Posted in Employees, General Books, Just Because

Employee Recommendations

Today is Dr. Suess’ Birthday! And to celebrate, tomorrow is National Read Across America Day! We thought we would share a few recommendations of books for you to check out from our book-loving employees!

The Gable Faces East by Anita Stansfield

ANGELA: This has been a really fun book to read so far. It’s entertaining and makes you want to read more. In the book Jess Davies is forced to rebuild and his home after a fired and soon finds himself struggling to keep his horse breeding business afloat. When the sister of his enemy Alexandera Byrnehouse becomes Jess’s new horse trainer, it  begins to look like both Jess’s and Alexandra’s lives are starting to get better. But soon Jess and Alexandra find out dark truths about both of their pasts. I can’t wait to see how it finally ends!

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

KOURTNEY: “Right now I am currently reading the Selection series. I am only on book #3, The One, and I am loving it. My sister recommended the series to me, and at first I was a little hesitant. She told me it was a mix between The Hunger Games and ABC’s The Bachelor. I love both of those so I decided to give the book a chance and I love it! I would definitely recommend this book.”

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed
of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

SAMMY: Right now I am in the middle of Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. It has opened my mind to new ideas and new possibilities to improve my life. This book helps you to see what is stopping you from being a powerful positive influence in your own life and how to overcome it. The seven habits truly can change your life and it’s a great, motivating read!

 

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Posted in Employees, Kids, Toys & Games

Christmas 2014 Employee Picks: Toys and Games

Toy Department

Toys are one of the most important things we sell here at The Book Table during the Christmas season. After all, Santa can’t do it all himself! And what would Christmas be without toys?

MagformersMAGFORMER

MAGFORMERS construction sets foster brain development through fun and educational exploration. With high quality, durable construction and intelligent magnetic design, the possibilities are endless!

Games Department

One of the best things about the holiday season is getting together with family and friends. And when you’ve watched all the movies and baked all of the yummy treats, why not sit down and play one of these fun games?

Telestrations

The age-old game of “Telephone” gets a face lift in this fun game from USAopoly!

Draw what you see, then guess what you saw! All players simultaneously sketch, pass, guess, and laugh to reveal hilarious and unpredictable outcomes!

Included:

  • Over 1,700 word cards!
  • 8 dry-erase markers
  • 8 clean-up cloths
  • 8 reusable sketch books
  • 60 second sand timer
  • 1 die

4-8 players ages 12 and up!

Five Crowns

Five crowns is a five-suited, rummy-style card game. It is a quick favorite for avid and casual card players alike. The unique deck provides each player multiple options for arranging their hand into books and runs.

The game has 11 rounds. It starts with 3 cards and 3s are wild. The next hand has 4 cards and 4s are wild, and so on til the Kings Go Wild!

Make the right combinations, be the first to go out, then watch the other scramble as they get one last chance to cut their losses.

Ages 8+, 1-7 players

Tenzi

The world’s fastest game! Everyone gets ten dice. Someone says, “Go!” and everyone rolls and rolls as fast as they can until someone gets all their dice on the same number. Sure, there are a few more rules, but you get the idea. It’s a fun, fast frenzy. It’s Tenzi!

2-4 players, ages 7-97

Posted in Employees, LDS

Christmas 2014 Employee Picks: LDS Department

Stocking stuffer books:

These books are small and not very expensive. In other words, they are perfect gifts for Santa to place in your child’s stocking!


Baby Touch and Feel Christmas
 

From frosty snowmen to sparkly Christmas trees, there are all kinds of textures for baby to explore in this safe, sturdy book that encourages early learning.

Great for baby’s first Christmas, or children ages 0-3.

Price: $5.99

Location: LDS Department display

Sing to Baby Jesus by Rachelle Pace Castor

Sing_to_baby_jesusChildren and parents alike will enjoy this colorful counting board book in which adorable animals gather around the baby Jesus on the night of the Holy Nativity.

Clever verse and fun illustrations make this narration an ideal way to teach children how to count while they also discover the story of our Savior’s birth.

Price: $9.99

                                                                       Location: LDS Department display

Visiting Teaching:

These books are similar to pamphlets in that they’re only 10-15 pages long and they can fit in an envelope. These are the two we’re especially fond of this season, but we do have quite a selection. We call these our “visiting teaching” books because they’re small, not very expensive, and they tell a great story about the true meaning of Christmas.

The Miracle Maker by Ann Acton

It all starts with one little seed of love.“The Miracle Maker is coming!” Everyone in the tiny hamlet is excited when they hear the news that the renowned man of wonders is coming to their village. But the humble traveler who appears isn’t what anyone expected. They were looking forward to someone magnificent who would change their lives. But it seems this man can barely take care of himself, let alone fulfill the dreams of others. However, miracles can come in all shapes and sizes—and sometimes from unexpected places.

Price:$2.49

Includes envelope

Room in the Inn by Neil L. Andersen

Room_in_the_innTraveling home along a quiet road on Christmas Eve, the Andersen family became stranded in a remote part of the French countryside. The heartwarming story of their encounter with a modern-day innkeeper in a quaint village in France is a reminder that whoever you are, wherever you are, God knows you and loves you, and His miracles still happen today at Christmas and all the year through.

Price: $3.49

Includes envelope

 Novel:

This is the book we all want to curl up and read with a big mug of hot cocoa!

The 13th Day of Christmas by Jason F. Wright

Marva Ferguson has a very personal Christmas tradition that happens every December 26. As an aging widow, the tradition means more to her now than it ever has. Her newest neighbor, nine-year-old Charlee, loves Christmas too. But her family has fallen on hard times and things get worse when Charlee becomes critically ill. Then, on December 12, Charlee makes a wonderful discovery. A mysterious note is delivered that promises twelve days of gifts and stories that will reveal the truth behind the beloved Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. As the days go by, the gifts hint at a possible lost lyric. Was there once a 13th day of Christmas? And if so, could its magic change or save a life? If Marva knows something about the letters from the Elves, she s not telling. However, you don t live as long as Marva Ferguson and not have a secret or two including a whole lot of faith in your apron pocket. Filled with laughter, tenderness, and hope, The 13th Day of Christmas invites us to see how an old Christmas favorite can turn into a true Christmas miracle.

Picture Book:

God Bless Us, Every One!: The Story Behind A Christmas Carol by John Rhys-Davies

As Charles Dickens dipped his pen and began to write the classic tale A Christmas Carol in the autumn of 1843, the spirit of the story captured his heart and mind in an extraordinary way. Dwindling sales of his previous books had resulted in a desperate financial situation for Dickens, who had used much of his income to support worth causes and needy family members. But the book which he had intended as a quick solution to his problems turned out to be much, much more.
This beautifully illustrated volume tells the story behind the writing of Dickens’s most famous work and reveals how he discovered the spirit of Christmas for himself with a little help from his own literary characters. Originally presented by acclaimed British actor John Rhys-Davies at the Mormon Tabernacle Choirs 2013 Christmas concert, the book also includes a DVD with footage from the event.

Posted in Books, Children's/YA Books, Employees, General Books

Christmas 2014 Employee Picks: General Books

It’s that time of year again, and we’ve asked our department managers to pick a few products from their departments they’re especially excited about so we can highlight them for you here! First up, General Books!

Stocking Stuffers:

Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman

Who hasn’t sung along to this favorite carol with a child he or she loves? Now, join the ride as a family sets out in a one-horse sleigh to find their perfect Christmas tree. The illustrations tell a tale alongside the song, and a new second verse adds pages of snowtime fun!

 

 

When Frosty the Snowman was introduced in 1950 in a recording by Gene Autry, it became an instant hit. Since then, its popularity has increased every year, making Frosty one of the most recognized and beloved characters ever created. This updated edition recounts the beloved tale of Frosty — how he was brought to life one magical day and the adventures he had with the children of the town.

 

Novel:

The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans

Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.

Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:

1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day

The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.

classic:

Christmas Ideals: 70th Anniversary Edition

A family favorite and time-honored Christmas tradition for 70 years.

Loyal readers are drawn to Ideals for its celebration of life’s most treasured moments. This, the 70th anniversary edition of the annual Christmas issue, will be no exception to the legacy of inspiration and comfort for readers. Carefully selected, heartwarming poetry and prose is accompanied by beautiful, full-color photographs and fine art reproductions. Pamela Kennedy shares warm holiday memories; poet Eileen Spinelli taps into the quiet joy of the season; recipes for delicious holiday foods are ready to prepare; and the original Christmas story is told through Bible passages accompanied by fine art. Kennedy also explores the history of a classic Christmas song, which is presented alongside sheet music and the song’s lyrics.

Ideals, a part of Christmastime family traditions for 70 years, brings to mind and brings to life, a Christmas full of warmth, hope, and love.

Picture Book:

I Believe in Santa Claus by Diane Adamson

Finally, a book that says it’s OK to believe in Santa Claus, yet shows how this time honored symbol is meant to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas

From the author: ‘Sometimes I hear people complain that the department stores put up Christmas decorations too early. Or they say that the merchandisers are only thinking of commercial gain when they advertise with lights and decorations. For me, Christmas symbols cannot be displayed too early or too much. The wreaths, the lights, the red bows, the decorated trees, the presents, all remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. I say ‘thank you’ to the people of the world who spend time and money and make lovely displays of gifts and decorations. They are advertising the spirit of Christmas. They are reminding me of Christ.’

Posted in Info, Kids, Toys & Games

Kellie tells us what’s new in Toys and Games

Niya

“Niya is like a more complex Tic-Tac-Toe or Connect Four in which players are capable of controlling each other’s moves beforehand. The game takes place in Japan’s Imperial Garden. The game board is 16 garden tiles that are randomly placed at the beginning of the game. Each garden tile has one symbol and one plant on it.  One of two players goes first and places one of their tokens where a tile is and takes the tile away. The next player must then place one of their tokens only where that same symbol or plant from the previous player’s tile is on another tile. Each move affects the next players move by limiting where they can place their tokens. The game ends when one player gets four of their tokens in a row or a 2×2 square. Niya takes about one minute to learn and about ten minutes to play. It is a very simple, fun game recommended for ages eight and up.”

Battle Sheep

AGES 7 TO ADULT • 2-4 PLAYERS

Opposing sheep herds go to head to fluffy head in a strategy game the whole family will love. The goal is to occupy the most pastures with your sheep. On their turn, players split a stack of their sheep and move a portion as far is it can go in a straight line to a new pasture. Watch out for sneaky sheep and plan your moves carefully to fence out your foe! A different playing board is assembled before every game, so Battle Sheep is full of new challenges every time you play!

Posted in Books, Children's/YA Books, Employees, General Books, Just Because

What We’re Reading this Fall

As the weather turns colder, it becomes the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book, under a warm blanket, with a cup of hot cocoa! Here’s what we’re reading under our snuggly blankets this fall…

Whitney

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

“Westerfeld’s latest novel is different from those that he’s written before in that Afterworlds tells two different stories: one is the story of an author, the other is the book that gets her published.  Darcy Patel is a teenage author whose draft written during National Novel Writing Month gets picked up by a publisher in New York. Every odd-number chapter in Afterworlds tells about Darcy’s adventures in NYC as she tries to ingrain herself into the world of young adult authors–that is, authors who write for a young adult audience–while simultaneously discovering who she truly wants to be. Every even-numbered chapter, on the other hand, is a chapter from Darcy’s book, which is called Afterworlds. Darcy’s novel centers around Lizzie, a young girl from San Diego who learns to cross over into the “afterworld” when she’s lying on an airport floor during a terrorist attack, trying to play dead so she won’t actually be killed.

I’m only about halfway through this book, but I’m really enjoying it! Lizzie’s chapters are by far my favorite, as they are a little bit more into the paranormal/fantasy type stuff that I usually expect from Westerfeld. But I’m also really enjoying Darcy’s story, as well. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Westerfeld’s books in the past, but also anyone who enjoys reading two stories at once.” Recommended for ages 14+.

Mike

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

“If you only read two fantasy authors in your life, it should be J K Rowling and Brandon Sanderson.  He makes his magic systems so believable, it’s hard to come back to reality after visiting his worlds.  Steelheart is slightly different from Sanderson’s other books because it is a dystopian novel set in Newcago, the remains of Chicago.  It follows the story of David, an 18 year old who was made an orphan by Steelheart.  Steelheart is one of many Epics that were given extraordinary powers and have used them to take over the world. Think evil Superman-type.  Steelheart now rules Newcago and no one, human or Epic, can stop him.  Enter the Reckoners. The Reckoners are a group of people who devote their lives to finding Epics’ weaknesses and destroying them, and David wants to join them.  He has an advantage over Steelheart that no one else has: he has seen Steelheart bleed, and may be the only person able to discover the way to stop him for good. Recommended for ages 12+ and for those who enjoy a great dystopian thriller.”

Click here for the awesome book trailer for Steelheart.

 

Posted in Books, Children's/YA Books, Employees

Karen’s Picks: Children’s Picture Books

Karen, one of our wonderful children’s book specialists, found some absolutely adorable children’s picture books that she wanted to make sure we highlighted on the blog. Please don’t hesitate to come in and ask for more recommendations from Karen or any of our other book specialists; we’re happy to help!

Locomotive by Brian Floca

The Caldecott Medal Winner, Sibert Honor Book, and New York Times bestseller Locomotive is a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America’s early railroads, from the creator of the stunning(BooklistMoonshot.

It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.

Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

Mysterious Traveler by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham

A moving and beautifully researched story about camels, lost princesses and the strength of wisdom and knowledge, stunningly illustrated by P.J. Lynch. It is the second tale in a trilogy from acclaimed storytellers Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. This tale begins with a disgruntled camel, desperately trying to protect a little baby from a violent desert storm whipping up all around him. He is rescued by Issa – the desert guide – who takes the child in, naming her Mariama. She becomes Issa’s family and, as he begins to lose his sight, his eyes. Many years later, a mysterious stranger arrives at their doorstep, a stranger who will change both their lives for ever…Another mesmerizing tale from the creators of the award-winning “Cloud Tea Monkeys”. A beautiful and touching tale, illustrating the bond between a child and the man who brought her up like a daughter. Both deliciously exotic and yet portraying warmly familiar and universal truths. 

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems

pigeonThe Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon’s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.