Michelle's Recommendations

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Pony Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553508116
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now!
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 28th, 2021

What a ride!! This was absolutely fantastic! Middle grade but with crossover/classic appeal. This historical novel of friendship and kinship will simultaneously devastate, enlighten, and enliven you. The world can be dark but there's so much hope in it.


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On Girlhood: 15 Stories from the Well-Read Black Girl Library Cover Image
By Glory Edim (Editor)
$23.95
ISBN: 9781631497698
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now!
Published: Liveright - October 26th, 2021

A delight! Edim has curated a collection of short works from prominent Black writers each addressing girlhood through the themes of Innocence, Belonging, Love, and Self-Discovery. Each selection includes a few questions to bring you deeper into the story and theme making this perfect for reading groups.


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Never Say You Can't Survive Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250800015
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tordotcom - August 17th, 2021

I'm not a writer but I had to read this collection from one of my favorite writers on writing to live. Charlie Jane makes me feel like there is good in the world. Reading her work is like getting a Care Bear Stare right to the heart.

Also, there's good practical advice here for writers and yada, yada, yada - just read it!


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Ballad for Sophie Cover Image
By Filipe Melo, Juan Cavia (Illustrator), Gabriela Soares (Translated by)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781603094986
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now!
Published: Top Shelf Productions - October 19th, 2021

If you are a graphic novel fan, read this. If you are not a graphic novel fan, READ THIS! Told through breathtaking illustrations, Ballad for Sophie is a story of remembrance and redemption. This blend of art and music was the perfect way to illustrate the long tail formed by our early choices. Just, all the feels with this one!


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Beautiful Country: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385547215
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - September 7th, 2021

Beautiful Country is a childhhood memoir of immigration, fear, and poverty. Wang is deeply connected with her child self and the tone of this memoir feels as though the story is being told by that frightened girl rather than the woman she has become, which makes for a powerful read! Towards the end of the memoir, as Wang comes to terms with her childhood trauma, she acknowledges the power inherent in vulnerability and the reader can see how this book began. Truly a triumph!


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Harlem Shuffle Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385545136
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Published: Doubleday Books - September 14th, 2021

Well, that was perfect! Whitehead's character work here is just beyond. A few short sentences and the whole of a person is made clear. There are lines and phrases that are now etched on my brain! Including "Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked." (which the pub clearly loves too because they quote this everywhere).  I would typically expect a noir novel to be significantly shorter, but I enjoyed every moment I spent with Harlem Shuffle.


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Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781324001935
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 14th, 2021

Mary Roach broke out publishing a book about cadavers, but this is her most distressing work. About the inevitable conflict between humans and wildlife, Fuzz details our many attempts to control nature for human comfort. There's much that is fascinating here, delivered with Roach's trademark wit but it is a heavy read. We can't control animals (of the human, domestic, or wild variety) and our efforts to do so often come with a heavy loss of wildlife.


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Poet Warrior: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780393248524
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 7th, 2021

A beautiful, meditative read. I've encountered Harjo in anthologies before but never read much of her work and what an introduction this was. She writes of her life, family, work, and her people. Poems of hers and work from other poets that she admires are included throughout. Not so much a narrative of a life but a poetic dissertation on the making of a person.


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Poison for Breakfast Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781324090625
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Published: Liveright - August 31st, 2021

Absolutely delightful. Lemony Snicket has received a deadly communique alerting him to the fact that his breakfast has been poisoned! As he traces the origins of each of the elements that made up his breakfast, the author ruminates on writing, storytelling, and connection. I was charmed throughout!


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Unsettled Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063044708
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Published: HarperCollins - May 11th, 2021

Absolutely adored this middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who moves with her family from Pakistan to the US. Such a touching look at family life. The poems are lovely and completely accessible to younger readers, which is no easy writerly feat! Faruqi's own experience as a young immigrant adds depth to the story as well.


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Barb the Last Berzerker Cover Image
By Dan Abdo, Jason Patterson, Dan Abdo (Illustrator), Jason Patterson (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9781534485716
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now!
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 28th, 2021

I loved this one - my kinda weird. Adventure and ridiculous jokes, but there's heart here too.


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Seven Days in June Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781538719107
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 1st, 2021

I love books about writers. And a romance between two writers that have been writing about each other, pining for each other, yet not speaking to each other for 15 years - yeah, that's going to burrow into my heart forever! The confrontation scene...I just...I felt it in my soul!!


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Summer of Stolen Secrets Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593203644
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Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 11th, 2021

A middle grade novel about family secrets, generational trauma, and the true history of a refugee family that built a community for the waves of refugees that followed them. I highly recommend this one to folks who may be looking for ways to talk with their kids about intergenerational misunderstandings. Sternberg does solid work to establish a standoffish grandmother that is overburdened with the weight of history she feels she cannot share.


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Morningside Heights: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524748357
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Published: Pantheon - June 15th, 2021

Morningside Heights is novel spanning the history of a shared life. It's love and sacrifice and the missteps we make in becoming who we are. The characters all orbit the companionable marriage of Pru and Spence, but the scope of a marriage is never just two people. Friends, colleagues, children, and lovers create a world around the pair that maximizes the realities of love, heartbreak, and shame. None of us are equipped for this life; our communities make it bearable. Henkin has crafted a story of real life so fully honest and true it can only exist in fiction.


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Officer Clemmons: A Memoir Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781646220571
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Published: Catapult - May 4th, 2021

Officer Clemmons is the memoir of a man at the intersections of race, sexuality, high art, and a curious fame. Francois Clemmons has every right to be bitter towards and lack faith in humanity, but at each step in his life he has followed paths of grace, curiosity, and empathy. This book is filled with tales of sorrow told through a lens of hope and abundance. Whether or not you are familiar with the character from the Neighborhood, you should get to know Franc.


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The Saturday Night Ghost Club: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143133933
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Published: Penguin Books - July 9th, 2019

The Saturday Night Ghost club is quick read that packs a heavy emotional punch. This is a nostalgia fueled, coming of age that will break your heart. Honestly, the plot is not what I need to sell you here; you are here for the characters, for relationships, for family truths, and friendship bonds. Davidson has crafted an excellent novel that moves through time to give us a look at that transitional space when you are not quite a kid anymore but there is still so much you can't understand.


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Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir of Life and Love After Unimaginable Loss Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525435341
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Published: Vintage - May 12th, 2020

Some memoirs transcend the author's experience and become universal - I always thought of those as the good ones. Then I read Jayson Greene's memoir of loss and grief and was forced to confront the fullness of his individual humanity in a way I haven't experienced before. Grief is distinctly personal and Greene's story of the death of his two year old child is simply unfathomable to me, yet his honesty and willingness to sit in the fearfulness of life resonated deeply. Once More We Saw Stars is a wonderfully written memoir that connects on an almost primitive level.


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Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062657145
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 26th, 2018

Read this! It is exactly the exact essay collection featuring critical engagement with pop culture that I wanted in my life!


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Ghost Boys Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780316262262
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 10th, 2019

Ghost Boys is a devastating novel. But it is also hopeful, full of compassion, and a compelling case for the fact that 'we can all do better, be better, live better.'


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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250170972
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Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

Holy world building Batman! This book is fantastic. The world Adeyemi has created is so detailed, the characters are wonderful, even the animals are amazingly described. Add to that the fact that this is a clear allegory to our times and then sit back in awe that this future YA classic is a debut.


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An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616208684
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Published: Algonquin Books - February 5th, 2019

A fantastic novel about race, class, and mass incarceration, but mostly a novel about love and the forms it can take. Beautifully written.


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Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780374104092
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: FSG Originals - February 4th, 2014

What did I just read? How can such a short work deal with so many interlacing themes? I tore through this novel and loved every second.


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The Vagina Monologues: 20th Anniversary Edition Cover Image
By Eve Ensler, Jacqueline Woodson (Foreword by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780399180095
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Published: Ballantine Books - January 9th, 2018

A heartbreaking treatise of abuse in many forms, but ultimately a story of triumph. The power of the monologues themselves is obvious, but juxtaposed against them are the stories of hard work, hope, joy, and sisterhood that go into mounting a production of them that are absolutely empowering.


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The Women in the Castle: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062563675
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 2nd, 2018

How to deal with a national shame that is impossible to comprehend? Shattuck brings three women together to work through the response of ordinary Germans to the Nazi party, Holocaust atrocities, and war itself. Very human characters, with flaws to learn from. I loved this novel.


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Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1: BFF Cover Image
By Amy Reeder (Text by), Brandon Montclare (Text by), Natacha Bustos (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781302900052
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Marvel - July 5th, 2016

A perfect all ages comic! I love Lunella Lafayette, the smartest girl in the world!


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Voyage of the Sable Venus: and Other Poems Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781101911204
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - November 21st, 2017

An amazing collection! Worth purchasing for the title poem alone but then the author hits you with lines like this: "And because my hunger is so deep, I am ashamed to lift my head." Dip in to Robin Coste Lewis; her work is heartrending, lyrical, gorgeous.


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Perennials Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780718037642
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas Nelson - November 14th, 2017

Full disclosure, I think Julie Cantrell is one of the greatest humans! And this is her best book yet. The familial relationships are perfectly captured. This is a book about what family can provide and what we must choose for ourselves. Becoming who you are is as much about what you came from as it is what you are pushing against.


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The Rules of Magic: A Novel (The Practical Magic Series #2) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781501137488
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 26th, 2018

A novel about love and the price we pay for loving! Read this even if you haven't read Hoffman's earlier books; a perfect glimpse into a world of magic.


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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death Cover Image
By Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393356281
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 9th, 2018

A look at death culture from around the world. A beautiful reflection on what life means to those left behind and how a healthy interaction with death can increase our quality of life.


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Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062677280
Availability: Backordered
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 5th, 2017

This story of an amazing and brilliant group of women who relied on one another and lifted each other up is full of grace and dignity. Their passion imbued them with the power to live self determined lives, which so few people are able to manage.


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Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series) Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780399549762
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - March 5th, 2019

So much fun! Diana's stories in Themyscira and our world are both so fun, refreshing, and earnestly life affirming. A joy to read!


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This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143129660
Availability: Backordered
Published: Penguin Books - July 4th, 2017

A primer for creating the community you want to live in and highlighting the best of what your corner of the world has to offer. An inspirational work and one that affected me deeply!


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The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492650959
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks - March 6th, 2018

Fascinating and horrifying! These women suffered greatly not only from the horrors of radium poisoning but also the true evils of monied interests that would rather kill people than risk profit. Read, be horrified, and think about what these woman fought against to get our labor laws in place.


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The Hate U Give Cover Image
By Angie Thomas, Nikki Giovanni (Foreword by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498533
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 28th, 2017

This book wrecked me! A hypercharged plot written with care and full of honesty, anger, and hope. The characters are so real; I love them so much it makes my heart practically burst!


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Ghachar Ghochar: A Novel Cover Image
By Vivek Shanbhag, Srinath Perur (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780143111689
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 7th, 2017

This seems like a simple (though well written) collection of vignettes about class and family until it becomes a great deal more. An expertly crafted novel; its brilliance comes in as Shanbag subtly allows a flood of wealth to dictate the lives and morality of his characters.


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Giant Days Vol. 1 Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781608867899
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: BOOM! Box - December 1st, 2015

Slice of life comics following three friends in college that I wish I could dive into!


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Brown Girl Dreaming Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780147515827
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - October 11th, 2016

I do not have adequate words to describe this beautiful book. Woodson's memoir in verse is one my favorite books. A perfect work.


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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

Loved this book! Love Doughty! The way we interact with death dictates much about the way we interact with life. We are all going to die, and we will live a whole lot better if we acknowledge it.


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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316253031
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2015

Because I am curious and not at all adventurous, astronauts' memoirs are a way of life! Hadfield's story is both fascinating and motivational. He naturally rolls in a personal development message about hard work and positivity that almost borders a trite, but Hadfield is just so absolutely likable that it all works.


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Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal Cover Image
By Marvel Comics (Text by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780785190219
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Marvel - October 28th, 2014

Everything about this series is perfect! The writing, the art, the characters! Nothing is better than Kamala Khan!


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Bad Feminist: Essays Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780062282712
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - August 5th, 2014

This is an excellent essay collection spanning criticism of culture, feminism, and competitive Scrabble. Roxane Gay tackles racism, sexism, and Fifty Shades of Grey. She writes about her love of The Hunger Games and Law and Order: SVU alongside stories of rape, oppression, and the damage done by our modern fairy tales. Gay balances her frustration and anger with levity and pure openness. At times she seems fearlessly honest. I agreed with her, I disagreed with her, I laughed with her, and ultimately I am championing her. Roxane Gay is someone who is thinking critically about our world and it is a better place for it. She admits that she doesn't always get things right, that she lets herself down - that's the glory in being a Bad Feminist, you don't have to be perfect, which is lucky because no one is.

See my full review of Bad Feminist on the Cavalier House Books Blog! 

-Michelle 


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The Interestings: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594632341
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 25th, 2014

Just about everything in this novel resonated with me. Friendship, growing up, opportunities both seized and squandered - all the stuff that we take in that makes us who we are as adults. It is all described so well by Wolitzer.

See why I included The Interestings on my Bookprint on the Cavalier House Books Blog!

-Michelle 


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Anne of Green Gables Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781402288944
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - February 4th, 2014

I have never loved a family more than I love the Cuthberts! Read this! Balm for the soul!


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Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316204262
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - April 2nd, 2013

I'm starting to think that this book was written for me. It has practically everything I like: smart, quirky characters, epistolary style, solid writing, brilliant satire...the list goes on. I offer my thanks to Maria Semple for writing the funniest book I've ever read about depression.

-Michelle  


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Fahrenheit 451: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451673319
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 10th, 2012

Still one of my favorite books from late childhood – one of the novels that made me fall in love with reading.

See my full review of Fahrenheit 451 on the Cavalier House Books Blog!

-Michelle


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Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, The-Holiday Ed.: and Other Stories Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780060526498
Availability: Special Order
Published: It Books - October 28th, 2008

You should have a copy of this! Reciting Stickboy's poem never fails to make me and those around me smile.

-Michelle 


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Of Love and Other Demons (Vintage International) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781400034925
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 10th, 2008

A young girl who suffers from rabies (or is possessed by demons) and the priest who loves her. My introduction to Garcia Marquez; a great place to start if you're not quite ready to dive into "One Hundred Years of Solitude."

-Michelle 


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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143038580
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 28th, 2007

This book literally changed my life. It changed the way I look at food and definitely changed the way I eat.

-Michelle 


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The Egyptologist: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812972597
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 24th, 2005

Eqypt in the 1920s (when Carter discovered Tut); an eccentric Egyptologist, his lover, and the detective hired by her father compete in this fantastic epistolary novel.

-Michelle 


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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400031702
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - April 13th, 2004

I was such a late comer to this book that I feel obligated to inculde it here for others like me who may have missed the boat. The Secret History is so good that I need explitives to describe it. This is just my type of page turner; dark, brooding, full of literary allusions. A book about such horrible, insufferable individuals has no right to be as enjoyable as this book is. Donna Tartt rules us all.

-Michelle  


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Outlander: A Novel Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780440212560
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dell - June 2nd, 1992

Finally read this after many pleaded with me to do so, and I loved it! The characters are wonderful and Gabaldon has a fully realized world in 1740s Scotland that I was absolutely sucked into!