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Katrina's Reviews

The Girls by John Bowen

The Girls is a delightfully harrowing story about a lesbian couple who become enmeshed in a small town murder. John Bowen is a master of the bizarre and his talent truly shines through his peculiar protagonists. If you're a fan of mystery novels set in charming locales with sinister underbellies, this should be the next book on your reading list.  

—Katrina

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The Girls By John Bowen Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781946022707
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: McNally Editions - November 14th, 2023

Every Drop Is a Man’s Nightmare: Stories by Megan Kamalei Kakimoto

If you are at all interested in Hawaiian culture, or if you want to pick-up a vivid, compulsively readable short story collection, this is the book for you. I loved the plots that tie Hawaiian mythology into contemporary life, I loved the characters who are bound by tradition, and I loved the descriptions of Hawaiian landmarks. Most of the stories feature women of Hawaiian descent who confront the spirit world in their lives, often with startling consequences. After spending time with the characters, I felt as if I had visited another world.

—Katrina
 

Don’t miss our event with author Megan Kamalei Kakimoto on September 11th at 7:00.

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Every Drop is a Man's Nightmare By Megan Kamalei Kakimoto Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781639731169
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - August 29th, 2023

Bad Kids written by Zijin Chen and translated by Michelle Peeter

Not for the faint of heart, Bad Kids is a pulse-pounding mystery about a blackmail scheme gone awry. In the grand tradition of narratives where innocent people discover they are capable of great evil, the kids in Bad Kids aren’t so bad to begin with. However, their integrity is challenged when they stumble upon a potentially lucrative blackmail plot. After reading this thriller, I felt that within all of us is a heart of darkness, ready to emerge at the smallest provocation. 

—Katrina

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Bad Kids By Zijin Chen, Michelle Deeter (Translated by) Cover Image
By Zijin Chen, Michelle Deeter (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781782277620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pushkin Vertigo - June 6th, 2023

Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett

The experience of reading Checkout 19 is like having an intimate conversation with an author about the creative process. We, as readers, are confidants of the anonymous narrator as she describes the events that made her a writer. Imagination is key to her artistic ability and she often draws from her surroundings to fuel the fire of her creativity. An ingenious blend of realism and flights of fancy, this book is for those that believe that art is life and life is art.

—Katrina

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Checkout 19: A Novel By Claire-Louise Bennett Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593420508
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 28th, 2023

The Family Izquierdo by Rubén Degollado

Tolstoy once wrote that all happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. This is certainly true of the Izquierdo clan, who cannot agree on what has caused the sudden decline of the family patriarch, Papa Tavo. Each member of the Izquierdo family claims that the family’s misfortune originates from a different source (a curse from a neighbor [!], an inherited nervous disposition). These unique viewpoints regarding the state of the family affairs are told from the perspectives of multiple members of the Izquierdo clan, and the reader is given full access to the often clashing and always entertaining personalities of each family member. My personal favorite narrator is Gonzalo, the vulnerable and self-reliant eldest son. I read on to see what would become of Gonzalo’s marriage and his relationship with his aging father. I fully recommend The Family Izquierdo to readers who love multi-generational family sagas.

—Katrina

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The Family Izquierdo: A Novel By Rubén Degollado Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393866827
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 6th, 2022

All the Lovers in the Night by Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami is a genius when it comes to writing about social outcasts. Fuyuko Irie, Kawakami’s latest lone wolf, is a freelance editor who only interacts with her boss. Irie seems to be completely satisfied with her monastic existence until she has a fateful encounter with a nondescript man. The dreamy tone of this novel and the narrator’s strong desire to connect with another person is tremendously engaging. 

—Katrina

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All the Lovers in the Night By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator) Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781609458461
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Europa Editions - May 23rd, 2023

Sedating Elaine by Dawn Winter

Have you ever been through a devastating breakup? If you have, you will delight in Sedating Elaine, which features not one but two dumpster-fire relationships. The protagonist, Frances, has more problems than she can count on one hand: Not only is she still obsessed with her ex-girlfriend, she is behind on paying her drug dealer, and her current girlfriend is exhausting her patience. Although Frances’s mental health is precarious, and she finds herself in dangerous situations, the novel has an unfailingly comedic tone. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to laugh until their sides ache. 

—Katrina

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Sedating Elaine: A novel By Dawn Winter Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593320549
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Knopf - April 12th, 2022

Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada

Scattered All Over the Earth is a unique novel about a dystopian world brought about by climate change. An ensemble of characters and their interactions brings a lighthearted narrative to life. One of the main characters, Hiruko, is a displaced citizen from Japan living in Scandinavia, where she decides to develop a language called Panska. In searching for someone from her homeland, her journey through Europe encompasses the book’s themes of language and identity.

—Katrina

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Scattered All Over the Earth By Yoko Tawada, Margaret Mitsutani (Translated by) Cover Image
By Yoko Tawada, Margaret Mitsutani (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811229289
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - March 1st, 2022

The Kingdom by Jo Nesbø

Jo Nesbø knows how to write a good mystery. His reputation as the master of Norwegian crime is upheld in this standalone novel about the reunion of two brothers. What I enjoyed about this book is that each character has a unique weakness—what the Greeks would call hamartia—that defines their fate. While older brother Roy is responsible yet unsociable, younger, more personable Carl is reckless in a way that is both heartrending and endearing. Despite the brothers’ determination to create a promising future for themselves and their town, their flaws and murky past render their dreams all but impossible. The tension is palpable, with secrets and lies in this tale that is both clever and dark.

—Katrina

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The Kingdom: A novel By Jo Nesbo, Robert Ferguson (Translated by) Cover Image
By Jo Nesbo, Robert Ferguson (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525564867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - July 27th, 2021

The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo

A delightful whodunit that features one of the most charming detectives I have come across in the mystery genre, The Honjin Murders is the perfect book to relax with on a chilly fall day. The story begins when a wealthy newlywed couple is murdered on the eve of their wedding. Shortly after their shocking murder, the small town the couple lived in is buzzing with gossip as several characters are exposed for hiding potential grudges and concealing incriminating evidence. The setting of the book is atmospheric due to the honjin, an inn that caters to well to do clientele, which creates an intimate, conspiratorial reading experience. I felt immersed in the world of the honjin as I eagerly anticipated the unveiling of the culprit.

—Katrina

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The Honjin Murders (Detective Kindaichi Mysteries #28) By Seishi Yokomizo, Louise Heal Kawai (Translated by) Cover Image
By Seishi Yokomizo, Louise Heal Kawai (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781782275008
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pushkin Vertigo - August 4th, 2020

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