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Bob

BOB
Bob loves contemporary fiction augmented by an occasional mystery or science fiction novel. Non-fiction interests include physics, math, medicine, economics and anything by Malcolm Gladwell. When not watching ER or West Wing with Gayle, he indulges himself in Shakespeare, always willing to watch yet another version of Hamlet. And there's a dozen podcasts from NPR including Selected Shorts, Studio 360, On the Media, NYT Book Review, Writer's Almanac and the monthly short story from the New Yorker.

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When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374146702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 15th, 2018

This would make a great gift for anyone interested in math or physics or just very readable, good non-fiction writing that gets into the personalities of these men and women whose work has changed the way we perceive our existence on this small planet in a large cosmos.


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The Order of Time Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780735216105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 8th, 2018

Aristotle and Newton had very different concepts on the nature of time. Then along came Einstein who poked very large holes in both their theories. Rovelli explains in understandable terms the impact of recent scientific discoveries on the actual relationship between what we perceive and "true" reality. His prose is simple, clear and filled with tales of philosophers and scientists that are moving and amusing.The audiobook version is read by Benedict Cumberbatch with his rich voice in a precise but unhurried manner like a brilliant but gentle teacher. The audio came from Libro.fm, the indie alternative to Audible/Amazon. Ask any staff member how you can download audiobooks from Libro.fm.


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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780765334794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - January 15th, 2013

I picked up a used copy of another of Scalzi’s novels while on vacation. Loved it and noticing that he won the Hugo for Redshirts, I ordered a copy and opened it with great anticipation. It starts with a well worn storyline—a young graduate from the Academy is posted to a starship with a quirky crew of idealistic officers and a cynical veteran crew on a mission like that of the Enterprise. My 12-year-old self would’ve lapped it up but there had to be more to a Hugo winner—and there was. Soon I was laughing so hard and so often that my partner made me read it in another room. Although it both spoofs and pays homage to many earlier works, it does it so in such clever and creative ways that you will be both amused and amazed!


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The Girl With No Name Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781784970079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Head of Zeus - April 1st, 2017

Imagine if Jane Austen wrote a WWII novel set in England before, during and after the Blitz. Surrounding Lisa, a 13-yr-old refugee newly arrived on a Kindertransport train, are half a dozen "supporting" cast whose characters are so well developed that you come to know each of them and love most of them. Beautifully told with some surprising and wonderful plot twists, this is a deeply moving story. When I reached the last page, I didn't want it to end, didn't want to leave these people who feel so dear to me.


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CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

Although Circe is born an immortal goddess with little status or power, she succeeds in becoming the first witch in western literature. Why does she use her new powers to turn men into pigs? And what motivates her to be one of the most benevolent deities Odysseus meets on his epic journey? This beautifully written creative retelling of a classic myth drew me instantly into a world of vast powers and deep love. I listened to the audiobook version from Libro.fm, the indie bookstore alternative to Amazon's audible.com. When I had to stop listening I ached to get back to this amazing, twisting, laughter and tear evoking tale.


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War and Turpentine: A Novel Cover Image
By Stefan Hertmans, David McKay (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101872116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - July 25th, 2017

It's been a couple of years since I read this book but the story and characters have not faded. If you've read All Quiet on the Western Front, you know it's a WWI tale told by young German soldier. War & Turpentine is the same tale but told by a young Belgian soldier fighting in the trenches against the Germans. That's the core of the store but it's magic lies in the soldiers other life as a artist, the son of a master class fresco painter. Brilliantly written and selected as a one of the New York Times Top 10 Best of the Year, it's a book that's built to last.


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See You in the Cosmos Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780399186387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - May 15th, 2018

I listened to this with my 9-year-old grandson as an audiobook from Libro.fm. Movingly narrated by a professional cast, this is the tale of a boy who journeys across the country with his dog in pursuit of his dream. He's determined to launch a homemade rocket into space bearing a recording he is making which describes life on earth. In pursuit of this quest, he discovers a lost sibling and learns some important lessons about his life on earth. My grandson was enthralled. So was I.
Ask any staff member how you can download audiobooks from Libro.fm, the indie bookstore alternative to Audible/Amazon.


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The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812988635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - January 16th, 2018

This collection of five stories was finished shortly before Johnson's death in 2017. Like several of his other works of fiction, it's likely to add to his list of awards including Pulitzer Prize finalist and the National Book Award. The author spent much of his life in Arizona, saying “I am convinced that I could stay in Phoenix my whole life without leaving and never be at a loss for anything to write about. There is a lot that goes by that we don’t pay attention to because it doesn’t affect us directly. Things that if they happened to us would be ... very important events. Those things fascinate me.” They will fascinate you, too, and there's no point in my telling you what these stories are about because they speak so eloquently for themselves.

In the audiobook version each story is read by a different brilliant reader--Nick Offerman, Michael Shannon, Will Patton, Dermot Mulroney and Liev Schreiber. Ask any staff member or visit our website to learn about listening to audiobooks from Libro.fm, the indie bookstore alternative to Amazon's Audible.


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Starry River of the Sky Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316125970
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - February 11th, 2014

Lin, a Newberry Honor winner and National Book Award finalist, has taken themes from traditional Chinese folktales and worked them into a story (and to stories within the story) that kids and adults will find heartwarming, magical and thoroughly engaging. The young male and female protagonists face hardships which are not easily dealt with. Despite the journey they must take to overcome their struggles, they never lose their compassion for others they meet along the way who are also facing difficulties. We read this with our 9-yr old who absolutely loved it.


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Future Home of the Living God: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062694058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 14th, 2017

I’ve loved Erdrich’s novels ever since Love Medicine came out in 1984. Future Home is no exception. Set in a not to distant time in an America dominated by an authoritarian government based on religious fundamentalism, it touches on many of the issues of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Orwell’s 1984. The protagonist and narrator is part Ojibwe and the action shifts back and forth between the city where she was raised by her white adoptive parents and the reservation where she goes to find her birth mom. Humorous, suspenseful and touching, it’s a captivating tale that kept me totally engrossed throughout.

I listened to the author read this as a Libro.fm audiobook. Libro.fm is the indie bookstore's alternative to Amazon's Audible. Ask any staff member or visit our website to learn about listening to digital audio from Libro.fm.


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Ghachar Ghochar: A Novel Cover Image
By Vivek Shanbhag, Srinath Perur (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780143111689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 7th, 2017

One of BBC's "10 Books You Should Read" & New Yorker's "Books We Loved in 2016." -- This novel plunges the reader headlong into the tangled web of an Indian family whose members rely on each other first to subsist and then to protect their newfound (possibly ill-gotten) wealth. Vivid and compelling descriptions of the hierarchical interplay between men and women and men as each tried to find a stable foothold in a shifting society. A quick, powerful, entertaining read that left me wanting more from this author.


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The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye: A Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780451494320
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 12th, 2017

In this 2nd sequel to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are once more at the center of well crafted fast-moving tale that is totally faithful to Larsson's original characters. Ultimately about revenge, it moves between nail-biter and tear-jerker with short excursions into financial market analysis and biogenetic research. Except for a scattering of sex and humor, there's never a pause in the action. It's also available in an audio version from Libro.fm, the independent choice for audiobooks.


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The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 16th, 1998

Everyone I knew read this excellent novel in the 80s. Except me. But after hearing Margaret Atwood interviewed last week, I knew it was time--devoured it in 3 days, non-stop. Atwood just wrote a new intro for it in 2017 in which she relates what we're experiencing "in the wake of the recent American election" to the conditions that led up to the dystopia she depicts so brilliantly in The Handmaid's Tale. To see what she envisioned now playing itself out in our lives is both scary and essential if we are to resist and derail such a future while there's still time. As one reviewer advised, "Read it while it's still allowed." PS--the intro contains spoilers. Save it for last. 


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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781455540419
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Twelve - May 30th, 2017

The hard-working and brilliant Senator and former comedian finally releases his humorous self from the cage he’s had it locked within during his first 8 years in congress. This moving and witty memoir was hidden from his staff until just before its release so they wouldn’t talk him out of publishing it.


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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594206139
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - May 23rd, 2017

A well-researched, very readable book about the 30’s and 40’s when fascism was on the rise. Although they came from opposite ends of the political and economic spectrum, together they were leading voices of anti-fascism in those years. I learned that Churchill, although a key factor in overcoming the Nazi war machine and a personage to whom we are deeply indebted for our freedom, had some serious defects in his personality.


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A Journey in Ladakh: Encounters with Buddhism Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780618056750
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 20th, 2000

Published in '83, this delightful book, found on vacation at a used bookstore, is much more than a travel book. While in Sri Lanka the author first began to think of visiting this remote Himalayan Buddhist country after conversations with an elderly German painter who had become a Buddhist monk. Writing skill and brilliant insights enhance this chronicle of his search for the nature and wisdom of the people of Ladakh. It includes many often hilarious vignettes of his fellow pilgrims and this advice from an aging Rinpoche: "If you truly love all things, you will want to become perfect, so that you can be of help to them. You should meditate on this. It is the beginning."


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11/22/63: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781451627299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - July 24th, 2012

This is Stephen King's time travel story of a high-school English teacher who finds himself persuaded to go back to the late 50s in order to prevent the assassination of President JFK. I was 20 years old on that day in '63 and the trauma, though faded, still occasionally evokes tears. So I picked up a copy of the novel one day and finished the first chapter on a break. Never having read King before, I was impressed with his skill at story telling. Actually, I was totally hooked and loving it after 900 more pages.


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The Late Show Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316225984
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
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. Couldn't put it down and I'm hoping he writes more Ballard mysteries.

I listened to this as an audiobook from Libro.fm, the indie bookstore's alternative to Amazon's Audible. Ask any staff member or visit our website to learn about listening to digital audio from Libro.fm.


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The Power and the Glory Cover Image
By Graham Greene, John Updike (Introduction by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143107552
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - March 24th, 2015

It's a time when Catholic churches in Mexico are burned, crosses banned and disobedience means death. All the priests have renounced or fled except for one "Whiskey Priest" who has many failings but emerges as a person willing to sacrifice himself to serve others. Hunted relentlessly by a police lieutenant, the priest is often hidden by the poor at great peril to themselves. TIME magazine's pick as one of the 100 best in the English language since 1923, this novel shows a richer way to think about faith, one which I find more accessible than the romantic narratives about belief.

I listened to this as an audiobook from Libro.fm, the indie alternative to Audible/Amazon. The narrator, Bernard Mayes, was excellent. Ask any staff member how you can download audiobooks from Libro.fm.


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Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812995343
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 14th, 2017

​The audiobook version is narrated by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, Carrie Brownstein, Miranda July, Lena Dunham and others. Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln are grieving the death of their 11-yr-old son, Willie. Most of the characters are ghosts in the cemetery where he was recently interred. They're trapped, unable to move on to a "better place" because of unresolved personal issues. Willie chooses to stay because of his father's loving and intensely moving visits to his grave. Ultimately, all the ghosts are deeply touched by those visits. Their interactions with Willie and each other propel this amazing story to its brilliant conclusion.

Ask any bookseller how to download this other novels from Changing Hands.


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Nutshell: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525431947
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - May 30th, 2017

​One of the most enduring stories of all time is retold, not by a troubled young prince, but by a fetus in his mother's womb. This requires, of course, a willing suspension of disbelief on the reader's part, as did the butterflies in 1000 Years of Solitude or the witches in Macbeth. Having made this concession, the reader is richly rewarded by a tale both humorous and touching, topped off by an exciting and deeply moving final chapter.


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