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Tori's Reviews

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))
ISBN: 9781419747526
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: 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

Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream Cover Image
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
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
ISBN: 9780735211605
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 12th, 2020

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

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The Hidden Girl and Other Stories Cover Image
By Ken Liu
ISBN: 9781982134037
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - February 25th, 2020

Ken Liu delivers a beautiful mix of speculative fiction and light fantasy in his second collection of short stories following The Paper Menagerie. Delving into the complexities of shared history, the impending reality of a virtual existence, and other thoughtful meditations on the ramifications of our social evolution, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories questions our idea of authenticity and consciousness—yet Liu always returns to the pervasive power of memory and the strength of human connection (even when it’s in 1s and 0s). —Tori

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

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Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307279286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - February 25th, 2020

One of my favorite books from 2019 is now in paperback! Say Nothing is an immersive and thoughtful account of the harrowing history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The first half is on the ground action: gunfire, murder, rebellion, hope and betrayal. Yet even more heart pounding is the second half, which focuses on how these explosive years are remembered (and misremembered), recorded, and manipulated. This is an incredible book, I can’t recommend it enough! —Tori

Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit by Eliese Colette Goldbach

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Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250239402
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - March 3rd, 2020

Great for those who loved books like Educated and Hillbilly Elegy, Rust is a compelling and relatable account of being a woman in 21st century America. Goldbach uses time at a Cleveland steel mill to examine her struggles with bipolar disorder, Trump anxieties, loss of faith, and her feeling of inadequacy in a profession-driven society. While being bitingly honest about herself, Goldbach maintains an inspiring amount of empathy for the world around her. —Tori

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

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Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374272081
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - March 3rd, 2020

A Hawaiian family is touched by destiny the day a swarm of sharks returns their drowning son to their waiting arms. Legends and expectations are foisted upon this child and the ramifications follow every member of the family in the years following. The story blends magical realism with a vivid look into family poverty and the struggle for personal identity. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the family members, each with a distinct and honest voice. How does a family live up to their destiny? How do they fail? How do they survive? Aching with humanity, Washburn’s writing brims over the surface—a roiling sea of love, despair, humor, chaos and purpose. I laughed, cried, and at times found it hard to breathe. Sharks in the Time of Saviors is a brilliant debut. Washburn bursts into the literary scene with some of the richest writing I've read in a while—crafting fallible, relatable characters who will break your heart and heal it all at once. —Tori

Go with the Flow by Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams

Four friends are fed up with their school not providing necessary menstrual supplies and decide to make a change. This brilliant graphic novel shows readers how to raise up the people they care about, be honest about their feelings, and talk openly about their own bodies. For anyone who has (or will have) a period or those who just love a great friendship story! This is everything I want a book to be—empathetic, educational, and entertaining!


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Go with the Flow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250143174
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - January 14th, 2020

Little Cheetah's Shadow by Marianne Dubuc

This sweet, adorable tale follows Little Cheetah learning to be kind and fair to those around him through his relationship with his shadow. Simple and effective, the story guides Little Cheetah to a moment of clear understanding of another’s perspective that he had previously never considered. Warm illustrations and a comforting narrative make this a great book for a read-aloud. Dubuc brings her wealth of experience to making another great book for emotional development!


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Little Cheetah's Shadow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616898403
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton Architectural Press - April 7th, 2020


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