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Ivy's Reviews

Ivy grew up very close to Santa Cruz and is a UC Santa Cruz graduate. She is the head of the Hardback section, History, and helps with Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Her voracious reading appetite can include anything from history, fiction, graphic novels, and anything in between.



The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

A mysterious watch in the pocket of Nathaniel Steepleton makes its way through Victorian London, leading its owner toward his destiny. On the way, Steepleton meets the watch’s mysterious owner, Keita Mori, and an Oxford physicist, Grace Carrow. The story is fascinating and keeps you guessing, while the Victorian-style prose creates a picture of a city in turmoil. Even with the book’s dark overtone, I couldn’t help but be charmed.  —Ivy


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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620408346
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 3rd, 2016

"Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" by Annette Gordon-Reed & Peter S. Onuf

History is cyclical. Jefferson in one era is different in the next. Our modern sense of Jefferson, especially with the redemption of Sally Hemings, is of him as a divisive man fraught with contradictions. This book strives very hard to find the middle ground between demon and saint. Before I began reading it, I believed in Alexander Hamilton’s characterization of Jefferson as a villain, but “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs” paints a more nuanced picture of a man who strove to serve his country well.  —Ivy

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ISBN: 9780871404428
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Liveright - April 13th, 2016

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins

Though a small island, world powers—real and mystical—have wanted to tame Ireland’s wild people for time immemorial. The faeries, or sidhe, protect its people, but rely on the appearance of the Morrigana, a goddess in human form, when in dire straits. Aisling, the current incarnation, is expected to save her people, but her power has been halved by tragedy and betrayal. Impeccably researched, this blend of history and magic made me long to visit Ireland’s dew soaked greens. —Ivy

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The Last Days of Magic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525429531
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Viking - March 1st, 2016

The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan

For four hundred years to be Irish in Ireland was a crime. Its people, stubborn to a fault, did not take to fetters gently. Thomas Francis Meagher ached for a free Ireland though he spent most of his life in exile. Just in time for the centennial of the Easter Rising, Egan writes about Meagher with a fervor to match the man’s need for freedom. Meagher’s almost unbelievable life lit a fire in me. I couldn’t put it down.  —Ivy

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The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780544272880
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 1st, 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

It is nearly impossible for me to give up anything once I attach importance to it. I was super skeptical anything could help. This book, however, helped me get rid of a lot, but discarding is not really the point. It's more about surrounding yourself with things you love. This book seriously changed me (and I was certainly resistant to change!). –Ivy

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607747307
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 14th, 2014

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

This wonderful book paints an incredibly lush and wildly imaginative world, one I wanted to live in for much longer than the book lasted. At its heart, it is a tale of relationships: the ever married forces of nature and technology, past and future, and, most importantly, the relationship between two people marked by the past as they attempt to save the future.  --Ivy

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All the Birds in the Sky Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765379948
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Tor Books - January 26th, 2016

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves is part disaster novel, part Science Fiction. It starts with the heart-stopping moment when the moon explodes and takes us through a rough and tumble ride to save the human race. It is an epic that spans thousands of years and takes many surprising turns along the way. It is definitely one I recommend.

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Seveneves: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062190376
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: William Morrow - May 19th, 2015

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Carolyn is a librarian under the tutelage of a mysterious man known only as Father. She was orphaned at a young age along with several other children. Father adopted them and trained each as a librarian with different specialties--things such as Language, War, or Futures That Might Have Been. The Library at Mount Char is the best book I have read this year, possibly in quite some time. It takes all the elements of a fantasy novel and turns them on their head. Wherever you think this story is going, you're wrong.

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The Library at Mount Char Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553418606
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - June 16th, 2015

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Atwood has a rare talent for pulling at the heartstrings and breaking us to pieces, and still we ask for more. This is a gorgeously written dystopian story that takes all the current ills of society to their logical conclusion and shows us just how far we still have to fall. At once beautiful and tragic, this is a book not to be missed.  —Ivy

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The Heart Goes Last: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385540353
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Nan A. Talese - September 29th, 2015

Star Wars, Volume 1 by Jason Aaron

Star Wars revolutionized science fiction, so it’s no wonder people continually return to its mythos. This Star Wars comic fills in missing scenes from the original trilogy. I loved dropping back in with Leia, Luke, and Han. They’re on a mission to cripple the Empire, but were not expecting to be in Darth Vader’s path long before Luke was ready to face him. The artwork and writing perfectly characterize our old friends, paying homage to the original stylizing with a modern sleekness.  --Ivy

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Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes Cover Image
By Jason Aaron (Text by), John Cassaday (Illustrator), Laura Martin (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780785192138
Availability: Backordered
Published: Marvel - October 6th, 2015


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