Beth's Book List

Beth Hemke Shapiro hails from Chicago but is close to considering herself a native of Columbia after having lived here for more than two decades. With degrees in philosophy, law, and library science, Beth has enjoyed careers ranging from arts administrator to tax consultant to high school librarian. In her spare time Beth likes to travel, attend arts events, hang with her family, and read.  Her favorite genres include literary fiction, speculative fiction, and current events. 

Staff Pick Badge
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399590573
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - October 30th, 2018

Coates's superb compilation of essays remains one of the most thought-provoking and impactful books addressing race in America that I have ever read.  Read. This. Book.


Staff Pick Badge
Ninth House Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250751362
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - October 20th, 2020

The plot of magic, mystery, and murder unfolds with displays of classism and elitism, as Galaxy "Alex" Stern--former high school dropout, addict, and newest "Dante" of Lethe House--monitors and confronts the magical activity at Yale's eight powerful secret societies.


Staff Pick Badge
Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250313188
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tordotcom - July 14th, 2020

Such a fabulously twisted mashup of sci fi, fantasy, horror, and mystery!  The first installment of The Locked Tomb Trilogy, this book--with its irreverent protagonist and its political necromancers--is unlike anything I've ever read.


Staff Pick Badge
Vesper Flights Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802128812
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - August 25th, 2020

The author of H is for Hawk returns with a glorious collection of essays about the natural world.  A book that easily can be read straight-through, or, if desired, by chosen topic, be it goats, hares, or mushrooms.


Staff Pick Badge
The Party Upstairs: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984880277
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - July 7th, 2020

Author Conell addresses class, gender, families, and art through brilliant storytelling that is both sobering and funny.  An outstanding debut novel.


Staff Pick Badge
Piranesi Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781635575637
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 15th, 2020

Clarke imagines a bizarre, other-wordly labyrinth, with unique classical statues contained in endless rooms that frequently flood with ocean tides.  I found the book weirdly immersive, and it creeps along with its own peculiar suspense.


Staff Pick Badge
The Black Kids Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534462724
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 4th, 2020

While this is a perfect choice for fans of Angie's Thomas's The Hate U Give, this story adds to the YA realistic fiction genre featuring young black protagonists instead of simply copying it.  Author Reed lovingly shows us Los Angeles in the 90s, both the ugly and the beautiful.


Staff Pick Badge
Humans Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781250114297
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - October 6th, 2020

I am grateful for this particular book at this particular time for reminding me of my interconnectedness with humanity in spite of my COVID isolation.


Pre-Order Now Badge
Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781324001683
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 9th, 2021

A remarkably thorough history of the conservation movement.  A valuable and necessary addition to US history, especially as climate change brings the probability of further extinctions.


Pre-Order Now Badge
Reality and Other Stories Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393540918
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 9th, 2021

Perfect for reading on a dark and creepy afternoon, Lanchester's stories crescendo to epitomize the horror of the digital age.