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Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest (American Music) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781477316481
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: University of Texas Press - February 1st, 2019

I'll admit, before this book, I couldn't name one song by A Tribe Called Quest. Abdurraqib writes something and I read it, simple as that. Just like with his other work, he comes at Go Ahead in the Rain (a song by A Tribe Called Quest) wanting to geek out and back it up with a well-researched history. My favorite parts were, varied within the timeline of their illustrious career, Abdurraqib's personal letters to Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali that read equally like letters to friends and to great influences. The cover really says it all.



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Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062861504
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Ecco - April 2nd, 2019

Danny Goldberg was more than a band manager to Nirvana but a friend and confidant, especially to Kurt Cobain, at the height of their career. He is able to share the good and the bad, without idolizing or demonizing Cobain, in this look behind the music scene of the early nineties punk rock and grunge surge. So sit back, maybe unplug with Unplugged in the background, and enjoy.



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Milk Fed: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982142490
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - February 2nd, 2021

This has it all: an eating disorder, mommy issues, frozen yogurt, sex, the spirit of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, and lots more. The detail Broder brings to this story of appetite (that of spirituality, sensuality, and food) is magnificent. You feel like you're under the neon lights of the kosher Chinese Polynesian American restaurant in the middle of LA, rooting for Rachel as she starts feeding herself in more ways than one. Let me assure you that it's not for everyone, with a big trigger warning and explicit sex scenes, but it could be for you.


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Movies (And Other Things) Cover Image
By Shea Serrano, Arturo Torres (Illustrator)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781538730195
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Twelve - October 8th, 2019

Perfect for those humor fans or non-pretentious movie buffs that want to weigh in on what other movie characters would be in Regina George's clique or who got it the worst in Kill Bill? Paired with Torres' fantastic illustrations, Serrano writes lovingly and analytically about movies from the 1980s to today with opinions that toggle between silly and serious. Because really which movie villain would make the best hang and how culturally significant was 1997's Selena? This is a great book to escape into with the kind of author that wouldn't leave you bored at a party.



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Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781580059510
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Seal Press - December 1st, 2020

Mediocre is anything but mediocre. Oluo lays out how we have perpetuated white supremacy and racism by celebrating the simple mediocrity of white maleness. With a seat at the table, she elbows room for other women and people of color, the biggest victims of this mediocrity, and unpacks the dangers of societal expectations. Well-researched and still accessible, this book will make you really angry but in a good way. 



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The Tradition Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556594861
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 2nd, 2019

There's a reason why he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2020! These poems are lovely and devastating. Beautiful and heartbreaking, of course, with titles like "Bullet Points" as a black man in America and lines like "I love a man I know I could die" as an openly gay, HIV-positive man. Read this if you want something solid and good.



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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

This short story collection was unlike anything I've ever read. I've never seen women and queerness so front and center in this way and Machado does it all with a breezy air of magical realism. From a retold fable with parenthetical asides to reimagined Law & Order plotlines to an inventory of lovers set against a global virus (which may hit close to home, eesh). I hope it sticks with you like it has stuck with me.



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Chlorine Sky Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593176399
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 12th, 2021

I'm a sucker for a novel in verse! For fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jacqueline Woodson, Mahogany L. Browne writes the story of a teenage girl just trying to play basketball without getting too cold in her best friend's shadow. Her words bite but her voice is delicate, letting me relish in that dichotomy of girlhood. Chlorine Sky feels like the chemicals from the community pool and the sun setting orange, your fingers are pruny but it's just so beautiful. Five more minutes



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Brown Girl Dreaming Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780147515827
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Puffin Books - October 11th, 2016

A perfect example of a book for children and adults alike; give this to everyone you know! Woodson writes in verse, beautifully combining prose and poetry, to tell the autobiographical story of a brown girl coming of age at the tailend of Jim Crow. She grapples with identity and the idea of home, growing up in South Carolina and New York, while still trying to be a kid with dreams of becoming a writer. It's powerful, it's beautiful, it's no wonder it was a Newbery Award nominee.



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Red at the Bone: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525535287
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - September 1st, 2020

Told in sparse paragraphs but with full language, like only the best bits you underline in a book. Woodson weaves together the many stories of a multi-generational black family as, across time, everyone navigates their own relationship with identity, gentrification, parenthood, class, and that red-to-the-bone feeling that comes with love.



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Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781538717950
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 7th, 2020

Essential for Palahniuk fans as well as writers wanting to learn from a seasoned pro. He gives you behind-the-scenes insight into his infamous story, Guts, his eventful book tours, and, of course, Fight Club. He also tells you how to write a damn good story, he should know. You don't have to take his word as God but you are guaranteed, regardless, to be entertained.



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Survival of the Thickest: Essays Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982122584
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Gallery Books - December 8th, 2020

Listening to the audiobook felt like, hilarious comedian, Michelle Buteau was my best friend sitting in my passenger seat. What I liked was that, like everyone, she has insecurities (especially as a mixed race plus size woman in our society) but she doesn't dwell and then fully embodies confidence, not cockiness and not in a ra-ra-bumper-sticker way. Essays range from her early years in comedy to bumbling hookups that led to her Dutch husband to 9/11 and trying to get pregnant via IVF. If that didn't convince you, watch her minute-long scene in Someone Great on Youtube then read this book.



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The Writer's Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062968500
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperOne - September 8th, 2020

Have you ever wanted to know what Dave Eggers read when he was a kid? What is Louise Erdrich reading right now? Book nerds Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager (librarian/author and playwright, respectively) pick the brains of other book nerds (famous writers) about the books that made them who they are. If you want some good recommendations from authors you trust as well as insight into their writing and reading lives, this is the book for you!



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Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062248572
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco - July 28th, 2020

Trethewey comes at writing a memoir like the poet that she is. Her words will break your heart almost as much as her story does, told from a daughter's perspective of her mother suffering through domestic violence. She really shows the thin line between love and hate, passion and anger, especially in the bone-chilling recorded phone calls between her mother and ex-husband. Through her efforts to learn more about the woman she lost when she was 19, Trethewey will take your breath away.



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They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

This is a must read. Abdurraqib combines the experience of music and culture through such an engaging lens, it's hard to put it down. He can talk about Carly Rae Jepsen, Fall Out Boy, Bruce Springsteen, being black, being Muslim, living in contemporary America all in one breath with such ease and such a command for language. Seriously, even his Instagram captions are well-written (you should follow him). 

 



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Pretend I'm Dead: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501194429
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - January 8th, 2019

This book spoke to me like it had a bullhorn. Weird and, at times, disturbing but not just for the sake of being weird and, at times, disturbing. Mona has her heart broken by Mr. Disgusting then moves to New Mexico to become a maid and...dun dun dun...looks through her clients' stuff while also cleaning out some of her own skeletons. Goodreads touts her as a combination of Mary Karr and Miranda July which I wholeheartedly agree. It feels like hearing from a friend but one of those friends you're not totally sure you like but want to hear more from, you know? Read the sequel, Vacuum in the Dark, to see what happens next!

 



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Grand: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781982102210
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Gallery Books - August 11th, 2020

You have adventure, family drama, laughs! A comedian, upon her fortieth birthday, takes each of her family members on one-on-one vacations and chooses Grand Canyon whitewater rafting for her younger sister. With alternating chapters between treacherous days on the water and divulging her father's scandal that changed everything, it almost reads as fiction. She meets curious characters on her boat and faces some fears while also sharing the road to her comedy career and her struggles with religion and marriage. It tackles so much in such a digestible read!

 



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The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad Cover Image
By Mike Birbiglia, J. Hope Stein (Supplement by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538701515
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 16th, 2020

I am neither a father nor about to become one but this book about a comedian fumbling his way reluctantly through fatherhood was a very enjoyable read. Fans of Birbiglia will recognize his humor and delivery as well as his poignant storytelling as he pairs his experience being a father with his wife's experience of being a mother through her poetry. Great insight into the other side of parenthood we don't see as much that will still have you laughing out loud.

 



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Black Light: Stories Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780525563501
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - August 13th, 2019

The language in this is gorgeous!! In her debut collection, Parsons can write of the ugliest things we don't want to show a black light to like our secret longings, deep-seated self-loathing, or our bodies up close. Then she'll pull a: "Where I'm from, falling asleep is easy. You can hear your eyelashes swipe the pillow. There's so much nothing pouring in, you drift off listening to your choice." Or: "A girl like that can't last. A fleeting gleam. I don't know if there's a word for the ache of missing something when you still have it. I'd kiss her and taste my doom." Wow!  

 



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Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476739342
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 15th, 2017

I read this for research (no, I don't want to fake my own death) but now I could totally fake my own death. If you've ever wanted to know more, or anything, about the hidden underworld of pseudocide, Playing Dead is a great place to start! Greenwood, loaded with student loan debt herself, investigates what it takes to leave everything behind for a new life.  



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Assassination Vacation Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780743260039
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 1st, 2005

Did you know, whilst on a train platform before he could fall to his death, John Wilkes Booth's brother saved Abraham Lincoln's son's life? It's interesting tidbits like this that you can pull out at parties or impress your friends with that you'll find in this book. Vowell, a history nerd at heart, travels to locations around the US immortalized by bloodshed, uncovering more about the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. And with her sharp wit and wisecracking humor, it makes you feel like you're being taught a history lesson but by the cool, hip teacher.  

 



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Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

I go back to this book quite often. If I could underline the whole thing, I would. Carson reimagines an ancient Greek myth into a coming-of-age story told through verse, a combination of prose and poetry that lends itself perfectly to Carson's voice. Our main character, a red winged monster, deals with who to love, his brother and mother and the magnetic boy who takes him by the hand. A haunting and beautiful page-turner that at only 160 pages will make you pick it up again after you've just put it down.  

 



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How to Love a Country: Poems Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780807043073
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Beacon Press - March 24th, 2020

Blanco was the first openly gay, Latino, immigrant, as well as the youngest person to be the US inaugural poet when he read for Obama's second term. He brings this energy with him in this collection, his beautiful language depicting such heartbreak toward America's tendency for gun violence, racism, and LGBTQ oppression. Throughout, you can see him struggling with the idea of nationhood, digging his way closer to the answer of how to truly love a country.