Book Reviews

All the Wild Hungers by Karen Babine

When Minnesota native Karen Babine’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, she finds herself drawn to cooking — even as her mother’s appetite is rarely present on account of chemotherapy.  Babine’s journey through food, heritage, and home is illustrated in her lovely new collection, All the Wild Hungers, which chronicles her family’s continued gathering during the time of her mother’s illness.  An obsession with cast iron, sibling shenanigans, and lots of love fill this book to the brim. Each sentence warms the soul like a hearty bowl of soup.

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All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571313720
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Published: Milkweed Editions - January 8th, 2019

"My sister is pregnant with a Lemon this week, Week 14, and this is amusing. My mother's uterine tumor, the size of a cabbage, is Week 30, and this is terrifying."


Holiday Gift Recommendations from the Staff of the Raven

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo (Better Bundo Book, LGBT Children’s Book) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781452173801
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Published: Chronicle Books - March 18th, 2018

100% of Last Week Tonight's proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

HBO's Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a children's picture book about a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.


Your Guide to the National Parks, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to All 59 National Parks Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781621280675
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Published: Stone Road Press - January 2017

"Your Guide to the National Parks"provides step-by-step itineraries, kid-friendly activities, and the most popular ranger programs to help plan your family vacation. Thousands of hotels, restaurants, and attractions beyond the parks and 11 suggested road trips make it the ultimate dashboard companion.


Ghosts of Greenglass House Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780544991460
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Published: Clarion Books - October 3rd, 2017

Welcome to the irresistible world of Greenglass House, where thirteen-year-old Milo is spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem.


The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780756404741
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Published: DAW - April 2008

Discover #1 New York Times-bestselling Patrick Rothfuss’ epic fantasy series, The Kingkiller Chronicle.
 
“I just love the world of Patrick Rothfuss.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda • “He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.” —George R. R. Martin • “Rothfuss has real talent.” —Terry Brooks


Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781603587396
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Published: Chelsea Green Publishing Company - July 5th, 2018

WINNER of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

Washington Post "50 Notable Works of Nonfiction"

Science News "Favorite Science Books of 2018"

Booklist "Top Ten Science/Technology Book of 2018"


Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom Cover Image
$37.50
ISBN: 9781416590316
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Published: Simon & Schuster - October 16th, 2018

A NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and TIME TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR

The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

As a young man Frederick Douglass (1


Danny Caine's Top Ten of 2018

10. The Witch Elm, Tana French

Tana French’s standalone mystery is a simmering meditation on privilege and nostalgia, weighing what happens when everyone else’s memory of the past is much darker than yours.

 

9. American Sonnets for my Past & Future Assassin, Terrence Hayes

Terrence Hayes’s amazing sequence of 72 sonnets makes an old form do new tricks.

 

8. Friday Black, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

The Witch Elm: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735224629
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Published: Viking - October 9th, 2018

Named a New York Times Notable Book of 2018, and a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, The Boston Globe, LitHub, Vulture, Slate, Elle, Vox, and Electric Literature.

"Tana French’s best and most intricately nuanced novel yet." -- The New York Times


American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143133186
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Published: Penguin Books - June 19th, 2018

Finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry

One of the New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2018

A powerful, timely, dazzling collection of sonnets from one of America's most acclaimed poets, Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead


Friday Black Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328911247
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Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“An unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice.” Tommy Orange, New York Times Book Review

“An excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent and funny.”George Saunders

“Dark and captivating and e


Disoriental Cover Image
By Negar Djavadi, Tina Kover (Translator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609454517
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Published: Europa Editions - April 17th, 2018

Shortlisted for the 2018 National Book Awards

One of The Globe & Mail's Best Books of 2018

WINNER: Le Prix du Roman News, Style Prize, Lire Best Debut Novel 2016, la Porte Dor e Prize


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Radioapocrypha (OSU JOURNAL AWARD POETRY) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780814254646
Availability: This is a hot item!
Published: Ohio State University Press - February 2018

A novella in verse, Radioapocrypha envisions what would have happened if Jesus Christ had arrived for the first time not in Palestine two thousand years ago but in a subdivision in Maryland in 1989, the year Depeche Mode released “Personal Jesus.” In this suburban retelling of the gospel, Jesus is a hunky post-punk high school chemistry teacher and the disciples a


There There: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525520375
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Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARTHE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

WINNER OF THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE


Heavy: An American Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501125652
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Published: Scribner - October 16th, 2018

*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

*WINNER of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and FINALIST


Convenience Store Woman Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802128256
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Published: Grove Press - June 12th, 2018

The English-language debut of one of Japan's most talented contemporary writers, selling over 650,000 copies there, Convenience Store Woman is the heartwarming and surprising story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura.


Calypso Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316392389
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Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 29th, 2018

David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.

If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong.


The Great Believers Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735223523
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Published: Viking - June 19th, 2018

WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL
WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler


Less by Andrew Sean Greer

 

Less by Andrew Sean Greer is a hoot of a book. It's hero, Arthur Less, is a second-rate novelist, who sets up the book tour of his life. With a Candide-like trust of the fates, Less navigates many potentially disastrous mishaps with hardly a scratch. I am stingy with laughter while reading, but with this one, I couldn't help myself. No wonder it won the Pulitzer. Recommended by Kelly Barth.

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Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize): A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316316125
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Published: Lee Boudreaux Books - July 18th, 2017

Less by Andrew Sean Greer is a hoot of a book. It's hero, Arthur Less, is a second-rate novelist, who sets up the book tour of his life. With a Candide-like trust of the fates, Less navigates many potentially disastrous mishaps with hardly a scratch. I am stingy with laughter while reading, but with this one, I couldn't help myself. No wonder it won the Pulitzer. Recommended by Kelly Barth.


Not of This Fold by Mette Ivie Harris

Following up on her debut novel in the  Linda Wallheim mystery series, Mette Ivie Harris's new novel, Not of This Fold, again ventures into the world of Mormon women fighting for power and a voice. Wallheim is pulled by her friend and fellow doubter, Gwen Ferris, into the investigation of a murder of a Latina mother whose death threatens to reveal corruption at the very highest levels of church leadership. Harris also deftly handles the side plot of Wallheim's son Samuel's struggles as an openly gay man on his first mission.

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Not of This Fold (A Linda Wallheim Mystery #4) Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616959425
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Published: Soho Crime - December 4th, 2018

Following up on her debut novel in the  Linda Wallheim mystery series, Mette Ivie Harris's new novel, Not of This Fold, again ventures into the world of Mormon women fighting for power and a voice. Wallheim is pulled by her friend and fellow doubter, Gwen Ferris, into the investigation of a murder of a Latina mother whose death threatens to reveal corruption at the very highest levels of church leadership. Harris also deftly handles the side plot of Wallheim's son Samuel's struggles as an openly gay man on his first mission. Her intimate understanding of Mormonism and carefully drawn, complex characters will draw readers into a world and a faith tradition in transition, mirroring the struggles of the larger culture. Review by Kely Barth.


Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart

As with Gary Shteyngart’s other novels, Lake Success features protagonists you love to hate. Hedge-fund manager and antique watch collector, Barry throws his credit cards in a trashcan and leaves wife Seema and autistic son for a roadtrip on a Greyhound bus in hopes of finding his high school sweetheart, Layla, and his true self. Equally caught up in self-loathing, Seema has an affair with a friend’s husband and chastises herself for her neglect of her son.

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Lake Success: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812997415
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Published: Random House - September 4th, 2018

As with Gary Shteyngart’s other novels, Lake Success features protagonists you love to hate. Hedge-fund manager and antique watch collector, Barry throws his credit cards in a trashcan and leaves wife Seema and autistic son for a roadtrip on a Greyhound bus in hopes of finding his high school sweetheart, Layla, and his true self. Equally caught up in self-loathing, Seema has an affair with a friend’s husband and chastises herself for her neglect of her son. Though they live as part of the nation’s economic 1 percent, their meager yet earnest attempts to connect are embarrassingly universal. That the primary action takes place in the last few months of Trump’s bid for the Presidency seems just about perfect. Recommended by Kelly Barth.


Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

This bright and whimsically illustrated Caldecott medal winner Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell has no words, but a child will love “telling” and “retelling” the story of two little lost ones, a wolf pup and a little girl, who help each other reunite with pack and family in a blizzard. Recommended by Kelly Barth

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Wolf in the Snow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250076366
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.
Published: Feiwel & Friends - January 3rd, 2017

This bright and whimsically illustrated Caldecott medal winner Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell has no words, but a child will love “telling” and “retelling” the story of two little lost ones, a wolf pup and a little girl, who help each other reunite with pack and family in a blizzard. Recommended by Kelly Barth


Fanny Says by Nicole Brown

Fanny Says by Nicole Brown is a poetic love story to a Southern grandmother--not the one you're thinking, but one in a white caddie who smokes, drinks, and calls her grandchildren "little f**kers" as a term of endearment. But love--this grandmother and this granddaughter knew it. These poems will sting and soothe. Soak them up like a julip.

Recommended by Kelly Barth

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Fanny Says Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781938160578
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.
Published: BOA Editions - April 14th, 2015

Fanny Says by Nicole Brown is a poetic love story to a Southern grandmother--not the one you're thinking, but one in a white caddie who smokes, drinks, and calls her grandchildren "little f**kers" as a term of endearment. But love--this grandmother and this granddaughter knew it. These poems will sting and soothe. Soak them up like a julip.

Recommended by Kelly Barth


Rosetown by Cynthia Rylant

What it lacks in the present-day angst so present in many novels for young people, Rosetown makes up for with its zen-like narrative. It isn't as if the protagonist, Flora Smallwood, doesn't understand the troubles of the real world of the 1970s—the Vietnam War and her parents' separation—but it's the plucky way she weaves through life in the face of them. And the reliability of her small-town support system of the local bookstore, an adopted stray cat, and her new friend Yuri will reassure modern readers that there is goodness to be found just around the corner.

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Rosetown Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534412774
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Published: Beach Lane Books - May 8th, 2018

What it lacks in the present-day angst so present in many novels for young people, Rosetown makes up for with its zen-like narrative. It isn't as if the protagonist, Flora Smallwood, doesn't understand the troubles of the real world of the 1970s—the Vietnam War and her parents' separation—but it's the plucky way she weaves through life in the face of them. And the reliability of her small-town support system of the local bookstore, an adopted stray cat, and her new friend Yuri will reassure modern readers that there is goodness to be found just around the corner. Recommended by Kelly Barth.


Unsheltered: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

Set in the same dilapidated house, Kingsolver’s alternating narratives represent an ambitious and deeply satisfying contemplation of how various characters meet this most basic need for a physical and spiritual dwelling. Though their lives are separated by more than a century, each person faces a difficult choice: Shelter in the security of old ideas or move into the unknown with new scientific understanding as their guide.

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Unsheltered: A Novel Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062684561
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.
Published: Harper - October 16th, 2018

Set in the same dilapidated house, Kingsolver’s alternating narratives represent an ambitious and deeply satisfying contemplation of how various characters meet this most basic need for a physical and spiritual dwelling. Though their lives are separated by more than a century, each person faces a difficult choice: Shelter in the security of old ideas or move into the unknown with new scientific understanding as their guide. By embracing their blossoming friendship forged by Darwin’s myth-shattering understanding of evolution, neighbors Thatcher Greenwood and Mary Treat, face the destruction of relationships, livelihoods, and small-town reputations. Present-day characters, Willa, Zeke, and Tig Knox grapple with their own proper response to a suicide, a crumbling inheritance, economic uncertainty, and a future of unraveling climate norms and all the challenges these represent for grandson, Dusty. Unsheltered is a timely, necessary, and soulfully reassuring book. Review by Kelly Barth.


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