Staff Picks by Tag

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Maybe the People Would Be the Times By Lucy Sante Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781891241574
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Verse Chorus Press - September 22nd, 2020

Using her memories of being involved in various 1970s New York art scenes, Sante considers the ways the aesthetic experiences of our younger years create the adults we eventually turn into. Written in personal essays, criticism, surreal flash fiction, prose poetry, photo studies, and memoir, it's one of the finest books I've read about art & its place in our lives.

 


Review by Connor

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How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins By Helena de Bres, Julia de Bres (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Helena de Bres, Julia de Bres (Illustrator)
$28.99
ISBN: 9781639730346
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - November 7th, 2023

I loved this because I am an identical twin BUT, if you've ever been fascinated or a little weirded out by twins, you very well might like this too. As a philosophy professor and identical twin, Helen de Bres combines her teachings with her lived experience to expound on the intersectionality between being multiple as well as a woman, queer, and disabled versus being a singleton. (And her twin sister, Julia, made the illustrations inside the book!)


Review by Emily

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Plums for Months: Memories of a Wonder-Filled, Neurodivergent Childhood By Zaji Cox Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781942436539
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Forest Avenue Press - May 9th, 2023

This beautiful collection of essays reads like a series of childhood memories languidly leading towards adulthood and a more complete realization of self. Landing somewhere between essays, memoir and poetry, this book transports you to the 100-year-old house of Cox's childhood where her imagination ran free, she communed with stray cats and she wrote her first stories. The author herself best describes how I felt at the end: 
"It's too soon when we are pulled back to reality to discuss it. I don't know how to articulate the rainbow neon swirl of feeling happening inside of me, and so I sit, reeling in the best way."


Review by Natalie

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Ordinary Wonder Tales By Emily Urquhart Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771965057
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Biblioasis - November 1st, 2022

This is probably one off the most magical books I've ever read. Her series of essays touch on her personal life but intertwines with century old folktales, or wonder tales as she prefers. Armed with a PhD in folklore, Urquhart weaves a spellbinding, magical journey through everyday life.

Highly recommend to read for those looking for a sense of wonder and magic.


Review by Sue

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Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema By Lindy West Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316449823
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hachette Books - October 20th, 2020

Like many of us, Lindy West loves pointing out plot holes and picking movies apart almost as much as she loves watching them. Unlike many of us, West used to be a professional film critic, lending merit to her commentary. Each chapter focuses on a different classic and often beloved film, summarizing the plot while also pointing out everything that’s wrong with it. This might sound like a bit of a negative premise, but it’s all in good fun and West makes some truly hilarious observations. The book isn’t groundbreaking but it will make you laugh A LOT.

 


Review by Jade

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The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes) By Kate Lebo Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250829474
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - April 12th, 2022

Personal essays meets learning new things meets fruit recipes 

Even though these fruits may be difficult, they are worth it. Spokane author, Kate Lebo, will make you want to get your hands on all of the pomegranate to make a molasses or a face mask (or, of course, eat as is). 


Review by Emily

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Thin Skin: Essays By Jenn Shapland Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593317457
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pantheon - August 15th, 2023

Looking to have your mind shaken and soothed simultaneously by sheer beauty and complexity and care for every word and sentence? Look no further! Shapland seamlessly explores poisonous toxins, toxic white womanhood, the safety of solitude, motherhood, queerness, capitalism, and her own family's medical misgivings. It's a treatise on being human and being realistically cynical in a world filled with poison, and yet she isn't afraid to point out that there's a beauty within it all despite the sheer shit of things. 


Review by Sofia

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Thin Skin: Essays By Jenn Shapland Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593317457
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pantheon - August 15th, 2023

If 'My Autobiography of Carson McCullers' didn’t convince you that Shapland is one of the most exciting, subversive, and inventive of American writers, a writer with nerve and wide-ranging interests, then the essays in 'Thin Skin' will surely demand your attention like they demanded mine. Shapland has written more than just essays—these are eruditely-researched works of journalism tangled with deeply personal memoir, connected and cohesive like a mycorrhizal network. These essays about reproductive rights, poison in America, our many failures to out-engineer climate change, and the literal meaning of life will challenge and educate those seeking a way to articulate the discontents of the Anthropocene. 'Thin Skin' is also a masterclass in pandemic-era writing, swimming in the moment without succumbing to it. You’ll find Adrienne Rich, Eula Biss, David Graeber, and Audre Lord in these pages, in-depth frameworks for a subversive queer history, and something that resembles a My Autobiography of Rachel Carson (if we can be so lucky). Shapland grows into her own as a nature writer, and with this new collection, claims her place as a major writer of the Southwest. Not only should this book last; it should be taught.


Review by Spencer R.

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Thin Skin: Essays By Jenn Shapland Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593317457
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pantheon - August 15th, 2023

You know that thing when you learn a new word and then suddenly you see it everywhere? Like it had been there all along you just skipped over it because you didn't know what it meant.  That's what this collection was like for me.  Explorations and musings on many issues that touch my life: what is love, loss? what is home?, how do we define work as women?, how do we find meaning for our lives?, what can we do to be better stewards of our planet? 

Thoughtful, readable and relatable.


Review by Charlotte

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Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis By Annie Proulx Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982173364
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - June 27th, 2023

Sure, you know that swamps are cool, but did you know just how cool? Pulitzer Prize-winner Proulx has delivered an excellent assessment of how these three title ecosystems impact not only our planet, but our culture and daily lives. Beyond wetlands, it’s also a book about conservation, moss, birds, time, archaeology, labor, literature, and more. You will learn way more than you expect.


Review by Connor

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