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Staff Picks

Recommended by: Lydia

This review relates to the Audiobook copy, which is available through our partner,  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

Recommended by: Kenny
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Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455563937
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - February 7th, 2017

I stayed up until 4 a.m. three nights in a row to read this.  I couldn't put it down. Brutal and honest, asking how we make a home in a country not our own.  I love these characters.  I cannot let go of this story!  - Kenny

Recommended by: Atticus
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Star Trek Cats Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452158419
Availability: Backordered
Published: Chronicle Books - February 28th, 2017

I'm the real Hikaru Sulu.  Don't believe me?  Check out the book.  Why do I have yellow eyes in the picture?  Jenny Parks changed my eye color in the book to keep me safe from paparazzi.  Duh! - Atticus

Recommended by: Nicole
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Universal Harvester Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374282103
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 7th, 2017

Universal Harvester  is bizarre and lyrical.  I read it in one sitting - Nicole

Recommended by: Raissa
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The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328879943
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - April 25th, 2017

Atwood presents a not-so-far-fetched future for us to decipher. Figuring out this society and how it stemmed from our own is an engrossing experience. Destined to be read by future generations. [Raissa]

Recommended by: Lydia
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Binti Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765385253
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: - 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]

Recommended by: Lydia
Scythe Cover Image
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]

Recommended by: Lydia
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Pitkin Review Spring 2017 Cover Image
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]

Recommended by: sweet pea
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Bob Stevenson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781942658160
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bellevue Literary Press - October 11th, 2016

This ingenious novel features a charming psychiatric patient possibly inhabited by Robert Louis Stevenson, a Noh mask, Mark Twain cosplay, and many loveable, quirky characters, including some from Tacoma!   [sweet pea]

Recommended by: Raissa
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Geeky Lego Crafts: 21 Fun and Quirky Projects Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593277673
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: No Starch Press - September 30th, 2016

Lego addicts are endlessly creative, but these fun projects are also surprisingly useful! From Christmas tree ornaments to desk organizers to a phone charging station, holiday activity time starts here. [Raissa]