Mary

Mary is a recent St. Mary graduate, and a longtime customer and prolific reader. Come meet her and pick her brain about young adult novels, true crime books, and mysteries.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery #1) Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781496724724
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Kensington - July 30th, 2019

Between running the most popular bakery in Lake Eden and dodging her mother’s attempts to marry her off, Hannah Swenson has her plate full. When Hannah finds a delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, Ron, dead by her bakery holding a bag of her Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies, Hannah is determined to find who killed him. The more investigating the feisty baker does, the more secrets are revealed.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is the first book in the Hannah Swensen series. Not only does Fluke serve you a wonderful cozy mystery, but Fluke also includes recipes of Hannah’s tasty desserts she’s currently baking in the story. If you’re looking for a fun mystery series- this will be your next read!


The Clover Girls Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781525896002
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Graydon House - May 18th, 2021

Elizabeth, Veronica, Emily, and Rachel met in the 80s at Camp Birchwood. There they had decided they would become the Clover Girls. With an unbreakable bond and their names spelling out EVER, it seems like destiny. But all good things must come to an end. The camp has closed, people have grown and moved on, and relationships end. 

One day, the three girls receive a letter from Emily with horrible news and a challenge for them; Elizabeth, Veronica, and Rachel must come together to rekindle their strong friendship from where it started, Camp Birchwood. The ultimate test for them has arrived. Will they overcome their differences and past grievances to have a forEVER relationship?

This was my first Viola Shipman book I have read, and I really enjoyed it! I shed some tears, laughed, and smiled at this beautiful story of true friendship.


My Side of the Mountain Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780141312422
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Puffin Books - May 21st, 2001

Sam Gribley is tired of living the city life in New York and wants to live a tranquil life in the mountains, by himself. While others doubt that he will last no longer than a few days in the woods, Sam is more determined than ever and makes a home in the Catskill Mountains. Sam makes friends with the woodland creatures and the few passersby. 

Rereading this book brought back many fond memories of me wanting to live like Sam in the mountains and live in a tree. My Side of the Mountain is one of my absolute favorite children’s books and a good comfort read.


Things Fall Apart: A Novel Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780385474542
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Penguin Books - September 1st, 1994

Things Fall Apart was written in response to Joseph Conrad’s work, Heart of Darkness. This book was written as a voice for the people of African tribes, to show that we are all human in the end.

Okonkwo grew up in his father’s clan. He tried everything to his ability to be the opposite of his father. Okonkwo wants to be seen as a leader, someone that is strong, determined, and successful. But after an incident in his village, Okonkwo and his family are exiled from their homeland. 

A startlingly contrasting book that will keep you engrossed. This is now one of my favorite classics! I was thrilled to find out that this is the first book in a trilogy. I definitely am planning on continuing with The African Trilogy.


The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country Cover Image
By Amanda Gorman, Oprah Winfrey (Foreword by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780593465271
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Viking Books - March 30th, 2021

"For there is always light,

If only we're brave enough to see it,

If only we're brave enough to be it."

"The Hill We Climb" is a beautifully written poem by the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading for a presidential inauguration. This poem captures the reader and gives you hope for a brighter future. 

Not many poems give me chills but this one definitely did. This book would be a perfect addition to your collection or a thoughtful gift for others.


Vera: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501157523
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Scribner - March 2nd, 2021

If you are a fan of historical fiction, this is the book for you!

Set in 1908, San Fransico, a coming-of-age story of Vera and her stepsister go through after their city is flattened by quake and fires. 

Vera, a 15-year-old illegitimate and shunned daughter of Rose, the famous madame. While Rose takes care of her daughter by paying for all of her and her adoptive mother’s wants and needs, Rose is determined to prove Rose wrong, that she is needed and belongs with Rose. When a great earthquake had occurred, Vera’s world falls apart, and must create a new life for her stepsister and herself. How will Vera survive now? She can’t rely on Rose when she was going to prove her mother wrong...


You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538719367
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 12th, 2021

Amber Ruffin, a writer and performer on Late Night Show with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show, recalls all of the funny, sad, and absurd encounters her and her sister, Lacey, have experienced of racism throughout their lives. 

A great book to bring a smile on your face from the light-hearted banter between the sisters, but also makes you aware of what happens to Black people in their day-to-day lives. 


The Catcher in the Rye Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316769174
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Back Bay Books - January 30th, 2001

The Catcher in the Rye - we follow Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old boy, an angsty teenager who dropped out of a prestigious Pennsylvania prep school to wander the vast New York City for three days. Holden appears to be a teenager that is angry with the world and overwhelmed by people around him. 

While there is cursing and a constant rejection of society from Holden, we witness the fear of Holden losing his innocence. If you don’t play along with the game that society is, you will be knocked down and even put away. 

I enjoyed the casual and conversational narrative style; I started to sympathize and connect with Holden. A great classic for adults and teenagers to read!


The Project: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250105738
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Wednesday Books - February 2nd, 2021

The Unity Project is the home to many members in upstate New York, but some may say that it is a cult. 

After Lo Denham’s parents died in a car crash, Bea, Lo’s older sister had joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo all on her own. But once a man comes into Lo’s workplace, a magazine company, he claims that The Unity Project had killed his son. With Lo’s determination for finding out what happened to that man’s son and Bea, Lo is getting herself into deep water…

This was such a gripping story. I could not put the book down! Not only is it a great story, but it has a gorgeous cover, a big win for my bookcase and me!


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Truly Devious: A Mystery Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062338068
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - December 4th, 2018

Ellingham Academy is a private school that is located in the forests of Vermont, run by the richest person on earth, Albert Ellingham.

Once the academy was opened, Albert’s wife and daughter had been kidnapped, and received a ransom letter for money. The only clue left to what happened to his family is a riddle mocking Albert, signed “Truly Devious”.

Decades later, Stevie Bell is a true crime fanatic and is set on being the person to solve the cold case of the century. But, strange things are happening at Ellingham Academy. Could it be Truly Devious?

This was such a wonderful book. I relish a good mystery, and I enjoyed how the author integrated some true crime podcasts that I love to make the book more relatable. Truly Devious was a book that always kept me on my toes and I couldn’t stop myself from taking a break!