news events.  You may be surprised at what you've forgotten happened in the midst of the rundown to the election.  

Fountain posits that America has twice gone through transformative change in response to a national crisis: the Civil War and the Great Depression.  Can we - will we - arise to this third challenge? 

The Outsider: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501180989
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - May 22nd, 2018

If you're a 'constant reader' of Stephen King, you'll love The Outsider - a mix  of classic King imagination and the outstanding mysteries he's done in recent years (the Mr. Mercedes trilogy).  When a horrific crime is committed, rocksolid evidence points to a pillar of the community. Thing is, he has a beyond-rocksolid alibi.  What happens next will keep you glued to the book. It was icing on the cake to see my favorite King character make a significant return about halfway through!

Elevation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982102319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - October 30th, 2018

Stephen King has crafted a modern day fable of discovery, kindness, and acceptance. Scott’s strange medical condition brings about changes in more than just his body. Thinking about what just a little reaching out can do is what we need these days.

Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Companion Cover Image
By Gina McIntyre, Matt Duffer (Foreword by), Ross Duffer (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781984817426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - October 30th, 2018

Calling all Stranger Things fans – you know who you are.  Here is the be-all and end-all of all Stranger Things facts and stories.  Filled with all the 80s references the Duffer Bros. called on in the first two seasons, you also get a preview of what’s to come next year.  Take a wild ride back to the Upside Down. Steve! Bob! 11!

Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife (Scientists in the Field Series) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328858689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 23rd, 2018

Wildlife may be closer than you think.  Even if you don't live in "Bear Central" - like Asheville - we need to know how to co-habitate with the critters who were there first.  Amy brings kids into the front line of bear research, and the stunning photography just enhances their experiences.  Engaging, informative, and fascinating!  A bonus for me was the section on other urban areas' wildlife - I don't run across my beloved capybaras in many books.

Monstrous Devices Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451478580
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - October 16th, 2018

Damien Love, you had me at Prague.  Who can resist an ominous tale set in the city of the Golem?  Alex and his mysteriously capable grandfather have a refreshingly loving and trusting relationship. But can it help them survive the extraordinarily evil beings, human and mechanical, who pursue them?  Fast paced and original adventure for middle grades.

Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316421829
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 16th, 2018

For a man who admits he didn't know what 'shade' was, photograper Pete Souza knows how to throw it with style.  Wonderful photos and commentary combine to make points subtle and not.  The usually non-political Souza (photographer to Presidents Bush and Obama) has been stirred to action by the Trump administration.

Night Watch: Book One Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062310095
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - December 31st, 2013

The Others - forces of dark and light - have struck an uneasy balance over humans, with their agents carefully orchestrating a balance of power.  Now an Other of extraordinary power, who is not affiliated with either side, has been discovered. Her existence may trigger a long-predicted war. 

Set in '80s Russia, Night Watch begins a quintet of sublime urban fantasy, and provides a unique look into Russian culture.

The Law of Finders Keepers (Mo & Dale Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803739628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kathy Dawson Books - September 11th, 2018

Any adventure with Mo, Dale, and Harm is a reason to celebrate. From Three Times Lucky on, each "Mo & Dale Mystery" brought me deeper into Tupelo Landing. Characters became more beloved. Sheila's tied up many of the loose ends that kept fans on the edge of their seats. Pull up a seat at the Cafe, order the special, and enjoy the beloved series' finale. Don't forget to leave a nice tip for Mo.


Lightning Men: A Novel (The Darktown Series #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501138805
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria / 37 INK - June 5th, 2018

Racial injustice, KKK resurgence, white nationalists - no, Thomas Mullen's second Darktown book isn't drawn from today's headlines. Set in 1950 Atlanta, new "Negro Officers" Boggs and Smith face personal demons and professional obstacles in their efforts to protect their black community, even while dealing with racist fellow officers. 

Sharply drawn characters and intense action make Lightning Men a memorable thriller. You can read it without reading its predecessor. But you'll be looking for Darktown as soon as you finish Lightning Men.

Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery (Obama Biden Mysteries #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683690399
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - July 10th, 2018

Get it for the cover alone – you know you want it.  Not a parody – it’s quite a decent mystery.  But … Biden, Obama, muscle car, biker bar, shotgun…

Need I say more?  It’s a blast. 

The Line That Held Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399574221
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

If you like your novels ominous and suspenseful, The Line That Held Us is for you. 

David Joy does two incredible things in this novel: he creates a uniquely cruel, sadistic villain - Dwayne will truly stand out among the most horrendous human beings you'll encounter in a book.  David also succeeds in making Dwayne a poignant and sympathetic character. You'll hate yourself for feeling sympathy for him, but you can't help it.  

The tension is high from the start, and David ratchets it up as Dwayne and his (sometimes innocent) prey complete their intricate dance.  (Comes out mid-August)

True Grit: 50th Anniversary Edition Cover Image
By Charles Portis, Roy Blount (Introduction by), Jay Jennings (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9781468316407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - June 12th, 2018

It may be celebrating its 50th anniversary, but True Grit doesn't show its age. 

Enjoy it as an action-packed Western, a determined revenge tale, but especially for its ahead-of-her-time protagonist, Mattie Ross.  Once 14-year-old Mattie sets herself on a course, she's not to be denied.  

And in its own unique way, it's a splendid love story. 

Barracoon: The Story of the Last
By Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker (Foreword by), Deborah G. Plant (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780062748201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad - May 8th, 2018


READ THIS BOOK! Imagine hearing the words of the last surviving slave brought to America.  Zora Neale Hurston earned the trust of Cudjo Lewis. Her insistence on keeping faithful to his dialect delayed its publication for years.  

Cudjo's story of pre-slavery life in Africa, enslavement, survival, and creating a post-Civil War Africatown is literally priceless. It will haunt you, as will his indomitable spirit. Rest in peace, Kossola.

The Sparrow: A Novel (The Sparrow Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780449912553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 8th, 1997

My favorite book by one of my favorite authors.  Don't let its sci-fi setting throw you off if you 'never read sci fi'.  This is by turns luminous, surprising, and always inventive.  And have Children of God, the sequel, on hand.  You'll want to dive in as soon as you finish The Sparrow

A Thread of Grace: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780449004135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - December 6th, 2005

Grace is epic historical fiction at its finest.  Set during WWII, Italy has just surrendered.  Nazis, Allies, Jewish refugees - all are descending on Italy, and it's hell on Earth. Told from different viewpoints, you will be constantly surprised, sometimes stunned by what happens to whom.  

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143125471
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2014

If you have a poet's heart, you'll be awed by the spiritual connections to rowing expressed by both the crew members and the master boat builder whose philosophy weaves through this historical drama. 

If you're of a more mathematical nature: 


A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312367541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - May 1st, 2007

My childhood favorite - read uncountable times. What young girl doesn't identify with Meg? After several years, L'Engle wrote sequels, but Time is a standalone gem. 

Everybody's Fool: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307454829
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 24th, 2017

I've always loved Russo's pitch-perfect rendition of small-town life, especially in the upstate NY area I know well.  Everybody's Fool goes into the top 10 of my favorite books - ever.  No character is perfect, but when I finished the book, I missed every one of them (well, except Roy. There's no love lost there!)  

So much happens to the interweaving cast, it was a shock to consider that Fool only covers a couple of days in the life of Bath, NY.  You may not want to live there, but you'd want these folks as your neighbors. (Except Roy).

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307718976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - January 26th, 2016

A well-researched and balanced view of a major New Orleans hospital
ravaged by Hurricane Katrina that exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care during such a disaster, and shows how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters.

The Sleepwalker: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804170994
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 3rd, 2017

Chris Bohjalian has an incredible ability to write from a woman's perspective.  From murder in post WWII Italy (The Light in the Ruins), to survival in post apocalyptic Vermont (Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands), he dives deep into his characters' souls.  

The Sleepwalker had me firmly in its grasp. A woman's disappearance gradually reveals the layers of secrets those who love her keep, even from themselves.  And that ending? Yowza. Wherever Chris goes, I'll follow. 

Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812987164
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 6th, 2018

The contributions of smaller Allied nations (such as Norway) are often overlooked in WWII histories.  In the starting days of the war, governments and partisans in exile congregated in London.  Lynne Olson (Citizens of London) returns to its setting to detail how refugee communities came to England's aid (among them, Polish and Czech pilots for a decimated RAF) and England to theirs.  All didn't go swimmingly, but all realized that England was indeed was their Last Hope Island against Hitler.  

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492650959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - March 6th, 2018

Be forewarned: this book will make you very, very angry.  Now we may look at early 20th Century attitudes toward radium with shock (radium toothpaste? jockstraps?). Corporate America knew the danger, even if consumers didn't. And no one was more vulnerable than the literally glowing women who painted the in-demand radium dials of watches and instruments.  Their years of suffering and legal conflicts led to safer working conditions for others.  Think of their legacy when someone proposes rolling back worker protections. 

Serena: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061470844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 29th, 2009

The mountains of NC may be Eden, but Serena is no gentle Eve.  This logger baron's wife is ambitious and the Devil herself.  You'll be transported to 1930s Asheville, as mountain folks trying to survive, conservationists out to establish a national park, and the not-to-be-denied Serena conflict.  What she is capable of will astound you.

Secondhand Souls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061779794
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 10th, 2016

Christopher Moore is not for the faint of heart. But if you love wild imagination, hysterically funny and profane dialogue, multiple plot lines that weave together but allow lots of humorous and (did I mention) profane tangents - he's your guy.  

Secondhand Souls is a sequel to A Dirty Job. I read SS without having read A Dirty Job with no confusion. But SS does give a few necessary spoilers from the earlier book. So if you have the leisure, do them in order. 

The Alienist: A Novel (The Alienist Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812976144
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 24th, 2006

I lived in NY's Hudson Valley when this came out, and know how well Carr (also a HV resident) describes it all.  I love historical fiction that mixes true and fictional characters.  NY Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt sets up an unofficial team to investigate a serial killer, in an era in which such a concept is unknown. 

The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143127529
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 26th, 2015

Looking to dive into a world of witches, vampires, and demons? Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy, which concludes with The Book of Life, is the richest portrayal of that universe since Dark Shadows (and I say that with pleasure and affection). I don't want to leak any spoilers here – you have to read the trilogy in sequence – but Harkness has
invented a fascinating history for her creatures. This is literary adult fantasy that stays deeply attached to the real world. And if you've read A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, you'll be very satisfied with the passion, terror, and (yes) humor Harkness uses to bring the saga of the Bishops and Clairmonts to a conclusion.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393338829
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 1st, 2011

Still trying to wrap your head around the subprime mortgage debacle that put the U.S. into such a financial spin?  Lewis explains how we got where we are with wit, clarity, and humor.  But what will leave your mind spinning (and provides much discussion fodder) is how the unlikely heroes of his piece figured out the danger early, why people ignored/vilified them, ... and how the perpetrators of pure junk bonds could keep their minds and traps shut.  You may not like investment banks very much after reading this, but you'll understand what happened. 

The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681883816
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Weldon Owen - October 9th, 2018

If you don't like the state of modern medical care, Sawbones will give you an attitude adjustment.  Funny, eye-opening, sometimes squirm inducing,you'll also get quite the education.  I wasn't aware of the podcast before, but wlll definitely add it to my playlist.