First I have to say I really hope you like the look of our new blog- and hope you take advantage of the great resources available.

I feel like the last few blog posts I have written have been to annouce exciting new children’s books or intriguing graphic novels that are about to come out- but between the time change, the shortened days and the fact that we ALREADY had a snow storm in the Northeast, we all know it can only mean one thing…winter is coming!

(well, for most of us anyway!)

So, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to make sure you have a great reading list put together for the cold winter months- books to curl up with in your favorite armchair on the chilly winter days when there is nothing better to be done but lose yourself in a great story and a hot chocolate.

As the library representative for Random House’s client publishers,  I am eager for you to get your hands on the great titles coming out from our publishing partners just in time for your long winter’s nap – here are a few of my suggestions…


The Fallback Plan

What to do when you’ve just graduated from college and your plans conflict with those of your parents? That is, when your plans to hang out on the couch, re-read your favorite children’s books, and take old prescription tranquilizers, conflict with your parents plans that you, well, get a job?

Without a fallback plan, Eshter Kohler decides she has no choice but to take the job her mother has lined up for her: babysitting for their neighbors, the Browns.

It’s a tricky job, though. Six months earlier, the Browns’ youngest child died. Still, as Esther finds herself falling in love with their surviving daughter May, and distracted by a confusing romance with one of her friends, she doesn’t notice quite how tricky the job is … until she finds herself assuming the role of confidante to May’s mother Amy, and partner in crime to Amy’s husband Nate. Trapped in conflicting roles doomed to collide, Esther is forced to come up with a better idea of who she really is.


The Detour  

Ernest Vogler is twenty-six years old in 1938 when he is sent to Rome by his employer—the Third Reich’s , which is collecting the great art of Europe and bringing it to Germany for the Führer. Vogler is to collect a famous Classical Roman marble statue, The Discus Thrower, and get it to the German border, where it will be turned over to Gestapo custody. It is a simple, three-day job.

Things start to go wrong almost immediately. The Italian twin brothers who have been hired to escort Vogler to the border seem to have priorities besides the task at hand—wild romances, perhaps even criminal jobs on the side—and Vogler quickly loses control of the assignment. The twins set off on a dangerous detour and Vogler realizes he will be lucky to escape this venture with his life, let alone his job.

With nothing left to lose, the young German gives himself up to the Italian adventure, to the surprising love and inevitable losses along the way.


The Walkabout

A plane crashes in the vast Northern Territory of Australia, and the only survivors are two children from Charleston, South Carolina, on their way to visit their uncle in Adelaide. Mary and her younger brother Peter set out on foot, lost in the vast, hot Australian outback.

They are saved by a chance meeting with an Aboriginal boy on walkabout, who teaches them to find food and water in the wilderness, but whom Mary can’t bring herself to trust.

Though on the surface Walkabout is an adventure story, darker themes lie just beneath. Peter’s innocent friendship with the Aboriginal throws into relief Mary’s no longer childish anxiety, and together raise questions about how Aboriginal and Western culture can meet. And in the vivid descriptions of the natural world, we realize that this story—a deep fairy tale in the spirit of Adalbert Stifter’s Rock Crystal—must also be a story about the closeness of death and the power of nature.

So…what WILL you read next?

Category: Staff Picks


  • The Fallback Plan sounds great! (Okay, they all do, but that one fits what I usually read.)

  • I like the Fallback Plan. I’m adding it to my Amazon cart.

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