Events, adult book club, and public relations.

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Shuggie Bain: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802148506
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - October 13th, 2020

This heartbreaking novel of an alcoholic's childhood does not aim to spare anyone anything. The characters in it  stayed with me weeks and weeks later. Bonus: the scotish dialect is made brilliantly easy for an American audience. Read it for that alone!

The Overstory: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393356687
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2019

This is that one book that you've heard about from several different people, all telling you it changed their life. But you haven't read it yet. Let us be another telling you that it is nothing short of a stunning achievement by Richard Powers. We recommend you pick it up now if you want to immerse yourself in a deeply researched, yet lyrically gorgeous book about how we are all connected. If you need reminding that the world can be a hopeful place again.

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Jerome by Heart Cover Image
By Thomas Scotto (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Olivier Tallec (Artist), Claudia Bedrick (Translator)
ISBN: 9781592702503
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Enchanted Lion Books - April 3rd, 2018

This is a lovely little huge little picture book FOR EVERYBODY. Not just for people who have a friend like Jerome. LOVE.

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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316055444
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Published: Back Bay Books - April 7th, 2015

This novel is a gorgeous work of art about ownership of a gorgeous work of art. Full of unforgettable characters. Every sentence is a symphony. A pleasure to read.

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The High Divide: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616204754
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - May 12th, 2015

If you like PEACE LIKE A RIVER (by this author's brother!) this is also set in the west of our recent past, the west of our imaginations, the west of our best and worst self.

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Telegraph Avenue: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061493355
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 10th, 2013

I love this book! The characters are lovely and perfect and flawed. The book has a meaningful thing to say about current culture. Or several meaningful things to say. It is a bit show-offy. . . but who doesn't love a master writer writing at the very top of his form showing off a bit?

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142418475
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - April 5th, 2011

If you loved the first season or two of GLEE, I guarantee you will gleek out big time for this new collaboration between the 2 best writers in Y.A. today. Ooh, tiny dancer!

Heft: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393081503
Availability: Out of Print
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 23rd, 2012

I found this most unusual book to be quite lovely indeed, and not at all depressing, as I'd feared. I learned a new thing or two about loneliness and self-loathing. It was an exaltation!

The Art of Fielding: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316126670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 1st, 2012

This is one of those debuts that creates a long, anxious line of fans waiting for what this stunningly talented author comes up with next. Best. Baseball. Book. Ever.

By Nightfall: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312610432
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - August 30th, 2011

Michael Cunningham is the master of the slow romantic sizzle, and he's at the top of his form here. The sizzlers in this one couldn't be more unlikely, a middle aged man and his sister's good-for-nothing brother. I was excited to enter the SoHo art scene (with artists in Bushwick, of course) and the book inhabits rarified space, indeed. Sleeper of the year, for sure!

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Cutting for Stone Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780375714368
Published: Vintage - January 26th, 2010

I’m late to this party… but what a glorious party it is! This is a five year book for me. Meaning the best. book. I’ve. read. in. five. years.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393334791
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 6th, 2009

This one is so good, it inspired a whole summer of non-fiction reading for me. I love this one almost enough to read Stiff. And I hate death.

Border Songs Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307271174
Published: Knopf - June 16th, 2009

Highest Tide fans will recognize this author's fervent talent. No one writes characters like he does. They're loved down to their bones, even if they're wierd as heck.

Along with a great story, I learned a whole lot about Canada and all its' Canadian-ness!

Special Topics in Calamity Physics Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143112129
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - April 24th, 2007

I was never so Faulknered by a book before!

I read this deeply layered, extraordinarily literary mystery as slowly as I could because I didn't want the smart language, thick allusions and crackling wit to ever end. Filled with finely wrought characters of students, teachers, and a distinctly professorial dad at a preparatory high school the year before our heroine goes off to Harvard, this tome is filled with real and fake footnotes (references?) designed chiefly for the reader to notice the sheer brilliance of the author.

Others may be bothered by this. I, however, am not. This is a work of staggering genius. And the drawings by the author add a good deal to the enjoyment.

Ms. Pessl is a future superstar.

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307276674
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 14th, 2007

This is a stunner of a set of short stories. If short stories aren't your thing, don't be afraid . . these hang together kind of novel-like. And in any case, the language and meaning are gorgeous! Adult book club would've done well to read the first story in this collection in advance of reading SWAMPLANDIA! Take what you will of my cryptic crypticness!

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061374050
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 5th, 2008

Oh lordy, this book is so good, here's my version of its' six word rec: cute concept brilliantly executed, hilariously profound.

We Disappear: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780061468971
Published: Harper Perennial - February 26th, 2008

Heim revisits some of the same motifs from his novel Mysterious Skin, including a vivid, worn-down Kanasas landscape, an unusual mother-and-son relationship, and, most poignantly, people being stolen, abducted, or 'disappeared.' No matter what odd thing happens next, I want to go on the ride with these characters and their ill-advised lives.

Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307275837
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - May 6th, 2008

Oooh, this is going to be a biggie. I think Chuck's breaking through, here, with his most accessible romp to date. Filled with his usual gross-outs, of course, but walloping some huge themes just for kicks, but seriously. Biblical shit you swear he's making up, but I'm too biased and lazy to check for sure, and I'd rather believe Chuck's take, anyway. So many things make sense when you do that.

Bright Shiny Morning Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780061573132
Published: Harper - May 13th, 2008

What a gorgeous, stunning rebuttal to any and all controversy. A beautiful book by a genius story teller. Did I just love it because I'm a native Los Angelino? No. Did I love it because A MILLION LITTLE PIECES was a watershed moment? No. I love it because it messes with the truth in a way other authors can only DREAM of messing with the truth. Meanwhile it tells thousands of great stories a little bit, hundreds of great stories a bit, and a few great stories deeply and brilliantly.

Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400031269
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - January 9th, 2007

Colson Whitehead is my new favorite author ever. Anyone who softpedals someone's weak chin by saying they have "an excessively aggressive neck" is my kind of guy. I have read piquant sentances of this one to my best friends and they didn't want to shoot me. They didn't want to shoot me at all. I have a feeling as soon as I read all his backlist, I'll be adding them here.

Black Swan Green: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812974010
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 27th, 2007

OK, who wants to read a book with a 13 year old protagonist? Not me, that's who. But this one is so special because he's so normal (and by that I mean average and epic heroic all on the same afternoon walk down the lane) you can't help but recognize every 13 year old you've known in him. The book's peopled with some whacky characters who have the most amazing conversations. I went from being blown away to being amused to being blown away again and again. Gorgeous thing, this book.

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The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780007149834
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - April 29th, 2008

Chabon's my hero. That being said, his mastering-of-every-brand-new-to-him genre is not always as successful as this one.

This book contains the best single sentance in the noir style ever written. Here it is:

The clock on the hospital wall hummed to itself, got antsy, kept snapping off pieces of the night with its minute hand.

The whole thing's this good. Really.

Possible Side Effects Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780312426811
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Picador - April 17th, 2007

Just as good or better than my favorite Augusten Burroughs memoir, Magical Thinking. So funny! What child is deathly afraid of the toothfairy? Our boy Augusten, that's who!

Freddy and Fredericka Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780143037255
Published: Penguin Books - July 25th, 2006

A rollercoaster treat of gigantic proportion. Buffoonery of the highest order. Immediately followed by the most poignant insight into our culture and where it currently finds itself. Then hilarity again.

If every tenth person in America read Helprin's description of what a soccer mom has versus what a soccer mom wants on page 467 society itself would shift in remarkable ways.

Charles and Diana are in there. As is our Seattle buddy Bill Gates. This book is a marvel. Just give me a great, brilliant, kook with integrity and generosity of spirit for a hero and I'm yours, I guess.

My Friend Leonard Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781594481956
Published: Riverhead Books - May 30th, 2006

It's literature, folks, just like A Million Little Pieces. This was the redemptive story after all the heartbreak of the first. And, no matter what some very powerful people in the media say, they're both brilliant reads told from a voice so fresh and powerful you never forget it. Just like good literature is supposed to do. How in the world can you mix that up with journalism?

Staff Pick Badge
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618871711
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - June 5th, 2007

This is a great read. Period. Forget that it's a great look-at too. Graphic novels are not my thing. Yet I love this.

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