Kris' Reading List

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What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735211025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

The complexities of the lives of girls and their mothers are explored through a Nigerian lens in this remarkable debut collection. Strains of magical realism enlarge some of the stories to modern folktale. Yet throughout, Lesley Nneka Arimah delivers a sharp observations on the frought relationships between mothers and the young women they must mentor as they all navigate what is still a very patriarchal world.


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Rabbit Cake Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - March 7th, 2017

When Eva Rose Babbitt, mother of daughters Lizzie, 15 and Elvis, 10, drowns sleepswimming, her daughters are left to fend for themselves emotionally while their father tends to his grief by wearing his wife's bathrobe and lipstick. Lizzie, a sleep-walker and eater, keeps Elvis up at night trying to keep her from burning the house down with her nocturnal "cooking". But Elvis doesn't trust the circumstances of her mother's death and she is also determined to finish her mother's book, "The Sleep Habits in Animals and What They Tell Us About Our Own Slumber", so she does a little research of her own. Annie Hartnett has created endearing and memorable characters in a delightfully original story in what is sure to be a beloved favorite of readers everywhere.


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News of the World Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062409201
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 4th, 2016

This is a wonderfully rich and engaging yarn set in 1870 Texas, about an odd couple--70 year old retired Army Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd whose print shop was on the wrong side of the war and who now travels the territory reading the "news of the world" from East Coast papers to the gathered townfolk, and orphaned 10 year old Johanna who has recently been unwillingly rescued from her Kiowa captives, having completely assimilated to Kiowa life and speaking no English. They are thrown together when he agrees to transport her to her relatives 400 miles through perilous unsettled territory. As their eventful journey unfolds complete with chicken thievery and shootouts, their uneasy partnership flowers into a friendship. Told with wit and warmth, humor and pathos, this is a book I absolutely loved. -Kris' October Staff Pick, 2016


A 1970s Italian film crew's journey into the depths of the Colombian jungle during the height of the drug cartel's power is a trip into the darker recesses of the human soul. Not since Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness has there been a book that plumbs these depths with such chilling precision. Kea Wilson's We Eat Our Own is a literary masterpiece you will not soon forget.-Kris' September Staff Pick, 2016


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The Mirror Thief Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781612195148
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House Publishing - May 10th, 2016

What a great, big fat book of many interlinked stories! Comparisons to Eco's The Name of the Rose and the work of David Mitchell are spot on. Set in all the Venices (Italy, Nevada and California) and spanning centuries, The Mirror Thief is a virtuosic tour de force! This is a novel that everyone will be reading and talking about for years to come. -Kris' May Staff Pick 2016


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The Big Green Tent Cover Image
By Ludmila Ulitskaya, Polly Gannon (Translator)
$35.00
ISBN: 9780374166670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 10th, 2015

Do not be put off by the size! Ludmila Ultiskaya, is wildly popular in Russia, tho not with Putin, and is heir apparent to the likes of Pasternak. This sweeping epic opens at the time of Stalin's death and follows the lives of 3 young boys as throughout their lives thru the cult of Kruschev, their participation in the underground samizat movement to disseminate “subversive” literature, thru constant surveillance and neighbors who will report you for possessing a copy of Orwell’s 1984. It is a big, full-cast narrative with love and heartbreak and more love and more heartbreak as only Russians do it, with lots of vodka, poetry, big all night arguments about the point of it all, Lenin v Marx, Pushkin v Tolstoy, and of course, always the KGB. Ulitskaya's novel slams the tragically absurd repression(s) these beautiful people survive with characteristic Russian dark-humored wit and pathos. -Kris' February Staff Pick, 2016


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My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781400069989
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 29th, 2015

Kris' October Staff Pick 2015


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Between the World and Me Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 14th, 2015

This sharply-observed, painfully true letter from a black man to his adolescent son has been written about everywhere. What I will say to my fellow white folk: this book was not written for you and that is why you should read it. Coates doesn’t mince words or sugar coat the harsh reality of being a black man in a world where the mere fact your physical existence alone can get you killed. All of us are complicit in this fatal arrangement and all of us are needed to break the contract on black men’s (and women’s) livesin this country.  Just read it.  And then, do something outside your comfort zone. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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The Story of the Lost Child Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609452865
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - September 1st, 2015

So I read the first of the three of this ground-breaking epic  tale of two women, whose friendship and life-long rivalry begins early in their Naples, Italy childhood. I can’t think of anything since Doris Lessing’s Children of Violence series that centers a story this big around the lives of women.  Fully imagined lives—with husbands, lovers and children, yes, but also with jobs, careers, political intrigues and whose relationship is stronger than all others to which women are normally assigned.  These are must reads. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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Fates and Furies Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594634475
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 15th, 2015

A modern Greek drama told in two voices:  first by the golden boy Lotto, whose fortunes come easy and are assured, and second, by his mysterious and strikingly beautiful wife Mathilde.  There are also occasional asides by the (Greek) chorus. Lotto would have you believe that his gorgeous wife of mysterious French origins fairly exists to serve him, and he paints a fairly convincing picture. But when Mathilde speaks, the picture goes a bit murky. This is a compulsively readable and original retake on what could have been a stale trope.  Hint: In a game of rock paper scissors, Furies trump Fate. Or do they? -Kris Top 10 Picks of 2015


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A Little Life Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780385539258
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - March 10th, 2015

This is a mesmerizing tale told in exquisitely wrought prose. We follow the lives of 4 young men who meet in college when they share a dorm room and remain close the remainder of their lives. There is a fundamentally sad tale-within-a-tale centered around the fragile Jude, one of the friends, who withholds the heart-breaking details of his tragic childhood to everyone but the reader.  But one of the most interesting themes in this book is that of how we define family—who is in it and why—and the rules of engagement as they pertain to love. A  masterpiece. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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My Life on the Road Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780679456209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - October 27th, 2015

When I was little more than 19 or 20, I took a trip with a friend to Washington, DC, where we found ourselves at some sort of women’s rights sit-in in the halls of Congress.  Seated against the wall of one of those halls, struck up a conversation with the woman next to me who told me she was planning to start a feminist magazine.  Being me, I gave her lots of advice about getting the word out. Gloria Steinem didn’t need my advice to make Ms. Magazine a success. But in My Life on the Road, she shares story after story of the people she met travelling—first with as a child with her eccentrically nomadic father, and later as a journalist, activist and public speaker—people perhaps like me only more interesting. People—from feminist colleagues to taxi cab drivers—whose stories and advice were building blocks to her organizing for women’s rights. This is an anecdotal account, easy to dip in and out of and full of sentences of deceptively simple clarity that you will want to underline and repeat. It’s equal parts armchair herstory, memoir and travelogue. So much of the last 50 years of the women’s liberation movement has been removed to the inaccessible pages of academic tomes. Here is your chance to go behind the scenes with one of the most influential women of our time and see how it’s done. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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Bettyville: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525427209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - March 10th, 2015

George fled his tiny home town of Paris, Missouri to lose himself in the publishing world of New York City and avoid what he saw as somehow failing his parents and town for being gay. When his ailing mother calls him home, he returns for what he thinks will be a few days. A few years later he is still there, free-lance editing from the card table set up next to the couch where his larger-than-life mother holds court even as her feet and her memory fail her.  George captures perfectly their verbal interplay and emotional tug-of-war with a delightful, often self-deprecating humor. Betty, brutally aware of her failing memory, can still give as good as she gets. Told with warmth and humor, with a poignant, at times hilarious, dose of bumbling self-doubt, this is an original and affecting portrait of a remarkable woman and the son who loves her. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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Bettyville: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525427209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - March 10th, 2015

George fled his tiny home town of Paris, Missouri to lose himself in the publishing world of New York City and avoid what he saw as somehow failing his parents and town for being gay. When his ailing mother calls him home, he returns for what he thinks will be a few days. A few years later he is still there, free-lance editing from the card table set up next to the couch where his larger-than-life mother holds court even as her feet and her memory fail her.  George captures perfectly their verbal interplay and emotional tug-of-war with a delightful, often self-deprecating humor. Betty, brutally aware of her failing memory, can still give as good as she gets. Told with warmth and humor, with a poignant, at times hilarious, dose of bumbling self-doubt, this is an original and affecting portrait of a remarkable woman and the son who loves her. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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The Light of the World: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781455599875
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 21st, 2015

Just how intimate is the connection between humans and “the wild”? To what degree are we linked? Opposed? Helen McDonald knew her true calling by the age of 8 was hawks and whatever else in her was in her life, she knew she would learn to work and hunt with falcons. But it wasn’t until the death of her beloved co-adventurer in life, her father, that she got the primal call to work with the most prehistorically fierce and huge bird of all, the goshawk. I was utterly rapt, pun intended, and I’m the sort of person who won’t read a book if I think it contains and description of animal cruelty.  Rather than the very tired trope of “man against nature”, in H is for Hawk, we have the tale of two complex females--one human and one avian—and their transformational dance of intimacy.  As a bonus to the reader,  McDonald manages to come to terms with her grief over losing her father and intersperse her own goshawk adventure with T.H. White’s, all in beautifully rendered prose.  So good! -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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H Is for Hawk Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802123411
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 3rd, 2015

Can the land tell us what our ancestors cannot?  Can silenced and excised accounts of all the humans who made this country what it is—black, native, white, brown, colonizers and colonized—be given voice in the ancient and modern upheavals of flint and fossil, flood and famine?  Savoy, a geologist of mixed heritage, travels the country in this collection of interlinked essays to read the signs, both granite and archival, as she attempts to piece together the real America.  Beautifully rendered, quietly urgent. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781619025738
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 10th, 2015

Why drink coffee on the subway with Patti Smith when you can ride horses naked in the country with Sally Mann?  This unorthodox artist’s memoir about a highly unorthodox artist’s life opens with accounts of Mann’s “nearly feral” childhood and moves easily into her career as one of the most important photographers of our time.  Tales of her own creative process, her family, the right’s attack on her work, are interwoven with knowledgeable and fascinating expositions on her beloved Lexington, Virginia complete with all its dark legacy as a slave state. There is literally nothing that Sally Mann cannot do or talk about.  This book is a great account by a woman who is fully in charge of her incredible life. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780316247764
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 12th, 2015

Coates' powerful report card on race in America is written as a letter to his 15-year-son, inspired by Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.

Toni Morrison says of this book, “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates' journey, is visceral, eloquent and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading.”  I can’t really say it any better except to say that white people need to read this book. -Kris' July Staff Pick, 2015


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Between the World and Me Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 14th, 2015

This sharply-observed, painfully true letter from a black man to his adolescent son has been written about everywhere. What I will say to my fellow white folk: this book was not written for you and that is why you should read it. Coates doesn’t mince words or sugar coat the harsh reality of being a black man in a world where the mere fact your physical existence alone can get you killed. All of us are complicit in this fatal arrangement and all of us are needed to break the contract on black men’s (and women’s) livesin this country.  Just read it.  And then, do something outside your comfort zone. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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The Cold Song Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590516676
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press (NY) - April 8th, 2014

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The Light of the World: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781455599875
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 21st, 2015

Just how intimate is the connection between humans and “the wild”? To what degree are we linked? Opposed? Helen McDonald knew her true calling by the age of 8 was hawks and whatever else in her was in her life, she knew she would learn to work and hunt with falcons. But it wasn’t until the death of her beloved co-adventurer in life, her father, that she got the primal call to work with the most prehistorically fierce and huge bird of all, the goshawk. I was utterly rapt, pun intended, and I’m the sort of person who won’t read a book if I think it contains and description of animal cruelty.  Rather than the very tired trope of “man against nature”, in H is for Hawk, we have the tale of two complex females--one human and one avian—and their transformational dance of intimacy.  As a bonus to the reader,  McDonald manages to come to terms with her grief over losing her father and intersperse her own goshawk adventure with T.H. White’s, all in beautifully rendered prose.  So good! -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


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Bettyville: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525427209
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - March 10th, 2015

George fled his tiny home town of Paris, Missouri to lose himself in the publishing world of New York City and avoid what he saw as somehow failing his parents and town for being gay. When his ailing mother calls him home, he returns for what he thinks will be a few days. A few years later he is still there, free-lance editing from the card table set up next to the couch where his larger-than-life mother holds court even as her feet and her memory fail her.  George captures perfectly their verbal interplay and emotional tug-of-war with a delightful, often self-deprecating humor. Betty, brutally aware of her failing memory, can still give as good as she gets. Told with warmth and humor, with a poignant, at times hilarious, dose of bumbling self-doubt, this is an original and affecting portrait of a remarkable woman and the son who loves her. -Kris' Top 10 Picks of 2015


The Empathy Exams: Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555976712
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - April 1st, 2014

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Mambo in Chinatown Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594632006
Availability: Special Order
Published: Riverhead Books - June 24th, 2014

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The Plover Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250034779
Availability: Special Order
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - April 8th, 2014

The Distancers: An American Memoir Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780345806765
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books - August 13th, 2013

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My Brother's Name Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780983021940
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Mighty Media Press - September 3rd, 2013

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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062236678
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTorch - November 5th, 2013

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On Sal Mal Lane Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781555976422
Availability: Special Order
Published: Graywolf Press - May 14th, 2013

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The Sound of Things Falling Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594487484
Availability: Special Order
Published: Riverhead Books - August 1st, 2013

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The Cold Cold Ground: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781616147167
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Seventh Street Books - November 13th, 2012