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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Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding... Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis By Sam Anderson Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780804137331
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Crown - August 20th, 2019

The story of Oklahoma City, Sam Anderson argues, sheds important context on how this American city is both an oddity and a quintessential example of American urban development. With a shotgun-land-grab birth, with its role in the history of black civil rights, with its eternally mystifying weather, with its eclectic cult heroes, the city's strangeness even extends to the way it acquired and then managed its professional basketball team. OKC is painted as a peculiar place, a city of "microwave popcorn...born all at once," in a chaotic yet memorable BOOM.


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A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance #1) By Naomi Novik Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593128480
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Del Rey - September 29th, 2020

Naomi Novik gifted us with a narrator whose wicked temper and acerbic personality is at constant odds with her sorcery brilliance...and her barely-disguised contempt for her peers. This is all rather inconvenient, as they are students in attendance at a boarding school that appears to be trying to murder them. El is a funny and likable protagonist, and shows the kind of complex character growth that makes modern fantasy novels such a joy. But don't worry, she never stops being cranky.


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Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life By Barbara J. Fields, Karen E. Fields Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781839765643
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Verso - February 1st, 2022

Simply the most stunning articulation of the complexity of race, as it actually functions in American society. Racism is explained as social practice, and racecraft refers to the evidence of that practice and the mental gymnastics necessary to sustain it. This collection of essays by the Fields sisters is a rocket launcher into conventional understanding and will absolutely break your brain in ways that we all desperately need.


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The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You: Stories By Maurice Carlos Ruffin Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593133408
Availability: Special Order
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 By Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, Tara Wigley Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780399581755
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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) By Zadie Smith Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375703867
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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 By Oyinkan Braithwaite Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525564201
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Published: Anchor - July 30th, 2019

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 By Mohsin Hamid Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735212206
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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 By Zadie Smith 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 By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984801197
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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) By Yuval Noah Harari Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780063051331
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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 By Yaa Gyasi Cover Image
$16.95
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 By Sarah Gailey Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250174666
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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 By Sarah Gailey Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534432888
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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 By Sarah Gailey 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) By Sherry Thomas Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780451492494
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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 By Danez Smith 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 By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450383
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Graywolf Press - December 1st, 2020

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 By Matt Ruff Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062854681
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Perennial - March 16th, 2021

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 By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover Image
$15.99
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 By Meryl Wilsner Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593102527
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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 By Madeline Miller 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) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250313218
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Tordotcom - September 21st, 2021

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 By Jessica Fern, Eve Rickert (Foreword by), Nora Samaran (Foreword by) 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: Thornapple 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 By Paulo Coelho 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 By Yaa Gyasi Cover Image
$16.95
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) By Donna Tartt Cover Image
$18.00
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 By Madeline Miller Cover Image
$17.99
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 By Elisabeth Thomas Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062905673
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Custom House - May 18th, 2021

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 By Roxane Gay, Ming Doyle (Illustrator), Ariana Maher (Letterer), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist) Cover Image
By Roxane Gay, Ming Doyle (Illustrator), Ariana Maher (Letterer), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781732748583
Availability: Special Order
Published: TKO Studios, LLC. - 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 By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
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 By BJ Fogg Cover Image
By BJ Fogg
$16.99
ISBN: 9780358362777
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Harvest - 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 By Brandon Taylor Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525538912
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Published: Riverhead Books - June 22nd, 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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On a Sunbeam By Tillie Walden Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781250178138
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: First Second - October 2nd, 2018

Tillie Walden put together maybe one of the most moving visual stories I've come across since The Witch Boy! Against the backdrop of gorgeous futuristic ruins, we meet a wonderfully queer repair crew traveling to the furthest reaches of space. In an interwoven timeline, we are taken on a journey through the joy of first love (and the immeasurable heartbreak of loss) in the lives of two young queer women meeting at an intergalactic boarding school. If it's not clear yet, you should absolutely read this book!


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Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora [A Cookbook] By Bryant Terry (Editor) Cover Image
By Bryant Terry (Editor)
$40.00
ISBN: 9781984859723
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: 4 Color Books - October 19th, 2021

Black Food is everything I want a cookbook to be. A succulent and hearty main course, it features a liberal sprinkling of moving and informative essays on the ways in which food carries meaning across the African diaspora. It is well-seasoned with recipes that speak to a lost or distant motherland, such as a mouthwatering Somali lamb stew or the corn and goat’s milk pudding. It is boosted by a secret ingredient: a ton of traditional Black American dishes, many of which feature an inventive twist, like collards with cornbread dumplings or the sweet potato grits. Many of the recipes are vegetarian/vegan friendly or adaptable. But more than anything, the book is bolstered by its powerful themes, like food’s relationships to spirituality, liberation, queerness, femininity, and self-care. Short articles, beautiful art, and spectacular food styling are the finishing touches on what is already my new favorite cookbook.


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Detransition, Baby: A Novel By Torrey Peters Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593133385
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: One World - October 5th, 2021

What a ferocious novel, both a deeply personal dissection of gender and all its implications, and an excavation of the varying weights of parenthood. This story of trying to build a family in New York sank its teeth into *me*. The concept of detransition is carefully and honestly treated, making this book a very embraceable gesture of identity affirmation. While she writes with empathy for even the most difficult characters in this book, Peters pulls punches for no one.


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Several Short Sentences About Writing By Verlyn Klinkenborg Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307279415
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Vintage - April 9th, 2013

Klinkenborg has put together a truly useful book about writing, especially useful for the recovering academic writer. Pith doesn't need to mean a lack of clarity, as is proven by a book comprised entirely of fairly short sentences that encourage an aspiring author to *think while you write*. I found this to be an incredibly helpful guide, and a confidence-boosting argument in favor of saying less to say more.


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Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays By Zadie Smith Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143117957
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Books - October 26th, 2010

I'll admit off the bat that I'm very biased. Zadie Smith is my favorite living author, and this, her first nonfiction collection, has as much punch as some of her best fiction. Of particular note is the excellent piece "Speaking in Tongues," a New York Public Library talk given the December after Barack Obama's election. She has a gift for finding a way to give voice to complex ideas, to imbue with deep visual resonance. Just...read this collection. And enjoy Smith's mind.


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God's Children Are Little Broken Things By Arinze Ifeakandu Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781734590715
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Public Space Books - June 7th, 2022

Set in contemporary Nigeria, this collection features characters trying to get by in both modern urban Africa and through the pain, desire, and fear contained in their own queer identities. My heart continues to ache for everyone I met in these stories, both those who are rendered invisible and those who refuse to see them. What a great book.


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Why We're Polarized By Ezra Klein Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781476700366
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - June 15th, 2021

Ezra Klein is not a political scientist. Yet with the tools of that discipline, he has constructed a convincing model of our political system. He concludes that we -- including the media, the various political actors & elites in American government, and the population as a whole -- are all stuck in a series of psycho-social feedback loops that only serve to reinforce our polarization. A timely and impressively reasoned argument.


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Eastbound By Maylis De Kerangal, Jessica Moore (Translated by) Cover Image
By Maylis De Kerangal, Jessica Moore (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781953861504
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Archipelago - February 7th, 2023

Meet Hélène & Aliocha, a pair of people seeking to leave similar but utterly distinct circumstances: he is a young Russian kid avoiding military conscription; she is a French woman approaching middle-age, fleeing a relationship that has left her existentially stranded and without comfort in Siberia. They encounter one another in the dark corridors of a train on the Trans-Siberian railway, and become, over a cigarette, unlikely compartment-mates and co-conspirators. His desperation interacts with her isolation in remarkable ways, given that they do not share a language. Their harrowing adventures include the avoidance of a lecherous military bureaucrat, as well as a tangle with the corps of former Soviet operatives working as train attendants. All the while, the pair must parse the strained, vivid memories & experiences of their respective pasts (and presents) as they are both propelled towards an uncertain future.