Bianca's Picks

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Bianca is a proud Chamorro American woman living in Arizona. She enjoys reading classics by authors like Jane Austen and really enjoys stories that offer adventure! She has rekindled her love for poetry thanks to the beautiful “I Woke Up” by Jameson Fitzpatrick. When she isn’t screenwriting, Bianca can be found playing the guitar or playing on her island in Animal Crossing.
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I Am a Cat Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419726439
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - February 6th, 2018

This book was laying down on a shelving cart when I found it at work, and the adorable illustrations were enough for me to want this book. It’s adorable and cats are some of the most magnificent members of the animal kingdom! From beginning to end our cat friend Simon is constantly being judged for not being “cat” enough for the bigger cats. This story is definitely a metaphor for individuals who always feel “othered” by fellow members of the same group. Even if cats aren’t really your thing, this book teaches life’s most important lessons: be open-minded and be kind.

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A Is for Artichoke: A Foodie Alphabet from Artichoke to Zest Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492670032
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Explore - October 16th, 2018

This book was ADORABLE and it was such a unique way to teach the alphabet. I learned so many new things and I enjoyed it from beginning to end! There are three different reading levels with each letter, so if you have a little one it can be used for various stages. From the illustrations to the details about cooking techniques, this book ticks all of the right boxes! And even if you don’t have any little ones, it’d be a wonderful gift for a beloved chef in your life! And as the great Gusteau once said, "Anyone can cook!"

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The Hobbits of Tolkien (Tolkien Illustrated Guides #6) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781645170082
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thunder Bay Press - February 25th, 2020

In the world of Middle Earth, I always saw myself as one of the Hobbits, particularly the ones similar to the famous Bilbo Baggins. If only I could live in the Shire, what a dream that would be! I had my eyes on this book for a good year and I’m so happy I finally purchased it! From the illustrations to all of the linguistics cleverly used by David Day when talking about these Hobbits, one cannot stop turning the pages! This is perfect for anyone fascinated with the world of Hobbits. If you’re a Tolkien fan, Hobbit fan, or just love diving deeper into the meaning behind names of AMAZING creatures, this is the book for you! BRILLIANT!

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Heaven Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
ISBN: 9781609456214
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - May 25th, 2021

I chose this book because of the title, “Heaven” and I was intrigued by what that would mean to the protagonist in this story. Mieko Kawakami’s story was a rather difficult read for me because she had this way of describing physical pain that became visceral. And if reading about one victim wasn’t difficult, our protagonist becomes friends with a classmate that is also being bullied. Sometimes I found myself taking deep breaths just to calm down because of how excruciatingly vivid Kawakami describes the bullying. Even though it was difficult for me to finish this novel, I left this story feeling hopeful. Just as she was talented in writing about the gruesome parts of life, Kawakami also managed to write about the beautiful parts as well.

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The Hunting Party: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063063587
Availability: Backordered
Published: William Morrow - February 23rd, 2021

This title was a choice for a book club I joined last year, but that was certainly a blessing in disguise! For years, I had been longing for a new mystery/thriller book and Foley’s The Hunting Party ticked off all of the boxes. From the dynamic relationships between the characters (and the intimate details of a certain few!) all the way to the climactic moment of “Who did it?!” Foley kept me anxiously entertained while trying to guess who the murderer was and who was their unfortunate victim. A treat for any New Year celebration with a darker twist! I cannot wait to start reading Foley’s latest work The Paris Apartment!

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The Woman in the Purple Skirt: A Novel Cover Image
By Natsuko Imamura, Lucy North (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780143136026
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 8th, 2021

Driven by obsession and loneliness, the woman in the “yellow cardigan” lives in a voyeuristic manner constantly watching the woman in the "purple skirt". If you’re into a story that is thoroughly detailed (with such chilling behavior!) that spirals slowly towards a chaotic end, then I invite you to open up Natsuko Imamura’s "The Woman in the Purple Skirt". The whole time I read this novel, I was kept on my toes and I never truly knew what to expect from the woman wearing a yellow cardigan.

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Happy Cats Cover Image
By Emi Lenox (Illustrator), Catherine Amari, Anouk Han
ISBN: 9781419750854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Appleseed - September 7th, 2021

What else can I say? Amari and Han’s book is about many different cats with many lovable traits. It’s a fun way for your little ones to learn about different colors and temperaments, but I would argue that any cat lover out there will surely be happy upon opening this book! All of these cats were equally amazing in their own right and a happy cat is the best cat. Shout-out to all the fabulous felines out there that make the world a happier place! Also, I'd like to mention Emi Lenox for her beautiful illustrations!

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Illumination: Poetry to Light Up the Darkness Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593191361
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: TarcherPerigee - March 30th, 2021

These days I try my best to find my own light, be my own light, but I am only human. Sometimes we need to seek solace in someone else and their words. In the book there are photographs that Gregson took himself! There are also scraps of paper that he used for his poems. He's an artist! I don’t know if I could fully appreciate what Gregson had to say without the darkness that comes my way. Whether or not poetry speaks to you, please give Gregson’s work a try! And to Tyler Knott Gregson, you are an inspiration to artists everywhere. Thank you for “lighting up the darkness.”

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I Love You This Much: Padded Board Book Cover Image
By IglooBooks, James Newman Gray (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781800227743
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Igloo Books - August 3rd, 2021

Upon reading the first page of this book I realized that it wasn’t written just for children and their parents, but for anyone who loves someone immensely! My partner and I were reading it together and it amazed us how this book had all the words that we wanted to say to each other. We are children at heart, so the imaginative illustrations of these pandas made us marvel with wonder. If you have anyone in your life that you love and would like to say just how much you do, read “I Love You This Much” alongside them and they will know.

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Home Body Cover Image
ISBN: 9781449486808
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - November 17th, 2020

Rupi Kaur is an artist. She has a way of sharing her experience with her audience that is SO GENUINE. I was reading one of her poems casually at work one day, and my heart was pounding NONSTOP. I would rate the "Couldn't Put it Down"-ness 9/10 because I was feeling so many emotions. If you need a friend to help guide you through any issues that you're afraid of confronting, please open "Home Body" because it helped me with my own. Cheers to you, Rupi Kaur, and thank you for your beautiful words.

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Unfuck Your Boundaries: Build Better Relationships Through Consent, Communication, and Expressing Your Needs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781621061007
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Microcosm Publishing - January 14th, 2020

Earlier this year while I was still working for Walmart every day I was reminded of my teen years because of all the unnecessary drama. One day I went home and I busted through my garage door extremely frustrated from my work day, so my roomie, being the intuitive and ingenious creature that she is, loaned me a little book: Unf*ck Your Boundaries by Dr. Faith G. Harper. Let me tell you, it’s made my life better because I now have a better grasp on my own boundaries! I have always struggled with communication, but I honestly think that this book can help anyone who is struggling! Harper goes into amazing detail, but always keeps you interested. Not to mention the illustrations in this book are also incredible and definitely helped me visualize some of Harper's points! My roomie lending me this book was the push I needed to finally realize that boundaries are a need and they deserve to be unf*cked! Cheers to having the freedom to speak your mind and draw the line!

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123 Cats: A Cat Counting Book Cover Image
By Leslea Newman, Isabella Kung (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536209952
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - April 29th, 2021

As a child that was not from the states and had to assimilate into a brand new culture with a brand new language, math was not always my friend. For what is math but another language the whole world must learn? It just didn’t click with me right away! And having to speak English at home wasn’t always challenging since my parents learned English as children, but over time I wondered if math would have been easier if I had taken the time to learn my native tongue. My first love of board books started with the beloved Eric Carle and his cute caterpillar friend. Cats and math were always intimidating to me, but upon finding 1 2 3 Cats A Cat Counting Book while I was shelving in our Kids department, they finally felt like good friends! My partner loves cats and I am blessed to be his cat's stepmom! So, if you know anyone in your life that is a child, adult, cat or anything else in between-- buy this book! At one point I even found myself laughing out loud while reading it on my backyard patio!