Alana's Favorites

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Intimations: Six Essays Cover Image
$10.95
ISBN: 9780593297612
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 2020

Looking for a pandemic read that is filled with quarantine life and adapting to this reality?  Filled with humor, charm and a reminder that we are all in this together.  An enjoyable quick read. heart

             - Alana


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Are You Listening? Cover Image
By Tillie Walden, Tillie Walden (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250207562
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - September 10th, 2019

Tillie Walden is brilliant and I encourage you to read all of her work.  From color palette to characters Walden pulls you in 'til the very end.  Her illustrations are gorgeous and she includes examples of her process in the back.  If you are not familiar with many graphic novels, this is a great place to start.  Enjoy!

            - Alana


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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Pantheon Graphic Library) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780375714573
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - June 1st, 2004

If you are looking to explore the graphic novel world (welcome!) Persepolis is a fantastic place to start.  Beautifully crafted and thoughtfully illustrated, Satrapi takes readers into her life - growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, and later in her life when she has left her home country.  Lucky for you you get the whole story in this complete collection.

                                                                             -  Alana


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Notes of a Native Son Cover Image
By James Baldwin, Edward P. Jones (Foreword by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780807006238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press - November 20th, 2012

Ten compelling, must read essays on race by none other than the timeless James Baldwin.  Read one, discuss three or six, or read all ten back to back.  They are essays to sit with and revisit.

                                                                       -  Alana


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If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In) (Vintage International) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780525566120
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 30th, 2018

A moving love story taking place during the 1970s in NYC.  This story is centered around characters that I wasn't ready to say goodbye to at the end and it was a hard book to put down.  However, like all James Baldwin books, once finished this is a story to sit with and reflect on.  I believe all would benefit from reading.

                                                                         -  Alana


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If Beale Street Could Talk (Vintage International) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780307275936
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - October 10th, 2006

A moving love story taking place during the 1970s in NYC.  This story is centered around characters that I wasn't ready to say goodbye to at the end and it was a hard book to put down.  However, like all James Baldwin books, once finished this is a story to sit with and reflect on.  I believe all would benefit from reading.

                                                 - Alana


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The Magic Fish Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781984851598
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Graphic - October 13th, 2020

A beautifully written and thoughtfully illustrated story about self acceptance, immigration, and love. The main story dives into themes of accepting a new life away from home, and accepting one's self identity...and so much more! It is woven together with the (gorgeous) magical fairy tales which our protagonist Tien loves to read with his immigrant parents. A masterpiece with a fantastic ending. Look out for Nguyen's brilliant use of color!


Breasts and Eggs Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781609456702
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - March 23rd, 2021

Breasts and Eggs is my "must read" "new book" recommendation. I could not put it down and it deserves all the praise featured on the cover. The story focuses on the experiences of women and what it means to be a woman in modern day Japan. Mieko Kawakami is a fantastic writer and I cannot wait to read the rest of her work....when it gets translated.


Kafka on the Shore (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400079278
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - January 3rd, 2006

I love inhabiting the dreamlike worlds of Haruki Murakami and for Kafka on the Shore I felt completely transported, accompanying our two main characters on their journeys. This book at its core is about self discovery, spiritual exploration of life, cats, some strange surprises, and living (yes living) in a library!

Would also recommend: Wind Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, and Norwegian Wood


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Americanah Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307455925
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - March 4th, 2014

Americanah was my introduction to Adichie's work, and since, I cannot get enough. With the backdrop of a love story, we follow the stories of Ifemule and Obinze who leave their life/home in Nigeria to find a new life abroad. One in America, one in London. The book them explores the intricacies of race and immigration, particularly in America. It looks at and exposes, in a way, the difference between being black in Nigeria vs. being black in the states. Can't wait to see what Adichie does next.


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Heaven Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$23.00
ISBN: 9781609456214
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - May 25th, 2021

A new translation of Mieko Kawakami! Heave is about two 14 year old students who suffer the brutal blows of bullying from the popular classmates. The two find solace and comfort in their friendship and mutual experience. But the story also about of protagonist's self reflection and the individual acceptance of himself.

(Would also recommend Breast and Eggs by Kawakami- very different story but fantastic!)

-Alana


On a Sunbeam Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781250178138
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - October 2nd, 2018

On a Sunbeam is my favorite work of Walden. It's about friendship, love, self acceptance, chosen family, and fearless exploration into the farthest reaches of outer space. A close-knit crew rebuild ancient structures which fill the pages of the beautifully illustrated novel. Walden uses both her illustrations and color palettes to carry the story alongside the charming dialogue and lovable complex characters.


A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984856029
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - January 12th, 2021

I am a fan of George Saunders short stories (Tenth of December being my favorite). For this book/collection however, Saunders acts as more of a guide, taking the reader through the structure of the Russian short stories that he discusses with his students at Syracuse University. Saunders weaves in and out after each short story ends, teaching and entertaining throughout.

Fun fact: This book is also available on Libro, our audio book service and Saunders narrates it himself. Would definitely recommend!