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1. Redeployment

Because we continue to go to war, we continue to need war stories, to share some tiny percentage of the experience of the soldier with the people back home they were protecting. This book continues in the tradition of The Things They Carried by bringing readers into the chaos of the lives of soldiers at [...]

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2. Trigger Warning

A delicious cornucopia of Gaiman's short fiction. Dip in and enjoy. There's a bit of everything here, from Doctor Who to an unpublished American Gods story. Once again, Gaiman waves his magician's wand and we are swept away to slightly disturbing and eerie lands. Books mentioned in this post Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and... Neil [...]

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3. Dove Arising

Phaet Theta has lived a normal life on the moon, but when her mother is arrested and Phaet decides to save her, she finds everything she has learned is a lie. Combining science and humanity, this novel asks the question, if we devalue our arts, what is our future? Books mentioned in this post Dove [...]

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4. Discontent and Its Civilizations

In this expansive book of essays, the author of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia takes us deep into his world spanning New York, London, and Pakistan. Hamid explores the intersection of life, art, and politics in an age of increasing globalization, making for a unique, thought-provoking collection. Books mentioned in this post [...]

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5. Counting Crows

Are you hungry as a crow? Hungry as a crow in a red striped shirt? Hungry for three ripe mangoes? Six salty peanuts? Nine spicy ants? Then come snack along with the counting crows and enjoy the mischievous, munchy mayhem — but watch out for the cat! Books mentioned in this post Counting Crows Kathi [...]

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6. The Buried Giant

In some ways, Ishiguro's latest is a classic hero's journey in a time of dragons and spirits and magical mists. But it is also a profoundly thought-provoking look at the timeless big things: love, marriage, death, and the unknowable and unavoidable consequences of all our actions, which always come back no matter what magic we [...]

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7. My Top 10 Talking Books

I have always been a reader, but eight years ago, strange circumstances conspired to make me totally book-dependent. I was stuck within four walls, desperate for distraction and a conduit to the world; but I had to live in total darkness, unable to see words on a page. So, from the small player in the [...]

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8. Kazuo Ishiguro’s Playlist for The Buried Giant

The eight songs on this playlist didn't "inspire" The Buried Giant, nor did I play them out loud while writing. And with the notable exception of the Arvo Part, the visual landscapes conjured up by these tracks are unlikely to match the setting of the novel. But each of them relates in some significant way [...]

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9. Being John: On Sorrow, Writing, and Transmigration

November was cold that year. I dreamed of a blue snow closing around me like a fist. I was 12 and had few friends; I wore tragically misguided clothes, avoided the eyes of boys, told exorbitant lies. On Tuesday afternoons, I walked from the middle school to my grandmother's house in town, so she could [...]

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10. Tales from Both Sides of the Brain

Despite the innumerable discoveries related to the workings of the brain, there is still much that baffles neuroscientists grappling to unravel the brain's mysteries. Gazzaniga's new book explores the ongoing achievements and explorations, particularly the author's split-brain theory. A fascinating scientific tale and portrait of the pioneering author himself. Books mentioned in this post Tales [...]

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11. Smek for President!

Hang on to your koobish! This sequel to The True Meaning of Smekday sends Tip and J.Lo to New Boovworld to set straight the record of the Gorg defeat, but our unlikely heroes soon find that truth has taken a backseat to the upcoming presidential election. Politics doesn't get stranger (or sillier!) than this. Books [...]

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12. My Age of Anxiety

Both a memoir and a far-reaching exploration of anxiety's many facets. Stossel fearlessly illuminates his experiences with anxiety and his attempts to manage it, all while providing a fascinating account of anxiety throughout history, touching on everything from Hippocrates's findings to the latest neuropsychiatric research. Books mentioned in this post My Age of Anxiety: Fear, [...]

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13. Monstrous

Crafted by a master storyteller, Monstrous is an intriguing, haunting fantasy featuring a unique heroine — Kym is part dragon, part cat, part bird, and part human — and a wonderful cast of supporting characters. This book is guaranteed to hold you in its grip from the very first sentence. Books mentioned in this post [...]

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14. The Marauders

The Louisiana bayou — devastated first by Katrina, then by the BP oil spill — forms the setting for this lively debut novel featuring a one-armed, substance-using (and abusing), treasure-hunting ex-shrimper along with a slew of oddball supporting characters. A funny yet provocative thriller underscoring the desperation and determination of those living in this hard-hit [...]

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15. A Kim Jong-Il Production

Just when you thought the news about North Korea and the movies couldn't get any weirder, here comes a spectacular account of the real-life kidnappings of South Korea's biggest film stars by the late Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il. The central story is thrilling, but Fischer's narrative really shines in its stranger-than-fiction descriptions. Books mentioned in [...]

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16. Family Life

Sharma has written a simple, shattering book about tragedy that takes you so completely on a journey that by the final line, Ajay (the narrator) is your avatar and the three-minute disaster that has shaped his life is your disaster. Family Life is one of those beautiful novels that tilts your perception of the world [...]

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17. Red Queen

Superpowers get a feudal twist in this new fantasy, which feels like a YA mash-up of The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Game of Thrones. There are oodles of special powers and court intrigue, all swirling around a young thief who suddenly finds herself in the middle of a love triangle... and a revolution. Books mentioned [...]

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18. Sapiens

A captivating book that will change your understanding of self and civilization, Sapiens is the perfect blend of history and science, retelling the fascinating narrative of humanity's evolution. Books mentioned in this post Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari Sale Hardcover $20.99

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19. The Jaguar’s Children

Though Vaillant is best known for his critically acclaimed works of nonfiction, his prodigious talent is clearly on display in his debut novel, The Jaguar's Children. It’s a thrilling, timely story told with knowledge and compassion. If you, like me, often turn to fiction as a way to better understand complicated current events, then I [...]

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20. A Kim Jong-Il Production

Just when you thought the news about North Korea and the movies couldn't get any weirder, here comes Paul Fischer's spectacular account of the real-life kidnappings of South Korea's biggest film stars by the late Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il. The central story is thrilling, but Fischer's narrative really shines in its stranger-than-fiction descriptions of North [...]

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21. Q&A: Kelly Link, Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare

[Kelly Link will be at Powell's City of Books for a reading on Wednesday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. Click here for details.] In a joint social media call-out, authors Kelly Link, Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare invited readers to ask them anything they wanted. Below are some of those questions and responses. Q: Where [...]

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22. The Powell’s Playlist: Issa Rae

I absolutely love writing to music. Even now, as I write this playlist, I'm listening to J. Cole's 2014 Forest Hills Drive. As I wrote my first book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, music was in heavy rotation — I needed the perfect balance of music that was upbeat (to stop me from jumping [...]

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23. On Immunity

This slim foray into the contentious world of vaccination is courageous and stunning. In the book's introduction, Biss explains that her project began as an anxious new mother's research into the pros and cons of childhood inoculation, and ballooned into an exploration of the historical stigma and ongoing social significance of immunization. While Biss does [...]

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24. Be Happy, Be Cheerful, Be Joyful, Be Anything But Gay

My new novel, Welcome to Braggsville, is a satire about four college kids who perform an "intervention" at a Civil War reenactment, and quickly discover that even the best of intentions can cause a world of hurt as they find themselves caught between the academic theories that have stoked their indignation and the harsh realities [...]

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25. H Is for Hawk

Shocked by her father's unexpected death, lifelong falconer Helen Macdonald decides to take on training the fearsome goshawk, considered amongst the most difficult birds to train. This beautifully written and touching memoir traverses the obscure world of falconry to living through grief, ending up in a place of hope and recovery. Books mentioned in this [...]

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