Luisa's Picks

Luisa Smith is the Buying Director for Book Passage. She's been a part of the store staff for almost twenty years.






ISBN: 9780804179683
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 3rd, 2015

To read Get in Trouble is to go down the rabbit hole and enter a world which at first appears to be normal until a little twist reveals its magic. From the daily grind of caring for magical creatures to jealousy over an animated boyfriend doll, in each tale the emotional struggles of the characters are familiar, while the situations are often beyond this world. Darkness and light play together in these stories, highlighting Kelly Link’s extraordinary gift for creating worlds you dream to explore even though you might find them a bit alarming.


ISBN: 9781476785059
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Published: Scribner Book Company - March 24th, 2015

Like an honest talk with your wittiest friend, Abigail Thomas’ new memoir will have you both laughing out loud and on the verge of tears. Examining a life that has changed dramatically over the years and the friendship that has endured it all, What Comes Next and How to Like It reveals simple truths we can all recognize in our own lives. Struggling with aging, loyalty, and drinking after the passing of her loving husband, Thomas’ gentle humor is evident in every moving passage. What makes this all the more brilliant are the sparkling moments of insight she so beautifully paints for the reader, full of depth and emotion, making one feel more connected to the world.


ISBN: 9781451694147
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Published: Simon & Schuster - March 3rd, 2015

One of the great mysteries of the Catholic Church, The Shroud of Turin, has inspired one of the great writers of our time to create this masterful thriller. Two brothers, one an Eastern Catholic priest the other a Roman Catholic priest, are drawn into the mysteries of the Shroud and the origins of the Church by the murder of their friend Ugo, an eccentric curator obsessed with the Shroud. Simon and Alex are dedicated brothers and priests, and yet as different in temperament and faith as they are similar in conviction and loyalty. Ian Caldwell reveals the fascinating world they reside in behind the Vatican walls along with the hidden feelings of the people that have devoted their lives to the church. The beautiful craftsmanship in weaving together this intricate plot, building tension as more is revealed, is a spectacular achievement. Some signed first printings.


ISBN: 9780802123329
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Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - March 3rd, 2015

The euphoric times of Ireland’s remarkable growth has passed and along with it perhaps the best parts of these characters lives. The grit, determination, and depression of post boom life is worn like a comfortable old suit. Colin Barrett’s characters are brimming with life, grim details glow like gems, and somehow lead to something akin to hope. Here we find jilted lovers, close friends, rivals, addicts, and criminals, often sharing a drink, and always a story. Barrett’s impressive debut, which brings to life a dark world both unique and familiar, will have the reader hoping for one more draught with this writer.


ISBN: 9780525954866
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books - March 10th, 2015

When Lieutenant Black is assigned to investigate a ridiculous complaint deep in the mountains of Afghanistan, his only concern is getting back in one piece. Already disheartened with the army and his situation, Black soon finds himself battling for the truth in the dark heart of the war. John Renehan’s beautifully executed thrill ride brings the characters and place to life with the adroitness of his prose. I cannot wait to surprise my customers with The Valley, which will grab them from the first and delight them throughout.


ISBN: 9781476755670
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Published: Simon & Schuster - January 20th, 2015

Etta and Otto and Russell and James is a touching journey across time and the heart. Etta wants to see the ocean before her memory fails; her abrupt departure on this quest awakens the memories of those she loves back to the beginning of all of their stories. As they grapple with who they have become, Emma Hooper’s enchanting novel reminds us of the ocean of love and longing that can exist.

ISBN: 9780393063011
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 19th, 2015

Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye is more than an examination of post-tsunami Japan, more than a memoir of family and grief, more than a beautifully written travelogue, it is the poetry that results from a talented writer weaving together all of these remarkable stories. Marie Mutsuki Mockett has crafted an extraordinary book where the story is fascinating in all its unique details, and yet the emotional landscape will resonate deeply for every reader that has grappled with love and loss.

ISBN: 9780316247764
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Published: Little Brown and Company - May 12th, 2015

Sally Mann is a talented photographer who has startled us with the beauty and honesty of her vision. When asked to give a lecture series for Harvard, she is both flattered and terrified. Where to start? She goes back to the subject that acted as her artistic muse for so long: her family. She digs into old boxes that contain mementos from earlier generations as well as a distillation of her own memories. She finds beauty and tragedy in these boxes—and we find that she is a poet at heart. Hold Still allows us to experience her life in this honest and beautiful memoir.

ISBN: 9780802123459
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Published: Grove Press - April 7th, 2015

There are many stories to tell in any good war tale; in this one the narrator can speak to more than just his own. Intelligent and empathetic, the narrator confesses to having been a spy for the North Vietnamese Army while working for the South Vietnamese Army. He speaks of the tragedies of the war with intelligence and humor, and, as in the tradition of the great spy novels, his explanations lead to more mysterious questions. A brilliant account of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Some signed first printings.


ISBN: 9781941040010
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Published: Tin House Books - March 17th, 2015

Eight year old Peggy Hillcoat is the daughter of Ute, a concert pianist, and James, a survivalist father. When James kidnaps her to live in the wilds of Germany, he tells Peggy that everyone she loves is dead. The spare and beautiful narrative is told by Peggy, who has returned to her mother a decade later. This updated version of a dark fairytale is both lovely and haunting. Claire Fullerleaves clues behind for the reader, but they are only apparent after the unexpected ending.

ISBN: 9781476775425
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Published: Scribner Book Company - May 19th, 2015

As reality intrudes on their post college bliss, Mickey and Halifax struggle to maintain their friendship while life pulls them in different directions. Traversing the globe from art parties in Seattle to war-torn Bagdad, connecting by updating an obscure Wikipedia page, they are witness to the chain reactions that reverberate from their personal choices. The War of the Encyclopaedists is tightly woven with dark humor and intoxicating intellect.


ISBN: 9781594633447
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 12th, 2015

Paddy Buckley works for the best funeral home in Dublin. Death does not disturb Paddy, but he finds life far more complicated. Late one night, distracted by recent turns in his life, he accidentally runs down the brother of Dublin’s top mobster. Finding himself on the wrong side of the Irish mob, his life takes an even more bizarre turn as he is entrusted with managing the funeral arrangements. With a deft hand,Jeremy Massey has written a dark comedy masked as a crime novel. Like the best Irish writers, he finds loyalty, love, and humor even in the face of death.