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Amy has been reading books for a very long time. She always figured she'd end up working in a bookstore, figured right, and has been doing so for quite a while now. She's hoping that's a sign of untapped clairvoyance. When not reading she can usually be found trying to perfect a new Vegan/GF recipe, attending a local arts event, or hanging out with her dog. When reading she likes books that teach her something new, or expand upon one of her favorite subjects.
Exceptional. Brandon Taylor is one of the most skilled writers of our generation. His characters are unforgettable, and he shares their inner lives with us in devastating, yet tender, ways. Meticulously put together, this collection is utterly unputdownable. I closed the book wanting more.
Stunningly illustrated. A bold and clear call to be stewards of the earth, and to protect it and its resources. Told through the eyes of a young Native American child, and the stories of her people.
A great reference for your cooking library. Martinez has not just given us a cookbook, but also a deep look at her vegan pantry, and how you truly can cook vegan on a budget while not missing out on any flavor. From simple recipes for "the most perfect roast potatoes" to Swedish "meatballs", cabbage and potato gratin, and okonomiyaki too! There is a wide and exciting range of recipes from many cuisines in these pages.
Kimchi pancakes? Mapo Tofu? Aloo Gobi? Sign me up! These (Mostly vegan. Don't worry you can easily modify the ones that aren't!) recipes are a dream, and Sodha has put together such a fantastic collection of flavors from a wide-range of Asian cuisines.
Beautifully and lyrically written. BEFORE THE EVER AFTER is one of those books that so fully transports you into it's protagonist's mind, that you think you're living the story. A heartbreaking, but also hopeful, story of a child dealing with an unexplained illness of a parent.
This was one of the most difficult books I've ever read, right alongside the likes of José Saramago's BLINDNESS. TENDER IS THE FLESH takes the current reality of animal factory-farming, and reimagines a future where we've resorted to and normalized the same practices - but by farming humans. A stark look at what types of violence we find acceptable, and our ever-human ability of justifying atrocities in order to remain "comfortable". Warning: this book is not for the squeamish, there are graphic descriptions of slaughterhouse practices, and horrific violence against both humans and animals. None of the practices described though, are something we are not already putting farmed animals through today.
I cannot wait to bake my way through this magical GF/V baking book! Tarts, "cheesecake", vegan lemon meringue?! Yes please. All of it. There's even a recipe for homemade vegan "Cream Eggs" for those of you missing the Cadbury stuff during the Easter holidays.
There are some authors with whom you connect on a strange and fundamental level, and Allie Brosh is one of those authors for me. Let me tell you, the SEVEN YEAR wait for this book was SO HARD. I've been wanting more since reading HYPERBOLE AND A HALF, and waiting has not been easy. This book brought me out of my 2020 funk long enough to laugh until I cried, multiple times. Brosh is an absolute gem, and I'm glad we have her back.
I am ashamed of how long it took me to read Samantha Irby, and if you haven't read her yet, you too should be ashamed. I don't think I've laughed this much, or nodded my head while reading this much... like, ever. Do yourself a favor, read EVERYTHING she has written. Absolutely wonderful. I devoured it.
Lindy West is your absolutely AWESOME tour guide through some of the biggest movies of the '90s and 00's. Want an honest take on why Tom Cruise's character in Top Gun was the WORST? Or why, whether you like it or not, Twilight is incredibly entertaining? Look no further. Lindy is here to revisit all your favorites, and spoiler, they can't all be as good as we remember, and certainly can't all be as perfect as The Fugitive. This book gets 10 out of 10 DVDs of the Fugitive.
Astounding. An absolutely riveting family saga. Belonging, betrayal, escape, and deep grief are sewn throughout. I was glued to this story, awestruck as every element unfolded. Deeply invested in the story of the identical Vignes sisters, and their very different chosen lives.
Sometimes, I like to remind myself that my mom and Ruby Bridges are close in age. This helps ground me both in history, and in the present. The events of the Civil Rights Movement did not take place very long ago. They happened while Ruby and my mom were little girls. In many ways, the things fought for in the Civil Rights Movement of the '50s and '60s are still being fought for to this day - by this generation. Fighting for equality, for Black lives, for equity and human rights and dignity. People like Ruby Bridges, just a little girl at the time, paved the way for the rest of us to continue fighting and standing up for what's right.
This was an incredibly enjoyable read. I wanted to spend as much time with Luc and Oliver as I possibly could. I mean, who doesn't love the "fake relationship" trope?This book is delightful in every way. Read it for some quality "oh my gosh just kiss already" feels.
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.
Good Omens is, quite possibly, my favorite book... or at the very least, it's in constant battle with another book for that title. I've read and re-read this book, owned ten or more copies over the years and given them away (more than once to complete strangers), and read it out loud to my parents once as a sort of reverse of the bedtime story tradition. Immensely funny, and incredibly insightful. I have been recommending Good Omens to everyone I become friends with, and to every bookstore customer who asks me for a personal recommendation, since I first read it many years ago.
Born a true scientist, Ada Twist's first words, not spoken until age three, were "why" "when" and "how". Ada gets into her fair share of messes, but that's what scientists do! And while her parents may sometimes fall into exasperation, they never doubt her brilliance or fail to encourage her repeated requests of "Why?". Though they do stop her more risky experiments... like preventing her from finding out what will happen if she puts the family cat in the clothes dryer.
I'm always on the lookout for comic books that push boundaries, and Monstress does just that. Monstress follows Maika Halfwolf as she searches for answers about herself in a world where Arcanics like herself are hunted by humans. Magic, intrigue, and intense battles are brought to life with visually stunning, illustrations. I found myself glued to this comic from the beginning, captivated by every page.
This book was actually enthusiastically recommended to me by a customer. He was emphatic that I must read it as soon as possible, so I bought it that night before leaving work, and am so glad I did. The well-earned winner of a Stonewall Book Award, this coming-of-age novel follows Ari and Dante, and their growing friendship. Told from Ari's perspective we're lead through his adolescence as he tries to make sense of life, friendship, family, and love. Wholly emotional, this novel renewed my belief that the right book can take you through a character's life and make you feel exactly what they feel. This book will touch your heart and never let go.
Vegetable Kingdom is a dream resource. Beautiful and creative vegetable dishes that make a vegan wonder why she even bothers with "meat substitutes". The cauliflower puree is deceptively simple, and absolutely to die for.
Like so many of us, Gustavo the Ghost is very shy - but he wants to be friends with all of the monsters in his town. This book is a wonderful reminder that it's okay to be shy, and that there's more than one way to make friends and be welcomed by your community. You just have to let who you are shine.
Cameron is an unparalleled master of prose, and we are lucky to have him. WHAT HAPPENS AT NIGHT is bizarre, dangerous, elegant. It feels as if you're dreaming it rather than reading it - the experience is not one of a good dream, or a nightmare, but rather a strange and unsettling dream.
A perfectly Kondo look at how to best organize your work life - physically, digitally, and emotionally - so that it can bring you as much Joy as possible. I learned quite a bit about what I value most in my work life by reading this, and I believe others will as well.
One of the first things Reynolds will tell you in this book is that it's "not a history book". This is correct. This is so much more than a history book. This book is a look at how interconnected the racist lies of the past and present are, and how if we want a truly equal and antiracist future we need to be explicitly antiracist in the face of segregationist and assimilationist thought.
This was a refreshing look at the virtues of doing "nothing", and how to remove ourselves from the attention economy. After reading this book I've found myself pausing more and more frequently to do "nothing" in many different ways.
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Phenomenal. It's rare I come across a piece of contemporary literature I love as much as I loved REAL LIFE. I fell into this novel, and didn't come up for air until it was over.
This is an incredible look at the science behind how our experiences shape our biology. THE DEEPEST WELL specifically addresses how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), if left unacknowledged and untreated, can cause a host of medical issues, as well as impact our emotional and mental health. Going further, Dr. Harris describes how we can care for children (and adults) so that the outcomes can be buffered. A powerful and important read for anyone, but maybe especially if you happen to have an ACE score of your own.
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This is an absolutely charming series about a friendship between two very different people. Satoko is Japanese, and Nada is Saudi Arabian, they're roommates studying in America - and while there's a lot that's different about them they bond over being in a foreign place together, and their kindness toward, and acceptance of, one another.
This small book is greatly important. ESSENTIAL reading for anyone who identifies as LGBTQIAA , but also something I believe everyone - regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity - should read. A call to action, a call for commitment to kindness and caring for those around us, and a reminder that: "Queer people anywhere are responsible for queer people everywhere."
Well-researched and fascinating, HOW TO KILL A CITY is a look at gentrification in the heart of four cities: New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York. It counters the narrative that gentrification is "natural", looking at city and state zoning and housing policies and regulations that allow gentrification, inequality, and displacement to flourish. Arguing that in order to counter gentrification we need to restructure these racist and classist policies.
Andre Aciman is a master of the kind of prose that transports you into a story, and into the rich interior lives of the characters within it. While a "sequel" to CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, FIND ME feels more like it's own novel - in the best way. Not to worry though, we get to check-in on Oliver, Elio, and Samuel - get to peer into their thoughts and feelings as they grow and change and love.
An eye-opening history of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Detailing the fallout of colonization, the extreme poverty of the citizens versus the vast wealth of the country, and both the horrifying crimes against humanity taking place as well as the incredible resilience and dedication to humanity of so many citizens. This book will make you take a long and hard look at your consumption of the products that are made with the natural resources found in Congo, and the blood that's spilled in order to acquire those resources. Everyone who owns a cellphone should read this book.
It's been a long time since I've read such a simple but affecting book. Wishtree tugs at the heartstrings, and through the voice of a very special tree, reminds us of some of the most important parts of being human. The love and compassion in this story feel almost tangible. I am entirely unashamed to say I cried reading this book. Honestly, I hope you do too.
A fascinating look at the inner workings of our digestive system. I learned so much about how the human body processes food, and what all goes into keeping our incredible microbiome functioning. A great read for anyone struggling with gut-health, or for someone who's just genuinely interested in how the body works. I'll never look at my food, and how I process it, the same way.
Though focused on the author's personal struggle with endomitriosis, Ask Me About My Uterus is an important read not only for those sharing that particular struggle. This book is for anyone navigating our broken healthcare system, for anyone battling chronic and/or invisible illness, and for anyone who knows someone going through these things. Norman's journey is, unfortunately, not an uncommon one. The studies referenced and statistics cited throughout the book are startling, but I walked away from this book feeling empowered by my newfound knowledge rather than discouraged by these realities.
St. Aubyn brilliantly captures the interior struggles of a man plagued by family trauma. Haunted by an emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive father, an emotionally absent mother, and the subsequent anger, drug abuse, alcoholism, and self-loathing that followed - Patrick Melrose is, perhaps surprisingly, one of the most sympathetic and relatable characters in modern literature. Underneath all of this horror and trauma, there is hope, and humor. Maybe because hope and humor are what help so many people navigate that terror, and that trauma. Patrick perseveres through many a stumbling block and relapse, through moments of extreme selfishness, through times of blindness to those in his life, but first and foremost he perseveres with the desire not to pass on the legacy of cruelty and abuse he inherited. This series is dark, and a rough read at times, but it’s also one of the most brilliantly written pieces of fiction I’ve ever read. It could be the way the words are woven together, the intense looks into Patrick’s interior narrative at his darkest moments, the humor peppered throughout the stories that is never inappropriate, but somehow always necessary and perfectly placed - or maybe it’s all of those things that makes this series one of the most impactful reads of my adult life.
Honey and Clover follows a group of friends in art school as they learn their trades, and about life as they cross the bridge into the adult world. Throughout the series I was frequently surprised by it's profundity. There are so many beautiful and insightful moments, from the deeply introspective to the existential. It may remind you of the coming of age years when everything seemed so full of possibility and purpose, or perhaps it will help you believe that everything still is.
Abdurraqib is expert at weaving together the personal and the pop-cultural. He shows his readers his pain through the lens of what he was listening to at that time, through what was going on in his hometown, what was going on in America at large. The whole collection is beautiful, but my favorite poem at the moment is DUDES WE DID NOT GO THROUGH THE HASSLE OF GETTING THESE FAKE IDS FOR THIS JUKEBOX TO NOT HAVE ANY SPRINGSTEEN.
Wicked + Diving tackles ideas of idolatry, especially modern idolatry, in such a fascinating way. Old gods are reincarnated as pop stars, parallels between religious and cultural idolatry are explored, and we're reminded of how often culture treats the rich and famous like gods among men. You may recognize some homages to familiar faces - Hello David Bowie and Daft Punk. This series is phenomenal, unputdownable, and full of surprises and sensory overload in the best possible way.
Just like Georgia's experiment, this book is Colorific! The illustrations are vibrant and stunning, and the story reminds us that art and science are not exclusive, but can often go together to create beautiful things.
This book is beautiful. It's a call for children to get to know their feelings, to not be afraid of their sadness, but rather to ask questions like why it's there and what it needs. A primer for dealing with an emotion that can be difficult, sometimes unexpected, and sometimes scary, especially for those just getting to know their varied emotions.
A surprisingly profound book. Cicada works very hard, harder than anyone, and yet Cicada is very mistreated by their boss and coworkers. An illustration for our times, for increasing corporate disregard for humanity, and for the sad reality that those seen as "other" are so frequently abused.
Lorena Alvarez enchants again. In HICOTEA absolutely magical illustrations accompany a story about curiosity and the natural world. We revisit Sandy and her creativity in this field-trip tale of nature and discovery.