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Edward's Reviews

Dragon Palace by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Ted Goossen

This collection of early stories from Hiromi Kawakami opens readers to a world of a fantastical Japan. Pulling from deep within Japanese narrative traditions, Kawakami revitalizes the weird with tales of shapeshifting con men, people possessed by fox spirits, a tale of love between ancestors born 400 years apart, deftly mixing traditional ideas with modern settings and sentiments. A great introduction to Japanese literature for the curious.  

—Ed

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Dragon Palace By Hiromi Kawakami, Ted Goossen (Translator) Cover Image
By Hiromi Kawakami, Ted Goossen (Translator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781737625353
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Monkey - September 19th, 2023

The Gospel of Wellness by Rina Raphael

Part memoir, part investigative journalism that explores the world of Wellness—a term everyone struggles to define. It’s a close look at scream therapy, Goop-style products, and all the classes and techniques wealthy folk purchase in pursuit of the often-promised extended life and better health. Rina Raphael, a lifestyle journalist, is an admitted wellness junkie and she explores her own complicated relationship with this multi-trillion-dollar industry while also attempting to expose the scams. Intriguing read for cultural skeptics.  

—Ed

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The Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care By Rina Raphael Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250861535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - September 12th, 2023

August Wilson by Patti Hartigan

August Wilson has turned out to be one of the most ambitious and celebrated American playwrights. His vaunted Century Cycle, ten plays celebrating African American life and culture through each decade of the twentieth century, produced two hits, Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Patti Hartigan interviewed Wilson numerous times before his death, and here she shows some of the connections between his youth in Pittsburgh and the unprecedented views of Black life in his plays. This is a great read for anyone interested in American theater. 

—Ed

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August Wilson: A Life By Patti Hartigan Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781501180668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 15th, 2023

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

Simon Jimenez’s lyrical and well-paced first novel, Vanished Birds, was one of my favorite reads of the last few years, and Jimenez’s magic hasn’t worn off. Where he previously applied his lyricism to deep space sci-fi, he now uses it in dark fantasy. This latest effort is framed much like A Princess Bride in its series of connected retellings as it follows two outcast warriors who help a ravaged goddess escape captivity in hopes of bringing down a cruel empire. 

—Ed

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The Spear Cuts Through Water: A Novel By Simon Jimenez Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593156612
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - May 30th, 2023

The Yakuza’s Bias 1 by Teki Yatsuda

This delightfully hilarious manga is a beautiful lampoon of modern masculinity. Ken Kanashino is a yakuza lifer, a dedicated soldier who has little time for anything outside his gang...until he has to take his boss’s daughter to a K-pop concert. Enraptured by the glitz and glam of K-pop, Ken instantly becomes the world’s biggest fan of the biggest band in ways that only a yakuza foot soldier can. 

—Ed

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The Yakuza's Bias 1 By Teki Yatsuda Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781646518012
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kodansha Comics - May 16th, 2023

Born to Be Hanged by Keith Thomson

With novelistic flourishes, Keith Thomas details the daring Pacific campaign of Captain Morgan and his pirate crew. The band of hardened seadogs and buccaneers crossed the Panama jungles on foot to reach the Pacific coast and then proceeded on a two-year campaign of terror, raiding everything Spanish in their path. A very readable popular history of one of the boldest bits of piracy from the golden age of pirates. 

—Ed

Fires in the Dark: Healing the Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

From the author of An Unquiet Mind comes a lyrical exploration of the history of mental healing. As a professor of psychiatry and English literature, Jamison leads readers through the development of modern psychiatry and its relationship to trauma healing. Focusing on veterans from World War I and how certain doctors worked on healing both mind and body, while also exploring how artists use expression to overcome trauma, the book offers a roadmap for creating more accessible care for people in mental anguish. This is one of those special books in which science and history meet humanity in a visceral and enlightening way.  

—Ed

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Fires in the Dark: Healing the Unquiet Mind By Kay Redfield Jamison Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525657170
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 23rd, 2023

Banana Ball: The Unbelievably True Story of the Savannah Bananas by Jesse Cole

Imagine, if you will, the Harlem Globetrotters playing baseball in the lush green of Savannah, Georgia—batters on stilts, fielders in kilts pulling off behind-the-back feeds to start a double play, and dancing, so much dancing. Jesse Cole, the Savannah Bananas team founder, dives deep into what inspired him to make the Bananas, who are one of baseball’s most sought-after live acts, beloved enough to sell out every home game they’ve ever played! 

—Ed

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Banana Ball: The Unbelievably True Story of the Savannah Bananas By Jesse Cole, Don Yaeger (With) Cover Image
By Jesse Cole, Don Yaeger (With)
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593473412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - May 16th, 2023

Indian Flavor Every Day: Simple Recipes and Smart Techniques to Inspire by Maya Kaimal

If I had to choose one cuisine to take with me to a deserted island, it would be Indian. And thanks to Maya Kaimal’s new cookbook, it may finally be possible! Filled with simple and straightforward recipes for so many Indian favorites, Indian Flavor Everyday helps cooks develop the techniques to pull off the amazing array of flavors in Indian cooking. As someone who has tried and failed numerous times, this was a revelation! Homemade Palak Paneer for days! 

—Ed

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Indian Flavor Every Day: Simple Recipes and Smart Techniques to Inspire: A Cookbook By Maya Kaimal Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593235065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - March 28th, 2023

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte

My daughter is 8 and recently decided to become a vegetarian, which, even in veg-friendly Santa Cruz, has created some interesting culinary conundrums. We recently discovered El Cantaro, a vegetarian/vegan taqueria in Monterey, and have been hooked on trying to recreate the same depth of flavors at home. This cookbook gave us several great tips and recipes to help build flavorful dishes and have since incorporated several into our weekly routine. Highly recommended!

—Ed

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The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook: 400 authentic everyday recipes for the home cook By Margarita Carrillo Arronte Cover Image
$54.95
ISBN: 9781838665265
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Phaidon Press - October 19th, 2022

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