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Aric's reviews

Aric Sleeper is a bookseller and journalist who is always looking for the next great story. You may recognize his work from local publications like Good Times and Santa Cruz Waves, among others.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Japan Observations and Provocations by Pico Iyer

Like a timeless literary novel, the depth and complexity of Japanese culture only becomes apparent when one immerses themselves in it. In A Beginner’s Guide to Japan, the companion to Autumn Light, the celebrated journalist Pico Iyer shares his thoughts and observations about the land of the rising sun and its people in short, contemplative vignettes that touch on a multitude of seemingly disparate aspects of Japanese culture, from vending machines to sex to grammar. 

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A Beginner's Guide to Japan: Observations and Provocations (Vintage Departures) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781101973479
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2020

Alaric the Goth An Outsider’s History of the Fall of Rome by Douglas Boin

In his latest historical analysis, professor and author Douglas Boin weaves the intricate tale of Rome’s mysterious sacker, Alaric the Goth, with prose that is readable and engaging. Far from a barbarian, Alaric was a complex leader who grew up on the border between his Gothic kin and the aging Roman Empire. As Boin describes the fall of Rome and the rise of the Dark Ages, it is easy to draw parallels to our own decaying empire.

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Alaric the Goth: An Outsider's History of the Fall of Rome Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393635690
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 9th, 2020

Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan

In this engaging analysis by Christopher Ryan, one of the coauthors of the bestselling book Sex at Dawn and the host of the podcast Tangentially Speaking, Ryan poses the question: With all of the health problems inherent in modern society, was the lifestyle of prehistoric humans worse than that of today or was it in a way more suited to the human race? In these imperiled times, Ryan impels readers to examine the myth of the savage, the positive effects of psychedelics, and the real price of progress. - Aric

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Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781451659108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - October 1st, 2019

Medallion Status by John Hodgman

John Hodgman (Vacationland, The Daily Show) wants you to know that for a while there, he was famous, but not that famous. In his latest book, Hodgman uses his razor wit and strong sense of irony to teach some of the lessons he’s learned as a guy who is kind of famous, like the finer points of wearing a nude suit, the pain of being typecast, and the perks of having Platinum Medallion Status. - Aric

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Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780525561101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 15th, 2019

On the Plain of Snakes by Paul Theroux

The highly acclaimed novelist and master of travel writing Paul Theroux goes south in his latest chronicle to observe the rippling tensions around the U.S.–Mexico border. Beginning in the town of Nogales—separated by a 40-foot steel fence—and traveling further into Mexico, Theroux explores the people and culture and the atrocities that occur on both sides of the border. On the Plain of Snakes is a testament to Theroux’s skill as a travel writer. - Aric

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On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780544866478
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 8th, 2019

On Writing by Stephen King

Told with the signature, self-deprecating wit of the old master, Stephen King's On Writing is required reading for anyone who considers (or wants to consider) themselves a writer. In these pages, King reviews all the writing tools he's developed over the years and stresses the importance of reading, rewriting, and devoting to one's self to a life of rejection. But it's not all hopeless, he also stresses that the road to literary success is paved with perseverance. - Aric

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781439156810
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner - July 6th, 2010

Silver, Sword, and Stone by Marie Arana

From the very first line, Silver, Sword & Stone instantly drew me in and transported me to a Latin America I never knew: from the heights of the Peruvian Andes, into the depths of violent revolutions, and into what it means to be a Catholic in Central America. Widely published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and National Geographic, among others, Marie Arana describes the lives of contemporary Latin Americans with exacting prose and a conversational tone. - Aric

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Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501104244
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 27th, 2019

A Dash of Style by Noah Lukeman

In every writer’s prose, you find their favorite punctuation marks: commas, ellipses, em-dashes, etc. Lukeman’s guide to the tools of the trade teaches what your underuse, or overuse, of each mark says about your writing. You’ll also learn how to hone and master your usage (because let’s be honest, your writing could use some work). An essential reference for all writers. - Aric

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A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393329803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 2007

America Before by Graham Hancock

While many scientists cling to the idea that humans didn’t inhabit the American continents until fairly recently, evidence proving the contrary continues to build. In his latest, unorthodox analysis of human history, Hancock parses this evidence to prove that technologically and socially advanced humans inhabited the Americas for 10,000s of years before European conquest. - Aric

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America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250153739
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - April 23rd, 2019

The Human Swarm by Mark W. Moffett

Called a “daring eco-adventurer” by Margaret Atwood, biologist Mark W. Moffett draws on a range of disciplines, from sociology to anthropology, to analyze the way humans organize and look at what causes societies to rise, conquer, and ultimately fall. Comparing humans to their closest relatives in the animal kingdom such as bonobos and chimps as well as distant cousins like insects, gives The Human Swarm an intriguing take on history akin to titles like Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel. - Aric

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The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780465055685
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Basic Books - April 16th, 2019

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