Kara's picks (page 2)

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Kara KARA
Kara's not sure why working at a bookstore never occurred to her before, because reading is pretty much all she does. Her favorite books include dystopian science fiction, loooong world-building fantasies, Man Booker prize winners, and books that help her understand those crazy animals called humans. In other non-news, she just found out she's in love with Paris after being there for less than 48 hours. She also wouldn't mind living inside Kew Gardens as a tiny gnome.
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Bookshops & Bonedust (Legends & Lattes) By Travis Baldree Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250886101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - November 7th, 2023


Just a delightful story, and a cast of characters you root for whole-heartedly right from the beginning. Elizabeth is a strong, intelligent, disciplined, uncompromising woman who, in the end, realizes there are many paths to any end goal. Moreover, they never look like you thought they would, especially if you aren't part of the majority of people who have already achieved that goal. This book is about overcoming any and all obstacles that come between you and your rightful path. It's engrossing and fun and infuriating and one of my favorites this year.


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Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel By Bonnie Garmus Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780385547345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 5th, 2022


Just a delightful story, and a cast of characters you root for whole-heartedly right from the beginning. Elizabeth is a strong, intelligent, disciplined, uncompromising woman who, in the end, realizes there are many paths to any end goal. Moreover, they never look like you thought they would, especially if you aren't part of the majority of people who have already achieved that goal. This book is about overcoming any and all obstacles that come between you and your rightful path. It's engrossing and fun and infuriating and one of my favorites this year.


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The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy By S. A. Chakraborty Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063233911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - October 10th, 2023


Wow! I was literally immediately sucked into the world of djinn and the Middle East and political intrigue that Charkraborty has created. I raced through the trilogy (starting with City of Brass) and I can't even really tell them apart because I read all three one right after the other. Thank God for River of Silver because I wasn't quite ready to leave the city of Daevabad or Nahri (our heroine who doesn't know she is one), Ali (the prince who grows up and out of his righteous and rigid ideals), and Dara (is he a monster? or are we all monsters?). This is a trilogy worthy of the world-building fantasy title.


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Iron Flame (The Empyrean #2) By Rebecca Yarros Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781649374172
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Entangled: Red Tower Books - November 7th, 2023


ACTION PACKED EVERY PAGE. The war approaches, closer every day. As Xaden (finally!) lets Violet fully into his world, we learn more and more of his secrets. Will Violet still love him? You thought Fourth Wing's excitement was exploding? Well, Iron Flame just lighting-wielded all over that explosion and then some. Read this book and weep for more.


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Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780063021433
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - August 29th, 2023


I love science fiction books that play with real history -and show us truths that allow us to see the world more clearly. Babel is one of those books and R.F. Kuang is a powerful writer. We are transported to the world of Oxford University in England during the 1800s as colonization and all its evils continue. The difference in this world is SILVER- a metal imbued with power, that Britain has a monopoly over. Silver's power runs on the difference in language translation- so native speakers of foreign languages are highly prized- and they have to decide where their loyalty lies...


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Unruly: The Ridiculous History of England's Kings and Queens By David Mitchell Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780593728482
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - October 3rd, 2023


For me please, just read the back cover. I'll wait here. Ok ya'll, #1: David Mitchell is too much. I could not stop laughing, my face hurts. Should this book be shelved in History or Humor?...#2, yes, I admit it, I have that weird American obsession thing with English royalty. Why? Why? I ask myself that all the time, especially as I spend hours reading these kinds of books. Only, as far as I know, there are no books like this one. It's as if your favorite history teacher was also a stand up comedian and his material was the kings of England. Gold. Pure gold.


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The Book of M: A Novel By Peng Shepherd Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062669612
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 25th, 2019


Peng Shepherd is not only an engrossing writer, she's also a Phoenix local and holy wow this book was so up my alley I can't even. Ory and Max are married and at their best friends' wedding, when society starts to dissolve. Why? Because people are losing their shadows, and with their shadows, their memories. And not just their personal memories, but their understanding of how the world works, which means the world stops working in the ways we understand it. I felt so so in this world, I kept checking to make sure my own shadow was still there. The twists you guys!


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The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy #1) By Lev Grossman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780452296299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 25th, 2010


Instead of a magic middle/high school ie Hogwarts, Quentin is accepted into a magic college. The classes are so much harder than what Harry had to learn AND what to do as a magician after college is even harder to contemplate. You think your regular life is hard? Quentin is a MAGICIAN and still can't figure out how to live in this world, our reality. So, he kind of decides not to...ALSO, this book has one of the absolute best magic fight sequences I've ever read, oh my god.


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Wellness: A novel By Nathan Hill Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593536117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 19th, 2023


Oh, the perils of life in late stage-capitalism today. We can have everything we thought we ever wanted and still not be satisfied. And then we are so upset with ourselves for not being satisfied with getting everything we ever wanted. Sound familiar? This book follows married couple Elizabeth and Jack when they first meet and then later on when their son is 8 years old. Their trauma bond is a big old mess. Can they fix it? Should they even try? What went wrong and where exactly and why? And are any of these questions actually answerable? Good luck looking at your life in quite the same way after this read.


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Fourth Wing (The Empyrean #1) By Rebecca Yarros Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781649374042
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Entangled: Red Tower Books - May 2nd, 2023


All I can say is I hope there are many, many more books to come from this world! What a wild ride- from learning to fly on a dragon to learning to trust yourself to finding your place in a brand-new environment. I read this book and then immediately read it again and it was even better. There is so much going on here and it's all connected. And don't forget the spice! The romance between Violet and Xaden is dragon-fire intense and so worth the wait. The ending is way crazier than I expected. Totally loved it.


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Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes By Travis Baldree Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250886088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - November 8th, 2022


Oh my goodness, what a joy. I don't know if you've read The Second Mountain by David Brooks, but this little gem is the fantasy embodiment of Brook's ideas. Basically, the first mountain is achievement, success, ambition by the standards of society and other people. The second mountain is what is truly you, what you do for complete passion and it comes after you've exhausted yourself on the first mountain and realized it wasn't as important as you thought. So, Viv is an adventure-hungry, treasure-seeking, justice-avenging orc and that's been her first mountain. Her second mountain is, OMG, YES, opening a coffee shop. How do you not love that?


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A Dirty Guide to a Clean Home: Housekeeping Hacks You Can't Live Without By Melissa Dilkes Pateras, Carla Sosenko (With) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593446379
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The Dial Press - November 28th, 2023


If you love to clean and hate to Google, this is the book for you. Basically if you are a reader and a cleaner, you’ve just found a book that combines your two best instincts- keep things clean and read good books. The tips you guys! Oxygenated bleach! What!? Yes! Ironing- I used to be so mad at it. Now I have a multi directional iron and life is good. And not just cleaning tips- become a handy-person and finally know what a Phillips screwdriver is! I love it- the only book that lives on in my laundry room, right next to the Tide and dryer balls.


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The Postcard By Anne Berest, Tina Kover (Translator) Cover Image
By Anne Berest, Tina Kover (Translator)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781609458386
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - May 16th, 2023


Identities erased, identities revived, history coming to light. Powerful realizations about your family, which is situated in history, and guess what? These are part of you and affect who you are today. An extremely powerful re-imagining of what this author thought she knew and believed. A lesson in truth. An honest reckoning of the author’s ancestors and their past and finally being able to look that truth in the eye.



A new chapter of history began when George "Perry" Floyd was killed. This is the story of his life and the beginnings of a racial justice reckoning that continues today. We come to learn of Floyd's family history, including the theft of 400 acres of land and wealth from his great-great grandfather after reconstruction, later generations of his family being taken advantage of as sharecroppers, and the public education system in Texas seriously failing him, including by putting his incredible athletic skills above any academic goals. This powerful book is a must-read to understand American history and see our failings as a society.


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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A novel By Gabrielle Zevin Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593321201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - July 5th, 2022


I'm not sure why I like books about video games, but they seem to pull me in and I don't even play video games! If you liked Ready Player One, you might enjoy this book about the collaboration between two video game designers. The story is touching and quite sad, hopeful in the end. It's a book about friends who maybe should be lovers or perhaps about collaborators who should be better friends or child friendships becoming adult relationships or what happens when we don't tell our closest people how we feel.


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A Prayer for the Crown-Shy: A Monk and Robot Book (Monk & Robot #2) By Becky Chambers Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781250236234
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - July 12th, 2022


Wow, this sequel to A Psalm for a Wild-Built is just beautiful. In these two books, Chambers brings us to a world that could be- not a dystopia, though not necessarily a utopia either, but one in which time moves slower, and people are given the chance to take that time to explore themselves. In the sequel, our monk Dex and our robot Mosscap continue their journeys of introducing Mosscap to the human world and Dex's self-discovery path. The world is kinder, gentler, slower, and/but humans still have to learn how to be themselves. Relaxing, illuminating, calming.


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How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self By Dr. Nicole LePera Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780063012097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - March 9th, 2021


Are you beginning the work to understand how your childhood and past experiences affect your mental health, decisions, and emotions? This is a great book to start that journey and begin to better understand yourself. The work we have to do may be difficult, but Dr. LePera breaks it down into small, simple actions. Her expertise shines through- she's been there herself and helped countless others. Her work has been an eye-opener for me and I have truly appreciated this book and its insights for every person's healing journey.


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Translation State By Ann Leckie Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780316289719
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - June 6th, 2023


I was almost late to work and to a doctor's appointment because I was so wrapped up in Leckie's universe. After I finished her Radch Universe trilogy (Ancillary Justice, Sword & Mercy), I couldn't bear to leave just yet, and I'm so glad she's written other books in this universe! Translation State is about the quasi-humans the aliens made in order to talk to humans, also known as Presger Translators. When one of these Translators is found living amongst humans, unauthorized, chaos among the human factions and aliens ensues. A huge, mesmerizing space opera, driven by intimate characters and universal conflicts.


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A Wild and Heavenly Place By Robin Oliveira Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593543856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 13th, 2024


If you love Seattle or are going to be visiting it or the nearby spectacular outdoors of the Pacific Northwest, this is a lovely book about its beauty and recent history. If you love a star-crossed heart wrenching romance, you will also enjoy this book. Young Irish immigrants from starkly different social classes travel across the world to Seattle, meeting incredible obstacles along the way and finding their way in a brand new world. Engaging and lovely.


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To Shape a Dragon's Breath: The First Book of Nampeshiweisit By Moniquill Blackgoose Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593498286
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - May 9th, 2023


I loved the main character of this story. She is who I want to be when I grow up- decisive, compassionate, clear-eyed. It's the mid 1800s and Anequs,a young indigenous woman, lives in a world where the descendants of the vikings colonized North America, without much difference from true history in how they treat the native people. But in this pseudo-historical fantasy world, there are DRAGONS and Anequs is chosen by the first dragon they've seen in her homeland in hundreds of years. This book seems to be setting up a possible re-ordering of this world and I can't WAIT to read the rest of this series.


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Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience By Brené Brown Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780399592553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - November 30th, 2021


This is a powerful book. I read it recently after listening to Brene Brown’s TED talk from years ago and I realized I’ve been behind the times. Brene Brown’s research and insights are so powerful and so intimate, I call her Brene, instead of using her last name. I was continually putting the book down to close my eyes and truly absorb her words- many of the stories she tells and the things she puts into words helped me understand myself. The goal of understanding ourselves, Brene writes, is “to find that solid ground within us, the shore that offers safe harbor when we’re feeling untethered and adrift. The real gift of learning language, practicing this work, and cultivating meaningful connection is being able to go anywhere without the fear of getting lost.”


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Tom Lake: A Reese's Book Club Pick By Ann Patchett Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063327528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - August 1st, 2023


In one word: calming. One of those rare books that are quote-unquote happy. I might even call it a beautiful beach read. Ann Patchett is a gorgeous storyteller and I loved this story of one woman's choices. I'm not sure how this happened, but I got Patchett confused with another author and I'm sad to say I've only read Bel Canto and State of Wonder. But no more- every other Ann Patchett book is now on my to read list.


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The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity By David Graeber, David Wengrow Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781250858801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - April 4th, 2023


For fans of Sapiens or Jared Diamond, this is a must-read. If you are into anthropology, archeology, or ancient human history, this book is totally for you. I also highly recommend this book to poli-sci junkies- this work is critically important to challenging dominant ways of thinking about how and where "civilization" began. The best part about this book, though, is how well-written it is, for a subject matter that can sometimes seem dry. These two authors must be truly great teachers, and that is reflected in how they present their work.


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Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity By Peter Attia, MD, Bill Gifford (With) Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593236598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harmony - March 28th, 2023


Highly recommended for everyone- an extremely well researched and unbiased look at the facts of longevity. Dr. Attia does a great job helping us understand the science behind his recommendations for exercise, nutrition, sleep, and mental health. We go deep into the "Four Horseman" (heart disease, cancer, dementia, and metabolic diseases like diabetes) and how to prevent them. We also learn what biomarkers we and our doctors should be paying attention to. A lot of interesting tidbits pop in, like how important brushing and flossing are to prevent Alzheimer's (!).


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Every Rising Sun: A Novel By Jamila Ahmed Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250887078
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - July 18th, 2023


The cover pulled me into this book and I am so glad it did. It's an agonizing and simply beautiful telling of the backstory of 1,001 nights, the classic compilation of Middle Eastern folk tales, told by Shaherazade to her husband. Shaherazade learns how to tell stories from her mother and that gift ultimately saves her life. It gives her insights and understandings into the people around her, showing her how to wield her power. It's an enchanting read, a story of a young woman coming to understand what power she holds and how to wield it, a coming of age story, of youthful illusions shattered and the true world coming in to focus. And within all of that are the folk tales, mesmerizing.


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Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals By Oliver Burkeman Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250849359
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - June 27th, 2023


Have you ever: read the first few pages of a book, realized this particular book was going to very possibly change your life, read it super quickly (kind of stunned the whole time), signed up for the author's email newsletter, followed the author on every social media they were on (only Twitter, cry), and got the e-book so you could furiously highlight every single passage? No? Just me? Well, you could have the same experience if you read this book. It is slowly helping me answer important questions about how to spend the weeks of my life with philosophical, but totally readable, beautiful, truth-bomb-like prose: "In what ways have you yet to accept the fact that you are who you are, not the person you think you ought to be?” (!) and “Let your impossible standards crash to the ground. Then pick a few meaningful tasks from the rubble and get started on them today.” Amen.


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Children of Memory (Children of Time #3) By Adrian Tchaikovsky Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780316466400
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - January 31st, 2023


Wow, this series really blew my mind. Tchaikovsky's first book in the series, Children of Time, was so cool and different from anything I'd read before. I was so excited to learn it was a trilogy (or maybe more?)! Not only have spiders, octopuses, and (possibly) crows become sentient/conscious/complex/intelligent, a virus has also become sentient (so scary! until the sentient AI character teaches it to co-exist peacefully). The third book takes these species and concepts even farther, challenging each of them and us as we question what it means to be "sentient". What will happen when we encounter a potentially sentient planet?!


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Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential By Tiago Forte Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982167387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - June 14th, 2022


Do you have notes and little pieces of information and printed articles and general things you think are awesome all over your desktop and computer files and in web browsers and sitting in boxes? Do you constantly say “I need to organize my life”? Are you overwhelmed by the amount of information you want to keep or store or refer back to sometime but you don’t know when? All these described me, and this book is the answer. Finally, a method for your madness that helps you DO stuff with that information. This is not about productivity- this is about what you want to DO with your life. Such an important book for me to feel like I have my stuff together and can LIVE my life.


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The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human By Siddhartha Mukherjee Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781982117351
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - October 25th, 2022


Another great medical read from Mukherjee! This book is in a series of books Mukherjee has written about how the human body works, especially microscopically. This one is all about cells- how they evolved, what they do, and what modern medicine and science might be able to make them do. It’s full of hope for the very interesting future of using cells as medicine. I love the stories Mukherjee includes- it’s almost a historical nonfiction book about the cell and how we discovered what exactly they do, through stories of patients and doctors and researchers. The book goes deep, so expect to learn a lot if you are new to the cell!


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The Last Russian Doll By Kristen Loesch Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593547984
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - March 14th, 2023


I loved this book quickly- it pulls you in right away with the characters' mysterious pasts. The story is told through Rosie, from the 1990’s, and Tonya, during the Russian revolution. The story takes many twists and turns and keep things interesting. What I liked most was Rosie’s re-discovery of her homeland. She was born in Russia and lived there as a child, but for a terrible reason, her and her mother fled to England. When Rosie returns to Russia as an adult, she slowly starts to become again Raisa, her Russian name and identity. Woven throughout is the story of Tonya, who has a special connection to Raisa. This story dives deep into how the events of history affect us as individuals.