Elaine and Luisa's Picks: Summer 2020

Summer 2020

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Migrations: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250204028
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - August 4th, 2020

This beautiful book is one of my favorites of 2020! Set in an expected future when many ecosystems have collapsed, Migrations is the moving story of one woman’s quest to follow the last flock of Arctic terns on their epic journey across the globe. In a boat filled with misfits and romantics, she plots towards what she sees as her inevitable future, all the while struggling to come to terms with her painful past. Charlotte McConaghy’s heartbreaking story of love, grief, and determination reminds us of the inextricable nature of our connections to the natural world and the solace found in its unending ability to surprise us.  —Luisa


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The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525541608
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 4th, 2020

The Death of Vivek Oji begins with the heartbreaking end of a life and then takes us back to the beginning. Born to a Nigerian father and Indian mother, Vivek emerged in the world as bridge between cultures, but as he grows, it becomes apparent his ability to hold two worlds in one body also extends to gender roles. Set in Abe, Nigeria, Akwaeke Emezi’s beautiful book shows us Vivek Oji’s life through his own eyes, as well as the eyes of his closest confidant. As his loved ones struggle to see him as he wishes, they are forced to confront their own fears. In a world where love can have devastating repercussions, Emezi’s vibrant and searing work reminds us of that secrets should not be carried lightly, nor acceptance given too late.  —Luisa


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Empire of Wild: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062975942
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - July 28th, 2020

A contemporary indigenous fable that reads like a thriller, Empire of Wild takes on the Métis myth of a werewolf like creature called the Rogarou and the strong-willed woman determined to take him down. Joan’s husband has been missing for a year, but as she hits the bottom of her despair, she stumbles upon a revival tent and a reverend who bears a striking resemblance to her lost love. Determined to remind him of who he truly is, she turns to the wisdom of an old friend by seeking the answers from their indigenous roots. Supported by her young nephew, who is haunted by demons of his own, Joan faces down evil with the hope that she won’t lose everything in the process.  —Luisa


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The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982112981
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 4th, 2020

The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals is the story of family—the one we are born into and the one we choose. When Ariel reads that the animal sanctuary run by her mother has been attacked by an arsonist, she realizes the time has come to return to the home she fled and try to fix her broken relationship with her mother, Mona, who loved animals with ease but struggled with human relationships. Ariel and Mona soon discover there is no repairing their relationship without including the many people invested in their lives. With humor and a gentle touch, Becky Mandelbaum has written an honest portrayal of these characters who struggle with the tender parts of their hearts where sadness and hurt reside, and the important lesson the animals teach them: to love unconditionally and without judgement.  —Luisa


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Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062248572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - July 28th, 2020

With a poet’s eye and a daughter’s heart, Natasha Trethewey returns to the night her mother was murdered and the path of her own life was forever altered. Trethewey was 19 when her stepfather finally made good on his threats to end her mother’s life. She carefully documents the path that lead them to that night—all the times her mother reported the abuse and protected her family, and all the times the system left them vulnerable to a mentally unstable man. As Trethewey examines the  tragedy that has become her legacy, she constructs a heartbreakingly beautiful memorial to her mother and all the women let down by those who were supposed to protect them.  —Luisa


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True Story: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984877680
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - August 4th, 2020

True Story begins as a story we have heard before: a night of drinking leads to the possible sexual assault of a young girl at the hands of boys who, instead of being ashamed of the event, are happy to share tales of their conquest. That is until whispers and rumors threaten to ruin their fun. Then the story takes a sharp turn as Petty leads us through various narrative forms, from college admissions essay to screenplay and more, transforming a well-known tale into a breathless quest for the truth. The term "genre-bending" is thrown around a lot; how thrilling it is to finally read a book that lives up to that name.  —Luisa


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A Star Is Bored: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250266491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - July 28th, 2020

Charlie is over the moon at the chance to become the personal assistant to his childhood idol, famous actress Kathi Kannon. After all, even famously eccentric actresses need a little help navigating the bizarre world of Hollywood. And won’t this be great material for his writing career? But to the surprise of Charlie, between the sharp barbs and crazy antics, there are also lessons she can teach him about  caring for himself. Byron Lane does not hold back on either the hilarious or the heartfelt in this surprisingly touching story of two people in need of saving and the friendship that results.  —Luisa


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The Butterfly Lampshade: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385534871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - July 28th, 2020

Aimee Bender’s writing imbues a magical quality to each carefully examined element, transforming it from an ordinary detail into one laced with meaning. In The Butterfly Lampshade, young Francie is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother suffers from an particularly bad psychic break when she insisted that Francie herself was infected with a “bug.” Years later, Francie is still examining herself and her actions to see if her mother might have been right. Elusive memories, the slipperiness of time, and the unbreakable bonds of love are tenderly investigated in this moving story of one family’s struggle with mental illness.  —Luisa


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Luster: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374194321
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 4th, 2020

Luster is a whirlwind of a book, where loneliness, lust, otherness, and brutality weave a path of destruction through the brilliant tale of Edie, a young black woman who finds herself as the third wheel in a white, suburban, open marriage. Complications abound as she struggles to navigate the current family drama and excavate the baggage from her past. A searing examination of art, sex, race and power which is even more impressive when you realize this is Raven Leilani’s debut novel.  —Luisa


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With or Without You: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616207793
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - August 4th, 2020

It is not uncommon for people to change as they grow older, a fact that has confounded many long-term relationships and provided material for numerous novelists. But what if a profound change happened quickly and all the futures previously imagined are now in peril? When Stella and her boyfriend Simon have an argument on the eve of a potentially lifechanging trip, she decides to take a pill to relax and check out. But when Simon can’t wake her in the morning all previous plans are out the window as Simon slowly realizes the value of what they had and the fight that lies ahead. Caroline Leavitt deftly paints the complicated struggles of each of her characters as they honestly confront their fears and learn to build again.  —Luisa