Erin

As a writer and teacher, Erin is devoted to poetry. She also loves novels that shake her out of place and let her experience the world through their characters. Short stories, essays, memoirs, and great children’s books round out her favorite reading experiences.

 

 

 

 

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Small Things Like These Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802158741
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order now
Published: Grove Press - November 30th, 2021

Set in a small town in Ireland in the 1980's, this story has at its heart one man who must come to terms with his own history and that of his church and town. Quietly and simply told but powerful in its reckoning, this novel is about kindness and how one person can make a difference. Beautiful and moving.


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How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525537212
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 6th, 2021

Two newly orphaned children travel through the American West in the Gold Rush era. As Chinese Americans, they're outsiders struggling to find where, and what, home is. This novel is about land, hunger, ownership, family, and courage. Zhang gives readers a new version of the classic Western in achingly gorgeous writing. One of my favorite books this year.


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The Best American Poetry 2021 (The Best American Poetry series) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781982106638
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Scribner - September 28th, 2021

I've been collecting this series since it began in 1988, and though my enthusiasm for each volume differs, I love how it's become an historical artifact of sorts. Each volume features a guest editor (2021 is curated by Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the U.S. 2017-2019), who, along with their picks for the 75 "best" poems of the year (culled from literary journals), writes an introduction. The introduction serves as a lens on what was fashionable in poetry that year as well as what was happening in the country. The collection itself shows a shift from the ivory tower of poetry to one that better represents diverse voices and experiences: in the first 22 years of its existence, only two guest editors were people of color (Rita Dove and Yusef Komunyakaa); in the last decade, there have been seven. The series regularly addresses the value of labeling something "best," an imperfect measure if there ever was one, but it's heartening to see that its own aperture is widening.


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Crossroads: A Novel Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374181178
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 5th, 2021

Set in the early 1970's, this is the first book in a trilogy about the Hildebrandt family. Franzen writes morally complex characters, exposing their struggles, insecurities, and failures that stem from the secrets each keeps. Crossroads, though a whopping 600 page book, is a page-turner, set aflame by ambition, desire, youth, and white-savior complex. The blindedness of the family's patriarch is by turns funny and sad. I'm looking forward to the next part of this trilolgy following the Hildebrant's into new decades, and seeing what, if anything, they've learned.


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Whose Names Are Unknown Cover Image
By Sanora Babb, Lawrence R. Rodgers (Foreword by)
$21.95
ISBN: 9780806137124
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: University of Oklahoma Press - February 1st, 2006

Babb is the one of the greatest American writers you've never heard of, and her novel, Whose Names Are Unknown, is (until recently) an unsung masterpiece. Babb turned in this manuscript to her publisher at the same time John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath hit the shelves, and as a result, it went unpublished until 2004, the year before her death. Set during the dust bowl of the 30's, her characters head west to California and encounter brutal hardship. The warmth and heart with which Babb treats her characters is telling; this is a necessary, empathetic book, especially considering the plight of our city's own unhoused population.  


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frank: sonnets Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450451
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Published: Graywolf Press - March 2nd, 2021

This new collection by Suess is a stirring memoir-in-verse. Nothing is off-limits: sex, drugs, and rock n roll--it's funny, irreverant, but also a deeply felt exploration of self and grief.


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See You Soon: Poems (Miller Williams Poetry Prize) Cover Image
$17.95
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ISBN: 9781557286963
Published: University of Arkansas Press - March 1st, 2016

"This is a basic world/ we are unfolding," Laura McKee writes in the opening poem of See You Soon, and it's in her skillful hands that the world shifts, dreamlike, re-creating itself page after page, each poem a delight of thought and movement. This collection is a favorite of mine.


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The Other Black Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982160135
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Atria Books - June 1st, 2021

Nella is an underpaid, overworked editorial assistant at a prominent publishing house. She’s also the only Black person in her office—until Hazel arrives. This funny, sly novel offers a lot of social commentary to think about— book groups will love it. Part mystery and part science fiction, the story surprised and entertained me at every turn.


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The Slip Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780999264959
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Burnside Review Press - February 1st, 2020

Kary Wayson's poems are sound-driven marvels--read them aloud! Smart, challenging, and enchanting, I love the way they move and sing.


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The Plot: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250790767
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Celadon Books - May 11th, 2021

A writer stuck in his career hears a can't-miss plot and ends up "stealing" it--sort of. What ensues is a funny, smart, heart-pounding thriller. It's deliciously wicked, with a startling ending. I gobbled this up in one weekend. If you're looking for a page-turner, this is it!


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The Hare Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512972
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Published: Two Dollar Radio - January 26th, 2021

Rosie Monroe is just 18 and escaping a childhood of neglect and trauma when she meets and falls for a much older man. This novel is full of plot twists wrapped around serious issues, including classcism, misogyny, abuse, and extreme poverty. Rosie finds herself trapped in an uncompromising landscape. I couldn't put this novel down, and now that I've finished I can't stop thinking about it. The story is visceral; every step deeper into the woods brings beauty, rage, and madness, and Rosie is a character you won't forget.


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Whereabouts: A novel Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593318317
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Published: Knopf - April 27th, 2021

Written in Italian and translated into English by Lahiri, her prose has all the delightful flavor of the Italian city her character calls home. This novel is a meditation on solitude, what it means to move through the world as a woman alone, growing older, reckoning with past wounds and facing a future without a family to buoy her. I was entranced by the novel's form and the poignancy of the narrator's situation. An incredibly graceful book.


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Floaters: Poems Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393541038
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 19th, 2021

Tough, funny, and heartrending, Espada's poems are about growing up, family, and what it means to be seen as "other." He uses a prose- poem structure that's accessible and subtly striking. "Asking Questions of the Moon" is just one of the many in this collection that stays with me. Espada's is a voice of love and of protest. Don't miss this book.


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Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062248572
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Ecco - July 28th, 2020

This memoir by the former U.S. Poet Laureate is a heartbreaking account of her young mother's murder at the hands of Trethewey's stepfather. It's an urgent and honest exploration of loss and survivor's guilt, and how trauma is carried in our bodies as well as in our hearts. This story is difficult and trauma survivors should be aware of possible triggers. 

Highly recommended.


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Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978235
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Published: Graywolf Press - November 6th, 2018

Biss masterfully examines the advantages of white America, and its prejudicial impact on our educational, judicial, and socioeconomic systems. Written more than a decade ago, Notes from No Man's Land is a must-read alongside current texts informing white society's political wakening.


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News of the World: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062409218
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 20th, 2017

This novel is a poetic, lush rendering of a parent/child relationship between an older widower and the young girl he's hired to return to biological parents years after she's been taken captive by and assimilated into a Kiowa tribe. Set in the western territories in the 1800s, the quiet force of this book, its humor and pathos, had me spellbound.


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Hamnet Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525657606
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Published: Knopf - July 21st, 2020

I was surprised by and taken with this novel. Set in the 1500s, it's the love story between a young playwright and his unconventional bride. When their son dies suddenly, their marriage faces the hardest test of all. Based loosely on Shakespeare's life and work, the novel isn't so much about him, but about how his absence affects his marriage.


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Plainsong (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375705854
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Vintage - August 22nd, 2000

Set in the small farming community of Holt, Colorado, this novel weaves together the lives of a pregnant teen, a high school teacher, two boys abandoned by their mother, and two elderly bachelors. This is storytelling without pretense-- Haruf even forgoes quotation marks-- allowing the courage and compassion of his characters to shine. If you're looking for a novel about ordinary people and the grace they show one another in difficult circumstances, this is it. Be sure to follow it with Eventide and Benediction, the other two novels in the trinity. 


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Obit Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556595745
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 7th, 2020

Chang brilliantly uses the obituary as a formal structure for her exploration of grief. The loss of her mother arrives again and again in ordinary, everyday guises. Heartbreaking and at times darkly funny, this collection will appeal not only to poets but to anyone who's lost a loved one.


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The Best American Poetry 2020 (The Best American Poetry series) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781982106607
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner - September 8th, 2020

If you want to see what American poets are "getting up to," as this year's guest editor Paisley Rekdal puts it, you'll find a good sampling here. Every year I look forward to the newest anthology in this series; Rekdal, the first Asian American poet to curate, has included a great, diverse array of voices here.


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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking Cover Image
By Samin Nosrat, Wendy MacNaughton (Illustrator)
$37.50
ISBN: 9781476753836
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 25th, 2017

A wonderful education in cooking! Nosrat makes it fun to try new recipes in this instructional and approachable how-to. Gorgeously illustrated-- and the recipe for buttermilk roast chicken is the best I've ever made.


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Transcendent Kingdom: A novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525658184
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf - September 1st, 2020

This novel, about a young scientist working to discover a solution to conquer addiction, grapples with loss, depression, rage, and faith. Raised evangelical, her relationship to God is tested after she loses the person she loves most. What can be solved by science, and what is unanswerable? "Transcendence, holiness, redemption"--I was moved by this story from one of our new, most gifted storytellers.


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Post Romantic: Poems (Pacific Northwest Poetry) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780295747798
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: University of Washington Press - October 15th, 2020

A new collection by former Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken! These poems navigate loss, fear, and growing older, and also examine white America's romantic view of the past. I loved this so much I blurbed it! 


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The Gifted School: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525534976
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Riverhead Books - June 30th, 2020

Parents behaving badly! This fun page-turner pokes at privilege and anxiety in the realm of K-12 education. It's a snarky delight to watch the wind-up and dizzying fall.


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Simon the Fiddler: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062966742
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow - April 14th, 2020

At the end of the Civil War, Simon, a 23 year-old soldier conscripted into the Confederate army, escapes from his regiment and, with his ragged musician friends, struggles to make a home and a living in the worst of circumstances. Simon dreams of a place of his own with the  woman he loves by his side. Fans of Jiles' News of the World will enjoy the characters and rich texture of this story.


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Night Angler (American Poets Continuum #172) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781942683780
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: BOA Editions - April 30th, 2019

Davis's second full-length collection is full of tenderness and music. These poems are about family and fatherhood; they consider the lives lived and lost by Black men and boys in America; and the grace of love against fear, anger, and hurt. Night Angler is a moving experience. 


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Eat a Bowl of Tea (Classics of Asian American Literature) Cover Image
By Louis Chu, Fae Myenne Ng (Foreword by), Jeffery Paul Chan (Introduction by)
$22.95
ISBN: 9780295747057
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: University of Washington Press - April 30th, 2020

Set in New York City’s Chinatown at the end of World War II, this reissue of Louis Chu’s Eat a Bowl of Tea is the story of Ben Loy and Mei Oi, a young couple entered into a marriage arranged by their “bachelor” fathers in America and their mothers in China. Their promising match immediately faces trouble: because of his impotency, she strays, and the consequences threaten to unravel not only their marriage but precarious relationships within their society. Part history lesson and part soap-opera, Chu’s characters are alive in their use of language (I learned a new way to swear!), their humor, bravado, and woundedness. Changing traditions propel this page-turner of a love story. 


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Interior Chinatown: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307948472
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Vintage - November 17th, 2020

Actor Willis Wu feels like a background character in his own life. As an Asian American, he's been assigned the role of the overlooked. This innovative novel (it's written in screenplay form) is a darkly funny, sad, and poignant story that follows Wu as he gets ready for his breakout role. Thought-provoking and throughly enjoyable.


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Monument: Poems New and Selected Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780358118237
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Mariner Books - November 5th, 2019

These selected poems by former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey come together in a must-have collection. A master of form and story, Trethewey weaves together history and personal narrative in ways that never fail to move me. Her Pulitzer prize winning collection, NATIVE GUARD, is included in these pages. Highly recommended!


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The Lost Village: A Novel Cover Image
By Camilla Sten, Alexandra Fleming (Translated by)
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250249258
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Minotaur Books - March 23rd, 2021

This psychological thriller is an absolutely hair-raising page-turner! A group of young filmmakers travels to a village left empty some 50 years ago, in search of answers to the mysterious disappearance of all of the villagers following a gruesome murder. Their quest leads them to the brink. Who or what is observing their every movement? 


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The Hardy Tree Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556595769
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Copper Canyon Press - September 10th, 2019

Bierds, a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Washington, regularly draws on historical figures for her poems. In this, her latest collection, she focuses on Alan Turing, the brilliant scientist and WWII codebreaker who was persecuted for being homosexual. Bierds uses innovative poetic forms to masterful effect, mirroring Turing's coding. Her work is precise and empathic. 


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Dunce Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781940696997
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Wave Books - December 1st, 2020

Ruefle's poems unfailingly delight me. Surprising at every turn, these unfussy little meditations remind me to look and listen more closely to the world.


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Nives Cover Image
By Sacha Naspini, Clarissa Botsford (Translator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609456665
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Europa Editions - May 4th, 2021

An elderly woman's husband dies and to cure her loneliness, she brings in a chicken from her farmyard. When the chicken becomes transfixed by a t.v. commercial, she calls the local doctor. The rest of the novel is a conversation between the two, whose relationship unfolds as we read. This is a smart and funny book.


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Where Now: New and Selected Poems Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781556595127
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Copper Canyon Press - July 4th, 2017

It's no exaggeration to say that I love Laura Kasischke's work and will read anything she writes. This collection is a thoughtful and winsome culling of her previous books, plus new poems. Don't miss it.


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An Incomplete List of Names: Poems Cover Image
By Michael Torres, Raquel Rivera (Foreword by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780807046746
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Beacon Press - October 6th, 2020

These poems read like origin stories, stories of growing up and home, and identity--ways we see ourselves and ways others see us. Narrative in structure with lyrical heart. I enjoyed every page.