Molly

Molly, outreach manager, Brooklyn
Most recent staff pickThe Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler (ebook available)
I know just enough about cocktails to be dangerous (in a good way -- or so I like to think). Much of that is due to the influence of Jeffrey Morgenthaler, who used to tend bar at my hometown local. This isn't your typical recipe book (though there are a few recipes), but an exploration of techniques that will class up your homemade libations. When anyone this good behind the bar shares his considerable knowledge, it's a treat.

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The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique (Cocktail Book with Cocktail Recipes, Mixology Book for Bartending) Cover Image
By Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Martha Holmberg (With), Alanna Hale (Photographs by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9781452113845
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - June 3rd, 2014

I know just enough about cocktails to be dangerous (in a good way -- or so I like to think). Much of that is due to the influence of Jeffrey Morgenthaler, who used to tend bar at my hometown local. This isn't your typical recipe book (though there are a few recipes), but an exploration of techniques that will class up your homemade libations. When anyone this good behind the bar shares his considerable knowledge, it's a treat. (Molly)


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Euphoria Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802122551
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - June 3rd, 2014

If you're tired of the heat, Euphoria might make you feel a little better, for it's much hotter -- and there are way more bugs -- in 1930s New Guinea, where the brilliant, intuitive anthropologist Nell Stone and her temperamental Australian husband, Fen, are looking for a new tribe to study. They find the Tam, and they also find Andrew Bankson, a fellow scientist who is so unlike Nell and Fen that he fills a strange space in their lives. Though darkness looms from the very first page, Euphoria is a vibrant, taut, and beautifully written depiction of conflicting and complementary passions. (Molly)


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Dirty Wings: A Novel (The Metamorphoses Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250049384
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - July 15th, 2014

Maia and Cass are among the unlikeliest of friends: a dissatisfied, rule-following pianist and a clever and rebellious street kid. Something like fate brings them together, and the bond they form is as close -- maybe closer -- that that between Aurora and the unnamed narrator in McCarry's previous book, All Our Pretty Songs. Readers of that book will recognize Cass and Maia, but Dirty Wings stands alone just fine: it's a fierce, smart, and magical story about friendship and love and music and letting go and finding your place in the world. (Molly & Jenn)


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The Girl With All the Gifts Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316278157
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - June 10th, 2014

In a spare bunker, a little girl named Melanie and her classmates live strange lives. They're taken to class in restraints, bathed in weird chemicals, and fed nasty things. It's a lonesome, sterile life, one brightened only by the presence of kind teacher Miss Justineau. When the outside world intrudes, Melanie, her sergeant keeper, her teacher, and a laser-focused scientist wind up on a road trip across an England ravaged by biological change. Why it happened, what it means for humanity, and why Melanie is so peculiar -- Carey teases out the answers to these questions and more. But if you get "spoiled" for this one, don't stress; it's the kind of book you can read happily (and quickly, and while being totally creeped out) whether or not you already know certain things about the premise. (Molly)


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Infinite Sky Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781481406581
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - May 20th, 2014

When a family of travelers sets up camp on property owned by Iris's family, everyone responds differently: Her dad is angry, her brother has his own trouble to deal with, and Iris can't stop sneaking peeks out the window, wondering about lives that look so different than her own. The friendship she strikes up with the traveler boy, Trick, quickly grows complex, transforming Iris's summer into a defining season. Debut YA novelist Flood perfectly captures the pangs and stresses and glories of growing up in a small country town, weaving grace and growth into a story that tell you, from the first page, that things aren't all going to end well. It's a heartbreaker. (Molly)


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All the Birds, Singing Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780307907769
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Pantheon Books - April 15th, 2014

Evie Wyld's novel is impossibly balanced -- gorgeous and graceful, dark and taut, it tells the story of Jake, a young woman who's chosen a solitary life on a cold English island. Gradually, in twined narratives of past and present, Wyld explores the questions Jake's situation raises: Why is she there, alone, with a dog and a herd of sheep? What's picking off her sheep, one by one? What brought her there, and what did she leave behind? Wyld is as good at Jake's reluctant, slow-moving connection to other people as she is at depicting the kind of solitude that's sometimes necessary to process, to rebuild, and to heal. I read All the Birds, Singing in two sittings; it's the kind of book that just won't let you go. (Molly)


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Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594631399
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 6th, 2014

Helen Oyeyemi can do no wrong. Her last book, Mr. Fox, was a twisty, unsettling riff on "Bluebeard." This one is "Snow White" -- sort of. It's really so much more than that. Boy, Snow, Bird reinvents the wicked stepmother, finds the anger in the perfect daughter, and explores a thorny tangle of identity, love, race, and perception. Oyeyemi writes like no one else, but she's absolutely an heir to the brilliant Angela Carter. Bravo. (Molly)


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The Free: A Novel Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780062276742
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Harper Perennial - February 4th, 2014

The Free is full of Vlautin's boundless compassion for ordinary people facing intensely difficult times. Its characters rotate around Leroy Kervin, an Iraq vet who spends most of the book unconscious, dreaming a parallel version of his life. Vlautin's story is concerned with the cost of war, the cost of health care, the cost of just plain living -- and the toll all these things take on people who are always one step behind. I've wanted every one of Vlautin's novels to be his breakout, especially the boy-and-his-horse story Lean on Pete, but this profoundly, heartbreakingly American story might be the one that makes the world sit up and take notice. (Molly)


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Dept. of Speculation Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780385350815
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 28th, 2014

This tiny jewel of a book is pensive, heartbreaking, glorious and deftly, impeccably pieced together. Our narrator, known only as the wife, makes her way through endless everyday challenges: a crying baby, a shaky marriage, the never-ending task of reconciling the person you thought you'd be with the person it seems you actually are. Ovid, Rilke, Kafka, astronauts, I Can Has Cheezburger -- the things woven into her observations and consolations are familiar, but Offill’s brief, poignant snippets of a life are anything but ordinary. This little book is hard to explain and impossible to put down; at about 175 pages, you can devour it in one cold night. (Molly)


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The Color Master Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780385534895
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Doubleday Books - August 13th, 2013

If I had my way, there would be a new Aimee Bender book every year (if not even more often). The details of her gorgeously written stories are often surreal -- in one, a girl travels with her sister to learn how to mend a wounded tiger; in the title story, an apprentice works to dye cloth the precise color of the moon -- but the feelings they evoke are bittersweet and familiar.


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The Real Boy Cover Image
By Anne Ursu, Erin McGuire (Illustrator)
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780062015075
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Walden Pond Press - September 24th, 2013

Strange happenings force Oscar, a magician's assistant, out of his safe cellar room and into a world where children are falling terribly ill, and something big and scary is leaving a path of destruction through gardens and towns. People are a mystery to Oscar, but plants and herbs and cats are not - and those skills will turn out to be more useful than he expected. Fans of William Alexander's Goblin Secrets might look next to Ursu's magical tale. (Molly)


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Fangirl: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250030955
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 10th, 2013

Rainbow Rowell's second YA novel this year is just as wonderful as her first (Eleanor and Park). The most striking thing about Fangirl, which follows fanfic junkie Cather as she goes off to college, is the perfect way Rowell captures a time of endless, tumultuous change. New people, new situations, new friendships, maybe new relationships -- all crowd Cath's time at the computer, where she writes popular Simon Snow fanfic (think Harry Potter, but, well, not). Rowell's enthusiasm for fandom is as boundless as her sense of humor -- and this book, like her last, has a really, really big heart. (Molly)


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The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two Cover Image
By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781250023506
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Feiwel & Friends - October 1st, 2013

It seems impossible that Valente's Fairyland books just keep getting better, given how utterly magically the series began, but that's exactly what they do. In the third installment, September gets a new outfit and a new ride, is labeled a criminal, and goes in search of a Yeti who is purportedly causing trouble on the moon. But this is Fairyland, where things are almost never what they seem. Valente packs so much insight and heart into these slim, swift little volumes that finishing each book is a little heartbreaking -- and yes, this one made me cry.


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Heroines (Semiotext(e) Active Agents) Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781584351146
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Semiotext(e) - October 5th, 2012

You don't have to know a thing about the Modernists to be fascinated -- and infuriated -- by Zambreno's compelling account of the women who lived and worked alongside them -- to much less acclaim.Part memoir, part history, part manifesto, part inspiring reading list (to think I'd never read Jean Rhys before!), Heroines is the book I want to press into the hands of every writing woman I know. I'll keep this one by my desk, to refer to its dog-eared pages when I need something to keep me going


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Monsters and Legends Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781909263031
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Flying Eye Books - July 2nd, 2013

The endpapers of this oversized picture book immediately caught my eye -- quirky yellow-and-black drawings of creatures that never were. The rest of the book is just as endearing: It's a playful encyclopedia of imaginary (or misidentified) beings from the familiar (mermaids, werewolves) to the adorably ridiculous (the splintercat, which smashes its head into trees to get at delicious sap). A little bit creepy and a lot of fun, Monsters and Legends has an old-fashioned feel that makes it seem like a book you should have had as a child.


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All Our Pretty Songs: A Novel (The Metamorphoses Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781250027085
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - July 30th, 2013

We are nuts for this book. McCarry has taken a scene near and dear to our hearts -- Seattle grunge in the '90s -- and made it the setting for a rock'n'roll, retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. But the twists don't stop there, and All Our Pretty Songs is about much more than romantic love. For everyone who has ever needed music to survive -- which is all of us, right? (Molly & Jenn)


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September Girls Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780061255632
Availability: Unavailable
Published: HarperTeen - May 21st, 2013

Nothing about Bennett Madison's sun-soaked story it as it seems -- not the small town where its narrator, Sam, spends his summer; not the Girls, mysterious and blonde, who are all drawn to Sam; not the things that are strange about the Girls, like why they name themselves things like Nalgene and watch game shows whenever they aren't working. Sleekly subversive and quietly brilliant, September Girls does entirely new things with an old myth, transforming a story you might think you know into a beautiful YA novel that slips effortlessly between genres. (Molly)


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Lexicon Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781594205385
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Penguin Press - June 18th, 2013

This one sits in a particular place between The Flame Alphabet and Snow Crash -- a fun-smart-affecting-thoughtful-absurdly-enjoyable thriller in which language's power as a weapon and a tool is massively heightened in the hands of "poets" who hone their scary skills in a special school (of course). Barry neatly combines a love story, a globe-trotting adventure, and nifty ideas about identity, love, and the compelling power of the right words. (Molly)


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The Engagements Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780307958716
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 11th, 2013

Do you have an immediate response to the cover of this book? Do you associate something -- weddings, love, advertising, conflict -- with that diamond? If so, chalk it up (at least in part) to one of the characters in Sullivan's multi-strand novel: Frances Gerety, the copywriter who coined the phrase "A diamond is forever." Deftly and gently, Sullivan weaves together research and fiction, crossing decades as she links four disparate couples with one diamond ring. (Molly)


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Uses for Boys: A Novel Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781250007117
Availability: Unavailable
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 15th, 2013

Scheidt's YA novel about one young woman's journey stumbling toward adulthood broke my heart in the strangest ways. Anna's voice is dreamy and incisive at the same time, and her story is never pat or cautionary, just honest, difficult, and hopeful. (The YA Not? book group will be discussing Uses for Boys in August.) (Molly)


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Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to
By David Wondrich, Dale DeGroff (Foreword by)
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780399532870
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Perigee Books - November 6th, 2007

Take a deep breath before rattling off the subtitle of David Wondrich's detailed, jaunty guide to the classic cocktail: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. No idea who Jerry Thomas was? No worries; Wondrich will tell you, while packing the tale with history, curiosities, anecdotes -- and a lot of recipes, each of which has its own story. (Molly)


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Mr. Fox Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594486180
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - November 6th, 2012

Oyeyemi's latest novel is a twisty, slippery little game between Mr. Fox, a novelist, and his muse, Mary Foxe, who challenges Mr. Fox's treatment of his female characters. Their argument plays out as a series of stories that are as compelling as they are elusive. Mr. Fox is excellent for book group discussions; we had at least as many theories as we had group attendees! (Molly)


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Again! Cover Image
By Emily Gravett, Emily Gravett (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781442452312
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 16th, 2013

The little dragon in Emily Gravett's clever new picture book is hardly the only child to want to hear a story more than once -- but when a dragon gets demanding, the consequences can be downright fiery. This story starts on the endpapers and continues all the way to the back cover, and the meta-charms don't stop there; you can follow the story-within-a-story as it changes, and then peel off the jacket to reveal that the book you're holding is the same one the little dragon is so desperate to hear. Everything about this book is just right, down to the smallest detail. Again! (Molly)


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The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781439171967
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - October 2nd, 2012

I have a weakness for books about how and why we eat the way we do, so Tracie McMillan's investigation into three major stops along the American food chain -- California farms, Walmart, and Applebee's -- was right up my alley. But it's a great investigative tale even if you're not a sucker for The Omnivore's Dilemma and Salt Sugar Fat. McMillan's first-person experience is told with a journalist's skill for detail and research, and reveals as much about middle-class assumptions as it does about the cracked system that provides America with so much food and so little pay. (Molly)


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A Tale for the Time Being Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780670026630
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - March 12th, 2013

In Ruth Ozeki's new novel, a writer named Ruth finds, on a cold Canadian beach, a parcel containing a watch, some letters, and a journal. As she reads the journal, growing obsessed with the young woman who wrote it, Ozeki's book shifts, so we read along with Ruth. The journal belongs to Nao, a Japanese girl who in turn is interested in the life of her grandmother, a Buddhist nun. Ozeki knits her two tales together with unexpected threads: quantum mechanics, Schrodinger's Cat, Buddhist practices, cultural divides, the internet, and the reader are all pieces of the whole. A Tale for the Time Being is both lonely and comforting, and very aptly named. It's a story that could only be written now, but it's a bridge between times. (Molly)


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The Scorpio Races Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545224918
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - April 1st, 2013

While waiting impatiently for Stiefvater's sequel to The Raven Boys, I'm making my way through her backlist. The Scorpio Races centers on a an annual horse race that's like nothing I've ever imagined: the islanders of Thisby race sea horses, carnivorous brutes that come from the ocean but are wickedly fast on land. Stiefvater weaves the stories of two orphaned riders, the mythology of the horses, and the isolated chill of the island into a book I really couldn't put down. Equal parts introspective and exciting, it hovers in that magical place between fantasy and reality, past and present. (Molly)


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Happy Punks 1 2 3 (Wee Rebel) Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781933149677
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Manic D Press - April 16th, 2013

Maybe I'm technically a little too old for counting books, but I LOVE this one, in which 10 happy punks make flyers, go thrift shopping, spike their hair, talk about bands, and play a loud show. Sure, you're most likely to give this to the punk-rock parents among your friends, but the bright, detailed illustrations are meant to charm kids, who can follow green-haired musicians, blue dogs, and a cranky elephant (among others!) through the pages. These punks know how to have a good day. (Molly)


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Eleanor & Park: Exclusive Special Edition Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250012579
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 26th, 2013

Rowell's pitch-perfect YA novel -- our first pick for the new YA Not? book group -- is a heartbreaker. Writing from the alternating perspectives of her two main characters, Rowell lingers on the tiny moments that feel enormous, charting the cautious connection that builds between unpopular Eleanor and accepted Park. Their home lives are as much a study in contrasts as their standings on the social ladder of high school, and both feel incredibly real. Mix tapes and comic books are key in Eleanor and Park's relationship, but the pop culture is icing, not the focus -- that stays on these two teens, the gentle, rocky way they fall for each other, and the circumstances that disrupt their lives. (Molly)


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The Summer Prince Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780545417792
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - March 1st, 2013

A vivid, engrossing YA that takes place in a future version of Brazil, where the unusual governing body requires a queen -- and a sacrificial king. June, a young artist, is trying to make her mark and win the coveted Queen's Award. She finds in the new Summer King -- a charismatic young man named Enki, who comes from the lowest tiers of her society -- a kindred soul, a fellow artist and collaborator. Their projects, like Johnson's book, fuse beauty and politics into something beautiful and affecting. (Molly)


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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781400069804
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Random House - February 26th, 2013

Michael Moss's new book is full of terrifying, fascinating information about how processed food is made, and with what. The wizards behind the food science curtain are wicked smart and sometimes worried about the things they make, but their overlords answer to Wall Street, not the concerned consumer. Pretty much guaranteed to put you off snack foods -- at least for a while. (Molly)


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Code Name Verity Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781423152194
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 15th, 2012

Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor-winning YA is narrated by a young spy who's writing down her story in order to buy herself time with her Nazi captors. Her tale is full of English planes, secret locations, and the details of life in wartime -- but Wein centers this heartbreaking, gorgeous story on the connection between the captive spy and the pilot who is her best friend. Verity is so carefully pieced together, I may have to read it again just to see how precisely Wein sets out each breadcrumb of plot and character. (Molly)


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The Beautiful Indifference: Stories Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062208453
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - January 29th, 2013

Eerie, elegant stories from the author of the equally excellent feminist dystopia Daughters of the North. The last story in particular will stay with you -- maybe longer than you want it to. (Molly)


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Drinking with Men: A Memoir Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781594487118
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Riverhead Books - January 24th, 2013

Reading Rosie Schaap's memoir is like going bar-hopping across the country with the best possible friend -- the one who knows the bartenders, knows the vibe of each bar, and knows how to ease you, her companion, into each new circle of friends, acquaintances and strangers with whom you never thought you'd bond. Drinking With Men isn't about drinking so much as it's about the particular kind of socializing that comes from being a regular, from belonging to a place, even if only for a time. Read it in your favorite pub, next to a pint of really good beer. (Molly)


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Daughter of Smoke & Bone Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780316133999
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 5th, 2012

Taylor won me over a few years ago with the exquisite (but awkwardly titled) Lips Touch: Three Times, a trio of unusual stories about kisses and their repercussions. Daughter of Smoke and Bone beautifully displays her skill with carefully laced plots, worldbuilding that spins on the smallest details, and characters you hate to leave behind. Our heroine, Karou, has peacock-turquoise hair, exceptional artistic skill, and a secret life that she carefully hides from her art-school friends. These secrets become impossible to hide when a longstanding war from another world breaks into our own. Taylor spins magic, romance, violence, belief, and family into one of the best young adult series currently running. (Molly)


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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780374214913
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - October 2nd, 2012

Smart, entertaining geekery is the defining feature of Robin Sloan's novel, which follows newbie bookstore clerk Clay Jannon as he begins to realize that something is entirely, fascinatingly weird about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Like Neal Stephenson with a lighter, less info-obsessed touch, Sloan crosses genres and mentalities, and he spins a story that appeals to both sides of the modern story-lover's brain: the side that loves technology, and the side that still probably has a thing for dusty old books and the bizarre secrets they can hold. (Molly)


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Goblin Secrets Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781442427266
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - March 6th, 2012

This dreamy, magical, National Book Award-winning middle grade fantasy is about a town where acting is strictly forbidden -- except, sort of, for goblins. Rownie, an orphan, is tired of being an errand boy for the witch Graba, who commands a small host of lost children. When a goblin
troupe appears, Rownie is drawn to their illicit craft, their masks, and the allure of being on stage. Maybe the goblins can help him find his brother, Rowan, who was an actor; maybe they can help Rownie free himself from Graba. Goblin Secrets, for all its magic, is an elusive, internal story, the kind that you feel your way through rather
than the kind you puzzle out -- but it has more staying power than you might initially expect. (Molly)


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The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545424929
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - September 18th, 2012

I'm still a little incoherent about how much I love Maggie Steifvater's new novel, which pairs Blue Sargent, the daughter of a psychic, with a quartet of sharply drawn private-school boys, each
holding a secret or two. Each character is so exact, I could almost hear their voices as I read (and I definitely wanted to go exploring the Virginia countryside with them). Stiefvater combines familiar
elements -- mystery, ghost story, adventure, nervous teen attraction -- for a twisty, spooky read that never quite plays out as you expect. The Raven Boys is my new favorite YA in a year full of excellent YA novels. (Molly)


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The Brides of Rollrock Island Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780375869198
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2012

Lanagan follows Tender Morsels with an equally brilliant and unnerving book about an island where, over a short span of time, all the men succumb to the lure of "sea-wives," willowy, beautiful women who were once seals. Lanagan switches elegantly between generations and perspectives, weaving together the history of the witch who transforms the seals, the men who pay her for her services, and the children whose worlds are reshaped by their fathers' greed and desire. (Molly)


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The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There Cover Image
By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780312649623
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - October 2nd, 2012

September, after much longing and hoping, makes her way back to Valente's brilliantly imagined Fairyland -- but all is not well. Halloween, the queen of the underworld, has been stealing the shadows of Fairyland's residents, taking them down for an endless revel. And Halloween is no ordinary queen; she's September's own shadow. Perfectly autumnal and full of astonishing detail and imagery, this Girl story is as magical as the first (maybe even more so!). (Molly)


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The Amazing Hamweenie Cover Image
By Patty Bowman, Patty Bowman (Illustrator)
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780399256882
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Philomel Books - October 11th, 2012

If you've ever had a cat, you probably know how they can act like life is just SO difficult (being fed, getting ear scritches, sleeping all day...). The Amazing Hamweenie dreams of grandeur and stardom, but is endlessly -- and charmingly -- thwarted by his life in a New York apartment with a tea-party throwing, cat-washing little girl. By about the third page, I was reading this one aloud; the tone is just right, and the illustrations are gorgeous, detailed fun. (Molly)


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More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781938073052
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Believer Magazine - August 21st, 2012

My only complaint about Hornby's collections, which pull together his columns for The Believer, is that they are never long enough. The columns are ostensibly about the books Hornby buys and reads in a month, but they're really about life, the universe and everything - football, family, vacations, aging, writing and more, all so witty and wry that I wind up wishing I could talk about all these things with Hornby, down at some very British pub. (Molly)


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Seraphina Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780375866562
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 10th, 2012

Between Bitterblue and Railsea, I already thought this was an amazing year for YA fantasy--and now Seraphina makes it even better. Musically gifted, smart, compassionate, and wary, Seraphina keeps to herself as the assistant music mistress at the court of Goredd--but she carefully guards a secret about her parentage, even as she becomes entangled in the complexities of human-dragon political intrigue. Hartman's worldbuilding is gloriously vivid, her heroine wonderfully complex, and her story so compelling, I may have cursed when I got to the end and realized I have to wait for the sequel. (Molly)


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Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781590515402
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press - July 10th, 2012

It's hard to talk about this memoir--it's so intimate, so honest, so specific, so self-observant, that trying to describe how I felt while reading it feels like giving up some very personal information about myself. The voice of the title is her psychiatrist, who dies suddenly, leaving Forrest and his other patients bereft; the other man in the book is her ex, an actor whose presence in the story earned it plenty of the wrong kind of attention. It's not who he is; it's how they are. The highs and lows of Forrest's journey land in different spots, maybe, than those of many other lives, but the story reads like a quest in which the goal isn't treasure or glory, but calm and a certain kind of strength. (Molly)


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Bitterblue Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780803734739
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Dial Books - May 1st, 2012

We have a shelftalker for this book - signed by me, Stephanie, and Jenn - that says simply "ALL THE HEARTS. This is sooooo good!" First I didn't think Cashore could top Graceling (to which Bitterblue is the sequel); then I didn't think she could top Fire, the companion novel to both. But she did, and then some. Bitterblue is about a young queen in a magical realm, and everything about it is entirely recognizable: the relationships, difficult and wonderful and complicated; the politics; the collective grief of a country that's slowly recovering from its previous, terrible ruler; and the experience of a girl who's determined to be the queen her country needs, even if that means doing all the hard things. Also there are codes and ciphers and wonderful books and magical statues and midnight adventures over the rooftops. And one very cranky cat. (Molly)


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Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always Cover Image
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9780803735651
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Dial Books - June 14th, 2012

Squid and Octopus have awesome hats, friendly disagreements about socks vs. mittens, big adventures, and interesting dreams. Super-imaginative and full of wee sea creatures that comment on the action (the starfish have a soup party), Squid and Octopus is unbelievably charming, and my favorite picture book of the summer. (Molly)


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Chime Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780142420928
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - April 12th, 2012

I love this book so much that I gave my copy away. I was that sure my friend needed it. Billingsley writes these beautiful, folktale-infused stories about places that feel familiar and true, like they almost existed between some magical then and the industrial now. Chime is a glorious, dark tale about the power of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and how some stories, if you repeat them too often, become true. (Molly)


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The Chaos Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781416954880
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - April 17th, 2012

Hopkinson's Midnight Robber changed the way I read science fiction. She makes the world bigger, and her writing is so precisely descriptive that when I think of her books, I see the settings, not the pages. The Chaos, her first young adult novel, is a glorious mix of Russian and Jamaican folklore, crazily inventive imagery and the coming of age story of Scotch, whose path through adolescence gets really complicated when a supernatural force turns Toronto into a mishmash of dreams and nightmares come to life. (Molly)


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Fray: Future Slayer Cover Image
By Joss Whedon, Various (Illustrator)
This item is currently unavailable and can not be ordered.
ISBN: 9781569717516
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Dark Horse Books - December 9th, 2003

Maybe I've just got Whedon on the brain (perhaps due to his rise from "Joss Whedon, cultish Buffy creator," to "Joss Whedon, director of enormous summer blockbusters"). Maybe you've picked up the Buffy Season 8 (or 9!) comics, but haven't gotten around to Fray, Whedon's tale about a tough, sassy (of course) slayer whose existence in a futuristic Manhattan could hardly be more different from Buffy's. Buffy fans might recognize a certain weapon of Melaka Fray's, though... (Molly)


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Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307474315
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 14th, 2011

Once upon a time, I stopped obsessively playing The Legend of Zelda long enough to read Tom Bissell's very personal, highly entertaining take on why video games are not necessarily a waste of time (complete with field trips to talk to some of the people who make them). I think this book should be subtitled "Why Video Games Matter to Me," because it's so specific to Bissell's experience, but that's exactly what makes it great. (Molly)


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Palimpsest: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553385762
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spectra - February 24th, 2009

Until the magical The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, this was my favorite Valente, and I suspect it of being unfairly overlooked. Palimpsest is a magical city, but you can only get there by sleeping with someone who's already been - and each visitor winds up in a different place, depending on the map-shaped tattoo that appears on her skin. Dreamy, eerie and bittersweet, Palimpsest is like a year's worth of dreams shaped into one magical novel. (Molly)


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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years #1) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780060987107
Availability: Backordered
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - November 28th, 2000

Sam Raimi may have three witches in his silly Oz: The Great and Powerful, but none of them are Elphaba. Gregory Maguire's magical novel has been overshadowed by its musical adaptation, but it's an entirely different beast -- darker, more complex and ambiguous. The first time I saw the cover, I had warring reactions: It's so gorgeous! But you do not mess about with Oz! (Fan fiction wasn't quite so widely known back then, OK?) As it turns out, you can mess about with Oz -- if you do it as well as Maguire, who recreates Oz with political strife, class divisions, and a Witch who maybe isn't all that wicked. Elphaba is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I love her story to bits. (Molly)