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Ilana's Reviews

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

The tangled love lives of a school English department are rudely interrupted by a grisly murder in this standalone mystery. Fans of gothic suspense, British humour, and books rich with literary references will love this, as will those who, like me, have never recovered from their teenage fascination with what's really happening behind the teacher's lounge door. An excellent starting point to discover Griffiths' immensely satisfying style. Excuse me while I devour her back catalogue. - Ilana

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The Stranger Diaries Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781328577856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 5th, 2019

Planting Stories written by Anika Aldamuy Denise illustrated by Paola Escobar

An enchanting glimpse into the verve and creativity of Pura Belpré, who introduced the first mainstream published Latinx stories to the U.S.. Set in 1920s New York City, this book is suffused with a sense of warm nostalgia; Escobar's hypnotically detailed illustrations are the kind that make you wish you could climb into the page. A beautiful testament to the vitality of storytelling, this homage to Belpré's “story seeds” is sure to capture the imagination. - I.D.

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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062748683
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Published: HarperCollins - January 15th, 2019

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

Told in the voice of its hugely loveable main character, Genesis, this book is far more than the sum of its more heartbreaking parts. Written by a teacher who wanted to “heal” the wounds of her students, you'll definitely be rooting for Genesis as she navigates a new middle school, gathers the courage to share her secret singing talent with the world, and grapples with learning to love herself. - I.D.

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$17.99
ISBN: 9781481465809
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Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - January 15th, 2019

Daemon Voices by Philip Pullman

A compendium of the author’s essays and talks spanning decades, this volume feels nearly as rich and valuable as the folk and fairy tales that Pullman loves. A real treasure for anyone who enjoys meditating on the power of storytelling, with some delightful insights into Pullman’s own creative mindset that have had more of an impact on my own writing than any ‘how-to’ guide. - Ilana

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Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525521174
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Published: Knopf - September 18th, 2018

Daemon Voices by Philip Pullman

A compendium of the author’s essays and talks spanning decades, this volume feels nearly as rich and valuable to me as the folk and fairytales that Pullman advocates for in many of the pieces. Pullman includes delightful insights into his own creative process; these have had more of an impact on my own writing than any how-to guide I’ve read. A real treasure for anyone who enjoys meditating on the power of storytelling. - Ilana

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Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525521174
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 18th, 2018

Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko

One part coming-of-age parable, one part psychological horror, this book combines dark fantasy with contemporary magical realism. Beautifully translated from its original Russian, Vita Nostra brilliantly explores the period in early adulthood in which we consider the price we’re willing to pay to discover our full potential and learn how we make ourselves vulnerable when we strive for outside approval. - Ilana

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Vita Nostra: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062694591
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Published: Harper Voyager - November 13th, 2018

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

Sharon Bolton’s latest gothic-tinged crime fiction The Craftsman is set at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, where the UK’s largest witch trial was held. Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of a child murderer whom she arrested 30 years before, only to find evidence all these years later that the case isn’t closed after all. This promises to be a twisty, chilling read, perfect for the colder, darker nights. - Ilana

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The Craftsman: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250300034
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Published: Minotaur Books - October 16th, 2018

Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje

More experimental than his other popular novels, Ondaatje's fictionalised account of the life of the legendary founding father of jazz, Buddy Bolden, is a thing of kaleidoscopic beauty. By turns poetic, disorienting, visceral, and erotic, Coming Through Slaughter depicts turn of the century New Orleans, and Bolden's developing schizophrenia, with haunting results. - Ilana

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Coming Through Slaughter (Vintage International) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780679767855
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Published: Vintage - March 19th, 1996

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

As a fan of the genre, I know the search for a satisfying mystery can leave you sifting through blurbs that end up sounding somewhat samey. This one is an ingenious mix of Christie-style English village murder and contemporary publishing thriller that scratches the itch whether you're an avid mystery reader or just an occasional one. I truly found it hard to put down! - Ilana

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Magpie Murders: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062645234
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Published: Harper Perennial - March 27th, 2018

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cormoran Strike novels have so many of the elements I love in mysteries. The main characters are flawed but winning, there is a fiendish puzzle at the heart of each book, and there are equal helpings of darkness and snort-inducing humour. On top of that, the series has one of the most delicious will-they-won't-they romance subplots I have ever read. - Ilana

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The Cuckoo's Calling (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780316206853
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - April 29th, 2014

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