Laura's Reviews

Laura was our gift and sidelines buyer.

What can I say, they had me at David Lynch…anyone who can appreciate that sentiment will find themselves rapidly drawn into to this bizarre literary thriller that involves poachers, activists, an abandoned church and a violent abduction.  Short-listed for Canada’s Edgar award, this quirky, dark tale is not to be missed. 

Reviewed by: 
Laura
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The Extinction Club Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9781611458374
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcade Publishing - May 7th, 2013

I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book, which begins with everyone’s worst nightmare: waking up in a mental institution where everyone thinks you’re someone else and you have absolutely no evidence to prove otherwise.  Once the story begins to take its course, it offers something for everyone, from lovers of historical fiction, to those who just want a great psychological thriller to sink their teeth into.

Reviewed by: 
Laura
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The Asylum Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780544003477
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - May 21st, 2013

Lewis-Kraus’ debut memoir is multilayered, deeply personal, intelligent, and often funny. On the surface is the impressive recounting of a young man’s global wanderings, complete with historical and cultural context. He seems to propel himself from city to city in a desperate and disorganized search for whatever place, person, or activity will ultimately sate his perpetual restlessness and “stave off regret for a future self.” Woven throughout this jaunty yet elegantly told travelogue are the story of his evolving relationship with his father, and his conflicted feelings regarding the choices his father made while navigating his own rocky path through life. He also has an insightful observation on what Voltaire meant by the words “damned always to become and never to be,” a phrase Lewis-Kraus borrows that perfectly illuminates the conundrum at the core of his tale, one faced by he and his father alike and by anyone else who has ever struggled with the implications of potential regret and the fear of having to someday wonder “what might have been.”

Reviewed by: 
Laura
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A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594631498
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 7th, 2013

Forget about pumping blood or keeping your body oxygenated—the heart has another role as the mythic hub of romantic emotion. Throughout history, this powerful organ has frequently been an equally powerful symbol for love—which, perhaps, is what really keeps the life flowing through our veins. In The Sublime Engine, the Amidons discuss the heart from every possible perspective, wittily elucidating why it has captured our collective imagination for centuries.
Reviewed by: 
Laura
The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781609613792
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rodale Books - January 17th, 2012

We won't all have a Valentine this February, but that doesn't mean there won't be someone at home keeping the bed warm. Playful when you are, comforting when you're down, unconditionally loyal—what more could one ask for from a partner? Be it human or animal. The Bond reminds us that love comes in many forms—and sometimes the most satisfying, dependable, and nurturing relationships we have are those with our pets.
Reviewed by: 
Laura
The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061969805
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 3rd, 2012

Snicker if you must, but admit it: Sex is important! To paraphrase David Brooks, women need love to have the best sex, and men need sex to fully experience love—so, yup, it's all tied together in one big messy bundle, and in his ever-entertaining way, de Botton wants to tell us why, how, what we can do to have more of both, and how to feel better about all of it. Yippee!
Reviewed by: 
Laura
How to Think More about Sex Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250030658
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Picador USA - December 24th, 2012

There are many books about Santa Cruz from which to choose, but Hasenhauer’s artwork is lovely, and each piece is paired with a detailed map, directing you to the exact spot that inspired her work. Charming pictures, and a delightful way to get to know the area through the eyes of a local artist.

Reviewed by: 
Laura
An Artist's View of Santa Cruz: Scenic Spots to Visit and Enjoy Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9781468172065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - June 30th, 2012

Impeccably researched, including first-hand accounts from a variety of tribes, this impressive book chronicles the systemic destruction of American Indians during the second half of the 19th century. The gorgeous anniversary edition includes beautiful illustrations and additional essay--an absolutely essential read, it’s no wonder this book continues to compel readers after forty years.

Reviewed by: 
Laura
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: The Illustrated Edition: An Indian History of the American West (Illustrated Editions) Cover Image
By Dee Brown, Hampton Sides (Foreword by)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781402793370
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sterling Signature - October 2nd, 2012

Easily and best read in one sitting, the breathtaking pace and rising paranoia of the narrator will propel you through this book. Punctuated by tender moments with the main character's young son, the story unfolds like a literary detective novel, and raises more questions than it answers. You'll be guessing until the end about the reality of the narrator's circumstances, and his sanity.

Reviewed by: 
Laura
Reticence Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781564787101
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - April 10th, 2012

For someone like me who can’t go a day without my caffeinated delight, this book is a must-have. The founder of the fantastic Blue Bottle Coffee Company, one of the country’s leading artisan roasters, shares methods for brewing the best possible cup at home as well as advice on roasting your own beans. Mouth-watering recipes for any kind of yummy treat that you might want to accompany your steaming hot mug are also included. This book will raise the bar for anyone determined to brew that absolutely perfect cup of coffee!
Reviewed by: 
Laura
The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781607741183
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 9th, 2012

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