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Jess's Reviews

A colorful mural on a brick wall of William Shakespeare's bust, with a young woman wearing red standing next to it on the left.Jess is a Santa Cruz native, recently returned from a Master’s Degree program in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Living in Scotland for a year gave her a deep appreciation for whisky, graveyards, and the California sun, so now she mostly reads outside, sometimes with a dram of Lagavulin in hand (but usually not near any tombstones). She loves to read fiction, and actively seeks new and diverse voices to inform her own experience of the world. In her spare time, she cooks themed treats for her book club and writes.

Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith

A collection of short stories written throughout Smith’s career, file Grand Union under Reasons We Revere Zadie Smith, Volume I. She is a master storyteller, and all of her skills are on display in these tales that take on love, immigration, motherhood, and racial identity. Each story contains a whole world of characters and places, and your heart will squeeze with the last line of each one. - Jess

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Grand Union: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525558996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - October 8th, 2019

Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré

Spies, treason, double crossing, triple crossing, and British manners: Who can give us all of this with such edge-of-your-seat excitement the way John le Carré can? Nobody, that’s who. This new novel by the master of espionage stars a British agent examining his loyalties in this confusing time of Brexit, Putin, and Trump. An engrossing read, with mordant, extremely English humor (or, should I say, humour) and a memorable cast of characters. - Jess

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Agent Running in the Field: A Novel Cover Image
$23.20
ISBN: 9781984878878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 22nd, 2019

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I was nervous about this one. Sequels can either be exciting and fulfilling, or a total let down, and I didn’t want to lose any love for the story of Gilead and its people. Thankfully, The Testaments delivers on the promise The Handmaid’s Tale makes. It’s full of all the grace, wit, and feminism we’ve come to expect from Atwood, and on top of that, it's a roaring good story. - Jess

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The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
$23.16
ISBN: 9780385543781
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nan A. Talese - September 10th, 2019

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The original feminist dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale is a book by one of the most talented writers of our time. Certain truths within it can be painful to read, but there’s also so much beauty in this survival story of a woman who has all of her rights stripped away by a totalitarian, patriarchal regime. A true classic that every American ought to read. - Jess

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The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 16th, 1998

The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat

A love story set in the most brutal of times, The Farming of Bones is one of those books you will read in one or two sittings and think about for the rest of your life. Set in Haiti during the Parsley Massacre of 1937, this book will force you to look at one of the worst moments in history. Danticat’s storytelling is so gripping, you won’t be able to look away. - Jess

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The Farming of Bones Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781616953492
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Press - May 7th, 2013

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

True to its name, this cookbook has taught me how to cook every kind of meatless delight, from homemade veggie burgers that taste better than any restaurant’s, to pizza dough, stir fries, and stuffed zucchinis. I flip through this book whenever I need a little inspiration -- either for a quick dinner, or an entire dinner party menu. Great for beginner chefs and fledglings ready to stretch their wings! - Jess

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How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781118455647
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - November 7th, 2017

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Get ready, everyone: it’s time to go back to Gilead. There aren’t many clues as to what we can expect from this follow up to The Handmaid’s Tale, but we can be sure that the journey will be harrowing. Atwood says she’s been inspired to write The Testaments partly because of the current political climate in the United States, so perhaps we’ll see a new Commander with a shockingly bad orange toupée? - Jess

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The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
$23.16
ISBN: 9780385543781
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nan A. Talese - September 10th, 2019

Inland by Téa Obreht

The author of The Tiger’s Wife takes on the country western in this novel about an outlaw and a homesteader whose paths cross, changing both of their lives forever. Obreht’s ear for language will knock you sideways—you’ll feel the wind whipping across your face as you stare across the wide plains. Fans of Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry who are hungry for more can happily satiate themselves on this epic. - Jess

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Inland: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812992861
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - August 13th, 2019

The Truth Behind the Lie by Susan Lovestam

Everyone’s lying, but which lies are dangerous and which are merely for self-preservation? In Sweden, a woman’s child has gone missing, but she can’t contact the authorities. She hires an Iranian detective who promises discretion. He has secrets of his own, but he also has connections that might help him find her daughter. It’s rare to find a fun, page-turning mystery that also takes on immigration policies and represents the underrepresented, but here it is! - Jess

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The Truth Behind the Lie: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250300072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - August 27th, 2019

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour by J.D. Salinger

Did Salinger invent wry humor, or just perfect it? Either way, you’re guaranteed to enjoy lots of it in this two-novella collection, which follows a few older siblings of the Glass family (think Franny; think Zooey). Sure to break your heart in the most forgiving of ways. - Jess

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Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316766944
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - January 30th, 2001

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