Clarisse

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Train Dreams: A Novella By Denis Johnson Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250007650
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Published: Picador - May 22nd, 2012

In this novella, grief snakes its way across American landscapes both natural and man-made. It settles into the train tracks of the Spokane International Railroad, falls over chasms and sweeps over vistas. This is the life of Robert Granier, railroad laborer in the early 20th century. Death and loneliness follow him over the course of his life as he strives for an iota of happiness and connection. With penetrating prose, Train Dreams is a great American Novel condensed into a story you can read in one sitting. 


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The Violent Bear It Away: A Novel (FSG Classics) By Flannery O'Connor Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374530877
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 12th, 2007

The events in this book represent an ostensibly timeless strife between the very religious and the well-educated in this country. The two main characters, one a school teacher, and the other the nephew of a self-proclaimed prophet, are at each other's throats. The former desperately wants to educate the latter, who has an incessant compulsion to baptize people. The two, though on the surface quite opposite from one another, both share a pervasive ignorance, an ignorance which ultimately leads them toward acts of violence. I feel that this southern gothic is all the more relevant with the recent upsurge in nationwide book bannings, for much of that same rhetoric is expressed here. 


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Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries) By Karen Russell Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307276681
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Published: Vintage - July 26th, 2011

Swamplandia! can best be described as a Florida gothic. To call it a Southern gothic would be too broad. No, this novel is steeped in the kind of weirdness that could only be bred in the insular and frankly terrifying environment that is Florida. 

At first glance this book is about theme parks and alligators, but once you dive in, it's so much more. Using a lens of adolescent naivety, it blurs the lines between magical realism and mere insanity, between what is tangible and what is out of reach. The tangled and murky setting of the swamp serves as an apt allegory and arena for things that are both lost and painfully adherent. If you're tired of trite fiction and are itching to read something creative and unsettling, Swamplandia! is for you. 

TW: child rape


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The Candy House: A Novel By Jennifer Egan Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781476716770
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Published: Scribner - March 7th, 2023

This NYT's top 10 book of 2022 is a follow up to Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad. You don't need to have read Goon Squad before reading this, but I recommend it. If you haven't read either, read them back to back! It will give you a greater appreciation for The Candy House. 

Now, this book may sound tasty, but it doesn't have anything to do with candy. Each chapter features characters from the first book, and, like its successor, is written in a multitude of styles. The synopsis on the back will tell you The Candy House is about a technology that allows people to electronically archive their memories. But this is not some breakneck, dire Black Mirror episode (okay, except for one part). Overall, the technology serves as more of a backdrop for the main star of the plot: the characters. My favorite character, Alfred, screams every time he gets fed up with disingenuousness. 

Grab this if you're looking for a literary, strongly character-based read!


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Journal of a Solitude By May Sarton Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393309287
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 17th, 1992

This is a perfect springtime book. Solitude, contemplation, reflection... and flowers! These are some of the things Sarton writes about in her journals. It's kind of like Walden by Henry David Thoreau, but feminist. 

My favorite quote from this book is, "My greatest depravity is to have no huggable animal around."


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White Out By Michael W. Clune Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781946022608
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Published: McNally Editions - March 21st, 2023

Reissued as this McNally edition in 2023, White Out is a memoir about one man's addiction to heroin. This is not a step-by-step guide to overcoming addiction. This is a raw account of a disease told in expertly crafted prose. Though a memoir, this reads like literary fiction. The writing itself becomes metaphor for Clune's addiction, taking the form of staccato and repetitive phrasing, yet it still has a beautiful flow. For someone who spent years not in his right mind, Clune sure has a knack for observation and imagery.


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The Perfectionist's Guide to Losing Control: A Path to Peace and Power By Katherine Morgan Schafler Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593329528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Portfolio - January 17th, 2023

Are you tired of people telling you to stop being such a perfectionist? 

Perfectionism has long been seen as something negative, and it is a term that has been particularly used to describe women, not men. "Recovering perfectionist" is a phrase you've likely heard before, the widespread belief being that perfectionism is something one ought to expunge. This book teaches you to do the opposite: if you're a perfectionist, here's how to embrace it in a healthy manner and make it work to your advantage. Let's stop stamping on women's drive and ambition!

- Clarisse


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Good Life, Good Death: One of the Last Reincarnated Lamas to Be Educated in Tibet Shares Hard-Won Wisdom on Life, Death, and What Comes After By Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek, Dalai Lama (Foreword by) Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781573229524
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Published: Riverhead Books - October 1st, 2002

Gelek Rimpoche was born in Tibet and grew up in the same monastery as the Dalai Lama. He escaped Tibet when China invaded and lived in India until 1987, when he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan! He lived and taught Buddhism in Ann Arbor until his passing in 2017.

Good Life, Good Death is an excellent introduction to Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. It is easy to read, informative, and offers steps and advice for those hoping to incorporate Buddhist teachings into leading a fulfilling life. While this book is great for people just beginning to learn about Buddhism, it is also an invaluable resource for long-time practitioners. You can't go wrong with Gelek Rimpoche!


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Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness By His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Francisco J. Varela (Editor), B. Alan Wallace (Translated by), Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. Ph.D. (Translated by) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780861711239
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Published: Wisdom Publications - May 1st, 2002

This book contains the dialogue from a five-day long conference in 1992 between the Dalai Lama and Western neuroscientists and psychologists. Together they discussed both Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and Western science viewpoints on three critical points in one's consciousness: sleeping, dreaming, and dying. They explore concepts such as, what is a self?; what happens to the brain during sleep?; what is lucid dreaming?; what happens during death?

This is a fantastic record of one of the greatest conversations in human history. For all you scientists and philosophers, this book is for you!


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Some Desperate Glory By Emily Tesh Cover Image
$28.99
Email info@literatibookstore.com or call for price
ISBN: 9781250834980
Published: Tordotcom - April 11th, 2023

This book begs the question, what version of the universe is the best? Black Mirror meets Stephen Hawking meets utilitarianism in this epic, interdimensional, queer space opera. You are in for a wild ride with this cast of snarky rebels and peculiar aliens. 

Some Desperate Glory centers on Kyr: all she wants is to climb the ranks in the militant space society in which she lives, and to avenge for the murder of planet Earth. But when her brother goes missing and the Commander assigns her to work in the nursery, her world -- and universe -- get turned upside down in the most unexpected and existential ways. 


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Black Chameleon: Memory, Womanhood, and Myth By Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250827852
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Published: Henry Holt and Co. - March 7th, 2023

This is an amazing addition to the growing genre of Black memoirs. The writing was stunning and enveloped me like warm goo. Mouton shares stories from her life by interspersing them with Black mythology, showing how creative an author can get with a memoir. You'll be hearing about this one for years to come.


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Little Miseries: This Is Not a Story About My Childhood. A Novel. By Kimberly Olson Fakih Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781953002204
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Delphinium - January 10th, 2023

This is a bildungsroman, and it's the best one I've ever read. The structure of the book, with each chapter exploring a misery either small or large, is constructed by that of a master story teller. Fakih captures the cracks of Midwestern life that easily elude recollection, the subtleties of human mannerisms, and the truly terrifying experience of growing up a girl in a world with horrors both near and far. The writing is superb, never flaunts, and effortlessly carries you straight to the marrow. 


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Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063021426
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Published: Harper Voyager - August 23rd, 2022

The events in this book read like an important historical and sociological text. Colonialism, capitalism, elitism: where is one's place in all this? When fighting against these things, is it better to operate from within an institution, or seek to dismantle it altogether? Does revolution need to be violent? These are questions that we may always be asking ourselves, and this book does a great job at addressing them.

Set in a fictional England in the 1800s, Babel follows a half Cantonese boy named Robin who gets to study at Oxford. He learns the magic of silver-working, which uses two similar words of different languages and captures that which gets lost in translation. As Robin studies this magic, he becomes caught between the allure and prestige of academia, and discovering that it is one big money machine. 

Pair this book with a nonfiction one: How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm, found in our environment section.

- Clarisse


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The Gospel of Wellness: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care By Rina Raphael Cover Image
$28.99
Email info@literatibookstore.com or call for price
ISBN: 9781250793003
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - September 20th, 2022

It's no secret that the United States is a highly individualistic society. This is apparent in the recently expanding wellness and self-help industry. Instead of tackling failing social institutions that make us physically, mentally, and emotionally unhealthy, the wellness industry says that we as individuals should handle our well-being, and spend money while we're at it. Rina Raphael shares some of the problematic effects of how a wellness industry operates. When the bottom line is making money, consumers are in danger of purchasing products and engaging in habits that may ultimately harm them.

Raphael's voice in this book is entirely entertaining, easy-to-read, engaging, and at times boldly sassy. My advice is to read this book, and make of it what you will.

- Clarisse


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Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires By Douglas Rushkoff Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393881066
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 6th, 2022

In Survival of the Richest, Douglas Rushkoff exposes what he calls "The Mindset": a problematic way of thinking that has been adopted by billionaires which prioritizes technological advancement by for the rich and ignores social systems that need changing. While tech giants aim to colonize space, the working classes remain forgotten and the environment plundered and derelict. Rushkoff explicates "The Mindset" by appealing to history, ethics & moral philosophy, and predictions for the future.

Survival of the Richest reads like science-fiction, but it's not, which makes topics like these all the scarier. Did we learn nothing from Wall-E?

- Clarisse


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Maybe You Should Talk To Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed By Lori Gottlieb Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781328662057
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - April 2nd, 2019

Lori Gottlieb was a writer on the shows ER and Friends. Then she went to Stanford Medical School. Finally, she found her calling when she decided to become a therapist. 

Gottlieb has a knack for storytelling: she shares life stories from some of her patients and cleverly weaves in her own therapeutic journey throughout this psych memoir. 

I was thoroughly entertained while reading this. Gottlieb is able to take touching and heavy topics and interlace them with humor and important lessons about our human tendencies. This book truly deserves the acclaim it received.

- Clarisse


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The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe: and Other Stories By Carson McCullers Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780618565863
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Published: Mariner Books Classics - April 5th, 2005

Carson McCullers understands the simplicities and complexities of love better than any author I know (except perhaps James Baldwin).

These southern gothic short stories highlight McCullers's genius. They are tender, lovely, brilliant, contemplative, and feature quirky, misfit characters.

If you're looking for literary fiction that's not completely dismal, this is a great option. 

My favorite story in this collection is "A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud." I hope it adheres to your heart as it did mine.

- Clarisse


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No Name in the Street (Vintage International) By James Baldwin Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307275929
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Published: Vintage - January 9th, 2007

The Fire Next Time gets a lot of press, but this lesser-read work of Baldwin's is just as good, if not better.

No Name in the Street is a memoir / long essay where Baldwin talks about race, politics, and his encounters with other great Civil Rights leaders of the 20th century, including MLK and Malcolm X.

On every page, Baldwin grasps something much deeper than the actual topics on which he writes, so much so that I would confidently categorize this book under philosophy. But let's be real--he's bigger than even that.

Open this book and read just the first paragraph--you'll be hooked. 

- Clarisse


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Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It By John Abramson Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780063268722
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Published: Mariner Books - February 21st, 2023

We all hate Big Pharma, but have you ever wondered how exactly they are so powerful? Why does the United States have such expensive drugs compared to all other wealthy countries? 

Big Pharma is relentless and Abramson gets down to the nitty-gritty of how they operate. Pharmaceutical companies produce and test drugs in the most unscientific ways--all with the goal of painting their drugs in a positive light so they can sell as much of them as possible, even if they are unnecessary or harmful to patients. They control trusted medical journals, they have infilitrated academia and congress, they refuse to publish their drug trials, and they have left doctors in the dark about which drugs are truly most effective. 

Read this and spread the word. Big Pharma has got to go down, and this book will help us figure out how. 

- Clarisse


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Convenience Store Woman By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (Translator) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802129628
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Published: Grove Press - September 17th, 2019

I love any book with social commentary and this book is dripping with it. This is the short novel of a woman whose life centers around her identity as a convenience store employee, clearly a victim of a protestant work ethic. As she devotes her physical and mental state toward her beloved convenience store, society attempts to push and pull her in many different 'normative' directions. Which avenue of normativity and fitting in will she choose? How does the convenience store affect her positively and negatively? Read to find out.

- Clarisse


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Long Division: A Novel By Kiese Laymon Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982174828
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Published: Scribner - June 1st, 2021

Long Division has two connected stories that feature time travel, literary games, mysterious cats, and run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan. 

This book is described as a 'mix between Southern Gothic and Murakami-esque magical realism.' I find that to be an apt description. Long Division is incredibly inventive, just plain weird, and is in a similar vein to Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues and Toni Morrison's Beloved

When you're done with this, look for Laymon's amazing memoir called Heavy.


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The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Angela Carter, Kelly Link (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Angela Carter, Kelly Link (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143107613
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Published: Penguin Classics - May 26th, 2015

This is a collection of Angela Carter's gothic, feminist take on some classic fairytales. In here you'll find renditions of Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, and more, all beautifully composed and slightly disturbing.

This is some of the most luscious, lyrical, and poetic writing I've read in a long time. If you're looking for some prose that will wow you, take a journey through Carter's pages. 

- Clarisse


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The Metamorphosis: A New Translation by Susan Bernofsky By Franz Kafka, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by), David Cronenberg (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Franz Kafka, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by), David Cronenberg (Introduction by)
$10.95
ISBN: 9780393347098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 20th, 2014

Gregor wakes up one morning to find he has been transformed into a giant insect. How do those around him react? His boss demands he return to work, his father looks upon him with disgust, and his mother evinces concern. Fantastical? Yes. Far from reality? No. For while no human alive has ever turned into an insect, this novella serves as an apt metaphor for anyone who has undergone spiritual or bodily transformations, particularly through the lens of societal regard.

- Clarisse 


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Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery By Catherine Gildiner Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250878335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Essentials - January 17th, 2023

An ex-therapist shares stories from the lives of five of her patients. This book is harrowing, shocking, and heavy, but it is also heart-wrenching, touching, and deeply inspiring. I had planned to read one story at a time but ended up reading it all in one go. It's always a treat to find a work of nonfiction that invites fervent page turning like fiction!

TRIGGER WARNING: this book does not hold back. There are detailed descriptions of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; animal abuse; and trauma in general.

- Clarisse


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Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal By Hank Willis Thomas (Photographer), Julia Dolan (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Sara Krajewski (Text by (Art/Photo Books)) Cover Image
By Hank Willis Thomas (Photographer), Julia Dolan (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Sara Krajewski (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
$65.00
ISBN: 9781597114486
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Aperture - November 15th, 2018

Hank Willis Thomas is a multi-media artist whose work exposes the fallacious and long-held view that Black bodies are inherently physically superior. This thinking was used to justify chattel slavery and it is still prominent today, particularly in the areas of sports, music, dance, and more. Drawing from chattel slavery centuries prior, the sports industry likewise considers Black people as paragons of athleticism and physical ability, always performing for white people. 

Thomas also highlights themes of capitalism and consumerism in his work. His astute observations will make you break down in those tears one only sheds from having come across the most penetrating truths of our world.


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The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) By Patrick Rothfuss Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780756405892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DAW - April 7th, 2009

This is the best fantasy I've ever read, and also the first time I've developed a crush on a character in a book: Kvothe is his name, and he sets out to uncover who--or what--killed his family. His mission is going to be a long one, as these killers prove to be more elusive than anyone could've imagined. In fact, most people Kvothe encounters firmly believe these killers don't exist. As Kvothe attempts to track down this dark force that leaves no trace, he becomes the stuff of legends himself.

This book is INCREDIBLY well-written, with natural dialogue, humor, unique characters, clever wit, catharsis, and a truly electric protagonist. It is the first of a trilogy, so be sure to read the equally-as-amazing A Wise Man's Fear, the next book in the series.

- Clarisse


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Frankenstein: The 1818 Text By Mary Shelley, Charlotte Gordon (Introduction by), Charlotte Gordon (Contributions by), Charles E. Robinson (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Mary Shelley, Charlotte Gordon (Introduction by), Charlotte Gordon (Contributions by), Charles E. Robinson (Contributions by)
$11.00
ISBN: 9780143131847
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - January 16th, 2018

Written in the poetic formalness of the Nineteenth century, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is less the cult horror we're well acquainted with today and more a meditation on humanness. Monologic passages on loneliness, nurture, vengeance, love, death, and the endless pursuit of knowledge comprise some of the themes of this deep classic.

If you're familiar with one of the many iterations of Frankenstein but not its origins, maybe it's time to introduce yourself to Shelley's original intentions with the story.

- Clarisse


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Heart Is A Lonely Hunter By Carson McCullers Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780618526413
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books Classics - April 21st, 2004

This is my all-time favorite book. McCullers wrote this when she was just 23 years old in 1940. Described as a Southern Gothic, this magnificent work of literary fiction is brimming with motifs of anti-capitalism, anti-racism, music, and deep, platonic love. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is beautifully written, quaint, relevant, profound, and character-based. It is a story I will revisit many times.

(I'd like to thank local musician, calligrapher, typewriter collector, and jazz aficioinado, Rollie Tussing for first gifting me this book.) 

- Clarisse


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How to Blow Up a Pipeline By Andreas Malm Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781839760259
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verso - January 5th, 2021

As the desecration of the Earth becomes ever more violent, should the environmental movement respond with according fervor? Are marches and petitions getting us anywhere in combatting climate change? Andreas Malm addresses these increasingly relevant questions. In this manifesto, Malm deconstructs traditional narratives that center peace and passivity as the most effective tool in achieving social change, advocating instead for a "radical flank effect."

"What is the best way to resist?" wondered SNCC secretary Charles Cobb. If you hold the same question, read this book.

- Clarisse


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Just Above My Head: A Novel By James Baldwin Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385334563
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delta - June 13th, 2000

Just Above My Head is Baldwin's final and most expansive work of fiction. It is a story of love, Blackness, and music. Not only does music serve as a primary driver of the plot, but Baldwin's writing style itself is rhythmic and lyrical. Thus, when reading this it is important to not just hear Baldwin's prose, but to actively listen to it. This is true with much of Black music, that there are often hidden meanings embedded in the lyrics which only certain audiences hold the key to unlock. In his essay, "Many Thousands Gone," Baldwin says, "It is only in his music, which Americans are able to admire because a protective sentimentality limits their understanding of it, that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story..." Keep that in mind when reading this masterpiece.

- Clarisse


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Purple Hibiscus: A Novel By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781616202415
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - April 17th, 2012

Purple Hibiscus is a coming-of-age story about a girl in Nigeria who must navigate her life under the watchful eyes of her religious and abusive father. She is caught between wanting to live up to her father's expectations and coming to terms with the cult-like way in which he runs his household. 

Reading this book feels like eating a perfectly balanced meal that leaves you feeling comfortably satisfied. To be sure, that does not mean this is light-hearted or particularly jovial, but it offers all the best substance a novel can contain and concludes with a delightful catharsis. It is a book you can enjoy many times, as I have.

- Clarisse


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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (Pulitzer Prize Winner) By William Finnegan Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780143109396
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - April 26th, 2016

Who knew surf could translate so well into prose? With every page of mere ink and paper I feel I am gliding across the ocean. Finnegan is able to pull me into faraway waters, where sharp coral, sea creatures, and the surprisingly niche culture of hardcore surfing life abound. 

This would make a good non-fiction beach read, but still packed with substance and meditations on humanity. 

- Clarisse


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Barracoon: The Story of the Last
By Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker (Foreword by), Deborah G. Plant (Introduction by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062748218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad - January 7th, 2020

Did you know that the Transatlantic Slave Trade continued illegally well into the 19th century? This man, "Cudjo," lived through the Middle Passage, U.S. slavery, AND abolition. He gave the only known account of all three major chapters of U.S. chattel slavery, and he gave this account to none other than the acclaimed author Zora Neale Hurston.

This incredible story finally became available to the public in 2018. It showcases Hurston's skills not only as a writer, but as a patient listener and journalist as she treads carefully to build rapport with Cudjo and treats him with the utmost respect.

Cudjo not only has a harrowing life story, but he is an incredibly sweet and tender individual. I will always remember him.

- Clarisse


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Heavy: An American Memoir By Kiese Laymon Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501125669
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - March 5th, 2019

Kiese's life seems to always be in some state of conflict: he gains too much weight sometimes, and loses too much other times; he gambles, raking in the cash, then losing it all at once; some might call his mother abusive, yet she also pushes him to succeed intellectually; he's an adolescent boy navigating dating while also witnessing sexual assault; he's trying to survive as a Black man in this country. 

For fans of I'm Glad My Mom Died, you'll like this memoir as well. It too features complicated mother-child relationships, unhealthy body image & eating disorders, and addiction. It is so well crafted. When I read Laymon's writing, I think, this guy knows what he's doing when he puts his pen to paper.

- Clarisse


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Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples By Linda Tuhiwai Smith Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781350346086
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Academic - January 26th, 2023

Decolonizing Methodologies offers a look into the whiteness of academia and research as a facet of imperialism that has harmed indigenous communities around the world. Knowledge has been shaped by Western frameworks and has led to ideas about what knowledge is considered legitimate and universal. This book advocates for indigenous-led research agendas that give "non-traditional" research methodologies a chance to be utilized in spaces where they have traditionally been considered incorrect. 

A must-read for anyone in academia. 

- Clarisse


How can I begin to describe what James Baldwin's writing does to me?

James Baldwin:

-Observes the world with such clarity that his sentences routinely make me fall out of my chair and cry

-Makes me want to start a cult with his writings as the core religious texts

-Is what I would call a bodhisattva

-Writes about so much more than race and politics (which is what he is typically known for)

-Is able to grasp everything all at once and turn his thoughts into the kind of eloquence that every writer yearns for and every reader becomes incapacitated by

If you've never read Baldwin before, or if you've only scratched the surface, get this collection and get out your highlighter or notebook. If I could only keep one book, this would be it.

- Clarisse

P.S. I may have a slightly disturbing James Baldwin finger puppet magnet on my fridge right now.


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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family By Robert Kolker Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525562641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 2nd, 2021

This is the true story of a family of twelve children, six of whom had scizophrenia. This book is incredibly well-written, perfectly paced to keep you on your toes. You don't need to be interested in psychology or medicine to read this book, for it is a  thoroughly engrossing tale, albiet a dark one. Kolker has exceptional journalism skills!

- Clarisse


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The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America By Richard Rothstein Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781631494536
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Liveright - May 1st, 2018

In The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein illuminates the myriad ways in which housing segregation has come about. Long thought to be a de facto phenomenon, black and white people in the United States have rather been geographically partitioned by the ways of the government and private corporations. Sundown towns, redlining, restrictive covenants, fear mongering, conniving real estate agents, and more have contributed to the still-present segregation we see in neighborhoods and cities today.

A must-read for understanding how intergenerational wealth and housing patterns are structural, not due to individual choices. 

- Clarisse


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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781620971932
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Press - January 7th, 2020

The New Jim Crow is an essential read for understanding the racial caste system that is the United States, especially in how capitalism drives this phenomenon. In this well-researched book, Alexander shows us how we as a nation have redesigned Jim Crow to fit the colorblind demands of the modern age. This system takes the form of mass incarceration, where millions of people enter into the penal system, are labled felons, and are then legally discriminated against in areas such as voting, housing, jobs, and more, ensuring a feedback loop of poverty.

The New Jim Crow is not only a highly informative book, but it is well-written, digestible, and overall easy-to-read. Get it now!

- Clarisse


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Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland By Jonathan M. Metzl Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781541644977
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - May 12th, 2020

Poor white republicans often vote against their own interest. Why? Jonathan Metzl explains in this illuminating book. 

Three major political beliefs structure this book: gun rights, health care, and tax distribution for education. Metzl shows how poor, white republicans' voting in these areas often result in their own suffering. These beliefs that inform their voting are shaped by a strong legacy of toxic masculinity and racism in the U.S. South. But where would this racial resentment be without the manipulative efforts of wealthy, white, republican politicians? For it is these powerful politicians and their financial connections that are ultimately keeping this racial resentment alive and flourishing. 

Told through interviews, historical reflections, and well-informed research, Metzl gives an eye-opening account of how the powerful keep the weak at each other's throats.

 


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Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude
$18.00
ISBN: 9780679771265
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 26th, 1999

Three powerhouses of blues music are examined in this book: Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. These women chose musical lyrics as a public way to communicate messages on politics, private life, and the Black female experience. Doing so was dangerous, though, so they had to express these messages and stories in coded language, thus eluding their white listeners. 

Angela Davis is brilliant as always, writing in a way that is informative, digestible, and entertaining.

This book would make a great gift for jazz fanatics, feminists, African American history buffs, or anyone who bows down to our lord and savior, Angela Davis.

- Clarisse