Staff Picks by Tag

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All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake By Tiya Miles Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781984854995
Published: Random House - June 8th, 2021

If you are interested in the concept of material things having spirit, read this book! Tiya Miles does a gorgeous job of describing how a mother's love was passed down through generations of enslaved women via a fabric sack. This book also addresses the archival erasure which prevents us from ever truly knowing some families' stories. Miles uses her expertise as a historian and an empath to speculate on the ways in which the inherited sack might have carried a mother's hopes of giving her daughter a chance at survival and resistance during a period of American history where, for Black women, such things were against the odds.

Review by Marii

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Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York By Elon Green Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250833020
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Celadon Books - June 7th, 2022

Green does something very special here. Rather than situate the victims in the story of the killer, he focuses on the victims themselves. They're people, not simply a statistic. Green adeptly illustrates that, which makes the book even more of a page turner. I read it over one night, I couldn't put it down!

Review by Zack

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Pinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball By Jon Chad Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250249210
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: First Second - April 5th, 2022

I preordered this book after falling in love with the Seattle Pinball Museum and it did not disappoint! This full-color history of pinball with tips and tricks is as informative as it is surprisingly inspiring.

Review by Lily

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The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir By E. J. Koh Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951142278
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tin House Books - January 19th, 2021

As children, it is so difficult to understand the decisions our parents make, or how they love us. Koh’s rediscovery and subsequent translation of her mother’s letters is the rediscovery of a mother’s love. The interspersed memories provide a hard-hitting perspective, but it is balanced by such lyrical delivery. 

Review by Madison

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Sweat: A History of Exercise By Bill Hayes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620402283
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - January 18th, 2022

If you care about exercise as much  as I do, which isn't much, you should still read this book. This is not a comprehensive dive into the history of exercise. And while he does explore major players and events on the fitness timeline, this is really more of a memoir/travelogue/delightful anthropological study. Bill Hayes has this amazing ability to truly connect with the people he meets. His compassion and kindness towards humankind are on full display, and lest you fear sentimentality, his dry wit and humor are here too. Complete with cameos from Oliver Sacks and RBG, this book is informative, funny, warm, and surprisingly poignant. I would read Bill Hayes write about anything...yes, even exercise. 

Review by Erin

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The Everybody Ensemble: Donkeys, Essays, and Other Pandemoniums By Amy Leach Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374109660
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 16th, 2021

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland meets Vesper Flights in this whimsically melodic collection of animal based essays. Amy Leach and her ensemble will undoubtedly win you over with bouts of incredulous laughter and many moments of awe. If everyone should lend them an ear, we'd all  care a little more and learn a lot too. 

Review by Katelynn

Reading this book feels like strolling through an intimate and fascinating museum installation. Within are the accounts of prosecutions lobbed at both animals and inanimate objects throughout history, displaying the unreasoned masculine insistence to construct an 'ordered' world. A beautifully designed book.

Review by Dean

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Matrix: A Novel By Lauren Groff Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634499
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - September 7th, 2021

I didn't expect to care, but by the end I was crying. Not simply a character study of Marie de France, nor your average Medieval Nunnery slice of life; this epic story is also a meditation on power. Groff deftly asks readers is it better to be great than good? Do characteristics that society deem monstrous create the fortitude necessary to affect change? I don't know yet, but sapphic nuns are softly singing me to sleep, so I'll tell you in the morning. 


Review by Kitri

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How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America By Clint Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316492935
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown and Company - June 1st, 2021

This is definitely a must read book if you are looking to expand your knowledge of slavery in the USA. Smith has carefully researched and documented the facts regarding slavery as it was rather than the pasteurized version we received in school. To quote the author:

"It must be a collective endeavor to learn, confront and reckon with the story of slavery and how it has shaped the world we live in today."

Once we embrace our past we can move forward. An excellent and thoughtful book.

Review by Sue