A Novel Idea Bookstore
Building & Buying Book Collections since 1991
Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm . Off hours-open by chance! 
118 North 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 . (402) 475-8663


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Reading: Staff Recommendations
More Staff Reviews:    Fiction     Non-Fiction     Children/YA     Current Reviews

Current Reviews

South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
If the fantasy and surreal elements that Murakami usually offers are what you're looking for, the lack of them in this book will surprise you. There are still some of his trademarks - self-centered men and mysterious women. However, this quieter, more realistic book is no less effecting than his other masterpieces. Hajime, now a married father of two and owner of a successful jazz club, is approaching that wistful, ponderous point of middle age. He has a good life, yet satisfaction is still somewhat elusive. One night, his first real love - from elementary school - comes into his bar. Shimamoto is well-dressed, intriguingly beautiful - but she refuses to talk about her life. Hajime is thrown back into memories, and lives for her unpredictable, late-night visits to his club. Soon, he is certain that he loves her more than anything. Shimamoto carries secrets that weigh on the fragile other-world the two of them have created together. This poignant novel offers a glimpse of the attraction that beautiful tragedy holds for us. I loved this subtle, brooding story. It's a good introduction to Murakami. Fans of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes will also enjoy this little book.
Cinnamon Dokken


The Passage by Justin Cronin
Reminiscent of The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Stand by Stephen King, The Passage by Justin Cronin is an apocalyptic epic charting the destruction of the world as it is known. The novel moves back and forth through time, slowly revealing the secrets of Homeland Security in trying to develop a super-soldier with a virus, and how the experiment roars desperately out of control. Because this virus doesn't kill - it changes people into contagious monsters.

One of the most compelling themes in post-apocalyptic literature is how people recreate a society from the ashes of the old one. What kind of hierarchy is developed and how much does it borrow from aspects of history? How are resources allocated? And how do people explain what happened to them, and why? The Passage explores all of these questions during the ongoing war against the monsters those infected have become. This book was an addicting read with a cast of thousands, and I've moved on to the second book in the trilogy. Stay tuned!
Katherine Bergstrom


The First Bad Man by Miranda July
The First Bad Man, the first novel from performance artist, filmmaker and author Miranda July, revolves around what I like to think of as a unifying theme across all of her work: the never-ending search for missing pieces of ourselves in others. Despite the nobility of such a quest, there's no guarantee that a viable relationship bond will develop even if one does encounter a kindred soul - and it is this ambiguity that drives the story of Cheryl Glickman, the unassuming hero of The First Bad Man. Effortlessly upending norms while reveling in our endearing mundanity, July's crackly prose forms an unshakable thesis: that despite our tightly wound vulnerability and haunted obsessions - or rather because of them - we are at all times the truest expression of ourselves. Drawing assurance from that understanding is a perilous journey of self discovery, and Cheryl's path veers between confusion and clarity, heartbreak and joy before its final glide into quiet revelation. The First Bad Man is an unruly triumph.
Michael Henry


The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
If you're a fan of dystopian literature such as
Divergent, The Hunger Games, I Am Number Four and so on, The Lunar Chronicles is for you. The series takes a futuristic twist on the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. Although the series is an excellent mix of intrigue and action, it is also very violent in many parts. I would recommend this series for young teenagers around the age of 13.

This series takes a third-person view of multiple characters. In the first book, we view Cinder's world. Cinder is a highly skilled mechanic in the futuristic city of New Beijing. Although Cinder is just as hard-working, witty and strong as any girl, she has a major difference from her fellow city dwellers that she is ashamed of; and she does her best to keep it hidden. A plague has broken out recently in the area. She is contacted by someone of high status, and Cinder's life skyrockets. Discover and dive deep into these books as Cinder's, and two other equally amazing characters' alluring stories unfold in The Lunar Chronicles.
Isabel Sheesley


Our Gift Certificates are available for any amount, never expire and are good on all books & merchandise in our store. All Gift Certificates are written by hand. Gift Certificates of $25 or higher value come in a beautiful sleeve of handmade paper embedded with wildflower seeds, which can be planted in a sunny spot.

"If you have a library and a garden,
you have everything you need.
" ~ Cicero

We are happy to send Gift Certificates directly to all the people on your list. To order, please call (402) 475-8663, email us or visit our Gifts for Book Lovers page.