What's Shirley Wells Reading?

Shirley Wells's Reading Page

Shirley is a retired high school English teacher who now works as a Watermark bookseller. She is the Book Club Coordinator, leads the Watermark Classic Book Club, and gives book talks to various clubs and organizations all over town. Shirley is an eclectic reader who enjoys literary fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, mysteries, creative non-fiction, history, psychological thrillers, YA--pretty much anything and everything is on her radar!

To see an archived list of the books Shirley has read recently, click HERE

Staff Pick Logo
Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781501129599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone Books - January 10th, 2017

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781627792769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Metropolitan Books - November 21st, 2017

The Women in the Castle Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062563668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - March 28th, 2017

"Four score and seven" (plus several dozen more) actors and musicians comprise the acclaimed cast of this audiobook.  Here's just a sampling of the first familiar voices you'll hear: Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMAN, David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III, Carrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINS.  And that's only the beginning (Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, etc.).  The author himself takes the part of THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS.

The "kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices"--both historical and imagined--that Saunders employs in his novel is daring and imaginative but perhaps a bit daunting for the reader.  It is all brilliantly sorted out and brought to life, however, in this unparalleled recording.  For total immersion and enjoyment, listen to the Libro.fm audiobook while following along in the printed book. 


Lawn Boy Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616202620
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - April 3rd, 2018

In Every Moment We Are Still Alive Cover Image
By Tom Malmquist, Henning Koch (Translator)
$25.99
ISBN: 9781612197111
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Melville House Publishing - January 30th, 2018

The Ninth Hour Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374280147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus and Giroux - September 19th, 2017

When a troubled Irish immigrant commits suicide, his young widow and unborn daughter are taken under the wings of the Little Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor who serve their Irish-American community in early 20th century Brooklyn. Through the elegant simplicity of her prose, McDermott demonstrates how the lives of ordinary characters living their everyday lives can prove extraordinary. Lovely and lyrical, Alice McDermott's writing is--as always—exquisite. If you're looking for an action-packed plot, look elsewhere. But if, instead, you want to be transported to another time and place, McDermott's subtle, quiet storytelling will take you there.


Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780735224803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 24th, 2017

Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501126062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 5th, 2017

Turtles All the Way Down (Signed Edition) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780525555384
Availability: This book may be out of print, or may require a special order. Please call us for price & availability: (316) 682-1181.
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 10th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
American Heart Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062694102
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper Teen - January 30th, 2018

Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781620403211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury UK - October 3rd, 2017

Lucky Boy Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101982266
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 5th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
The Burning Girl Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393635027
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 29th, 2017

My Absolute Darling Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735211179
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 29th, 2017

Shadow of the Lions Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616205003
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - August 1st, 2017

I like supporting new authors, and this literary thriller makes that easy to do. Set in an elite boarding school in Virginia, “Shadow of the Lions” is reminiscent of John Knowles' A Separate Peace, especially in its exploration of friendship, betrayal, guilt, and redemption. When struggling writer Matthias Glass is hired to teach English at his alma mater, he has the perfect opportunity to solve the mystery behind his former roommate's disappearance a decade ago and lay to rest the secrets of the past so that he can move on with his life. Filled with surprise twists and turns, this one will keep you guessing!


Staff Pick Logo
Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316315142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 26th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
Young Jane Young Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616205041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - August 22nd, 2017

Five-Carat Soul Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735216693
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 26th, 2017

Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780544409996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 5th, 2017

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062362599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 13th, 2017

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501121906
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 20th, 2017

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316154727
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 30th, 2017

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316270755
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 13th, 2017

Magpie Murders Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062645227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 6th, 2017

The Doll Funeral Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781612196657
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Melville House Publishing - August 15th, 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385534246
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - April 18th, 2017

I've spent more time talking about his book than any other this year...and for good reason. This National Book Award finalist reads like a literary mystery instead of the well-researched non-fiction story it is. Plus, it has regional appeal as it all takes place just south of us on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma. After oil is discovered on their land in the 1920s, the Osage were some of the richest people per capita in the world. When they mysteriously began to die, the newly-formed FBI undertook its first major homicide case with former Texas Ranger Tom White taking the lead. The greed, corruption, and cruelty White uncovered is both astonishing and depressing, and Grann's riveting account of this appalling conspiracy will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.


Staff Pick Logo
Eggshells Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781612195971
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House Publishing - March 14th, 2017

Fans of Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh or even Sara Baume's Spill Simmer Falter Wither will find much to like in Eggshells by Caitriona Lally. It features a quirky, socially-awkward protagonist whose interactions with the world around her prove both humorous and heartbreaking.

There's a clever ambiguity about the narrator Vivian; it's hard to get a grasp on her mental state since she really doesn't fit in anywhere. Is she eccentric, autistic, OCD, severely disturbed? She can, at times, appear to be all four. Perhaps Vivian's oddest trait is that she believes she is a changeling. As the Irish poet W. B. Yeats defined it, "Sometimes the fairies fancy mortals, and carry them away into their own country, leaving instead some sickly fairy child... " Vivian's parents told her she was left by the fairies, and she takes their fanciful assessment of her unusual personality literally: "They tried to exchange me for their rightful daughter, but they must not have gone to the right places or asked the right questions." Where her parents failed, Vivian is determined to succeed. Thus, her daily wanderings around Dublin in search of a portal to a fairy land provide readers with a fascinating, albeit a bit bizarre, tour around the capital city. Although this may remind you of another Irish author's tour of Dublin, especially in regard to the author's concern with language and form over plot, this is not just a reworking of or homage to Ulysses.

In spite of her whimsical search, Vivian appears to be stuck in a dreary existence. She lives alone in a dilapidated house that her great-aunt left to her. She has no friends, no job, and few social skills.  But then she advertises for a friend named Penelope by pinning a notice to a tree (isn't that how all friendships begin?!), and someone named Elaine actually answers her ad. This friendship causes Vivian's world to change—yes, the changeling herself begins to change. But can she stop searching for a portal to another world if she finds a connection to someone in this world?

Despite her unusual quirks and her odd quest, Vivian is a sympathetic character, and her love—and obsessive recording—of words will especially endear her to many like-minded logophiles. Lally's debut novel reads like an urban fairy tale filled with inventive wordplay and a hunt for meaning through language. It also provides us with a subtle lesson in empathy for the lost and lonely who, like Vivian, are seeking their place in the world.


The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781101875681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 7th, 2017

After surviving a harsh existence in a makeshift shelter in the northern Maine woods for 27 years and committing over a thousand burglaries of the local summer cabins for supplies, Christopher Knight was arrested.  What prompted this 22-year-old's extreme experiment in survivalism?  Knight wanted to be left alone.  This non-fiction book is based on Finkel's interviews with Knight in jail; he also deftly explores a history of hermits and the psychology of solitude. Definitely an illustration of how truth can be stranger than fiction!


Staff Pick Logo
Exit West Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735212176
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 7th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
Lincoln in the Bardo Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812995343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 14th, 2017

"Four score and seven" (plus several dozen more) actors and musicians comprise the acclaimed cast of this audiobook.  Here's just a sampling of the first familiar voices you'll hear: Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMAN, David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III, Carrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINS.  And that's only the beginning (Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, etc.).  The author himself takes the part of THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS.

The "kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices"--both historical and imagined--that Saunders employs in his novel is daring and imaginative but perhaps a bit daunting for the reader.  It is all brilliantly sorted out and brought to life, however, in this unparalleled recording.  For total immersion and enjoyment, listen to the Libro.fm audiobook while following along in the printed book.