Our Recommendations

  • Lowriders in Space

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    Staff Reviews

    In this action packed graphic novel a couple of friends fix up a lowrider car—and travel to space! Illustrated entirely in four different colors of ballpoint pen, I love how Raul the Third shows you don’t need fancy, expensive art supplies to create something beautiful. Just pick up your pen and start drawing!


    — From Lowriders in Space


    Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria love working with cars. You name it, they can fix it. But the team's favorite cars of all are lowriders—cars that hip and hop, dip and drop, go low and slow, bajito y suavecito. The stars align when a contest for the best car around offers a prize of a trunkful of cash—just what the team needs to open their own shop! ¡Ay chihuahua! What will it take to transform a junker into the best car in the universe? Striking, unparalleled art from debut illustrator Raul the Third recalls ballpoint-pen-and-Sharpie desk-drawn doodles, while the story is sketched with Spanish, inked with science facts, and colored with true friendship. With a glossary at the back to provide definitions for Spanish and science terms, this delightful book will educate and entertain in equal measure.

    About the Author

    Cathy Camper is a librarian focusing on outreach to schools and children in grades K-12. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

    Raul the Third teaches classes on drawing and comics for kids at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781452128696
    ISBN-10: 1452128693
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Publication Date: November 4th, 2014
    Pages: 112
    Language: English
    Series: Lowriders
  • Brown Dog

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    Staff Reviews

    These novellas are the literary equivalent of comfort food. Written over the course of four decades, this collection of six novellas tells of the life and legend of Brown Dog, the eponymous protagonist -- a harmless and rascally character. He is modest, wise, and unforgettable. The last novella, never before published, is a beautiful conclusion to the Brown Dog series. This is a must-have collection.


    — From Brown Dog


    "What Harrison does on every page of Brown Dog is have fun . . . not simply for the sake of delight but because he believes delight is as close to sublimity as humans can get. . . . The great project of life, he reminds us, is to sit still long enough to appreciate it." --Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review

    "Brown Dog is . . . an everyman on the most fundamental level . . . vividly, evocatively, alive. . . . These novellas read like a nuanced conversation between author and character. . . . Masterful." --David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

    New York Times best-selling author Jim Harrison is one of America's most beloved writers. Of all his creations, Brown Dog has earned cult status with readers in the more than two decades since his first appearance, scrambling to stay out of jail after his salvage-diving operation uncovers the frozen body of an Indian man in the waters of Lake Superior. A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, now in paperback, this book gathers together all the Brown Dog novellas, including one that has never been published.

    Brown Dog is a bawdy, reckless, down-on-his-luck Michigan Indian, a former pulp cutter who looks on work as something to do when he needs money, far inferior to the pleasures of fishing. Of course, the flip side of this is that he's never far from catastrophe. Overindulging in food, drink, and women while just scraping by, B.D. meets a nubile archaeologist who presses him for the location of a sacred Native American burial ground; the ensuing flirtation with radicalization results in B.D. wandering Los Angeles in search of a stolen bearskin. When he returns home a little older and wiser, B.D. will seek out family and end up pining for the lesbian social worker who's pushing him toward stability. The collection culminates with "He Dog," written for this book, which finds B.D. still marginally employed and looking for love (or sometimes just a few beers and a roll in the hay) as he goes on a road trip from Michigan to Montana and back, in search of an answer to the riddle of family and, perhaps, a chance at redemption.

    Witty and poignantly human, Brown Dog underscores Harrison's place as one of America's most irrepressible writers, and one of our finest practitioners of the novella form. It is the ideal introduction (or reintroduction) to Harrison's irresistible everyman.

    About the Author

    Jim Harrison is the author of thirty-five previous books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including Legends of the Fall, The Road Home, Returning to Earth, and The English Major. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has had work published in twenty-seven languages. Harrison lives in Montana and Arizona.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780802122865
    ISBN-10: 0802122868
    Publisher: Grove Press
    Publication Date: September 1st, 2014
    Pages: 525
    Language: English
  • A Circle of Wives

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    Staff Reviews

    The dynamics of this menage a trois are brilliantly narrated.  Alice LaPlante has a grasp of the human condition that is generous and smart. This is a novel of manners - not Jane Austen but a contemporary take on our own needs and romance and love and frailties.


    — From A Circle of Wives

    March 2014 Indie Next List

    “What would you do if you discovered your husband had another wife, or even two, at the same time that he is married to you? Full of marital and murderous deception, LaPlante's new novel echoes the tension and suspense of her previous work, Turn of Mind, and leads the reader down a path of betrayal, power, passion, and terror. A fabulous read!”
    — Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT


    * An Indie Next Pick
    * A LibraryReads Selection
    * An Amazon Best Book of the Month (Mysteries & Thrillers)
    * A Daily Candy Best Book of March
    * One of More Magazine's "Five Thrillers Not to Read After Dark"

    When Dr. John Taylor turns up dead in a hotel room, the local police uncover enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play. Detective Samantha Adams, whose Palo Alto beat usually covers petty crimes, is innocently thrown into a high-profile case that is more complicated than any she has faced before. A renowned reconstructive surgeon and a respected family man, Dr. Taylor was beloved and admired. But beneath his perfect fa ade was a hidden life--in fact, multiple lives. Dr. Taylor was married to three very different women in three separate cities. As the circumstances surrounding his death emerge, Detective Adams finds herself tracking down a murderer through a tangled web of marital deception and revenge. New York Times bestselling author Alice LaPlante's haunting and complex novel of family secrets dissects--with scalpel-like agility--the intricacies of desire and commitment, trust and jealousy.

    About the Author

    Alice LaPlante is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer. She also teaches in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. Her fiction has been widely published in "Epoch," "Southwestern Review," and other literary journals. Alice is the author of six books, including the LA Times bestseller "Method and Madness: The Making of a Story" (W.W. Norton 2009). Her first novel, "Turn of Mind," was a "New York Times," NPR, and American Independent Booksellers Association bestseller, won the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, and was named a "New York Times" and "Booklist" Editors' Choice and a #1 IndieNextPick. She lives with her family in Northern California. Author website: alicelaplante.com
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780802122926
    ISBN-10: 0802122922
    Publisher: Grove Press
    Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
    Pages: 328
    Language: English
  • Children of the Canyon

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    Staff Reviews

    A wonderful trip back to the 1970s, when "The Revolution" revealed itself as not all it was cracked up to be.  In this evocative coming-of-age novel, set in L.A.'s Laurel Canyon, cultural milestones are referred to obliquely, and it's great fun to recognize them while the young protagonist tries to puzzle them out.  So let your hair down and go with the flow!



    — From Children of the Canyon


    Children of the Canyon tells the story of David, a boy growing up in L.A.'s fabled Laurel Canyon neighborhood as the 1960s counterculture is coming to an end. David's record producer father works with the reclusive former leader of a surf music band on an album that promises to elevate the legacies of both men to immortal status. His distant, peripatetic mother rides the waves of activism and feminism in and out of David's life. The elusive Topanga, named for the city's last remaining Eden, whom David meets on the beach the night of his parents' separation, continues to elude his futile attempts to reconnect with her throughout the decade. Through David's eyes, we bear witness to the fallout from the California Dream's malfunction: the ruined families, failed revolutionaries, curdled musical idealism, and, ultimately, the rise of the conservatism that put the country on its present path.

    About the Author

    A graduate of Columbia University and UCLA Film School, David Kukoff has 11 produced film and television credits to his name. He has written for every studio and network in Hollywood, has published two books on film and television writing, and has been the subject of features in Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and The Hollywood Reporter. Kukoff has taught writing at Northwestern, UCLA, and NYU, has served as a guest editor to Palgrave MacMillan, and has been a featured as a guest lecturer at UCLA's Faculty Lecture Series at Lake Arrowhead. He lives in Los Angeles. Children of the Canyon is his first novel.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781940207605
    ISBN-10: 1940207606
    Publisher: Rare Bird Books, a Vireo Book
    Publication Date: November 18th, 2014
    Pages: 286
    Language: English
  • Loving Learning

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    Staff Reviews

    Reading this book as a Park Day School alum was a kind of bizarre exegesis for me. It reminded me how blessed I am to have been a pupil of Tom Little’s, to have benefitted so thoroughly from his wisdom and compassion. With the arrival of this book, everyone, and not just his former students, can appreciate the potency of his pedagogical vision.

    You needn’t have known Tom, or be in any way affiliated with Park Day School to find this a remarkable book -- it puts forth a highly compelling argument about the transformative potential of inquiry-based, experiential learning models in America’s classrooms. If you did know Tom, I recommend doing him the favor of reading his introduction to this volume -- he writes about his school, his students, and his colleagues with characteristic warmth and grace. We miss you, Tom.


    — From Loving Learning


    Noted educator Tom Little and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Katherine Ellison reveal the home-grown solution to turning American students into life-long learners.

    The longtime head of Park Day School, Tom Little embarked on a tour of 43 progressive schools across the country. In this book, his life’s work, he interweaves his teaching experience, the knowledge he gleaned from his trip, and the history of Progressive Education. As Little and Katherine Ellison reveal, these educators and schools invigorate learning and promote inquisitiveness by allowing the curriculum to grow organically out of children's questions—whether they lead to studying the senses, working on a farm, or re-creating a desert ecosystem in the classroom.

    We see curious students draw on information across disciplines to think in imaginative yet practical ways, like in a "Mini-Maker Faire" or designing and building a chair from scratch. Becoming good citizens was another of Little's goals. He believed in the need for students to learn how to become advocates for themselves, from setting rules on the playground to engaging in issues of social justice in the wider community.

    Using the philosophy of Progressive Education, schools can prepare students to shape a vibrant future in the arts and sciences for themselves and the nation.

    About the Author

    Tom Little served as head of Oakland, California's Park Day School for twenty-seven years. A national leader in Progressive Education, he cofounded the Progressive Education Network. He died in 2014 from cancer shortly after writing this book.

    Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer Prize–winning former foreign correspondent and the author of seven books, including The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes You Smarter and Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention. She lives in northern California.

    Praise For…

    Tom Little is a visionary champion of progressive education at a time when American children are more in need of its enlightened methods than ever. His book is provocative, educational, and full of wisdom and heart.
    — Deborah Meier, educator and MacArthur Award recipient

    A rich overview… the authors eloquently present the progressive principle of integrated, student-centered learning.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780393246162
    ISBN-10: 0393246167
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Publication Date: March 2nd, 2015
    Pages: 256
    Language: English
  • Prince of Shadows

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    Staff Reviews

    We read this with jaws dangling in disbelief. The premise--Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio, is a revenge cat burglar--should be absurd. Instead, the book is exquisitely crafted, a balancing act between swashbuckling romp and nuanced, moving take on “Romeo & Juliet.” Highly recommended to anyone looking for a fantastic, romantic adventure--or to anyone who knows that “Romeo & Juliet” is full of dirty jokes. Pair with Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty for a double dose of gorgeous historical-fantasy romance with a sense of humor!

    ~Antonia & Fiona

    — From Prince of Shadows


    In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

    Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

    …And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

    About the Author

    Rachel Caine is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, the Outcast Season series, and the Revivalist series.

    Praise For…

    Praise for Prince of Shadows:

    “Smart, sexy, and addictive…the Prince of Shadows will steal your heart, then he’ll break it.”—Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times Bestselling Coauthor of Beautiful Creatures

    “Romance and intrigue abound; I loved it!”—Melissa Marr, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Wicked Lovely Series

    “Should a successful author of vampire novels attempt to write an alternative Shakespeare? Thankfully, this one did, as the results are delicious...simply superb.”—Kirkus Reviews

    “Evocative and ambitious.”—Publishers Weekly

    “Ms. Caine brings fair Verona to life…This is not your mother’s Romeo and Juliet!”—Examiner.com
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780451414427
    ISBN-10: 045141442X
    Publisher: Berkley
    Publication Date: February 3rd, 2015
    Pages: 384
    Language: English
  • Being Mortal

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    Staff Reviews

    We are all going to die. Yet because of amazing advances in medical technology, most of us will have to decide when and how our lives end.  Writing with compassion and clarity, Atul Gawande suggests new ways to consider end-of-life decisions in this age of “medical miracles.”  Urgently recommended.


    — From Being Mortal

    November 2014 Indie Next List

    “Widely respected and honored physician Gawande addresses aging and end-of-life issues in his newest book. He notes that we treat sickness, aging, and mortality as medical concerns, but that the medical professions are poorly equipped to help with the issues of what makes the quality life significant. Gawande proposes that well-being should be the focus at the end of life and carefully illustrates how to approach this difficult subject. A gracefully written book of great importance.”
    — Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC


    In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending

    Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

    Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.

    Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

    About the Author

    Atul Gawande is author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by Amazon.com as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. His latest book is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, and two National Magazine Awards. In his work in public health, he is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.

    Praise For…

    Being Mortal, Atul Gawande's masterful exploration of aging, death, and the medical profession's mishandling of both, is his best and most personal book yet.” —Boston Globe

    “American medicine, Being Mortal reminds us, has prepared itself for life but not for death. This is Atul Gawande's most powerful--and moving--book.” —Malcolm Gladwell

    “Beautifully crafted . . . Being Mortal is a clear-eyed, informative exploration of what growing old means in the 21st century . . . a book I cannot recommend highly enough. This should be mandatory reading for every American. . . . it provides a useful roadmap of what we can and should be doing to make the last years of life meaningful.” —Time.com

    “Masterful . . . Essential . . . For more than a decade, Atul Gawande has explored the fault lines of medicine . . . combining his years of experience as a surgeon with his gift for fluid, seemingly effortless storytelling . . . In Being Mortal, he turns his attention to his most important subject yet.” —Chicago Tribune

    “Beautifully written . . . In his newest and best book, Gawande . . . has provided us with a moving and clear-eyed look at aging and death in our society, and at the harms we do in turning it into a medical problem, rather than a human one.” —The New York Review of Books

    “Powerful.” —New York Magazine

    “Atul Gawande's wise and courageous book raises the questions that none of us wants to think about . . . Remarkable.” —John Carey, The Sunday Times (UK)

    “A deeply affecting, urgently important book--one not just about dying and the limits of medicine but about living to the last with autonomy, dignity, and joy.” —Katherine Boo

    “Dr. Gawande's book is not of the kind that some doctors write, reminding us how grim the fact of death can be. Rather, he shows how patients in the terminal phase of their illness can maintain important qualities of life.” —Wall Street Journal (Best Books of 2014)

    Being Mortal left me tearful, angry, and unable to stop talking about it for a week. . . . A surgeon himself, Gawande is eloquent about the inadequacy of medical school in preparing doctors to confront the subject of death with their patients. . . . it is rare to read a book that sparks with so much hard thinking.” —Nature

    “We have come to medicalize aging, frailty, and death, treating them as if they were just one more clinical problem to overcome. However it is not only medicine that is needed in one's declining years but life--a life with meaning, a life as rich and full as possible under the circumstances. Being Mortal is not only wise and deeply moving, it is an essential and insightful book for our times, as one would expect from Atul Gawande, one of our finest physician writers.” —Oliver Sacks

    “Gawande's book is so impressive that one can believe that it may well [change the medical profession] . . . May it be widely read and inwardly digested.” —Diana Athill, Financial Times (UK)

    “Eloquent, moving.” —The Economist (Best Books of 2014)

    “A great read that leaves you better equipped to face the future, and without making you feel like you just took your medicine.” —Mother Jones (Best Books of 2014)

    “Beautiful.” —New Republic

    “Gawande displays the precision of his surgical craft and the compassion of a humanist . . . in a narrative that often attains the force and beauty of a novel . . . Only a precious few books have the power to open our eyes while they move us to tears. Atul Gawande has produced such a work. One hopes it is the spark that ignites some revolutionary changes in a field of medicine that ultimately touches each of us.” —Shelf Awareness (Best Books of 2014)

    “A needed call to action, a cautionary tale of what can go wrong, and often does, when a society fails to engage in a sustained discussion about aging and dying.” —San Francisco Chronicle

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780805095159
    ISBN-10: 0805095152
    Publisher: Metropolitan Books
    Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
    Pages: 304
    Language: English
    Series: Kushiel's Legacy
  • The Outlander

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    Staff Reviews

    Gil Adamson is a poet and her writing truly is poetic. The story of a woman on the run in the Canadian Wilderness is captivating.


    — From The Outlander

    Indie Next List Highlights 2008

    “The Outlander is a breathlessly told tale of a murderess widow who flees into the mountain wilderness, pursued by her vengeance-seeking brothers-in-law. As she makes her hapless way, she meets up with an entertainingly odd series of characters who propel her on her journey, their eccentricities mirroring her sometimes faltering mind. A marvelous adventure in the early 1900s North American West.”
    — Kathleen Johnson, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA


    In 1903 Mary Boulton flees alone across the West, one heart-pounding step ahead of the law. At nineteen, she has just become a widow–and her husband's killer. As bloodhounds track her frantic race toward the mountains, she is tormented by mad visions and by the knowledge that her two ruthless brothers-in-law are in pursuit, determined to avenge their younger brother's death. Responding to little more than the primitive instinct for survival at any cost, she retreats ever deeper into the wilderness–and into the wilds of her own mind.

    About the Author

    Gil Adamson is the author of two books of poetry and a collection of stories, Help Me, Jacques Cousteau. The Outlander is her first novel. She lives with fellow writer Kevin Connolly in Toronto.

    Praise For…

    “THE OUTLANDER deserves to be read twice, first for the plot and the complex characters which make this a page-turner of the highest order, and then a second time, slowly, to savor the marvel of Gil Adamson’s writing. This novel is a true wonder.”
    — Ann Patchett

    “This remarkable novel opens at full gallop and never slows. Adamson has seamlessly merged a compelling narrative with poetic language to create a work that is full of beauty and heart and wonder.”
    — Ron Rash, author of SAINTS AT THE RIVER and SERENA

    “A remarkable first novel, full of verve, beautifully written, and with all the panache of a great adventure.”
    — Michael Ondaatje
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780061491344
    ISBN-10: 0061491349
    Publisher: Ecco
    Publication Date: June 30th, 2009
    Pages: 416
    Language: English
    Series: P.S.
  • Hausfrau

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    Staff Reviews

    Captivating and erotic, Anna’s story carries you along like the Swiss trains she adores.  Essbaum writes prose like the poet she is, with great power and emotion. This is a book to bask in!


    — From Hausfrau

    April 2015 Indie Next List

    “In this powerful, affecting novel, Essbaum has written an ode to desire and the destructive choices we make. There is a grace in Essbaum's writing that leads the reader to love Anna, to befriend her, and to be endlessly protective of her. Whatever it is that a poet does with words -- the arranging, the building of something that is more than the sum of its parts -- Essbaum, an accomplished poet, does with the emotions and the honesty in this work. It is brave, vulnerable, and filled with love, passion, and the kind of lust that one never speaks about. This is something special.”
    — Kenny Coble, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA


    A debut novel about Anna, a bored housewife who, like her Tolstoyan namesake, throws herself into a psychosexual journey of self-discovery and tragedy. "O: The Oprah Magazine"
    Sexy and insightful, this gorgeously written novel opens a window into one woman's desperate soul. "People"
    Anna was a good wife, mostly.For readers of "The Girl on the Train" and "The Woman Upstairs" comes a striking debut novel of marriage, fidelity, sex, and morality, featuring a fascinating heroine who struggles to live a life with meaning.
    Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno a banker and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zurich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her.
    But Anna can t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds it's difficult. Tensions escalate, and her lies start to spin out of control. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back.
    Intimate, intense, and written with the precision of a Swiss Army knife, Jill Alexander Essbaum's debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self. Navigating the lines between lust and love, guilt and shame, excuses and reasons, Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose passions and choices readers will debate with recognition and fury. Her story reveals, with honesty and great beauty, how we create ourselves and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves.
    Praise for "Hausfrau
    Elegant . . . There is much to admire in Essbaum's intricately constructed, meticulously composed novel, including its virtuosic intercutting of past and present. "Chicago Tribune"
    For a first novelist, Essbaum is extraordinary because she is a poet. Her language is meticulous and resonant and daring. NPR's "Weekend Edition"
    We re in literary territory as familiar as Anna's name, but Essbaum makes it fresh with sharp prose and psychological insight. "San Francisco Chronicle"
    This marvelously quiet book is psychologically complex and deeply intimate. . . . One of the smartest novels in recent memory. "The Dallas Morning News"
    Essbaum's poignant, shocking debut novel rivets. "Us Weekly
    A powerful, lyrical novel . . . "Hausfrau" boasts taut pacing and melodrama, but also a fully realized heroine as love-hateable as Emma Bovary. "The Huffington Post"
    Imagine Tom Perrotta's American nowheresvilles swapped out for a tidy Zurich suburb, sprinkled liberally with sharp riffs on Swiss-German grammar and European hypocrisy. "New York.

    About the Author

    Jill Alexander Essbaum is the author of several collections of poetry and her work has appeared in "The Best American Poetry, " as well as its sister anthology, "The Best American Erotic Poems, 1800-Present." She is the winner of the Bakeless Poetry Prize and recipient of two NEA literature fellowships. A member of the core faculty at the University of California, Riverside s Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program, she lives and writes in Austin, Texas."

    Coverage from NPR

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780812997538
    ISBN-10: 0812997530
    Publisher: Random House
    Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
    Pages: 336
    Language: English
  • The Martian

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    Staff Reviews

    Calling all space nerds! Sit down, buckle in, and prepare to blast through this book at light speed! This book was such fun to read, with an endearing character you simply have to root for. Great for fans of Robinson Crusoe-y adventures and Apollo 13.

    Don’t take my word for it.

    “A book I just couldn’t put down!”

    --Astronaut Chris Hadfield

    — From The Martian

    February 2014 Indie Next List

    “This taut, cerebral debut thriller introduces readers to the only kind of alien we have yet to encounter: ourselves. Astronaut Mark Watney is mistakenly left for dead on Mars when his mission companions flee a violent wind storm. His mental and physical struggles to survive are a crash course in botany, mechanics, and the will to endure. This is the compelling space saga that you didn't know you had been waiting for!”
    — Zack Ruskin, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA


    Selected for common reading at North Lake College 

    Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

    Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

    After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

    Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

    But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

    About the Author

    Andy Weir built a career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing fulltime. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

    Praise For…

    Brilliant…a celebration of human ingenuity [and] the purest example of real-science sci-fi for many years…Utterly compelling.”--Wall Street Journal

    Terrific stuff, a crackling good read that devotees of space travel will devour like candy…succeeds on several levels and for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its surprising plausibility.”—USA Today  

    An impressively geeky debut…the technical details keep the story relentlessly precise and the suspense ramped up. And really, how can anyone not root for a regular dude to prove the U-S-A still has the Right Stuff?”--Entertainment Weekly

    Gripping…[features] a hero who can solve almost every problem while still being hilarious. It’s hard not to be swept up in [Weir’s] vision and root for every one of these characters. Grade: A.”—AVClub.com 

    Andy Weir delivers with The Martian...a story for readers who enjoy thrillers, science fiction, non-fiction, or flat-out adventure [and] an authentic portrayal of the future of space travel.”--Associated Press

    "A gripping tale of survival in space [that] harkens back to the early days of science fiction by masters such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke."--San Jose Mercury News

    One of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. It feels so real it could almost be nonfiction, and yet it has the narrative drive and power of a rocket launch. This is Apollo 13 times ten.”
    --Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Impact and Blasphemy
    A book I just couldn’t put down! It has the very rare combination of a good, original story, interestingly real characters and fascinating technical accuracy…reads like “MacGyver” meets “Mysterious Island.”
    --Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station and author of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
    "The best book I've read in ages. Clear your schedule before you crack the seal. This story will take your breath away faster than a hull breech. Smart, funny, and white-knuckle intense, The Martian is everything you want from a novel."
    --Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool
    The Martian kicked my ass! Weir has crafted a relentlessly entertaining and inventive survival thriller, a MacGyver-trapped-on-Mars tale that feels just as real and harrowing as the true story of Apollo 13.”
    —Ernest Cline, New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One
    “Gripping…shapes up like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as written by someone brighter.
    --Larry Niven, multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series and Lucifer’s Hammer

    “Humankind is only as strong as the challenges it faces, and The Martian pits human ingenuity (laced with more humor than you’d expect) against the greatest endeavor of our time — survival on Mars. A great read with an inspiring attention to technical detail and surprising emotional depth. Loved it!"
    --Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse

    “The tension simply never lets up, from the first page to the last, and at no point does the believability falter for even a second. You can't shake the feeling that this could all really happen.
    —Patrick Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Breach and Ghost Country
    "Strong, resilent, and gutsy. It's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 21st century style.  Set aside a chunk of free time when you start this one.  You're going to need it because you won't want to put it down."
    —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deception and The Columbus Affair   

    An excellent first novel…Weir laces the technical details with enough keen wit to satisfy hard science fiction fan and general reader alike [and] keeps the story escalating to a riveting conclusion.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred)

    "Riveting...a tightly constructed and completely believable story of a man's ingenuity and strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds."--Booklist

    “Sharp, funny and thrilling, with just the right amount of geekery…
    Weir displays a virtuosic ability to write about highly technical situations without leaving readers far behind. The result is a story that is as plausible as it is compelling.”—Kirkus

    Weir combines the heart-stopping with the humorous in this brilliant debut novel...
    by placing a nail-biting life-and-death situation on Mars and adding a snarky and wise-cracking nerdy hero, Weir has created the perfect mix of action and space adventure."--Library Journal (starred) 
    “A perfect novel in almost every way, The Martian may already have my vote for best book of 2014.”Crimespree Magazine

    “A page-turning thriller…this survival tale with a high-tech twist will pull you right in.”Suspense Magazine

    Coverage from NPR

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780553418026
    ISBN-10: 0553418025
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
    Pages: 400
    Language: English