Winter Gazette 2016

In spring, summer, and autumn, we publish Booknotes, our seasonal book reviews of notable new releases. But as the light and temperatures drop, we publish our Winter Gazette, which includes recent releases that make great gifts. Take a look on our shelves to find something unexpected!

Many Gazette titles are also available as downloadable audiobooks.

Staff Pick Logo
The Mothers Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399184512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - October 11th, 2016

Through the viewpoint of three teenagers—Nadia, Aubrey, and Luke—and a Greek chorus of church elders, Bennett’s debut novel paints a portrait of a tightly-knit black community, which is loving and judgmental in equal measure. The novel weaves in and out of the past as these three struggle, and ultimately fail, to come to terms with the choices they’ve made and to fill the voids of past trauma. Bennett raises difficult questions about survival, redemption, and the obligations we have to those we love, but there are no easy answers. These characters—their painful mistakes and heartbreaking love stories— will stick to you long after the last page. -Emma


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The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America's Wilderness Trail Cover Image
$50.00
ISBN: 9780847849765
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rizzoli International Publications - October 11th, 2016

This is a gorgeous book with text and photos that takes us along the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the Mexican border of California through Oregon and ends at the Canadian border of Washington state, 2,650 miles later. It gives the reader a spectacular look at the PCT, its history, and the story of the individuals who made this natural treasure a National Scenic Trail. The book should be an inspiration to hikers and non-hikers alike. It might serve as motivation to those who wish to hike all or part of this magnificent trail or give a vicarious thrill to those who prefer to sit in an armchair at home and soak it in. -Greg


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Du Iz Tak? Cover Image
By Carson Ellis, Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763665302
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - October 18th, 2016

In Du Iz Tak? Carson Ellis creates an imagined language used by a variety of fanciful beetles, flies, and other bugs as they watch a plant grow from a small sprig to a large, leafy flower. Du Iz Tak? is a delightful examination of how we derive meaning from context and the joy that comes from watching creatures in their natural habitat, in addition to a lesson in the circle of life and the changing of seasons. Lushly illustrated and genius in its language, this is a book that will be savored by adults and children alike, inviting impromptu story time full of gleeful observation and discovery. I can’t recommend it enough. -Richael


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The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar: Evolution's Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life's Biggest Problems Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143128687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 25th, 2016

Matt Simon, science writer for Wired, has written a fascinating, accessible, and humorous book about a diverse variety of species and the evolutionary characteristics that sustain them—some are very strange. It is a perfect book to have on your nightstand; the chapters are short and full of surprises about the wonders of our living world. Who knew that there is a marsupial called the Antechinus, the males of which literally fornicate themselves to death just to ensure their species lives long and prospers (at least the females anyway)! I found myself astonished repeatedly while reading Simon's wonderful book. -Greg


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You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain Cover Image
By Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143129202
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume Books - October 4th, 2016

In her book debut, comedian, podcast host, actress, and writer Phoebe Robinson serves well-timed, hilarious insight into the daily micro-aggressions faced by black women in "postracial" America. Packed with sharp wit and endless pop-culture references, Robinson's essays are a must-read for anyone wanting to get more woke and be a better ally. She covers the NFL's (mis)treatment of women, misogynistic casting calls, and, of course, prejudices against black hair. My favorite section is a series of letters addressed to her toddler niece, in which she gives advice on the little one's future struggles as a biracial woman. Read this ASAP! -Liz


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Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316337540
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 18th, 2016

What makes Truevine compelling is not what it tells us, but what it can’t. How did two African American brothers with albinism become separated from their family in 1890s rural Virginia, subsequently touring the country as sideshow performers? Who was their mother, whose defiant courage to find them overcame her position in a deeply segregated society? And who were these two boys, whose illiteracy and mainstream dismissal left behind virtually no trace of their experience in their own words? Beth Macy bravely investigates these mysteries, despite the unknowability at their core, and gives us a story at once harrowing and uplifting. -Justin


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Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers Cover Image
By Bob Eckstein, Garrison Keillor (Foreword by)
$22.00
ISBN: 9780553459272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - October 4th, 2016

It's hard for me not to gush about this wonderful treasure of a book. New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein pairs vibrant paintings of seventy-five of the world's most renowned bookstores with charming and surprising anecdotes of each shop. I found myself delighted at each turn of the page and kept reading facts and tidbits aloud to my partner. This is a book that any book lover will thoroughly enjoy, and its clever design makes it the perfect book to leave out on a table to be explored again and again. Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores is a lovely reminder of the importance of bookstores and book people. -Alex


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Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour Cover Image
$39.95
ISBN: 9780691157245
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton University Press - September 29th, 2016

In a utopian book universe, all books about space would be created equal. Every one would be well-written and genuinely compelling. Well, I have bad news and good news. First, the bad news: we don’t live in a utopian book world. Some books about space are bad. But the good news is that you are looking at a book written by Neil Degrasse Tyson, Michael Strauss, and J. Richard Gott, three of the world’s leading astrophysicists, and it is AMAZING. It's based on an introductory course they used to teach at Princeton University, so it manages to feel simultaneously brilliant and very comprehensible. 10/10; would recommend reading in Neil's voice. -Hilary


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Walk Through Walls: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101905043
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Archetype - October 25th, 2016

The Marina Abramović of Walk Through Walls is just as brilliant and merciless as her art, but also sensitive, sensual, and morbidly hilarious. Abramović stars in the role of wanderer-hero, questing through transcendent states: telepathy with Australian aborigines, prophetic dreams, romantic frenzy, the delirious clarity of her performance art. I want to grab you by the arm and read this book aloud to you—perhaps the story of the spirits she spoke with as a child when her mother, a war hero and bureaucrat in Communist Yugoslavia, locked her in a deep closet to punish her. Essential reading for artists, romantics, and witches. -Lauren


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Madonna Comix Cover Image
$65.25
ISBN: 9781590282618
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Media F8 - April 1st, 2014

The large-format, fine art book Madonna Comix is the creation of Northwest artist Dianne Kornberg and East Coast poet Celia Bland. Strongly drawn images and incisive text, along with commentary by Marjorie Henderson Buell's proto-feminist comic strip character Lulu Moppet, engage in a searching dialogue about motherhood and "the many roles women play: pregnant and scared, birthing and scared, mothering and resentful, joyous, bored, and self-abnegating." Madonna Comix will appeal to anyone interested in the possibilities of that much-contested genre, the graphic novel. -Graham


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Complete IPA: The Guide to Your Favorite Craft Beer Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781454920724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sterling Publishing (NY) - September 13th, 2016

I can't lie, this book is about beer. But not just any beer—this book is about India Pale Ales (commonly referred to as IPAs). Heavily researched and comprehensive, Complete IPA truly is complete—including the real history behind this popular brewing style, brief descriptions and profiles of different regional styles, brewery guides, and explanations as to how it has become an engine for creativity and exploration. Everyone—from seasoned craft beer enthusiasts to the just-turned-21 crowd, from casual drinkers to those known as “beer snobs” to their friends—will find something interesting inside this beautifully designed book. -Eric


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Born to Run Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781501141515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 27th, 2016

The Boss is transcendent in this enthralling autobiography. Weaving poetic descriptions of his childhood in Jersey, his messy teenage years, and a clear sense of the language music gave him, he writes with the humility of a person who has come to know his purpose: to give voice to his dreams and fears the only way he can—through rip rollin’, bangin’, bluesy music. Deeply honest and tinged with the shadow of mental illness in his family and a poet’s neverending search for the right sound, this is a rockstar’s surprisingly human story. Bruce, may your hope give us hope. -Katie


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My Own Words Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501145247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 4th, 2016

Part memoir, part anthology, My Own Words offers a humanizing and thorough look into the life of feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It also provides readers with fascinating vignettes on the intersections of gender, Judaism, and law in American history as they pertain to to Justice Ginsburg's life and to our rights today. Authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams introduce each chapter with helpful context and insight, which makes for an engaging biography format. For those who want a deeper understanding of women's rights in America, or of the prominent female figure herself, this book will not disappoint. -Amy


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I'll Tell You in Person Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894531
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - October 4th, 2016

In this essay collection, Chloe Caldwell stumbles into adulthood—frank, flawed, unapologetic, and utterly charming. This isn’t a meandering, navel-gazing coming-of-age story; these essays are sharp and self-aware. In essays dealing with addiction, self-doubt, and a host of other intimacies, Caldwell is both compassionate towards and critical of her past selves. Depending on your age and frame of reference, you’ll either want to wrap Caldwell in a blanket and brew her a strong cup of tea or buy her a very alcoholic drink and stay up late spilling secrets. Personally, I plan on mining the internet and bookstores for everything she’s ever written. -Emma


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The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes Cover Image
By Natalie Eve Garrett (Editor), Amy Jean Porter (Illustrator)
$30.00
ISBN: 9781576877883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: powerHouse Books - October 11th, 2016

Inspired by a book originally published in 1961 which featured the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Harper Lee, this updated Artists' and Writers' Cookbook edited by Natalie Eve Garrett and wonderfully illustrated by Amy Jean Porter is a "secret portal into the kitchens of 76 contemporary artists and writers"—so, like, exactly what you'd expect. Only not quite. Marina Abramović eats meteorites. James Franco gets theoretical about peanut butter and jelly. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anthony Doerr forages for huckleberries. Some guy named Neil Gaiman is in it. Each recipe (or lack thereof) is fascinating and deeply personal. Let's eat. -Eric


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Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781594749254
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - October 4th, 2016

Pop quiz: who was Emmy Noether? What about Ogino Ginko? Or Noor Inayat Khan? If you haven’t heard these names before, it’s time to curl up with Sam Maggs’s awesome Wonder Women and learn about some fantastic women in history. Emmy Noether? She was a German Mathematician so brilliant that Albert Einstein called her “the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began.” Ogino Ginko was Japan’s first woman doctor, and Noor Inayat Khan was an Indian spy for the allied forces in World War II. Best lesson to take away from this great new book? Women have ALWAYS been killing it. -Hilary


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Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781632170576
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sasquatch Books - October 11th, 2016

In 2008, artists Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring made a letterpress broadside featuring a quote by suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton: “Come, come my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles and see the world is moving.” This began a years-long project printing broadsides inspired by feminists throughout history, and donating a portion of the proceeds to appropriate causes. This book collects all twenty-four broadsides in luscious color. While O’Leary and Spring’s definition of “feminist” is broad at times, they dig deep to feature lesser-known and under-lauded women. Wonderful for budding activists and designers. -Lauren


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Lark: Cooking Wild in the Northwest Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781632170705
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sasquatch Books - August 23rd, 2016

Lark is a cookbook for the ambitious cook who wants to delve into Pacific Northwest flavors, the PNW cook who's looking to up their game, or anyone who appreciates a well-crafted cookbook. Chef John Sundstrom of Lark has created a stimulating collection of recipes based on fine local and seasonal ingredients, with an emphasis rigorous technique. His thoughtful prose and crystal-clear directions tread a fine line between accessible and next-level cookery, and the result is a joy to experience, both on the page and in the kitchen. -Julia


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Moonglow Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062225559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 22nd, 2016

Michael Chabon's autobiographical novel (or fictional memoir?), Moonglow, delves into the storied personal history of the narrator's ailing grandfather. With a narrative that spirals, Escher-like, between seemingly disparate points in time, Chabon leads us along his narrator's journey, grasping at a humdinger of a mystery: how someone comes to be who they are. Satisfyingly dense with detail, spanning from post-WWII Paris to the reptile-haunted swamps of modern-day Florida, Moonglow is a glorious inquiry into the pull of our past. -Julia


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A Gambler's Anatomy Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780385539906
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - October 18th, 2016

Bruno, a handsome, Bond-esque, high-stakes backgammon gambler and telepath down on his luck, returns home to the Bay Area when a seizure prompts the discovery of the ailment behind the blot expanding in his field of vision. A new benefactor uses Bruno and his German sex-worker lover for his own purposes. After an operation to correct his eyesight, Bruno retreats to the Bay Area underground to assuage his new identity crisis, ultimately choosing one comforting visual obstruction for another, one more external though no less mysterious. Lethem’s masterful, beautiful prose is matched only by the originality of his characters. -Carlos


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Do Not Say We Have Nothing Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393609882
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 11th, 2016

At the center of Thien’s novel are two musicians struggling to express their passion in the overzealous and oppressive environment of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. In telling their families’ stories, Thien shows history’s tendency to reverse fortune, especially for the innocent. The commitment and tenacity of the smoldering artists experiencing repression materializes in The Book of Records, a hand-copied, forbidden novel of unknown origin. This book and the musicians’ compositions show how art strives to alleviate the pain of a present that is “all we have, yet...the one thing we will never learn to hold in our hands.” -Carlos


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Ema the Captive Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811219105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - December 6th, 2016

At last, Ema, the Captive has been translated into English. Translated by the masterful Chris Andrew, this early Aira novel follows Ema through colonial Argentina as she joins or is captured by different peoples she encounters. Ema is a resilient and intensely curious character who wants to understand and achieve full presence in time. The novel playfully oscillates between the narrative and the philosophical, as the details blur into one beautiful, splendid portrait. Aira's remarkable talent is immensely apparent in this early work and it is not to be missed. -Mary


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Envelope Poems Cover Image
By Emily Dickinson, Jen Bervin (Editor), Marta Werner (Editor)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780811225823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - October 4th, 2016

Envelope Poems presents Emily Dickinson’s short poems written on envelope scraps in pencil, an incredible preservation of this beloved poet’s handwriting and later work. The fragmentary poems are haunting, experimental, and wise, and the color photograph reproductions are beautiful to behold. Transcriptions aligned precisely to the original spacing on the envelope make reading easier, while preserving layout, line breaks, and alternative wording. This small-format book makes a lovely gift for lovers of hand-written letter writing, as well as the poetry and art aficionado in your life. -Richael


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Thus Bad Begins Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101946084
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - November 1st, 2016

Future Nobel Laureate Javier Marías returns to his inimitable nuanced, ambiguous, quietly-disturbing best. Thus Bad Begins is a detective story set in the lull between the end of the Franco regime and the establishment of democracy. Marías exposes with oblique precision and manifold shades of gray the individual and collective prices paid when a society tacitly agrees to keep the outrages of the recent past buried and unconsidered. As Marías accelerates the unraveling of secrecy, you’ll find yourself rushing toward a conclusion you hope will never come. -Peter


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Float Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781101946848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 25th, 2016

Anne Carson's new collection, Float, contains 22 chapbooks in a slipcase. Certain works, such as "Pinplay" and "Stacks,” were created in collaboration with painter Elliott Hundley and dancer/choreographer Jonah Bokaer. These are performance pieces intended to stand alone, but the chapbook arrangement also invites readers to move freely between the individual works in a manner not really possible in a volume of poems. Here we encounter list poems, prose poems in the form of short talks, a lecture in the form of 15 sonnets, and choral works. Float is a brilliant addition to Carson's experiments with poetic form. -Graham


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The Secret History of Twin Peaks Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250075581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - October 18th, 2016

The original Twin Peaks series leans so strongly on its purgatorial cinematography to tell of a murder in a sleepy Washington town that it's difficult to envision a shift to the novel form. Instead, series co-creator Mark Frost places a new dossier in your hands, leaving much of the sleuthing up to you. An interwoven set of letters, diaries, and photos split the reader between the work of the mysterious Archivist and the footnotes of an FBI agent. For fans anticipating the Showtime reboot and non-fans alike, The Secret History of Twin Peaks pulses with a chaos akin to Mark Z. Danielewski's eerily labyrinthine House of Leaves. -Tony


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Swing Time Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594203985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - November 15th, 2016

From working-class London, where a love of dance is shared with a strong-willed friend, to her superstar boss's opulent world, to the impoverished West African village to which she's sent, a young biracial woman is emotionally adrift in a complex, fast-paced life. By finding her innate strengths and beginning to understand her vibrant, overbearing mother, she finally begins the process of controlling her destiny. The politics of race, class, and global aid are skillfully embedded in this story of a gradually unfolding self-awareness. This mesmerizing novel is provocative, ambitious, and shot through with humor and wisdom: vintage Zadie Smith. -Erica


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Him, Me, Muhammad Ali Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941411315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarabande Books - October 11th, 2016

Randa Jarrar's collection of short stories is filled with characters who cackle with wit in the face of life's absurdities and disappointments. Her protagonists are Arab women across the globe who confront a variety of fantastical realities, dismal futures, or complicated family dramas. Jarrar writes each character with such lyrical intensity that their individual voices and sharp perspectives stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. It is rare that a book can have so much humor and heart in equal measure. This sparkling collection is truly wonderful and engaging, a joy to read. -Mary


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The Singing Bones Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780545946124
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 11th, 2016

Award-winning artist Shaun Tan is well known for the provocative images of his books. Within The Singing Bones he commits his talents to the timeless Brothers Grimm fairytales with eerie, surreal, and exotic sculptures. He has distilled each tale to its essence, often in no more than a paragraph, while affirming the Grimms’ haunting and dark slant. The accompanying images suggest an aboriginal style; rounded and subtly detailed, yet all the while reminiscent of Dali or Ernst. This is a wonderful introduction to folklore and a stunning addition to any home library. -Holly


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Penguin Problems Cover Image
By Jory John, Lane Smith (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553513370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - September 27th, 2016

In this lovable book, Jory John brilliantly exposes a penguin’s existential crises and gives humans some much-needed perspective on our own. Lane Smith, who illustrated The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, conjures a polar landscape with airy, textured illustrations of sea and ice. Then we meet a small penguin whose beak is cold and doesn’t like the snow. It has so many problems and no one even cares! A book to be read aloud on dark winter days, Penguin Problems promises to charm adults and children alike with its wit, warmth, and humor. -Katie


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Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781101918265
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tundra Books (NY) - October 4th, 2016

Look, I know that you, like me, have been walking the children's section, biting your nails, wondering how you're going to tell a certain someone (maybe yourself) there won't be any more Elephant & Piggie. Never fear! I've returned from the depths with tidings of their rightful successors: Narwhal and Jelly. It's like Elephant & Piggie in comic book form, plus the sense of humor of The Powerpuff Girls, with more borderline-reprehensible punnery, more amazing facts about rare sea creatures, and more waffles—and all from a local Seattle author. Sound good? -Sam


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Tatterhood: Feminist Folktales from Around the World Cover Image
By Na
$14.95
ISBN: 9781558619296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feminist Press - August 2nd, 2016

In Tatterhood, Phelps has collected a wide range of diverse, feminist folktales. From Japan to Africa, we have tales of women outwitting demons, slaying giant beasts, and rescuing princesses. These are the tales our children should be reading—there are no damsels in distress waiting for their princes to come. The heroines of Tatterhood are brave, clever, and independent; they can fight monsters, change fate, and, yes, in some cases, fall in love. Carefully curated with an eye towards female empowerment, these stories promote respect and equality while also being laugh out loud entertaining. -Emma


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What Light Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781595145512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - October 18th, 2016

I'd like to say I enjoyed this book over several nights curled up by the fire, hot cocoa in hand. But the truth is that I devoured it over three to four particularly rainy, exceptionally bleak bus rides. I'd like to say this book resonated with me so much because I, much like its main character, grew up on a Christmas tree farm, but that would just be an outright lie. The real truth is that What Light is a charming, simple book about tough decisions and trust, complete with a pretty juicy (but innocent!) love story that takes place during the month of December. Read it, I think you'll like it. -Eric