Rikki

I love both fiction and nonfiction. Magical realism, secret histories, horror, the morbid, and the macabre are particular areas of fascination.


Darkly: Black History and America's Gothic Soul Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781912248544
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Published: Repeater - November 12th, 2019

Taylor is an incredible writer who blends memoir, social commentary, and an almost stream-of-consciousness structure into a completely one-of-a-kind book. This is her debut, and I really hope she writes something else soon.


Tender Is the Flesh Cover Image
By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781982150921
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Published: Scribner - August 4th, 2020

I've heard this novel described, more than once, as a "polemic against the factory farming industry." And while I certainly see that in here, this book is SO much more than that. It's about how we feel entitled to one another's bodies, it's about mass inaction against evil, and it's very much about grief. There was something to the writing and the never-ending series of tasks and social niceties set before the protagonist that reminded me of the best parts of Kafka's The Trial. Some of the genius of this book is that, while you read the actual story, you also witness all the possible outcomes that Bazterrica horrifyingly dangles in front of you. Only an incredibly talented writer (and translator) could bring so much smarts to a satire concept that sounds so sophomoric. The ending is horrifying, haunting, and triumphant.

CWs for violence against adults, animals, and children.

 


Mexican Gothic Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525620785
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Published: Del Rey - June 30th, 2020

This is like a gothic horror for people that don't have the patience for a traditional, slow-burn gothic horror. At a tight 300 pages, it moves along at a snappy pace, and takes a delightful turn for the weird about 2/3 of the way through. We don't get much of a distressed damsel in Noemi, but what we get in place of that is a character with a backbone. High Place stands in for the decay that colonizers often bring to previously thriving lands and communities. Fun and spooky!


The Hollow Places: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534451124
Availability: Backordered
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 6th, 2020

Kingfisher brings her trademark wit and weird to a new cosmic horror adventure where being devoured might be the best outcome you can hope for.


The Only Good Indians Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982136451
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Published: Gallery / Saga Press - July 14th, 2020

My jaw hung open as I read through some of the more grisly and suspenseful parts of this book. This book is absolutely brutal, but also beautiful and poignant. A story about identity and belonging wrapped up in a revenge story. I wasn’t ready to leave this world when the book ended, so I’m sure I’ll go back to visit often.


Ring Shout Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250767028
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Published: Tordotcom - October 13th, 2020

Y'all. This book is SO GOOD. Gleefully mashing together truly disgusting body horror and fantastical cosmic horror with meaningful and touching story, Clark moves through this short novel at lightning speed. Fascinating folkloric references are mixed into the mythos of the book, and there's a wonderful literary wink at the end. FANTASTIC.


Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel Cover Image
By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illustrator)
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062942852
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Published: William Morrow - October 20th, 2020

A creepy story so sweet that it leans into rot, as fallen apples bursting in the late summer heat. Like a songwriter, Danforth carefully chooses four or five notes to create terror, starts by playing only one or two at a time, and rearranges them into different melodies before reaching a caterwauling crescendo.

Memorable, complicated characters and a truly terrifying setting make this one that will stick with you.


Girl on a Motorcycle Cover Image
By Amy Novesky, Julie Morstad (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593116296
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Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - September 8th, 2020

Perfect to inspire a spirit of adventure and fearlessness in readers of all ages.


The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525557562
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Published: Viking - July 21st, 2020

A fascinating look at the history behind certain cryptids and UFO sightings. Dickey does a great job of showing where commonly held ideas and theories in these fields came from specific accounts and the cultural context that created these phenomena. This will give you a serious case of the "Did you know?"s.


Wanderers: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399182129
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Published: Del Rey - May 19th, 2020

This story lies just on the other side of our worst guesses of where the current moment in history could go. It’s a massive epic given the space to unfold at a natural pace, and the ending is startling and satisfying at once. (Content warning for graphic sexual violence.)


Mongrels: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062412706
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 24th, 2017

Who knew a book could be both a violent, gory werewolf story AND a poignant, human reflection on family and belonging? Stephen Graham Jones completely reinvented the werewolf for me.


Suicide Woods: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450062
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Published: Graywolf Press - October 15th, 2019

This collection, made up of nine perfectly short stories and one short novella, is frightening, tragic, and haunting. The stories will come back to you unbidden for a long time after.


The End of Policing Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781784782924
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Published: Verso - August 28th, 2018

Thorough, informative, and even-handed, this is an excellent eagle-eye view of policing in America and where it went wrong.


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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781683691433
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Published: Quirk Books - April 7th, 2020

 A fun and thoughtful adventure with a whole new kind of vampire, this book kept me emotionally invested and wide-eyed in suspense. The title and cover art led me to believe it was going to be a lighter book than it was, but, while funny, there are some heavy and dark themes here.


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Sin Eater: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982124106
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Published: Atria Books - April 7th, 2020

A speculative, historical, dystopian mystery. This book may be the first and last of a very specific microgenre. Campisi creates a world that's just slightly skewed to the right of real 16th century Britain, so most of the characters and setting will be slightly familiar, but twisted in a way to reveal the ludicrousness of real history. It takes a great talent to make an illiterate preteen with little compassion for outsiders and who's never been up a flight of stairs so relatable.


Boys of Alabama: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781631496295
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Published: Liveright - May 19th, 2020

Writing Alabama from the perspective of a total outsider (a German transplant) is a stroke of genius, and paints the strangeness of the landscape in dire, foreboding detail. The themes are heavy and dark, even while the teenage characters feel like they're being innocently moved by forces beyond themselves.This is a troubling portrait of young masculinity.


The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America's Urban Heartland Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062910608
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Published: William Morrow - April 28th, 2020

An interesting snapshot of a group of extremely moving and charming individuals united by a common goal and passion. As someone who isn't from Compton and wasn't aware of its agricultural roots, this book painted a fascinating picture of a lesser known corner of Compton life.


Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307276681
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Published: Vintage - July 26th, 2011

A coming-of-age adventure set in a version of the Everglades that is always on the verge of teetering into a dark fairy tale.The Bigtree family will charm you even while some of their practices repulse you. A great read if you liked Geek Love.


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Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen: A Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101871935
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Published: Pantheon - November 19th, 2019

Written in a style that effectively puts you in the early 18th century but is also inviting and accessible, this book travels through several different moral subjects (ego, conformity, cruelty, social performance, etc) on the way to its conclusion. Weird and thought-provoking.


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Whiskey When We're Dry: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735220454
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Published: Penguin Books - July 2nd, 2019

A western with a twist. As violent and tense as you'd expect, but also surprisingly queer and tender— all rendered with the same jagged beauty that makes the wide-open West.


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Conjure Women: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525511489
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Published: Random House - April 7th, 2020

It took weeks to shake the feeling that this book left me with, and each time I tossed my mind back to it for another pass, another layer of the story revealed itself to me. These characters breathe, bleed, create beauty in their world, and sometimes disappoint you. You won't be done with them at the end of this novel; they'll take up residence in the back of your mind.


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My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525522133
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Published: Penguin Books - June 25th, 2019

This book is damned funny and readable, against steep odds. Rarely has such an unrelatable and unlikeable narrator been so compelling. A book about popping pills and sleeping for days shouldn't be a page-turner, but Moshfegh pulls it off. I found myself laughing out loud during each scene with Dr. Tuttle (the worst psychiatrist in history), and wondering seriously about who deserves sympathy and whether sympathy should even be a limited resource.


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Grease Bats Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781684154111
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Published: BOOM! Box - September 3rd, 2019

Funny, relatable, and incredibly endearing, you'll soon find yourself deciding who in your friend group is a Scout, Andy, Ari, or Gwen!


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A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror Cover Image
By John Hornor Jacobs, Chuck Wendig (Introduction by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062880833
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Published: Harper Voyager - July 28th, 2020

The dread of transgression against unnatural forces builds slowly and deliciously in these two stories set in full-color worlds.


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The Twisted Ones Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534429567
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Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 1st, 2019

The Twisted Ones is a gripping adventure story with an extremely likable and believable main character and a dog as a really well-realized central character. The mythology is really interesting and just vague enough to allow your imagination to fill in the blanks with whatever creeps you out.


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The Monster of Elendhaven Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250225689
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Published: Tordotcom - September 24th, 2019

This was a fun, fast read. The author combines a handful of different familiar genres, settings, and characters to create something new. The two main characters are both evil to the bone, but their sympathetic origins and seemingly genuine affection for one another will have you cheering for the bad guy. It would be a perfect quick Halloween read or a palette cleanser after something more serious.


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We Sold Our Souls: A Novel Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781683691242
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Published: Quirk Books - June 25th, 2019

A fun, gorey adventure through a familiar dystopia that is part Metalocalypse and part They Live. In contrast to basically every rock n’ roll fiction trope, the female protagonist is middle aged, never defined in terms of her attractiveness or lack thereof, isn’t driven by love or obsession with a male character, and is never threatened with sexualized violence. Meanwhile, there’s also enough knowledgeable metal band namedropping to amuse real fans.


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Insurrecto Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781641290920
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Published: Soho Press - August 20th, 2019

Gina Apostol presents this novel in a way that feels as though you’re wearing blinders and can only see what is directly in front of you- up until the end, when your view expands and the separate pieces all click together. Sometimes it takes you a moment to figure out who you are, which smartly highlights the commonalities of the seemingly disparate characters. This story is a fascinating exploration of the construction of history and the context from which we view it.


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Lolita (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679723165
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Published: Vintage - March 13th, 1989

There is nothing quite so unsettling as the ease with which Nabokov places you inside the perspective of an absolute monster. You’re trapped inside the evil, unable to look away. This is not an easy read, but it’s a rewarding one, and one you’ll have a hard time putting down.


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Frankenstein Cover Image
By Mary Shelley, Harold Bloom (Afterword by), Douglas Clegg (Introduction by)
$5.95
ISBN: 9780451532244
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Published: Signet - October 1st, 2013

Witness the invention of science fiction! Not just terrifying, but deeply tragic and moving. Posits questions that are still relevant, about the boundaries of science and how we define humanity.


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Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780345337665
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Published: Ballantine Books - September 13th, 1991

You say you know angst? Now imagine that angst stretching on into a potential eternity. Rice’s vampires are beautiful, sensuous, and sad to their deepest core. It’s hard not to fall in love with them even when you are pretty sure that they may well be evil. Highly recommended for strange and unusual teens and adults who used to be strange and unusual teens.


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Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death Cover Image
By Caitlin Doughty, Dianné Ruz (Illustrator)
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393652703
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 10th, 2019

A wonderful read for any age, and possibly a humorous way to take the edge out of death anxiety for teens and pre-teens. Doughty shows off both her trademark knowledge and cheekiness, resulting in a book that might make you see death as just another funny part of life.


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Gentle Discipline: Using Emotional Connection--Not Punishment--to Raise Confident, Capable Kids Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143131892
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Published: TarcherPerigee - August 29th, 2017

I was so pleased with this author's ability to turn my vague parental goals and philosophies into actionable plans. I'm making my husband read it, too!


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Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781609809157
Availability: Special Order
Published: Seven Stories Press - July 9th, 2019

These stories start in a familiar, concrete place and then snake imperceptibly into the fantastic. Were you the weird kid at your small high school? Have you ever watched a police standoff in your trailer park? Ever had a supernatural experience while on hallucinogens? This book is for you, and when you begin to read, you’ll feel like it was written JUST for you.


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Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781512602494
Availability: Out of Print
Published: ForeEdge - February 6th, 2018

Fallon writes about ecology, conservation, history, and mythology, tying it all together with her personal experiences and connection to the titular birds. Her style echoes the nature writers she clearly admires. Entertaining, informative, with a clear mission of winning people over to the protection and conservation of an important bird, this is an excellent piece of pop science writing.


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Lexie the Word Wrangler Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399169571
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Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - April 4th, 2017

Rootin' tootin' wordplay!


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A Cowgirl and Her Horse Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781933855714
Availability: Backordered
Published: Rio Chico Books for Children - October 1st, 2011

A lovely book about friendship, responsibility, and reciprocity.


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Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella Cover Image
By Susan Lowell, Jane Manning (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780064438643
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Published: HarperCollins - December 18th, 2001

What a fun, western twist on a classic! You'll be rootin' for this little cowgirl.


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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (Picador Modern Classics) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250160652
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Published: Picador Modern Classics - November 7th, 2017

I was blown away by this collection of essays. I didn’t realize I had been seeing the DNA of Didion’s work in so much of the writing I love. Clearly hugely influential, even though the pieces are all slices of life from the '60s, the writing feels incredibly contemporary. I’ll be seeking out everything else Didion wrote, without question.


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The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393356991
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 4th, 2019

The Last Cowboys is one part ethnography, one part sports writing. Branch spent three years with the Wrights, at their homes, at their ranch, and on the road to countless rodeos. The result is a warm, fascinating account of a family that might not know how extraordinary they are.


Revenge of the She-Punks: A Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781477316542
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Published: University of Texas Press - May 7th, 2019

Probably the best history of punk music I've ever read, re-establishing the lost trail of women in punk that were so important to several different genres. Goldman has a unique ability to accurately and compellingly describe the sound of songs.


Life Doesn't Frighten Me (Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781419727481
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Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - January 9th, 2018

What a beautiful way to introduce these two incredible artists to the little ones in your life!


Sonya's Chickens Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781770497900
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tundra Books - January 9th, 2018

This stunningly beautiful book packs a multitude of incredible lessons for kids. The “circle of life,” the beauty hidden in grief, and the responsibilities of love. Every family should have this on their shelf.


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Parable of the Sower Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538732182
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 30th, 2019

Parable of the Sower makes familiar characters in a classic scenario (a dystopian apocalypse) gripping and fresh through plain language and emotional intelligence. Though the story is grim, a heart bursting with hope and love is at its core.


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On Cussing: Bad Words and Creative Cursing Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781947793262
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Published: Tin House Books - March 26th, 2019

Written with stonefaced hilarity, this book could make you a better writer and one eloquent sonofabitch.


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Hell and Damnation: A Sinner's Guide to Eternal Torment Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780889775848
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Published: University of Regina Press - March 2nd, 2019

A literary history of Hell (and comparable underworlds) is every bit as scintillating and page-turning as it sounds. Told with a healthy dose of snark, the book is divided into easily digestible sections, often as direct answers to questions that would naturally arise in a matter-of-fact discussion of perdition. Dark, nasty fun.


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Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781683642008
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Published: Sounds True - September 4th, 2018

Ram Dass and I disagree on a number of theological points, and I haven’t lived a life anything like his. The questions he contemplates peacefully from a Maui beach house overlooking the Pacific, I contemplate on my dusty Tucson patio. So it came as somewhat of a surprise that I found so much of his wisdom relatable and true. Regardless of your spiritual background, age, or experience, there is a loving universality to Ram Dass’s words. This is unflinching love in the face of oblivion.


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Queer: A Graphic History Cover Image
By Meg-John Barker, Julia Scheele (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781785780714
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Published: Icon Books - November 15th, 2016

What a wonderfully broad and inclusive introduction to queer theory. I found this really fascinating, even when I disagreed with a specific point here and there. It'll certainly be a jumping-off point for other readings, many of which are cited in this book!


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Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250619464
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Published: Picador - July 21st, 2020

John Waters is nothing if not consistent. He always delivers exactly what we expect from him and, if you're a fan, exactly what you want. This reads exactly like his spoken word work. Hilarious (if stubbornly outdated).


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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351903
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

I read this after reading her second book, From Here to Eternity, which I loved. I liked this one even more. This one is about the death industry, yes, but it's also about the individual struggle to accept mortality. Doughty gets extremely personal, seeming at once one-of-a-kind and deeply relatable.


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Being Edie Is Hard Today Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316521741
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 7th, 2019

Sometimes being a kid is hard. Wouldn't you rather be an armadillo or a worm? This book, full of beautiful and stylistic art, explores what every kid has felt at some point.


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The Rough Patch Cover Image
By Brian Lies, Brian Lies (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062671271
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Published: Greenwillow Books - August 14th, 2018

This sweet and poignant book manages to make something as painful and amorphous as loss into something both relatable and hopeful. A beautiful book for anybody— of any age— that has dealt with loss. Be ready to cry!


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Even Cowgirls Get the Blues: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553349498
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - April 1st, 1990

I don't know if I want more to grow up to be Sissy Hankshaw or Bonanza Jellybean, who are just two of the incredible characters in this story that takes place somewhere between mid-century America and the strangest corners of your dreams. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading this joyfully bizarre book, it's high time.


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Living the Airstream Life Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780062440822
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Design - September 19th, 2017

Totally aspirational— great for planning or daydreaming.


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We Found a Hat Cover Image
By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763656003
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Published: Candlewick - October 11th, 2016

A beautiful, stylishly drawn story about simple acts of friendship.


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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143129677
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Published: Penguin Books - April 4th, 2017

A clear-eyed exploration of something that is usually only discussed as the subject of jokes. An important piece of the puzzle when addressing hierarchical systems of power in the U.S.


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My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781904859727
Availability: Special Order
Published: AK Press - October 1st, 2007

I read a couple dozen books during my pregnancy looking for a parenting book that resonated with me, matched my values, and was also an entertaining read, and this was the ONLY one that fit the bill. This book is a natural extension of DIY punk ethos and anarchist community-building, and a great parenting resource.


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A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781620104996
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Published: Limerence Press - June 12th, 2018

This book is so charming and accessible. A must read. Give this to your well-meaning aunt who says all of this is "just too confusing."


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Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Cover Image
$8.95
ISBN: 9780525434801
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - May 1st, 2018

A wonderful gift for new parents, or a great overview for how we can unlearn misogyny in our daily lives. Adichie’s writing is so warm, it feels like a conversation with a friend (which it originally was).


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Witchbody: A Graphic Novel Cover Image
By Sabrina Scott, Tim Morton (Foreword by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781578636648
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Published: Weiser Books - March 1st, 2019

Have you ever read a graphic novel with a bibliography?Reading this and taking in the beautiful illustrations is a meditation. The theory is good thought exercise, even if you find yourself disagreeing on some points.Witchbody will bring more beauty and consideration into your life.


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Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316264372
Availability: Backordered
Published: Hachette Books - August 29th, 2017

A punk rock coming-of-age told with raw emotional immediacy.


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Truck Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780446391535
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 1st, 1990

I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything that better captured misfit teenage girlhood. Gross, embarrassing, harrowing, and absolutely gripping. There’s nothing precious about this protagonist.


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Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780452297753
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 1st, 2012

This book will earn your love and then traumatize you terribly. Be warned. The language is natural, the characters people I knew in my own childhood. It’s like a workout for the heart- it’ll leave you sore but very alive.


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Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781101980200
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Published: Penguin Books - October 3rd, 2017

A surprisingly natural meeting place for history, social justice, and ghost stories, and an addictive read.


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Death: An Oral History Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781942186120
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Pulp - August 2nd, 2016

A conversational and vulnerable exploration of the many ways death impacts us. Warm and familiar.


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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death Cover Image
By Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393356281
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 9th, 2018

A lighthearted but respectful exploration of some of the ways we deal with our dead. Coming from a perspective of cultural health and ecological conservation, you’ll walk away with as many questions as answers.


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I Wanna Be a Cowgirl Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481452991
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Published: Beach Lane Books - November 14th, 2017

A beautifully illustrated book that prizes dreaming big and teaches kids that being tough and tender can go hand in hand.
 


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Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616207434
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Published: Algonquin Books - January 30th, 2018

An engaging, witty, and accessible dive into the anthropology and biology behind a long-standing taboo.