Current Staff Recommendations


Below you'll find a list of the current staff recommendations found on our in-store display. If you are wondering what else to read next, you may also wish to take a peek at our regularly updated individual Staff Recommendation pages for more amazing books that our booksellers have fallen in love with.


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A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807062920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - September 8th, 2015

An arresting, poignant memoir from the daughter of a Colombian mother and a Cuban father growing up in New York while wrestling with heritage, language, and a growing career at the New York Times. This is also an important book about race, gender, and sexuality in America. - Richael

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Animalium: Welcome to the Museum Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763675080
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Big Picture Press - September 9th, 2014

It’s a rainy day in Seattle--perfect weather for a day at the museum, or to snuggle down with a good book. With Animalium you won’t have to choose. Immerse yourself in these captivating, fine-lined pen and ink drawings, while learning about the environments, behaviors and physical details of over 160 species. This beautifully rendered book reminds us of times gone by, like a secret find from your grandmother’s attic. Indulge yourself or bring along a little one for some artful learning about our furry, finned, and feathered friends. I'm delighted to know this is the first in a series! - Seth

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The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780983186335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Featherproof Books - May 12th, 2015

From a landmark interview about R Kelly to an insightful piece about the lack of women in the emo scene, Jessica Hopper's influential criticism is powerful, moving, and important. And amusing, when featuring Miley Cyrus. - Richael

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Sex World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597095440
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Red Hen Press - September 16th, 2014

If short stories are too long for you, then check these out. Inside this book you will find a story about a porn star who gets hot thinking about domesticity. You'll read about a dog who may or may not be Jesus. You'll even read about homicidal housewives, some twins, werewolves and even a couple of clones. Ron Koertge is a great poet, and here his expertise with language shines through. Enjoy Sex World! - Alicia

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The Truth According to Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385342940
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dial Press - June 9th, 2015

Set in West Virginia at the end of the Depression, this novel is as engrossing as the humid summer heat of its setting. A sassy spinster aunt, a curious 12-year-old, and a debutate who's smarter than she lets on spill family secrets and find acceptance in unexpected places. - Richael

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So, Anyway... Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385348263
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Three Rivers Press (CA) - September 29th, 2015

A humorous autobiography--as you would expect--of the tallest Python's childhood to the inception of Monty Python. I loved this and look forward to the continuing story with a later volume. - Greg

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The Only Ones Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937512279
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - March 10th, 2015

A woman immune to disease in a post-pandemic world makes ends meet by selling her genetic material. Soon she's left to raise her own clone as a daughter. The Only Ones exposes the compelling voice of an isolated, tenacious mother surrounded by a paranoid society. Think Brave New World vs. The Road. - Richael

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The Orenda Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345806451
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 3rd, 2015

Set in the mid-1600s, The Orenda tells the story of a time wrought with cultural clashes, conflicting identities, and struggles to determine place in a quickly changing world. Boyden is a rare writer at his peak, and his ability to negotiate this novel's complicated and rich history will leave you in awe. This could very well be the best book you read for years. - Justus

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C.O.W.L. Volume 1: Principles of Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632151117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - November 11th, 2014

For the rank-and-file superheroes of the Chicago Organized Workers League, saving the city isn't just a hobby--it's their job. And on top of organized crime and a whole host of supervillains, C.O.W.L. must fight against the complacency of the public, corruption from within, and bureaucratic cutbacks as they seek to protect both the citizens of Chicago and their own livelihoods. The struggles of organized labor lend this comic a gritty dose of realism. If you liked Alan Moore's Watchmen, read this comic! - Jacob

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812984965
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - August 18th, 2015

A remarkably deep and comprehensive view of American criminal justice, this stunning book shines a light into the darkest corners of a broken system. I left this book heartbroken, but profoundly inspired. I wanted to read more and more, despite or because of the way I felt it remaking me--yes, sometimes painfully--into a more hopeful person. A more-than-worthy companion to Gideon's Trumpet, Dead Man Walking, and The New Jim Crow. - Jacob

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives o Cover Image
By Liza Kirwin, John W. Smith (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781568988887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton Architectural Press - March 24th, 2010

If you are a list maker or know a list maker, you must read this book and delight in the beauty of it. Check out the lists of some well known artists like Picasso, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Andrew Wyeth, and others. Who knew we were in such great company? The beauty of handwritten lists--shopping lists, to-do lists, supply lists, places to see, books to read--shaping our lives and experiences. Scribbled, typed, illustrated, with stickers and stamps, a delightful journey through an utterly human obsession. - Seth

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Inherent Vice Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117568
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - July 27th, 2010

What if Raymond Chandler had written The Big Lebowski? Would it be this good? This mystery set in Los Angeles in 1970 is highly literary, highly funny, and pretty much just high. Easily one of my favorite novels, it's also maybe the best place to start reading Thomas Pynchon. - Jacob

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10:04 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780865478107
Availability: Special Order
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 2nd, 2014

How do we imagine the future? 10:04, the breathtaking new novel from Ben Lerner, is a moving, deeply thoughtful examination of possibility. The narrator finds sudden literary success, only to learn he suffers from a potentially fatal heart condition; he struggles with anxiety over his mortality while facing the prospect of fatherhood in a New York City besieged by climate change and growing political unrest. It is the smartest, most compelling novel of the year. And the pleasures of Lerner’s writing are only amplified by rereading. If you read 10:04 once, you will want to read it again, and you’ll want to read Lerner’s previous work, too (both his fiction and poetry), and you will definitely want to watch Back to the Future. (And you should!) - Jacob

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How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385538657
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - September 2nd, 2014

Cheeky. Sassy. Smart. I read this book when I want to feel stronger, sexier... and sillier. It will boost your confidence, make you laugh, and give you the space you need to flirt with all the dazzling possibilities of you. - Justus

Red or Dead Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612194387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Melville House Publishing - May 22nd, 2015

The most incredible novel I’ve read in years isn’t just about soccer, though it is a portrayal of legendary Liverpool Football Club manager Bill Shankly. It’s more a portrait of an obsessive personality, a man so dedicated to his work that it consumed his attention. It is a patient novel, thick with repetition, and written with a rhythm like an incantation. The prose style matches perfectly the character it is fitted to, and it is the character of Bill Shankly that I love most of all. Red or Dead is an elegy for a man whose greatest concern was “to make the people happy.” I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it. I doubt we’ll see another character, or another novel, quite like this one again. - Jacob

The Wrenchies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781596434219
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - July 15th, 2014

"All grown-ups are pirates," or in this case, terrifying demons whose evil permeates the barren world. Gangs of children roam a post-apocalyptic landscape fighting the evil "Shadowsmen" in this deeply affecting and resonant graphic novel. (Note: Not for actual children.) Recommended sountrack: Rituals, Trances & Ecstasies for Humans in Face of the Collapse, by Kithkin. - Jacob

My Struggle, Book One Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374534141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - May 28th, 2013

"For the heart, life is simple: it beats for as long as it can. Then it stops." These are the opening lines to the six-volume, "fictionalized memoir" of Karl Ove Knausgaard. The irony of which is that this is a 3,600 page treatment of the exact opposite: the complexity and misery of daily living. The mundane happenings that make up a single moment, which accumulate into days, weeks, years, and eventually a lifetime are captured here, as Knausgaard spins a web of memory, consciousness, and the present to orchestrate this intoxicating narrative. To read Karl Ove is to become whole; it is to be content with struggle; it is supreme wisdom and understanding through the shared pain that is the human experience. In fact, it is a celebration of it. - Keith

The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future Cover Image
ISBN: 9780231169547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Columbia University Press - July 2014

Based on strong scientific research, Oreskes and Conway posit a speculative view of our all too possible future. The "Carbon Combustion Complex," Neoliberalism, and a strong case of active denial promise our species, and those species we share the planet with, a future of destruction and death, largely because we refuse to employ the precautionary principle, "First, do no harm." And so it goes. - Greg

Men Explain Things to Me Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781608464968
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Haymarket Books - November 11th, 2014

This book makes me laugh aloud even as it makes me terribly sad. Solnit tackles what so often goes awry in conversations between women and men and expands to explore the greater problem of silencing women. This book should be read by everyone. I cannot recommend this book enough! - Justus

The Other Cover Image
By Thomas Tryon, Dan Chaon (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781590175835
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New York Review of Books - October 2nd, 2012

When I was a young adult, there was no such thing as “Young Adult,” so we had to nick what we could from the grownups. The Other, by Thomas Tryon, swept like a flu virus among my peers when it was new. I was 12, and the book has haunted me since. Rereading it as an adult, I was struck anew by the author’s skillful style and the book’s eerie sense of foreboding. I can still see my best friend’s face as she read the final pages and the shaking plot twist revealed itself. Nearly forty years later it is still a masterful tale of family secrets. - Holly

1Q84 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307476463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - January 22nd, 2013

"Everybody needs some kind of fantasy to go on living, don’t you think?" Murakami’s most thrilling work to date is a world of two moons, assassins, little creatures, and all the weird and the surreal we’ve come to expect in one of his novels, but 1Q84 is even more—a stunningly accurate mirror of our world. Endlessly fascinating. - Kenny!

Ancillary Justice Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316246620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - October 1st, 2013

You know the old story: the musically inclined artificial intelligence of a great space war ship that conquers planets by controlling thousands of dead humans called ancillaries gets separated from her ship and her soldiers and now inhabits one human body and tries to track down the person responsible in order to take revenge. Yes, it’s a tale as old as time and it’s also one of the best science fiction novels that I’ve read in a long time. Leckie’s debut is smart, engaging, and it delves into topics (class warfare, colonialism, gender) of great importance with intelligence and creativity. I can’t wait for the sequel. - Casey

A Tale for the Time Being Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124870
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

This one reminded me of Murakami, but a little less surreal, and with a little more depth. This story offers a lot: contemporary Japan through a thoughtful teenager’s eyes, her story of rising above bullying at school and depressed parents. There are many grounding forces here, including a 104-year-old grandmother who’s a buddhist nun. - Jake

Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451641981
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 10th, 2014

Let’s be a little fearless and talk about death. Katy Butler’s heart-wrenching personal story of her own parents’ declining health and inevitable deaths is an unenviable lesson to us all. When do we say enough is enough to Western medicine? How can we have a reasonable conversation not only about health care and the quality of life, but the quality of death? This is a very important book—let’s talk about it. - Holly

Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062267405
Availability: Special Order
Published: Ecco Press - May 27th, 2014

You don’t have to be a life-long Robbins fan to appreciate this fantastic book. Fans will get a deeper appreciation of Robbins and newbies will learn what life looks like through Tom Robbins’ eyes. Hilarious, thoughtful, and full of surprises. - Alicia

Life After Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316176491
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - January 7th, 2014

Ursula Todd is unlike any other character you’ve ever encountered in fiction. For one thing, she dies. Numerous times. Seen through the eyes of the brilliant Kate Atkinson, Ursula’s lives (and deaths) are fodder for some rich pondering on a host of topics: the tenuous thread that connects us to life, the fact that a single moment in time can alter the path of one’s life forever, the possibility of reincarnation. But beyond that, this is a superbly written book, with sentences that shine, and a story that enchants. - Laurie

The Carnivore's Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat Cover Image
By Patrick Martins, Mike Edison (With), Alice Waters (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780316256247
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 10th, 2014

Martins champions the small farmer, advocates for Slow food and yes, for eating meat. He is a strong realistic voice for the humane treatment of domesticated animals.This book is so much more than a book about eating well. - Greg

The Stars My Destination Cover Image
ISBN: 9781876963460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ipicturebooks - June 15th, 2011

Gully Foyle is the lone survivor of the merchant spaceship Nomad. Left to die by a passing ship, Gully vows to live and hunt down those responsible for ignoring his distress call. Driven by his intense rage, Gully survives amid countless obstacles, reinventing himself (in a knowing nod to Dumas’ wronged Count) as a wealthy gadabout and always hellbent on his all-consuming revenge. Telepathy, teleportation, class warfare, revenge, and elaborate face tattoos all figure prominently and really what more could you want from one of the most influential and outstanding works of science fiction ever? - Casey

Metal Cats Cover Image
ISBN: 9781576876770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: powerHouse Books - May 6th, 2014

Everybody loves cats. Even the thrasher dude who works at the pizza joint. This is a great collection of portraits. Purr. Thrash! - Alicia

To Be or Not to Be Cover Image
ISBN: 9780982853740
Availability: Special Order
Published: Breadpig - September 10th, 2013

Remember choose-your-own-adventure books? Well, Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics, has come up with one about Hamlet, and it is AMAZING and HILARIOUS and features art from, like, every internet comics artist, ever. It’s just the best and you should have one. - Hilary

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812979688
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - January 28th, 2014

The title says it all. Not only rockstars but we all thrive off of chaos, and Taleb tells us how in his no-holds-barred style. Don’t miss this brave, uplifting book! - Jake

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812982190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - February 18th, 2014

The perfect companion to Michael Pollen’s Cooked, Michael Moss’s Salt Sugar Fat discloses the perils of processed food. It is truly obscene how the “food industry” has manipulated both consumers and their products. Anyone who hopes to change how food is bought and sold needs to read this. - Holly

The Flamethrowers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439142011
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - January 14th, 2014

Motorcycles, Marxism, and art--this book contains so many of my favorite things, and yet it exceeded even my very high expectations. Kushner writes beautifully and convincingly on the thrill of riding motorcycles, the ins and outs of the New York City art scene in the 70s, the tension of political resistance and violence, and romantic betrayal. From the salt flats of Utah to the streets of Italy, The Flamethrowers is full of subversion and risk, and like all good things, I couldn't get enough of it. - Jacob

Mr. Fox Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594486180
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - November 6th, 2012

Have you ever wanted to step inside your favorite book? What if you did, and things started to go wrong? Oyeyemi crafts a beautiful, whimsical story about an author who steps into his own books to see how his characters feel. - Hilary

Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781781683279
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Verso - March 11th, 2014

I have been hoping for a book like this for a long time, and at last, here it is: an accessible, exciting overview of some of contemporary Marxism's major thinkers and theories, written in intelligent, engaging prose. A slim, inviting volume (part of a new series by Verso Books with Jacobin magazine), it's not exhaustive (or jargon filled), but approachable and invigorating. Here is the book I think we need. - Jacob

Alias Grace Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385490443
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - October 13th, 1997

This is a story of intrigue and suspense, based on a notorious and true 19th-century murder case. A love quadrangle goes horribly wrong and sixteen-year-old Grace Marks is to blame. The writing is rich with metaphor, and Atwood keeps you guessing ‘til the end. - Alicia

Bad Unicorn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442450127
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - April 16th, 2013

If the phrase “carnivorous unicorn” doesn’t convince you to read this brilliant, funny, and irreverent debut novel by Platte Clark, then I don’t think we can be friends. Seriously. Read this! - Brandi

A London Address: The Artangel Essays Cover Image
By Artangel (Compiled by)
ISBN: 9781847088338
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Granta Books - December 6th, 2013

The “mother country’s” reach (through colonization and its literature) continues but now its former subjects reach around and back. A startling little gem of a collection, many of these authors have read here (or will soon!). - Karen

My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales Cover Image
By Kate Bernheimer (Editor), Kate Bernheimer (Introduction by), Gregory Maguire (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780143117841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 28th, 2010

Forget Disney, fairy tales used to be straight up NUTS. And creepy. And awesome. This collection of old fairy tales made new is all of those things and more. - Hilary

Bluets Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933517407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - October 2009

How do you measure blue? In numbered meditations, Maggie Nelson explores desire, loneliness and art through the lens of color. As she pulls from history, science and philosophy, the work still retains its obsessive and intimate poetics. - Amanda

Nijigahara Holograph Cover Image
By Inio Asano, Matt Thorn (Translator)
ISBN: 9781606995839
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Fantagraphics Books - March 19th, 2014

Inio Asano may be the most talented manga artist drawing and writing today. Open this book and you will immediately be taken aback by his unbelievable graphic style. With a little more work you will discover that Asano is a young genius who incorporates stunning visual motifs and constructs complicated narrative structures that demand attention. Part horror, part mystery, part psychological thriller and filled with desperate, lonely, suicidal, and sexually manic characters. This is sure to be the Manga book of the year! - Keith

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Stoner Cover Image
By John Williams, John McGahern (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590171998
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New York Review of Books - June 20th, 2006

OMG you have to read this. You'll weep at the exquisitely-rendered, awful ambiguities of a life of decisions, successes, regrets, contentment, loss. A New York Times critic called this a perfect novel when it was first published 50 years ago--he may have been right. Spellbinding. - Richael

The Invention of Influence Cover Image
By Peter Cole, Harold Bloom (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780811221726
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - January 29th, 2014

The poems collected in Peter Cole's new book are deeply learned, wise, and marvelously constructed. I cannot imagine a more accomplished volume of poems will be published in 2014. - Graham

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My Life in France Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307277695
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - October 9th, 2007

Julia Child had no interest in cooking until she moved to France at 37 years old. I find that inspiring. This book is part travel memoir, part great love story, and part foodie fantasy. I read this while living abroad and her love of good food and travel hit home. A humorous and delightful read. - Alicia

Daybook: The Journal of an Artist Cover Image
By Anne Truitt, Audrey Niffenegger (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781476740980
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 8th, 2013

Anne Truitt writes with the spare simplicity familiar to us from her sculptures and drawings, and with insights and observations every bit as penetrating as those created by her works. Back in print for the first time in 20 years, Daybook may prove to be more important for this generation's artists than Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. - Graham

Lovely, Dark and Deep Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442434370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - December 3rd, 2013

Ever wanted to take a long walk through a snowy pine forest? This book can take you there, and you might get lost, and you might love it. I did. - Hilary

Wave Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345804310
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - December 31st, 2013

How do you survive the unthinkable, worst, most tragic loss? I’m still not sure, but Sonali Deraniyagala’s beautiful book made me think it was possible. (Not by trying to be brave or looking for the hidden lesson, either.) A courageous, beautiful, angry book. - Karen

She Matters: A Life in Friendships Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439190609
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 10th, 2013

Susanna Sonnenberg’s medication on the cycles of female friendship made me think about my own relationships. Which ones deepen (or fade or blow up) and why? A candid, eloquent, funny, and moving book about our extended “families”: those acquired not by blood but by choice. - Karen

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity Third Edition/Expanded Cover Image
ISBN: 9781877741098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Joshua Odell Editions - August 1993

“Write. Don’t think. Relax.” In these four words Bradbury taught me more about writing than I had ever known previously: write fast, bring all the hate and love you got, and let your subconscious dictate style. In this compilation of essays on creativity, Bradbury Tells us tales of his experience as a writer, imparting gems of knowledge on how to enjoy this craft, R.I.P. - Keith

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Black Moon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804137164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth Press - January 20th, 2015