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Kristi's Reviews

The Learning Curve by Mandy Berman

This timely novel is framed as a college love triangle involving two friends and their new professor, but it’s much more than that. Told from multiple perspectives in Pennsylvania, Berlin and Paris, each storyline presents a nuanced look at loneliness and intimacy. The events take place in 2008, but Berman intelligently grapples with many of today’s #MeToo issues. - Kristi

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The Learning Curve: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399589348
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - May 28th, 2019

The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson

At 21, Johnson was kidnapped and held captive by her abusive ex-boyfriend in the soundproof room where he intended to kill her, but her incredible memoir isn’t about that. It’s about the before and after, a reminder to believe survivors when they do the hard work of telling their stories. Johnson tells hers through lyrical prose that turns even the ugliest tragedy into something beautiful. - Kristi

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The Other Side Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781935639831
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Published: Tin House Books - July 15th, 2014

Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag

Published just three years after 9/11, this is a powerful meditation on the intention behind and consumption of war photography. Sontag explores the necessary act of acknowledging violence while challenging ourselves to respond to it with empathy, not apathy. Today, when acts of mass violence are as common as the hashtags that represent them, this book feels particularly urgent. - Kristi

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Regarding the Pain of Others Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780312422196
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - February 1st, 2004

Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

This debut collection centers on Latina women living in Colorado, where their work is endless—from clocking in at Macy’s to kneading masa for fresh tortillas to trying to survive the men in their lives. These are stories of abandonment, addiction, and violence, but loss is the thread that connects each character to the last, as they reckon with the ghosts who have haunted their families for generations. Some of these stories will make you want to look away, but the stunning prose makes this book impossible to put down. - Kristi

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Sabrina & Corina: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525511298
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - April 2nd, 2019

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Chast paints a portrait of her aging parents' final days through four-color cartoons, short narratives, family photos, and original documents like her mother's handwritten poetry. Chast's colorful, often hilarious drawings are the perfect contrast to the darkness of oncoming loss and looming grief. This book will make you laugh and cry—sometimes simultaneously. - Kristi

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Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781632861016
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Published: Bloomsbury USA - September 13th, 2016

Dead Girls by Alice Bolin

Bolin examines iterations of the "dead girl" trope - from the works of Joan Didion and Raymond Chandler to Twin Peaks and Serial. She explores our fascination with the seemingly endless story of violence done to women's bodies. I recommend for readers willing to interrogate their reasons for tuning in to true crime and to reflect on the ethics of how these stories are told and consumed. - Kristi

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Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062657145
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 26th, 2018

The First Bad Man by Miranda July

Hilarious and poignant, the fascinating novel brings us into the strange world of Cheryl Glickman, whose awkward, anxiety-fueled tendencies make us cringe in discomfort--or from the realization that we see ourselves in her thoughts and behaviors. The prose is smart and evocative, leaving the reader with new insights about what it means to love and be loved. - Kristi

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The First Bad Man: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781439172575
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Published: Scribner - September 8th, 2015

Perennials by Mandy Berman

Set at a summer sleep-away camp, this debut novel explores the complexities of female friendship over time from adolescence through early adulthood. Perennials offers readers a unique look at the bliss and beauty of girlhood, as well as the grief of growing up and remembering when and where you lost your innocence. - Kristi

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Perennials: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780399589331
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 12th, 2018

The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson

The stunning follow up to her 2005 memoir in verse, Jane, this book's form is what makes it so powerful. Part true crime, part memoir, The Red Parts is most interesting when the moving personal story of grief at its core becomes a cultural critique of America's obsession with violence against women. - Kristi

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The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977368
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Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2016

The Birth of Loud by Ian S. Port

Throughout this fascinating history of the electric guitar and the rivalry between Leo Fender and Les Paul, the rich detail and description allow the reader to hear legends like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix play the instruments that revolutionized rock music. This genre-crossing book will satisfy readers of postwar American history to music enthusiasts and beyond. - Kristi

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The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501141652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - January 15th, 2019

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