Cassie is the owner operator of Roundabout Books. She moved from Phoenix to Bend in 2011 with her husband and three children. She founded Roundabout Books in 2016 simply because she loves books and bookstores, and wanted one in her community. Other than reading, Cassie's favorite thing to do is travel to the United States National Parks every summer with her family. During the last 13 summers, they have explored and adventured through 61 National Parks together!
Cassie loves to read all manner of fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, speculative, and nonfiction. She loves to read coming of age stories, a dash of magic, and stories that make her laugh. Some of her all-time favorite authors are Kazuo Ishiguro, John Boyne, Jane Austen, Donna Tartt, Victor Lodato, and Margaret Atwood. Some of her current staff picks are listed below. Cassie currently leads our Current Fiction, Classics, and Out of This World book clubs.
I really, really love and admire this novel! A captivating and lyrical environmental story about a woman searching for meaning after the species have perished from an Earth ravaged by climate change. When Franny Stone decides to join a fishing crew in the arctic and lead them across the world to follow the last migration of the Arctic tern, a species that flies from pole to pole and back each year, we are launched into the world of one troubled and wondering soul who feels intimately the profound loss of the Earth's species. Migrations expounds the preciousness and tenacity of all the animals in our world, including human ones. Perfect for fans of Overstory, this relatively short novel will eclipse you with it's beauty and insight. By far, one of my favorite reads of the year. ~Cassie
Magical Realism at it's best. The epitome of escape fiction, this novel incarnates the phrase “Books Open Doors’ by manifesting actual doors between worlds. A book where writers are the creators of worlds, love transcends time and space, and magic lurks in every book. This enchanting book will take your breath away. ~Cassie
This incredibly well written book is one of the best novels I've read this year. In a truly transcendent piece of fiction, John Boyne tells us the story of Cyril Avery, born out of wedlock in a rural Irish-Catholic community in 1945, to a teenage girl who is cast out by her priest and her family. So begins Cyril's transformative journey of the next seventy years, as he learns to accept himself, find happiness, find love, and find peace with the past, while reconciling his differences with his family, the church, and his homeland of Ireland.
It's hard to describe all the emotions this book stirs up. I was laughing out loud throughout the story as Boyne's voice is full of humor and he writes with a sharp eye for the ironic and ridiculous. But other times I was deeply saddened by Cyril's circumstances and angry at all the injustices he was subjected too. I was engaged with every page though, every chapter of the book was captivating. I will recommend Invisible Furies for a long time to come. ~Cassie
Jemisin has created a new world, full of complexity in ideas, characters, setting, and history. As the story opens you meet three female protagonists with various orogenic skill levels, which is the power to move rock deep within the Earth's crust, and the world hovers on the brink of the next Fifth Season, an extended winter triggered by seismic activity or another natural disaster. As landscapes transform and secrets are revealed, you come to know characters who take your breath away as they discover new levels of love, humanity, and power. ~Cassie
Out of all the contemporary literary fiction books to choose from, why is this little book a favorite? I think there is something very great about the hope of souls that know their time on this Earth is limited, that they are here only to serve a great sacrifice. If you take away the reward of a long life and long love and great achievements, what does it mean to be human? In some small way, this little book found an answer.~Cassie
The perfect book to inhale during a rainy afternoon! A story about the philosophical depths of knowledge, but in the physical form, the psychological, and the historical. What is true and what isn't? A story of secrets and passageways and ancient truths. This strange little book somehow blends the classical and the modern, ancient history and science fiction. Captivating from the beginning, such an enjoyable read!
This book is ambitious in scope, incredibly poetic, and intimately illuminates the human experience. Apeirogon, named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides, is the story of two men living in Jerusalem, one Palestinian, one Israeli, both grieving for their murdered daughters. Though their stories unfold in a linearly, McCann tells them in the flavor of 1,001 Arabian Nights, with 1,001 chapters, blending fact and fiction, and touching on topics as seemingly random as the migratory flights of birds, Francois Mitterand’s last meal and the structure of the human eye. And magically, he links it all together, in one devastating and profound story. - Cassie
Charlotte has just won a scholarship to attend the summer writing institute in Venice of a her favorite author. She uses her time there to research an ancestor from the 16th century, and a rumor that her work was stolen by a famous male writer. This is a story about speaking out when lines are crossed, about power and abuse, about re-learning history in light of the voices that were silenced. A really beautiful and engaging summer read! - Cassie
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is an incredible rendering of the Syrian refuge experience, bringing to light not just the stages of the journey through different countries and overwhelming challenges, but the grief of losing your home and loved ones, the resourcefulness of the bind, and the ways the basic need of survival can move someone on to unthinkable decisions. An exquisitely written, engrossing, and heartbreaking story full of grief and hope and wonder. ~Cassie
When I read Ishiguo's work, I feel as if a veil has been lifted, and suddenly the world -or range- of humanness, and all it's uncomfortable possibilities, are clear. I'm so grateful for his extraordinary talents and ability to manifest new understandings inside the mind this reader. Whether it's the source of human emotion, the impact of memory, the grappling of regret, or simply the purpose of human life, I finish his books with greater insight into the scope of the living. Klara is no different - an inhuman character who in one almost childlike voice, reveals the boundaries between human and inhuman, between a future and obsolescence, between the bonds and boundaries of love. Thank you Mr. Ishiguro ~ again. ~Cassie
An intimate fable of Earth’s last two human inhabitants, and a girls journey home. This is a beautiful, lyrical, and haunting tale of human fragility, love, loss, and the mystery of life. Majestic, and a poignant tribute to nature and the resiliency of the human spirit. ~Cassie
Oh my gosh! If you want to escape into a story that sweeps you away – this is it! When Addie faces an impossible decision in 18th century France, she makes a desperate deal with the devil – who grants her freedom, but simultaneously cursed to never be remembered. A magical, heart stopping journey through the centuries, Schwab has weaved together a gorgeous and haunting story of love, history, art memory. A really enjoyable read! ~Cassie
The novel follows the story of Inti Flynn, the lead researcher a project that reintroduces wolves into the Scottish Highlands as way to save the forest, and she must try to straddle the delicate lines between conservation, farmers rights, and community interest. How far conservation efforts can and should go when both wild animals and humans are involved? A beautiful story of love and passion for the wilds, and for each other. Simultaneously intimate and expansive, haunting, visceral, and hopeful. I cannot recommend this book enough – my favorite read of the year so far.~Cassie
An exquisite retelling of the Great Gatsby. If you've ever wanted to re-read one of your favorite classics, take this route instead! The subtle plotlines and references and magic that Nghi Vo flushes out of an already polished novel is mesmerizing, and leaves the reader breathless and caught up all over again in the story for the very first time. ~Cassie
Powerful writing and an important story. This novel will leave you reeling in the wake of Shuggie’s tragic coming of age, but I read this as an epic underdog story. A heartbreaking saga of addiction, shame, neglect, shame, and extreme poverty, but a young man that you can root for, and share in his trials and heartache as he learns to be himself, understand love, and find hope in his future. ~Cassie
As the title implies, Bewilderment is a novel of wonder. I've never read anything so simultaneously transporting and devastating. Although we expect an environmental novel from Powers, I didn't expect such an intimate portrait of character as he painted with this small two-person family. I was rocked with the imagination of what curiosities the farthest reaches of space can hold, my mind tumbling over the possibilities of distance worlds and futures, and simultaneously exploring what wonders of human psyche and future AI might hold as we plunder the depths of love and grief. Truly a novel of expansion and wonder. ~Cassie
I devoured this book! Just as Death Valley and the surrounding Mohave Desert are simultaneously brutal and beautiful, so is this incandescent novel. When Claire leaves her home, husband, and new baby to attend a speaking engagement in Reno and reconnect with old friends, the desert pulls her back into a tangled reckoning with with her past. The ghosts of her father, her mother, her first love, and her upbringing unravel her as she tries to come to terms with her new place in a world far away as a wife, a mother, and an artist. At times hilarious, at times harrowing, this highly original novel speaks to the complexities of family, of love, and of the expectations we give our grown-up selves. A brilliant book, a transcendent read. ~Cassie
Whether you’ve read Allende before or not, you will love this moving historical fiction novel. The story follows a family as they escape the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, creating a new life in Chile. An ode to refuges creating new lives everywhere, and a nod to the infamous poet, Pablo Neruda. A book about family, marriage, love, and home.