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Jess's Reviews

A colorful mural on a brick wall of William Shakespeare's bust, with a young woman wearing red standing next to it on the left.Jess is a Santa Cruz native, recently returned from a Master’s Degree program in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Living in Scotland for a year gave her a deep appreciation for whisky, graveyards, and the California sun, so now she mostly reads outside, sometimes with a dram of Lagavulin in hand (but usually not near any tombstones). She loves to read fiction, and actively seeks new and diverse voices to inform her own experience of the world. In her spare time, she cooks themed treats for her book club and writes.

Antoni: Let's Do Dinner by Antoni Porowski

To know him is to love him, and to love him is to want to cook his recipes. Queer Eye cutie Antoni Porowski delivers big with his newest cookbook, Antoni: Let’s Do Dinner. Easy-to-follow recipes meet gorgeous plates in this compilation of Antoni’s favorites. He may not be able to join you at your dinner table but he’ll coach you through the cooking process with all the delightful encouragement he’d give any Queer Eye guest.—Jess

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Antoni: Let's Do Dinner By Antoni Porowski Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358395324
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Harvest - September 14th, 2021

The Korean Vegan Cookbook by Joanne Lee Molinaro

Attorney and TikTok sensation Joanne Lee Molinaro finally graces us with a collection of her brilliant recipes, inspired by her Omma (mom). This gorgeous cookbook features vegan recipes ranging from classics like kimbap and egg rolls to crunchy garlic “wings” and power bowls, not to mention a whole chapter of various kimchi recipes and all the essentials, including “fish” sauce, BBQ sauce, and gochujang dressing. Healthy, delicious, spicy, and all vegan!—Jess

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The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma's Kitchen By Joanne Lee Molinaro Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593084274
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery - October 12th, 2021

Cabin Tripping by JJ Eggers

Escaping to a cabin in the woods has never looked better than it does in this compilation of the dreamiest rustic destinations across the planet. From Finland to Fiji, New Zealand to Nevada, Cabin Tripping shows off beautifully designed destinations that embrace and integrate the natural world. A gorgeous book for any coffee table, it’s perfect for both inspiring your own cabin design and for helping you plan your post-Covid dream vacation—and haven’t you earned a little daydream after the last year and a half?—Jess 

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Cabin Tripping: Where to Go to Get Away from It All By JJ Eggers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781579659905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Artisan - December 7th, 2021

Senbazuru by Micahel James Wong

When your mind is running away from you to many untold, anxious destinations, it always helps to have recentering tools. And let’s be honest: These days we need to recenter more than we ever have before. Enter Senbazaru, by yoga and mindfulness coach Michael James Wong. Based on the principles of the Japanese art of folding paper cranes, Senbazaru will guide you through daily mindfulness practices that will enrich your life and settle your soul. Time to get folding!—Jess

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Senbazuru: One Thousand Steps to Happiness, Fold by Fold By Michael James Wong Cover Image
ISBN: 9781797213675
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Prism - October 19th, 2021

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

A psychological thriller that forces the reader to empathize—even root for—a diagnosed psychopath, Never Saw Me Coming is an exciting mind game of a novel. What happens when a hunter becomes prey? How can several psychopaths ever truly trust each other? Why are college frat boys so douchey?? Look up “page-turner” in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of this book. Read it fast before any twists get spoiled! —Jess

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Never Saw Me Coming By Vera Kurian Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778311553
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: Park Row - September 7th, 2021

Matrix by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is a master of language, and I will follow her wherever her prose takes me. This time, it’s to 12th-century France, where Marie, an awkward-looking member of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s royal court, learns that she’s bound for the abbey, by the queen’s command. Though not initially religiously inclined, Marie does as she’s bid and spends a lifetime rising through the ranks of nunhood. Every paragraph of this novel is gorgeously wrought; a must for readers of Hamnet. —Jess

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Matrix: A Novel By Lauren Groff Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634499
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 7th, 2021

Afterparties: Stories by Anthony Veasna So

A debut short story collection people will be reading for decades to come, Afterparties is the work of a wry, playful, brilliant writer at the start of a knockout career. Veasna So passed away suddenly, but by the age of 28 he had already written stories that plumb the depths of what it means to be raised by immigrants, to be queer, to be Cambodian-American, and above all, to grow up as an other in a place that encourages sameness. —Jess

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Afterparties: Stories By Anthony Veasna So Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063049901
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Ecco - August 3rd, 2021

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Beautiful World, Where Are You? is Sally Rooney at her Rooney-est, tackling the intricacies of sex, love, and friendship once again. But this time she’s gone existential, incorporating philosophical musings about Marxism and the working class; what it means to be a writer of books about friendship, love, and sex; and where beauty might bloom most bountifully. A must-read for current fans, and a rich entry point for anyone who hasn’t yet dabbled in Rooneyism. Profound, funny, and emotionally sprawling. —Jess

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Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel By Sally Rooney Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374602604
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 7th, 2021

Intimations: Six Essays by

These little essays about life during Covid contain so many nuggets of graceful wisdom. Smith writes about the embarrassment of having family members fully witness how we spend our days during quarantine; about menopause and the guy who hoverboards in the park; flowers in a garden and the way boys are indoctrinated by the toxic masculinity of our culture. She contains multitudes, and so does Intimations. - Jess

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Intimations: Six Essays By Zadie Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593297612
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 2020

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Be prepared to stay up all night reading Carmen Maria Machado’s latest masterpiece. How can a book about abuse be so beautiful? Part memoir, part poem, part fever dream, In the Dream House contains so much searing honesty, such heart-crunching truth, that it will never leave you once you’ve read it. - Jess

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In the Dream House: A Memoir By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450383
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - December 1st, 2020


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