Left-Bank

Staff Pick List

Kalifa

I'm Kali, a bookseller at LBB, born in the backwoods from a wolf and a panther.  I like to read mysteries, true crime and the creepiest of fiction. Anything that makes you keep the night light on. I also dip into nonfiction, too. I love science books, particularly books about anthropology, and I also love history, ancient or contemporary. I howl and snarl in my spare time.

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The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780358299615
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Mariner Books - March 3rd, 2020

Fascinating and insightful! This book gives you an in-depth look into the lives of the five women behind the infamous ripper murders. I was absolutely enthralled and completely devastated by these women's stories.


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A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780385732314
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Ember - March 22nd, 2005

Hands down the first book in my favorite YA series! A spellbinding historical gothic with rounded characters and a plot will keep you up until you get to the last page.


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How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780226599717
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: University of Chicago Press - April 14th, 2019

Part political history, part science journal. This books takes you on a journey through the domestication of one of the cuddliest yet elusive creatures in the wild, from the challenges of dealing with the animals to the political upheaval Russia was going through at the time of the study. I absolutely loved this book.


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The Poppy War: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062662583
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Published: Harper Voyager - April 23rd, 2019

BELIEVE THE HYPE!! If you haven't heard, the first in an epic, fantasy series, as amazing as it is dark.


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Dread Nation Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062570611
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 4th, 2019

Equal parts action and insight. Dread nations is a Reconstruction-era story where the dead walk and not all the living are valued.


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Frostbite: A Werewolf Tale Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780307460837
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Crown - October 6th, 2009

These werewolves are feral, out of control, and absolutely bloodthirsty. And I loved it!. This book is great for those who want to get into the lore of creatures that will have them leaving the night light on.


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Girl One: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374601744
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: MCD - June 1st, 2021

A perfect blend of a supernatural thriller and mystery, where every chapter gives you another piece of the puzzle and a little bit of magic.


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The Phantom Tollbooth Cover Image
By Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780394820378
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Published: Yearling - October 12th, 1988

For fans of Alice in Wonderland, get ready to be swept into the world beyond the tollbooth!


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Leaving the Wild: The Unnatural History of Dogs, Cats, Cows, and Horses Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781643130361
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Pegasus Books - March 12th, 2019

For lovers of our furry friends! This book takes you into the past and futures of our domestic pals; how they got to be by our side and the good and bad of what it really means to leave behind their homes in nature. An easy and fascinating read!


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The Girl With All the Gifts Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316334754
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Published: Orbit - April 28th, 2015

My absolute favorite post-outbreak story. Calling it a Zombie Story wouldn't do it justice. Carey's writing is lyrical, his ideas are original, and the book ends in a heart-wrenching way that still manages to leave readers hopeful.


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The Priory of the Orange Tree Cover Image
$20.00
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ISBN: 9781635570304
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - February 18th, 2020

This world is so rich and the characters so compelling that this book was hard to put down. One of the best high fantasy books I've ever read.


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The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780316496506
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Little, Brown and Company - July 13th, 2021

Well-researched and thought-provoking. Kean takes us through the histories of some of our most famous scientists and notorious experiments in an honest, accessible, and at times humorous. Should be required reading for anyone who wants to put on the lab coat.


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The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales Cover Image
By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780670844876
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Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - October 1st, 1992

My absolute favorite book of fairy tales! Hilarious, out-of-the-ordinary stories for every reader.


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Battle Royale: The Novel Cover Image
$16.99
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ISBN: 9781421527727
Published: Haikasoru - November 17th, 2009

A great concept executed brilliantly. In a story where children have to fight for their lives, we get an intimate look into each of the children's lives, making the story heartbreakingly human.


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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525431992
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Published: Vintage - January 28th, 2020

A incredible tale of how far a person will go to fool themselves and those around them when billions of dollars and pride are on the line.


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How to Slay a Dragon: A Fantasy Hero's Guide to the Real Middle Ages Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781982164119
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Tiller Press - August 17th, 2021

Whether you're an aspiring fantasy writer or just a fan of history or fantasy, this book is a must-have!


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A Lab of One's Own: One Woman's Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501181290
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Published: Simon & Schuster - August 17th, 2021

An equal parts inspiring and brutally honest account of one woman's career in a field that is often thought of as devoid of bias. In beautifully-written language, Colwell doesn't pull any punches in recounting the all-too-common subtle and blatant sexism while also giving doable solutions that could open up the STEM field to more women and minorities to the benefit of us all.


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Not
$29.95
ISBN: 9780807036297
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Beacon Press - August 24th, 2021

A thought-provoking history that challenges the myth that the US is a nation of immigrants.


Lyndsey

I'm a bookseller at Left Bank Books. 

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We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781101912195
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Vintage - May 30th, 2017

If dark yet relatable humor is your thing, I can't recommend Samantha Irby enough. The concept of "too much information" does not exist with Irby (which, if you read her blog, you'll definitely already know). Never have life's dark moments been quite so hysterical. 


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Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9781451666175
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Gallery Books - October 29th, 2013

This is the kind of book that makes you laugh inappropriately to yourself in public when you think about it days after reading it. If you like to laugh (or laugh-cry) even a little bit, please read anything Allie Brosh has ever written (she has a blog, folks!)


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A Court of Thorns and Roses Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781635575569
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - June 2nd, 2020

This was such an entertaining book. Full of interesting characters, vivid imagery, twists, and snarky dialogue, it's definitely one you could read in one sitting if you lack basic self-control.


Stephen

I have worked at LBB since 2020, and my reading tastes run the gamut: history, biography, graphic novels, drama, poetry, and the occasional piece of fiction. After finishing a lengthy microhistory, I tend to grab a palate cleanser in the form of a comic book or some piece of literature. I enjoy traveling and visiting museums, especially those featuring historical reenactments. One recent vacation involved a trip to Missouri’s Patee House Museum (the site of the Pony Express’ launch), where several individuals reenacted part of the route on horseback.

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Harriet Tubman: Toward Freedom (The Center for Cartoon Studies Presents) Cover Image
By Whit Taylor, Kazimir Lee (By (artist)), Carole Boston Weatherford (Introduction by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780759555501
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 15th, 2021

Whit Taylor and Kazimir Lee offer a powerful and moving volume for readers of all ages. This engrossing biography encapsulates the harsh realities and dangerous conditions that Tubman and many others faced in their journeys. Taylor’s measured pacing builds to a tense climax while avoiding simplistic resolutions. Lee’s spare linework deftly captures the appropriate tone and emotions for life-threatening situations. As a presentation of The Center for Cartoon Studies, this contribution is a welcome addition to the growing series of complex biographies of historical luminaries including Charlotte Brontë, Amelia Earhart, Harry Houdini, and Satchel Paige.


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Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781839760501
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Published: Verso - June 15th, 2021

Museum curator Raicovich examines the myth of neutrality in art museums—every attempt at depoliticizing museums reinforces dominant systems of oppression. She evaluates questionable funding sources, repatriation, antiracist programming, and hiring practices. She then provides equitable alternatives. This title doubles as a “How To” manual for activists, artists and curators.


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We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982103033
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 16th, 2021

A nonlinear look at Native Americans working in the realm of comedy (stand-up, sketch, improvisation, theatre, essays, fiction, television, film and more), Nesteroff meticulously contextualizes the racist barriers that Native comedians have faced for centuries. The author also offers interviews with contemporary writers, actors and comics following in the footsteps of their predecessors. Equal parts hilarious and horrifying, this book is a must for anybody interested in Native American history, political activism and, of course, comedy.  


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What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9780525427643
Published: Viking - July 25th, 2017

Culinary historian Laura Shapiro delves once more into the gastronomical world and how it shaped the lives of six notable women throughout history. For some, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Cockney celebrity chef Rosa Lewis, it served as an opportunity for greater political and social engagement. For others, like Eva Braun and Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, it was more a Sword of Damocles to avoid indulging. The author’s prose is easy on the palate as she examines the lives of these women, their circumstances, and their relationships with food. Shapiro’s succulent meal may be savored in any order, but the chapters on Roosevelt and novelist Barbara Pym are choice cuts that leave a robust aftertaste. 


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You're Leaving When?: Adventures in Downward Mobility Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781640094475
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Published: Counterpoint - March 2nd, 2021

After becoming a divorced empty nester, Gurwitch opens her home (and life) to various tenants. Gurwitch is known for baring her fears and foibles in hilarious ways, and this memoir is no different—the chapter on inviting a homeless couple to live with her should be required reading. A resplendent look at gentle acts of kindness.


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American Cult: A Graphic History of Religious Cults in America from the Colonial Era to Today Cover Image
By Robyn Chapman (Editor)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781945509636
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Published: Silver Sprocket - May 18th, 2021

Equal parts informative and infuriating, these comics examine how cult leaders have preyed on the vulnerable. Some contributors interrogate the cult stigma and whether some groups deserve the branding of cultism. A lucid look at unhealthy veneration in the United States. 


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Shark Summer Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316461443
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 25th, 2021

While a Hollywood studio shoots an action movie on Martha’s Vineyard, three children make their own film about the island. Brimming with humor, action, and plenty of youthful awkwardness, this graphic novel possesses crossover appeal. A fitting summer read.


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Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings by Jaime Hernandez 1980-2020 Cover Image
By Jaime Hernandez, Katie Skelly (Contributions by)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781683964452
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Published: Fantagraphics - August 3rd, 2021

Hernandez shares his archival work never intended for publication. Interspersed are reflections on his artistic process, but the main event is his art: laid bare but mysterious, unfinished yet bewitching, full of life and humor. Hernandez is the undisputed world champion of wrestling comics.  


Emiliana

Emiliana is a bookseller and lover of indie bookstores and shopping small. She primarily reads poetry, fiction, and memoirs. After spending four years obtaining an English degree, Emiliana is getting back into the practice of reading for pleasure and loves a story that envelopes you into its world. A few of her favorite books are Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and Supper Club by Lara Williams.

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The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780691220550
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Published: Princeton University Press - June 8th, 2021

Tsing offers a history of the matsutake mushroom as an alternative form of knowing and learning that is described as a “dance” between the mushrooms, the people who forage them, and the forest they forage in. Tsing exposes how entangled we are with the natural world and the assemblages to which we all belong.


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Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780358410768
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Published: Mariner Books - October 6th, 2020

For lovers of all things literary, spooky, and ridiculous. When Boston’s most eccentric millionaire dies a very dramatic death, Tuesday puts together an equally eccentric crew to solve the treasure hunt he left behind. Accompanying them are ghosts, family secrets, wealth, corruption, and the knowledge that nothing is ever what it seems.


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In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs Cover Image
By Grace Bonney (Editor)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781579659813
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Published: Artisan - September 15th, 2020

The photographs in this book are equally as compelling as the stories of the awe-inspiring women who fill the pages. Situated and addressing the reader from their own spaces, these makers, artists, and entrepreneurs reveal all the practical and inspirational advice a person could hope for.


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The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780375760396
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 28th, 2002

You may have learned what a potato or an apple was in a kitchen, a tulip in a garden, and marijuana...well… Pollan combines that botanical knowledge of these four plants with their social and psychological histories, linking them each to a human desire -- control, sweetness, beauty, and intoxication -- in an exploration of mutuality, evolution, and the links between things that live.


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The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735217737
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Published: Riverhead Books - February 5th, 2019

Raised in the Southwest by an immigrant mother, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. Documenting his struggle to separate person, story, and statistic, Cantú leaves the BP only to experience all the more personally the devastation of the border through the story of an undocumented friend. Cantú’s story reveals the irreparable pain and violence that both those who detain and are detained face as a result of inhumane border practices.


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Children of the Land: A Memoir Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062825636
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Published: Harper Perennial - September 29th, 2020

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s memoir is both beautifully written and painful to contend with. His story of migration and (in)visibility enters powerfully into a gap in our collective consciousness, one we are often unaware of or choose to ignore. Personal, intimate, and timely.


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Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781400078240
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Published: Vintage - August 22nd, 2017

The result of over a decade’s worth of research, this account, which unveils details of a prison uprising where inmates attempted to negotiate for better conditions, gives insight into the violent, and often silent, history of prisons in the US.


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The Year of Magical Thinking (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400078431
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Published: Vintage - February 13th, 2007

We’ve heard of the stages of grief. Exploring ideas of the irrationality that plagues logic after loss, the physical and psychological effects of trauma, and that need for hope insisted upon in every card offering condolences, Didion writes through those stages and the deconstruction of them with a distance and eloquence only understood by those who have been through similar losses.


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The Flamethrowers: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781439142011
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Published: Scribner - January 14th, 2014

Life imitates art, art complicates life -- does the saying go something like that? Kushner’s central character, Reno, attempts to find the answer as she travels the US and Italy on her Moto Valera motorbike. Using the wheels to draw shapes across the salt flats, she catches the eye of the estranged heir to the Moto Valera fortune and well...life and art complicate each other from there.


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The Misfortune of Marion Palm: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
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ISBN: 9781524731908
Published: Knopf - August 8th, 2017

Marion Palm is realllly good at being a part of the PTA at her children’s school. So good that she manages to move $180,000 of the school’s money into her own account. Threatened with exposure, Marion goes into hiding and Emily Culliton crafts a story from the multiple perspectives of a family who belongs together about what happens when everything falls apart.


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Homegoing Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9781101971062
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing is a feat, an example of the perfect marriage between content and form. Gyasi takes lovers of historical fiction on a journey that is both incredibly expansive and incredibly intimate, following two lineages from eighteenth century Ghana to the twentieth century United States. The book's form mirrors the experiences of its characters as it moves through their two-pronged ancestry and across a vast expanse of time and space in this seven generation, diasporic project.


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Supper Club Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525539599
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 1st, 2020

If you're looking for a novel about good food, young adulthood, transgressive friendships between women, and the occasional breaking and entering, Supper Club is for you. During college, Roberta keeps to herself and her cooking, struggling with her relationship to her body and to pretty much anyone else. Flash forward a few years and Roberta and her friend Stevie have started a supper club that transgresses all the boundaries: women who feast and feed their bodies, break into buildings to host their club, go dumpster diving for the menu. A story about how we relate -- to one another, to ourselves, to our bodies.


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Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780822963318
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: University of Pittsburgh Press - January 7th, 2015

I find it very difficult to name all-time favorite books, but I can confidently say this is my absolute favorite collection of poetry. It is a great option for folks who don't typically read or enjoy poetry. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude approaches loss, joy, gratitude, place, and people with soft attentiveness, all the while staring them dead in the eye -- coming in straight and honest to the hurt, the curious lust, the romance, the devastation, the thankfulness. Gay tells the reader of the "little factory in [his] head." He exposes himself to us, writing, "...I love the moment when the poet says / I am trying to do this / or I am trying to do that." In this revelation of poetic construction, I find that Gay lets his readers in on the process through which he manages, seeks outs, avoids, mishandles, and honors the grief of losing friends to disease and murder, the endurance and hardship of familial love, the clamor in loudly proclaiming an appreciation of the everyday -- so that we, too, may begin to understand how better to hold the people and places and events of our lives in acknowledgment and gratitude.


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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking Cover Image
By Samin Nosrat, Wendy MacNaughton (Illustrator)
$37.50
ISBN: 9781476753836
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 25th, 2017

Samin Nosrat is a gifted storyteller who just happens to also be making her stories out of food. Nosrat equips her readers with more than one-time recipes; she introduces concepts and knowledge that can be applied to any dish and which builds one’s cooking repertoire and vocabulary. Also, check out those gorgeous illustrations!


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The Girl Who Reads on the Métro: A Novel Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781250315427
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Published: Flatiron Books - October 8th, 2019

A book for those who believe certain books and certain people are destined to be together. Life in Paris is business as usual for Juliette, until she stumbles across a peculiar library and is assigned the role of passeur and instructed to take books out into the world and match them to the people who need them most.


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The Eternal Audience of One Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982164423
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - August 10th, 2021

Charming and quick with a comeback, Séraphin is quite the storyteller and has uproarious tales of adolescence to regale his friends and the reader. But underneath all the bravado and hijinks is a young man trying to situate his many-voiced self on a continent that holds pieces of him in several places -- Rwanda, Namibia, and South Africa -- and at an age when relationships to all -- family, girls, and most of all, the self -- are warped and changing. Séraphin's growing pains are relatable, at times painfully so.


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frank: sonnets Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450451
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Graywolf Press - March 2nd, 2021

Diane Seuss is simultaneously myth-maker and truth-teller. Straight shooter, profane at times, and also... a tender heart laying itself bare when admitting if "asked...whether I'd wear eyeliner if I was the last person on earth, no, hell no. Eyeliner is war. When I'm alone, I lay my weapons down."


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Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
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ISBN: 9781555978068
Published: Graywolf Press - May 1st, 2018

Diane Seuss uses paintings/art as a frame through which to explore issues of rurality, class, and womanhood. Her treatment of ‘low’ subjects married with a ‘high’ art framework is true to her poetry which celebrates its subjects by laying them bare with no pretenses of beauty or heroism in sight -- except for that, of course, of the paintings after which the book is modeled.


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Threat Come Close (Stahlecker Selections) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781945588044
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Published: Four Way Books - March 6th, 2018

A deeply -- sometimes painfully -- intimate, wonderfully lyrical exploration of belief and belonging. WashU alum Aaron Coleman's power, honesty, and tenderness make up a crucial voice in this generation of poets.


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Last Days Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781948579162
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Alice James Books - April 13th, 2021

Tamiko Beyer’s collection reminds us of the many assemblages to which we belong -- which include us humans, but also birds and ancestors and maybe even the words shared between us -- as a way forward from the last days of empire and into a new way of being.


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Girl One: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374601744
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: MCD - June 1st, 2021

I'm not usually a sci-fi reader, but the premise of this book caught my attention! A web of women connected by the man who helped their cause are called back together to fight for their lives. There are twists to follow and puzzles to solve without being too creepy, if creepy's not your thing. (It's not mine!)


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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon Cover Image
By Patty Lovell, David Catrow (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399234163
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - August 27th, 2001

Molly Lou Melon is very unique. And Ronald Durkin is very foolish. A fun and funny read about being different and proud of it.


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Alma and the Beast Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735263963
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Published: Tundra Books - September 3rd, 2019

Alma spends her days combing the grass and brushing the trees until one day she stumbles across a very strange hairless beast. Alma and the Best com into each other's worlds and understand each other better for it. Plus, those gorgeous illustrations!


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We Don't Eat Our Classmates Cover Image
By Ryan Higgins, Ryan Higgins (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368003551
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Published: Disney-Hyperion - June 19th, 2018

I bought this book as an adult. It is one of my favorites ever. I read it to children and other adults and myself frequently. It's just the best.


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Tropic of Orange Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894869
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Published: Coffee House Press - September 12th, 2017

Featuring a strange cast of characters ranging from the reporter Gabriel to the 'savior of the homeless' Buzzworm to the semi-mythical being Arcangel, Yamashita's magical realist depiction of LA and the US/Mexico border reveal that no line is as steady as it seems.


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The Regional Office Is Under Attack!: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
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ISBN: 9780399573217
Published: Riverhead Books - April 11th, 2017

Superpowers, an all-women spy organization, prophesying oracles -- what more do you need?


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Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780316552967
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Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - October 17th, 2017

This collection is teeming with images of black history and famous figures that "could have been iconic," had they been published. Rich in imagery and history, and thought-provoking.


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Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780865477728
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: North Point Press - November 12th, 2013

An argument for the city which prioritizes the social, physical, economic, and communal health of its inhabitants by increasing accessibility, proximity to nature, and common resources to benefit all who live there.


Jeff

When he's not selling books, Jeff is an avid reader, father of an infant daughter, and a writer of minor historical epics.

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I Would Prefer Not To: Essential Stories Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781782277460
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Pushkin Collection - October 26th, 2021

Herman Melville was more than the madman who wrote Moby Dick. He also wrote spectacular short stories. "Bartleby the Scrivener," filled with dark, almost nihilistic humor, is a personal favorite. I could say more, but I would prefer not to.


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Things I Have Withheld Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802158956
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Grove Press - September 15th, 2021

This book is tender and magnificent. An expression of the thoughts and feelings we rarely share -- about race, gender, and nationality -- from a poet of incredible skill.


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Red Cavalry (Pushkin Collection) Cover Image
By Isaac Babel, Boris Dralyuk (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781782270935
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Pushkin Collection - May 12th, 2015

What happens when a first-rate poet embeds with a corps of hapless soldiers and follows them into battle? Red Cavalry. Poignant, lyrical, and brutal, Babel was executed because of what he wrote in this interconnected series of stories.


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Woes of the True Policeman: A Novel Cover Image
By Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by)
$25.00
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ISBN: 9780374266745
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 13th, 2012

This short novel, for me, is the best thing Bolaño ever wrote. Filled with dark humor, poetry, vulnerability, and magic, it's an absolute masterpiece.


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Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780735220188
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Riverhead Books - February 4th, 2020

Black Leopard, Red Wolf is known for its gripping story and the monstrous creatures plucked from African mythology. But it's also a clever critique of racist American culture. (James has referred to it as a "Black Lord of the Rings.") The commentary never bleeds into the action; it purrs in the background like a hidden jungle cat. For example, keep an eye out for his skewed depictions of Batman and Spider-Man.


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Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101981641
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Press - January 12th, 2021

Part personal essay, part cultural critique, Drug Use for Grown-Ups shows exactly what's wrong with the way we talk about drugs in America. Mixing anecdotes and hard data, Dr. Carl Hart exposes the racism lurking beneath the prosecution of most so-called drug criminals, while proposing useful real-world solutions.


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Little Bird Cover Image
By Claudia Ulloa Donoso, Lily Meyer (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781646050659
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Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - August 17th, 2021

Mesmerizing. This book will find you at just the right moment. Like right now.


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Proud Beggars Cover Image
By Albert Cossery, Thomas W. Cushing (Translated by), Alyson Waters (Introduction by)
$14.95
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ISBN: 9781590174425
Published: NYRB Classics - December 27th, 2011

Albert Cossery celebrated laziness. Fortunately for us, every once in a while he wrote a novel. His books are revolutionary and hilarious. This is his best.


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People from My Neighborhood: Stories Cover Image
By Hiromi Kawakami, Ted Goossen (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781593767112
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Soft Skull - November 30th, 2021

Hilarious! These interconnected short stories are like bite-sized candies -- tiny and delicious. Try one!


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Bibliolepsy Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781641292511
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Soho Press - January 4th, 2022

A book lover's dream filled with hilarity, poetry, and rampant bibliophilia -- or, as she calls it, bibliolepsy.


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Soul Mountain Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060936235
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Harper Perennial - October 23rd, 2001

Some stories wouldn't be believable if they hadn't actually happened. This is one of them. Profound, lyrical, spiritual -- this is perhaps the most humane book I've ever read.


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Pedro Páramo (Spanish Edition) Cover Image
$14.00
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ISBN: 9780525566526
Published: Vintage Espanol - April 23rd, 2019

Pedro Paramo es el mejor libro que he leído. Hermoso y poético, es una obra maestra.


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The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse (Pushkin Collection) Cover Image
By Ivan Repila, Sophie Hughes (Translated by)
$16.00
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ISBN: 9781782271017
Published: Pushkin Collection - November 24th, 2015

Poetic and absurd, The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse possesses the power of myth. It might be a quick read, but the story resonates for a long time.


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Ema the Captive Cover Image
By César Aira, Chris Andrews (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811219105
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: New Directions - December 6th, 2016

Let Cesar Aira whisk you away to the dreamy forests of Argentina, in the days of the colonies, when money was nothing more than scraps of inked paper. Like life, this book is a miraculous adventure!


Baeyle

I am a part-time bookseller and online order processor for the store. I enjoy most types of fiction.. contemporary, sci-fi, horror, mysteries, historical, fantasy, you name it! When it comes to non-fiction, I like memoirs, social issues, belles lettres, and books on anthropology. When I am not reading I enjoy baking, sewing, hanging out with my loved ones, and spoiling my pet bunny rabbit Amelia.

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Dear Child: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250768537
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Flatiron Books - October 6th, 2020

I love a thriller with a great original idea. It is FULL of suspense, plot twists, major reveals and I can honestly say I did not see any of them coming. This book kept me up until 2 am because I could not put it down!


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The Push: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984881663
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - January 5th, 2021

A deeply unsettling story on motherhood, paranoia, grief, and loneliness that is impossible to put down. The ominous title can be referenced to many different events and themes within the story until... well, you'll see.


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Outlawed Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781635575422
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - January 5th, 2021

A modern and exciting take on a western. A band of outlawed women led by a non-binary leader called The Kid have a dream of creating a land where women who are shunned from their homes for being gay or barren can live peacefully. It's a very quick and enjoyable read!


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Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History Cover Image
$16.99
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ISBN: 9780062433732
Published: Harper Perennial - October 10th, 2017

With one of my favorite introductions, this is a very interesting read about famous but still unknown female serial killers. If you are tired of reading about the same ones over and over, give this a try!


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Building the Pattern: Sew Your Own Capsule Wardrobe Cover Image
$37.50
ISBN: 9781787135499
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Quadrille Publishing - April 27th, 2021

This is Named's second pattern book, still full of their modern and stylish patterns but focuses more on fitting this time. Good for people with a few years of sewing experience or for brave beginners!


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The Great British Baking Show: Love to Bake Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780751583052
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Quercus - December 22nd, 2020

Any Great British Baking Show fan needs this cookbook!! There are recipes from the contestants, Prue, and Paul that have been used on the show. It is so fun trying to recreate what I watched the bakers make in my own kitchen!


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The Good Sister: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250120953
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Published: St. Martin's Press - April 13th, 2021

If you liked Eleanor Oliphant, you will love Fern Castle. She is quirky and takes everything literally. Even when her sister, Rose, mentions that she is unable to have a child, Fern thinks she can pay her twin sister back for all that she's done for her by getting pregnant. It is a funny and sometimes heartbreaking story about sisterhood and belonging.


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First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062938497
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Published: Harper - April 6th, 2021

This book was equally funny and informative. It is written in plain language as well as academic language so anyone can enjoy this book, and there are some hilarious jokes for any science/anthro nerds out there. I definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in human evolution and how we use our bodies today!


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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982140168
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: 37 Ink - March 30th, 2021

This was my first book I’ve read that was written in the oral history format and I liked how it changed the narrative of the story. I also really loved the little bits of history in the footnotes and the subtle pop culture references from the 1970s made Opal & Nev feel like an existing band. The story was great too!!


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The City of Dreaming Books Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781590201114
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: The Overlook Press - September 2nd, 2008

Yes, you can read an adult fantasy book with pictures! The illustrations are so kooky and whimsical they really add to the feeling of nostalgia you get while reading this book. It is so magical and creative, yet not childish. It will easily become a classic for me that I will read time and time again.


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The Fifth Child (Vintage International) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780679721826
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Published: Vintage - May 14th, 1989

A very dark and haunting story about the lengths a mother will go to for a child that she does not love.


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Crying in H Mart: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525657743
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Published: Knopf - April 20th, 2021

The way Zauner writes about her grief after losing her mother is tragically beautiful. Their shared connection with food is how they bonded and showed how they cared for each other, and later a form of therapy for Zauner. Best read while listening to the author's music in the background, which connects to her timeline in the memoir.


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Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250305978
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book - June 1st, 2021

I don't even have the words to describe how amazing this memoir was. Just truly beautiful writing and I might have teared up... a few times.


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A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062363244
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 10th, 2016

Paul Tremblay is the best horror writer. The stories are always original and live up to the horror genre. A Head Full of Ghosts leaves you shaken at the end and makes you wonder what actually happened. My favorite horror book by far!


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7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week [American Measurements] Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781250787576
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Published: Flatiron Books - November 10th, 2020

Jamie Oliver understands that some people simply do not have the time, skill, or money to make extravagant meals with twenty ingredients but still want something delicious. This cookbook is perfect because all the recipes are simple but have unique flavors and don't require ALL the kitchen gadgets.


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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735220690
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Books - June 5th, 2018

I was pulled in from the start with Eleanor’s weird social interactions (and thinking that everyone else were the weird ones) and her mysterious dark past. It is an amazing book about loneliness and friendship and I got teary-eyed a few times.


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Magic Lessons: Book #1 of the Practical Magic Series Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982108854
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 7th, 2021

The best installment in the Practical Magic series (so far) is Magic Lessons. This is the origin story for the Owens family curse and also a beautiful love story that is intertwined with bits of magic and of course, a little bit of heartbreak.


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Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: And Other Questions About Dead Bodies Cover Image
By Caitlin Doughty, Dianné Ruz (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393358490
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 22nd, 2020

If you have every wondered about all the strange things that happen after death then look no further. This book probably has the answer you are looking for. This hilarious and uniquely charming book is a super easy and entertaining read.


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What's Done in Darkness: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399590313
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Random House - June 22nd, 2021

Laura McHugh does it again with another eerie small Midwestern town (which will never cease to spook me). It's a book that I couldn't put down and didn't want to end. I can't wait to see what McHugh will write next!


Alicia

I'm Alicia and I process the online orders of all your awesome purchases! I always have a book in hand ready to read wherever I am and tend to read a variety of subjects, trying most anything at least once. I tend to gravitate toward sci-fi, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, a dash of cozy series (has to have cats and books), and a variety of manga and graphic novels for my fiction reading. Non-fiction, I focus on reproductive justice, LGBT issues and history, 20th century American History, interior design, architectural studies, organizing and cleaning, and humor.

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The Queen's Weapons (Black Jewels #11) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984806659
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Ace - March 9th, 2021

Anne Bishop expands The Black Jewels universe even more with this sequel to her previous book in the series, The Queen’s Bargain. The world of Surreal, Daemon, and their daughter Janelle Saetien gets ever more complex as Janelle Saetien begins to grow older and fumble through adolescence as a young witch. This is made even more difficult as an old evil long thought vanquished begins to grow and develop in Kaeleer, threatening to tear the realm asunder and make it like Terreille under Doretha and Hekatah. There had been complaints of previous books in the series that several heated topics were given little space to grow. This seems to be a factor in parts of this book as same sex attraction between The Blood is examined more in depth. While the relationship is not the main focus, it is allowed to grow naturally and shows a different side to the relationships usually presented. Another area that had been seen as weak before, the reality and expectations of what are long lived races (2500 years or more), is also more fully explored in The Queen’s Weapons. All in all, this book is a fantastic entry into a dark fantasy series that is sure to delight and intrigue.


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The Witch's Heart Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593099940
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Ace - February 9th, 2021

Retellings of mythology are having a moment it seems. The Witches Heart by Genevieve Gornichec appears to be this at first but it is so much more. Gornichec weaves together the loose threads of Norse mythology that have passed down to the present, creating a woven tale as thick as nalbinding (an old technique of knitting with one needle). The Witches Heart tells the story of Norse mythology not from the perspective of the gods but from the perspective of one unexpected—Angrboda, mother to Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungand. A woman who wanted nothing to do with Odin and the gods after being burned thrice and her heart plucked from her chest. It is only when Loki returns her heart rather than eating it, that the long tale of Ragnorak and the Norse gods begins.

The rich prose mimics an oral tale, grabbing you at the beginning and carrying you along like a boat on a river. I loved the descriptions of Angrboda and her children with the joy, worries, and sorrow all present. The world may think of them as monsters but in the end, they are her children and she their mother. She feels nothing but unconditional love for them even as the end of the world comes and they play the roles delt and pressed upon them.

The Witches Heart presents the rich world of Norse mythology through the eyes and words of a witch mother and it is ever stronger for it. There is little I dislike of this book, having devoured it within two days like the great wolves devour the sun and moon. The tagline of the book is “Men die, gods die, she lives on.” It fulfills it with a twist. The ending is bittersweet bringing tears to the eyes even as one rages at the injustices of death. Why must this one die while this one lives? Why must the end of the world come? Why must one bear children only for them to die? What is the point of life if one is not remembered in some way? Folk tales allow one to live on beyond their mortal death, resonating through time like waves. That is the very purpose of mythology with gods and goddess battling in other planes of existence while mortals worship and believe. The Witches Heart is a grand entry into the genre of mythology retooling and the burgeoning interest in Norse mythology once again. If you liked Circe by Madeline Miller, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, or Natalie Haynes’ The Children of Jocasta, then this is the book for you to choose next.


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One Last Stop Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250244499
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - June 1st, 2021

Women loving women queer time travel romance novel? Yes please! McQuiston has hit it out of the park once more with a novel that features an all around well rounded likeable protagonist, August, that finds hope in a time traveling punk rocker Jane, a woman flitting out of time and bringing light and hope to all those who see her. I could not put it down!


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Save It for Later: Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest Cover Image
By Nate Powell (Illustrator), Nate Powell
$24.99
ISBN: 9781419749124
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Abrams ComicArts - April 6th, 2021

I was a bit dismissive of this book at first glance but once I opened it up and began to read, I felt ashamed of my earlier attitude. I felt the gut punch of 2016 once more, a sinking nauseated morass that made me have to think hard about what day and year it really was, the feeling was so intense. The subtitle and description of the book may say that is just a series of illustrated essays, but it is much more than that. It is a journey through what may be from all views, a regular middle age liberal family, but is in reality the choked voice in all of us wondering at the cruelty of the world and what can we do as parents, sisters, brothers, children, humans to combat this cruelty. How does one come to grips with what 2016 illuminated to many? I highly recommend this book if not just for the reminder that the past four years are not something to be forgotten. Protesting the unjust laws and actions of many or few is not something that can be “saved for later.” The urgency is here now.


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The Secret World of Weather: How to Read Signs in Every Cloud, Breeze, Hill, Street, Plant, Animal, and Dewdrop (Natural Navigation) Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781615197545
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: The Experiment - May 25th, 2021

I found myself hooked in by the topic at hand as I began to read. Each section is clearly labeled with what will be examined, a helpful feature if you are simply looking to learn a specific skill such as reading trees. Knowing which trees might be more helpful to hide under from rainstorms and how the wind might wrap around different types may not seem like something you can fill a chapter with, but Tristen Gooley proves that you can. These techniques may seem like a lost art and something not as needed in this modern age, however, such skills can help you become more connected with the world about you outside of digital tethers. You may even appear to be a hero to someone after you lead them to the correct tree to huddle under from a sudden rainstorm or make your kids think you are magic because you knew what kind of weather was coming without looking at a weather app!


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The Black Jewels Trilogy Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780451529015
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Roc - December 2nd, 2003

A series I go back to time and time again to re-read, finding a new little enjoyable thing every time. Approach with caution as it is a "dark" fantasy but an absolutely lovely one to become immersed in. Like a dark chocolate candy bar, it is nourishing, tangy, and sparkiling with lighting on the tongue.


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My Brilliant Life Cover Image
By Ae-ran Kim, Chi-Young Kim (Translated by)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250750556
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Forge Books - January 26th, 2021

This book sucked me in with the imagery, writing, and premise. I couldn't stop reading once I started it, finding a new morsel of joy and deep thought every time I cracked it open. Areum's musings on why people have children, living with pain as a constant companion, and his attempt to write a beautiful love story of his parents were gorgeous. This first novel from Ae-ran Kim reminds me of a stained glass window and I highly recommend picking it up and giving it a try. It will quietly and sweetly change your day like a butterscotch candy on the tongue.


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Axiom's End: A Novel (Noumena #1) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250256737
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 21st, 2020

I came for the first contact sci fi aspect and stayed for the strangely thrilling sub-textual relationship between Cora and Ampersand. How do you connect with a being that does not see you as a higher being but more akin to a bug? Why do we expect our Aliens to be bipedal somewhat attractive beings? Axiom’s End’s Aliens provide a more intellectual stimulation and I look forward to the further explorations into these questions in the sequel, dropping this fall.


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The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics: Feminine Pursuits Cover Image
$5.59
ISBN: 9780062931795
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Avon Impulse - July 23rd, 2019

Like regency romances and historical fiction but wish there was more representation in the realm of women loving women? Interested in astronomy and the history behind it in England during this time? Want a sweet candy of a book that has far more sugar than salt? This is the book for you, featuring two fantastic women, Lucy and Catherine, that positively jump off the page with sensualness.


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Truth of the Divine: A Novel (Noumena #2) Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250274540
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - October 19th, 2021

I am deeply in love with this series even though it hurts so much. I am definitely putting it on my “read over and over” shelf. There was intimacy that made me jump and scream, “yes! That’s what I’m talking about!” and yet also a bittersweet reminder that this ‘alternate history’ is not out of the norm and is happening even now without the excuse of “Aliens from Outer Space.” Like an anise cookie dipped in dark chocolate, Truth of the Divine delves deep into an exploration of humanity and what truly makes a monster.


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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Cover Image
$17.99
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ISBN: 9781620973929
Published: New Press - July 17th, 2018

A great first primer for those interested in United States history and overcoming the lies we were told, not just by teachers but our parents and society. I highly recommended this as a resource for teachers, students, amateur historians, and really all Americans. Still believe Columbus wasn’t that bad? Take a gander in these pages and you shall learn the disturbing truth among others. Pair this with Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States to help educate and broaden your horizons!


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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765387561
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Tor Books - October 6th, 2020

A tender heart wrenching tale of immortality and it’s cost. Who wants to live forever if you can’t leave a mark on the world? What is the purpose of life if not to leave a mark somehow? Schwab hits it out of the park with this look at immortality from a less than generous standpoint. Addie LaRue’s slow dance with a demon is overtaken by a passerby that does the impossible—remembers her. This book will stick with you.


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Dune Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780441172719
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Ace - September 1st, 1990

Do you want a book that has some memetastic phrases that you will carry along into your life and enjoy the heck out of? Try this hefty tome on for size! Phases like, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration,” and “The spice must flow,” are iconic lines that can be brought along into your everyday life if only to mutter while cooking!


Jarek

What do you think your job is at Left Bank Books? staff handyman and bookkeeper at your service

If you had a Super Power, what would it be? Invisibility (But I think I already have that superpower)

What's your sign?  

What sound do you love? Wind through pine needles

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Rabbit Cake Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040560
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Tin House Books - March 7th, 2017

18 months in a 12-year old girl named Elvis' life after her mother drowns while sleepwalking. Her father copes by wearing his wife's clothes and lipstick, her sister's sleepwalking escalates. The title comes from a tradition of rabbit shaped cakes her mother baked for special occasions. Funny. Gut punch. Tender. 


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Loner: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501107900
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 1st, 2017

I like to think about whether a book is good or bad based on judging if the writing did what the writer wanted it to do (not just "did I like the story"). If Teddy Wayne wanted to completely creep me out we have a winner. This one's unsettling. It's told from the point of view of David, an incoming freshman at Harvard. It's told in second person - that second person being the young woman on whom he has become fixated. I wanted to stop midway through but soldiered on until the end. I need a shower now.


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The Girls: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812988024
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 9th, 2017

On the surface, this is a novelization of the Manson murders, which is why I hesitated before reading it. I have enough murder and suffering in my Facebook feed. I don't need to be entertained by it. But this isn't really about that. It's really a story of a 14 year old girl lost in a disintegrating family and stormy adolescence who finds a connection with an older woman (and by older I mean, like 20) who is part of a free thinking, drug fueled group of young women led by a severely f'ed up male leader. Parts of this - the obligatory sex, the desperation for intimacy, the anger and shame- were so familiar to me as a teenager I was left wondering if I would have made some of the same decisions as the narrator. That's what works about this book (and any good book) - unfamiliar struggles of a character are drawn so that they are universal struggles recognizable to nearly every reader - in this case, every reader who grew up female. Excellent storytelling.-Jay's September Staff Pick, 2016


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The Whale: A Love Story: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
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ISBN: 9780399562334
Published: Viking - June 14th, 2016

The Whale by Mark Beauregard is a novel based on the love between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Kris put it in my hands and I made my way through it - a tale of frustrated love and a feverish, soul torturing inspiration in the form of a marrow deep bond between two men that inspired a masterpiece. It was a fitting parallel reading for a week where the indefinable and unanswerable question of our human souls was writ large in media in every moment in the form of circular repeating death scenes. Melville's and Hawthorne's souls were on trial at an equally feverish pitch, but the sexual tension, humor and human pace cut the old testament brimstone. In the end this story, as our story is now, is a love story where human beings love, resent and inspire each other into salvation and damnation equally. -Jay's September Staff Pick, 2016


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Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399184765
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Riverhead Books - October 25th, 2016

Whether your point of reference for Carry Brownstein is her role opposite Fred Armisen (Portlandia) or her Riot Grrrl roots (Sleater –Kinney) you’ll love this memoir that gives us something celebrity memoirs usually don’t offer – a truly intelligent and fierce look into what makes a young girl looking for an identity grow through a childhood fraught with turmoil to become a formidable feminist badass. -Jay's Holiday Staff Pick, 2015


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A Little Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Anchor - January 26th, 2016

Jay's October Staff Pick, 2015


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Forgiveness 4 You: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
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ISBN: 9781468310238
Published: The Overlook Press - March 17th, 2015

Gabriel is an ex-priest haunted by a past that is (to him) unforgivable.  While rebuilding his life working his quiet job at a bookstore he meets an advertising executive who finds his uncanny ability to comfort the guilty and absolve sins marketable.  Soon begins a global campaign targeted at guilty souls without faith who wish to confess and be forgiven – and Gabriel is at the center of the forgiveness revolution.  This book is a satirical contemplation of the American need to both embrace and reject faith. -Jay's May Staff Pick, 2015


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How to Build a Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062335982
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Published: Harper Perennial - June 30th, 2015

This is my official book recommendation for pretty much everyone except those who don't like strong female leads, excruciatingly funny coming of age stories or sharp British wit from a working class/poor girl who reinvents and sort of collages herself into a brutal rock critic at age17 circa 1990. Fast read, spot on riot grrl feminism. -Jay's pick


The Girl on the Train: A Novel Cover Image
$9.99
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ISBN: 9780735219755
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

Rachel is a raging alcoholic.  She also narrates this Hitchcockian thriller.  Be ready for blank spaces in time, horrible decisions, questionable motives and behavior surrounding the murder of a woman whose life Rachel watches from seat on a commuter train.  Rachel soon becomes entangled in the investigation and finds herself at the center of the danger.  This is a fast, furious and fun read.  Don’t expect to put it down before bedtime. -Jay's April Staff Pick, 2015


Amber

I am the Marketing & Publicity Manager here at Left Bank. Coming from the nonprofit and racial justice world, I read a ton of nonfiction about race--justice, intergroup relations, implicit bias, race and social issues, etc. In nonfiction, I also get interested in women's issues and religion/theology.

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Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984881908
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Life - March 2nd, 2021

LIke your best friend telling it to you straight, because she knows there is better living for you out there. Jones is honest, funny, loving, and challenging, because she wants the best for you and for the world.


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The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780465064267
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Basic Books - April 14th, 2020

Well-researched, eye-opening, excellent. I recommend "The Broken Heart of America" especially to St. Louisans, but really to anyone who wants to better understand the history of racism and colonialism in the United States. Johnson's deep-dive is essentially a "people's history" of the United States using St. Louis as a (very poignant) case study.


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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781620971932
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: New Press - January 7th, 2020

A MUST READ! "The New Jim Crow" is essential reading for US History, racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, and any real understanding of our country. Learn the critical history of how slavery morphed into segregation, which morphed into mass incarceration. If we have any hope of building racial equity in the US, we must face the reality Michelle Alexander reveals in this text.


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A People's History of the United States (Modern Classics) Cover Image
$19.99
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ISBN: 9780060838652
Published: Harper Perennial - August 2nd, 2005

Most people in the US, especially White folks, were not taught the dark truths about racism and structural inequality in our society, country, or world. Part of doing our work to unlearn racism is learning the truth. "A People's History of the United States" is a good place to start. It was admittedly emotionally hard to read, but the truth is important to acknowledge and know. I recommend fighting your way through the hard parts. Howard Zinn, for example, doesn't tell the story of Columbus as a hero who "discovered America"--no, there were humans here before him, and Columbus was actually the perpetrator of genocide and many atrocities that our history books failed to teach us. Learn the truth!


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Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780520282391
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: University of California Press - August 1st, 2015

Andrea Boyles does a deep ethnographic study of Meacham Park and Kirkwood, neighborhoods just outside the city of St. Louis. She looks at the history of Meacham Park, an historically Black neighborhood, and how it was annexed into Kirkwood, a mostly White suburb. The annexation took place after some shady dealings and led to half of Meacham Park being demolished and replaced with a shopping center, among other tragedies. There's been a lot of research on urban policing in Black communities, but Boyles was interested in what policing of Black communities looks like in a suburban context. Really insightful and interesting.


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A People's History of the United States Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062397348
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - November 17th, 2015

Heartbreaking, beautiful, relevant, and true. Toni Morrison is a must.


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The Souls of Black Folk: With
By W. E. B. Du Bois, Ibram X. Kendi (Introduction by), Monica E. Elbert (Notes by)
$11.20
ISBN: 9780140189988
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Published: Penguin Classics - April 1st, 1996

Foundational philosophical work around race in America. Read it.


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Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780895941220
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Published: Crossing Press - January 1st, 1982

A queer, feminist, Black woman's experience growing up in America in mostly urban settings in the mid-20th century. Beautiful, honest writing, as only Audre Lorde can do. Important reading.


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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062684318
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Published: Ecco - January 14th, 2020

Damon Young began writing as a pop-culture blogger, but this memoir shares his experience growing up Black in Pittsburgh. He illustrates how living as a Black man in America can create neurosis, because one never knows if someone is interacting with you a certain way because you are Black or just because they're having a bad day. An amazing, deep, funny, contemporary account of what Black experience can be like in the United States.


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Broken (in the best possible way) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250077035
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - April 6th, 2021

Jenny Lawson is so good at being vulnerable, funny, profound, and totally weird all at the same time. In "Broken," she shares her tumultuous journey with mental illness in a way that is relatable and heart-warming, spattered with hilarious tangents that show how joy intersects even the most difficult times.


Danielle

Very fond of trying to read twenty-five books at a time. Will read anything, but especially fantasy and/or sci-fi. Recently obsessed with foul-mouthed graphic novels. Check out Danielle's anti-racist reading list here.

 

 

 

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The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593133408
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: One World - August 17th, 2021

We are all made into ourselves by the places we are from, and few things make this as clear as this brilliant collection. My heart ached, my soul clenched, and my stomach dropped so many times reading these stories. And for what it's worth, Ruffin can make you feel more in a two-page story vignette than many novels. A masterclass, and a wonder.


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Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780399581755
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 13th, 2020

In the six months that it's lived in my kitchen, Ottolenghi's Flavor has acquired tumeric stains, cardamom smudges, splashes of hot oil and tomato sauce. When the recipes pages actually smell like ginger cream and tamarind, there's a truly special cookbook in your life.


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White Teeth: A Novel (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375703867
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Vintage - June 12th, 2001

I recently returned to this, perhaps my favorite novel of all time. Zadie Smith's writing stands up for a reason, in a novel about family, race, faith, immigration, home, and what it is to pursue a good life. Her meditations on the inevitability of choice and change continue to resonate, twenty (!) years later.


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My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
$22.95
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ISBN: 9780385544238
Published: Doubleday - November 20th, 2018

This novel was clever as hell, while using language that moves with a languid grace. You'll enjoy it, particularly if you have a younger sibling who made a lot of messes that you then had to clean up!


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Exit West: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735212206
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Riverhead Books - February 27th, 2018

So many things are treated well in this poignantly voiced novel. With sometimes breathless exposition, Hamid plays with the complexity and change within relationships, as he examines (supernaturally-enabled) migration and what it means to be a native of any land.


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Intimations: Six Essays Cover Image
$10.95
ISBN: 9780593297612
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 2020

Smith is, as ever, sensitive to and intimately aware of the personal. In these collected writings from the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, she examines what it is to have our -- personal and collective -- lives unavoidably interrupted by chaos. Weaving together ruminations on rage, difference, fear, and identity, these essays feel timely even as the world tentatively opens back up again...


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A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984801197
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Random House - March 30th, 2021

It's no stretch to call Hanif Abdurraquib one of our greatest living essayists, a luminous auteur in the landscape of American cultural observation. He continues to be incisive, hilarious, and heart-rending with each line in this collection, which is exquisite.


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Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind (Vol. 1) Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780063051331
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Harper Perennial - October 27th, 2020

Sapiens was one of the most interesting and evocative titles I've read in the past few years. Its graphic novel adaptation is super accessible and an utter delight. This first volume takes readers on an immersive journey, as the author and other figures perform as engaging and often humorous narration of the unlikely tale of the emergence of homo sapiens.


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Homegoing Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9781101971062
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

As Gyasi traverses the genealogy of "a woman of fire", beginning with her two children who will never meet, she introduces us to the generations of (their) children who must bear the weight of colonialism, the slave trade, and American apartheid. The entire time, I sat on the verge of tears. Because this history, this richness, this tale of a lineage disrupted and, somehow, knitted back together again, is SO MUCH MORE than so many descendants of the enslaved will ever get. I found myself hungrily reaching back to the family tree at the front of the book, desperate to watch the ways in which Maame's children's children's lives touch each other, sometimes in painfully close ways. Every line is a treasure, including: "'Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.'"


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The Echo Wife Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250174666
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Tor Books - February 16th, 2021

Oh man, this was fun to read! Sarah Gailey tries their hand out at something more akin to a thriller — there are some strong We Have Always Lived in the Castle vibes here — and the result is an enthralling read. Weaving together an emotionally surrealist vision of a technically advanced future featuring genetic clones with striking personalities, this is a story of the end of a marriage that will keep you anxious for the next twist.


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When We Were Magic Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534432888
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 1st, 2021

Easily my favorite work by Sarah Gailey. (OF COURSE, read everything they've written.) This story of six high-schoolers who *love* each other is both the queer in-love-with-my-best-friend comic romance that I am personally always in the mood for, as well as the dark yet hopeful modeling of platonic intimacy that the world needs. Loved this. Will read again.


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Magic for Liars: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250174628
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Tor Books - May 5th, 2020

Sarah Gailey's magical detective story set at a school for magic is clever, charming, and a little emotionally desperate, which is what I'm looking for out of 90% of my fiction selections. The estranged twins premise was wonderful, painful, and should resonate with everyone — especially sisters with sisters. Very fun read.


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Murder on Cold Street (The Lady Sherlock Series #5) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451492494
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Berkley - October 6th, 2020

Charlotte "Sherlock" Holmes returns to solve a mystery, this time surrounding yet another of her inner circle. Sherry Thomas takes the opportunity to bring back Lady Sherlock while exploring some complicating issues of race and discrimination, noting that some things operate beyond society's notice, even when people have the best of intentions. After the salvation of her best friend and paramour, Charlotte Holmes returns to London to discover the arrest of Inspector Treadles. He's suspected of the murder of none other than two of his shrewd and capacious wife's business partners. It's no spoiler to note that the Lady Sherlock does what she does best, with trademark style, wit, and compassion.


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Homie: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450109
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Graywolf Press - January 21st, 2020

This is my favorite book of poetry, full stop. Tears, hiccuping laughter, anguish, joy, and nostalgia are all given voice, texture, and rhythm in this remarkable collection. Gosh, Danez can write a poem.


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In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
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Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

With devastating ability, Carmen Maria Machado dips in and out of her past to relate the terrors and trials of an abusive lover, interspersing often-painful vignettes with expert excavations of the "battered lesbian" from social & literary traditions that have generally disregarded queer intra-personal violence.


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88 Names: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062854674
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Harper - March 17th, 2020

If you were excited by the idea of "Ready Player One," but found the 80s nostalgia a bit cloying, Matt Ruff's latest novel will hit that exact spot. John Chu is an online "sherpa" guiding his latest gaming client, a reclusive high-roller, through the VR world of hit online role-playing games. He soon begins to suspect that he's at the center of a global web of intrigue that may or may not involve a certain North Korean dictator dipping a toe into population mind control. Fortunately he's got a spy boss for a mom, a brilliant and vengeful ex, and the eternal disapproval of his sherpa team, so that should keep his head above water...right?


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This Is How You Lose the Time War Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

In a war where interwoven strands of time encompass the battlefield, opposing agents of destruction reach out for connection and find something more resonant than either could have ever expected. This book took me on an epistolic journey between antagonists and conspirators, and touched me in more ways than one.


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Something to Talk About Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593102527
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Berkley - May 26th, 2020

This was an adorable and modern take on the workplace romance -- is best enjoyed with a glass of wine! The idea of charming assistant Emma and strong, driven (but lonely) Jo makes sense from the opening chapters. You'll find yourself rooting for these two to overcome the pressures of Hollywood sexism, invasions of privacy, family drama, and their own egos!


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Circe Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316556323
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2020

I've never given a book the highest rating possible with so little reservation. This is an unabashed delight, and was *incredibly* hard to put down! Come for the petty soap-opera squabbles between greater and lesser divinities and the complicated heroes and the oddly sympathetic monsters and the vapid nymphs and the heart-warmth that comes from watching someone down-trodden as they locate their strengths. Stay for porcine transfigurations and the tremendous godly sh*t-talking.


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Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #2) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250313225
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Tordotcom - August 4th, 2020

Harrow the Ninth is an exceptional second entry in Tasmyn Muir's Locked Tomb trilogy, which has quickly become a cherished (science fiction? fantasy? both??) series. The necromantic magic in this world is really given more room flex its muscles as an integral part of the story. Muir's particular gifts with language and her deft humor remain on full display. For all of the questions answered and curiosities resolved, I'm left desperate to know where we are headed next in this journey!


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Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy Cover Image
By Jessica Fern, Eve Rickert (Foreword by), Nora Samaran (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781944934989
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Thorntree Press - October 23rd, 2020

So, you've read The Ethical Slut... now what? Well, you probably want to form some closely considered attachments, to do some thoughtful relationship development. You'll want to spend some time in Jessica Fern's excellent. thoughtful, and well-researched volume combining attachment theory and consensual nonmonagamy.


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The Alchemist Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062315007
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: HarperOne - April 15th, 2014

My mom and childhood best friend asked me to read this in 2005. When I did finally get around to it (12 years later!), I realized that good things come to us in time. Reading it again a few weeks ago, I still find it an incredibly appropriate meditation on purpose, fulfillment, and perseverance in the face of failure.


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Homegoing Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9781101971062
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

As Gyasi traverses the genealogy of "a woman of fire", beginning with her two children who will never meet, she introduces us to the generations of (their) children who must bear the weight of colonialism, the slave trade, and American apartheid. The entire time, I sat on the verge of tears. Because this history, this richness, this tale of a lineage disrupted and, somehow, knitted back together again, is SO MUCH MORE than so many descendants of the enslaved will ever get. I found myself hungrily reaching back to the family tree at the front of the book, desperate to watch the ways in which Maame's children's children's lives touch each other, sometimes in painfully close ways. Every line is a treasure, including: "'Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.'"


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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400031702
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Vintage - April 13th, 2004

Quite simply one of the most engrossing stories I've ever read, Donna Tartt's first book sent me down the campus novel rabbit hole that I've never quite escaped. (Also, the first book I stayed up all night to read as an adult!)


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The Song of Achilles: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062060624
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Ecco - August 28th, 2012

At its core, a beautifully written story of young gay love, marked by undeserved devotion, separation, and beauty amidst the savage backdrop of war. Miller has proven herself a master of classical retellings and reimagining myth.


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Catherine House: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062905659
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Custom House - May 12th, 2020

A decadent, lush campus novel that thrives on sensual descriptions of youthful brilliance and aimlessness against a backdrop of institutional intrigue. This is a great summer read: rich, atmospheric, hot and sticky with a just a dash of sinister!


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The Banks Cover Image
By Roxane Gay, Ming Doyle (Artist)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781732748583
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: TKO Studios - December 1st, 2019

Beautiful work by a crack team of creators. The story reads like the spec script of what would be my new favorite Netflix show. The art grabs you and doesn't let go. While many panels can skew a bit dark, the scenery is taut and keeps you present, within the action, aware of the stakes. Loved this, will re-read!


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They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

Hanif wields the narrative critical essay like Thor cracking lightning overhead with Mjölnir, like Arya Stark water-dancing with Needle. My copy of this book is dog-eared, bent back on the covers, highlighted, underlined, and scribbled in the margins on *every single page*.


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Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780358362777
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Mariner Books - January 19th, 2021

If you're tried of *trying* to start a yoga routine, or *trying to stop biting your nails, why not try making your new habits a bit tinier?BJ Fogg's premise is simple and powerful: building better habits starts with small steps, and he's got the diagrams and flow charts to prove it.


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Filthy Animals Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593414385
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Random House Large Print - July 13th, 2021

On the surface, this is a collection about people just trying to feel through one another. Look a little deeper, and it's clear that Brandon Taylor put together a series of heart-rending and heartbreaking glimpses that do reveal a difficult truth: connecting empty vessels leaves no one full, whole, or satisfied. A wonderful, truthful group of stories.


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