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1. Vanishing Games

The Ghostman returns in this thrilling, page-turning, whip-smart read. Hobbs has nailed it again with a story of jewel theft gone wrong set in the glittering casinos and crumbling slums of the gambling city of Macao. Books mentioned in this post Vanishing Games Roger Hobbs Used Hardcover $17.95

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2. The Last Ever After

In the third and final volume of the School of Good and Evil series, Sophie and Agatha find themselves separated, only to face each other once again when Evil threatens to take over. The thrilling, twisting conclusion to this epic tale is one not to be missed. Books mentioned in this post School for Good [...]

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3. All This Life

Mohr is a favorite of several Powell's employees, and his fifth novel does not disappoint. All This Life explores how a mass suicide affects the people who witnessed it, and the ripple effects that follow one teenager's posting of the event online. Mohr is a beautiful, dark, and funny writer, and his examination of our [...]

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4. What Pet Should I Get?

Who better to explore the world of our most beloved friends — pets — than the equally beloved Dr. Seuss? With his signature kooky creatures and whimsical verse, this new, never-before-seen book is a super-fun way to learn about the dilemma of making up your mind. Books mentioned in this post What Pet Should I [...]

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5. Palimpsest: A History of the Written Word

If you love the written word, then you'll love its rich history. Palimpsest traces the advancement of writing from Mesopotamia all the way up to the digital age, offering much more than a dry account: we learn as much about the cultural implications as we do about the changes in format and medium. Battles is [...]

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6. On Writing

No matter how you feel about the writing of Charles Bukowski, there's no denying he's become a much-emulated and lauded author of mid- to late-century American literature and poetry. This volume of Bukowski's letters to friends and colleagues reveals his thoughts on the process of creation in an intimate and open way. Books mentioned in [...]

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7. The Long Way Home

Louise Penny continues her wonderful Chief Inspector Gamache series with this psychologically nuanced, elegantly plotted 10th installment. Gamache's neighbor Clara's husband has not come home as promised on the anniversary of their separation. As Gamache and Clara search for answers, The Long Way Home aptly showcases Penny's moral acuity and depth of feeling. Books mentioned [...]

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8. Circling the Sun

Before she became a pilot, Beryl Markham trained racehorses, married twice, and was nearly eaten by a lion. Circling the Sun brings Markham to life in sparkling color, giving readers a fresh perspective on the beloved author of West with the Night. McLain effortlessly transports us to 1920s Kenya. Books mentioned in this post Circling [...]

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9. 10 Best Books by Writer-Illustrators

As a child who loved books I was fascinated by the illustrations just as much as the text. The same is true for me today, and I'm happy to be among a group of writers who also illustrate their own works. There's a rich tradition of writer-illustrators spanning time. All 10 of these books are [...]

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10. Poems New and Collected

One of only 13 women to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (out of 111 total laureates), Polish poet Wisława Szymborska (pronounced vees-WAH-vah shim-BOR-ska) was awarded the world's highest literary honor in 1996. A career-spanning work that features poems from eight separate collections, Poems New and Collected offers some four decades of the poet's finest [...]

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11. To the Lighthouse

Reading Virginia Woolf is like stepping out onto a veranda, where the entire world unfurls before you in dazzling detail. Her unparalleled ability to paint a scene so exquisitely, and to inhabit her characters with such clarity and intensity, makes for an experience that is both awe-inspiring and deeply moving. To the Lighthouse, set in [...]

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12. Faces in the Crowd

As sinuous a novel as Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd is, it is all the more remarkable on account of it being a debut — and a most assured one at that. The Mexican novelist and essayist's first fiction entwines multiple narratives and perspectives, shifting between them with the ease and gracefulness of a [...]

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13. Song of Solomon

If the only book you've read by Toni Morrison is her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Beloved, you're missing out. Known for her powerfully evocative prose, her grand mystical tales steeped in black history, her haunting (and haunted) characters, Morrison is an author whose body of work demands attention. Her third novel, Song of Solomon — Barack [...]

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14. On Photography

Sontag was good at pretty much everything related to language — she wrote novels, stories, plays, and memoirs. But the best of her efforts were her essays and critical writings. It's difficult to narrow down a single collection to represent her nonfiction work, which ranged from horror movies to encapsulating "camp" to exploring illness as [...]

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15. A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Solnit is one of the most eloquent, urgent, and intelligent voices writing nonfiction today; from Men Explain Things to Me to Storming the Gates of Paradise, anything she's written is well worth reading. But her marvelous book of essays A Field Guide to Getting Lost might be her most poetic, ecstatic work. Field Guide is [...]

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16. Strangers on a Train

Highsmith is a master of stark, poetic prose, acclaimed for her relentless themes of murder and psychological torment. She is best known for her series of five Tom Ripley novels, popularly referred to as the Ripliad. Like the Ripley stories, Highsmith's debut book, Strangers on a Train, is most remembered for its adaptation to the [...]

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17. Frankenstein

In her short 53 years, Mary Shelley wrote novels, plays, short stories, essays, biographies, and travel books, but it's not surprising that she is best known for her novel Frankenstein. It's hard to separate the idea of Frankenstein's monster from the popular icon he's become, but everyone should read the original novel. Shelley's gothic masterpiece, [...]

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18. Cat’s Eye

Atwood is a master at conveying the inner landscape of her characters, and her novels are frequently peppered with sharp and incisive social commentary. Adored by both readers and critics, she has published over 40 works, including many books of poetry, and has won countless accolades, including the Booker Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke [...]

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19. Words and Rules

Pinker's book is an absolute treat for lovers of language and anyone fascinated by the human mind. You'll come away with a much greater understanding of how words form in our mouths and how language gets passed on, and altered, from generation to generation. Books mentioned in this post

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20. Smokejumper

Smokejumper is a fascinating look at the elite men and women who parachute into raging forest fires, risking their lives daily. Ramos provides a lively historical account of firefighting in the wilderness and takes us to the front lines, where fires can burn so fiercely they create their own weather. Books mentioned in this post

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21. Your Imagination, Your Fingerprint

When I was in grad school, a teacher told our workshop that if a published novel is 300 pages, the writer had to generate 1,200 along the way. I didn't buy it. Maybe it took this teacher 1,200 pages to find the right 300, but I would never have to produce such excess. I'd maybe [...]

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22. You Are… Who?

Writing a book is an unnatural act of communication.Writing a book is an unnatural act of communication. Speaking to a person, or even to an audience, is an interaction. Very different styles are suited to an expert, a curious layperson, or a student on assignment... or to a one-on-one, a salon, or a lecture theater. When we [...]

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23. “You Want Me to Smell My Fingers?”: Five Unforgettable Greek Idioms

The word "idiom" originates in the Greek word ídios ("one's own") and means "special feature" or "special phrasing." Idioms are peculiar because, by definition, something that is one's own is impossible to translate or share. Idioms point to ideologies inherently foreign and strange. Taken word for word, they are often ridiculous and hilarious. But translating [...]

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24. Powell’s Q&A: Jesse Ball

Describe your latest book. I woke up one day from a sort of daydream with an idea for a book's structure, and for the thread of that book, one predicated upon the protagonist's loss of memory. In many cases, such memory losses are accidental or undesired, but in this case, it is an asked-for amnesia. [...]

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25. Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

It can be hard to pinpoint what makes Lydia Davis's writing so magnetic. Her precise, no-nonsense language combined with her liberal definition of the short story? Her attention to the overlooked, the mundane, the clutter in our lives that holds so much meaning? Her understated sense of humor, so deeply ingrained in her observations about [...]

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