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Lydia

I’m a card carrying Blerd (i.e. Black Nerd) who geeks out on fantasy & fairy tales, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Luke Cage, Buffy, & Firefly. I’ve fought many battles on Grammar Hill to defend the Oxford comma. I’m a playwright & poet who believes in the power of good & the necessity of books! I love Octavia Butler, Lynn Nottage, Neal Schusterman, Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, & Ilona Andrews. As a recovering Marvel & DC addict, I’m currently on a break from comics, though Saga and Rat Queens are still my jam.

The Gumazing Gum Girl! Chews Your Destiny

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Sat, 07/29/2017 - 3:17pm
Staff Pick Logo
The Gumazing Gum Girl!, Book 1 Chews Your Destiny Cover Image
By Rhode Montijo, Rhode Montijo (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9781423157946
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - June 13th, 2017

While you can see the picture of this new, plucky, young superhero, Gabby Gomez, here, you have to pick up the book to take advantage of its scratch-and-sniff, bubblegum-scented goodness!  The story is engaging as well, featuring every day villainy in the form of a purse snatcher, a snotty teacher, and a nebby classmate in this first book of an on-going series.  The end of the book, though, gives a peek at the Big Bad who is hatching a plan to destroy Gabby.  This is a great option for beginning readers. [Lydia]


Stuff Every Vegetarian Should Know

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Thu, 07/27/2017 - 1:11pm
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Stuff Every Vegetarian Should Know Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781683690054
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quirk Books - September 26th, 2017

I took a look at this book (which will be available in September) because my college-aged daughter plans to become a vegetarian, and also because I have been considering eliminating meat from a couple of our meals a week.  We've had a number of diet-related health issues this past year and a half, and it's never a bad idea to shake things up every once in awhile.  There are a ton of helpful tips like how to move beyond getting salads when dining at restaurants, ways to get enough protein, and info to aid a vegetarian on a budget.  Quirk Books puts out numerous "Stuff Every ___ Should Know" books, and they are always useful. - Lydia


You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Tue, 07/11/2017 - 5:30pm
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You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316270755
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 13th, 2017

It should come as no surprise that one of the most anticipated books of the year, written by one of the most well-known PNW writers is a staff pick. I was intrigued from the moment I saw the cover, which showcases a beautiful picture of Alexie's mother, Lillian, and older sister, Mary,  that itself relates to the legacy of beautiful resilience and casual brutality explored throughout the text, but I did not expect it to touch me so deeply.  I listened to the audio version read by Sherman Alexis himself, and his emotion, whether he is using his "urban Indian" voice or the rez accent of family and friends, is evident and packs a punch.  As an adult orphan, mother, sister, teacher, activist, and minority who is often "the only one" and who has anger on behalf of and fear for my people and our country, this book broke my heart in places and healed it in others.  Everyone should read this book.  Everyone.  [Lydia]


The Fifth Season

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Sat, 06/24/2017 - 12:44pm
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The Fifth Season Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316229296
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - August 4th, 2015

This book was on my list even before it started winning awards, but I had to wait to read it because I had a feeling that once I picked it up, I wouldn't be able to put it down until I was finished.  I was right.  Though is starts with a tragic event, and the world is full of intricacies and several stories that take some time to interweave, these  elements are presented through intelligent and poetic language and extremely compelling characters.  I cannot wait to work my way through the entire Jemisin canon. [Lydia]


The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Wed, 05/24/2017 - 7:15pm

This review relates to the Audiobook copy, which is available through our partner, Libro.fm.  Listening to W. Kamau Bell's reflect on his life - from childhood times when his mom let him use pre-ripped, too small clothes to Hulk out of to awkward moments bombing during stand-up was made even better by his dry delivery.  Don't worry if you think you won't relate because you aren't a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian like Bell.  There were many times when I identified with his "awkward thoughts" (case in point: while playing sports, "Whose idea was this?  When can we stop?  Where can I stand where the ball won't come to me??!), and even when I didn't relate, the material was still laugh-out-loud funny! - Lydia


Binti

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Fri, 03/31/2017 - 4:56pm
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Binti Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780765385253
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor.com - September 22nd, 2015

Elegant and imaginative, this novella presents Binti, a brave, young Himba woman whose gift and intrinsic connection with mathematics allows her to bring harmony where others only see chaos.  When she breaks her people's tradition of staying Earth-bound in their homeland to be the first Himba to attend the reknowned Oomza University, she has to face trials much more dangerous than discrimination.  Will she be able to bring peace to warring factions?  If she does, will her family forgive her for abandoning her home?  [Lydia]


Scythe

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Thu, 03/16/2017 - 6:29pm
Scythe Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781442472426
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 22nd, 2016

Neal Shusterman, the mastermind behind the Unwind dystology, has created another unique world of the not-so-distant future.  Humanity has found a way to conquer that truly final frontier: death.  Keeping the population in check, though, is still necessary, and scythes have that duty.  Shusterman gives us two characters, Citra and Rowan, to root for and worry over as they apprentice under the same scythe (and fall for one another) knowing that only one of them can make it through successfully.  I can't wait for the next book in this new series! [Lydia]


The Pitkin Review: Spring 2017

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Thu, 03/16/2017 - 4:23pm
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Pitkin Review Spring 2017 Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781542307208
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - January 4th, 2017

While I admit that I am a bit biased (as my poem "UnNamed" appears on p.41 of this literary magazine), I would recommend The Pitkin Review even if that weren't the case!  This publication features stellar contributions in a wide array of genres - from Critical Commentary to Drama to Visual Art.   "Field Dressing the Kill" by fiction writer Joanne  Tompkins traces the downward spiral of a teen who kills his best frenemy.  In "When Will It Come?" Kimi Hardesty shares an account of a sleepless night that occurred during a trip to India that changed her life.  There are numerous other gems in The Pitkin Review!  Give it a shot. [Lydia]


Ghosts

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 5:26pm
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Ghosts Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545540629
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphix - September 13th, 2016

Anyone who has ever had to relocate as a kid can likely identify with Cat’s frustration when the family has to move away from all of her friends and the only home she has known.  To make matters worse, they are moving from beautiful, sunny Southern California to a colder, oceanside town in Northern California - where not only the climate is unfamiliar, but so is the prevalence of the ghosts who see their new town, Bahia de la Luna, as the perfect place to hang out!  Raina Telgemeier’s artwork and writing is lovely and engaging as she explores Cat’s and Maya’s approach to the ghosts, Maya’s illness, the big move, and the approach of the Dia de los Muertos celebration in their own ways.The beauty of it is that anyone, really, can relate to this story of family and the bonds of love that extend beyond the here and now.  [Lydia]


The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Submitted by kingsbookstore on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 5:17pm
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The Girl Who Drank the Moon Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781616205676
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - August 9th, 2016

It’s no secret that I am a geek of fairly infinite proportions.  There is something about magic, though, and fairy tale elements that hook me every time. The story itself is one that I am sure will become a new classic in the realm of magical coming of age tales. I loved this wildly imaginative new world and the cast of characters that inhabit it and took great enjoyment in the whimsy of the titles of the chapters (such as “In Which a Story Contains a Hint of Truth” and “In Which a Magical Child is More Trouble By Half”).        [Lydia]


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