January 2018
Phoenix Comic Fest
History of Western Music AZ NM RoadTrips Greg Peterson
Cecile Richards discusses her NYT bestseller Make Trouble don Jose Ruiz shares his latest The Wisdom of the Shamans NBA All-Star Elgin Baylor signs copies of his memoir in Phoenix
Getting Your Magic Back Future Consciousness Enlightenment Now
Join us in Tempe for Friday Poetry with Lois Roma-Deeley Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow present their new graphic novel Craig Childs visits with Atlas of a Lost World, chronicling the Ice Age
Swimming with Elephants Above and Beyond Dirty Genes
Author and journalist Jana Bommersbach shares her latest novel Panel Discussion with Betty Webb, Donis Casey, and Eileen Brady Local author Andrea Lechner-Becker shares her debut
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CBW | PHOENIX / TEMPE | FAMILY EVENT | CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK | Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running literacy initiative for children in America. We're honoring it this year through a variety of author events, panels, storytimes, and more! Just look for the CBW icon for more information on each event. More »

CBW | All Day | PHOENIX | FAMILY EVENT | CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATOR EXHIBIT | Changing Hands has partnered with The Newton—home of our Phoenix store and First Draft Book Bar—to feature artwork from local New York Times bestselling illustrators, including Caldecott honor winner Molly Idle (People Don't Bite People), Chris Gall (The Littlest Train), and Juana Martinez-Neal (Alma and How She Got Her Name).

CBW | 10:15am | TEMPE | FAMILY EVENT | STORYTIME WITH POUT-POUT FISH | Bring the kiddos and your camera for pictures and storytime with Deborah Diesen's Mr. Fish, who discovers that spreading "the dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. Hosted by author and Phoenix Public Library Early Literacy Specialist Tom Leveen. More »
6pm | PHOENIX | ARCHAEOLOGY CAFÉ — PHOENIX UNDERGROUND | "THE SALADO IN PHOENIX: POINT/COUNTERPOINT" | Knowledge seekers of every kind are welcome at Archaeology Café, where experts share their latest research on Phoenix's deep and diverse history in a jargon-free zone. Much recent archaeological research has focused on the Salado period, from the early 1300s to A.D. 1450, a period of population migration and movement across the Southwest that initiated a series of dramatic changes—in how and where people lived, what they believed, and even their ability to survive. Archaeologists Glen Rice and Jeffery Clark join us for lively discussion and debate about The Salado in Phoenix: Point/Counterpoint. Come learn more about the history of this place you call home. Presented by Archaeology Southwest, a nonprofit organization working across the Southwest to explore and protect the places of our past. More »

CBW | 9:15am | PHOENIX | FAMILY EVENT | BABY TIME | Early Literacy Specialists from Phoenix Public Library visit every Thursday to share songs, rhymes, books, and activities to promote movement in toddlers and infants. Also join us in Phoenix at 9:15am on Thursdays, May 10, 17, 24, and 31. More »
CBW | 10am | PHOENIX | FAMILY EVENT | STORYTIME WITH POUT-POUT FISH | Bring the kiddos and your camera for pictures and a storytime with Deborah Diesen's Mr. Fish, who discovers that spreading "the dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. Author and Phoenix Public Library Early Literacy Specialist Tom Leveen hosts. More »
12:30pm | PHOENIX | CECILE RICHARDS | MAKE TROUBLE | Cecile Richards—president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America for more than a decade, daughter of the late Governor Ann Richards, featured speaker at the Women's March on Washington, and a "heroine of the resistance" (Vogue)—visits Changing Hands Phoenix with her instant New York Times bestseller Make Trouble, a story about learning to lead and make change, based on a lifetime of fighting for women's rights and social justice. More »
5:30pm | TEMPE | GETTING INVOLVED 101 | Volunteer orientation with HandsOn Greater Phoenix. A one-time tax deductible activation donation of $25 applies to ages 19 and older. Info: 602.973.2212 or handsonphoenix.org.
CBW | 7pm | TEMPE | TEEN EVENT | SUZANNE YOUNG | THE COMPLICATION | The New York Times bestselling teen author and local high school teacher presents the sixth novel in the Program series. More »

CBW | 7pm | TEMPE | TEEN EVENT | OPEN MIC WITH AMY FELLNER DOMINY | THE FALL OF GRACE | Calling all writers! Here's your chance to share your work in front of a friendly audience. It was a First Page Read-Aloud event that led to Amy Fellner Dominy's first sale. Now she's celebrating the release of her sixth book, The Fall of Grace, by hosting this Open Mic Night for other aspiring authors. Bring a first page or a short scene to share—each reader will be given up to 3 minutes at the microphone. There will be chocolate for courage and other writers to cheer you on! Open to writers of all ages, fiction or non-fiction, all genres appropriate for a family audience. Dominy will sign copies of The Fall of Grace after the event. Sign-up to read starting at 6:45pm on event day. Spots are limited. More »

CBW | ALL DAY | PHOENIX / TEMPE | FAMILY EVENT | KIDS TRADES DAY | Learn the ins and outs of trading your used books! Kids and teens will talk to a used book expert about the benefits and guidelines of the Changing Hands trade program. They'll also earn a coupon to spend in the bookstore! More »
CBW | 10am | TEMPE | FAMILY EVENT | COSTUME STORYTIME: LLAMA LLAMA | Bring the kiddos and your camera, and join us for stories by Anna Dewdney and pictures with Llama Llama! More »
CBW | 11am | TEMPE | FAMILY EVENT | MOLLY IDLE | PEOPLE DON'T BITE PEOPLE | Join us for a special storytime with Caldecott Honor-winning local author and illustrator Molly Idle. In her hysterical new read-aloud picture book People Don't Bite People, Idle reminds overeager little biters that biting is for food. Learning good behavior has never been so fun! More »
CBW | 2pm | PHOENIX / TEMPE | TWEEN EVENT | CLUB READ | TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN | Calling all tweens! Join us for free pizza as
we discuss Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden. Club Read Badge Members: Get three points for attending the meeting and one point for purchasing the month's pick from Changing Hands Bookstore. Don't have a free Club Read badge? Ask a bookseller how to get one! More »
CBW | 4-6pm | TEMPE | TEEN EVENT | WRITING WORKSHOP | MELISSA MARR | "COMBAT IN FICTION" | The New York Times bestselling author of the Lovely Wicked series hosts a writing workshop for teens as part of Children's Book Week. Marr demonstrates sword fighting maneuvers with a practice sword and discusses why this matters for writing action scenes. Cost: $20. Ages 13 and up. Register at 480.730.0205 or online. More »
5:30—8:30pm | TEMPE | INSIGHTS TAROT READINGS | James R. Betz offers advice on life, relationships, and career choices. Cost: $20 for 15 minutes. Registration at 480.730.0205. More info: 602.840.2222.
7pm | PHOENIX | THREE POETS LAUREATE OF THE SOUTHWEST | This gathering of city laureates showcases not only the poetic diversity of the Southwest, but of three poet-activists who are striving to create community through outreach and personal-poetic narrative. Hosted by Rosemarie Dombrowski, inaugural Poet Laureate of Phoenix, the event also features Vogue Robinson (Poet Laureate of Clark County, Nevada) and TC Tolbert (Poet Laureate of Tucson). No poet is an island, nor is any city alone in its battle to resuscitate the poetic arts. As community activists and educators, these poets collectively use poetry as a means of supporting marginalized populations while building bridges across their cities and beyond. As poets, they share their intensely personal and communal stories, and their battles for agency in an era of eroding rights. More »
CBW | 11am-12:30pm | PHOENIX | FAMILY EVENT | PLAY ART AND YOGA | Celebrate Children's Book Week with this pop-up yoga event with PLAY (Play and Learn Through Art and Yoga). Parents and children will practice mindfulness with yoga, art, and reading! This is a FREE event. Ideal for ages 3 - 8 years old, but ALL ages welcome. Parents are invited to bring yoga mats as they will be provided for children only. More »
CBW | 11am-1pm | TEMPE | FAMILY EVENT | JUDY MOODY DAY | Judy Moody Day is your chance to celebrate all things Judy and Stink (and Mouse, Toady, and Jaws). Judy Moody: she's a third-grader, avid collector, Saver of the Planet, and future doctor . . . but most of all, she is moody. Just like YOU. She and her pesky little brother Stink star in the wildly popular and award-winning series written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter Reynolds. Join us for activities, giveaways, and snacks! More »

6:30-7:30pm | PHOENIX | WORKSHOP WITH CATHERINE ALONZO | "HOW TO ACHIEVE ANYTHING" | Setting and meeting goals is a fundamental part of life, but unmet aspirations can leave us feeling frustrated and defeated. And some goals seem so out of reach that we often feel like we've failed before we even begin. Javelina CEO Catherine Alonzo talks about the elephant in the room that topples many dreams: fear. She'll share tried-and-tested strategies for overcoming fear and shattering goals, no matter what you want to achieve. Whether you're a resolution lover or hater, you'll leave with tangible techniques for achieving more, struggling less, and shaping your world to better accommodate your dreams. Cost: $10. Register at 602.274.0067 or online. More »
7pm | TEMPE | DON JOSE RUIZ | THE WISDOM OF THE SHAMANS | The New York Times bestselling co-author of The Fifth Agreement shares his new book about what ancient shamans can teach us about love and life. For generations, Toltec shamans have passed down their wisdom through teaching stories. The purpose of these stories is to implant a seed of knowledge in the mind of the listener, where it can sprout and blossom into a new and better way of life. In The Wisdom of the Shamans, Toltec shaman and master storyteller don Jose Ruiz shares some of the most popular stories from his family's oral tradition, and offers corresponding lessons that illustrate the larger ideas within each story. The shamans taught that the truth you seek is inside you. Let these stories, lessons, and tools be your guide to finding the innate wisdom that lives within. More »

7pm | PHOENIX | FOUND IN TRANSLATION BOOK CLUB | A LONG WAY FROM HOME | This month we discuss A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey. Set in the 1950s, this is a world every American will recognize: black, white, who we are, how we got here, and what we did to each other along the way. More »

10:30am-12pm | TEMPE | BECOME A DEMENTIA FRIEND | Dementia Friends is a global movement to help communities better understand dementia—how it affects people, and how we can all make a difference in the lives of those living with the disease. After this one-hour class, you too will be a Dementia Friend, ready to turn understanding into practical action! That action can be as big or as small as you choose . . . because every action counts. Dementia Friends Tempe is organized by The City of Tempe. To register, call: 602-839-6850. More »
3:30pm | PHOENIX | SIGNING ONLY | ELGIN BAYLOR | HANG TIME | Eleven-time NBA All-Star and Los Angeles Lakers player Elgin Baylor signs copies of his memoir covering an epic all-star career in the NBA—during which he transformed basketball from a horizontal game to a vertical one—and his fights against racism during his career as a player and as general manager of the LA Clippers under the infamous Donald Sterling. More »
7pm | TEMPE | FRIDAY POETRY | LOIS ROMA-DEELEY | THE SHORT LIST OF CERTAINTIES | Lois Roma-Deeley reads poems from her new collection The Short List of Certainties, which Pulitzer Prize nominated poet Sydney Lea calls "a tour de force." "It's been a long time since a collection has so affected me. Whether she is writing of our twisted relational lives, or of her own seemingly innate sense that something's wrong, Roma-Deeley writes with that curious blend of authority and self-doubt that marks our best poets." More »

10am | PHOENIX | FAMILY EVENT | COSTUME STORYTIME: LLAMA LLAMA | Bring the kiddos and your camera, and join us for stories by Anna Dewdney and pictures with Llama Llama! More »
Mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts . . . let's celebrate them all! Join us in Tempe for a Succulent Planting Party. Select from a range of mini succulents and cheerful mugs from Natural Life. We'll provide potting materials, gift tag, and a cute Natural Life bag for a Mother's Day gift like no other! Cost: $3 to $5 for your choice of succulent and $10-17 for your choice of planter mug. More »
2-3:30pm | PHOENIX | "MOTHERS WHO WRITE" READING | It's a Mother's Day weekend tradition, with a twist. Join current and former members of the Mothers Who Write workshop for a reading of their new work. You'll laugh, you'll cry—and, in Mothers Who Write's new location at the Newton—you'll be able to enjoy beer, wine, coffee, tea, and snacks from Changing Hands' own First Draft Book Bar. Some material not suitable for children (which is usually what happens when mothers speak freely). Bring a mother—your own or someone else's—and buy her a nice glass of something festive! Free and open to the public. More »
3pm | TEMPE | TEEN EVENT | TEEN ADVISORY BOARD (T.A.B.): CADAVER & QUEEN AND THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER | Teens meet to discuss Alisa Kwitney's Cadaver & Queen. Frankenstein meets Marissa Meyer's Cinder in this tightly paced historical thriller packed with secrets, betrayal, and steamy romance. We'll also discuss Emily X. R. Pan's The Astonishing Color of After, a stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family. More »
5:30—8:30pm | TEMPE | TAROT READINGS | Mystic Journeyz with Suzi Coggins. "Your Angels Are Waiting." Cost: $20 for 15 minutes. Registration at 480.730.0205. More info: mysticjourneyz.com.


6:30-9:30pm | PHOENIX | DRINK AND DRAW | First Draft Book Bar presents a night of drinking and drawing for all skill levels, featuring a local model for a three-hour pose. Bring your own supplies. Cost: $8. Registration at 602.274.0067 or online. More »
6:30—8:30pm | TEMPE | POETRY ROUNDTABLE | Workshop one of your poems with a group of peers. More info: jedesign2004@yahoo.com.
7pm | TEMPE | CAITLIN MAJOR AND KELLY BASTOW | MANFRIED THE MAN | Author and illustrator team Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow present their new graphic novel. In the world of Manfried the Man, the roles of cats and humans are reversed: humanoid cats are in charge, while tiny, dim-witted, lovable little people are kept as pets. Manfried, a stray man taken in by slacker Steve Catson, becomes the Garfield to his John Arbuckle: lazy, selfish, and sometimes maddening in his weird human behavior. But ultimately the pair depend on each other to get through life's troubles. In this book-length story, Steve finds himself stuck with a dead-end job and nonexistent love-life, while all his friends are moving on, getting better jobs, getting married and having kittens. When Manfried runs away from home, Steve suddenly loses the one constant in his life, and has to muster all his meager resources to find his best friend and bring him home safe. More »

7pm | PHOENIX | CRAIG CHILDS | ATLAS OF A LOST WORLD | The author of Apocalyptic Planet visits with his latest, a vivid travelogue through prehistory that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago, and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era. In Atlas of a Lost World, Childs chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans' chances for survival. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters—and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light. First Draft Book Bar Tap take over with AZ Wilderness Brewery. Co-presented by AZ Wilderness Brewery. More »

7pm | PHOENIX | JANA BOMMERSBACH | THEDEADGIRLINTHEVACANTLOT | The local author and journalist discusses her latest novel. Phoenix investigative reporter Joya Bonner knew nothing about the world of sex-trafficking—or the ugly status her city held in this filthy underground. And then it smacked her in the face, just as the Super Bowl was coming to town in 2008. Scared, repulsed, frantic, but determined, she risks her life trying to save girls forced into sex slavery. Jana speaks about her research and agony in writing this novel at this, the official launch of thedeadgirlinthevacantlot. More »

6:30pm | PHOENIX | "RAMBUNCTIOUS PRESS" LAUNCH | Join us in Tempe to celebrate the launch of Desert Hills High School's online literary arts journal. Rambunctious Press features poetry, artwork, stories, photography, and video production from students in the East Valley, and across Arizona. More »
6:30-8:30pm | PHOENIX | WRITING WORKSHOP | AMY SILVERMAN AND DEBORAH SUSSMAN | WRITE NOW! | Amy Silverman and Deborah Sussman present a four-session workshop offering tips and tricks to get you started on a summer writing project. From prompts designed to get you writing in class to a brainstorming discussion that will help you figure out next steps (start a blog? submit a story for publication? write a book proposal? make a goal to journal? create a writing group?) and several opportunities to workshop essays, this class will help you figure out your next step. Cost: $80 for four sessions. May 17, 24, 31, and June 7. Register at 602.274.0067 or online. More »
7pm | TEMPE | TEEN EVENT | RYAN DALTON | THE GENESIS FLAME (TIME SHIFT TRILOGY #3) | The local author presents the third installment of his sci-fi mystery series. The timeline is burning. While teenage twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert struggle to reach their full potential, an enemy accuses them of attacking his future, and his quest for vengeance threatens the timeline. To survive, the twins must learn the truth about themselves and their mysterious accuser. Failure could mean the end of Time itself. More »

7-9pm | PHOENIX | STORYLINE SLAM | SERVICE | 10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER. Sign up on TheStoryline.org to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn from the Electronic Hat and posted the weekend before on the TheStoryline.org SLAM lineup page. Two more names will be drawn at the beginning of the show on May 18th. Ten tellers will then have six minutes each to share a story based on the theme "Service." Five members of the audience will be the judges, and the story with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize! Cost: $6 in advance, $8 at the door. Registration at 602.274.0067 or online. More »

1-3:30pm | TEMPE | TAROT WORKSHOP | SUZI COGGINS | "LEARN TO READ RIDER-WAITE TAROT CARDS WITHOUT MEMORIZING ANYTHING" | Journey with Suzi to the place she goes to when doing her readings. According to Suzi: "In the first part of the workshop, you'll be taken to meet your spirit guides through guided meditation. This is the most important part of reading Tarot. Most importantly, this is the place where your spirit guides can talk to you directly. The second part of the class will be learning how to read Tarot cards with the assistance of those guides." Cost: $30. Registration at 480.730.0205 or online. More »
5:30-8:30pm | TEMPE | TAROT READINGS | James R. Betz offers advice on life, relationships, and career choices. Cost: $20 for 15 minutes. Registration at 480.730.0205. More info: 602.840.2222.

2-3:30pm | TEMPE | CHANTING WORKSHOP | PINNA JOSEPH |"TAPPING INTO THE POWER AND EXPRESSION OF OUR TRUE VOICES" | Gently massage body, mind, and spirit with the healing power of sound. Attendees will explore specific seed syllables and multi-ethnic chants, and create invocations to call in the quality each of us desires, touching greater depths of the heart and soul. Chantress, sound artist, Yoga of the Voice™ instructor, and Somatic Sounding™ co-founder Pinna Joseph conducts the workshop. No previous singing experience required. Cost: $25. Registration at 480.730.0205 or online. More »

7pm | TEMPE | FAMILY EVENT | OFF THE CUFF COMEDY IMPROV SHOW | The local comedy troupe visits to perform an interactive, high-energy, family-friendly show created from audience suggestions in the style of Whose Line Is It Anyway? More »

7pm | PHOENIX | FIRST DRAFT BOOK CLUB + HAPPY HOUR | AMERICA IS NOT THE HEART | Join Arizona Republic reporter Barbara VanDenburgh at First Draft Book Bar (the wine and beer bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix) for a discussion of this month's pick, Elaine Castillo's America Is Not the Heart, a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. Stop by either Changing Hands location or order online to get your copy of America Is Not the Heart for 20% off. Then meet us at First Draft to discuss and enjoy happy hour prices all night long! More »

5:30pm | TEMPE | WRITERS, INK. | Share and critique two to four pages of writing with a group of peers. RSVP (required) at shariannegaylee@gmail.com.
7pm | PHOENIX | ANDREA LECHNER-BECKER | SIXTY DAYS LEFT: A NOVEL | Looking to replicate Oregon's pioneering Death with Dignity law, aid-in-dying bills are being drafted across the country, including in Arizona. This debate over one's right to a peaceful death is at the crux of Sixty Days Left, the debut novel from Phoenix-based author Andrea Lechner-Becker. The novel is the diary of Willow, who writes of her last sixty days. More »
Mystery writers kill for a living. Do they feel guilty about it? According to our mystery-writing panelists, they don't. In fact, they're having fun. In "What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing with a Murderer Like This?" authors Betty Webb (The Otter of Death), Donis Casey (Forty Dead Men), and Eileen Brady (Chained), explain why they write mystery, and how you can too. Webb explains: "It's a great way to settle real-life scores without having to go to prison!" More »

7-9pm | PHOENIX | BAD BUDDHIST FILM VIEWING PARTY | Storyline SLAM host Dan Hoen Hull turns 50 this month, and you're invited to join him at the debut screening of his film Bad Buddhist: A Trip Through the Divine and the Absurd. In it, Hull humorously explores his attempts at becoming a good Zen Buddhist and inadvertently stumbles into the question: What do you do when the ruthlessness of this world breaks your heart? Price includes the hour-long screening, popcorn, Q & A with the filmmaker—and of course, birthday cake! Cost: $6 in advance, $8 at the door. Registration at 602.274.0067 or online. More »

5:30-8:30pm | TEMPE | TAROT READINGS | Mystic Journeyz with Suzi Coggins. "Your Angels Are Waiting." Cost: $20 for 15 minutes. Registration at 480.730.0205. More info: mysticjourneyz.com.


7pm | OFFSITE | FAMILY EVENT | TEMPLE GRANDIN | CALLING ALL MINDS | Scientist, inventor, and renowned autism spokesperson Temple Grandin shares her book of personal stories, inventions, and facts that will blow young inventors' minds and make them soar. More than a blueprint for how to build things, in Calling All Minds Temple Grandin creates a blueprint for different ways to look at the world. Co-presented by SARRC. Location: Mountain View High School, 2700 E Brown Rd, Mesa 85213. Registration online. More »

7pm | PHOENIX | TEEN EVENT | RAE CARSON | STAR WARS: MOST WANTED | The New York Times bestselling author of the Gold Seer trilogy visits with her new Star Wars novel set before the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Han and Qi'ra don't have a lot in common other than not having a lot. They're street kids on the industrial planet Corellia, doing whatever it takes to get by, dreaming of something more. They each jump at a chance to prove themselves in the perilous world of Corellia's criminal underbelly, only to discover they are on the same mission for the same unscrupulous boss. When the job goes disastrously wrong, Han and Qi'ra are on the run—from pirates, a droid crime syndicate, the Empire, and their boss—and will have to learn to trust each other if they are going to survive. More »
this month at first draft

May’s Pick:
America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo


Barbara Vanderburg Join us at First Draft Book Bar (the wine and beer bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix) for a discussion of this month's pick, Elaine Castillo's America Is Not the Heart, a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history.

Stop by Changing Hands Phoenix or Tempe (or order online) to get your copy of America Is Not the Heart for 20% OFF. Then join Arizona Republic reporter Barbara VanDenburgh at First Draft Book Bar (the wine, beer, and coffee bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix) to discuss and enjoy HAPPY HOUR prices all through the event! More »

book coverABOUT THE BOOK | How many lives fit in a lifetime?

When Hero De Vera arrives in America--haunted by the political upheaval in the Philippines and disowned by her parents--she's already on her third. Her uncle gives her a fresh start in the Bay Area, and he doesn't ask about her past. His younger wife knows enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. But their daughter--the first American-born daughter in the family--can't resist asking Hero about her damaged hands.

An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. With exuberance, grit, and sly tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave one home to grasp at another. More »

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A Lucky Man: Stories

by Jamel Brinkley | Hardcover, $26.00 »

Cove "A Lucky Man marks the arrival of a brilliant new voice in contemporary fiction. In quiet, elegant prose, debut author Jamel Brinkley renders characters who are universally relatable yet entirely unique, with all the complexities and subtleties of living breathing people. As I read their stories, I was swept up into the lives of these characters, so much so that at times I forgot I was reading fiction and felt instead that I was reading letters from old friends. This is an important and powerful collection. Its slice-of-life stories glow with soft light, and by their gentle radiance, we can see rich details and vibrant beauty in the dark corners of human experience. Every moment held me in silent awe. "  —Jason


On the Road and Off the Record with Leonard Bernstein: My Years with the Exasperating Genius

by Charlie Harmon | Hardcover, $24.99 »

Weeping Waters "Charlie Harmon spent four grueling years as Leonard Bernstein's (LB's) personal assistant--a longer tenure than any other assistant to work under the maddening Maestro. Just the pace of the narrative--a single paragraph can take you from New York to Vienna to Tokyo and back--speaks to the breakneck itinerary through which Charlie steered LB, all while trying to keep him on track to finish an opera. During your journey with Charlie and the Maestro, you'll bump elbows with multi-national royalty, fret over the safety of LB's stuffed monkey Moneto, spot the ghost of LB's wife Felicia, stumble out of LB's Gatsby-esque parties, and walk in on the Maestro in bed with one of his young, ahem, 'proteges.' LB could be magnetically charming one day and grossly inconsiderate the next, but his dedication to musical education never waned. 'People love me for what I do, not who I am,' he once pined. He was wrong: here is an honest account of LB at his best and his worst, and I find I love him even more. You will too."  —Jalen



Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture

by Ken Jennings | Hardcover, $26.00 »

"In case you haven't noticed, our world has become inundated with jokes. Comedy is everywhere. It's in commercials, social media, politics, even church marquees. We have reached peak comedy. One of the central questions Ken Jennings asks is if everything is now funny, is anything funny? We have an insatiable appetite for jokes and it just might be destroying our sincerity as a culture, because once something is funny it can never go back to not being funny. This is affecting the way we consume news and the way we interact with the world. After all, how can we affect social change if we're too busy laughing at the problem? I'm kind of suggesting this book is a downer and it's really not. Jennings is a funny guy himself, and a student of comedy, and Planet Funny is as much a history of, and love letter to, comedy as it is a social critique. "  —Danny

Browse more picks by staff member » or by genre »
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PHOENIX | 300 West Camelback Road, 85013 | 602.274.0067