Javier's Picks

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The Other Side Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9781935639831
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - July 15th, 2014

To put this memoir to paper was brave; to have that then bound, sold and read by the general public is downright heroic. The Other Side will break your heart and shatter your spirit. It will also be the most inspirational book you read this year. Maybe ever. Ms. Johnson recreates the broken bits of her mind and body before our eyes, at once questioning memory and choices made but ultimately owning her situation. Poetic and gut wrenching, devastating and beautiful, The Other Side is one of those rare books that will change you.


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The Bird Artist: A Novel Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780312130275
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Picador - March 15th, 1995

Great first lines will always hold a special spot in my book shaped heart, but Howard Norman really upped the ante with the first paragraph in his emotionally trancendent novel The Bird Artist. Having read it over 15 years ago, I can still recall scenes and tone as vividly as if it were yesterday. A quiet, sensational work of art. 


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People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780374230593
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: FSG Originals - May 22nd, 2012

One of the best, and creepiest, true crime accounts in recent memory. Not just another headline grabbing piece, but an in-depth look at culture class and it's effect on the eerie disappearance of a young british woman from a notorious bar in the Roppongi district of Japan, where she was employed as a hostess. It's also a fascinating look at the Japanese legal system that struggled in solving the case, due in large part to the severity of the crime. 


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The Suicide Shop Cover Image
By Jean Teule, Sue Dyson (Translator)
$11.16
ISBN: 9781906040093
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Gallic Books - September 1st, 2013

The whole "judging a book by it's cover" thing doesn't jive here. Yes, suicide is in the title, but it's translated from the french so it's WHIMSICALLY dark. It's the near future, and the Tuvache family have been offering safe and affordable ways to enter into the next life for those who've lost the will to live. Business is robust until the the youngest of the Tuvache clan, Alan, takes an interest in the family legacy. Any father would be happy and proud, except young Alan has an infectious zest for life and that may be bad for business. This is a dark comedy gem. Oh, the french!


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I'll Give You the Sun Cover Image
$8.79
ISBN: 9780142425763
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Speak - October 27th, 2015

If you, or the teen you're shopping for, is looking for a novel that matches the emotional power that Fault In Our Stars brought to the table, then call off the dogs. This structurally brilliant novel of loss, betrayal, art and love is a sure cure for that John Green hangover you've been nursing. One of my top 10 books of 2014 in any category, hands down. UPDATE: Warner Brothers now own the movie rights and have some solid folks working on a script!


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Sharp Objects: A Novel Cover Image
$12.79
ISBN: 9780307341556
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Broadway Books - July 31st, 2007

Okay, so Gone Girl is a publishing and motion picture phenomenon, more than worthy of a read and repeated viewings. For my money, though, you have to go back to Gillian Flynn's first novel, Sharp Objects, in order to get to the meat of her malevolent genius. Flynn has a real talent for rendering the flawed female anti-hero on the page, all the while setting a slow boil of hearty, tense stew that will have the reader coming back for more, chapter after chapter. I'll tell you this much, you won't look at a dollhouse the same way ever again. 


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Nijigahara Holograph Cover Image
By Inio Asano, Inio Asano (Artist)
$23.99
ISBN: 9781606995839
Availability: Subject to Availability.
Published: Fantagraphics Books - March 19th, 2014

Time travel, the sacrifice (repeatedly) of a young girl by her classmates to appease a mysterious beast in a tunnel to avoid the apocalypse and an ominous horde of butterflies are just a few of the terrifying reasons to pick up this deeply disturbing horror manga. Two word description? David Lynch-ian. Yes, I just made that up. That's how good this is. Beautifully rendered black and white illustrations really pop off the page, especially when left free of dialogue.


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I Am Legend Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9780312865047
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Orb Books - September 15th, 1997

As well as penning some memorable Twilight Zone episodes during the 1960's, Richard Matheson also found time to write one of the most influential vampire stories ever written, in novella form called I Am Legend. If you've seen the blockbuster Will Smith adaptation, get your brain scrubbed, then sit down and prepare to be amazed. A few good short stories round out the collection, including the Trilogy of Terror.


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John Dies at the End Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9780312659141
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 14th, 2010

Stop.

-You should not have touched this book with your hands.

-No, don't put it down. It's too late.

-They're watching you.

So goes the warning for this alternately hilarious and frightening novel about two slackers who've been unfairly (in their humble opinion) tapped to save the planet from ya' know, the invasion. The outcome may depend on whether or not their favorite burrito joint is open. Think H.P. Lovecraft meets an informed Beavis and Butthead. 


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Dare Me: A Novel Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780316097789
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Back Bay Books - August 27th, 2013

Fight Club

meets

Heathers

written through the left hand of Dashiell Hammet.


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The Bone Clocks: A Novel Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780812976823
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 16th, 2015

With Bone Clocks, David Mitchell's inventiveness and imagination is nothing short of genius. Dark fantasy, boldly original prose and finely drawn characters combine to keep the reader riveted from Holly Sykes' initial angst-ridden teen thought to the very last, hopeful sentence. Mitchell proves once again that he is a writer of no equal when it comes to the invention of language, place and time, taking the reader to the edge of the real and imagined as if personally guiding you by the hand. Whether you're a Mitchell superfan or were on the fence with regards to Cloud Atlas, Bone Clocks will not disappoint. 


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Geek Love: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780375713347
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - June 11th, 2002

When confronted with the "What is your favorite book of all time?" query, most people will often pause, looking over the inquisitors head while thoughtfully scratching his or her chin. I, on the other hand, will not hesitate when I tell you this. Geek Love is my favorite book. Of all time. Period. This oddball masterpiece (a National Book Award Finalist in 1989) shaped me as a reader and more importantly as a bookseller 20+ years ago. It's one of those reading experiences that make you feel like you're in on some life-changing secret. A novel that will chill you, move you and make you laugh, often at the same time. Help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of Geek Love, quite possibly the best novel you've never read.


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Birdman Cover Image
$11.20
ISBN: 9780802146120
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Grove Press - July 3rd, 2012

After reading The Silence of the Lambs prequel Red Dragon for a second time (if you haven't read it, grab a copy and beat a path to the register), I mourned the idea of having read the only book of its kind. Until Mo Hayder came along. Hayder, as well as Thomas Harris, combine elements of the procedural and thriller, with a little dose of psychological horror to make things interesting. Birdman is the first in the Jack Caffery series, which gets better as the series progresses. Certainly not for the faint of heart. 


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The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) Cover Image
$4.79
ISBN: 9780316315975
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2016

Have you and your 9-12 year old read through the fantastic three book Timmy Failure series? If you have, read on. If you haven't, on the other hand, make your way over to Stephan Pastis on our book shelf and get set to laugh yourself silly. So you've laughed yourself silly and want more, correct? The Tapper Twins Go To War will certainly fill that gap. When Reese Tapper unforgivably embarasses twin Claudia at school, all bets are off. What follows is Claudia's hi-larious "true historical record" behind the conflict, complete with photos, texts, screen shots and interviews with those involved. There's even a clever nod to Minecraft and it's legions of young followers. Perfect for those looking to step up from Wimpy Kid and the like.


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Nimona Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062278227
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: HarperTeen - May 12th, 2015

When supervillain Lord Ballister Blackheart unwillingly takes on Nimona as his young sidekick, he gets way more than he bargained for. You see, Nimona is a shapeshifter with secrets who likes to destroy things and The Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics is taking notice. Ballister Blackheart's former bestie and the Institute's go-to hero, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, has been ordered to eliminate our young anti-heroine with little success. Meanwhile, The Institute has some secrets of it's own that may come to light the longer Nimona stays alive. What follows is a funny, endearing and sometimes vengeful tale where the line between hero and villain isn't always as clear as it may seem. 


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Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! (City Lights/Sister Spit) Cover Image
By Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl (Illustrator)
$11.95
ISBN: 9780872866836
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: City Lights Books - April 7th, 2015

Please go buy this book. Buy it for your library, your classroom, your kids, your friends' kids, your neighbors, yourself. Maybe, just to be safe, buy like 10 copies, so you have plenty to give out as gifts. This book would make a great graduation present, birthday present for kids of all ages and a great gift for your adult friends as well. Rad American Women A-Z chronicles 26 American women who made an impact. Short biographies detail their major contributions while giving just enough background information to understand the women and their work in some context. The conversational tone makes the bios accessible for readers of all ages. This is a fantastic introduction to a wide range of important women. You NEED this book!


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Heir to the Empire: Star Wars Legends (The Thrawn Trilogy) (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy - Legends #1) Cover Image
$6.39
ISBN: 9780553296129
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Del Rey - May 1st, 1992

December is fast approaching and you know what that means! That's right, Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi will appear from a movie studio far, far away on screens all over the multi-verse. This is not news to most of you, I know, but this fantastic three book series, referred to as the Thrawn Trilogy, may well be. Book 1, Heir to the Empire, takes place 5 years after Return of the Jedi (roughly 25 years before Force Awakens) and finds Han and Leia having tied the knot and expecting twins while Luke is finding his way as a Jedi Knight. Of course along the way an evil presence in the form of Admiral Thrawn is searching for a Dark Jedi to help restore the Evil Empire. Published way back in 1991, this series brought new life to the Star Wars franchise while staying true to the source material. Enjoy them, you will.


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Circling the Sun: A Novel Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780345534200
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ballantine Books - May 31st, 2016

I'm a suspicious reader when it comes to historical fiction, so what Paula McLain does with Circling the Sun, her new novel on the fascinating life of Beryl Markham, made for a compelling and convincing read. As I made my way through it, I could not help but layer Circling over West with the Night, Markham's brave, bold autobiography. Both really do complement each other, illuminating the inspiring and extraordinary life of a remarkable woman. McLain chooses to focus on Markham's early upbringing as a colonial child on the plains of Africa, moving through early adulthood and her successful stint as a gifted horse trainer, which was unprecedented at the time. Where McLain shines, though, is when writing about Markham's personal life which was tempestuous and challenging, to say the least. Circling is one of my favorites this year and should be read along with West with the Night in order to get the full Beryl Markham experience.
 


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Crooked Cover Image
$12.79
ISBN: 9780316198523
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Mulholland Books - August 2nd, 2016

In this highly inventive, humorous and clever take on the political and personal life of one Richard Milhous Nixon, Crooked paints our 37th Commander in Chief as a reluctant hero, not a presidential joke. What if, in sacrificing his political aspirations and reputation, Tricky Dick saved the world from Henry Kissinger led paranormal forces? Narrated by Nixon himself, Crooked is a fun read, shedding fictional (?) light on some of the great conspiracies and puzzles of the era (Watergate, the Kennedy assassination, Nixon's bizarre visit/discussion with protestors at the Lincoln Memorial on May 9th, 1970) while humanizing the man himself and the great turmoil of his life at the time; his marriage and relationship with the First Lady, Pat. All the while, Nixon, the last of the sorcerer presidents, attempts to retain his sanity while fighting dark forces alongside KGB. Equal parts horror story and political satire, Crooked may leave you wondering, Mandela Effect ? (look it up, it's a thing. Or ask Eddie.)


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Vango: Between Sky and Earth Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780763687816
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Candlewick - April 12th, 2016

One of the best series that I've read for the YA age group, or any age group for that matter, in a very long time. Moving at breakneck speed from page one, this planned trilogy is a raucous (with a touch of dry humor) adventure that will keep even the most ardent non-reader glued to every word. As the first novel opens in 1934, young Vango is about to enter the priesthood on a cobbled street in Paris, but the ceremony is soon interrupted by local authorities. Vango is being sought, but for what? So begins a quest to learn about his cloudy past and murdered parents, which takes him hurtling across Europe as he encounters pirates, arms dealers, Soviet assassins, Stalin (yes, Josef Stalin!), Nazi agents and a whole host of other intriguing characters. Plus, the covers are gorgeous. Translated from the French. Ooh la la!


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You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine: A Novel Cover Image
$12.79
ISBN: 9780062388681
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Harper Perennial - August 9th, 2016

VOTED THE BEST BOOK OF 2015 BY THE STAFF OF THE BOOK TABLE! You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is the most fun you'll ever have reading about the alienation of contemporary culture. Set in a much weirder version of our world of aggressive marketing, chemically created food, talk show freak shows, and reality TV, you'll go back and forth between thinking, "this is so weird!" and thinking, "but is it really any weirder than the way we live now?" Simultaneously creepy, hilarious, and mindblowingly brilliant, this book is the weirdest, wildest, best thing you'll read this year.


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Haunted Air Cover Image
By Ossian Brown, David Lynch (Introduction by), Geoff Cox (Afterword by)
$31.96
ISBN: 9780224089708
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Random House UK - October 28th, 2010

The perfect Halloween coffee table book if there ever was one. Other than a short foreword by David Lynch, this book is filled with nothing but haunting old black and white images of Halloween costumes past, when the holiday had some meaning. The photo album layout and absence of text gives the book an extra layer of unease and creepiness, as if one of the costumed kids from the collection is peering over your shoulder....


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Song of Kali Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780312865832
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tor Books - January 15th, 1998

I've devoured my fair share of horror fare over the years and am amazed at how Song of Kali still haunts me. The crux of the story revolves around a journalist, Richard Luzcak, who travels with his family to Calcutta to track down revered indian poet M. Das and a manuscript Das had allegedly composed before his disappearance. Luzcak's obsession with Das comes at a terrible price and the conclusion will leave you speechless. You will have no speech! Simmons is very precise and spare here, which helps amp up the terror in a slow, calculating fashion. Calcutta in the 1970's with its unrelenting heat and overcrowded, filthy envirionment feels like a shady character lurking in the shadows. Honestly, this falls in my top 5 as far as horror novels go. 


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Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel Cover Image
$22.36
ISBN: 9780385539838
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Doubleday - October 6th, 2015

Bats of the Republic is a book connoisseur's dream. It is a propulsive novel-often a novel within a novel-that shatters the restraints of genre with briliance matched only by its complexity and originality. Dodson weaves a story from a past filled with hope and regret with a future rife with promise and dire consequences to keep the reader engaged throughout. Complete with maps and ephemera that make this a singular reading experience. Bats of the Republic is gorgeous, unputdownable, and above all in this day and age, necessary.


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Descent: A Novel Cover Image
$12.76
ISBN: 9781616204778
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Algonquin Books - December 1st, 2015

Sure, Girl on the Train was our bestselling thriller of 2015. I read and enjoyed it, as many of our loyal readers did. But anytime someone picked up or asked about it I was sure to give them a choice; read a crackerjack page-turner, the aforementioned Girl on the Train, or The Descent, a lyrically profound edge of your seat psychological stunner. 99.9% of those that chose the latter came back extremely happy. Now in paperback, this riveting novel will resonate with you long after its thrilling conclusion.


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Get in Trouble: Stories Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780812986495
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 9th, 2016

Full disclosure before you purchase this collection of short stories, which you most certainly should. And will. I am a HUGE Kelly Link fan. I'd read a rough draft of her shopping list and marvel at her use of "kale" after a crossed out "laundry detergent". But these are much more than the ramblings of a superfan. No sir. Ms. Link is the real deal, blurring the lines between the real and fantastic like a word wielding magician, creating multi-verses in which the likes of pop band fave Oh Hell, Kitty! and superhero Thomas Mann Man roam freely. Better than the best dream you've (n)ever had, Get in Trouble is a collection worthy of the heady praise that has preceded it. 


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False Positive: A Novel (Detective Cooper Devereaux #1) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780345540768
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Ballantine Books - June 28th, 2016

Grant manages to pull a fast one on his readers with positively positive results. His previous novel, Run, was a techno-thriller of sorts that I devoured in just about two sittings. In False Positive, he manages to go in an entirely different direction with the same page-turning results. After the eye opening, gasp inducing final twist, you'll be chompin' at the bit for the next Cooper Devereaux novel. 


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Swan Song Cover Image
$8.79
ISBN: 9781501131424
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Pocket Books - July 26th, 2016

When it comes to good vs. evil, post-apocalyptic, 1,000+ page epic masterpieces most folks will generally think The Stand by a guy named King. Don't feel bad if you're one of those people. It's a common mistake. What you really meant to read is Swan Song by Robert McCammon. 


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Red Dragon Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9780385319676
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Delta - January 12th, 1998

It's crazy to think this was published 35 years ago and that my quest for one of its equal still eludes me. Red Dragon introduces an unsuspecting reading public to a young Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and after repeated readings still manages to chill me to the bone. Will Graham, an FBI profiler who possesses the unfortunate gift to get into the minds of serial killers, has been asked to come out of retirement to help with a case involving The Tooth Fairy, who has been randomly killing families during sequential full moons. When Graham finds that he has hit a wall in the investigation, he reluctantly turns to Dr. Lecter. Unfortunately for Graham, he and Lecter share a history that nearly put Graham in the ground and shattered his psyche into a thousand pieces. Grab a copy and come share in my nightmare.


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The Thing About Jellyfish Cover Image
$7.19
ISBN: 9780316380843
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

Beautifully, and painfully, captures middle school anxiety and the navigating of friendships at that age, especially when grief becomes a part of it. My favorite novel of 2015  for the 8-12 year range. You'll also learn a lot about jellyfish and Diana Nyad as well!
 


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MARTians Cover Image
$6.39
ISBN: 9781536200560
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Candlewick - August 14th, 2018

For the teen reader who's tired of dystopian love triangles and vampire/werewolf romances. Set in the near future, MARTians finds young Zoe Zindleman having to take a job at the local ALLMART after her high school unexpectedly closes in the "interest of efficiency", where branding and brainwashing become the fashionable norm. A thought provoking and smart novel about the ever changing age of consumerism with subtle references to Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, which Zoe passes the time reading throughout the length of this surprisingly entertaining novel.


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Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780062198778
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ecco - February 16th, 2016

The legend of the O.K. Corral has long been a fascination for me, and I am a huge Mary Doria Russell fan. So when I had a chance at an early read of Epitaph, you can be sure that I snatched that opportunity up pretty quickly. Russell is a master storyteller, and what she does with what basically comes down to a 30 second confrontation between 9 men on a dusty street in Tombstone AZ will make a fan of you as well. Think of Epitaph as a commentary to the hugely entertaining movie Tombstone. 


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The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly Cover Image
By Ted Sanders, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)
$6.39
ISBN: 9780062275837
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: HarperCollins - February 2nd, 2016

The search is over for those of you suffering from P.H.P.S*. Contemporary fantasy (it takes place in Chicago!) that's got plenty to keep you entertained, including folklore, magical archives and artifacts that do cool stuff. The author of this series, Ted Sanders, really loved Harry Potter but didn't understand why J.K. Rowling didn't explain the science behind the magic. He does so here in a fashion that makes learning fun! Keepers is the first in a planned multi-book series.
 
*Post Harry Potter Syndrome


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The Library at Mount Char Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780553418620
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Broadway Books - March 15th, 2016

If you love finding new voices in the sci-fi/fantasy arena as much as I do, you won't mind reading the first page of this wildly imaginative first novel. You might not be able to stop. Fans of American Gods will feel right at home here (personally I think Scott Hawkins out-Gaimans Neil Gaiman) with the contemporary gods-among-us theme and a cliffhanger ending that just screams sequel. Full of world altering magic, love, revenge and ass kicking librarians that hold the fate of the world in their hands. 


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The Hatching: A Novel (The Hatching Series #1) Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9781501125058
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - February 14th, 2017

I love a good, fast paced apocalyptic summer read that isn't zombie related.  Throw in an ancient species of long dormant man-eating spiders and you've got me hooked. A fair mix of science and horror that'll keep readers frantically turning pages while simultaneously losing sleep, The Hatching will scratch that Michael Crichton itch you've been having. 


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Right As Rain: A Derek Strange Novel Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780316099295
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Back Bay Books - February 23rd, 2011

If you loved The Wire, only the best show ever written for television, you'll want to pick up these early crime fiction gems by George Pelecanos. Brought on to pen a single episode of The Wire, Pelecanos wound up staying on as a full-time writer over the ensuing 5 season run. Firing Offense, featuring Derek Strange and Terry Quinn or Right as Rain with Nick Stefanos as the protagonist are good places to start, but the opening line from Down by the River, Where the Dead Men Go puts me in the mind of good ol' Jimmy McNulty.


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The Nix Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9781101970348
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

When attempting to handsell this book I get so into it that I can't help but vomit words that make no cohesive sense, so rather than make a wordy mess all over the floor, I'm going to ask that you trust me as a bookseller and follow at least two out of three steps below:

1. Read the short two page prologue. It'll make you cry.

2. Turn to page 31 and read to page 40, at the very least (you may feel the urge to finish the chapter, which is natural). It'll make you cry. From laughing so damn hard.

3. To reiterate, trust me. I am a professional. I will probably read 20 more new titles in 2016. I can confidently say that The Nix is my favorite this year. 

This dazzling debut novel is about Chicago, political upheaval, Norwegian mythology, online gaming and family. But at its core it's about a mother and son, and how we hurt the things we love most.

Above all that, this book is pretty frickin' funny. Nathan Hill, as talented a writer as he is, barely flexes his formidable literary muscles here. Like a 70's era Muhammad Ali, Hill is rope-a-doping readers, promising a knockout of a writing career to come.


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The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel (Queen of the Tearling, The) Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780062290380
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Harper Paperbacks - April 14th, 2015

An excellent fantasy trilogy for those that have had their fill of GoT and are tired of waiting for Patrick Rothfuss to finish The Kingkiller Chronicles. Even if what I've just said sounds like Dungeons and Dragons gobbledygook, this series is for you. Erika Johansen shows she can hang with the best of them in her debut, blending fantasy and contemporary themes almost without effort, especially when she explores the idea of alternate timelines in the second book. I for one am excited to read the final installment, Fate of the Tearling, due out November 29th 2016. And for all you nerds out there, Hermione (aka Emma Watson) is producing and starring in the film version.


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Jennifer Government (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$12.76
ISBN: 9781400030927
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2004

When I first read Jennifer Government way back in 2003, globalization and privatization were the stuff of C-SPAN and Business Week, ideas I knew were tangentially connected to my future self. Looking back I should have been paying better attention, because Max Barry  was certainly onto something. His depressingly satiric (and timely!) look at what the "future" held for us should most certainly be considered a dystopian classic. If Noam Chomsky and George Saunders had a book baby, her name would lovingly be Jennifer Government.


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Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780399184765
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Riverhead Books - October 25th, 2016

Way back in 1997 a friend had me listen to the title track on Sleater-Kinney's third studio album (and the first with Janet Weiss on the skins), Dig Me Out. Those initial riffs opened my musical third eye and made me a disciple for life. Now I can go on about how important S-K is to rock and roll, how they are that rare band that evolves with each album or how Weiss is the fiercest drummer you will ever see or hear. True, all of those things, but there's gotta be a beginning. Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl chronicles the origin story of S-K with Carrie Brownstein narrating, starting with her first live concert (Madonna, with young upstarts The Beastie Boys opening) and closing out with the the release of their 8th collaboration, No Cities To Love. In between is one of the most eloquent and readable memoirs, rock or otherwise, that you'll ever find yourself getting caught up in. Brownstein shows a side of herself and Sleater-Kinney not captured in the numerous articles and interviews previous to Hunger, and this fan is forever grateful to be given the opportunity to read first hand the evolution of one of the greatest rock and roll groups of all time.


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The Virgins Cover Image
$12.76
ISBN: 9781935639626
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Tin House Books - August 6th, 2013

The unreliable narrator is my favorite plot device that in the wrong hands can become overly obvious and strained, stretching the limits of belief and patience. Not so in Pamela Erens haunting second novel, The Virgins. Readers may think John Irving as they feverishly turn pages, and as much as those comparisons are legit and complimentary, Erens brings her own unmistakable style to the traditional 1970's elite east coast boarding school novel. Skillfully crafted and often brutal, The Virgins is one of those novels I'll be recommending five, ten, fifteen years from now. 


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Still Life with Tornado Cover Image
$8.79
ISBN: 9781101994900
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Books - October 3rd, 2017

In Still Life with Tornado A.S. King captures the human condition we refer to as "being a teenager" with so little effort I found myself utterly floored. Exploring the way that memory affects grief and vice versa was second in genius only to how King manifests said memory/grief in the mind of 16 year old Sarah. King weaves family history, art and what our past, present and the future can tell us about ourselves into a perfect storm of a book.


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When Gravity Fails: The Classic of Cyberpunk SF Cover Image
$16.79
ISBN: 9780765313584
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Orb Books - October 13th, 2005

Set in an Arab ghetto with a little French Quarter feel, this is one of those timeless sci-fi/noir novels that would have made Raymond Chandler blush. Mostly with pride. Cyberpunk at its grittiest, full of body and brain mods, shady characters and double crosses. First book in a trilogy (honestly, it can be read as a stand-alone), When Gravity Fails deserves a spot right next to any William Gibson I'm hoping you have on your bookshelf.
 


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The Forever War Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780312536633
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 17th, 2009

One of my all-time favorite sci-fi novels that, truth be told, I fake read for a long while. Boy, what a mistake. Published in 1974, Forever War was immediately recognized as an anti-war classic. Haldeman cleverly utilizes time travel and it's usage during an interstellar conflict and its after-effects (mirroring how U.S. troops were treated upon their return to the states) as metaphor for the Vietnam war with a deft hand. Honestly, this could apply to our military involvement on foreign soil any time over the last 60 years and how we treat our veterans post-war.
 


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The End of Alice Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780684827100
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Scribner Book Company - February 18th, 1997

Yay! A.M. Homes finally received her due in 2013, winning the Woman's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) for May We Be Forgiven. She beat out some talented young women you may have heard of, including Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith and Chicago's own Gillian Flynn. May We Be Forgiven is one of my favorite novels of the last decade, but in order to truly appreciate the genius of Ms. Homes you must pick up The End of Alice (1996), a stunning and visceral ticking time bomb of a novel. This portion of a quote from Homes sums up why I will continue to read anything she publishes until the day I die:
"the gap between who people are publicly and privately...What I'm doing, which makes people uncomfortable, is saying the things we don't want to say out loud."


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Ex-Heroes: A Novel Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780804136570
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Broadway Books - February 26th, 2013

A superhero/zombie mashup that actually comes through with the goods. Although it borrows liberally from both the DC and Marvel universe, you get so caught up in backstories and cinematic pacing that it becomes less of a liability and more of a blessing. Tons of fun and a great series to pick up!


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Ghostman (Jack White Novels #1) Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780307950499
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - July 30th, 2013

I am here to tell you that the edge of your seat bank heist thriller is still alive, and it sits between the pages of Ghostman by Mr. Roger Hobbs. The title refers to one that comes in and cleans up messes when major, supposedly well planned heists go wrong. He fixes, than becomes a ghost. But what happens when the Ghostman's past interferes with said cleanup? Hobbs' attention to detail is astounding, from the "wheelman" identifying the make of a tire from a phone photo and a quick internet search to what happens to bundles of stolen cash when it's been gone for 48 hours. An un-put-downable debut.
 


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Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780767912105
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Broadway Books - September 14th, 2004

Always trust your bartender. Sage advice from my grandmother that I hope to pass along to my grandchild some day and reinforced after buzzing through this engaging and informative memoir, much of which is still relevant some 15 years after its publication. Cecchini writes with such eloquence and passion concerning the craft of tending bar that you may end up with a cocktail in front of you, across from your favorite bartender without knowing exactly how you got there.


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You're an Animal, Viskovitz (Vintage International) Cover Image
By Alessandro Boffa, John Casey (Translated by)
$11.20
ISBN: 9780375704833
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - June 17th, 2003

I can't think of a collection of stories that better emphasizes the giddy highs and intolerable lows of falling in love. Each one finds Viskovitz on the trail of his one and only true love, Ljuba, whose elusiveness propels him from tale to tale. It's a little like the movie Groundhog Day, as Visko is reincarnated as a snail, shark, praying mantis and dung beetle, among other beings. Each entry is often sweet, a little informative and above all hi-larious. As an added bonus, Roz Chast illustrates!


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Mister Sandman: A Novel Cover Image
By Barbara Gowdy, Katherine Dunn (Foreword by)
$13.46
ISBN: 9781581952261
Availability: Subject to Availability.
Published: Steerforth - June 3rd, 2008

Family secrets pile on one another like Russian nesting dolls in the Canary family, secrets that serve to ultimately protect them from one another. At the center of it all is little Joan, who doesn't grow or speak, lives in the closet and plays piano like Mozart. Through the lost art of listening and the power of music Joan will attempt to bring some happiness back to the Canary clan. Strange, wonderful and darkly hilarious, Mister Sandman is solid proof that "literary" fiction can be flat out fun as well as brilliantly crafted. 
 


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Swimming Lessons Cover Image
$12.76
ISBN: 9781941040935
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - January 9th, 2018

In Swimming Lessons Claire Fuller explores the all too familiar pull of duty, expectation and guilt between a family in turmoil with an unsentimental eye, recalling some of the best work of the late, great and under-read Richard Yates. This is a bibliophile's dream, for reasons I will not divulge for fear of giving away a key element of the story. Trust me, it'll make your book shaped heart glow. Our Endless Numbered Days, Fuller's debut, was nothing short of brilliant and I can honestly say that you will see no sophomore slump with this gem of a novel.


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Rotters Cover Image
$8.79
ISBN: 9780385738583
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ember - April 10th, 2012

After his mother tragically passes away, 16-year old Joey Crouch didn't
think life could get any worse. Until he has to move to a small town in Iowa and live
with a father he never knew. Things start to get interesting after he finds that father
has been practicing the age-old art of grave robbing and wants young Joey to
keep the family practice alive. What follows is the most interesting and morbid
coming of age novel you'll ever read. 


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Sunglasses After Dark (Sonja Blue Novels #1) Cover Image
$11.19
ISBN: 9781504016261
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Open Road Media Science & Fantasy - June 9th, 2015

If you're like me and have had fantasies that involve Buffy all growed up,
listening to punk rock, giving in to her dark side and meting out vamp justice on a
 global level then you happen to be in the right place. These recent
re-issues (yay!) of the first two installments of The Sonja Blue trilogy have
made me a very happy bookseller. 

 


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The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley: A Novel Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780812989885
Availability: Subject to Availability.
Published: The Dial Press - March 28th, 2017

Young Loo Hawley is trying desperately to find her true self as she enters young-adulthood. It's tough going, having never known her mother and trailing her father Samuel from city to city, outrunning ghosts from another lifetime. A lifetime mapped out in a constellation of bad decisions, evidenced by 12 bullet hole scars Samuel has collected over the years whose origins appear cleverly as vignettes interwoven between chapters. Making peace with his past will allow Loo to leave those ghosts behind, but lingering questions about the death of her mother keep Loo digging for answers. Equal parts coming of age, pulse-pounding thriller and family saga. A potpourri of page turning goodness.


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A Coffin for Dimitrios (Charles Latimer #1) Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780375726712
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - October 9th, 2001

As an aspiring writer in the 1930's, Eric Ambler was literally at the forefront of the spy novel genre before it even had a chance to get recognized as such. Where the greats like LeCarre, Greene, Deighton
and Kerr wrote amazing novels based on dogged research, Ambler just had to
look at what was happening around him and transcribe. Coffin for Dimitrios swiftly sets the bar and is a
great place to jump off into his dozen or so other titles.


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Fever Dream: A Novel Cover Image
By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780399184598
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Riverhead Books - January 10th, 2017

Don't judge this book on it's oddly squarish dimensions. Sure, it looks like a
cute little ditty, maybe about a wonderful horse dream. Pick it up, though, and take a
closer look. Something askew in the horse's eye, right? And do you feel that? The
texture of the cover is a little off. Now read the first page. Goosebumps. The
urge to sit down right here, keep reading and find out what that creepy,
niggling feeling is at the base of your neck. Welcome to the most unnerving
reading experience you may ever have. 


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Bad Monkeys: A Novel Cover Image
$11.19
ISBN: 9780061240423
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Harper Perennial - August 12th, 2008

You won't find a more clever sci-fi/thriller mash-up out there, full of paranoid
double dealings, secret government agencies and shady unreliable narrators
that'd make Fox Mulder lose sleep. 
 


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Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town Cover Image
$18.39
ISBN: 9780765312808
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Tor Books - May 30th, 2006

Cory Doctorow was the Supreme Ruler of weird quasi-sci-fi in the 2000's, 
thinking way out of the box and writing some really groundbreaking stuff. This
novel is a prime example, layering the everyday and mundane over the fantastical
with such obvious ease it's laughable. Full of weird characters, magic, humor and 
the always elusive quest for love and free wireless internet. And at the end of the
day, isn't that what we're all looking for?


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A Simple Plan Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9780307279958
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - October 24th, 2006

Twenty-five years in print and Simple Plan is still my go-to recommend,
whether I'm selling to a mystery/thriller connoisseur or a reader new to the
genre. No nefarious villain at work here, no mystery to be solved. Just a 
story about ordinary folks who hatch a simple plan after finding 4 million 
seemingly untraceable dollars. Murder, mayhem and bad decisions follow. Smith
greets every plot twist with a cool hand, amping up the thrill quotient while
making the reader an unwilling accomplice as things spiral out of control. Even
the impressive screenplay adapted for film by Smith and Sam Raimi can't
replicate the feel of this twisty tale of distrust and violence. 
 


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Norwegian by Night Cover Image
$11.96
ISBN: 9780544292666
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Mariner Books - May 6th, 2014

Sheldon Horowitz is not adapting well to his new life in Norway. Widowed,
retired and wrestling with ghosts from the Korean and Vietnam wars, Sheldon just
wants to live out his days with his only remaining offspring and her Norwegian
husband. But when the senseless murder of an immigrant woman in his daughter's
building forces him to take her surviving son and traverse across Norway to get
him out of harm's way, Sheldon must deal with the aforementioned ghosts if he and
his charge are to survive the night. A compelling, wholly unconventional and
dare I say sweet thriller.


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The Grip of It: A Novel Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780374536916
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: FSG Originals - August 1st, 2017

The most amazing thing about Jac Jemc's chilling new novel is how effortlessly 
her exquisite prose lends itself to the terrifying world she creates for
newlyweds Julie and James. No sleight of hand here. Where others tend to
rely on shocking the reader into a state of terror, Jemc (pronounced Gems) has
the ability to unnerve without breaking a sweat, seamless as a dream. Or a harrowing
nightmare.


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Hip Hop Family Tree Book 1: 1975-1981 Cover Image
$22.39
ISBN: 9781606996904
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Fantagraphics Books - December 6th, 2013

So you love listening to classic hip-hop and enjoy reading finely illustrated
panels from left to right/top to bottom and were wondering how to satisfy both
those cravings at the same time? Call off the dogs and check out these
awesomely over-sized graphic novels that chronicle one of the most important
periods in music and social history. 
 


An Ocean in Iowa Cover Image
$14.27
ISBN: 9780684859705
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Touchstone Books - April 28th, 1999

It's 1969 and Scotty Ocean has vowed that year seven is going to be his year,
but when his mother decides to leave the family and never return Scotty tries
desperately to replace her. When that doesn't work, he hatches a dramatic plan
to stay seven forever and what transpires is a tender reminder of how big the world
becomes when real life sets in sooner than expected.
 


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How to Behave in a Crowd: A Novel Cover Image
$20.80
ISBN: 9780451497543
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tim Duggan Books - August 15th, 2017

Izzy doesn't feel very special. Eleven years old and youngest of six in a 
small french town, he just does not measure up to his siblings, two of which 
are on track for doctorates by the age of twenty-four. But  when tragedy strikes, Izzy
manages to keep the family together with his wit and tenderhearted ways.
Those of you who enjoy the works of Wes Anderson, The Royal Tenenbaums in
particular, will relish this gem of a novel. After publishing two novels
in French, Camille Bordas has made quite a splash with her first book in 
English. 


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The Master and Margarita (Vintage International) Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780679760801
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - March 19th, 1996

If magical realism is your game, Mikhail Bulgakov's Faustian tale of the Devil arriving in Moscow circa 1930 and wreaking hilarious havoc is for you. Suppressed  by the Stalin regime for a spell, this complete, uncensored translation presented by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor is by far the best English edition available. Unfortunately, Bulgakov passed away before his masterpiece was published. Fast forward to the late 1960's as Mick Jagger receives a copy of Master and Margarita from then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull. Inspired, Jagger proceeds to pen a little ditty called "Sympathy for the Devil".


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Ali: A Life Cover Image
$23.99
ISBN: 9780544435247
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 3rd, 2017

Jonathan Eig has done the impossible here by penning a bio as enigmatic, colorful and engaging as the man formerly known as Cassius Clay. Eig's considerable talents as a sportswriter really shine through, making this a must read for fans of Ali and his many incarnations, from pugilist to protester, actor and activist and everything wonderful and controversial in between. 


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The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9781631494024
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - March 20th, 2018

A ground-breaking history of the Gulf, illuminating the complex forces ravaging our environment. The Gulf emerges as a power in itself, in Jack E. Davis's enthralling narrative, animated by deft, vivid portraits of men and women who saw in the Gulf a source of sustenance, inspiration, and, not least, wealth. Fishermen, artists, writers, indigenous and migrant communities, adventurers and greedy businessmen leap from the page as Davis chronicles the fierce, wild, and fragile ecology of the American sea. A timeless cautionary tale, as rich and capacious as the region itself.


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Heartbreaker: Stories Cover Image
$11.20
ISBN: 9780374536060
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: FSG Originals - July 12th, 2016

Like all the best heartbreaks, Maryse Meijer's audacious collection of short stories will leave you devastated, a little forlorn, and against all your friends wishes, wanting more. After finishing each story, I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity in understanding how the sweaty, bruised participants of David Fincher's Fight Club felt after each bout; invigorated, bloodied and sated. Then itching for more. 


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The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South Cover Image
$23.19
ISBN: 9780062379290
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Amistad - August 1st, 2017

Family memoir and culinary history inform this rich, fresh and illuminating narrative, remarkable for its depth of research and delectable prose. A captivating story-teller, Michael W. Twitty offers an unsparing chronicle of African-American history, from slave ship to the auction block, tobacco field to the gardens, stew pots and recipes that nurtured bodies and spirits. With passion and uncommon warmth, Twitty reveals the centrality of food to culture, community and identity.
 


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Priestdaddy: A Memoir Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780399573262
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Riverhead Books - May 1st, 2018

Patricia Lockwood's shrewd, poetic and spirited narrative is both a captivating memoir of her idiosyncratic family and a meditation on faith, love community and, in the most intimate sense, salvation. Remarkable for its lyrical, radiant prose, Priestdaddy deepens and transcends the genre of memoir.


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The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780465082957
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Basic Books - June 6th, 2017

Edward Dolnick gives us a witty and enthralling narrative about the centuries-long quest to understand conception and the intellectual and religious convictions that kept brilliant scientists from believing their own eyes. This spirited tale of dogged, frustrating research foregrounds the cultural forces that shape scientists' perceptions and assumptions. Clear-eyed and authoritative, Dolnick presents science history at its liveliest. 


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Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli, Jon Lee Anderson (Introduction by)
$10.36
ISBN: 9781566894951
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Coffee House Press - April 4th, 2017

A tender, disquieting and revelatory narrative about the plight of undocumented children from Central America, caught in the labyrinth of the U.S. immigration system. Valeria Luiselli, who volunteered to translate for the young asylum seekers, exposes the racism underlying immigration policy, and she makes extraordinarily palpable the vulnerable victims of our nation's cynicism and fear. 


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Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9780804169691
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Anchor - July 31st, 2018

Alex Blum, a bright young man from a good family, always wanted to be a U.S. Army Ranger, and after successfully completing a rigorous program he was well on his way. Hours before his final leave, however, Alex did the unthinkable. He, two fellow soldiers and a couple of strangers committed armed robbery at a local bank in Tacoma. After they were apprehended Alex claimed that he was under the impression that it was a final, staged army exercise before being deployed to Iraq. Cousin Ben Blum decided to write a book about the incident in an attempt to help exonerate Alex. What he did was unlock a family mystery whose drama and twists rival the best that any Netflix original television show has to offer. 
 


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The Sun in Your Eyes: A Novel Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062435590
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 28th, 2017

A wonderful novel about friendships and all the complications that come with the ones we hold closest. It's about music and family, and how despite what we may think we know about our loved ones there's always an air of mystery that surrounds them. And that is ok. And exciting. The bold portion of this line from Sun in Your Eyes sums up how I felt while reading this fantastic, magical book: "It startled me how at home she felt on those roads, like being in a dream, a place your mind conjured so you know the landscape and what comes next."


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The Gone World Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780399167508
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 6th, 2018

If Tom Sweterlitsch didn't invent the time travel procedural, in Gone World he  sure as hell brought it to perfection. His fresh take on the time travel paradox and the implications that follow, as well as the integration of a hard-boiled True Detective-esque storyline make this a must read. A sci-fi classic in the making.


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Who Is Vera Kelly? Cover Image
$12.76
ISBN: 9781947793019
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - June 12th, 2018


Set in Buenos Aires during the 1966 Argentine Revolution, Who Is Vera Kelly? follows an intrepid young CIA operative put in charge of infiltrating a group of Marxist college students, armed with only a recording device and her instinctive wits about her. Rosalie Knecht paints a tense Buenos Aires vividly, while presenting Vera's origin story in vignettes throughout the novel, from teenage rebellion in Maryland to sexual self discovery in underground Brooklyn jazz clubs as a closeted lesbian. The end result is a cold war novel worthy of a spot next to Le Carre, Furst and Ambler on any bookshelf and will have you wondering what's next for Vera Kelly.
 


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Rose: A Novel Cover Image
$6.39
ISBN: 9780345422521
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ballantine Books - February 1st, 2000

Romance-y cover notwithstanding, Rose is one of the best stand-alone mysteries you will ever lay your discerning eyes upon. Best known for the Arkady Renko series which began with Gorky Park, Cruz Smith really outdid himself with this highly ambitious historical thriller. 


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A Key to Treehouse Living Cover Image
$15.96
ISBN: 9781947793040
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - September 4th, 2018

If you’ve ever doubted the synchronicity of life and how one moment or action can define the next in the most wonderful and unexpected ways, A Key to Treehouse Living will set you right. The structure of the novel, told in glossary form, is refreshing and illuminating and necessary in these troubled times, one that you’ll find yourself coming back to if only to feel grounded and human again. 


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Bitter Orange Cover Image
$20.76
ISBN: 9781947793156
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - October 9th, 2018

Bitter Orange is a lovely slow burn, each fevered turn of the page making the reader implicit in the drama being played out in a decaying English country mansion the summer of 1969. Francis Jellico has been summoned to Lynton to research the architecture and gardens, but when she meets her downstairs neighbors Cara and Peter, a friendship blossoms that is not all that it seems on the surface. Tension mounts as the history of both parties unravel, culminating in an ending that will blindside even the most discerning reader. Claire Fuller is that rare writer that seems to reinvent herself with each novel, yet maintaining a clever style all her own.
 


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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
$22.39
ISBN: 9780062319784
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Harper - February 27th, 2018

It all started with a brutal, senseless murder of a young woman in an alley off of Pleasant Street here in Oak Park. That's when Michelle McNamara, a teen herself and whose family lived blocks from the crime, found her calling. She would go on to champion victims that could no longer speak for themselves, specifically those of the East Area Rapist, who during the 1970's and 80's terrorized Northern and Southern California, raping over
50 women and committing at least 10 murders. What you are looking at is her life's work and passion which she did not live to see published, having passed suddenly at the age of 46. I've read a fair amount of true crime, but none have been as compassionate to the families left behind and the law enforcement officials that put in tireless hours and lost portions of their lives in the pursuit of the man Michelle McNamara dubbed Golden State Killer. He was never caught.


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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

Not since Ember in the Ashes have I been this excited about a new YA fantasy series. Shoot, you adults out there would be remiss in not picking this epic debut up. Imagine everything that keeps you turning pages in a fantasy novel and amp that up tenfold. It'll have you shaking your fist ruefully and gasping over betrayal while simultaneously marvelling at elements of magic that seem to pop off of the page. As an aside, the book design makes me feel as if I'm holding an ancient, secret and very important text. Just gorgeous.


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Spy's Fate Cover Image
$11.96
ISBN: 9781888451658
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Akashic Books - July 1st, 2005

Fans of spy fiction from any era will appreciate this post-cold war thriller
whose origins evolve from the murky U.S.-Cuban spy wars with a fresh
perspective, that of veteran Cuban operative Carlos Manuel. Arnoldo Correa
should be considered among the likes of LeCarre, Kerr and Ambler as masters of
the genre.


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The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781101986615
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Dutton - February 27th, 2018

An imaginative collection of short stories that bring to mind early George
Saunders. Incredibly strong throughout, but I am partial to "Blunderbuss", a 
crazy hilarious cautionary tale on the idea of teaching time travel to 3rd graders. 
 


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Grist Mill Road: A Novel Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9781250150301
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Picador - December 31st, 2018

Grist Mill Road threw me in the deep end the first few pages, giving this
unsuspecting reader nary a minute to catch a breath. Yet Yates wasn't done by a
long shot, either. The surprises kept coming from multiple points of view,
giving each chapter a fresh and often unreliable perspective. Be
forewarned...sleep will become scarce for approximately 339 pages.


The Water Knife Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9780804171533
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - April 5th, 2016

Bacigalupi's follow up to Windup Girl is sleeker and more accessible without
sacrificing story or style, written with the same urgency and eco-awareness as
it's predecessor. The one deviation, and it's a good one, gives a noir/thriller
edge to the story which takes place in the near future where water has become
more valuable than gold (timely, I know). Governments will do anything to attain
water rights, going so far to send Water Knives, basically water bounty hunters,
to secure them at any cost. As timely as it is terrifying.


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The Window Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9781524720292
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Delacorte Press - April 3rd, 2018

When her identical twin sister dies falling from their bedroom window in the
middle of the night, Jess has a feeling that the accident isn't quite what it seems. 
As she starts to piece together clues from the night in question, it becomes apparent 
that Anna hid secrets from Jess that shed new light on their close sibling kinship. As
Jess delves deeper into what happened that fateful night, dark secrets rise to
the surface that will alter lives in the small town of Birdton, Montana.


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Berlin Noir (Crime, Penguin) Cover Image
$19.20
ISBN: 9780140231700
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 1st, 1994

Private investigator Bernard Gunther is trying to sort through the corruption,
greed and atrocity permeating the streets of Berlin in the wake of WWII, seeking
justice where he can but finding very little in this meticulously researched
historical fiction series. Berlin Noir includes the first three of the Bernie Gunther
odyssey. 

It should be noted that author Philip Kerr recently passed away. The literary
world lost a giant on March 23, 2018.


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City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780307454300
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Broadway Books - April 16th, 2013

While Devil in The White City is certainly an entertaining and worthwhile read, for my money the hugely underrated and under-read City of Scoundrels is a better representation of how the oft maligned history of Chicago is still affecting the city socially and economically to this day. A perfect storm of events that took place over a tense 12 day period in early 1919 culminated in the discovery of the body of a six-year-old girl that nearly brought this burgeoning city to it's knees. Gary Krist is the real deal, having also published a book on the history of New Orleans, Empire of Sin and a book on Los Angeles called The Mirage Factory that is due to come out May 15th, 2018.


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Tin Man: A Novel Cover Image
$18.40
ISBN: 9780735218727
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 15th, 2018

Blending memory, love, and loss with nary a touch of sentimentality, Sarah Winman's new novel Tin Man is the perfect book to start your summer reading off right. You'll fall effortlessly into the lives of Ellis, Annie, and Michael, three friends brought together by chance and eventually separated by fate. Winman's prose is so delicate and spare you'll want to find someone with a beautiful voice to match and have them read it to you on a nice sunny day.


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The Church of Dead Girls: A Thriller Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780143107828
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Blue Rider Press - August 4th, 2015

A chilling prologue, unreliable narrator and clever use of multiple red herrings all contribute to one of the most chilling and memorable novels I have ever read. Think Our Town inspired by Rod Serling
 


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Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780061944895
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - December 22nd, 2009

In his auspicious debut, Son of King modernizes the ghost story in razor-sharp, punk rock fashion, having left this reader in a state of near frozen fear longer than was comfortable.
 


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Seafire Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9780451478801
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Razorbill - August 28th, 2018

I could easily recommend this first in a trilogy based solely on the fact that it revolves around kick-butt Lady Pirates, but that would only be half the story. Feminist themes, pulse-pounding fight scenes, an evil warlord creating an army of drug dependent soldiers, future-not-future tech, sisterhood and diversity not for diversities sake are only a few of the reasons you should pick up this bookish breath of fresh air. Oh yeah, did I mention LADY PIRATES!!!


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An Instance of the Fingerpost: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781573227957
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Riverhead Books - April 1st, 2000

Ingeniously constructed story of the mysterious murder of an Oxford don in 1663 England, in which nothing is as it seems. Giving this brilliant, heady novel a big leg up on 90% of what’s out there is the recounting of said crime by four different witnesses, playing out as a clever game of Clue designed by Umberto Eco.


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Heartsick: A Thriller (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell #1) Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780312657819
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Minotaur Books - July 20th, 2010

If you’re looking for reprieve from the current Girl/Woman on/in the Train/Window phase of crime fiction, take a gander at this riveting catch-the-serial-killer novel from way back in 2007. Heartsick introduces one of my favorite antagonists in recent memory, Gretchen Lowell, who’s as smart and cunning as rattlesnake and the nod to the Green River Killer will satisfy you true crime aficionados out there.  


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Scribe: A Novel Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9781555978181
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Graywolf Press - October 2nd, 2018

Scribe is one of those novels that is so rich with description and moving, lovely passages that you feel like you're reading a 600 page epic (it clocks in at a cool 157), and I mean that in a great way. After a civil war and ensuing sickness have ravaged the countryside, our nameless anti-heroine has carved a life for herself on the farm she grew up on and where she witnessed her sisters demise. She has earned a reputation as a woman of letters, a skill highly sought after, and when a mysterious stranger arrives at her doorstep with a curious request it sets a chain of events in motion that will bring her past bearing down on her. Hagy creates a world that is timeless, where bartering for the bare essentials becomes a way of life and a skill can determine how or if you survive to the next day. Scribe will haunt you every time you put it down and enchant you every time you pick it up.


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The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9781937512750
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Two Dollar Radio - September 18th, 2018

This is one of those books that will ruin the fate of whatever's next on your to-be-read pile. The structure, well drawn characters, style and writing (oh the writing!) combine to make this a singular reading experience you'll want to hold onto long after the you've turned the last page. Telling the story through the eyes of multiple narrators creates a pastiche of voices that give it a fevered momentum, holding the reader like grim death throughout. Good luck attempting not to read this in one sitting.


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Genesis Cover Image
$10.15
ISBN: 9780547335926
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Mariner Books - May 11th, 2010

Set in a utopian society where higher education is prized above all else,
Genesis takes an intriguing philosophical look at what makes us human, and
more importantly whether it makes us superior to other forms of intelligence.
Speculative sci-fi at its best, one Rod Serling would be proud of.
 


North American Lake Monsters Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9781618730602
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Small Beer Press - July 16th, 2013

Ballingrud takes tired old horror tropes and re-imagines them to reflect the
monstrous that we encounter every day in this incredibly well-rounded nine story
collection. Although all are worthy of your time, Sunbleached is an absolute
standout. 
 


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The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy) Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780345504975
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ballantine Books - May 17th, 2011

"Before she became the Girl from Nowhere-the One Who Walked In, the First and
Last and Only, who lived a thousand years-she was just a little girl in Iowa named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte
."

As far as first lines go you could do a lot worse, though you'd be hard pressed to do any better. What follows is 274 pages of government-experiment-gone-wrong-super-human-vampire(virals)-decimate-the-earth perfection. Though Cronin doesn't let up there, dear reader. Jumping 100 years in the future, he 
fuses both narratives over the next 492 pages to open a trilogy of rich, sweeping,epic goodness. 


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Butcher's Crossing Cover Image
By John Williams, Michelle Latiolais (Introduction by)
$12.76
ISBN: 9781590171981
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: NYRB Classics - January 16th, 2007

Butcher's Crossing is such an incredible reading experience in a myriad of ways that I just do not know where to start. It's an 1870's western, as dirty and true as any, but also about identity, self
discovery and nature in all of its eloquent beauty. I'd love to discuss with anyone that has or will 
read this John Williams classic. 


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The Last Good Kiss (C.W. Sughrue #1) Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780394759890
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - November 5th, 1988

If '70's post-vietnam noir out west that reads like beautiful, angry poetry is your thing, look no further. This first in the C.W. Sughrue trilogy sets itself  apart from your standard private investigator fare, with plenty of tongue in cheek humor and double crosses to have you hungering for the next in the series
halfway through. Go ahead, read the first paragraph and see if you don't find yourself beating a
path to the register.


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The Orphan of Salt Winds Cover Image
$12.76
ISBN: 9781947793224
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - January 15th, 2019

As 2015 winds down, so does the life of Virginia, who at the age of 86 has decided to let a sign from her mysterious past give her reason to walk out into the treacherous marsh of Salt Winds that claimed her foster father when she was a child. As Virginia ponders her fate, a young woman appears on her doorstep and complicates her plan, bringing a tidal wave of memories that cause her to see her last day in an altogether darker light. Told in alternating timelines that follow Virginia as a child in the early stages of WWII and as she plots out her last day alive in 2015, Elizabeth Brooks’ novel of memories past and present plays out as a locked-room mystery Agatha Christie would be envious of.


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The Current: A Novel Cover Image
$22.36
ISBN: 9781616206772
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - January 22nd, 2019

Tim Johnston's brand of storytelling is a curious hybrid of conventional crime
fiction and observation of human nature that is demanding to be paid attention
to. In The Current Johnston goes beyond the sensational and asks relevant
questions when tragedy strikes, addressing real topics that come with the loss
of a loved one and the aftermath in the wake of a horrific crime. As with Descent, Johnston's previous novel, The Current concludes with a wallop you will not see coming.