Things You Should Know About

Staff Pick: Just Kids by Patti Smith

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If you are a starving artist, or just want to know what it was like being one in the 1960s and ‘70s.

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Staff Pick: A Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky

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In this engrossing read, Kurlansky (author of Cod, Salt, and other similarly focused books) applies his gift for anecdotal storytelling to the history, food, and culture of this fascinating and ancient region.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

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When James Ellroy was 13, his mother was murdered in L.A. Since then, he has been clocking mayhem in his hometown. Insanely good.

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Staff Pick: The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson

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Incredibly accessible poetry with a classical pedigree. If you’ve ever loved a jerk, you’ll relate.

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This clear-eyed, brutal, moving, darkly funny book tells a single story in an immediate, accessible voice-29 "tangos" of narrative verse that take us vividly through erotic, painful, and heartbreaking scenes from a long-time marriage that falls apart. Only award-winning poet Anne Carson could create a work that takes on the oldest of lyrical subjects-love-and make it this powerful, this fresh, this devastating.Vintage, $15.00

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Staff Pick: Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez

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A study of the arctic from all angles. Lopez’s lyrical prose is is somehow adept at describing both the beauty of natural phenomena and the technical mechanisms from which they arise.

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Barry Lopez's National Book Award-winning classic study of the Far North is widely considered his masterpiece.

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Staff Pick: Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

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The quintessential self-help book for every artist, Art & Fear will make you understand how and why you make art, and even why you don’t. If you’ve ever found yourself in an art dry-spell, this is the book you will turn to time and time again for support.

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Staff Pick: All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

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Reminiscent of a 19th century Gothic novel (moors, wolves, mysterious strangers appearing at the door in the middle of the night), Wyld creates an eerie landscape where everyone is suspect. Who knew a sheep farm could be so creepy?

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Staff Pick: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

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The Dog Stars gives us the gripping story of a man who has already survived the first wave of the apocalypse and finds himself asking the question, “What now?” If you don’t stay up reading all night to find out and the world falls apart tomorrow, all I can say is good luck.

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Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley.

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Staff Pick: Kindred by Octavia Butler

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Kindred, a terrifyingly realistic journey through time, is brought to you by Octavia Butler, a MacArthur, Nebula and a two time Hugo Award winner. The protagonist Dana, a 21st century black woman, is drawn back to the antebellum south to save a prominent white ancestor repeatedly throughout the course of the novel. Butler has a incredible ability to make the reader believe in the impossible. Kindred is a prefect introduction to her fantastically executed science fiction novels. ENJOY!

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Staff Pick: The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders

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An entertaining survey of high profile murder cases in Victorian Britain, Judith Flanders takes the reader on a journey from murder as crime to murder as art. In her course, Flanders proves Thomas de Quincey right when he said, “the world in general... are very bloody-minded; and all they want in a murder is a copious effusion of blood.”

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