Mark B.

Except for a three year stint as a stay-at-home dad, Mark has been with Third Place Books since the fall of 2001, and was one of the original crew to open the Ravenna location. He loves fiction, philosophy, family and many other things that start with the "F" sound.

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Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich Cover Image
By Norman Ohler, Shaun Whiteside (Translator)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781328663795
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Houghton Mifflin - March 7th, 2017

Nazis on meth. Sounds like a bad b-movie, but in this case it is historical fact. The Germans developed methamphetamine and packaged them in a tablet they called Pervitin. The drug proved particularly useful during the blitzkrieg, when the tank and infantry soldiers were required to stay awake for days in a row, to complete the offensive push. Ohler includes quite a bit of documentation to prove his case. Figuring out what kind of drug cocktail that Hitler himself was on at the end proves a more difficult task, but Blitzed is a quick and compulsive read that will have you shaking your head in horrified amazement.


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Nine Island Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781936787128
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Catapult - September 13th, 2016

I have never read Ovid; I am not an older single woman; and I have never lived in a Condo on Miami Beach, and yet I was totally able to relate to J, our narrator, who is trying assess in her later years, whether it's time to give up on love. There is a wonderful humanity in this slim semi-autobiographical novel and quite a few laughs, too. Who doesn't need a few laughs right now?


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Gabriel's Story Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385720335
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor Books - April 30th, 2002

It's shortly after the Civil War and fifteen-year-old Gabriel Lynch is not ready to settle down with his mother and new stepfather on a hardscrabble farm in Kansas. Instead he joins up with a group of cowboys headed for Texas. It is then trial by fire for Gabriel as he grows up on the road, witnessing the horrors and violence of the old west. This debut novel from Durham is a coming-of-age tale with elements of Blood Meridian and Lonesome Dove except with an African-American cast of characters. I read this book fifteen years ago, and scenes are still burned into my memory. Take a wild ride with Gabriel Lynch.


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A Well-Mannered Young Wolf Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802854797
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers - October 3rd, 2016

It's always good to use your best manners, especially among other cultures, such as the wild with its population of carnivores. The young wolf in our story is hungry, but - as his parents have taught him - he must honor his prey's last wish, before devouring them. He finds out quickly that not everyone keeps their word, as he does.


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As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride Cover Image
By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476764047
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Touchstone Books - October 4th, 2016

If you are a fan of "The Princess Bride" then it's hard not to enjoy this wonderful book about the making of the classic film. Cary Elwes (Farm Boy/Dread Pirate Robert) fills us in on all the behind-the-scenes details, including why it took so long to bring the popular book to the big screen. As You Wish is also filled with asides from the likes of Rob Reiner, Wallace Shawn, Robin Wright and others; and there are many never-before seen photographs from the film. This is a must have for every fan of "The Princess Bride."


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Children of the New World: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250098993
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador USA - September 13th, 2016

This collection of stories feels chillingly prescient. These tales are just-around-the-corner futuristic. Here we have characters, who raise their entire families online, and meet with support groups in the real world to grieve their digital losses. Sex is now innercourse, where partners exchange packets of data. There is the advent of broadcasting everything you do through contact lenses, where you can also check your eye-mail. A wink can mean much more than a wink in this world. Put your smart phone down for a while and read these tales of warning.


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Cold Skin Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9781841958835
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Canongate Books - February 6th, 2007

The narrator in Cold Skin is given a year's assignment as a weather official on a seemingly deserted island. The only other human on the island is a crazed Australian, manning the lighthouse. We learn quite quickly that the small island is overrun nightly by amphibious creatures. And then things really get weird. Cold Skin is compelling, creepy, and will stick with you long after you close the cover.


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You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062388681
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - August 9th, 2016

Strange. Creepy. Funny? Well, yes. Funny, but not funny ha-ha. This first novel by Kleeman is a dark satire on our society's obsession with body image and consumerism, and how closely the two are tied together. Her prose is fascinating, describing bodies and their functions in a clinical and yet alluring fashion. You may not have read anything like this before.


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Crooked Heart Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062364845
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - July 5th, 2016

World War II is in vogue right now (All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale), and Crooked Heart can now join their ranks. It's the story of ten-year-old Noel, who is evacuated from London during the Blitz. He is taken in by a skittish widow named Vee, who figures she might make a little money through charitable donations and catch up on her debts. The war seems far away at first, but then its effects begin to be felt in the little village of St. Albans. There are humorous moments in the lives of these wonderful characters, but the story is grounded in reality, and ultimately it's about what it means to be a family.


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Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781620970089
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Press - June 2nd, 2015

Truth is often stranger than fiction, and in this slim yet powerful book, truth is much more horrible than fiction. Erik Loomis has done an amazing job of putting together a succinct history of labor's struggle against corporate power. He shows that when the federal government started to finally enact safety laws, and unions were gaining more rights for workers, corporations just moved manufacturing overseas. Once out of the U.S. they are able to skirt safety regulations and pay minimum wages as low as thirty-two cents an hour. Five million U.S. jobs have been lost due to NAFTA, and new trade agreements just enable U.S. corporations to continue their policy of exploiting the poorest on this earth. I don't call too many books a must-read, but this one is certainly worth your time and money spent.


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White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781632864123
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 31st, 2016

Many whites are only now becoming familiar with the term Institutional Racism, and how we benefit in this society merely by being born white. Maybe you've read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and you're ready to read more about race in America. Carol Anderson marvelously lays out every step forward for African-Americans reaching for equal rights, only to have those rights systematically stripped away by the states. This is the ugly history that they don't teach us in public schools, but that we should all be aware of. White Rage already has a spot secured in my top ten books of 2016. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


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Spill Simmer Falter Wither Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780544716193
Availability: Out of print
Published: Houghton Mifflin - March 8th, 2016

Ray is an outcast, who makes his way to town every Tuesday to pick up necessities. It is on one of these trips that he sees a poster from the local animal shelter, advertising a scruffy-looking, one-eyed mutt for adoption. He immediately adopts the dog, who he names one-eye. Ray never went to public school, instead staying at home, reading whatever books he came across. He never knew his mother and his father was often absent. One-eye is not Lassie, but a real dog that attacks other dogs and finds nasty things to roll in. In a way, he becomes Ray's canine therapist, as Ray slowly reveals his tortured past and years of loneliness. This is not a feel-good book, and there is an underlying sense of dread, as if something dark and ominous is just around the corner. The last few pages of Spill Simmer Falter Wither still haunt me a week after I closed the book. A powerful debut.


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Puff Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060751524
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - February 2005

In honor of 4/20.

Puff takes place on the night of a severe blizzard in Boston during the 1970s. John and Gully Sullivan masquerade as Red Cross rescue personnel in order to maneuver around the city, trying to score a bag of weed before the night is through. Their misadventures, written by stand-up comic Bob Flaherty, are a riotous good time.


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Sweetgirl Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062400833
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco Press - November 2016

Mulhauser's debut novel, Sweetgirl, has been compared to a lot of great works, including Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Let me just say right off that all of the comparisons are fully justified. From page one, Mulhauser creates fully-dimensional characters that populate this wild ride of a book. The dialogue is often quite humorous and brings to mind Elmore Leonard.

Sixteen-year-old Percy James starts off looking for her mother, who is most likely off on a meth binge. Instead, she happens upon an infant by an open window in the meth dealer's farm house. All comparisons aside, Sweetgirl is about the best debut I've read in years. Forget about Gone Girl. She's so yesterday. Instead dive into Sweetgirl. You won't regret it. 


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Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780147516213
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Plume Books - July 28th, 2015

If one can turn lemons into lemonade, then I suppose one can turn tragedy into comedy. At least, that is what Adam Resnick has done with his childhood and it's related traumas. This is dark humor with an edge, that might have you cringing, but it will also have you laughing out loud at points.


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The Left Hand of Darkness Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780441007318
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ace Books - July 2000

The story line is quite simple: Genly Ai has arrived on the planet Winter in an effort to enlist the people in a growing association of intergalactic civilizations. There are many layers to this classic science fiction novel, but foremost is the exploration of gender roles. On this planet, the people are androgynous and sexless until they are ready to breed. At that time they may become a male or female, depending on who they meet. A resident of Winter can be a father of three, and also a mother to four. Le Guin has created a tale that feels epic in scope, but is also quite moving on an intimate human scale. For a book written in 1969, The Left Hand of Darkness feels very relevant to our world today. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.


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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250065810
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - May 26th, 2015

Marsh is a British brain surgeon and part of his aim in this book is to talk about his mistakes as well as his successes. As you can imagine, there is very little room for error in brain surgery. He admits his own amazement, looking down into the patient's brain, and realizing that is where thought originates and makes us who we are. Marsh considers neurosurgery to be more of a craft than an exact science, and when he pulls out the drills and saws, we understand his point. There were times when I had to set the book aside for a while, because the surgery descriptions are graphic and intense. Ultimately, this book is a profile of a man, who courageously cuts into the brains of patients in an attempt to give them a few more years of life, or the ability to live without seizures. He must guide the patient toward the correct decision, because sometimes surgery is not always the best option. Sometimes it's just too late. This book is one of my favorite books of 2015.


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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351903
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

Did you ever read the first line of a book to see if it grabbed you? Well, this odd memoir grabbed me from the first sentence and wouldn't let go until the end of the source notes. Most of us probably hold at least a little bit of morbid curiosity about what goes on behind the doors at your local crematorium. Your curiosity will be more than satisfied by Ms. Doughty's account of her years as a burgeoning mortician. In addition to details such as how they keep those darn eyelids closed during the funeral, Doughty educates us on death rituals from around the world and obscure funeral laws. There was a day when the families of the dead were responsible for preparing the bodies for burial, but -- with the advent of the funeral business -- our society has become detached from the reality of death, to the point of denial. Doughty seeks to reconnect us with the very last page of the last chapter in our book of life.


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Bug in a Vacuum Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781770496453
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Tundra Books (NY) - August 25th, 2015

Rather than being snug in a rug, this bug is trapped in the cavernous interior of a vacuum cleaner. At first, he is confused and angry, but he eventually learns to cope and accept his place in life, even if it is in a dusty vacuum bag. How well do you deal with drastic change?


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The Hunter Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780226770994
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: University of Chicago Press - September 2008

The Hunter is the first book in the Parkarker series by Richard Stark -- penname for Doanld Westlake. The prose is taut and lean and part of what makes this series great. the other element is, of course, Parker himself. He makes Jack Reacher look like a little schoolgirl. In The Hunter, Parker has been betrayed and left for dead by his partner and his wife, but he will not reast until vengeance has been dealt out properly. Get hooked on the Parker novels!


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Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374270933
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - October 16th, 2007

Desert rat Edward Abbey once said, "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." Well, progress for the sake of progress seems also to be a very human ideology. We separate ourselves from the other animals, but we are merely a different species of animal, albeit the most destructive species. We like to think of ourselves as exalted and intelligent persons, who have dominion over all the other animals, but the truth is that we are deluding ourselves. Thanks to evolution though, we may be stuck with our delusions, because reality is a lot less comfortable. A very thought provoking book, that may change the way you think about yourself.


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The Harder They Come Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062349378
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Ecco Press - March 31st, 2015

You may be familiar with the quiet American and the ugly American, but this book is populated with angry Americans. They're angry over illegal immigrants growing drugs in their woods. They're angry about intrusion by the government into their private lives. Some are even angry over "Chinese Aliens." Fear and paranoia seem to run the lives of the characters in this novel. This is a literary page-turner told with humor and pathos. This may even be Boyle's best book to date.


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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780770436421
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth Press - February 4th, 2014

The title is a mouthful, and the idea of reading about war torn Chechnya was not too enticing to me; but this book had been recommended to me a number of times, so I plunged in. This debut novel is a moving portrayal of the effects of war on average citizens: doctors, an arborist, and the thousands of innocent refugees that are thrown from their homes, as one country exercises its power over another. There are, without a doubt, grim moments in this story, but there is also immense love and compassion. This book will stay with you for some time after you close the last page.


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The Room Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780804139984
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth Press - February 17th, 2015

Bjorn is a new employee with plans to climb the corporate ladder quickly. Soon after his arrival at the Authority, Bjorn discovers a room by the elevator. The room contains a classy and serene office, serving no apparent purpose. After spending time in the room, Bjorn feels revitalized and his production at work increases. His fellow employees start to grow concerned, because nobody else can see this room, except for Bjorn. Should he be forbidden to access the room, even if there is no room?   


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Barabbas Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780679725442
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage - November 20th, 1989

This slim yet powerful novel fills in the fictional details of Barabbas, the prisoner who was released in exchange for Jesus of Nazareth. Nobel Prize winning author Lagervist gives us a Barabbas, who wants to believe, but cannot comprehend the faith of others. He wanders the old neighborhood, but is clearly not the brutal Barabbas of old. There are many ideas to sift through in this wonderfully translated novel.


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You and Me Cover Image
By Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781419711978
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - January 6th, 2015

Did you notice on the front cover that the friends are looking at an actual photograph and not an illuminated smart phone? This is old school love and friendship, feline style. The rhyming prose makes this a fun book to read aloud, while the illustrations add another thousand words of friendship, caring and the power of chance encounters.


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The Girl with a Clock for a Heart Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062267504
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: William Morrow & Company - January 6th, 2015

Twenty years after the disappearance of the girl he was once enamored with in college, George Foss spots her in a restaurant one night. He is having dinner with his girlfriend, but goes back later in hopes of spotting Liana. For George's sake, it would have been better if Liana had stayed disappeared, but George's sense of loyalty to his ex-flame is driven by his libido and not his intellect. George will make some stupid decisions along the path of this twisty thriller, but we will follow along willingly, hoping at some point he'll smarten up. This is a simmering page turner, perfect for a long winter night.


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Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307277459
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2009

A marvelous book that shows our connection to every other creature that walks, crawls, or swims this earth; even creatures without a head. Neil Shubin covers a lot of ground, as he reveals how new discoveries about our ancient ancestry are still being made. In fact, with the availability of DNA sequencing, and computer imaging, paleontology is making greater strides than ever, showing the origin of humans and how we have evolved over the millennia. When studying reality, the wonderful aha moment occurs when a particular idea gels and makes sense. I had always heard that we were made of star stuff, but it wasn't until watching a documentary on the periodic table a few years back that it all clicked. There are many of those "aha moments" in Your Inner Fish, which makes it not only a joy to read, but a vital book for anyone questing knowledge about humanity


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Neverhome Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316370165
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Back Bay Books - May 19th, 2015

I want to be able to just put this book in your hands and say, "trust me." This tale takes place during the Civil War. Ash decides to join the war in place of her husband, who remains behind to tend the homestead. Based on actual letters written by women, who fought as men in that war, Ash's voice is original and compelling, as she reels out her unique tale. At times mythic and adventurous, and other times crushingly realistic about the violence of war, this was one of my favorite books in recent years, and I hope it becomes one of your's too. 


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Mr. Peanut Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307454904
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books - April 19th, 2011

Mr. Peanut is not an easy book to recommend, partly because it's not an easy book to read. The storylines in the novel fold back on themselves and the references to Escher are no coincidence. This is truly a Möbius strip of a novel. The other tough aspect of this novel is the way in which marriage is portrayed. If you thought Gone Girl was the dark side of marriage, then Mr. Peanut is the black abyss. Ross writes of the relationship between David and Alice with brutal honesty, including the bitterness, rage, jealously, regrets and shame. By the end of the novel--when the threads are pulled together--the result packs an emotional wallop. It is also the type of conclusion that will have you rethink what you have read, and realize that you have just been taken for an immensely risky and brilliant literary ride.


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The Humans Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476730592
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 12th, 2014

It's a story that has been told many times before in many variations. A human mathematics professor on earth has discovered a formula that the human race may not be ready for. At least that is what an alien race thinks, and the reason they decide to kill the professor and replace him with an alien duplicate. The alien must find anyone else who may have learned the formula and dispose of them. We can all guess that the the alien doppelganger will end up loving his new-found human family, and their dog... and peanut butter. Well, maybe I couldn't predict the peanut butter element, but this book serves to remind us of the qualities in our fragile and imperfect lives. We may not be ready for the bigtime, as far as superior alien races are concerned, but we have love.... and peanut butter.


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Black Moon Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780804137164
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth Press - January 20th, 2015

This book left me unsettled and I like that in a book. Scenes from this tale still haunt my waking hours as well as my dreams. The vision of a society without sleep, hallucinating and confused, and having it in for those who can still sleep, is nightmarish and even apocalyptic. At times the story seems disjointed, but that only adds to the feel of jittery edginess that accompanies this tale of insomnia.


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The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780316219389
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Back Bay Books - January 14th, 2014

This slim volume of short stories contains a lot of laughs. Most of the stories veer into the absurd (What if your ex-girlfriend started dating Adolf Hitler? What if your friends set you up on a date with a troll...an actual troll?), but just under the surface of these humorous tales though is a poignancy that leaves a lasting impression.


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Metal Cats Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781576876770
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: powerHouse Books - May 6th, 2014

Another cat book?! Why yes it is, but what sets this one apart is the obvious love that these clean-cut, church-going boys have for their feline companions. Okay, I'm kidding about the clean-cut and church-going part, but the obvious affection for their cat friends is plain to see. It would make a great gift for the metal head/cat lover in your family.


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Henny Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781442484368
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - January 7th, 2014

Henny is a little different from her chicken siblings. She was born with arms. Sometimes it's fun to have the added appendages, but at other times it's difficult to fit in. Eventually though, Henny finds that she can be helpful around the farm and her arms actually come in handy (pun intended.) Just wait until you see her milking the cow!


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The Lock Artist Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780312696955
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Minotaur Books - March 1st, 2011

This is, without a doubt, one of those books that will have you grabbing every available minute to read. Winner of the Edgar for Best Novel, The Lock Artist functions as both a coming-of-age tale and an exciting thriller. Michael, the lock artist, has not spoken since he was eight because of a trauma that will be revealed by the end, but he has also acquired a skill that makes him quite sought after in the wrong circles: he can pick any lock or combination safe. This vibrant and well-written tale is a blast!


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At the Bottom of Everything Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780345803177
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books - September 9th, 2014

This novel is just chock full of all my favorite literary subjects: pain, guilt, truth, redemption. The hook is that Adam and Thomas, who had been best friends in school, are changed by an event. This event causes Adam to retreat from Thomas for ten years, until he is pulled back into Thomas's life by a plea from his parents: please help our son.

I didn't know where the story of Adam and Thomas was going to take me, but the journey was riveting. At the Bottom of Everything is a short novel, but it crosses many an emotional landscape. If you wonder how people can live with a terrible knowledge and what that knowledge does to their everyday lives, and at what cost comes redemption (if it's even possible), then give Ben Dolnick's novel a try.


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Silas Marner Cover Image
By George Eliot, David Carroll (Introduction by), David Carroll (Notes by)
$9.00
ISBN: 9780141439754
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - April 29th, 2003

A weaver by trade, Marner is shunned by his own community for a crime he did not commit. He relocates to the countryside , finding solace by obsessively counting his worth in coins each night. Until that pleasure too, is taken from him. That winter, Silas discovers a two-year-old girl, abandoned near his home in the bitter cold. He takes her in, names her Eppie after his dead mother and raises her as his own. Sixteen years pass before Eppie's true bloodline has been discovered, complicating Silas' relationship with the young woman he now considers his daughter. This short novel covers many themes, and builds to an emotional but satisfying end. Eliot also wrote Middlemarch and The Mill on the Floss.


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Harvest Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307278975
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage Books - September 20th, 2013

I was immediately engrossed in Harvest from the first chapter on. A trio of outsiders are blamed by the population of a small English village, for the burning of their lord's dovecote. So begins the disintegration of what once seemed an idyllic country life. Over one week, what began as seemingly simple way out of trouble -- persecuting the outsiders -- unravels until it all that is left is guilt, blame and shifting morals. A brilliant book.


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The Big Sky Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780618154630
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - January 9th, 2002

Before Lonesome Dove and All the Pretty Horses, A. B. Guthrie's The Big Sky was the go-to novel of the American West. Those who want a gritty and realistic portrayal of the characters and environment that made up the frontier at that time need look no further. Sink your teeth into The Big Sky and and at the end when you hunger for more, pick up book two, The Way West, which won Guthrie the Pulitzer Prize.


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The Rook Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316098809
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Back Bay Books - October 16th, 2012

A smart funny thriller about Her Majesty's supernatural secret service, that is -- thankfully -- the first of an upcoming trilogy. Myfanwy Thomas, the title character, is smart, feisty and has extraordinary powers, which come in mighty handy. The rook -- one of two, along with bishops, chevaliers, pawns and retainers -- battle whatever supernatural enemy rears it's ugly head, for queen and country...hopefully without queen or country ever knowing. This is a compelling read that will leave you anxiously waiting for the second installment.


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Fiend Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780770436339
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Broadway Books - April 8th, 2014

Yes, it's yet another apocalyptic zombie novel, but this time the only survivors are those people who were high on meth at the time, and the only way to avoid catching zombie fever is to stay high on meth. A ragtag group of addicts must locate a cooker, and supplies in order to survive. Zombies and their inherent gore are here as expected, but in the end Fiend is more about the horrors of addiction, and who you may want to have by your side at the end of the world.


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A Rage in Harlem Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780679720409
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - December 17th, 1989

I put Chester Himes right up there on the top shelf with Cain, Chandler and Hammett. A Rage in Harlem is an excellent introduction to the characters of Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones. This is a funny, fast-paced and gritty look at 1950's Harlem. Read this and you'll become a fan of Chester Himes.


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A Slight Trick of the Mind: Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781400078226
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor Books - May 9th, 2006

Sherlock Holmes, one of the great literary minds of all time, is 93-years-old in this novel, and starting to lose his powers of deduction. He recounts a trip made to Japan shortly after WW II, and is trying to teach the maid's young son the art of beekeeping. There are still important mysteries to be solved though, and Holmes struggles with his frailty and declining mental health to find the answers. A poignant tale featuring one literature's best loved characters.


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Immobility Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765330970
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Tor Books - April 9th, 2013

Josef Horkai has been awoken from storage after thirty years to aid the community. Only he can safely venture forth into the ruined landscape, and return with an item could mean the future of humanity. Evenson weaves a carefully constructed tale of a dystopian future where trust is a rare commodity and answers are a thing of the past. I was immediately drawn into Evenson's novel, and couldn't wait each day to get back to this book.


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The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393344110
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 10th, 2012

Reality...what a concept! This book is not meant to persuade anyone that there is no god. Instead, Rosenberg assumes that the reader is a nonbeliever, who wants to get a better grip on reality. An engaging read that will have your brain working overtime.


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My American Unhappiness Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780547549101
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Mariner Books - July 3rd, 2012

Yes, this is actually a laugh-out loud book about unhappiness. Zeke's funding for his Inventory of American Unhappiness Project is running out. In the meantime, while gauging the unhappiness of everyone around him, he ignores his own well-being. Zeke is a likeable narrator that just needs a good waking up to discover the riches that surround him. This is a warm-hearted book that will cheer you up, even as it inventories the unhappiness of America.


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The Radleys Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781451610338
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Free Press - September 20th, 2011

Finally, a modern day vampire tale I can endorse. The Radleys are a family of abstainers. They are vampires, but they try to maintain a normal life by abstaining from human blood. That is until circumstances force them into the light, and they must deal with their supernatural thirst and desire. A page-turner, that also satisfies as a smart tale of family togetherness.


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Elegies for the Brokenhearted Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393340235
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 18th, 2011

You can often tell a lot about someone by what they think of others. In Christie Hodgen's novel, there are five elegies written by Mary Murphy about five people who had an influence on her life. The prose is powerful and compelling, as more is revealed about Mary's own difficult life. This book will knock your proverbial socks off!


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Far North Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780312429720
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador USA - June 22nd, 2010

This beautifully written post-apocalyptic tale tends to get lost among the tales of cannibals and zombies, but I would rank it right up there with McCarthy's The Road or Crace's The Pesthouse. One refreshing difference in this novel is that the main character, Makepeace -- sheriff of a dead town -- is a woman. Her trials and travails are harsh, but her will to survive and sense of hope brighten an otherwise dark landscape. 


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To Dance with the White Dog Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780671726737
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Washington Square Press - November 1991

This slim book is just chock-full of wisdom and poignancy. Sam Peek has survived his wife of 57 years, but now his children are concerned about whether he can still care for himself. Into Sam's life walks a mysterious white dog, who then becomes his companion, even though no one besides Sam has actually seen the dog. This book may move you to tears -- it did me -- and the sweet story will stay with you long after you finish.