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Scott SCOTT
A long-time Changing Hands junkie (his first book from CHB was bought in 1974), Scott's reading tastes run the gamut from literary classics to high fantasy to Postcolonial Indian Subcontinent literature. A graduate of ASU with a degree in English Literature focusing on Medieval and Renaissance drama, he also is a die-hard Christopher Moore and Gregory Maguire fan. When he's not reading (which is a rarity) he can be found experimenting with new recipes for bread or cheesecake, or dabbling with his own creative non-fiction writing.
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A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories Cover Image
By Lucia Berlin, Stephen Emerson (Editor), Lydia Davis (Foreword by)
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374202392
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 18th, 2015

Despite being a lover of short fiction, before this collection, Lucia Berlin was unknown to me...a travesty. I could have been marveling at her writing for the last few decades, but like much of America, I only just discovered one of American short fiction's best-kept secrets. Berlin had one of those rare gifts that allowed her to write about the trivialities of everyday life and make it inescapably riveting. A Manual for Cleaning Women collects stories from throughout Berlin's career. Being a bona fide grammar junkie, I was transfixed by Berlin's deft use of punctuation. It may seem like a trivial aspect of a story, but her strategic use of it gives her writing a truly conversational tone allowing her stories to be simultaneously comforting and disturbing.


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A Hundred Thousand Worlds Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399562211
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Viking - June 28th, 2016

Being a giant nerd, the idea of a book centering on the worlds of science fiction television and comic books drew me in...and it delivered, with juicy little tidbits about fan conventions big and small. What was surprising and most welcome was that this book also shows the impact stories can have on interpersonal relationships, be they between parent and child, among peers, or between new acquaintances.


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The Subsidiary Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781612195445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Melville House Publishing - August 30th, 2016

This is not your usual dystopian fiction...not by a long shot...and there's no way you can read this book just once. Compiled entirely from office rubber stamps, Celedón tells the story of The Subsidiary. This little book is a haunting hybrid of literature an art, demanding it be placed on the coffee table so anyone who sees it picks it up and conversations about what it means ensue.


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The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781484732748
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - May 3rd, 2016

The world Rick Riordan created with Percy Jackson expands again, this time from the point of view of the Olympian god Apollo...who has been banished by Zeus to live as a mortal teenager. Apollo's quest to return to his godhood and Olympus brings him in contact with none other than Percy Jackson and Camp Half-Blood. New threats, new characters, and a new quest combine to make this as exciting book as Riordan has ever done! This series promises to be every bit as captivating as its predecessors.


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Dark Matter Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781101904220
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - July 26th, 2016

I freely admit I was drawn to this book because of the obnoxiously orange cover. It grabbed my attention. Once I started reading, I realized that the cover had to be that color - the story was just as riveting as the bold cover. Dark Matter delivers one of my favorite tropes in science fiction - alternate realities - and combines it with a page-turner thriller making the book nearly impossible to put down.


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The Regional Office Is Under Attack! Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594632419
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Riverhead Books - April 12th, 2016

Gonzales quite literally drops the reader in the middle of chaos...think of it as a knotted ball of twine that no matter which thread you follow, it leads right back into the middle of the knot. Alternating between backstory and the present, the reader finds out not only who is attacking the Regional Office, but why... and where all of these people come from. Mechanical arms, super-powered women, oracles, and espionage all get knotted up together and the result is a highly imaginative and entertaining tale.


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The Iliad: A New Translation Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9780062046277
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - November 24th, 2015

Standing up to such time-honored and revered translations as those by Fagles, Lattimore, and Fitzgerald is no easy task, but Caroline Alexander is a noted classicist in her own right, and took the challenge successfully. Her translations bring the verse alive in modern language, yet maintain the lyricism Homer imbued into the original. Alexander even maintains the line numbers from the original making this an excellent study reference.


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Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk Cover Image
By Angie Sage, Mark Zug (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780060577339
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - March 14th, 2006

Magyk is the first is a series of books about one Septimus Heap...and his adventures as he becomes apprenticed to the Extraordinary Wizard and befriends Princess Jenna. Sage's writing is very accessible to readers, deftly mixing colloquialisms with more refined prose. Perhaps one of the best facets of sage's characterizations is her refusal to make her female characters weak in any way, but not going full stereotype reversal by making the male characters wimpy or unintelligent.


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Arkwright Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765382153
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - March 1st, 2016

Aficionados of science fiction will appreciate this nod to some of the greats of the genre. Nathan Arkwright is a contemporary of men like Heinlein and Asimov, and wholly devoted to seeing humanity reach another world. The novel follows his family as each successive generation struggles with Arkwright's legacy. I think what deeply impressed me was the obvious research that went into this book, so much so that Steel includes a bibliography at the end.


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Tru & Nelle Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544699601
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - March 1st, 2016

Long before either became an acclaimed author, Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. This fictionalization of their exploits draws on the stories both authors shared over the years, focusing on their mutual love of the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. The two children set out to solve the mysteries that beset Monroeville. Presented in an episodic style, these tales reminded me of the old-time radio serials. I was almost sure at the end of each section I could hear the booming voice of an announcer telling me to tune in next week for more adventures of Tru & Nelle!


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The Everything Box Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780062389541
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Voyager - April 19th, 2016

So imagine if Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel had a love child with Men in Black, and you'd have Richard Kandrey's The Everything Box. Angels, demons, zombies, doomsday cults, government agents, and career criminals all jammed together vying for possession of the box. Kandrey's snarky humor and deft characterizations made this book an incredibly enjoyable read and very difficult to put down for such mundane reasons as sleep or eating. If you are a fan of dark and irreverent humor, this is definitely should be the next book you read.


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Sudden Death Cover Image
By Alvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translator)
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594633461
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - February 9th, 2016

This book is...different. An eccentric combination of extraordinary objects, art, history, and prose, Enrigue somehow manages to fuse these facets into a tennis match between the leading Italian artist Carvaggio and Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo. Back stories abound in this novel, though calling it a novel is doing it a disservice as it is far more than mere historical fiction. At one point, the narrator-author informs the reader even he is unsure of the true point of his writing "Maybe it's just a book about how to write this book; maybe that's what all books are about. A book with a lot of back-and-forth, like a game of tennis." You will find yourself turning back to remind yourself of some detail then resuming reading again-back and forth, just like the tennis match that runs through the entire work.


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The Immortals Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780316347181
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - February 16th, 2016

In the first book of her Olympus Bound series, Jordanna Max Brodsky explores what happens when the mortals stop worshipping the gods of Olympus - at least directly. Brodsky's novel is far more than a mere retelling of Greek myth, it is a continuation of their story. Part fantasy, mostly mystery, and completely engrossing, this book is a must for those deeply interested in classical mythology and wonders what became of the gods of old.


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Every Anxious Wave Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250067494
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 9th, 2016

One of the things that rope me into a book is how the story is told, and Mo Daviau is clearly a gifted storyteller. Her characters are so glaringly real, I could not help but be involved in the twists and turns of their story. Time travel, rock music, and the very real problems of dealing with loss seem like they would be too disparate to mesh into a cohesive story, but Daviau does exactly that. I couldn’t put this book down, and if you enjoy a rollicking story, you won’t be able to either.


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S. [With Postcard] Cover Image
By J. J. Abrams (Created by), Doug Dorst
$40.00
ISBN: 9780316201643
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mulholland Books - October 29th, 2013

I know, I know…J.J. Abrams? You’re thinking you’ll be blinded by lens flares…I assure you, this mystery is a far cry from Star Trek and Star Wars. This is a highly complex and suspenseful mystery that takes place in the margins of a library book – V.M Straka’s The Ship of Theseus. The multiple layers of this tale unfold in the yellowed pages of the borrowed book and are compounded by the multitude of inserts placed between the pages. Twists and turn abound in both Straka’s text and Jen and Eric’s quest to understand it, each other, and themselves. Anyone who loves a deliciously confusing mystery will devour this book. No matter how you read it – margins first then Straka’s text or vice versa, or even the two together, you’ll get caught up in the intrigue peppered with romantic undertones.


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Neverwhere: Author's Preferred Text Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062371058
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - July 28th, 2015

Did you ever wonder what happens to those that society forgets? In Gaiman’s debut novel, he answers this question and presents a multitude of more. Originally published in 1997, the novel was reproduced multiple times and made into a BBC television series. Now, Gaiman has combined lost bits from the editing process, points from the series screenplays, and other pieces previously abandoned to create his preferred text, and it is a stunning piece of storytelling. For many, this was the book that sucked them into the world of Neil Gaiman, and this reconstruction of his original ideas will do it all over again. Oh, and by the way, you will find out exactly to where all those socks disappear…


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The Best American Short Stories of the Century Cover Image
By John Updike (Editor), Katrina Kenison (Consultant)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780395843673
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 20th, 2000

The title isn’t kidding, these are among the best short stories from the last century. Many familiar names are here, Updike, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Nabokov. The real gold here is in those names you might not recognize such as Richard Wright, Jean Toomer, Elizabeth Bishop, and my two personal favorites – Alice Munro and Susan Glaspell. Munro has an amazing gift of storytelling, and her own collections are packed with page after page of magnificent prose. Susan Glaspell’s contribution to this hefty tome is her 1917 short story “A Jury of her Peers.” Despite being written almost one hundred years ago, the story and characters are timeless and eerily poignant. If for no other reason, add this anthology to your collection in order to own Glaspell's twenty-page masterpiece.


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The High Mountains of Portugal Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812987034
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - November 29th, 2016

The High Mountains of Portugal is Yann Martel's return to the masterful storytelling of Life of Pi. The novel's three distinct sections take place over a span of decades building upon each other, intertwining the lives of three families. Martel's prose is splendidly full of imagery and emotion, both of which build with each passing page. By the way, without giving away anything, the third section simply screams "make me into a film!" It is interesting to note that this was the novel Martel set aside in order to write Life of Pi. I'm very pleased he returned and finished this novel.


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Dance of the Happy Shades: And Other Stories Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679781516
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books USA - August 11th, 1998

Dance of the Happy Shades is a shining example of the idealism that led to Alice Munro being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. Munro has the uncanny ability to pack into a short story the character development, social commentary, and storytelling that many authors take an entire novel to develop. My particular favorite in this collection is "Boys and Girls," which deftly inspects gender roles from both internal and external points of view. Any of Alice Munro's collections will not disappoint the lover of superb storytelling, but her inaugural work is assuredly an excellent place to begin.


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Midnight's Children Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812976533
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - April 4th, 2006

Politics, Partition, and ... Pickles. Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children is a romp through one of the most turbulent periods of India's history. Children born in the hour following India's independence are imbued with extraordinary powers, and Saleem Sanai is no exception. Rushdie makes little attempt to hide the parallels between the narrator's life and the evolution of India's history. An extraordinary example of magical realism, this is Rushdie at his finest.


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Star Wars: A New Hope the Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781484709122
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney Lucasfilm Press - September 22nd, 2015

I’m one of the original Star Wars fans. I saw the original theatrical release close to 300 times, and read the original novelization until the book literally fell apart – then taped it back together and read it some more. That being said, I loved this new approach to the story. Geared toward younger readers, it tells the same story, but from a slightly different point of view. Bracken divides the story into three major parts, each told from the point of view of Leia, Han, and Luke. She draws upon the canon created by 38 years of novels and films to create a new viewpoint of a very familiar story. Her storytelling shines, making this an exciting and enjoyable read for readers of any age.

 


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The God of Small Things Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812979657
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - December 16th, 2008

The God of Small Things is a novel full of lavish imagery and stunning prose that disguises a dense undercurrent of commentary on the state of India in the late 1960’s. Through a series of flashbacks and flash forwards unfolds the story of Rahel’s highly fractured family who each follow different trajectories as the result of one terrible incident – or is that incident the result of the family’s complex dysfunction? Roy evidences nearly Victorian-style skill at imagery and descriptive narrative; drawing the reader into the world she creates. Be prepared for a plethora of characters, each with their own interesting and sometimes sordid story.


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Cloud Atlas Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375507250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - August 17th, 2004

Cloud Atlas is a masterpiece that comets through time with the reader pulled along in its wake. David Mitchell tells five distinct stories, but forgoes the usual method of tying them together at the end, instead binding them with small details woven into each tale. Each narrator has a distinct voice and style, yet are subtly bound together by those details. Four of the narratives are divided in half, and while it is tempting to read the stories chronologically, I beg you, don’t give in to the temptation. Read them in the order presented, you won’t be sorry. My favorite facet of this novel is the distinct changes Mitchell presents in the use of language over the passage of time, deftly representing a study of sociolinguistics interwoven into a riveting and beautifully crafted story that spans centuries.


After Alice Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060859749
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - July 5th, 2016

Gregory Maguire first lured us in with his re-imagining of the land of OZ, and now he goes down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Maguire introduces us to new characters, including the protagonist, Alice's neighbor and sometimes playmate, Ada. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this book is how Maguire manages to revamp his own writing style to mimic that of Lewis Carroll's original while keeping his own voice subtly present in the background. After Alice is definitely not a retelling of Alice's story but rather a continuation of the story through new eyes.


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The Sword of Summer Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781423160915
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 6th, 2015

I didn’t think Rick Riordan could come up with a character I liked more than Percy Jackson, but I was dead wrong. In his newest series that centers on the Norse gods (you know - Odin, Thor, Loki...those guys), Riordan gives us his most enthralling character to date in the form of Magnus Chase. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Fans of Percy Jackson will remember Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena. Magnus is her cousin, and yes, she makes appearances in the story. The story is told through Magnus himself and the voice Riordan gives Magnus is far from a Percy Jackson repeat. I thoroughly enjoyed the juxtaposition of snark and humility in Magnus, and actually caught myself laughing out loud in several places. There are definite inside jokes that readers of the previous three series will appreciate, and as always, the writing makes this book nearly impossible to put down. I truly feel that this is Riordan’s best work yet and await the next installment with bated breath!


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