Blue Ridge Books Staff Picks

People often say they would love to work in a bookstore, because you can read all day. We all wish that were true. There is always something that needs to be done here, and we’re fortunate to have wonderful booksellers to make it all happen. Each person who works at Blue Ridge Books has his or her own unique taste in books and passionately loves to read. We also love to share favorite books with our customers, so here are some of our suggestions for a good read. You are welcome to come in and browse among our choices, talk about books and tell us all about your favorites.

Jo - Owner

Jo's Picks

Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

Have you heard of the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee?  Dr. Bass, the second part of the writing team with Jon Jefferson, founded the farm so who would know better about what goes on there.  They have created a series starring Dr. Bill Brockton who gets in over his head in several murder cases.  You will take something away with every book concerning dead bodies which can really be interesting for dinner conversation.  Think CSI without all the futuristic equipment replaced with actual knowledge of the subject. (9 books so far)

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Meet Stephanie Plum, bail bondswoman extraordinaire.  There will never be a boring moment as you read about her exploits in this fun and exciting series.   She’s quick with a taser gun and dangerous with a car.  You’ll laugh out loud at the quirky characters that include a grandma with a penchant for funerals and a best friend, the ex-hooker, with a penchant for guns and spandex.  Which man will Stephanie choose…mysterious, sexy Ranger or gorgeous, fun Morelli?  This series is on book #22 and she still can’t decide, and neither can I.

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

How about one of the best writers you’ve never heard of?  Linda Castillo has created a different sort of hero.  Kate Burkholder is the sheriff in the Amish town of Painters Mill, Ohio.  Kate was once upon a time Amish but left the order and now she is back to help protect the people and way of life that she still holds dear.  This series is not for the squeamish so be prepared for inventive ways to commit murder.  Holding my breath for book #8!

Allison - Owner

Allison's Picks

Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

This is one of my very favorite books.  It is in part the story of the author’s career as a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service.  Being a law enforcement chaplain was Braestrup’s husband’s dream, one that she follows only after his death.  Braestrup’s unconventional ministry consists of supporting the warden’s on search and rescue missions and sometimes being the one to communicate with the friends and relatives of the victim.  Although Braestrup describes what she DOES in her job, her story points to the importance of having someone there during difficult times.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

This memoir was written by a young woman who was raised in a very strict sect of Hasidic Judaism.  Feldman chronicles her childhood and adolescence as she struggled to find her place in her family and community.  Because her mother had left the family when she was young, Feldman was raised by extended family members who struggle to keep her faithful to the customs of her community. Feldman finds an opening to the outside world through the books in the library. The confines of an arranged marriage push her to limit and she leaves the Hasidic world.  Her young son inspires the courage she needs to start a new life. 

Women Explorers by Julie Cumins, illustrated by Cheryl Harness

This children’s book tells the story of 10 women explorers, all of whom were born in the 1800s.  The women in this book explored the Artic, the Outback, the wilderness areas of Canada, the US and Mexico, the Amazon jungle, islands in the South Pacific, the desert in the Middle East and led African safaris. These women made important contributions to science, geography and cultural understanding, but history books have hardly mentioned their stories.  This book is perfect to read to younger elementary studies or for older students to explore on their own.

Christina - Bookseller

Christina's Picks

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

I can’t account for the historical accuracy of the story, but The Danish Girl is based on the true story of a young transgender woman (Lili) in the 1920s/30s.  Born a male, Einar struggles with the secret of wanting to be a woman. His wife Greta encourages his transition and Einar becomes Lili. Lili was the first person to undergo sex reassignment surgery in the 1930s.  It’s a beautifully written story about love, trust and self-discovery.

Departure  by A. G. Riddle

Flight 305 left New York for London in 2014, but crashes somewhere in the future.  Five people on the flight (Harper, Nick, Grayson, Sabrina & Yul Tan) have to work together to correct their past mistakes/choices & find a way to make it back to 2014 before it’s too late.

Henna House  by Nomi Eve

Nomi Eve takes the readers on a journey filled with heartbreak, love, betrayal & sacrifice.  The story follows young Adela, a Jewish girl age 8, in Yeman in the 1920s. Her parents have to find her a husband (in case they die) to prevent her from being put into a Muslim home. As she grows up she suffers great losses, learns the art of Henna and  learns about love.

Mary - Bookseller

Mary's Picks

A Prayer for Owen Meanyby John Irving

John Irving suits my sense of humor with this heartwarming, hysterical novel. Tested by time, this ‘coming of age’ story with its trials and victories will become one of your top 5 favorites, too.


Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb


After becoming completely enveloped by a family coming together to make ends meet, I cherish Henry’s Sisters and Henry, too! You will laugh and cry. A wonderful fireside read.


Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers


Francine Rivers is my favorite Christian Fiction Author. Based on the Old Testament Book Hosea, and set in Gold Rush California, Michael demonstrates how much he loves Angel – no matter what!

Matt - Bookseller

Matt's Picks

Wool Meanyby Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey is a self published science fiction author. Wool is a story of a society that is forced to live in an underground silo to protect them from the toxic outside air. One of the largest rules of the Silo is to never request to go outside. The story starts following Sheriff Holston who decides he wants to go outside. The story evolves from Holston’s decision unraveling the deepest secrets of the silo. If you’re looking for a book you can’t put down and a series that gets better with each book I highly suggest picking up a copy of Wool!


Station Eleven  by Emily St. John Mandel


A child actor named Kirsten is horrified as she watches one of her costars collapse on stage with a heart attack. Little did Kirsten know that the heart attack would be the least of her worries mere days later. Once again society has begun to collapse. A deadly flu begins to spread resulting in many people hiding out in their homes and unrest in city streets. The book follows the initial outbreak and then flashes forward 20 years following Kirsten experiencing what society has become in this post flu world.


Ashfall by Mike Mullin


Alex is tired of his parents dragging him places every weekend when he would much rather play computer games and be with his friends. Finally Alex convinces his parents to let him stay home while they go visit family. Unfortunately for Alex this is the weekend that the Yellowstone super volcano finally erupts. The book follows Alex while he searches for his family and tries to survive.

asheville house cleaning | Digital Marketing Services