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Staff Pick

Vanishing Half

Vanishing Half

Bennett, Brit
$27.00

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR

2021 WOMEN'S PRIZE FINALIST

"Bennett's tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it's especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison's 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye." --Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal

"A story of absolute, universal timelessness ...For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be...." - Entertainment Weekly

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

Elsie says: Really fascinating!

Postcard

Postcard

Berest, Anne
$28.00

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
TIME MagazineNPRLibrary JournalThe Globe and MailLilithForward MagazineToronto Star


Winner of the Choix Goncourt Prize, Anne Berest's The Postcard is a vivid portrait of twentieth-century Parisian intellectual and artistic life, an enthralling investigation into family secrets, and poignant tale of a Jewish family devastated by the Holocaust and partly restored through the power of storytelling.


January, 2003. Together with the usual holiday cards, an anonymous postcard is delivered to the Berest family home. On the front, a photo of the Opéra Garnier in Paris. On the back, the names of Anne Berest's maternal great-grandparents, Ephraïm and Emma, and their children, Noémie and Jacques--all killed at Auschwitz.


Fifteen years after the postcard is delivered, Anne, the heroine of this novel, is moved to discover who sent it and why. Aided by her chain-smoking mother, family members, friends, associates, a private detective, a graphologist, and many others, she embarks on a journey to discover the fate of the Rabinovitch family: their flight from Russia following the revolution, their journey to Latvia, Palestine, and Paris. What emerges is a moving saga that shatters long-held certainties about Anne's family, her country, and herself.


Elsie says: A great translation about a difficult subject. Stunning!

Northern Spy

Northern Spy

Berry, Flynn
$18.00
Reese's Book Club Pick
Instant New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Book Review Top 10 Thriller of 2021
A Washington Post Top 10 Thriller or Mystery of 2021

"If you love a mystery, then you'll devour [Northern Spy] . . . I loved this thrill ride of a book." --Reese Witherspoon

"A chilling, gorgeously written tale . . . Berry keeps the tension almost unbearably high." --The New York Times Book Review

The acclaimed author of Under the Harrow and A Double Life returns with her most riveting novel to date: the story of two sisters who become entangled with the IRA

A producer at the BBC and mother to a new baby, Tessa is at work in Belfast one day when the news of another raid comes on the air. The IRA may have gone underground in the two decades since the Good Friday Agreement, but they never really went away, and lately bomb threats, security checkpoints, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life. As the news reporter requests the public's help in locating those responsible for the robbery, security footage reveals Tessa's sister, Marian, pulling a black ski mask over her face.

The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa is convinced she must have been abducted or coerced; the sisters have always opposed the violence enacted in the name of uniting Ireland. And besides, Marian is vacationing on the north coast. Tessa just spoke to her yesterday.

When the truth about Marian comes to light, Tessa is faced with impossible choices that will test the limits of her ideals, the bonds of her family, her notions of right and wrong, and her identity as a sister and a mother. Walking an increasingly perilous road, she wants nothing more than to protect the one person she loves more fiercely than her sister: her infant son, Finn.

Riveting, atmospheric, and exquisitely written, Northern Spy is at once a heart-pounding story of the contemporary IRA and a moving portrait of sister- and motherhood, and of life in a deeply divided society.

Nora says: Supremely suspenseful tale of two sisters, set in the real world of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The fictional kin of the brilliant non-fiction “Say Nothing” by Patrick Keefe. The author of the huge hit “Under the Harrow,” Flynn Berry is only getting better with each book!


Northern Spy

Northern Spy

Berry, Flynn
$26.00
Reese's Book Club Pick
Instant New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Book Review Top 10 Thriller of 2021
A Washington Post Top 10 Thriller or Mystery of 2021

"If you love a mystery, then you'll devour [Northern Spy] . . . I loved this thrill ride of a book."--Reese Witherspoon

"A chilling, gorgeously written tale . . . Berry keeps the tension almost unbearably high." -The New York Times Book Review

The acclaimed author of Under the Harrow and A Double Life returns with her most riveting novel to date: the story of two sisters who become entangled with the IRA

A producer at the BBC and mother to a new baby, Tessa is at work in Belfast one day when the news of another raid comes on the air. The IRA may have gone underground in the two decades since the Good Friday Agreement, but they never really went away, and lately bomb threats, security checkpoints, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life. As the news reporter requests the public's help in locating those responsible for the robbery, security footage reveals Tessa's sister, Marian, pulling a black ski mask over her face.

The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa is convinced she must have been abducted or coerced; the sisters have always opposed the violence enacted in the name of uniting Ireland. And besides, Marian is vacationing on the north coast. Tessa just spoke to her yesterday.

When the truth about Marian comes to light, Tessa is faced with impossible choices that will test the limits of her ideals, the bonds of her family, her notions of right and wrong, and her identity as a sister and a mother. Walking an increasingly perilous road, she wants nothing more than to protect the one person she loves more fiercely than her sister: her infant son, Finn.

Riveting, atmospheric, and exquisitely written, Northern Spy is at once a heart-pounding story of the contemporary IRA and a moving portrait of sister- and motherhood, and of life in a deeply divided society.

Nora says: Supremely suspenseful tale of two sisters, set in the real world of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The fictional kin of the brilliant non-fiction Say Nothing by Patrick Keefe. The author of the huge hit Under the Harrow, Flynn Berry is only getting better with each book!

World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry

World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry

Berry, Wendell
$16.95
The most comprehensive―and only author-authorized―Wendell Berry reader, "America's greatest philosopher on sustainable life and living" (Chicago Tribune).

In a time when our relationship to the natural world is ruled by the violence and greed of unbridled consumerism, Wendell Berry speaks out in these prescient essays, drawn from his fifty-year campaign on behalf of American lands and communities.

The writings gathered in The World-Ending Fire are the unique product of a life spent farming the fields of rural Kentucky with mules and horses, and of the rich, intimate knowledge of the land cultivated by this work. These are essays written in defiance of the false call to progress and in defense of local landscapes, essays that celebrate our cultural heritage, our history, and our home.

With grace and conviction, Wendell Berry shows that we simply cannot afford to succumb to the mass-produced madness that drives our global economy―the natural world will not allow it.

Yet he also shares with us a vision of consolation and of hope. We may be locked in an uneven struggle, but we can and must begin to treat our land, our neighbors, and ourselves with respect and care. As Berry urges, we must abandon arrogance and stand in awe.

Scott says: Berry left academia and the literary world to return to his native Kentucky to farm and write about culture, agriculture, and humanity's impact on the natural world. Truly one of our greatest critics of the post industrial, postmodern society.

Having and Being Had

Having and Being Had

Biss, Eula
$18.00
A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME, NPR, INSTYLE, AND GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

"A sensational new book [that] tries to figure out whether it's possible to live an ethical life in a capitalist society. . . . The results are enthralling." --Associated Press

A timely and arresting new look at affluence by the New York Times bestselling author, "one of the leading lights of the modern American essay." --Financial Times

"My adult life can be divided into two distinct parts," Eula Biss writes, "the time before I owned a washing machine and the time after." Having just purchased her first home, the poet and essayist now embarks on a provocative exploration of the value system she has bought into. Through a series of engaging exchanges--in libraries and laundromats, over barstools and backyard fences--she examines our assumptions about class and property and the ways we internalize the demands of capitalism. Described by the New York Times as a writer who "advances from all sides, like a chess player," Biss offers an uncommonly immersive and deeply revealing new portrait of work and luxury, of accumulation and consumption, of the value of time and how we spend it. Ranging from IKEA to Beyoncé to Pokemon, Biss asks, of both herself and her class, "In what have we invested?"

Georgia says: Short essays about the author’s relationship with things and money, and about the value system we embrace when we acquire possessions. Humorous. This would make a great discussion group book. Winner of the 2021 Chautauqua Prize.


Farmhouse

Farmhouse

Blackall, Sophie
$18.99
Two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall invites readers to peek through windows that shine like real glass on this lavish book's cover, and explore the dollhouse-like world of a beloved farmhouse where twelve children were born and raised.

Over a hill, at the end of a road, by a glittering stream that twists and turns stands a farmhouse.

Step inside the dollhouse-like interior of Farmhouse and relish in the daily life of the family that lives there, rendered in impeccable, thrilling detail. Based on a real family and an actual farmhouse where Sophie salvaged facts and artifacts for the making of this spectacular work, page after page bursts with luminous detail and joy. Join the award-winning, best-selling Sophie Blackall as she takes readers on an enchanting visit to a farmhouse across time, to a place that echoes with stories.

Bryn says: These illustrations are intricately layered, "in the way that stories become as they get retold over the years," creating a texture that's mesmerizing to kids and adults alike. This book will make you feel warm and nostalgic, like "home" should.

If You Come to Earth

If You Come to Earth

Blackall, Sophie
$18.99
From two-time Caldecott Winner author-illustrator Sophie Blackall!
If You Come to Earth is a glorious guide to our home planet, and a call for us to take care of both Earth and each other.

This beautiful book is inspired by the thousands of children Sophie Blackall has met during her travels around the world in support of UNICEF and Save the Children.

If you come to Earth, there are a few things you need to know . . .
We live in all kinds of places.
In all kinds of homes.
In all kinds of families.
Each of us is different. But all of us are amazing.
And, together, we share one beautiful planet.

This masterful and moving picture book is a visually comprehensive guide to the earth, imbued with warmth and humor, that celebrates the magic of ordinary days on our beloved home planet.

  • An engaging storybook about a single curious and imaginative child
  • Simultaneously funny and touching
  • Carries a clear message about the need to care for the earth and each other
  • Perfect for:

  • Ideal for children ages 3 to 5 years old
  • Resonates year-round as a go-to gift for birthdays, holidays, baby showers, and more
  • A great pick for teachers looking for a crowd-pleasing picture book with lessons about the world for little students
  • Parents, grandparents, and caregivers
  • A new Earth Day book resource for exploring the science and wonder of nature, life, and the universe
  • Add it to the shelf with books like Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, The Travel Book Lonely Planet Kids, and Hello, World! by Jill McDonald
  • Melanie says: A picture book with universal appeal by two-time Caldecott Winner author-illustrator Sophie Blackall is one which should not be missed! The author talked with children all over the world to find the answer to the question of how you might explain our planet to an alien from outer space. We learn about families and diverse people, fauna, animals, our environment, and much more. You could spend hours just looking at the extraordinary illustrations! For all ages to enjoy.


    Mary Jane

    Mary Jane

    Blau, Jessica Anya
    $18.99

    "The best book of the summer." -- InStyle

    "I LOVED this novel....If you have ever sung along to a hit on the radio, in any decade, then you will devour Mary Jane at 45 rpm." --Nick Hornby

    Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this "delightful" (New York Times Book Review) novel about a fourteen-year-old girl's coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for--who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.

    In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family's subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she's glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane's mother says. In a respectable house.

    The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it's a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane's mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job--helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in.

    Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she's always known and the future she's only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she's going to be.

    Roxanne says:  Many times, people come into Bookstore1 yearning for a book that’s not bleak or trauma filled and Mary Jane is the ticket for a fun, but poignant walk down memory lane. For people who came of age in the 1970’s, this book is a retrospective blast involving all the kitsch of the ‘70’s...from Bonne Bell lip gloss and Aqua Net hairspray, to starch ironed sheets, just to name a few.

    Savage Detectives

    Savage Detectives

    Bolano, Roberto
    $23.00

    Ben says: A road novel about both the end and beginning of literature. Dazzling. One of the true giants of Latin literature.

    "Roberto Bolaño's masterpiece is an utterly unique achievement--a modern epic rich in character and event. . . . [He is] the most important writer to emerge from Latin America since García Márquez."
    --The San Francisco Chronicle
    In this dazzling novel, the book that established Robert Bolaño's international reputation, he tells the story of two modern-day Quixotes--the last survivors of an underground literary movement, perhaps of literature itself--on a tragicomic quest through their darkening, entropic world.