Staff Favorites

Staff Favorites

290 E. Main St
Ashland, OR 97520
541-488-0029
bloomsburyashland
@gmail.com

Open 7-days:
M-Fri 8:30am-9pm
Sat 9am-9pm
Sun 10am-6pm

Home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Specializing in contemporary fiction, children’s books, young adult, local authors, & a large Shakespeare & theater section

After shopping, enjoy your book at… Bloomsbury Coffee House
Organic eats, drinks, treats
Above Bloomsbury Books.
290 E. Main
(541) 482-6112
More about
the cafe…

STAFF PICKS

 

Sheila           Karen              Anita             Greg             John            Brandon           Becky
Susan

 

LULLABY ROAD
James Anderson

“What becomes of the broken-hearted?” Sometimes, they become inhabitants of Lullaby Road, a stretch of highway 117 in the Utah desert, along which Ben Jones, a truck driver with his own damaged heart, makes deliveries. Ben has found a small Hispanic child, abandoned in the snow at a gas station with a note that reads, “Please, Ben, help my son. Big Trouble.” Ben takes the child with him in the truck–and there is big trouble. Lullaby Road is a well-plotted, satisfying mystery; but it is Anderson’s broken-yet-resilient characters, who have chosen–or were forced–to live in the lonely desert, who make it memorable. Ben Jones is a great modern protagonist–funny, compassionate, flawed and so human. The solitude and sere beauty of the landscape are always present and the descriptions of the flat vistas and endless horizons are haunting on James Anderson’s fine prose. –Sheila

 

THE MERMAID AND MRS. HANCOCK
Imogen Hermes Gowar
Set in London during the height of the Georgian era, this is the story of a shipping merchant, who has made a fortune exhibiting an alleged mermaid corpse, and the most famed courtesan in the city, who woos him at the behest of her madam, who wants to exhibit the corpse in her brothel. Things get complicated in their romance when one of the merchant’s ships captures a real mermaid off the coast of Scotland and brings it home. It is a richly detailed historical fiction with a glaringly ahistorical element –  a true mermaid. If you’re weary of the proliferation of young-women-in-peril fiction and despairing political non-fiction, try this unique and and absorbing novel. -Sheila

 

 

THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS
Michael Finkel

A young man parks his car and disappears into the forest in Maine. For three decades he manages to survive through freezing winters with no contact from anyone. A fascinating true story of survival. –Karen

 

MANHATTAN BEACH
Jennifer Egan

Pulitzer prize-winning author Jennifer Egan paints a moving and captivating portrait of Brooklyn in the 1940s. The war is raging, people are experiencing hard times, and the New York mob is alive and well. Anna Kerrigan, an independent and capable young woman, is working in the parts department of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, supporting the war effort. But she is determined, against all odds, to be a professional diver who repairs vessels. When her father, who was working for the mob, suddenly disappears, Anna is ultimately driven to discover what has happened to him. While devoted to her mother and a severely, disabled sister, she fearlessly gets involved with the underworld to attempt to solve the mystery. Amidst a drastically changing world, Anna’s strength, resilience and passion create an extraordinary heroine. –Anita

 

A LADDER TO THE SKY

John Boyne
If your primary focus in life is fame, what won’t you do to achieve your goal? Is there anyone you won’t hurt, any aspect of life considered sacred? For writer Maurice Swift the answer is no, there is nothing he won’t do and no one he will let stand in the way of his shining literary career. And shine he does. But it is a long, cold fall from the stars back to earth. As much as I loved Cyril Avery, from The Heart’s Invisible Furies, is how much I detest Maurice Swift. And yet I enjoyed my intense disgust towards him, savored it as I was compelled to keep reading Boyne’s parable on the perils and pitfalls of blind ambition. –Becky

 

THE FRIEND
Sigrid Nunez

“What we miss—what we lose and what we mourn—isn’t this that makes us who, deep down, we truly are.” An unnamed woman of  certain, also unnamed but implied, age inherits a giant of a dog, a Great Dane named Apollo, in the wake of her friend and mentor’s suicide. These two unlikely companions, as initial apprehension transforms to appreciation, wend their way through grief together. Written as though the woman were addressing her deceased friend, this is a uniquely beautiful and bitingly funny, bitter sweet treatise on grief, the art of writing, the state of the current literary landscape, and the powerful love between people and their “pets.” Unforgettable. –Becky