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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.

Dearly: New Poems by Margaret Atwood

Last year, Margaret Atwood’s partner of more than 40 years, Graeme Gibson, died at the age of 85. Her new collection of poetry, Dearly, encompasses the grief, beauty, and pain of that loss, with all the wit and skill that she possesses. Who can strike your heart with more efficiency than Margaret Atwood? You probably already know that she’s a brilliant novelist; after reading this book, I bet she’ll also be among your favorite poets. — Jess

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Dearly: New Poems Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063032491
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Ecco - November 10th, 2020

Summer by Ali Smith

What if I told you that your heart will bloom with the particular fusion of hope and sadness that only the feeling of being seen by a book can produce, when you read Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet? Summer is the end of that quartet, and it incorporates a love for the mail, the cyclical atrocities of internment camps, and the effect that political windbags are having on our children, while somehow also re-instilling faith in the power of human connection. —Jess

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Summer: A Novel (Seasonal Quartet) Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101870792
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - August 25th, 2020

The Vegetarian Silver Spoon by The Silver Spoon Kitchen

This cookbook is the perfect addition to any Italian food lover or vegetarian’s culinary bookshelf. With gorgeous photos, user-friendly formatting, and recipes that somehow manage to be both elegant and easy to make, The Vegetarian Silver Spoon contains everything you could ask of a cookbook. Great for vegetarian and vegan chefs as well as anyone looking to try their hand at the perfect contorno (vegetable side dish). 

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The Vegetarian Silver Spoon: Classic and Contemporary Italian Recipes Cover Image
$49.95
ISBN: 9781838660581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Phaidon Press - April 29th, 2020

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

It’s all in the title: Susan Choi takes the unreliable narrator to the next level in this book, challenging the reader to suspend all judgment and hang on for the ride. Trust Exercise examines perspective and character in a whole new way, leaving the reader to wonder at the end just what, exactly, they’ve been through. As in life, more questions are generated than answers. A great book to awaken your mind to the possibilities of fiction!

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Trust Exercise: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250231260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - May 5th, 2020

Station Eleven

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Station Eleven Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804172448
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2015

This is the one everyone’s been talking about, which makes sense, because it starts at the beginning of a global pandemic. It’s about the importance of art and community for survival, and there are plenty of Shakespeare references. Mandel’s writing is top-notch, lyrical without being overwrought. The first section will haunt you given our current situation, though, fair warning. —Jess

 


Station Eleven

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Station Eleven Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804172448
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2015

This is the one everyone’s been talking about, which makes sense, because it starts at the beginning of a global pandemic. It’s about the importance of art and community for survival, and there are plenty of Shakespeare references. Mandel’s writing is top-notch, lyrical without being overwrought. The first section will haunt you given our current situation, though, fair warning.

 


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
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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
$29.00
ISBN: 9781984878878
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
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
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385543781
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
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

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