Born and raised in Eastern Washington, Allen split to Los Angeles for school and stayed way too long [sorry SoCal, but it's so true! He can get down with that desert vibe, but once it's filled with concrete & glass, he won't last]. While down there he made a grip of music, wandered the desert with a ramshackle of close friends, and got in on the book tip. After finally getting his mind right & his act together, he made his way back home to this beautiful piece of country. He's been slingin' books goin' on 8 years now and lovin' ever' bit of it! Oh, but don't you worry, he's still grindin' on that music too.

Reviews & Recommendations

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Dated Emcees (City Lights/Sister Spit) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872867024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: City Lights Books - May 24th, 2016

DAMN, this woman can slay! Just check out the bit on Biggie or PAC (pick your Golden Era King, I get down with 'em both); it'll get those geese percolating on your skin. If ever you get the opportunity to see this lady spit live... -- Don't Sleep -- 

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Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education Cover Image
ISBN: 9781568589770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bold Type Books - October 3rd, 2017

Smith is both urgent and hilarious as he goes from Dave Chapelle to Lebron James, male masculinity to the role of the strong black woman deserving more respect. He speaks about mental illness and LGBTQ rights, subjects generally considered taboo in the black community. But he has the strength and knowledge to raise the discussion about these topics, and makes you want to hear more. Invisible Manalso has a thread running throughout about the horrors and struggles of constantly seeing our young black men and women killed by the authorities sworn to protect us. He is yet another amazing voice that is speaking up. And he needs to be heard.

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One Half from the East Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062421913
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 6th, 2018

Obayda's family lives Afghanistan, and when her father loses his leg from a terrorist attack they have to move from the big city to a small village. To bring luck to the family, Obayda's aunt suggests adopting the underground practice of bacha posh, dressing a girl as a boy. So with a chop of her hair, a change of clothes, and the removal of a letter from her name, she becomes a he. With the privilege of a boy there are no more chores, better food, and the freedom to run around the neighborhood with the other boys. When Obayd finds another bacha posh they decide that they never want to change back. But nothing goes as planned.

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Player Piano: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385333788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The Dial Press - January 12th, 1999

Taking place in a near future society after WWIII where machines have replaced the major workforce, we follow Dr. Paul Proteus who is at the peak of the social status but utterly dissatisfied. We watch as he transforms from merely unhappy at the state of affairs in the country to unruly & revolting. Vonnegut's satirical humor is outstanding in general, and he nails it in this one!

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Franny and Zooey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316769020
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - January 30th, 2001

Two novellas about the Glass family as they struggle through a tragedy. Their wit and wry humor will have you gasping, rolling, and aching. By the end of this you'll probably be in tears for the love they share with each other in a very personal, Salinger type of way. I love this book!!

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Three Plays: Blood Wedding; Yerma; The House of Bernarda Alba (FSG Classics) Cover Image
By Federico García Lorca, Michael Dewell (Translated by), Carmen Zapata (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780374523329
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 1993

Originally titled Three Tragedies, all three of these plays are heart wrenching & purely AMAZING!! Whether you already love dramas or want to try one for the first time, this collection is a must.

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The Cosmobiography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy Is Enlightening Cover Image
By Chris Raschka, Chris Raschka (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763658069
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - May 13th, 2014

With ridiculously great illustrations, Raschka weaves us through the life of Sun Ra as he battles social justice through music and fights for peace with his Sun Ra Arkestra all across the globe. If you didn't know, Sun Ra was from Saturn, so obviously he was drawn to music to help him feel closer to the stars. Even the kiddos need to know that Space Is the Place!

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Why We Can't Wait Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451527530
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Signet - January 2000

It is extremely unfortunate that the urgency behind King's words here still ring true to this day, but that is precisely why we STILL cannot wait. Buy this book for the first time or to reread it. Give it to a friend. Give it to an enemy. Give it to a stranger (or a family member for that matter). But most importantly, follow his advice, react to his words/message, and DON'T WAIT!!