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Jade's Reviews

One by One by Ruth Ware

In this latest offering, Ware employs her winning formula: an isolated setting, a diverse cast of characters, and a narrator with a secret. A company retreat goes horribly awry when an avalanche traps the vacationers in their chalet. Cut off from the rest of the world, their predicament quickly worsens as people start to turn up murdered. It becomes clear that one of the people trapped in the chalet is the killer, and with no clear suspect, the vacationers don’t know who to trust. Ware’s engaging writing and clever plot twists had me on the edge of my seat once again. — Jade

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ISBN: 9781501188817
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Published: Gallery/Scout Press - September 8th, 2020

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper

In January 1969, Harvard graduate student Jane Britton was found murdered in her apartment. Despite several leads, the case was still unsolved when Becky Cooper happened upon it 50 years later. Though she had no training or special connections to speak of, Cooper dedicated the next decade of her life to finding Britton’s killer. Extraordinarily well researched and thoughtfully told, this book has all the thrill and suspense that characterize true crime while managing to steer clear of the sensationalism and insensitivity that often cheapen the genre. — Jade

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ISBN: 9781538746837
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 10th, 2020

Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema by Lindy West

Like many of us, Lindy West loves pointing out plot holes and picking movies apart almost as much as she loves watching them. Unlike many of us, West used to be a professional film critic, lending merit to her commentary. Each chapter focuses on a different classic and often beloved film, summarizing the plot while also pointing out everything that’s wrong with it. This might sound like a bit of a negative premise, but it’s all in good fun and West makes some truly hilarious observations. The book isn’t groundbreaking but it will make you laugh A LOT. — Jade

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ISBN: 9780316449823
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Published: Hachette Books - October 20th, 2020

How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America Edited by Sara Sinclair

This collection of narratives illustrates the diverse experiences of indigenous North Americans and the many obstacles they face. Sinclair has accumulated remarkable stories from indigenous people across the continent—at Standing Rock, at Yale, and beyond. While the statistics in many Native communities are grim, the people are not. The individuals featured in this book have accomplished much despite the institutional racism, neglect, and poverty doled out to them by the powers that be. I came out of this book enraged and inspired.  — Jade

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By Sara Sinclair (Editor)
ISBN: 9781642592719
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Published: Haymarket Books - October 13th, 2020

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Twenty-eight-year-old Gifty is a brilliant grad student at Stanford with a promising career ahead of her. Raised in poverty in Alabama and the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, Gifty projects the image of an American success story. But when her depressed, elderly mother comes to stay with her, painful memories begin to resurface and cracks start to emerge in her stoic facade. Flitting between past and present, Gyasi tackles some very heavy themes; death, abandonment, racism, and the opioid crisis all come into play. Beautiful and heart wrenching, Gyasi’s sophomore novel does not disappoint. — Jade

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ISBN: 9780525658184
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Published: Knopf - September 1st, 2020

An Onion in My Pocket by Deborah Madison

Beloved cookbook author Deborah Madison, famous for her vegetarian cooking, has influenced generations of home cooks. Madison takes a deeper dive with this memoir, sharing scenes from her childhood, her time as a Zen practitioner, and the years she spent as a chef. She also muses about the importance of food throughout her life and what vegetarianism means to her.  Madison’s writing is transporting and deeply nostalgic, offering a look back at the genesis of the slow food movement, of eating locally, and of course, of vegetarian cooking. — Jade

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ISBN: 9780525656012
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Published: Knopf - November 10th, 2020

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller

Chanel Miller doesn’t remember being sexually assaulted by Brock Turner because she was unconscious at the time. She does, however, remember all that ensued in the aftermath and in Know My Name she recounts every eviscerating detail. Miller’s story is deeply personal, but it is not unique. She writes beautifully and courageously about the ugly processes that follow her assault: medical exams, trials, therapy, and the struggle she faces to simply get through each day. Constantly barraged with the repercussions of her assault, Miller is unable to forget an event she doesn’t even remember. In revealing her identity—she was previously referred to simply as “Emily Doe”—Miller owns her narrative and proves that victimhood does not make a person powerless.  —Jade

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ISBN: 9780735223721
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Published: Penguin Books - August 18th, 2020

Save Me the Plums My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl has enjoyed a decades-long career as a food writer, so it’s no surprise that her latest memoir is a delight to read. Focusing on her years as the editor of Gourmet magazine, Reichl chronicles the trials and tribulations of revamping the magazine and transforming it from old and stuffy to a publication that modern readers would enjoy. Sprinkled throughout the narrative are some of her favorite recipes; I recommend the drop biscuits. This was my first time reading Reichl and I suspect that it won’t be my last.

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ISBN: 9780812982381
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 5th, 2020

Emperors of the Deep Sharks—The Ocean’s Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians by William McKeever

Climate change is threatening the continued existence of one of the world’s oldest living species, sharks. Largely misrepresented and misunderstood, sharks are not nearly as dangerous as commonly perceived and they play a pivotal role in our oceans’ ecosystem. There is still so much we don’t know about sharks (like their mating habits and lifespan). In an effort to advocate for the species, McKeever travels the world, talking to experts and learning what our oceans would be like without sharks in them and why that would be very dire indeed. 

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ISBN: 9780062880338
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Published: HarperOne - May 26th, 2020

Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathaon Through North America’s Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez

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ISBN: 9781948226462
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Published: Catapult - March 3rd, 2020

A child of immigrants, Noe Alvarex grew up working-class in Washington state. Determined to get out of his small hometown and avoid the factory jobs of his contemporaries, Alvarez made it his mission to go to college. However, upon arriving at university he found himself isolated and unmoored, lacking motivation and seeking a greater sense of purpose. Alvarez found that purpose when he discovered the Peace and Dignity Journeys, who organized marathons for native people. Without hesitation, Alvarez dropped out of college and embarked on a 4-month odyssey from Canada to Guatemala, running over thousands of miles of unforgiving terrain and pushing himself physically and mentally in ways he never imagined possible. —Jade


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