Kids are back to hitting the books, and you can too (and not worry about being tested on it!) We asked four local bookstore owners what they’re most looking forward to this season, and here are their favorites:

1. THE LAST CHAIRLIFT by John Irving

“This 900-page tome, probably his last lengthy book, will make delicious winter reading for all his old fans and newcomers alike. Readers who enjoyed his past great titles like The World According to GarpThe Hotel New Hampshire and Cider House Rules will find many of his favorite themes in The Last Chairlift but with new angles, new terrain and new characters to fall in love with.”

—Darwin Ellis, co-owner, with Ellen Burns, of Books on the Common in Ridgefield, CT

2. DINOSAURS by Lydia Millet

“A beautifully written meditation on found families, love and nature. You can read this in one sitting
and then go back and read it again. [A] wonderful pick for book clubs.”

—Jennifer Kohn, owner of The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, NY

3. DAISY DARKER by Alice Feeney

“The perfect post-summer book. You’ve been with family, maybe in family homes or making memories, vacationed and spent time together—now check out this great read, which mixes family drama with murder and mystery set in an out-of-the-way beach house.”

— Gretchen Menzies, owner of Katonah Reading Room in Katonah, NY

4. GATEAU: THE SURPRISING SIMPLICITY OF FRENCH CAKES by Aleksandra Crapanzano

“I have always assumed that French baking was well beyond my skill set. While that may be actually true, I feel I can succeed with this lovely book. Sweet illustrations, concise easy-to-follow directions make this the perfect book to add to any collection. Impress your friends—I just did!”

— Alice Hutchinson, owner of Byrd’s Books in Bethel, CT