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Danielle is your stereotypical bookseller: coffee-addicted, crazy cat mom, crime junkie, lover of anything cozy, and has a TBR list at least 62 books long (and counting). She never remembers to say one of her favorite genres is historical fiction, even though it is. Find her perusing the literature and true crime shelves, admiring everything related to cats, and shelving like her life depends on it.
Death Valley is one of those books where you go in expecting one thing and come out a changed person. On the surface, it seems like your usual feral girl—until you realize that the feral girl is actually teaching you philosophy and offering you a $27 therapy session to deal with the existential crisis that comes afterward. All in the best way. Melissa Broder is an extraordinary writer. Poetic, concise yet detailed, descriptions that have the scene floating off the page. Desert dwellers will especially appreciate the attention to detail. Death Valley is so much more than a story about a giant cactus.
Rick Riordan, the God of Writing Excellent Stories with Excellent Characters and Excellent Adventures, is back to the basics. The Chalice of the Gods picks up after the Heroes of Olympus storyline, but we get back to the OG Percy-and-Annabeth-and-Grover-get-pulled-into-some-seemingly-impossible-and-ridiculuous-quest-but-somehow-don't-die formula that we all love about the original series. We've got killer chickens, goddess karaoke, 'Seaweed Brain', yogi river gods, farmers markets, blue food...the complete random and genius that we've come to expect from the PJ universe. Take it from a bookseller who named her cat Percy, you won't be disappointed.
Hi, I'm a staff recommendation. What is life like as a staff rec, you may ask? It's the best job, helping people find books to read. It's also a whole lotta talking. But enough about me. Let me tell you about a book called THE BOOK THAT NO ONE WANTED TO READ (TBTNOWTR). You should definitely read it. We learn about life as a book from a book itself: the trials (dog-eared pages), the tribulations (boring covers), and the joys (being read). Full of colorful and very random figures and illustrations, TBTNOWTR offers a hilarious perspective about what it's like to be a boring book and what happens when an inquisitive reader takes interest in said boring book. This is a great read for children, teens, and adults alike--everyone can learn to appreciate books more!
MAKE IT JAPANESE is a great place to start when you don't know where to start with cooking Japanese cuisine. Rie McClenny truly focuses on starting from the *very* beginning, like explaining the basic Japanese words you should know and the specific Japanese kitchen tools that you might need. The recipes move from very easy to more difficult, but Rie makes sure not to leave you behind. She also puts a sweet, personal twist on her recipes, providing sentimental anecdotes from her own experiences with the cuisine when she lived in Japan. You may have seen her on Buzzfeed's Tasty (if you haven't, then you need to go watch). There's no denying that the practicality and aesthetics of this cookbook are *chef's kiss*!
Dracula Daily is so fun. I am Stoke[d] about this book! Started as an email newsletter, Matt Kirkland sends the late-1800s novel in bite-sized portions with modern day commentary. The emails follow the actual timeline of Dracula, with Matt sending the entries on the exact day as the novel. Now we have a physical archive of all the hilarity and creative internet contributions! If you've read Dracula and need more, Dracula Daily is a book you count refuse. It's also great for those who just need a modern twist on a classic. Read it one go, or as the year goes on--Dracula isn't just for Halloween!
Francesco Marciuliano gets cats. He captures their essence *perfectly* in this collection of poems and adorable photos. Cat-lovers far and wide will love this cute little gift book; they will be grinning from the cuteness and exclaiming, "SO TRUE!". I will leave you with my favorite line: "You and I will play / My favorite game of trying to grab / your eyelids with my claws".
It is exactly that: 80 pots from around the world. Following the course of human history, pots and other ceramics are highlighted in colorful, high definition photos--both great to admire and great to learn from. This would be a perfect gift for the pot-lover in your life!
GNOMES! Seriously, how cute. Within these pages lie gnome identification guides, detailed descriptions of what you might find in a gnome home (would that be called a hnome?), gnome special abilities such as first aid, and probably literally everything you would ever need to know about a gnome. This is a revised and updated edition (gnome science is constantly progressing) of a timeless favorite of both adults and children. The illustrations are beautiful and it truly feels like a hand-written field guide.
Recently, I have found myself running out of space for my rapidly expanding rock/mineral/crystal collection. It's taken over my home... and my life. That being said, there is *always* room for learning more about these beautiful and interesting specimens, and this guide is super helpful for identifying and locating Arizona's wide array of minerals. It includes info about each mineral and where to locate them, as well as FULL COLOR PHOTOS (you read that right). Now, if you find a peculiar specimen in your backyard, it is so easy to quickly identify it and add it to the collection! I highly recommend this guide to beginners and experts alike, because there is always something new to learn.
I could write a whole essay on why I recommend this book, but the fact of the matter is you just need to read it yourself to understand the impact, the significance, of this story. I usually steer away from WWII fiction, but I am so glad I picked this one up. More like a memoir than fiction, it was almost entirely pulled from Anne Berest’s own family history, touching on religious and national identity, intergenerational trauma, and what makes a family. Once I finished the book, I cried. Not only because it was a heart-wrenching story, but also because it was over and it touched me so deeply. (Check trigger warnings)
Marion will do pretty much anything to avoid being a typical 1950s housewife, and honestly, I would do the same. Though, I probably would not audition for the Radio City Rockettes and definitely would not be chosen as a Radio City Rockette. In a world saturated in 1900s NYC historical fiction, I can say with confidence that The Spectacular is a refreshing take on the Big Apple. Not only do we become immersed in the daily life of a Rockette (they are amazing), but the story does a 180 and suddenly we are in an amature murder investigation. I cried, I laughed, and I spent way too much time watching Rockette performances online...
If I could spend the rest of my life in Jimbocho, Tokyo, surrounded by only secondhand bookshops, I would die happy. This short novel is—in the most affectionate and admirable way possible—“just vibes [hardly any] plot.” Satoshi Yagisawa touches on universal human struggles in a refreshing and interesting perspective and writes so simply but so emotionally impactful. The Morisaki Bookshop feels like it is floating off the pages. Reading this is like a warm hug with the dusty scent of old paper hanging in the air, accented by a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Vibes.
As the resident vampire fanatic, this adorable, steamy rom-com is V.F.A. (vampire fanatic approved). In a world full of vampire romance media, this debut novel sticks out as a unique take on both vampire/human romance and forced proximity. And the cover absolutely delightful. And the author is a Twihard. (Need I say more?) For all of you slow-burn fans out there, this is the one for you. Step *slightly* over, Edward Cullen—Frederick J. Fitzwilliam is the new vampire hottie in town!
I might be alone on this, but being a hunter-gatherer definitely has appeal. Sure, there is the issue of shorter lifespans, higher susceptibility to disease, strong dependence on the environment, etc, etc. But there is also research to suggest that hunter-gatherers were overall happier and healthier. Heying and Weinstein present a well-developed argument that, since our lifestyles are so different from our ancestors' and our evolution is not in-sync to technology, we are running into a host of problems. Stemming from a podcast also by the two authors, this read is part scientific communication, part self-improvement--I think there's something for everyone to help them live a better life, closer to where we came from.
Philomena Cunk is the best at being the worst historian and journalist, but so much so that she actually *is* the best historian and journalist humanity has seen, for that reason. Her debut encyclopedia, Cunk on Everything, is a great resource for history buffs, scientists, politicians, and even the common citizen, since her perspective is eye-opening and based on only truth and fact. I love Cunk because she is serious and concise, and because she is not at all satirical in any way. I highly recommend this book to those who want to learn everything or to those who need a funny gift for a person who has a good sense of humor.