Alison's picks

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The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone Cover Image
$31.99
ISBN: 9781607745532
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ten Speed Press - March 11th, 2014

This is my absolute must-have vegetarian cookbook. I use it for big-picture instructions (such as “How to Make (Most) Vegetable Soups”), or if I am looking to develop my cooking skills (my first attempt at a souffle turned out perfectly with Madison's help). Founder of the amazing Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Madison has the experience and brilliance to back up her recipes. She hasn't steered me wrong yet. A perfect book for beginners and advanced cooks seeking a great reference book. Also useful for non-vegetarians looking to expand their vegetable horizons.


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The Passion Cover Image
$11.96
ISBN: 9780802135223
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Grove Press - August 7th, 1997

When people ask me what my favorite book is, this is always the first title I think of. Winterson has a masterful ability to weave poetry and prose together and this novel lives on the edge between reality and a beautiful dream. Her characters are intoxicating, a soldier whose job is to deliver whole, roasted chickens to Napoleon, and a cross-dressing, gambling, daughter of a boatman in Venice. Winterson's writing about love is some of the best I've encountered and the world she describes is soaked in magic and mystery. If nothing else, just try reading the first two pages – it's worth it. (Great queer-themed read!)


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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780618526413
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Mariner Books - April 21st, 2004

To me, this book is pretty much perfect. Set in a hot, sticky, small southern town in the 1930s, you hear stories from a rotating cast of narrators ranging from a 14-year old dreamer, to two mute men with an strong and intimate friendship, a bar owner, an aging doctor and his family. If you like Flannery O'Connor or To Kill a Mockingbird, this book has a similar visceral southern heat to it and thoughtfully deals with many of the same issues. It is such a worthwhile read.


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Kindred Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780807083697
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Beacon Press (MA) - February 2004

This classic, must-read tells the story of a black woman living in the US in the 1970s who is unexpectedly pulled back in time to save the life of a white, son of a slave owner in the South. Her experience of slavery as an empowered woman from a post-civil rights movement US is horrifying and fascinating. Further complicated when her white husband is transported back with her. This book is impressively smart and such an important contribution to American literature. Get someone else to read it at the same time. You'll want to discuss.


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Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen Cover Image
$18.40
ISBN: 9781580082778
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ten Speed Press - April 5th, 2011

This book has a permanent home on my kitchen counter and I use it constantly for weeknight meals or nice dinners with friends. These are healthy and intensely flavorful recipes that straddle the line between modest and fancy, simple and complex. I’ve brought the rosemary white-bean spread to many potlucks and it never fails to get great reviews (and I don't usually like bean dips). The green lentil soup is so easy to make and the flavors are impressive. It’s perfect for any cook looking for inspiration.


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Graceling Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780547258300
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Graphia Books - September 7th, 2009

This series is the ultimate in smart, mature, female-centric, adventure fantasy. Following in the footsteps of the greats (aka: Tamora Pierce), Cashore has created exactly what I crave - powerful women, mature and exciting romance, and page-turning action that keeps you reading late into the night. Graceling and Fire (Book 2) are officially on my top 10 feminist fantasy list.


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Ender's Game Cover Image
$6.39
ISBN: 9780812550702
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tor Books - April 5th, 1996

Ender's Game is one of the greats. If you are a sci-fi fan and you've missed this book, make time to read it. It's a quick read, super smart, and so fun. I couldn't get the ending out of my head for weeks after finishing it. Skip the movie, read the book.


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Hand Made Baking: Recipes to Warm the Heart Cover Image
$26.96
ISBN: 9781452112305
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Chronicle Books - November 11th, 2014

Hand Made Baking makes a great gift for an intermediate level baker or a beginner looking to develop their skills (or, if you're me, a great treat for yourself). I can tell you from experience that the cinnamon rolls are to-die-for, the chocolate snickerdoodles are dreamy, and the bagel recipe rocks. Siddiqi may be young, but after trying many of the recipes in this book, he's a cook I trust.


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An Ember in the Ashes Cover Image
$15.96
ISBN: 9781595148032
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Razorbill - April 28th, 2015

Following in the action-packed, dystopian footsteps of books like The Hunger Games, this story keeps you on the edge of your seat and reading late into the night. The two main characters (one girl, one boy, so it's good for any reader) live in a world ruled by an oppressive military power. Laia's family is killed and her brother imprisoned and she puts her life at serious risk to rescue him, working for an untrustworthy resistance. Elias is the star student in the heartless military school, unwilling to commit to a life of violence and secretly plotting his dangerous escape. Lots of intrigue, action, a few mystical creatures, and I can't wait for the sequel. A must-read for mature, sci-fi/fantasy readers.


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The Rest of Us Just Live Here Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062403179
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Harper Teen - September 27th, 2016

My favorite YA novel of the year!

While there is a fantasy plot, this book is really just about some (relatively) normal high school seniors dealing with (relatively) normal high school stuff while a near-apocalypse plays out around them. Perfect for readers who like reading about real life and fantasy-lovers. These seniors are the best high school characters I've come across in a long, long time. I mean, one kid is part god of the cats. It doesn't get much better than this.


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The Glass Sentence Cover Image
$7.19
ISBN: 9780142423660
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Puffin Books - June 16th, 2015

GREAT, original fantasy concept: In one moment, the world is shaken up into different time periods – some in the past, some far in the future, one next to another. The main character lives in Boston in the 1890s, raised by her uncle, an explorer of these new, unknown ages and a master of maps – maps made of everything from paper to metal to glass to water. She's brave, smart, and gets caught up in an epic, world-traveling adventure, learning about maps and new fantastical creatures/worlds along the way.

Perfect middle-grade fantasy!


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The Princess and the Pony Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9780545637084
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - June 30th, 2015

This is one tough princess. She dreams of having a big horse so she can become a warrior but instead she gets a little, round, farting pony who brings out all the warriors' cute and cuddly sides. Funny, diverse, and good for all genders. My nephew loves this book!


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Gender Failure Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9781551525365
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - April 8th, 2014

Based on a live tour which featured storytelling, animation, and music (look up Rae Spoon's music, it's awesome), Rae Spoon and Ivan E. Coyote take turns sharing their experiences of gender and the ways they have "failed" the gender binary and how the binary has failed them. These are intimate, funny, heart-wrenching autobiographical stories. A great book if these are your experiences too, or if you are curious about how others experience gender. These two are lovely humans and I feel privileged to have heard their stories.


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All the Birds in the Sky Cover Image
$20.79
ISBN: 9780765379948
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Tor Books - January 26th, 2016

Magic + science clash in this super fun novel. The story follows two friends through the true misery of middle school to adulthood as they grow into a powerful witch and a tech-genius, both trying to save the world in their own way. This is an entertaining, quick read with terrific characters and an environmental apocalypse that feels pretty plausible these days. It's terrific. Queer-friendly too!


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Truthwitch: A Witchlands Novel Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9780765379283
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Tor Teen - January 5th, 2016

It's not the best cover or title, but this book is truly awesome. I'm a sucker for kick-butt female fantasy and this is one of my new favorites. The two main characters are practically sisters (the book is really all about close female friendships) and they make an unforgettable duo. After stumbling into some trouble (pretty much on page 1), they are off on a quick-paced, action-packed adventure. It takes a little bit to learn all the terms at first, but stick with it. It is so worth the effort.


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Saving Montgomery Sole Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9781626722712
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Roaring Brook Press - April 19th, 2016

Montgomery is the coolest kind of weirdo. She doesn't care about the stuff her classmates talk about (lip gloss, celebrity weddings). Instead, she spends hours researching unexplained phenomena like black holes, spontaneous combustion, and psychic powers. She's got a stone called the 'Eye of Know' which might make bad things happen to people she's mad at. Her best friend is gay, she's got two moms, and she gets bullied, but she is fierce and stands up for them no matter what. This is a story about Monty finding herself, finding her community, and about sticking up for the people you love. She's awesome, Mariko Tamaki is awesome, and I'm so happy this book exists! 


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Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week Cover Image
$23.99
ISBN: 9780316221900
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 22nd, 2013

Isa Moskowitz, of Veganomicon fame, has done it again. This is a perfect sequel, featuring not-so-basic recipes that are still mostly doable for a quick weeknight meal. The beet burgers are one of my new go-to recipes and her dumpling stew is perfect for a chilly night at home. One of my all-time favorite cookbooks!


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Ice Haven Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9780375714696
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Pantheon Books - January 18th, 2011

Sourced from Clowes' Eightball comics, this unsettling tale of the disappearance of a young boy is told through short vignettes about a wide range of weird, quirky, and generally unlikeable characters. This book is a true testament to Clowes' ability to do a lot in a small space. If you have read his other work or other graphic novels that delight in the bizarre like Charles Burns' Black Hole, take a look at this completely weird and awesome book.


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Goodbye Stranger Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780385743174
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Wendy Lamb Books - August 4th, 2015

Everyone's favorite themes! Middle-school, growing up, crushes, and how friendships change as you get older. True to Stead's writing style, these are smart, complex characters - so great you'll miss them when the book is over. Plus the main character wears cat ears for an entire year at school and there's a mystery character who goes unnamed...until the end!
(Check out her other books too. Stead is the best!)


Kids of Appetite Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9780451470782
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - September 20th, 2016

"A gorgeous, insightful, big-hearted joy of a book." --Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

The critically acclaimed author of Mosquitoland brings us another batch of unforgettable characters in this New York Times bestselling tragicomedy about first love and devastating loss.


The Idiot Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9781594205613
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Penguin Press - March 14th, 2017

"An addictive, sprawling epic; I wolfed it down."
--Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man and It Chooses You

"Easily the funniest book I've read this year."
--GQ

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.