Staff Picks by Tag

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Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth By Clyde W. Ford Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063038523
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Amistad - February 7th, 2023

Ford writes with dignity, scholarship, and heart about a history of America that is rarely taught in schools, and often not discussed as the blatant, undeniable truth that stands before all citizens of the United States. The material in this book is not easy to read at times, but it is absolutely essential in reckoning with this country's past and present, while pointing in the direction of a more just future.

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Exhalation By Ted Chiang Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101972083
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - June 30th, 2020

At first blush, this collection of SF stories seem to run the gambit - from a time traveling gate that could easily fit into a tale from 1001 nights, to a warning of predictive AI future, to stories of parenting. All share the question though of how do we, as humans, grapple with both big and small questions in an ever changing universe. 

Review by Alex

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Borne of Grief and Flow: A journey of grief and healing after the loss of my love. By Becky Gibler Cover Image
ISBN: 9781667870526
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: BookBaby - January 23rd, 2023

Pairing breathtaking photography of the Seattle area with poignant prose, local author/photographer Becky Gibler takes readers on a deeply personal journey through grief after losing her partner of 19 years. It is deeply moving and I would highly suggest it to anyone who is mourning someone they love. Becky has accomplished something incredible here. While the book features an LGBTQ+ relationship (which is not often depicted in this genre) she proves that, truly, love is love. This book is for anyone who has loved or lost and I thank her for writing it.

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Notes on an Execution: An Edgar Award Winner By Danya Kukafka Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063052741
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 24th, 2023

This is a deeply humanistic character study of a serial killer AND the people affected by his crimes. Readers know who the murderer is on page one and the other typical driving questions of who/what/when/where/why are all secondary in this book. Instead, Kukafka creates a fascinating portrait of several women who have to survive the aftermath of one man's actions. This is a wonderfully profound and empathetic thriller. 

Review by Kalani

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The Bachelor: A Novel By Andrew Palmer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593230916
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - July 5th, 2022

"That is our 'pointed task. Love & die." So says John Berryman, the pre-eminent lovedrunk poet and the central obsession of Andrew Palmer's debut novel, The Bachelor, a book that is, yes, partially about romantic love in the age of reality television. But what if you're not a fame-starved Instagram model, and instead a brooding but friendly millennial type, recently void of artistic ambition? Palmer's brilliant work is full of insight and romantic mistakes, like reading the best of Andrew Martin, Ben Lerner, or Elif Batuman. Palmer extracts the language of love for what it is—its hollowness! its empty repetition! ("I've never felt this way before." "I think I'm falling for you.") It's a difficult thing to watch, as it starts to indict us all.

Review by Spencer R.

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Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy By Angela Garbes Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780062662941
Published: Harper - May 29th, 2018

I love this fascinating, totally mind-blowing book on the science and culture of pregnancy. Like A Mother's blend of essay, memoir, and reportage shows Seattle writer Angela Garbes' chops as a journalist as she interrogates cultural myths and picks apart the massive systemic issues that arise from treating pregnancy like an illness instead of "a superhuman power." Chapters range from placentas (my pick for #1 most underrated organ), breastmilk, miscarriages, and how to best care for pregnant addicts, to the violent, racist history of gynecology. Garbes' tone of curious wonder and emotional connection to her material will resonate with any reader - you don't need to have a uterus to get swept up in her enthusiasm.

Review by Christina