The 2019 Booker Prize
Longlist (best 13 novels).
All nominated titles in stock at Walden Pond Books
The 2019 Hugo Award
for Best Science Fiction Novel.
Winner and all nominees in stock at Walden Pond Books
THE TESTAMENTS, Margaret Atwood's sequel to her beloved and acclaimed novel THE HANDMAID'S TALE, will be released on Tuesday, September 10.
If you'd like to pick up a copy of the most anticipated book of the year on your way to work or school, Walden Pond Books will be open at 8:00 a.m. on that date.
PURCHASERS OF THE TESTAMENTS!
MORE 2019 NEWS
(Click on the links for complete lists and reviews now on our website.)
- Monday, September 9 through Saturday, September 21: Walden Pond Books resumes buying and trading books. We usually buy books for cash and trade books for store credit th first three weeks of each month from 10:00 am through 3:00 pm, but we were shorthanded the first week of September. We apologize for any inconvenience this delay may have caused.
Remember that we do NOT buy or trade books during the month of December.
- August 18: The Hugo Awards Committee at the World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland announced the winner of the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novel in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The winner - THE CALCULATING STARS by Mary Robinette Kowal - also won this year's Nebula Award for Best Novel.
- July 24: The judges of the most prestigious annual literary award in the world, the Booker Prize for the best work of fiction written in the English language, announced the 2019 longlist (the best 13 books). All nominated titles - including U.K. editions of those titles not yet published in the U.S. - are in stock. The winner of the Booker Prize will be announced on Monday, October 14, 2019.
BOOKS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT:
Here's a list of some outstanding new titles on our shelves at Walden Pond Books.
Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children's books, graphic novels, mystery and suspense, and science fiction and fantasy. . .
We've carefully picked some of the best for your consideration.
The titles below are just a sample. View more of our favorite books and staff picks on our web site at www.waldenpondbooks.com.
Drop by Walden Pond Books at 3316 Grand Avenue and browse. Or - if you see a book listed here or on our web site that you know you've just got to read immediately - call us at 510-832-4438 and we'll hold that title for you at the front counter or ship directly to your home.
- Fiction: Recently or About-to-be Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
2019 BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
FRANKISSSTEIN by Jeanette Winterson [to be released October 1, 2019]
It's 1816 and young Mary Shelley is crafting the story of a powerful new life form. . . In the present day, transgender doctor Ry falls for artificial intelligence expert Victor Stein. . . Recently divorced Ron Lord hopes to make his fortune with the latest in sex dolls. . . Meanwhile, at a cryogenics facility in Arizona, dozens of the medically and legally dead are about to reawaken. . . In multiple narrative threads, Jeanette Winterson explores themes of alienation, love, science, and humanity in a dazzling tour-de-force.
"Surges with inventiveness. . . Frankissstein is a book that seeks to shift our perspective on humanity and the purpose of being human in the most darkly entertaining way. Gloriously well observed." - The Observer (U.K.).
"A riotous reimagining with an energy and passion all of its own that reanimates Frankenstein as a cautionary tale for our contemporary moment. While the story has a gripping momentum of its own, it also absolutely fizzes with ideas." - The Financial Times (U.K.).
"A dazzlingly intelligent meditation on the responsibilities of creation, the possibilities of artificial intelligence and the implications of both transsexuality and transhumanism. Winterson's great gift as a writer is the ability to inject pure thought with such freewheeling enthusiasm and energy that ideas take on their own kind of joyous life. Frankissstein abounds with invention. . . Deeply evocative historical realism balanced by hilarious, almost bawdy set pieces. . . A work of both pleasure and profundity, robustly and skillfully structured." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"Intelligent and inventive. . . Frankissstein is very funny. There has always been a fine line between horror and high camp, and this is a boundary that Winterson gleefully exploits." - The Times (U.K.)
2019 BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE *SHORTLIST*
10 MINUTES 38 SECONDS IN THIS STRANGE WORLD by Elif Shafak [to be released September 24, 2019]
Leila, a sex worker living on the edges of Turkish underworld society, lies dying in an Istanbul rubbish bin. In the 10 minutes and 38 seconds after her heart stops beating, her life flashes before her eyes - and ours. An extraordinary tale of a brutalized, broken, but profoundly courageous woman who retains her humanity despite a world bent on crushing her at every turn.
"A testament to Shafak's brilliance as a storyteller. . . A profound, humanizing narrative. . . By revealing layer upon layer of Leila's interior life, the novel draws a magnificently nuanced portrait of its protagonist. A piercing, unflinching look at the trauma women's minds and bodies are subjected to in a social system defined by patriarchal codes." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"Here is an object lesson in how fiction can at once entertain and enlighten. . . Not only exquisite compassion and humanity but also a vibrant evocation of a hidden Istanbul in the middle of the 20th century. In lush, rich, and lucid prose, Shafak gives voice to the invisible, the untouchable, the abused and the damaged, weaving their painful songs into a thing of beauty." - The Financial Times (U.K.).
"The novels of the Turkish writer Elif Shafak are so beguiling that it's easy to forget she is a serious activist and academic. Yet beneath the lush scene-setting and romantic storytelling, her bestselling tales about modern Turkey and Islam are strident calls to challenge fundamentalism and misogyny in the Middle East. On the face of it, there couldn't be a more depressing story. Yet Leila's tale is surprisingly uplifting. There is so much beauty in this book. And there's wisdom too. Thanks to Shafak, the voices of women like Leila will no longer be silenced." - The Times (U.K.).
2019 BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
LANNY by Max Porter
A mythical figure in an idyllic English village takes a special interest in Lanny, a precocious boy who has recently moved there with his parents. But then Lanny disappears, and as a rush to judgement ensues, the village shows its darker colors of intolerance and suspicion. A delightfully dark, stylish, and suspenseful gem of a novel from a master of the form.
"This imaginative novel starts off dreamily, picks up speed, and races to a propulsive conclusion. A guaranteed edge-of-your-seat read." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"What's weird and wonderful about Lanny is that it pays attention to and celebrates all the things ordinary people in an ordinary village say, finding them remarkable. But what's weirder and more wonderful is that Porter's book is far from being a genre-compliant missing-child narrative. It's slipperier and more complex. Porter has performed a remarkable metaphysical trick." - The London Review of Books (U.K.).
"A rich, twisted, gloriously cacophonous novel of village life. If Lanny hums throughout with hope and humor, the dark and the difficult are also always there." - The New York Times.
"Thrilling and bizarre. . . Lanny defies straightforward generic classification. A magically beguiling work, a triumph of artistic vision." - The Financial Times (U.K.).
"Max Porter's second novel is a fable, a collage, a dramatic chorus, a joyously stirred cauldron of words. . . Lanny is remarkable. Porter is telling stories that link the immediate crises of individual lives with ancient, ageless currents of feeling and experience. He is a writer who takes risks, and this is the way new things are made." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"Whether offering psychological and emotional finesse, vigorous social comedy or vivid vignettes of the countryside, Lanny is expertly pitched. Shimmering with the uncanny, it's a remarkable feat of literary virtuosity." - The Times (U.K.)
A BETTER MAN by Louise Penny
Catastrophic spring flooding, blistering attacks in the media, and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Sûreté du Québec as head of the Homicide Department.
"Over the past 14 years, Ms. Penny has written a saga in which both hero and author have grown in ability and assurance. A Better Man, with its mix of meteorological suspense, psychological insight and criminal pursuit, is arguably the best book yet in an outstanding, original oeuvre." - The Wall Street Journal.
"Enchanting. one of Inspector Gamache's most ennobling missions." - The New York Times.
"Penny is a master at blending the modern evils affecting the big city and hidden secrets of the almost mythical village of Three Pines. Well-known characters return and new faces add richness to a narrative that will keep readers intrigued until the last page." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"This starts as a small-town mystery and becomes something grander. Penny reveals a deeper vulnerability in the introspective Gamache. The ending is adrenaline-filled." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Few mystery writers intertwine the personal lives of their characters with the crimes being investigated more skillfully than Penny does, and she is at her best here, as several key players face turning points in their lives, suggesting that if the past can strangle the present, it can also help clear the way for the future." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Louise Penny's novels are unique for how seamlessly they straddle the line between charmingly small-town mysteries and big-city police procedurals. It's not to be missed!" - BookPage (Top Pick).
- Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 1-B)
2019 BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE *SHORTLIST*
DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT by Lucy Ellman
A profoundly ambitious book about what it's like to be alive in the 21st century. By turns a cozy domestic tale, a feminist rant, and (courtesy of a subplot involving a mountain lion) an adventure story, it's a terrifying, deeply funny, thoroughly original reinvention of the American novel.
"A remarkable portrait of a woman in contemporary America contemplating her own life and society's storm clouds, such as the Flint water crisis, gun violence, and the Trump presidency. The narrator is a fiercely protective mother trying to raise her children the only way she knows how, in a rapidly changing and hostile environment. Ellmann's work is challenging but undoubtedly brilliant." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Brings together elements from all Ellmann's previous books: her great love of lists; the endless references to popular culture; the roarings and forebodings and glorious meanderings. I could tell you the significance of the ducks of the title, but that would cheat you of one of the great pleasures of the novel. It's a book about a mother's love, but also about loss and grief, and anxiety dreams about Donald Trump, and despair about mass shootings. It is also a catalogue of life's many injuries and mishaps and of the simple joys and consolations of memory and imagination. A triumph." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"A long, free-association, run-on sentence coming from the overactive brain of a mother of four. The story that emerges from her riffs and ruminations is interrupted only by a tale about a mountain lion, which seems to have nothing to do with the main event until the two ingeniously merge. VERDICT: Is it worth the considerable time and effort required to get through 728 densely packed pages to journey into the mind of this funny and insanely loveable worrywart? Yes! It's a jaw-dropping miracle." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
A 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
A LUCKY MAN: STORIES by Jamel Brinkley
A must-read debut collection of profoundly moving short fiction portraying young African-American men struggling with fathers, brothers, and friends - present and absent.
"Full of subtle poignancy. . . Each story is a trenchant exploration of race and class, vividly conveying the tension between social codes of masculinity and the vulnerable, volatile self." - The New Yorker.
"A Lucky Man is intent on recognizing what masculinity looks like, questioning our expectations of it, and criticizing its toxicity - and somehow managing to do all of that with love. The collection may include only nine stories, but in each of them, Brinkley gives us an entire world." - NPR.
"These stories hit with a silent thunder that reverberates within you long after you've finished them." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
"It's difficult to single out any story as most outstanding since they are each distinguished by Brinkley's lyrical invention, precise descriptions of both emotional and physical terrain, and a prevailing compassion toward people as bemused by travail as they are taken aback by whatever epiphanies blossom before them. A major talent." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A collection as fine as this, of fiction that is reflecting our world and searching for the truth, is one to be treasured, read and reread, admired, and loved." - Ploughshares.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Hardcover (Front Display)
MOMENT OF LIFT: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world, Melinda Gates has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. In Moment of Lift, she shares lessons she's learned from the inspiring people she's met during her work and travels around the world. Throughout her journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.
"Drawing on her vast experiences meeting women in far-flung corners of the developing world, Gates' book is a heartfelt memoir about stepping out of her comfort zone, as well as a manifesto about the transformative power of broadening women's rights." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Part memoir, part call to action, Gates's compassionate narrative underscores her determination to leave a positive mark on this world. She inspires and emboldens in this eloquently argued work." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"An inspirational look at the need to empower women to make change in the world." - The Washington Post.
"Backs her arguments with the facts that came from immersing herself in cultures where she could observe and experience firsthand the changes that empowering women can bring. At a time when beneficial globalization is being threatened by nationalism, and women's rights are in danger of being rolled back to nineteenth-century norms, Gates offers urgent reminders of why it's necessary to help women everywhere achieve their full potential." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
HOW TO THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald Robertson
Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was the last famous Stoic philosopher of the ancient world. The Meditations, his personal journal, survives to this day as one of the most loved self-help and spiritual classics of all time. Cognitive psychotherapist Donald Robertson weaves the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius together seamlessly to provide a compelling modern-day guide to the Stoic wisdom followed by countless individuals throughout the centuries as a path to achieving greater fulfillment and emotional resilience.
"An illuminating study of the principles of Stoic philosophy, to which Aurelius was an adherent, within the framework of cognitive-behavioral therapy. A fascinating history of Aurelius and his beliefs, and an insightful consideration of how they inform the practice of modern mindfulness." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Robertson distills the emperor's philosophy into useful mental habits. . . He displays a sound knowledge of Marcus' life and thought and his accessible prose style contributes to its appeal. The book succeeds on its own terms, presenting a convincing case for the continuing relevance of an archetypal philosopher-king." - The Wall Street Journal.
"A wonderful introduction to one of history's greatest figures: Marcus Aurelius. His life and this book are a clear guide for those facing adversity, seeking tranquility and pursuing excellence." - Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic.
THE APOLOGY by Eve Ensler
Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues - one of the most celebrated plays of the 20th century, waited decades for an apology from her abusive father that never came. She finally had to write one for him.
"The Apology contains the words that Ensler needed to hear her father say. It's a slim book of unbearable heft. Ensler isn't letting her father - or any abuser - off the hook. For those men - the famous and the unknown - The Apology is a blueprint of contrition." - The Washington Post.
"Beyond its power and personal bravery, this is a reintroduction to Ensler's smart, sophisticated writing. Much as The Vagina Monologues made space for people to talk about female sexuality, this book will transform our collective understanding of what an apology for sexual violence can and should be, and how maybe it's more important for survivors to write the script; necessary reading for all." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"The Apology is more than a reckoning with a man long dead; it's a healing exploration of how survivors can recover from sexual abuse." - The New York Times.
"A bold act of imaginative empathy. . . Electrically intense. . . An incredibly brave attempt to make sense of what seems senseless. It's a powerful and sometimes devastating anatomisation of harm." - The Times (U.K.).
"Fully amplifying her father's warped perceptions, the author provides an exacting, revealing glimpse into the psychology of gaslighting from the view of a perpetrator. This imagined voice is as intimate as it is alarming, and Ensler also taps into a broader struggle, seeking to hold all perpetrators of abuse accountable for their actions. Those seeking a greater understanding of psychological manipulation will appreciate this powerful examination. A potent, necessary narrative of healing." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
- Non-Fiction: Recently Released in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
CITY OF DEVILS: THE TWO MEN WHO RULED THE UNDERWORLD OF OLD SHANGHAI by Paul French
A Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Financial Times (U.K.), BBC, National Book Review Pick-of-the-Month
Lucky Jack and Dapper Joe ruled Shanghai like kings. This is the story of their rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction left in their wake. This incredible rags-to-riches tale of two self-made men set against a backdrop of crime and vice in the sprawling badlands of Shanghai is a true-crime masterpiece.
"Drugs, gambling, vice, and banditry power China's seaport mecca in this rollicking true crime saga. In French's wonderfully atmospheric portrait, Shanghai is a tapestry of grungy dive bars, swanky nightspots, drunken soldiers, brazen showgirls, Chinese gangsters, and corrupt cops. French's two-fisted prose makes this deep noir history unforgettable." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***. "It's hard to go wrong with dope, decadence, and the demimonde. . . French recounts all this with great energy and brio." - The New York Times.
"Historical true crime that transports you back to the decadence and deranged beauty of 1930s Shanghai - a place that rivaled Prohibition Chicago for colorful miscreants and bruisers." - Newsweek.
"Move over Weimar: Paul French's City of Devils, a history of glam and seedy interwar Shanghai's refugees and criminals, is nostalgic noir at its best." - New York Magazine.
"A story with the dark resonance of James Ellroy's novel L.A. Confidential and the seedy glamour of Alan Furst's between-the-wars mysteries. Reader advisory: By the time you are done with this extraordinary book, you will believe in devils, too." - Newsday.
"Brings interwar Shanghai to life in a gritty work of narrative non-fiction. A vivid picture of the city's nightlife and criminal underworld, it is a fascinating tale of a city on the edge." - Post Magazine (U.K.).
One of the Ten Best Books of the Year: The New York Times
SMALL FRY: A Memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
A fascinating and moving account of the author's complex and difficult relationship with her complex and difficult father - Apple founder Steve Jobs. This is a deeply personal and artfully crafted memoir that unveils hidden and unknown sides of Steve Jobs from the person who knew him best. Lisa Brennan-Jobs proves to be an unforgettable guide.
"Entrancing. . . Brennan-Jobs is a deeply gifted writer. Her inner landscape is depicted in such exquisitely granular detail that it feels as if no one else could have possibly written it. Indeed, it has that defining aspect of a literary work: the stamp of a singular sensibility. In the fallen world of celebrity memoirs, this may be the most beautiful, literary and devastating one ever written." — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
"An epic, sharp coming-of-age story. Brennan-Jobs offers a stunningly beautiful study of parenting that just so happens to include the co-founder of Apple. She skillfully and poignantly navigates her formative years, revealing the emotional wounds that parents can often visit upon their children. But this is not a tell-all; it's an exquisitely rendered story of family, love, and identity. It's rare to find a memoir from a celebrity's child in which the writing is equal to - or exceeds - the parent's reputation, but that is the case with Brennan-Jobs' debut." — Kirkus Revews *** starred review ***.
"A memoir of uncommon grace, maturity and spare elegance. Despite it all, despite Jobs' callousness, Lisa Brennan-Jobs writes about her father without a hint of rancor. Instead, the reader of this exquisite memoir is left with a loving, forgiving remembrance and the lasting impression of a resilient, kindhearted and wise woman who is at peace with her past." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
AMITY AND PROSPERITY: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold
When farm animals, pets, and then children begin to sicken and die in a small Appalachian town, single mother Stacey Haney goes up against the corporate forces behind the natural gas fracking boom. Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
"Griswold painstakingly builds the narrative amid its historical and social context. Griswold's brilliant choice is to focus tightly on a small group of residents and let the details of their predicament speak for themselves. Thoroughly reported and tightly paced, Amity and Prosperity is an essential document of the region's latest go-round with the riches underfoot." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.
"Griswold's empathetic yet analytical account of Stacey Haney's indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Her impressive research notwithstanding, Amity and Prosperity is at heart a David and Goliath story fit for the movies. It has everything but a happy ending: a bucolic setting concealing fortune and danger; poor but proud locals; tough, reluctant victim-heroes; grisly scenes of animal die-off; and courtroom drama as a tenacious husband-wife legal team takes on the industry and the state. A valuable, discomforting book." — The New York Times.
- Recently Released Poetry (Aisle 2-A)
WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY
BE WITH by Forrest Gander
Gander has been called one of our most formally restless poets, and these new poems express a characteristically tensile energy and uniquely eclectic diction. His partner of more than thirty years, the poet C. D. Wright, died unexpectedly in her sleep in 2016 and in many ways, this collection of Gander's poetry serves as both an elegy to Wright and an outpouring of Gander's grief.
"The book's title gives away its most tragic insight. 'Be with': the phrase is stripped of its object; the beloved has been ripped from the world. Reciprocity is suddenly broken, as though one player in a game had walked off the court mid-volley. A harrowing, sometimes despairing book. . . But even in near-darkness there's light enough for a new, strange kind of love poem" — The New Yorker.
"Reading Forrest Gander's work makes the reader feel as if she's entering a world larger than her own, one with a broader vocabulary, richer imagery, and a deeper understanding of the relationships between the ordinary and the unknowable. This is a book that opens a deeper way of seeing and being in the world, inviting us to go back to it again and again." — ZYZZYVA: A San Francisco Journal of Arts and Letters..
"Read together, Gander's verses have a shattering, symphonic quality, but he uses poetry to locate and dislocate at once, pushing against the borders of meaning or pitching his camp where language estranges itself from sense. Gander's poems are like rich Möbius strips, entrances and exits at once, tunnels that simultaneously displace us and gather us up, drawing us into a profound human longing. There are dazzling fragments, unraveling syntax, poems that, in their ghostliness, also force us to be alert to our own fragile lives." — The New York Times
Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets
BRUTE: Poems by Emily Skaja
An introduction to a new and unforgettable voice in American poetry. Emily Skaja's debut collection is a fiery, hypnotic book that confronts the dark questions and menacing silences around gender, sexuality, and violence.
"In Brute, the anguish comes from an emotionally abusive lover and the abrupt end of a relationship. As the speaker excavates her grief and disbelief, she slowly moves from self-condemnation to a fiery insistence that she can overcome her boyfriend's damaging assessments of her worth and reclaim the power she once had. The speaker's brutal honesty and emotional transformation offer an engrossing guide for anyone dealing with a devastating loss." - The Washington Post
"Skaja's poems are both primal scream-songs and elegies to the end of a relationship. With relentless, driving energy, Skaja's poems seek brutal truths while searching for meaningful transformation." - Booklist.
"Emily Skaja reaches for nature in Brute to overcome the loss of an abusive lover, to overcome grief. Skaja knows exactly how to engage nature, readers, and life. Her diverse poetics prove her broad range of skills. She takes risks. . . All poems in Brute flow with precision and ease." - The New York Review of Books.
"What happens when rage and grief transform us, when our bodily fury makes us feel animal? What language do we use to howl such feral moments? These are the questions that animate Skaja's taut, ferocious debut. This is a book about survival, and a welcome, confident debut." - The New York Times.
- Recently Released Young Adult & Juvenile Fiction & Non-Fiction (Children's Books Section)
PATINA by Jason Reynolds
A BookPage Children's Top Pick, September 2017
A newbie to the track team, Patina must learn to rely on her teammates as she tries to outrun her personal demons in Jason Reynolds' follow-up to his National Book Award finalist Ghost.
"The plot races as fast as the track runners in it. Without ever feeling like a book about issues it deftly tackles topics like isolation, diverse family makeup, living with illness, losing a parent, transcending socioeconomic and racial barriers, and - perhaps best of all - what it's like for a tween to love their little sister more than all the cupcakes in the world. The second entry in the four-book Track series, this serves as a complete, complex, and sparkling stand-alone novel." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Writing in Patty's voice, Reynolds creates a fully dimensional, conflicted character whose hard-earned pragmatism helps her bring her relay team together, negotiate the social dynamics of school, and make the best of her unusual family lot. When this last is threatened, readers will ache right alongside her. Another stellar lap - readers will be eager to see who's next." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Where Ghost was about racing for and against yourself, Patina is about teamwork. Reynolds’ scenes are beautifully done. . . full of sensory details. What elevates this book and its predecessor to such a high level (five stars:) is Reynolds’ fabulous writing." — Educating Alice.
- Recently Released Books for Young Children & Early Readers (Children's Books Section)
IT FEELS GOOD TO BE YOURSELF: A Book about Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn | Illustrated by Noah Grigni
This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. Written by the mother of a transgender child and illustrated by a transgender artist, this picture book provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.
"An inclusive primer about gender that integrates vocabulary words and definitions into the text. The spirit of free expression and creativity infuses every spread of this inclusive exploration." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"This expansive, straightforward framing of gender emphasizes curiosity, joy, and positive self-expression. Illustrator Grigni's full-bleed images are magical in their jewel-toned palette. Among gender-centered picture books, this one stands out for its dazzling art and its simple yet nuanced phrasing. Giving kids and adults a hopeful model for discussing (and embracing) one another's gender is just one of the gifts offered by this valuable narrative. Exceptional." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"As the song has it, we're living in a big, wide wonderful world. And this book is a welcome addition to it, as it fills a large gap in the literature." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
CINDERELLA LIBERATOR by Rebecca Solnit | Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
In her debut children's book, Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page.
"With wit and tenderness, Solnit lights up the imagination. . . the contrast between Cinderella's down-to-earth, relatable progression and Arthur Rackham's timeless silhouettes elevates this picture book into an art object. It feels entirely fresh, and yet, with a whimsical silhouette on every page, like a tribute to all the Cinderellas who have captivated readers for centuries. I would treasure reading Solnit's rendition to kids." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
"Solnit retells the classic story in a way that liberates each character. Emerging from these simply worded, profound, richly rewarding pages is Solnit the literary artist, Solnit the revolutionary, Solnit the enchanter, Solnit the subtle and endlessly delightful satirist, Solnit the sage." - Brainpickings.
"Being a princess is absolutely fine if that's what you choose. It's having those choices taken away from you that make for big problems. Cinderella in Solnit's book is given that choice. She's allowed to say what her dreams are, and then she goes out and attains them. And they're not huge ridiculous dreams but small, happy, manageable ones. Ultimately, that's the gift Ms. Solnit is giving kids with this book." - School Library Journal.
"Solnit recasts this familiar story into a tale that is fundamentally about freedom. The decision to use Arthur Rackham's original cut-paper silhouette illustrations was a brilliant choice. This is, hands down, a wonderful book - one that even the jaded reader will clasp upon completion with a contented sigh." - The New York Times.
(Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
ANOTHER by Christian Robinson
In his eagerly anticipated debut as author-illustrator, the Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honoree for Last Stop on Market Street takes young readers on a playful, imaginative journey into another world where they encounter another perspective - and perhaps another version of themselves.
"The simple geometry of Robinson's work comes alive in this expanse of wordless narrative. A fearless use of white space and an utter disregard of conventions of direction encourage readers to engage with the physical book as the story unfolds, touching and turning it as they literally take the narrative into their hands." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Robinson makes this wholly original wordless fantasy utterly coherent thanks to clutter-free, digitally tweaked paint-and-collage art that pointedly doesn't hide its real-world seams (brushstrokes, crumpled paper). Readers will gladly surrender to this mind-bending romp." - Shelf Awareness.
"Both beautiful and fanciful. . . vibrant shapes reminiscent of Paul Klee or Piet Mondrian fill the pages. A work of art and celebration of childhood for all libraries." - School Library Journal.
"Robinson's first book as both author and illustrator is a gentle, wordless wonder. Flat-out adorable. . . a unique kind of enchantment." - The New York Times.
- Comics and Graphic Novels - Children (Children's Book Section)
CHESHIRE CROSSING by Andy Weir | Illustrated by Sarah Andersen
Years after their respective returns from Wonderland, Neverland, and Oz, Alice, Wendy, and Dorothy meet at Cheshire Crossing - a school where girls like them learn how to cope with their supernatural experiences and harness their magical world-crossing powers. But these literary heroines - now teenagers, who've had their fill of meddling authority figures - aren't content to sit still in a classroom. Soon they're dashing from one universe to the next, leaving havoc in their wake.
"A rollicking adventure. Deliciously funny. . . a shrewd and spirited adaptation that will leave audiences hoping for another installment. Andersen's delightful cartoon drawing style meshes perfectly with Weir's prose, allowing the work to broaden its appeal beyond middle graders to young adults and adults." - Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Andy Weir, author of The Martian, and Sarah Andersen of Sarah’s Scribbles imagine what might happen if the worlds of Neverland, Wonderland, and Oz collided. Spoiler alert: Captain Hook and the Wicked Witch of the West get along famously. As you might hope, the story is a delightful, chaotic romp. It’s fun to re-encounter famous and infamous characters from classic childhood tales - and even more fun to watch their worlds collide. And Weir and Andersen do it with enough charm and wit to bring this great story premise to life." - The Seattle Book Review.
"A graphic novel like no other. This isn’t like anything you would have read before, the underlying storyline for each character is present and acts as a foundation but the characters are very different to what we know in their original stories. A very clever storyline. . . Definitely give this one a go!" - The Nerd Daily.
- Comics and Graphic Novels - Adults (Wall Display)
KID GLOVES by Lucy Knisley
This moving, hilarious, and surprisingly informative memoir not only follows the author's personal transition into motherhood but also illustrates the history and science of reproductive health from all angles, including curious facts and inspiring (and notorious) figures in medicine and midwifery. Whether you've got kids, want them, or want nothing to do with them, there's something in this graphic memoir to open your mind and heart.
"Knisley writes and illustrates her life with an introspective transparency that, even for a topic as not-new as having a baby, feels totally novel." - Booklist *** starred review ***.
"The graphics are vivid, profound and visually imaginative. Throughout the story, Knisley adds levity by presenting illustrated factoids, myths and research about women's reproductive health. These include how Emily Brontë died from pregnancy sickness, how sexism has affected women's lives for centuries, the rise of the women's movement, and pregnancy, miscarriage and 'conception misconceptions'. Knisley is a lively storyteller and her inimitable style builds suspense and ultimately oozes with hopeful optimism." - Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.
"Knisley illustrates her essays in every sense. . . with a rich emotional range. In Kid Gloves, she reaches new heights of visual metaphor... extremely personal, but Knisley has been preparing to be this vulnerable for nearly two decades. It’s very likely to have a real impact on readers." - The Comics Journal.
"Witty and intimate. . . the refreshingly frank, utterly un-sugar-coated account of her struggles with infertility and a high-risk pregnancy, blended with a lively and not un-disturbing exploration of the history of gynecology and reproductive health. It’s packed with plenty of drama and comedy and bodily fluids." - The Chicago Tribune.
- Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror: New in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
THE CALCULATING STARS by Mary Robinette Kowal
2019 HUGO AWARD WINNER | 2019 NEBULA AWARD WINNER
Veteran historical fantasist Kowal tackles an alternate history of the space race, in which a catastrophe necessitates an earlier reach for the stars in the 1950s - and the confrontation of gender barriers by aspiring astronaut Elma York. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"Kowal's outstanding prequel to her Hugo-winning novelette The Lady Astronaut of Mars shows the alternate history that created a mid-20th-century Mars colony. In a compelling parallel to our own history, Kowal explores a wide range of issues - including religion, grief, survivor's guilt, mental health, racism, misogyny, and globalism - without sermonising or subsuming the characters and plot. Elma's struggles with her own prejudices and relationships, including her relationship with herself, provide a captivating human center to the apocalyptic background. Readers will thrill to the story of this 'lady astronaut' and eagerly anticipate the promised sequels." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"When a program invites women to take the same astronaut training as men, Elma York won't let anything - not family, history, or the attitudes of men regarding the proper place for women - stand in her way. A fast-forward thrill ride, Hugo Award winner Kowal's exciting alternate history, the first in a duology, highlights the space race and the sexism of the time. Readers will be hooked!" - Library Journal.
"Kowal strikes a fine balance of integrating historical accuracy - including mid-twentieth-century sexism, racism, and technology - with speculative storytelling. Readers will root for Elma as she breaks barriers and calculates lifesaving equations, all while dealing with sometimes-crippling anxiety." - Booklist.
- Mystery/Crime/Suspense/Espionage Fiction: New in Paperback (Aisle 2-B)
A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
SNAP by Belinda Bauer
When the family car broke down, eleven-year-old Jack and his two younger sisters had to be left behind on the side of the highway until their mother returned with help. "Jack's in charge," said his mother. "I won't be long." But she never returned. Now Jack's fifteen and is on the verge of finding out who killed his mother. Jack's still in charge - but he's also become a criminal. This twisting, masterfully written novel contains some of the most acutely perceived characters to be found in the thriller genre. It will also keep readers on the edge of their seats from the opening chapter to the last.
"Bauer deftly interweaves a cold-case murder, a teenage master burglar, some ill-assorted coppers and a pregnant wife, knowing exactly when to turn the dial to humor, pathos or something darker. Intelligent entertainment that keeps you guessing." - The Sunday Times (U.K.).
"Vividly unnerving. . . Bauer deftly weaves an intelligent mystery, written with razor-sharp observation and wry humour. Her ability to get under the skins of her characters is second to none." - The Guardian (U.K.).
"Surprise, of course, is the most potent aspect of suspense. And Belinda Bauer knows exactly how to manipulate that element, right until the very end with extraordinary dexterity, maturity and feeling. . . Brilliant." - The Daily Mirror (U.K.).
"Amazing! Whilst the story tugged on my heartstrings, I could not have predicted where it would lead, and how deviously Bauer's mind works, creating spine-chilling situations in the seemingly mundane. Snap is undoubtedly one of the cleverest thrillers I have read in a long time, and stands out from the fray in its original premise, writing style and characters." - But Books Are Better (U.K.).
"Bauer takes astonishing risks but - like a brilliant ski-jumper - arcs down to the perfect landing." - The Independent (U.K.).
"Bauer secures her place as a star in the British psychological-suspense firmament with this tightly written tale. Bauer's characters are richly drawn and her plotting is impeccable. Even the most bizarre circumstances and red herrings make perfect sense." - Booklist *** starred review ***.