Gabriel

Meet Gabriel! Gabriel grew up on Queen Anne, moved away for undergraduate and graduate school, taught for a bit down south, and got enough worldly experience to return to his home neighborhood and sell you some books! Gabriel is a pianist, music producer, filmmaker, photographer, digital artist, educator, writer, poet, and lover of all things meta and ergodic. He mostly reads literary fiction, psychological horror, YA, philosophy, and poetry (if you write him a poem, he will probably write you one back!).

 

 

 

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The Wandering Earth By Cixin Liu Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250796844
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Tor Books - August 30th, 2022

A man swims up an Everest-sized mountain of water to speak with an alien craft. God returns to Earth for family care in old age. Hitmen are hired by the rich to target the poor... for reasons. Direct. Impactful. Hard sci-fi worlds explored in small packages. Don't have time for The Three Body Problem right now? Try a sampler of Cixin Liu and see if the world building is for you!


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Make Your Own Rules: Stories and Hard-Earned Advice from a Creator in the Digital Age By Andrew Huang Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982190415
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: S&S/Simon Element - February 6th, 2024

Light, crunchy, introspective, interrogatory toward our own creative pursuits. Huang is a lovely person, a lovely writer, and an even lovelier artist. His observations of the form and industry are timely, interesting, and genitive. If you're taking a while to get around to that one important creative idea you have, definitely read this book. It's a quick one!


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Beautyland: A Novel By Marie-Helene Bertino Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374109288
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 16th, 2024

This nearly felt like a new take on the themes of Because of Winn-Dixie in the way it speaks on the melancholy of life. Grief makes a big appearance. I was so upset when this book ended, but the main character will live on forever in my head.  

A new favorite for sure. 


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The Invisible Hotel By Yeji Y. Ham Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781638931379
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order now
Published: Zando - March 5th, 2024

Debilitating in its tension and petrifying in its themes, The Invisible Hotel is a horror novel unlike any I have read before. The usual horror trappings appear: dark hallways, unexplained hallucinations, strange interpersonal connections relating to personal mental struggles. But there’s something more here—about family, culture, war, terror, unwanted and misunderstood conversations with strangers, and everything in between—that exhales and inhales within the pages. Ham’s writing is purposeful in its specificity and gripping in its firehose moments. So much discomfort. So many truths awaiting to be discovered. The solutions and the anxieties will carry me onward.


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Where the Language Lives: VI Hilbert and the Gift of Lushootseed By Janet Yoder Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781954854260
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Girl Friday Books - May 24th, 2022

Borne out of more than three decades of friendship and close work with Skagit tribal elder Vi Hilbert, Where the Language Lives is a beautiful and reverent portrait of the necessary work of preserving Lushootseed, a local indigenous language that teeters on the precipice of disappearance. Yoder's writing is direct, impactful, and emotional in ways I did not expect. "Burning at Nooksack" is a personal standout.


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I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons By Peter S. Beagle Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781668025277
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order now
Published: S&S/Saga Press - May 14th, 2024

Team Ostvald forever. Truly fantastic fairytale fantasy with sarcastic undertones and humor filling most every page, until you’re crying, and then the humor is still there in the perfect amount. Beagle is stunning in his language use and elegant in his storytelling. Every character is so lovable. One of my new favorite fantasy books. Pick this one up and you’ll be breezing through it in a day, maybe two. Beagle knows what he’s doing.  


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The Hearing Test: A Novel By Eliza Barry Callahan Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781646222131
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order now
Published: Catapult - March 5th, 2024

Through various direct and indirect allusions to other literary and artistic works, Callahan forces the reader to see themselves in the life of another. This is character-driven in the most extreme sense: both nothing and everything happens in the main character’s life, which is routinely commented on through the lens of disability and sickness. Deep, deep, deep—many paths exist to connect themes that I have yet to discover. Lots of imagery and poetic meaning. The voice of the author/main character is beautiful and tangibly affected by her circumstances. 

Callahan’s book is not for everyone, but it is most definitely a treat for those who will take the time to consider the implications of the connections the protagonist draws within herself.  


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Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon By Michael Lewis Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781324074335
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 3rd, 2023

Lewis slowly builds context in a gradual burn that leads to a towering inferno. It’s not a reverent character portrait, but at the same time it’s not fully disdainful of those involved. I think crypto is as stupid as the next person, but the EA angle was something I hadn’t realized was a component. Thought provoking and stunning when realizing wait… this happened. 


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The Remains of the Day: Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (Vintage International) By Kazuo Ishiguro Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780679731726
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Vintage - September 12th, 1990

Heartbreakingly good character portrait. Loved every second. The restrained writing took my breath away.


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The Memory Police: A Novel By Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (Translated by) Cover Image
By Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101911815
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Vintage - July 28th, 2020

Captivating. Beautiful. Tragic and heart-renderingly sweet in a deeply sad way. Themes of Orwellian surveillance and magically realistic dystopia. This is the first English translation of this text, and it is extremely well preserved. 


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The Meadows By Stephanie Oakes Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9780593111482
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Dial Books - September 12th, 2023

Amazingly written YA—the metaphor use was solid and obvious but used in incredibly direct and impactful ways. Inspiring, impactful, devastating. Conversion therapy is unconscionably evil.


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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions By Randall Munroe Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780544272996
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Dey Street Books - September 2nd, 2014

Hilariously hyperbolic situations developed to their natural (scientific) conclusions. GREAT gift for any age middle school to elderly! Immensely entertaining and accessible.


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What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions By Randall Munroe Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525537113
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 13th, 2022

Even more hilariously hyperbolic situations developed to their natural (scientific) conclusions. GREAT gift for any age middle school to elderly! Immensely entertaining and accessible.


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The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Angela Carter, Kelly Link (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Angela Carter, Kelly Link (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143107613
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Penguin Classics - May 26th, 2015

A tour-de-force. Carter is brilliant, horrifying, and fiercely feminist in her retellings of classic fairy tales. I've written pages and pages on "Snow Child," the shortest story in the collection, coming in at under five pages. She's just that good.


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Yellowface: A Reese's Book Club Pick By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063250833
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: William Morrow - May 16th, 2023

I would highly recommend this book! R. F. Kuang absolutely knocks it out of the park on Yellowface. With biting critique of the established powers that be in the world of writing melded with the careful skill to make us both love and hate (especially hate) the protagonist, Kuang proverbially locks readers into the room with Junie—an author who has just stolen the manuscript of a dead "friend"—as she spirals into an obsession with said friend that is equal parts The Talented Mr. Ripley and City of Glass. Kuang effortlessly assumes a first person style that combines Junie's sophomoric writing style with the effortless prose of an accomplished author, deepening the story's themes. A very easy page-turner that is worth the hours of discussions you will inevitably have with other readers!


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Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063021426
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Voyager - August 23rd, 2022

I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in page-turning, almost steampunky magical realism! R. F. Kuang made me feel like every single marking on the page, no matter how small, was put there for a specific reason. Every footnote pulled me deeper into the world she wove together, every character POV switch held some sort of hidden layer that would only be uncovered through subsequent reads. The way she builds a magical yet real world to meld fantasy into reality so convincingly to incorporate direct and specific colonial and linguistic critique was a masterclass on accessible, page-turning postcolonial philosophy. Read this now!


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House of Leaves: The Remastered Full-Color Edition By Mark Z. Danielewski Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780375703768
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Pantheon - March 7th, 2000

I'll be the first to say that House of Leaves is one of my favorite books. Marketed to me as an immensely scary horror story, I found that this is true, but only in the "obvious" sense. House of Leaves is not frightening through its happenings (although there are countless spine-chilling passages) but in its immensity; it is a horror novel in an impressively meta, overly literal way. As the reader combs through the interwoven stories of Zampano, Johnny Truant, and the Navidson family, the puzzle pieces fit together in a way that implores the reader to question what the "house of leaves" truly is.

The story is simple enough: a family moves into a new house and finds it bigger on the inside than the outside. Atop this foundation sits a teetering structure of inference and irony. This is the first book I ever read where I could not trust a typo was merely an editorial mistake. This was the first book I read where any mark on the page, no matter how small, seemed to serve a narrative function. Every character we meet both can and cannot be trusted, every reference serves to both put the reader at arm's length and wink at them with an air of understanding. I both adored and adore this book as a living text in the most real sense. 


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Beloved: Pulitzer Prize Winner (Vintage International) By Toni Morrison Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400033416
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage - June 8th, 2004

I had to reconstruct the way my brain interpreted words to be able to read this book effectively. By the fifth chapter, I think I had settled myself into the correct rhythm. When I stopped to read something else and came back, I had to do it all over again. But wow, what a wonderful reward for reading such a book. It is immensely depressing, but also has a bittersweet tone that permeates everything about the ending. This book is incredible. The writing ebbs and flows with purpose. Morrison is a master of her craft.


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Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Series #1) By Jeff VanderMeer Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374104092
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: FSG Originals - February 4th, 2014

This is a wonderfully mysterious beginning to a fantastic series that develops as if it is a slow-rolling fog; once it is upon you, you might not have noticed it crept up in the first place. This series has it all: enough unanswered questions to still keep readers discussing and debating late into the night while tying up enough loose ends to feel immensely satisfying. Jeff Vandermeer has truly mastered this type of mysterious, halfway-in-the-know-halfway-having-no-idea-what-is-happening writing style, and every sentence shrouds the reader's mind in the powerful ennui of Area X. 


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City of Glass By Paul Auster Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780140097313
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books - April 7th, 1987

How far would you go to assume a role you never thought you would have? Would you become something you're not? It's no wonder that I reference City of Glass as often as I do. So many psychological thrillers coming out in the last ten to twenty years owe much of their inspiration to Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, beginning with the captivating City of Glass. Auster melds fiction with reality in many different ways to create something truly uncomfortable in all the best ways. 


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Greenwood: A Novel By Michael Christie Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984822017
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Hogarth - February 9th, 2021

One of my favorite books discovered in 2022, Greenwood by Michael Christie is like the younger, cooler sibling of The Overstory. I loved The Overstory, but something about the way Christie chooses to nest the narratives of Greenwood is masterfully done and far more "blockbuster." The reader is introduced to each previous generation of the Greenwood family as if they are uncovering layer after layer of an endless nesting doll, and the way they are layered back together absolutely screams finale. A beautiful book with an amazing sense of scale and how to pull back the layers when necessary. Also: gotta love the gay representation in historical fiction!


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Erasure: A Novel By Percival Everett Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781555975999
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Graywolf Press - October 25th, 2011

Everett uses a whole lot of literary realism to confront the lenses that people in positions of power in the literary industry use in order to provide so-called "scholarly critique" of the artistic efforts of minorities. The themes of familial alienation, patriarchal discontentment, and abject violence in the face of a societal lack of understanding complement one another to create a very, very interesting world for Everett to play with these ideas of racial bias in art and what is considered "authentic." And wow does Everett write—the narrative voice here is instantly compelling!


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Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) By Min Jin Lee Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781455563920
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 14th, 2017

Introspective, worthwhile, heartbreaking, powerful. Min Jin Lee is a master of the family-based multi-generational epic, and Pachinko is no exception. The writing style evolves subtly as the generations progress, making it a bit of a challenge to begin reading. This is a very worthwhile book to stick with if you feel that way, because the pace does pick up and change in interesting ways as the story progresses! 


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A Room with a View By E. M. Forster, Wendy Moffat (Introduction by), Malcolm Bradbury (Notes by) Cover Image
By E. M. Forster, Wendy Moffat (Introduction by), Malcolm Bradbury (Notes by)
$12.00
ISBN: 9780141183299
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Penguin Classics - August 1st, 2000

An incredibly enjoyable read—I felt like a local cynic spying on the overly maudlin worries of the privileged, white upper class. Lucy, our protagonist, is an extremely lovable young woman caught between the extremes of her duty as a woman to a misogynistic society and her desire to break the mould. Watching her develop due to the influences of those around her (and herself) is quite heartwarming, even if the feminist message may be buried under the necessary baggage of a writer writing for a culture not ready to fully face the proverbial music. A challenging read due to the vocabulary usage, but if you're willing to engage with the style it is quite rewarding!


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Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison By Michel Foucault Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780679752554
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage - April 25th, 1995

Incredibly informative and equally as challenging. Foucault is decidedly a philosopher and is prone to repeating himself at various different points in this text, which can be frustrating. At the same time, though, the repetition is a fantastic pedagogical tool for memory. Foucault does a wonderful job of describing the historical backdrop of important paradigm shifts at the heart of penal institutions while not getting too boring; yes, the text is dense, but it was a slow yet rewarding read. I do think there are a few avenues of narrower study afforded to us in the year 2023 with this text. It makes sense that Foucault never goes into these more modern ideas of interpersonal and social power relations due to the original publication date in the 70s, but there are definite holes to be filled—plenty of really great areas for discussion here!. 

What was really rewarding were these little gems of sentences that Foucault sprinkles in here. I’d be reading along, getting mired in the minutiae of the information, and suddenly be met with a wonderfully poetic ending sentence to wrap up the section. These really allowed me to hang my information on some beautiful bit of abstract language, which helped me to retain the information. Foucault isn't for everybody, but I'm very glad I read this; it's helping me ask the right questions!


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Elektra: A Novel By Jennifer Saint Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250773623
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Flatiron Books - May 2nd, 2023

Very interesting historical fiction that mythologizes and brings down to earth the same events in the same breath. A perspective I had never seen, but one that will live on in my own interpretation of historical Greece and Sparta, even though the lines between myth, legend, and fact are blurry. It's all part of the intrigue!


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Split Tooth By Tanya Tagaq Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780143198055
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Penguin Canada - September 24th, 2019

Tanya Tagaq is a master of the English language. This book is less novella and more prose poetry, with each bit of scene interspersed with poems. Even when describing scene, the imagery is so fierce and vivid that it leaves lingering visions within my mind. A challenging read thematically, but one where every single sentence made me have to stop, look up, and blink in wonder.


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The Carrying: Poems By Ada Limón Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315137
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Milkweed Editions - April 13th, 2021

Many beautiful motes of light are contained within the pages of Limón's writing. Beautiful language that makes poetry happen in the mind of the reader.


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Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992 By Gjertrud Schnackenberg Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780374527549
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 16th, 2000

Schnackenberg's poems are absolutely breathtaking. The way that she effortlessly was able to write within prescriptive style forms while still maintaining an air of delicate purposefulness is evident on every page. Even though so many of her poems rhyme, the internal line rhyme structure allows her to enjamb at opportunities that don't take away from the rhythm of the piece, and everything comes together so nicely because of it. My favorite poem of hers, "Snow Melting" is included in this project. It's a wonderful example of what makes Schnackenberg's poetry so incredible. 


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I'm Thinking of Ending Things: A Novel By Iain Reid Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781501126949
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - March 21st, 2017

Spine-chilling, psychological, point-of-view blending horror. Fantastic writing, chilling scenes, interesting and difficult-to-see-coming twist. 


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The Three-Body Problem (The Three-Body Problem Series #1) By Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (Translated by) Cover Image
By Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (Translated by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765382030
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Tor Books - January 12th, 2016

After reading Liu Cixin's masterful Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy (beginning with The Three-Body Problem), the series became my go-to recommendation to nearly anyone looking for expansive, mostly hard science fiction. The writing style is quite slow, but reading the translator's notes is highly recommended to shed light on why certain style choices were made. The story is deceptively simple: this is the beginning of humanity's contact with aliens, told with heavy thematic linkage to its backdrop of Chinese communist revolution. If you are itching for one of the most realistic and expansive new science fiction universes to lose yourself in, you have definitely found it. It's got a slow start, but this series is brilliant.


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The Dark Forest (The Three-Body Problem Series #2) By Cixin Liu, Joel Martinsen (Translated by) Cover Image
By Cixin Liu, Joel Martinsen (Translated by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765386694
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Tor Books - August 16th, 2016

Liked book #1 of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy (The Three Body Problem)? Ready for more Liu Cixin? You are going to love The Dark Forest


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Death's End (The Three-Body Problem Series #3) By Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (Translated by) Cover Image
By Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (Translated by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765386632
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Tor Books - September 5th, 2017

Liked book #1 and #2 of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy (The Three Body Problem and The Dark Forest)? Ready for more Liu Cixin? You are going to love Death's End. A beautiful ending to one of the best science fiction series I've ever had the pleasure of reading.


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Klara and the Sun: A novel (Vintage International) By Kazuo Ishiguro Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593311295
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Vintage - March 1st, 2022

Beautiful, important, heartbreakingly bittersweet to its core, Klara and the Sun is an exploration of the relationship between a young, college-bound human and an intelligent robot designed to be her Artificial Friend (AF) in a dystopian future. Have you ever thought about the spirituality and inner faith of robots? How about if you can learn something fundamentally unlearnable? What about what "replaceability" means for human beings? Through the eyes Klara, Ishiguro writes beauty and horror with the same innocent brush. This is a book that sits with me.


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Fault Lines: A Novel By Emily Itami Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063099814
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Mariner Books - September 6th, 2022

Fantastic writing voice! As a white, cishet man, I had no idea I was going to love a book about the inner life of a woman married with kids to a wealthy Japanese business mogul as much as I did, but here we are. Emily Itami creates and breathes life into these characters, sending them into contradictory situations with determination and verve. A beautiful piece of writing with some truly beautiful messages to be learned and spread, and the way in which Itami opens up the windows to the ins and outs of correct Japanese table and social manners is lightly yet tastefully done.


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Don't Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne du Maurier By Daphne du Maurier, Patrick McGrath (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Daphne du Maurier, Patrick McGrath (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590172889
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: NYRB Classics - October 28th, 2008

Very interesting collection of short stories. Maurier’s writing shines throughout, forging very tense passageways for readers to walk down in a very direct, informational tone. While some readers might find some situations portrayed as silly if they were in the shoes of the story protagonists, the way Maurier writes places the reader very much in the mind of the character even more so than other first person authors. The reader is so much more than merely an additional observer. Captivating and compelling, even when the plots themselves seem pretty straightforward!


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Code Name Verity (Anniversary Edition) By Elizabeth Wein Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316426312
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 10th, 2022

One of the best-written YA books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The narrative voice of the main character is compelling, and the storytelling employed by author Elizabeth Wein is truly next-level. The stakes just keep getting higher and higher. "Kiss me, quick!"


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The New York Trilogy: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Paul Auster, Lucy Sante (Introduction by), Art Spiegelman (Cover design or artwork by) Cover Image
By Paul Auster, Lucy Sante (Introduction by), Art Spiegelman (Cover design or artwork by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143039839
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Classics - March 28th, 2006

This is an incredible work of metafiction with a detective story focus, everything hinging around the act and nature of writing and language itself. Mind-boggling in all the best ways, there are so many routes through these stories—and the way in which they build and destroy one another—that I have yet to uncover. A truly brilliant piece of writing from someone who knows exactly what he is trying to do.


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The Last Unicorn By Peter S. Beagle, Patrick Rothfuss (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Peter S. Beagle, Patrick Rothfuss (Introduction by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780451450524
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Ace - January 1st, 1991

The perfect fairytale fantasy: expansive, moving, thematically dense yet gripping, and stands on its own outside of any series. An ideal gift for anyone young or old who wants to get lost in a world of evergreen trees and slate-gray waves below solitary castle towers. You will not return the same.


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Vox By Christina Dalcher Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780440000815
Availability: Backordered
Published: Berkley - July 16th, 2019

Even though the premise has become somewhat cliché in the last few years, Vox is still a very well put together story using heavy themes of christofascist patriarchy and the revocation of women's voices... literally. Thrilling action, lovely writing style, and great narrative concept with short chapters. Very readable!