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Jason's Reviews

In Love with the World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, with Helen Tworkov

A monk leaves behind a life of privilege and adoration in order to abandon the self. In elegant prose, he details his new life as an ascetic and the humbling lessons he learns as he goes from having it all to having absolutely nothing. This book will change the way you see the world and challenge the myriad false ways by which you define yourself. Readers need not be Buddhists to fall in love with this book. — Jason

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ISBN: 9780525512547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 30th, 2021

Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists by Chenxing Han

Although two thirds of US Buddhists identify as Asian American, mainstream outlets often fail to show the diverse and inclusive community at the center of American Buddhism. In Be the Refuge, Buddhist chaplain Chenxing Han shares academic excerpts and interviews from own voices—all engaging in difficult conversations about race and religion—illuminating the perspective of an important and underrepresented community. — Jason

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ISBN: 9781623175238
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: North Atlantic Books - January 26th, 2021

Machinehood by S.B. Divya

The year is 2095 and there is a struggle for the rights of A.I. A former marine and now cyborg- gun-for-hire, Welga, protects the rich against daily violent protests lead by battle bots and armored drones. In nonstop action, full of cool tech and innovative world building, this visionary science fiction thriller reimagines artificial intelligence, sentience, and labor rights in an automated near future. Penned by a Hugo and Nebula finalist. — Jason

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ISBN: 9781982148065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - March 2nd, 2021

My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee

This is the great American novel you’ve been waiting for. Consider it is a mashup of The Goldfinch and The Great Gatsby, told by an Asian-American teenager. Both a darkly comical coming-of-age tale and an around-the-world adventure. Chang Rae Lee has written a masterpiece of modern fiction destined for awards season. The most impressive, enjoyable and fulfilling novel I’ve read in years. —Jason

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My Year Abroad: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 2nd, 2021

Oona out of Order: A Novel by Margarita Montimore

Every year on her birthday (January 1st) Oona wakes up a different age. Each new chapter reveals her circumstances (she is married to a man she doesn’t know, she is a little girl on holiday, she is an old woman on her deathbed). Beautiful written, enjoyable, and innovative, fans of The Time Traveler's Wife and Groundhog Day will love this unique take on time loops. I read it in less than a week, and then gave it immediately to a coworker. —Jason

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ISBN: 9781250236616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - February 9th, 2021

Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger by Lama Rod Owens

There is a healthy way to be angry at Trump and white supremacy. In this profound and helpful book, a queer Black Buddhist teacher wrestles with his own rage. He teaches us how spiritual practice and vigilant activism can be interwoven. He does not teach us to bypass anger, but instead to use it as a tool. This is the book on social justice and mindfulness we have been waiting for. I cannot recommend it highly enough. — Jason 

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ISBN: 9781623174095
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: North Atlantic Books - June 16th, 2020

Memorial by Bryan Washington

Benson’s boyfriend Mike goes to Japan and leaves his mother, who barely speaks English, in his stead. While Mike is in Osaka working as a bartender for his dying father, Benson works through his own family trauma. This is the debut novel by a rising literary star, the author of last year’s breakout short story collection, Lot. Fans of There There and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous will devour this meditation on love and loss. — Jason

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ISBN: 9780593087275
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - October 27th, 2020

Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne

Ash is an indentured servant trying to earn her freedom. She’s in love with the Captain of her spaceship, but they can’t be together—not until the war ends. Ash soon discovers a powerful alien weapon that could turn the tide of the war, but at what cost? Cool world-building and endless action make for a page-turning thrill ride. The ending is full of surprises. Fans of The Expanse will love this nail-biter of a space opera.  —Jason

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ISBN: 9781250215475
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - September 8th, 2020

True Story by Kate Reed Petty

This book screams breakout hit! It’s fun, mysterious, and totally genre defying. Is it a coming-of-age murder mystery? Or literary fiction about female friendship involving serial killers? Kate Reed Petty is an innovator. I loved the way she shifts points of view and deviates from standard forms (an entire chapter told through emails) while never losing the story. Fans of The Goldfinch or Gone Girl will love this dark, beautifully-written tale. —Jason

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ISBN: 9781984877680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - August 4th, 2020

Sansei and Sensibility by Karen Tei Yamashita

This hilarious new collection of stories and essays will make you chuckle, though underneath the humor is deft critique. Marie Kondo’s tidying up is juxtaposed with a tour of World War II internment camps. Sexist techno-orientalism and the meaning of Godzilla are reexamined. Local treasure, UCSC professor emerita, and acclaimed novelist Karen Tei Yamashita has written a book about the Japanese American experience both entertaining and vital in this era of anti-immigration politics.

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ISBN: 9781566895781
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - May 5th, 2020


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