Left-Bank

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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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
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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 Cover Image
$10.95
ISBN: 9780593297612
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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
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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) 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 Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101971062
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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
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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 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 Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250174628
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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
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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 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
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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
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ISBN: 9781534430990
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
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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 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 Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250313225
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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
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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
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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
$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. A tremendous book.


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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400031702
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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
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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
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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: 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*.