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Book Reviews

The Summer Before the War

Helen Simonson's heartfelt novel captures life in the small English coastal town of Rye. It is the summer of 1914, short months before every's lives are changed as WWI begins. Every character is beautifully drawn and the beauty of the countryside is vividly described. This book follows her wonderful novel Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, and I loved both of them. Recommended by Rochelle

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$28.00
ISBN: 9780812993103
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House - March 22nd, 2016

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "A novel to cure your Downton Abbey withdrawal . . . a delightful story about nontraditional romantic relationships, class snobbery and the everybody-knows-everybody complications of living in a small community."--The Washington Post


Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal. The short answer is--we're getting there. The gist of this fascinating book is that we've long been using the wrong measures for things like "consciousness," "self-awareness," and "intention," all once considered qualities possessed only by humans. But as the many experiments that primatologist de Waal recounts show, if you use the proper controls and keep an open mind, you'll find animals are far more "like" us than we give them credit--which changes everything. Recommended by Kelly

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$27.95
ISBN: 9780393246186
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 25th, 2016

What separates your mind from an animal's? Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future--all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet's preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition.


Fluent in 3 Months

Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis. This morning I woke up oddly early, before the sun even. I sat down on the couch, curled up with a blanket and my coffee, and finished the second half of Benny Lewis's, Fluent in 3 Months. Upon finishing the book, I felt an absolute ardent urgency to further my second language skills. I spent the next five hours speaking aloud, working on my script, and singing along to ridiculous alphabet songs.

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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062282699
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperOne - March 11th, 2014

Benny Lewis, who speaks over ten languages--all self-taught--runs the largest language-learning blog in the world, Fluent In 3 Months. Lewis is a full-time "language hacker," someone who devotes all of his time to finding better, faster, and more efficient ways to learn languages.


Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth

Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, by Warsan Shire. Kenyan Born and Somalian, Shire provides a unique perspective into femininity and religiosity. As each poem unfolds, an unyielding benevolence to her surroundings and interactions with her family, peers, and her Islamic background begin to converge and take on a new shape. Celebrated by Beyonce, I was intrigued to see what she deemed poetic, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and emotion displayed in each and every word. A powerful insight into a traumatic, veiled world. Recommended by Jenna

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Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781905233298
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flipped Eye Publishing Limited - August 3rd, 2012

What elevates 'teaching my mother how to give birth', what gives the poems their disturbing brilliance, is Warsan Shire's ability to give simple, beautiful eloquence to the veiled world where sensuality lives in the dominant narrative of Islam; reclaiming the more nuanced truths of earlier times - as in Tayeb Salih's work - and translating to the realm of lyric the work of the likes of Nawal El Sa


Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing is an amazingly ambitious novel, a bold and accomplished debut from a promising young talent. The book's real ambition stems from its structure—in alternating chapters, Gyasi follows the descendants of two children of the same African mystery woman, a family tree starting with two sisters that don't know of each other at all. One branch of the tree stays in Africa, and the other goes to America through slavery.

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$26.95
ISBN: 9781101947135
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 7th, 2016

Winner of the NBCC's John Leonard First Book Prize
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
One of Oprah's 10 Favorite Books of 2016
NPR's Debut Novel of the Year
One of Buzzfeed's Best Fiction Books Of 2016
One of Time's Top 10 Novels of 2016

"Homegoing is an inspiration." --Ta-Nehisi Coates


We Should All Be Feminists

Well, shouldn’t we be? This is a small collection of essays delving into the versatility of equality and its quintessential necessity for a society to progress. This book demands your attention and leaves you with more questions than answers. It provides a starting point to further pursue equality. How will you be the change? Recommended by Jenna

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We Should All Be Feminists Cover Image
$7.95
ISBN: 9781101911761
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - February 3rd, 2015

The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller--a personal, eloquently-argued essay, adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name--from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah. Here she offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness.


The Natural Way of Things

Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things is a blistering, intense, often violent page-turner depicting a colony of 10 women imprisoned inside an electric fence in the Australian Outback. Each woman was central to some kind of notorious sex scandal, and is punished by being drugged and sent to this desolate encampment. The Natural Way of Things, Wood’s first novel available in America, is the feminist One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: a brutal allegory, a searing feminist critique, a scathing satire. Yes, The Natural Way of Things may keep you up at night.

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$17.00
ISBN: 9781609453626
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - June 28th, 2016

"A Handmaid's Tale for the 21st century" (Prism Magazine), Wood's dystopian tale about a group of young women held prisoner in the Australian desert is a prescient feminist fable for our times. As the Guardian writes, "contemporary feminism may have found its masterpiece of horror."


The Girls

Emma Cline's The Girls is a gripping, thrilling coming-of-age story with a lot to say about gender and growing up. Set in a heady 1969 Bay Area, it follows Evie as she falls in and out with a cult deeply reminiscent of the Manson Family. It's a page-turner with a brain, a meditative book with a strongly argued point that nevertheless manages to thrill and titillate like a good summer read should. Recommended by Danny

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$27.00
ISBN: 9780812998603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - June 14th, 2016

THE INSTANT BESTSELLER - An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY


The Bridge Ladies

Embedded in the title of Betsy Lerner's The Bridge Ladies is the book's extended metaphor: by taking bridge lessons so she can participate in her mother's long-running bridge club, Lerner is able to renew what has always been a fraught relationship with her mother. At turns poignant and hilarious, this memoir potrays an all-too-common drama between mothers and daughters, crossing a chasm of misunderstanding to reach a patch of common ground of insecurities and affection they didn't know they shared. Recommended by Kelly

The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062354464
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Wave - May 3rd, 2016

A fifty-year-old Bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey, where we learn a little about Bridge and a lot about life.


Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur, is poetry directly from the spine of heartbreak and healing. Four chapters recount emotions and reactions to life, loss, feminism and recovery. This is a book so lyrically aware, that once fully tasted and digested, I was left in complete satiation. Milk and Honey is superb, sexy, and functions as a spiritual guide to one’s own innate desires. Recommended by Jenna.

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$14.99
ISBN: 9781449474256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - October 6th, 2015

#1 New York Times bestseller Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.


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