Tim’s Picks

TimTim is our resident Tintin, history, and speculative fiction buff. He originally hails from Atlanta, GA and moved to Salem six years ago after studying history and film at the University of Georgia in the finest college town the country has to offer. He has always been attracted to New England for its history, old architecture, and rich literary tradition. As a collector of ghost stories and with a passion for Hawthorne, old cemeteries, and seaside living, Salem and the North Shore were a natural fit. He has recently gone back to school to pursue his Masters in history and hopes to someday sell a screenplay or two — if he can ever become a bit more disciplined in his writing. His literary heroes are Hemingway, Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft — and he will push Stephen King on you with a fervor if you give him an in. When he’s not at Spirit or in class, Tim can usually be found watching his beloved Cincinnati Reds, training for his next half marathon, riding his bike, reading (duh!), or looking for his next adventure. Next time you’re in, hit him up for his latest recommendations . . . and if you’ve got a good ghost story — please share!

Salt: A World History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142001615
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - January 28th, 2003

A compelling history of civilization told using a seemingly simple substance: table salt. Once thought as valuable as gold, salt started wars, kept dynasties in power, and founded some of the world’s greatest cities. Written by the author of Cod, this is a great look at how the greatest events in history are oftentimes powered by the most ordinary of things.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Cover Image
ISBN: 9780767902526
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - May 4th, 1999

Part hilarious memoir, part ecological wake-up call, the always affable Bill Bryson takes us on a state-by-state journey along the Appalachian Trail to rediscover a lost America.

The Terror: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316017459
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - December 10th, 2007

The 1845 Franklin Expedition to discover the Northwest Passage was to be the
greatest scientific victory of its age. But it was lost without a trace with no record of what happened to the crew. Trapped in a land of endless cold and perpetual midnight, the men of HMS Terror and Erebus must not only survive murderous shipmates, scurvy, and madness — there is a darker malevolence on the Arctic ice. Something is . . . hunting them.

Drood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316007030
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - February 8th, 2010

A fantastically creepy exploration of the last erratic years of Charles Dickens’ life. Narrated from the often unreliable and drug-addled viewpoint of Dickens’ real-life best friend and main rival, Simmons’ novel takes the reader through the dark bowels of London and asks the question of just what the famous author was up to as he struggled to write his last, unfinished book before his death.

The Historian Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316070638
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - September 2009

Part supernatural mystery, partbeautifully written travelogue — join three generations of historians as they journey from the halls of Harvard to Istanbul and across Eastern Europe to unlock the secret of an enigmatic book and of history’s most deadly questions: what if Vlad Tepes, the real-life Dracula, was actually a vampire?

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312282998
Availability: Special Order
Published: Picador - August 2001

Set against the backdrop of pre-war New York City, two teenage cousins rush to join the burgeoning comic book industry with their Superman and Harry Houdini-inspired superhero, the Nazi-fighting Escapist. A beautifully written story of love, loss, and hope for the future. This book will break your heart and put it back together again.

The World Without Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312427900
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - August 5th, 2008

A brilliant thought experiment that looks at what would happen to Earth and the environment if humanity simply disappeared. Equal parts sad and uplifting, this book shows the true impact Homo sapiens has on the planet and the legacy we are destined to leave behind long after we are gone. Required reading for anyone interested in environmental issues.

True Grit: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590204597
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - November 5th, 2010

Whether you have seen the John Wayne or Coen’s film adaptation or not, this is a great read. A true classic written by one of America’s great underappreciated authors, this is the story of 14-year old Mattie Ross and her quest to bring her father’s killer to justice. Both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, you will fall in love with Mattie and Rooster Cogburn and the rest of an unforgettable cast of characters. This is THE great Western tale.

The Art of Fielding: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316126670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 2012

Whether you like baseball or just well-written characters and prose, this is a must-read. Harbach’s debut novel tells the story of Henry Skrimshander, the shortstop for Westish College and baseball’s next big, can’t miss prospect. After his surprising first career error, Henry’s life begins to quickly unravel with unseen consequences for his friends and people around him. A fantastic story about growing up, dealing with failure and disappointment, and the realization that one’s goals are perhaps further away than originally thought. One of the New York Times Top 10 novels of 2011.

Horns: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061147968
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 8th, 2011

What would life be like if you could hear your friends’ and family’s most private, secret thoughts? That’s what happens when Ig Perrish wakes up hungover on the 1-year anniversary of the murder of his girlfriend Merrin. In an odd twist, he’s also sporting a pair of devil horns. As he struggles to uncover the mystery behind Merrin’s brutal death and why he was wrongfully accused — not to mention his new supernatural headgear — Ig realizes that there is good reason why we don’t always say out loud what we think.

The Book Thief Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375842207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2007

“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.” Narrated by Death, this is the best and most interestingly written stories I’ve read surrounding the Holocaust. Liesel, taken into a German foster home after the death of her remaining family, develops a love for reading banned and stolen books. During her uncertain and disheveled childhood she strives for normalcy where she can find it, giving us her personal, unique view of the war.

The Fault in Our Stars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525478812
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - January 10th, 2012

Disclaimer: This is a heartbreakingly, brilliant YA novel and one that should be read by people of all ages. John Green tackles all of life’s big questions in the creation of terminal, sixteen year old Hazel Lancaster. Forced into a cancer support group by her parents, she meets the charismatic Augustus Waters and together they become two halves of a whole. To say this is an uplifting cancer survival story would be a lie. However, it is a frank and wonderful depiction of the human condition and what it means to actually live the life you have and not necessarily the one you want.