Kim's Picks

Kim grew up in Chester, and has been with Misty Valley Books for nearly 15 years.  She's had her nose continually pressed between the pages of some book or another since she first learned to read at age 4. Are You My Mother? (by PD Eastman) was the first book she remembers reading entirely by herself, but it was Charlotte's Web (by EB White) that really introduced her to the whole "book obsession". It was the first chapter book that she read, that she then had to immediately re-read. Over and over again. She has a particular soft spot for children's lit, but she grew up surrounded by a large extended family, all of whom are voracious readers, who have introduced her to a wide variety of genres over the years. Fantasy, history, science, mystery, romance, classics - she enjoys them all. She also enjoys camping and hiking during the warmer months, and curling up with a hot "cuppa tea" and Turner Classic Movies in the colder weather. She also lives in fear that some day, her bedside stack of books will tumble over and crush her in her sleep!

Reviewed by: 
Kim
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143126812
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - November 10th, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea tells the ill-fated story of the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket in the early 19th century. After an enraged whale sinks their ship in the middle of the South Pacific, 20 men set out in three tiny lifeboats for the coast of South America. Three months later, only eight are still alive. This tragedy would become, in part, the inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Philbrick does a great job of interweaving the survival story, with a history of the Nantucket whalers. Now I need to go back and read his earlier best seller, The Mayflower. A really great author.


Reviewed by: 
Kim
Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061997112
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - August 7th, 2012

This book had been sitting on my shelf for a quite a while before I finally picked it up, but what a treat! It’s the story of the most unlikely pair of hiking partners — an overweight, middle aged newspaper reporter, and his miniature schnauzer named Atticus M. Finch. Against all odds, these two companions undergo a spiritual awakening in the mountains, and set out to do the impossible: hike all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000+ foot peaks. Twice. In a single winter. An inspirational journey and an amazing friendship.


Reviewed by: 
Kim
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780767929714
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - June 12th, 2012

The nearly unbelievable story of president McKinley's assasination, and the doctor (not the gunman!) who actually succeeded in killing him. (The doctor in question, Dr. Bliss, also happens to be a direct relative of my brother in law). I'd also highly recommend Millard's biography of Teddy Roosevelt called River of Doubt, which tells the adventures in the Amazon that Roosevelt had, after failing to win a third term in office. It reads like a crazy adventure novel, yet every word is true. (As an additional side note, the naturalist on that expedition, Dr. George Cherrie, also has a personal connection for me -- he lived "just down the road", in the neighboring town of Newfane, VT.)


Reviewed by: 
Kim
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed Cover Image
By Mo Willems, Mo Willems (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781423114376
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hyperion Books - January 6th, 2009

One of the best Christmas gifts I've ever gotten. My niece and nephew gave me this book after I took them to Disney's Animal Kingdom where, while everyone else was grossed out, I was absolutely enamored by the ADORABLE naked mole rats. A sweet story by a fantastic children's writer, about finding your own unique style. It's okay if not everyone thinks the same -- everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So long as it makes you happy, and doesn't hurt anyone else -- why not try something new?


Reviewed by: 
Kim
The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780375843082
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling Books - February 10th, 2015

A YA historical fiction account of the cholera plague in London in the 1850s, as seen through the eyes of a street urchin from the Broad Street neighborhood. Young Eel gets a job assisting celebrated Dr. John Snow, whose meticulous research conclusively proved that ‘the Blue Death’ was in fact spread by contaminated water, rather than ”bad air” as was the prevailing theory. An especially interesting topic to me personally, as several of my direct relatives died from cholera around this same time period (though not in the London outbreak).


The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594482694
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 2nd, 2007

For a further, more detailed reading on the subject, I'd also recommend The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. An (adult) non fiction look at the same plague, that provides an interesting mix of science, technology and a social history of Victorian London.


Reviewed by: 
Kim
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780307931474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling Books - June 24th, 2014

While chatting about books with my 9-year-old nephew one day, we started discussing some of the past DCF (Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award) nominees and winners we both had read. Neither of us had gotten to the past year’s winner — Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  — but we both agreed it looked interesting. I’ve since had a chance to read it and I’ve got to say it was wonderful! Willy Wonka meets The Mysterious Benedict Society (both of which are also excellent reads), with a healthy dose of literary and pop culture references. Lots of fun puzzles to solve, and it serves to illustrate just how much pleasure there is to be found at your local library. (For the record, the boy is busy devouring Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief , which he enthusiastically gives ”two thumbs up!”)


Reviewed by: 
Kim
Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780553593617
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - April 3rd, 2012

The first book in this historic mystery series, which centers around British born/American raised academic Maggie Hope. Maggie begins the novel as a typing-pool secretary for Prime Minister Winston Churchill, but ultimately becomes a spy for the British Intelligence agency MI-5. Set during the London Blitz of WWII, the story provides a great inside look at the British War Department. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series!


Reviewed by: 
Kim
The Wives of Los Alamos Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781620405048
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - December 30th, 2014

An interesting look at the Manhattan Project of WWII through the eyes of the women were forced along for the ride. While the scientists were at least told what they were working on, their wives and children were kept completely in the dark for security reasons. They were uprooted with little warning, dropped in the middle of the unforgiving desert, expected to live in extremely rustic conditions — and they had no idea why, for how long or what was even being created there. A great story told from an unusual perspective.