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

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

Turtles All the Way Down Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780525555360
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 10th, 2017

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

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

Shadow of the Lions Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616205003
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - August 1st, 2017

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

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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

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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: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 30th, 2017

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

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250080547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - May 16th, 2017

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735220683
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - May 9th, 2017

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The Confusion of Languages Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399158926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - June 27th, 2017

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

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Touch Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735212121
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 30th, 2017

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Class Mom Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781250124692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt & Company - August 1st, 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385534246
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - April 18th, 2017

Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316352642
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - March 14th, 2017

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Eggshells Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781612195971
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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

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

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

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781936891023
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Irish Entertainment LLC - January 11th, 2012

Shadow On the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781456614515
Availability: Available Now
Published: eBookIt.com - March 31st, 2013