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Tori's Reviews

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball Written by Jen Bryant Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Poetic and informative, Above the Rim tells the story of Elgin Baylor, a basketball icon and civil rights advocate. Its illustrations are rendered in exquisite oil by artist Frank Morrison. A particularly striking moment of a one-man courtside protest that demonstrated his dignity and courage had me awestruck. There is so much to love in this wonderful book—an inspiring sports tale, political history made personal, and a moving lesson in standing up for what is right. — Tori

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Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball Cover Image
By Jen Bryant, Frank Morrison (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419741081
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 6th, 2020

Becoming a Good Creature Written by Sy Montgomery Illustrated by Rebecca Green

Beloved science writer Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green, one of my favorite working illustrators, team up to deliver a beautiful, gentle book about animals and kindness. Montgomery ties lessons in respect, understanding, and patience to her lifetime of observations of animal behavior. The pastel hues and charming creatures in Green’s illustrations bring even more heart to the story. Becoming a Good Creature will feel like a soft, furry hug to any animal lover. — Tori

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Becoming a Good Creature Cover Image
By Sy Montgomery, Rebecca Green (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780358252108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 29th, 2020

Magdalena: River of Dreams by Wade Davis

Magdalena: River of Dreams is the story of the Rio Magdalena, the great river at the center of Colombia’s history. Davis uses the river path as the basis for his narrative arc, exploring the natural, cultural, and political history of a complicated country. Amplifying the voices of the people he meets, and with great respect for Colombia and Colombians, Davis is fierce in his desire to tell the full spectrum of the country’s history, far beyond the violence that has beset it.  — Tori

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Magdalena: River of Dreams: A Story of Colombia Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780375410994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 15th, 2020

Two Trees Make a Forest: In Search of My Family’s Past Among Taiwan’s Mountains and Coasts by Jessica Lee

As Jessica Lee seeks her own identity through looking at the past, she reflects on the distance created by language barriers, on Taiwan’s precarious history, and on her grandfather’s struggle with immigration and sense of place. She wanders the evocative landscape of Taiwan’s mountains and coast in a quest to forge an intimate connection with her family’s mysterious history, and constructs an alluring portrait of the island’s unique and enchanting existence along the way. — Tori

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Two Trees Make a Forest: In Search of My Family's Past Among Taiwan's Mountains and Coasts Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646220007
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - August 4th, 2020

Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald

Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk, delivers a profoundly moving collection of nature essays that weaves unexpected and exciting connections between the natural world and our own. This is nature writing at its finest—steeped in enticing details, openly personal and emotional, unafraid to explore tough themes. Macdonald herself perfectly describes the collection as a Cabinet of Curiosities, and I look forward to going back through each drawer. Vesper Flights is a book to be savored. — Tori

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Vesper Flights Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802128812
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - August 25th, 2020

Parwana: Recipes and Stories from an Afghan Kitchen by Durkhani Ayubi

With food as the basis for this cultural narrative, Ayubi makes a place for the people of her family to tell their stories of Afghanistan and its influence across generations of the family’s passed-down recipes. Just the rich, spice-induced color alone of some of these dishes had my mouth watering. I found multiple dishes to add to my list of go-to recipes. Parwana is a soulful and, frankly, gorgeous book that would make an excellent addition to anyone’s cookbook collection. — Tori

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Parwana: Recipes and Stories from an Afghan Kitchen Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781623718756
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Interlink Books - September 1st, 2020

Xi’an Famous Foods by Jason Wang & Jessica Chou

Bring on the noodles! I am hungry and excited to get my hands on these accessible, authentic western Chinese dishes, straight from the recipes of the successful New York establishment, Xi'an Famous Foods. There’s a big hole in my heart (and stomach) because shelter-in-place has kept me from my favorite Bay Area noodle shops, but now I am ready to get cooking to fill that space. Hot-oil handmade noodles, fluffy spicy buns, and decadently crispy wings, yes please! — Tori

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Xi'an Famous Foods: The Cuisine of Western China, from New York's Favorite Noodle Shop Cover Image
By Jason Wang, Jessica Chou (Text by), Jenny Huang (By (photographer))
$35.00
ISBN: 9781419747526
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 13th, 2020

Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream by Alvin Cailan, with Alexandra Cuerdo

Alvin Cailan and his food are bursting with personality, which comes through in his new book. With recipes inspired by individual members of his Filipino-American family, Amboy is full of candid talk, food truck–style comfort cuisine, and a range of Filipino necessities, from the perfect coddled egg to a multiday, build-a-brick- pit-in-your-backyard whole roast pig. As he tells the story of his rise through the culinary industry, both the highs and lows, Cailan doesn’t hold back, sharing anecdotes both self-deprecating and hilarious. — Tori

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Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781328931733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - August 25th, 2020

Bezoar: And Other Unsettling Stories by Guadalupe Nettel

A man discovers he identifies as a cactus, a model is controlled by an ugly addiction, and an apprentice photographer can’t get one sensual eyelid out of their mind. Overwhelming compulsions and warped relationships with the human body bring bursts of color and tense stretches of loneliness to the desperate souls in these six strange stories translated from the original Spanish. I put Bezoar down and immediately ordered another of Nettel’s books, excited to read more. —Tori

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.

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Bezoar: And Other Unsettling Stories Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781609809584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Seven Stories Press - August 18th, 2020

Enemy of All Mankind A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson

Prepare to be transported from your favorite armchair to the high seas; reading this book is like bingeing a great history documentary. Enemy of All Mankind uses the story of a mysterious and infamous pirate named Henry Every to take the reader on a journey through the origins of piracy, the history of India’s economic system, the emergence of global trading corporations, the spread of Islam, the frustrating beginnings of celebrity journalism, and more. Steven Johnson knows how to write captivating history.

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Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735211605
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 12th, 2020

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