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CHANGING HANDS STAFF PICKS 2018

Princess Holy Aura Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781481482820
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Baen - December 5th, 2017

I didn’t think I would enjoy this book, but, much like the parasite I got from eating uncooked chicken this morning, it grew on me. Stephen, a 35-year-old man who has been wishing to do something great with his life, receives the opportunity to do just that when he meets a talking rat. By taking a necklace, Stephen can turn into Princess Holy Aura, a 14-year-old girl with great magical power, and gather the other 4 apocalypse maidens to battle against the forces of evil. Surprisingly enjoyable.  ~Kevin


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Motherhood: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781627790772
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 2018

Sheila Heti’s Motherhood is a powerful reflection on motherhood as well as an investigation of what it means to be a mother. The narrative structure is unconventional but works as one woman struggles to define herself and asks the question haunting many women: do I want to be a mother? What ensues is a dynamic internal dialogue that celebrates those who are mothers, those who want to be mothers, those who have motherhood thrust upon them as well as those who never want to be one. This is a cleverly crafted novel every woman should read. ~Michelle


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Friday Black Cover Image
$13.49
ISBN: 9781328911247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

I urge you to read this book, but I'm telling you right now--you're not prepared for it. The worlds of Friday Black aren't exactly ours, but they are certainly, and disturbingly, familiar. At times darkly funny, at others deeply unsettling, Adjei-Brenyah has crafted a visceral collection of stories, each brimming with humanity that demands to be recognized and acknowledged. This is 2018's must-read book. ~Joseph


The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062797155
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - September 4th, 2018

This heart-wrenching true story conveys the horror and devastation that occurred at Auschwitz-Birkenau, while also highlighting the kindness and perseverance of the human spirit. Well written, and impossible to put down, I would recommend this book to just about anyone. ~Madeline


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Baby Teeth: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250170750
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 17th, 2018

Just when I start to think maybe I’ve read so much horror that scary stories can no longer get under my skin, along comes Zoje Stage to take off the kid gloves–or put them on, as it were. Hannah, the seven-year-old psychopath at the heart of this chilling thriller, is one of the most unsettling characters I have ever come across. As Stage examines the relationship between this troubled child and the mother who is increasingly frightened of her own daughter, the debut author pulls no punches and holds nothing sacred. Every innocence is defiled. Every pleasant family evening throbs with unbearable tension. And every sweet smile hides a mouthful of sharp and hungry teeth. Intense, emotional, and deeply, viscerally disturbing, Baby Teeth hit me like a tidal wave and left me gasping for air. I intend to read it again as soon as I can work up the nerve. ~Jason


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A Place for Us: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781524763558
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: SJP for Hogarth - June 12th, 2018

This is by far one of my favorite books that I've read in the past few years. The prose is beautiful. The story is about a faithful American Muslim family. It is about faith and sorrow and the longing to believe in our world. The novel has stories that are told from different points of view which cause the reader to remember their own history and reflect on a true point of view. This novel is simply breathtaking.  ~Cindy


Alice Isn't Dead: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062844132
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 30th, 2018

I picked up this book because my daughter is a fan of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast and it looked like a fun, slightly creepy road trip book. It is that but it’s also so much more. It’s a love story, a quest, a battle between good and evil, but most of all, it’s about courage. It’s a scary world and there’s more to be afraid of than you think but “the only way to be brave is to first be afraid.” It’s also about recognizing one’s own fears and strengths. It’s about finding allies and “marching forward” even if one is “unsure of what lays before…” Take this road trip, it’s a thrilling adventure that may lead you to find courage within. ~Jen


Killing Commendatore: A novel Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525520047
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - October 9th, 2018

Haruki Murakami is back! Just when I thought he was beginning to fall off of the proverbial horse, he delivers another modern classic true to form. This one definitely feels like a return to the kind of novel that made many of us love him in the first place, like the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or Kafka on the Shore. However for me personally this story was particularly affective, given that it follows a 36-year old painter and is Murakami's meditation on the artistic process itself; the relationship of ideas to reality and the translation between the two. And if you're intimidated at all by the 700 page length, I can assure you that, like all of his books, it is immensely readable and those pages will fly by. ~Salvatore


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There There: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn't let go, even after you've long since turned the last page. It is a work of fiction and every word of it is true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it or maybe even because it did. I think this may be the best book I've ever read. ~Heather


The Book of M: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062669605
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - June 5th, 2018

Not since watching Haley Joel Osment's chilling delivery of the line, "I see dead people" in the 1999 film, The Sixth Sense, has a fictional revelation given me the chills like the twist delivered in this narrative! A completely bizarre and unique read, Shepherd deftly blurs the line between magical realism and apocalyptic future. Max and Ory's fierce and tender love story is the eye of this mysterious and unpredictable hurricane of a tale. As soon as I finished listening to this on libro.fm, I bought the book and began reading. Peng Shepherd is a local debut author I will definitely be watching! ~Rachel


Calypso Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316392389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 29th, 2018

I have loved David Sedaris since my college days , when I awakened to him on Christmas Mornings sharing his adventures as Crumpet the Elf. I laughed out loud then and I continue to do so today. Calypso has a few more serious moments than Sedaris's past books. He confronts aging, family loss, and other of life's challenges. But the humor is all there and he still makes me laugh out loud. I adore this man. (And if you haven't done so, please check out Holidays on Ice.... my favorite Christmas book!. You really need to make the acquaintance of Crumpet the Elf). ~Walt


The Pisces: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781524761554
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth - May 2018

This is one of the most peculiar books I've ever come across. Melissa Broder (who is behind the hilarious Twitter account @sosadtoday) uses her sharp wit to explore a woman in the middle of an existential crisis. Even though there are fantastical elements - um, hello merman sex - she really hits the nail on the head when it comes to depression and anxiety. I found myself alternating between laughing hysterically and uncontrollable sobs from page to page. ~Adam


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Tin Man: A Novel Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780735218727
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 15th, 2018

This novel is an emotional roller coaster ride but instead of screaming, you'll find yourself gasping as you read. Quiet gasps at the language, at the beautiful story that unfolds, for the intense longing that you feel for the characters and the landscape, and the depth of feeling you'll experience as you read. Winman is a master storyteller and her language and pacing are extraordinary. Her words read like poetry with an intensity that moved me to tears. "The bats have claimed the sky from the swallows and the smell of lavender and sweetness rises from the earth. I stand at the window." Please try this novel and share it with those you love intensely. ~Gayle
 


The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250153708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - July 17th, 2018

As a fan of the Adventure Zone podcast that this is based off of, I loved this book! The wit and banter between the characters Taako, Magnus, and Merle are still there and brought to life with fantastic artwork from Carey Pietsch. You don't have to listen to the podcast to read this. Clint McElroy did a great job of adapting this story to make it accessible while also catering to fans of the podcast. You can't help but smile while reading this because it is a great representation of how much enjoyment you can have from getting a group of friends or family together to play a game. ~Tim


Fat Girl on a Plane Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780373212538
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harlequin Teen - June 5th, 2018

If you're looking for a heroine who would change the world, look no further than Cookie Vonn. I found myself cheering for Cookie or trying to talk her out of bad decisions (spoiler: the latter never worked). There are laugh-out-loud moments and misty-eyed moments and every emotion in between. Most striking is the deeply honest way Kelly DeVos tackles a complex conversation. She roots everything in the dreams, fears, and choices of her characters to create a profoundly human story. Cookie may be fictional, but the world is a better place with her in it. ~Sarah


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The Life to Come Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781936787821
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - March 13th, 2018

When I think about my favorite read of 2018 nothing jumps out like The Life to Come. It's literary fiction at it's best: sublime writing, intriguing yet flawed characters, and the deep investigation of concepts like emigration, ethnic and class conflicts, the art of fiction, and the varied phases of romantic love. de Kretser's masterpiece also takes place in Australia, France, and Sri Lanka; it's a world tour! Challenge yourself and pick up this sweeping epic today. ~Camilla


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America Is Not the Heart: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780735222410
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking - April 3rd, 2018

I absolutely loved this book, from the first sentence to the very end. Elaine Castillo is a debut author who already has a distinctive voice, writing with force and clarity, drawing a fully realized, complicated world of Filipino immigrants in the San Jose area in the early 1990s. Everything about this book resonates, from the tangled connections of families and relationships to the multiple phrases in untranslated Tagalog, Ilocano and Pangasinan. Overall this is a great story, filled with complex emotions, incredible writing, and characters that truly stay with you. Really you should just read it. ~Dan


An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616208776
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - February 6th, 2018

We're invited to follow these characters as they navigate the aftermath of a wrongful conviction. To look on as a couple tries to hold onto their marriage in the midst of turmoil and suffering. As a man tries to keep connected to his family after everything is taken from him. Tayari Jones has given us powerful story about love, family, the prison system in America, and the devastating effects our broken system has on people of color. ​An American Marriage is deeply affecting, and certainly one of the best novels of the year. ~Amy


The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062797155
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - September 4th, 2018

1942. Lale, a Slovakian Jew is sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Upon arrival he is given an impossible choice: be a prisoner or accept a job as the tattooist, permanently branding his own people. He chooses the latter. Everyday his life is in danger. The soldiers treating every unspeakable action as a game, and the mistrust of his fellow prisoners growing each day. But he falls in love with another prisoner, Gita, vowing to someday escape and marry her. This is a difficult book to read but it is at its center a romance, sure to reach into the heart of any reader. This book is based on true events, and is the perfect book for fans of All the Light We Cannot See. It is beautiful and transported me to the past. ~Leah


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The Flight of Swans Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781512440270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Carolrhoda Books (R) - October 2018

This book has the weight and the potential to reinforce and give hope to anyone who has felt the fight for their lives needing to be redeemed and renewed. The women in this book left me breathless. They were some of the strongest female characters I have encountered within the world of fiction thus far. What a time in my life to stumble upon this book and feel myself encouraged because of it. This book may have been intended for those of us younger in age- but I personally believe this books should be recommended for children and adults alike. ~Ryan


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CIRCE Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

This sweeping tale of the gods and heroes of Greek mythology as seen through the eyes of a minor goddess had me from the first chapter. I listened to this as an audiobook from our audio vendor, Libro.fm, but friends who read it the book also sing its praises. ~Bob


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