Catherine Weller's Holiday Book Picks for RadioWest

Every year I join Betsy Burton and Ken Sanders in the KUER studios to talk about holiday books on RadioWest with Doug Fabrizio. It's a fun and fascinating time. You can't get three booksellers in the same room without encountering a lot of passion and opinions. The three of us have different tastes and we even talk about books differently. So there's a lot of diversity in the show. There are also books we all have on our lists each year or that cross over between a couple of us. And, as Doug always says, there's never enough time to talk about all of them.

My holiday picks are in the list below. The adult titles are grouped together before the kids books.

...And Then You Die of Dysentery: Lessons in Adulting from the Oregon Trail Cover Image
By Lauren Reeves, Jude Buffum (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328624390
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 16th, 2018

A quirky, nostalgic send-up to the Oregon Trail computer game, featuring snarky and hard-earned life lessons from the trail. 

Pack your wagons, find your ride-or-(literally) die friends, and roll up to Matt’s General Store with a sack of cash—it’s time to hit the Oregon Trail, twenty-first-century style!


Are You There God? It's Me, Margarita: More Cocktails with a Literary Twist (A Tequila Mockingbird Book) Cover Image
By Tim Federle, Lauren Mortimer (Illustrator)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780762464159
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Running Press Adult - October 9th, 2018

Literature, puns, and alcohol collide in this clever follow-up to Tequila Mockingbird, the world's bestselling cocktail recipes book.

Tim Federle's Tequila Mockingbird has become one of the world's bestselling cocktail books and resonated with bartenders and book clubs everywhere.


Auerbach's: The Store That Performs What It Promises (Landmarks) Cover Image
$23.99
ISBN: 9781467137454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: History Press - September 17th, 2018

After an arduous journey to Utah's Mormon frontier, three Jewish immigrant brothers built a flagship institution that lasted more than a century in downtown Salt Lake City. The F. Auerbach & Bros. story is one of personal challenges, Prussian folktales, perilous sea voyages, Wild West tenacity and those elegant and sophisticated fashions found on the second floor.


The Book of Sharks Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781625578013
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Lawrence Press - July 31st, 2018

Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness Cover Image
$11.95
ISBN: 9781937226978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Torrey House Press - November 6th, 2018

As Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness turns fifty, its iconic author, who has inspired generations of rebel-rousing advocacy on behalf of the American West, is due for a tribute as well as a talking to.


The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316382533
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - September 11th, 2018

In this 2018 New York Times Notable Book, Paige Williams "does for fossils what Susan Orlean did for orchids" (Book Riot) in her account of one Florida man's attempt to sell a dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia--a story "steeped in natural history, human nature, commerce, crime, science, and politics" (Rebecca Skloot).


The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101981610
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - April 24th, 2018

As heard on NPR's This American Life

“Absorbing . . . Though it's non-fiction, The Feather Thief contains many of the elements of a classic thriller.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

“One of the most peculiar and memorable true-crime books ever.” —Christian Science Monitor


The Fifth Risk Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781324002642
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 2nd, 2018

"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace.


Friday Black Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328911247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree, chosen by Colson Whitehead

“An unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice.”
Tommy Orange, New York Times Book Review

“An excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent


I Don't Really Love You: And Other Gentle Reminders of Existential Dread in Your Everyday Life Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780762465361
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Running Press Adult - October 9th, 2018

Go from aww to awful! with I Don't Really Love You, a darkly humorous collection of adorable pet photography and soul-crushing one-liners, based on the popular Instagram @365DaysofDread.


The Library Book Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781476740188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 16th, 2018

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK

A WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR * A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018

“A constant pleasure to read…Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book.” —The Washington Post
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Melmoth: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062856395
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Custom House - October 16th, 2018

“Masterful…scary and smart, working as a horror story but also a philosophical inquiry into the nature of will and love. Perry did as much in her richly praised novel The Essex Serpent, but this is a deeper, more complex novel and more rewarding.” —Washington Post


Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781627796378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Metropolitan Books - October 23rd, 2018

An eye-opening exploration of blood, the lifegiving substance with the power of taboo, the value of diamonds and the promise of breakthrough science


Severance: A Novel Cover Image
By Ling Ma
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780374261597
Availability: Backordered
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 14th, 2018

Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize, A New York Times Notable Book of 2018, An Indie Next Selection


Sicilian Splendors: Discovering the Secret Places That Speak to the Heart Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250104694
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - November 13th, 2018

"A wondrously joyous account of travel as it should be." –Publishers Weekly

A travel narrative that focuses on Sicily's little-known regions, from the author of Seeking Sicily and Hidden Tuscany.


A Song for the River Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781941026915
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - August 28th, 2018

"A new book from Connors is always welcome, and A Song for the River--both an elegy for lost friends and a "biography of New Mexico's beautiful Gila river--delivers more of what made his previous efforts so compelling: humanity, lyricism, and top-notch nature writing."--Jon Foro, Amazon Book Review Best Nonfiction of 2018


A Song for the River Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781941026908
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - August 28th, 2018

"A new book from Connors is always welcome, and A Song for the River--both an elegy for lost friends and a "biography of New Mexico's beautiful Gila river--delivers more of what made his previous efforts so compelling: humanity, lyricism, and top-notch nature writing."--Jon Foro, Amazon Book Review Best Nonfiction of 2018


The Travelling Cat Chronicles Cover Image
By Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780451491336
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - October 23rd, 2018

On New York Post's Required Reading List


Written in the Stars: Constellations, Facts and Folklore Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781787131767
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quadrille Publishing - August 7th, 2018

For anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and longed to know more about the constellations that inhabit it then this is the perfect guide to discovering the stars. Written in the Stars will lead you through the heavens above as you discover the scientific facts, legends, and myths that surround the 88 constellations of the Northern and Southern hemispheres.


Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse Cover Image
By Marcy Campbell, Corinna Luyken (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735230378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - August 14th, 2018

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.


Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote Cover Image
By Kirsten Gillibrand, Maira Kalman (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780525579014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - November 13th, 2018

From United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand comes an inspiring picture book about ten suffragists who fought for women's right to vote.


The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781492670025
Availability: Backordered
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - October 1st, 2018

The #1 New York Times Best Seller

Want to bake the most-awesome-ever cupcakes? Or surprise your family with breakfast tacos on Sunday morning? Looking for a quick snack after school? Or maybe something special for a sleepover? It's all here. Learn to cook like a pro--it's easier than you think.


Dactyl Hill Squad Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781338268812
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - September 11th, 2018

It's 1863 and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York as the Civil War rages between raptor-mounted armies down South. Magdalys Roca and her friends from the Colored Orphan Asylum are on a field trip when the Draft Riots break out, and a number of their fellow orphans are kidnapped by an evil magistrate, Richard Riker.


Good Morning, Snowplow! Cover Image
By Deborah Bruss, Steve Johnson (Illustrator), Lou Fancher, Lou Fancher (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338089493
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 30th, 2018

As the rest of the town settles in to bed, one man, his dog, and a trusty snowplow get ready for a night's work. Follow them through slick roads and swirling drifts in this sweet, rhyming book by Deborah Bruss and New York Times bestselling illustrators Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson.


I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) Cover Image
By Davide Cali, Anna Pirolli (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781452165950
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - October 2nd, 2018

Ginger is the weird one. She plays with peas, purrs at artichokes, and has a strange fondness for chicken (but only the neighbor's chicken). Then there's Fred. His greatest talent? Sleeping. Oh, and hiding. And when he's not hiding, he's conspiring with Ginger to destroy the house! Such is life with cats. . . can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em—if you love them, that is.


If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur Cover Image
By Amy Newbold, Greg Newbold (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9780884486671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tilbury House Publishers - October 2nd, 2018

In this sequel to the tour de force children's art-history picture book If Picasso Painted a Snowman, Amy Newbold conveys nineteen artists' styles in a few deft words, while Greg Newbold's chameleon-like artistry shows us Edgar Degas' dinosaur ballerinas, Cassius Coolidge's dinosaurs playing Go Fish, Hokusai's dinosaurs surfing a giant wave, and dinosaurs smelling flowers in Ma


On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition Cover Image
By Rebecca Stefoff (Adapted by), Charles Darwin (From an idea by)
$25.99
ISBN: 9781481462495
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - October 2nd, 2018

Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking On the Origin of Species is now available in an accessible, illustrated edition for young readers that includes an introduction, glossary, modern insight and information, and more!

Charles Darwin’s famous theory of natural selection shook the world of science to its core, challenging centuries of orthodox beliefs about life itself.


Sanity & Tallulah Cover Image
By Molly Brooks, Molly Brooks (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781368022804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 16th, 2018

Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah.


A Winter's Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609454838
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2018

Amazon Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book of 2018

One of Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best YA Books of 2018

One of Publishers Weekly's Best YA Book of the Year

A National Indie Bestseller