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1. Egg and Spoon

In this modern literary folktale set in Tsarist Russia, we meet young Elena, who lives an impoverished life in the countryside, and Ekaterina, a girl whose life is filled with a wealth of riches on a luxury train. Maguire, the author of Wicked, weaves an intricate and playful tale rich in imagery, truly making this [...]

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2. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

When Glory unexpectedly gains the power to see the future and other people's pasts, she begins dealing with the complications in her life. With powerful writing, this intense novel is full of love and humor as Glory overcomes her present difficulties. Books mentioned in this post Glory O'Brien's History of the Future A. S. King [...]

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3. The Accidental Highwayman

In this intricately illustrated fantasy set in 18th-century England, the young servant Kit becomes a highwayman by accident and is hurled into a grand tale with goblins, a fairy princess, a witch, and a magical map. This is a hilarious, rollicking adventure. Books mentioned in this post The Accidental Highwayman: Being the... Ben Tripp Used [...]

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4. The Doubt Factory

Bacigalupi's counterculture take on the teen thriller turns what could be a by-the-book page-turner into a how-to for critical thinking and media literacy. A good stepping stone for teens who aren't quite ready for Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. Books mentioned in this post The Doubt Factory Paolo Bacigalupi New Hardcover $18.00

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5. Atlantia

Dive into Atlantia and discover an undersea future of sirens and science, where one family's secrets will either save the world or destroy it completely. Creative world-building and an immersive mythology make this a refreshing addition to a YA shelf already filled with dystopias. Books mentioned in this post Atlantia Ally Condie New Hardcover $18.99

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6. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories

Here's Horton — but not hearing a Who. And a Grinch who's not green (but still decidedly grinchy). And Marco from Mulberry Street. All back in a new book of lost stories from Dr. Seuss! Horton and the Kwuggerbug is like a whimsical, wacky, absolutely beezlenutty visit from a favorite old friend. Books mentioned in [...]

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7. Skippyjon Jones: Snow What

It's time to make some hot catnip cocoa and join Skippito Friskito in his newest adventure. Skippyjon Jones braves the snow, kisses, and tights to make his own "fuzzy tale." The songs are my favorite part, and there are plenty here to make this the perfect winter read-aloud. Books mentioned in this post Skippyjon Jones: [...]

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8. Pennyroyal Academy

When a girl with no name enters an enchanted kingdom, she is enlisted in a war battling witches and dragons trained by a fairy drill sergeant. This unusual fantasy intriguingly combines adventure and magical mischief with the witty and compassionate writing of a master. Books mentioned in this post Pennyroyal Academy M.A. Larson New Hardcover [...]

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9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

What could be worse than being stuck in a car with the Heffleys on a long road trip? Will Greg survive his parents, Rodrick, and Manny? This ninth book detailing Jeff Kinney's laugh-out-loud adventures will surely make you appreciate your next boring car trip. Books mentioned in this post Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The [...]

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10. LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side

Explore the exciting Dark Side of LEGO Star Wars with this wonderfully comprehensive tribute to the villains of the LEGO Galaxy. Discover the secrets of the Sith, from the inner workings of Darth Vader's armor to Asajj Ventress's date of birth, and gain insight into their evil plans. This extensive volume includes an exclusive, collectible [...]

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11. Revival

Jamie Morton can't seem to shake the charismatic preacher he first meets as a child, later appearing randomly throughout his life. Each encounter becomes increasingly strange — right up to the astonishing conclusion. This gripping thriller demonstrates what King does best: evoking sinister, supernatural forces into the lives of seemingly ordinary people. Books mentioned in [...]

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12. Fields of Blood

I can think of no better writer than Karen Armstrong (bestselling author of A History of God) to serve as a guide to the timely subject of religion and its relationship with violence. Highly readable and easily digestible, Fields of Blood is a fascinating portrait of religious history that should be required reading for anyone [...]

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13. Living with Thunder

Living with Thunder is a stunning coffee table book that doubles as a serious geology study. Gorgeous color photographs of regional landscapes and rock formations are accompanied by accessible, detailed histories, often illustrated with maps and figures. Anyone with an interest in the Pacific Northwest's scenery, history, or geology will thrill to turn the pages [...]

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14. The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

Slip into a black and white world where order reigns supreme and all untidiness must be eradicated. Dave lives a nondescript life in Here until the day an untamable beard sprouts from his chin. Could the beard be a maleficent portal to There? Collins gently addresses the tangles of human existence in this playful graphic [...]

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15. Portland Events 2015 Wall Calendar

Plan ahead, Portland. With dates for over 250 events and activities — festivals, runs/walks, street fairs, and more — you won't miss out on any of next year's fun with this unique calendar. Each event and activity has a short description and website, so you can get the full details. Books mentioned in this post [...]

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16. Miriam Toews: The Powells.com Interview

Some people are compelled by a restlessness from within; others are shaped by the unwieldy forces around them. In Miriam Toews's poignant new novel following two sisters raised in a small Canadian Mennonite community, siblinghood is a bond strengthened by this dynamic. Elf is now a world-famous concert pianist with a happy marriage, while her [...]

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17. On Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured

I'm always sorry to finish a book, to let go of characters I love, people I've struggled to understand for years, people who evolve before me. Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, I've never had the sense I was "making up" a character. It feels more like watching people reveal themselves, ever more deeply, more intimately. [...]

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18. My Bookstore Fantasy — No Customers Necessary

"Let's open a bookstore," I say to my husband every now and then. "A used bookstore. With a few new books we really like." I'm picturing an old-fashioned shop, with comfy chairs and shelves bent under dusty treasures, and tea and cookies for favorite customers. Oh, and a cat. The cat is a very important [...]

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19. Loitering

Loitering, Charles D'Ambrosio's new collection of essays, feels like a confession — a secret you aren't supposed to share but are unable to keep to yourself. He writes with such an urgent immediacy that the words seem to vibrate, unable to be contained by page or cover. Books mentioned in this post Loitering: New and [...]

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20. Monastery

Much like his wispy, smoke-filled covers, Eduardo Halfon's writing has an ephemeral quality that is both wondrous and intriguing. In Monastery, the same mysterious narrator as in Halfon's previous work, The Polish Boxer, returns to lead us once again on nomadic travels through time and place. Books mentioned in this post Monastery Eduardo Halfon New [...]

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21. Annihilation

Lush and Lovecraftian writing sends one into this otherworldly experience. An awesome beginning to the Southern Reach Trilogy! Books mentioned in this post Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1) Jeff VanderMeer Used Trade Paper $8.95

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22. Girl With All the Gifts

Do not read any reviews of this book. Just read it. And read it now. (The less you know from the start, the better the read.) I loved Melanie! She loves books and reading and learning. She is really smart. This book is so enjoyable and is one of the best books I've read this [...]

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23. The Paying Guests

I could not put down this tender, haunting, harrowing novel — I read it by campfire light, I read it walking down the street, I read it in bed till my eyes wouldn't stay open. Waters creates a world with her precise observation of atmosphere, emotion, and gesture; her characters live. The Paying Guests is [...]

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24. 1 Page at a Time

Equal parts inspirational tool, diary, and space occupier for your tote bag (seriously, you'll want to carry this rad little book everywhere). Some pages may require you to reflect, some may ask you to get to know yourself a little better, and others may just ask you to draw slices of pizza. This book is [...]

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25. The Powell’s Playlist: Anne Rice

These are the songs that wake me up, take me out of my worries and anxieties, wash my brain cells, and send me to the keyboard to write with new vigor. 1. "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi This is a song I associate with my beloved vampire hero, Lestat, today. I imagine Lestat loving [...]

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