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STAFF PICKS 2017

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On Trails: An Exploration Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476739236
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 4th, 2017

Robert Moor's first book is an original addition to a genre in much need of fresh voices. It's not a self-centered memoir about working through inner demons and it's not the typical ruminations on nature meant to sound modest but being anything but. Moor's book is about different types of movement and the marks they leave on the landscapes that make up the world. Its a book for the nerds you find outside. ~Kyle


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Young Jane Young Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616205041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - August 22nd, 2017

It's that quick summer read that is way more than just a summer read, its a powerful story of strong women in politics and the double standards that are in place for us there. ~Leah


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The City of Brass Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062678102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - November 14th, 2017

I haven’t read a fantasy debut this promising in years! Set in the 18th century Middle East, Chakraborty builds a mesmerizing, detail-rich world that transports you directly into the heart of the story. The characters are remarkably complex, almost painfully so at times. Much like reality, they all have both light and darkness inside them and there are few clear distinctions between good and evil. This book has it all, magical characters steeped in meticulously researched folklore, political strife, social injustice, betrayal and a tasteful sprinkling of romance. I was hooked from page one, and after putting aside all other life responsibilities, I devoured it in less than 48 hours. ~Madeline


Monsters: A Love Story Cover Image
By Liz Kay
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101982495
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 1st, 2017

When Stacey Lane writers a feminist version of Frankenstein her world is turned upside down when Hollywood star Tommy DeMarco decides to star and produce it. Recently widowed, and struggling to come to terms with her new life as a single mom, she embarks on an affair with DeMarco while filming. What escalates is a witty and surprisingly honest portrait of relationships and motherhood. It's a quick read that's well written and has strong commercial appeal. ~Michelle


The Long, Long Life of Trees Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780300228205
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - April 25th, 2017

This book is completely enchanting. Fiona Stafford takes us through the cultural, historical, scientific, and personal significance of trees. Each chapter delves into a particular species, making it easy to come back to bit by bit or read all the way through. The prose is lovely and lyrical, and since most of the trees featured are in Britain, you'll especially enjoy this if you're an Anglophile. ~Mira


Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250135810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - October 10th, 2017

Aging well, according to Thomas Moore, becoming more of yourself - to be profoundly old and profoundly young. Referring to Igor Stravinsky, Thomas Moore says "Be true to your soul's age, not the numbers or the sight of weakness or ill health. To the soul, these are meaningless." Aging well - a process of humanization, of becoming more spiritually and culturally complex - Jung's individuation, Keats' soul-making. I would like to share with you the words Thomas Moore wrote in my copy of Ageless Soul: "Always go deeper than seems possible." I refer back to this lesson while living my daily life, being my age, actualizing more of my "seed material" as I continue the aging process. ~Pinna


The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399185045
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery Publishing Group - September 20th, 2016

Having survived and thrived through the personal tragedies of my ordinary, extraordinary life, I find that I need regular reminders to re-inspire my hope in humanity. I have never yet encountered a book more irreverently, hilariously joyful. My smile has brightened as a result of enjoying this fantastic read. ~Rachel


Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781620972250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Press - September 6th, 2016

If this republic is to survive, we must make an effort to understand each other. ~Robert


Compass Cover Image
By Mathias Enard, Charlotte Mandell (Translator)
$26.95
ISBN: 9780811226622
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - March 28th, 2017

Simply put, this is my favorite novel of 2017. I want to say that it reminds me of a cross between James Joyce and Thomas Mann in some ways, but the similarities can only ever be superficial and incidental, because French author Mathias Énard is starkly original and all his own. It takes place over the course of a single night as Viennese Musicologist Franz Ritter reels from the diagnosis of an unspecified illness and reflects upon his life, his dreams, and the memory of a lost love, Sarah. It has a very dream-like quality, as memory and fantasy blend together seamlessly in the narrator's sleepless mind into beautiful, sweeping passages of poetic language that I read sometimes 3 and 4 times over. However lyrical it is, in an excellent translation by Charolette Mandell, it never feels as though a single word is wasted, and for a 464 page novel that's heavily preoccupied with style, that is a striking achievement. It also contains a treasure trove of information about Middle Eastern culture and history, the main area of Sarah's study and an aspect of Franz's, which is fascinating and a very small, but significant, step towards forming a bridge between two cultures who have so often misunderstood one another. ~Salvatore


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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781524733155
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 6th, 2017

This book captivated me with its unbleached, unfrosted confrontation of how society treats those that don't fit in with the established "norms" while disputing the very idea of those so-called norms. ~Scott


A Conjuring of Light Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765387462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - February 21st, 2017

The final book in a series usually leave me unsatisfied but A Conjuring of Light gave me everything I wanted. Victoria Schwab gave a satisfying conclusion on the adventures of Kell and Lila but left possibilities for more stories in the same world. From the first book A Darker Shade of Magic to A Conjuring of Light, I felt this sense of wonder for the world that Victoria Schwab that I haven't experienced since reading Harry Potter for the first time as a child. ~Tim


State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781607748441
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 24th, 2017

As a lover of cookbooks I look for two things. unique and exciting flavors and the actual practicality of the recipes in the book. Some cookbooks are coffee table cookbooks, with ingredients and methods that only a lot of experience and money could pull off. State Bird Provisions is not one of those. We had the pleasure of visiting the restaurant a few years back and this cookbook contains a lot of the main hits from there. They're meant to be a play on dim-sum. Served in small plates for you to share and try. It starts with your base seasonings, stocks and sauces and builds from there. Every recipe is packed with flavor and is perfect for dinner or entertaining. ~Van-Lam


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Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781620404935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - February 14th, 2017

A love letter to both New York City and Oliver Sacks. Two weaknesses of my own! ~Walt


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You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780544648944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - August 8th, 2017

Essays about how the media we consume, and are subjected to, influence how we view women, and how women sometimes view themselves. Chocano brought a fresh take on this subject, without asking for a solution necessarily, but asking that we become more aware. ~Amy


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The Late Show Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316225984
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - July 18th, 2017

This is one of his best. As a crime reporter for the LA Times, Connolly has extensive knowledge of LAPD procedures and of the tensions cops experience. The hero, Renee Ballard, stays true to her values, jeopardizing her career by refusing to be sidelined, believing only she can bring a certain pair of violent perpetrators to justice. Her love for her Hawaiian grandmother and her faithful dog, humanize this delightfully flawed heroine. I couldn't put it down. This was a departure for Connelly from his Harry Bosch series and a very welcome one. I'm just hoping he writes more Renee Ballard mysteries. ~Bob


Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062569028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - June 27th, 2017

Jonathan Sun's exploration of living in the world as a visitor is one of the saddest, funniest, and most beautiful books I have read in the past few years, and it is completely filled with misspellings. Optimism and pessimism have parts in equal measure in this graphic novel tackling identity, love, first contact, and global warming. It will make you cheer and tear up as you follow Jomny the Alien as he meets eggs, frogs, trees, bears, and all other sorts of life that inhabit this world. A wonderful book for artists and the young at heart. ~Cameron


Difficult Women Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802125392
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - January 3rd, 2017

I started this book one night at about 7pm thinking I'd dip into a few stories, see what all the Roxane Gay fuss was about. When I next looked at the clock, dragging myself away from the pages I'd completely disappeared into, it was 11pm. Time flew by and all I knew was that I could.not.stop. I had to know more about these broken but beautiful women, women who knew so much more about what they needed than the men around them. The stories here are tough, there's lots of loss, cruelty, and trauma inflicted on women by hard men, but each story is so honest and true it's almost painful to read. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I get it now, I get what all the hype about Roxane Gay is about. She's an insanely talented writer that can cut with words and this collection of stories is incredible. ~Camilla


Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062362599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 13th, 2017

Gay writes with clarity and power, with an honesty that is both precise and resounding. At its heart, the book plumbs the question of body-ness-- one that we all ask ourselves at some point, subconsciously or overtly. ~Camilla


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Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

This beautifully written suburban novel tells the story of new neighbors who at first try to adapt, blend and bond then begin to unravel because of their differences. The writing is reminiscent of John Cheever who laid a beautiful framework around complicated and quiet discomfort. ~Cindy


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The Passion of Dolssa Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780147512963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 4th, 2017

How sad to be unfamiliar with author Julie Berry’s works until this year, but I’m ignorant no more! With The Passion of Dolssa, she had me at once, and will always now beguile me with her writing for young adults and up. Eclectic and powerful themes plucked from history, mythology and a fanciful imagination appear to be the fuel that powers her pen; Dolssa is awash in the thirteenth-century ambiance of what was Provenza (or is today southern France), with fierce and resourceful characters, plenty of action, suspense, romance, good and evil, life and death. Storytelling at it’s finest. With strong, beautiful, delicate prose, Berry achieves the magic that is breathing life into terribly real events of the past. ~Claudia
 


Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781101874370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 24th, 2017

I worked in record stores for nearly 25 years, during which time I became fascinated by the history of music. I've always enjoyed learning more about what goes on, and what has gone on, behind the scenes of the music scene, and there is plenty of that in this book. I've always tried to listen to music within the context of the timeline, and this book provides some of that context. ~Dan K.


The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780997366648
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dorothy a Publishing Project - April 28th, 2017

This collection of short stories by surrealist Leonora Carrington is definitely not like anything else. Written starting in the 1930s, her stories present the most fantastical things in a completely natural way, and so are able to go in every direction. Most of the stories have some interaction with the world of animals - in the first story, a debutante switches places with a hyena, who wears someone else's face. Carrington's own life story is just as fantastical as some of the stories here. If you love surreal short stories, then you must read this book. ~Dan S.


Why Bad Governments Happen to Good People Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781608468584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - September 19th, 2017

This is not an anti-Trump book, though it certainly is anti-Trump. Katch's focus is on the idea that we need to move past the idea that our civic duty stops at the voting booth. The more we fail to hold elected officials accountable to the promises they make on the campaign trail, the more we deserve politicians like Donald Trump. This book is a call to arms, of sorts, to get out in the street and demand action. ~Danny


Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood Cover Image
By Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda (Artist)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534300415
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - July 11th, 2017

Next title in the Monstress series and the hits just keep coming. A dark Final Fantasy like story with strong female leads and deep world building. A must have for the perfect fantasy nerd holiday. ~Drew


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