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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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The Joy Luck Club Cover Image
By Amy Tan
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143038092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 21st, 2006

In their lives, most readers find that one book they think everyone should read at least once. This is that book for me. A complex interweaving of eight different stories that eventually are woven into an overall tapestry of family, friendship, hardship, love, and loss. Perhaps was was most moving for me was the insight into the lives of the older women before their immigration to the United States. These vignettes blatantly show that despite many cultural differences, life is life, and regardless of where life is, many of the challenges are the same. Though circumstances may change from generation to generation, things that are important are constant - love, family, and independence.


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Fool Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060590321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - February 23rd, 2010

I’m a huge fan of Christopher Moore. He’s yet to write a book I don’t like. Moore’s novels are populated by such memorable characters as Roberto the Fruit Bat, Molly Michon, and Minty Fresh. None of these compares to Pocket, the star of Fool. I’m a Shakespeare scholar through and through, and Moore quite literally butchers the Bard’s work in this parody but it had me rolling with laughter page after page. Moore’s incredible characterizations and vivid descriptions make the novel play like a film in the mind while you read it. Moore says it best in the warning at the beginning of the book: “This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as nontraditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank . . . If that's the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!"
 


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Hamlet Cover Image
$5.95
ISBN: 9780451526922
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Signet Book - May 4th, 1998

“Seems," madam? Nay, it is; I know not "seems." In this brief quote from Act One, Scene Two of Hamlet, Shakespeare gives up what I feel is the central theme of the entire play. Yes, there is a revenge plot, a murder cover-up, a play within a play, but everything comes back to seeming. In what is one of the great works of drama, the Bard hides much in layers of seeming. I have read this play several times, and each time I find yet another way of looking at something that adds yet another layer of meaning to the words on the page. This is one of Shakespeare’s most complex works because everything has multiple layers of meaning. If you only read one Shakespeare play (and that would be a travesty) make it this one.


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Titus Andronicus Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780671722920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 1st, 2005

Often proclaimed to be Shakespeare's first play, Titus Andronicus is often overshadowed by Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and that Scottish play. While it does not have the complexity of later his later works, the crafting of the villain, Aaron, is nothing short of genius. There is plenty of death, dismemberment, and revenge to go around. You'll never look at meat pies the same way after this.


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Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781770892521
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: House of Anansi Press - March 26th, 2013

Margaret Atwood has so many books that are moving, poignant, and relevant, it’s hard to point at one and say “that one is her best.” This is not one of her works of fiction, but is every bit as entertaining and riveting as anything else she has ever written. It’s more than just an overview of the history of Canadian authorship; it delves into the reasons why Canadian authors write as they do. Atwood’s humor it at its finest in this book, so much so I often found myself laughing out loud more times than I can count. She answers her own question from the preface “What’s so Canadian about Canadian literature, and why should we be bothered?” Be bothered, over and over. This book is simply a must for anyone who enjoys that brand of literature that is so uniquely Canadian.


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The Count of Monte Cristo Cover Image
By Alexandre Dumas, Robin Buss (Translator), Coralie Bickford-Smith (Illustrator)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780141392462
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 27th, 2013

Revenge is a dish best served cold…and on the finest silver money can buy. My first exposure to this novel was in high school (never mind how long ago that was) and it has been my favorite book ever since. Alexandre Dumas blends adventure and romance with Paris society and tosses in a healthy helping of revenge. The multiple subplots and twists and turns in the novel keep me on my toes every time I read it – the Game of Thrones for the 1800s! In step with the other writers of his time, Dumas’ descriptions are lavish and vivid, assaulting the mind’s eye with a tidal wave of imagery. This is definitely a heavy book, not one for the light or casual reader, but the time invested in reading the novel will be richly rewarded by Dumas’ beautiful prose. Many versions of this world literature classic have been produced, but my vote will always go for an unabridged translation from the original French.


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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1): The Illustrated Edition Cover Image
By J. K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
$39.99
ISBN: 9780545790352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 6th, 2015

The first time I read this book, it was in the original US format, with only the illustrations by Mary GrandPré. Of course Rowling’s beautiful storytelling enabled me to build a visual in my mind so vivid, I didn’t think anyone would ever be able to capture it. Artist Jim Kay didn’t just illustrate Harry Potter, he brought him to life. Study each of the over 100 illustrations closely and you will find they are as full of hidden imagery as Rowling’s prose. Kay modeled each central character after actual models – some family, some friends, some folks he met on the Underground in London. This is truly one of the most beautiful books I have ever had the pleasure of holding in my hands.


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The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143127666
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 5th, 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books of all time, so naturally I was interested in reading a biographical work about Nell Harper Lee. The highly reclusive Lee rarely grants interviews, and certainly never glimpses of her personal life. Journalist Marja Mills was able to get into Lee’s personal life – and by invitation of Lee herself. This beautifully written book intermingles snapshots of Lee’s past and present with the profound effect her first novel had on her hometown and those that were close to her. I found this to be a truly riveting read, and think any fan of Harper Lee will find it equally fascinating.


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The Testing Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780547959108
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - June 4th, 2013

I expected The Testing to be a sort of Divergent/Hunger Games Lite, and it is to a point – it’s a dystopian story set in the United States. It has groups of young adults facing challenges to survive in a society very different from our own. There the similarities end. The circumstances however are very different. Charbonneau develops her characters so well that I felt everything with them. The story goes far beyond the formulaic dystopian struggle novel and the twists and turns are shocking and unexpected. For those that might have felt The Hunger Games or Divergent were too violent or had themes too adult, The Testing is an excellent alternative. While there is definitely some violence, the humanity of the characters balances out those few instances.


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The Color Purple Cover Image
$8.95
ISBN: 9780156031820
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - November 1st, 2006

I admit that this book came to me following my viewing of the film of the same name. While both in both mediums, the story gives poignant examples of the transformative power of love and the disfiguring effect of cruelty - the novel by far explores both much more deeply. Walker also skims the surface of social issues such as class, race, religion, and of course, family. The story is both beautiful and horrible, heart-warming and heart-wrenching. If you liked the film, you'll love the book. If you didn't like the film, read the book anyway.


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