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Seana's Reviews

Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland

Adrian Hyland is the Tony Hillerman of the aboriginal people of Australia. Living in the Australian Outback himself, he captures the culture of the whitefellas, blackfellas and everybody in between. His mixed race protagonist Emily Tempest returns to her “Moonlight Mob”, hoping to find home somehow. But when tribal leader Lincoln Flinders is murdered shortly after her arrival, what can she do but find out who done it?

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Seana
Moonlight Downs (An Emily Tempest Investigation #1) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781569475263
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Soho Crime - February 1st, 2009

I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty

My long campaign to improve Western civilization by getting everyone to read McKinty continues. This is the second Inspector Sean Duffy book in the Troubles trilogy, or if that bums you out, the Tom Waits song title trilogy. This chapter takes place in 1982, when everyone thought the DeLorean factory was going to be the new hope of Northern Ireland. We all know how well that worked out. Duffy has to solve the case of a headless torso found in a trash bin. If this sounds bleak, don’t worry. The dry Northern Irish humor here will keep you afloat.

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Seana
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I Hear the Sirens in the Street: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781616147877
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Seventh Street Books - May 14th, 2013

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

I read this novel not in a plain brown wrapper exactly, but in a pale blue one. I had no idea what it was about, but had a great deal of faith in the talent of the author. I have no idea what kind of packaging will give you clues about the contents, dear reader, but what I hope for you is that you are able to read it in similar conditions. It is a beautiful story, told by Rosemary, its youthful protagonist. It’s a story about a family. I almost said, a special family, but on reflection, I take that back. Ultimately, it is special in its own way, as all families are. I loved it. Don’t miss our event with Fowler on May 29th.
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Seana
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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780399162091
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Marian Wood Books/Putnam - May 30th, 2013

There Is a Garden in the Mind by Paul A. Lee

I am so happy to be able to present this beautiful and quintessentially Santa Cruz book to you. I never knew Alan Chadwick, but back in the distant days when I was a student at UCSC, I definitely lived in the wake of his time there. Teachers and friends spoke of him familiarly, with both affection and some astonishment. He was a Shakespearean actor who also happened to have a genius for gardening. Paul Lee is the perfect person to tell us this history, which is not about the institution of the university, but of the vitality that lived there for a time, almost in spite of it.
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Seana
There Is a Garden in the Mind: A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781583945599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: North Atlantic Books - March 12th, 2013

The Blue Sapphire of the Mind by Douglas E. Christie

More years ago than either of us would probably care to admit, I took a course on the 20th century monk Thomas Merton, co-taught by Doug Christie while we were both still undergrads. The course proved formative for most of us involved with it, and I am very happy to see that Christie has been “contemplating contemplation” ever since. He makes a plea for the contemplative life as a necessary part of the work of healing the planet. Drawing on the likes of Annie Dillard and Aldo Leopold, but also on the writings of the early hermetic desert fathers, this book would be a perfect gift for anyone who seeks a bit more quiet reflection during the hectic holiday season.

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Seana
The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology Cover Image
$42.49
ISBN: 9780199812325
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - December 3rd, 2012

Books to Die For by John Connolly and Declan Burke

The leading lights of today’s mystery and suspense fiction weigh in on their favorites. Think of your favorite mystery author and chances are you’ll find them in this volume. A great strength of the collection is that the editors know terrific writers from both sides of the Atlantic and have twisted a lot of arms to get this done. They’re crime writers. Don’t make them have to come twist yours. 

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Seana
Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels Cover Image
By John Connolly (Editor), Declan Burke (Editor)
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ISBN: 9781451696578
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - October 2nd, 2012

Falling Glass & The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty

This fall, not one, but two of McKinty’s terrific crime novels make their way to our shores. Falling Glass follows the Irish tinker (or Payee) Killian as the economic downturn forces him to take a dicey job hunting down the ex-wife and daughters of a shady Irish businessman. Of course things turn out to be a bit more complicated than they first seemed. Michael Forsythe fans will welcome a brief cameo. Not everyone’s going to like the ending, but it absolutely blew me away.

I’ve long wanted McKinty to use the material of his own life growing up in war-torn Northern Ireland, and with The Cold Cold Ground, he more than fulfills my wishes. Sean Duffy is a Roman Catholic cop stationed in a Protestant town where the police have to check under their cars every morning for mercury tilt bombs. Duffy gets assigned a case which may involve a serial killer, but he sometimes must pursue his investigations in full riot gear. Beautifully evocative of a tragic era, often tersely funny, this novel shows McKinty at the top of his game—a very high level indeed.

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Seana
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ISBN: 9781846687839
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Serpent's Tail - October 9th, 2012

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The Cold Cold Ground: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781616147167
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Seventh Street Books - November 13th, 2012

Carte Blanche by Carlo Lucarelli

It's April, 1945. Fascist Italy is on its last legs, and everyone is scrambling to save their own fortunes—or skins. Enter the enigmatic figure of Commissario DeLuca, who, though an ordinary policeman, has previously been employed by some dubious characters of the crumbling regime. All he wants to do is solve an ordinary murder. But that may be too much to ask. The first of an acclaimed trilogy.
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Seana
Carte Blanche Cover Image
By Carlo Lucarelli, Michael Reynolds (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9781933372150
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Europa Editions - July 1st, 2006

Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen

Like many of you, I am a big fan of Jonathan Franzen’s fiction. But I think his essays may have just a slight edge in my heart. Maybe I just like seeing the compassionate, thoughtful everyman lurking behind the persona of the darkly comic novelist. Whether probing the life of his troubled friend David Foster Wallace, or traveling the world in aid of the vanishing songbirds, Franzen always has something interesting to say, and he is often unexpectedly self-revealing.

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Seana
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Farther Away: Essays Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374153571
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 24th, 2012

Look, I Made a Hat by Stephen Sondheim

If you read last year’s Finishing the Hat, the first volume of Sondheim’s work, I’m pretty sure I won’t have to talk you into this one. This time around, Sondheim talks about how he composed the lyrics for more recent musicals like Sundays in the Park with George and Into the Woods. Even those who aren’t Sondheim fans, or fans of musicals in general, will find a lot to reflect on in Sondheim’s analysis and sometimes outright criticism of his own work. A good song is one thing—but how it furthers the work as a whole is Sondheim’s chief criterion.

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Seana
Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany Cover Image
$50.00
ISBN: 9780307593412
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Knopf - November 22nd, 2011

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