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It’s the holiday season, and that means Books for Everyone! We’ve compiled suggestions below for great holiday titles, with many more on our website. Later this month we will bring you our annual Children’s Holiday Guide for the younger people on your list, and our annual Pacific Northwest Holiday Catalog will soon be delivered to your home. Your favorite booksellers are at the ready with even more great choices. We’re stocking up in anticipation of supply delays, and early shopping is recommended. The store is brimming with holiday cards and advent calendars, along with calendars, journals, and planners for the New Year. And there are amazing stocking stuffers and unique gifts for one-stop shopping. Stop in soon, or shop 24/7 on our website. Let the Holiday Season begin!
Hot Holiday Titles!
November Events
Thursday, Nov. 11, 6:30 pm
A Soul Lives On, with Reba Ferguson
Unflinchingly honest about the pain of losing a child, A Soul Lives On also offers hope that our loved ones who leave this life are still with us in spirit, and that along with the tears, we can once again experience joy. Bainbridge Islander Reba Ferguson is a writer, part-time astrologer, frequent caretaker, pediatric cancer research advocate, event planner, friend, and bereaved mom. RSVP recommended.
Sunday, November 7, 2:00 pm
Peter Cavanaugh: Photographing the Mechanics of Bird Flight
Noted wildlife photographer Peter Cavanagh will present a slide talk based on his new book, 100 Flying Birds: Photographing the Mechanics of Flight, at Bainbridge Public Library community meeting room. The program is free, but space is limited for social distancing and masks will be required.
These events are free. Due to social distancing requirements, seating is limited, therefore your RSVP is recommended. Masks and proof of vaccination are required. Can't make it to the event? Let us know and we will hold a signed copy for you to pick up at your convenience.
May We Recommend...
Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
Doerr has created another masterpiece, weaving four separate narratives told from different voices throughout history – from the days of Constantinople, to modern times, and into the future. Each of the characters in their own time shares a fascination with an ancient mythological text, and each is living out their lives believing that the end of the world is near. There is much tension and suspense, and as the novel progresses the threads of the stories come together into an epic for the ages. A perfect twist towards the end will cause you to gasp out loud. This amazing novel is an homage to the natural world and to librarians, the keepers of all the best stories. It is beautiful and brilliant. ~ Jane
The Magician, by Colm Tóibín
Tóibín’s novel enthralled me, even though I read Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain way back in high school. In part, Tóibín propels the novel through Mann’s changing relationship with his homeland between World War I and the Cold War, history playing into his moves from Germany to Switzerland to Princeton, and finally to Southern California. We also see Mann through the eyes of his large and remarkable family, and through brief encounters with eminent figures such as Arnold Schoenberg, Bertold Brecht, and the wife of Gustav Mahler. Not ordinarily a fast reader, I found the pages flying by in this superbly fictive look inside the mind of a private and enigmatic novelist. ~ John, Bookseller Emeritus
Ring Shout, by P. Djèlí Clark
Ring Shout is by turns clever, intensely imaginative, gory, and action-packed. Maryse is a monster hunter who dedicates her life to avenging the Black community by killing Ku Kluxes – horrifying  monsters with giant pointy heads masquerading as Ku Klux Klan members. In my academic life I researched the second wave of the KKK (1915-1920s), and I appreciated the amount of detail, historical accuracy, and incredible folklore in which Clark roots this crazy, creepy, but strangely fun novella. ~ Cappy
State of Terror, by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
There’s no love lost between Secretary of State Ellen Adams and the newly elected President she serves. He’s keeping this enemy close, hoping she crashes and burns. But when she takes off after an evil Middle Eastern mogul who’s bent on destroying America and its democracy, with help from Al-Qaeda and the ultra-right prior President, President Williams has little choice but to hope she succeeds. This pulse-pounding political thriller by former Secretary of State Clinton and superb mystery writer Penny is a cautionary tale full of Washington insider intrigue, wonderfully crafted characters, and a plot line that is terrifyingly (well, sort of) plausible. ~ Susan
Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
Two time Pulitzer-Prize winner Colson Whitehead has delivered another grand story, this time an atmospheric crime tale that takes his readers to Harlem in the early 1960s. It’s quite a romp, with a strong cast of characters, including the protagonist Ray Carney, a furniture salesman who sells fenced goods as a sideline. It also focuses an absorbing lens on the life of Black Americans at a time of rapid changes throughout the neighborhood blocks, the city, and the whole country. What can’t Whitehead do? His stories cover much ground, and are always rewarding reads. Grab this! ~ Victoria
The Sum of Us, by Heather McGhee
After listening to McGhee’s incisive story on (our audiobook partner) about our economic policies that were originally designed to promote white supremacy but have damaged both people of color and white people in our country, I bought a hard copy to underscore her many salient points. Expertly crafted, McGhee’s argument is both convincing and deftly made. Her call to action ultimately lends itself to hope, not despair. ~ Cappy
Provecho, by Edgar Castrejón
Vegan, or plant-based, meals are growing in popularity as we consider ways to eat healthier and more environmentally friendly food. From celebrities to your daughter or son, it has become accepted as delicious and satisfying. It's not just frozen bean burgers! Provecho, by Mexican American chef Edgar Castrejón, is one of the latest mouth-watering vegan cookbooks. It offers 100 Mexican recipes that will tickle even the most obdurate hold out! Try the taquitos de camote (sweet potatoes). Yum! ~ Victoria
Wreck This Journal, by Keri Smith
As the title suggests, the goal is not to read it, but to destroy it. Getting this book as a kid, my cousins and I spent one summer having a grand time following all of its instructions (paint a page with coffee, whack it against a wall...) to the occasional dismay of our parents. This new color edition is a recipe for good old-fashioned fun! Best for people ages 8 and up, especially teens – anyone old enough to know that wrecking a book, while strangely liberating, must always be the exception. ~ Megan
The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
Whimsical and uproarious, as well as contemplative, philosophical and poignant, this novel tells of when the Devil and his entourage – which includes a talking cat with a taste for chess and vodka – arrive in Moscow, establish a theater, and wreak havoc. Their Faustian story interweaves with the tale of Pontius Pilate, as written by the Master – in a novel within the novel – and for which the Master has been confined to a lunatic asylum. Meanwhile, his lover, Margarita, falls in with the devil and his friends, and proves herself willing to go quite literally to Hell itself in her effort to rescue and reunite with the Master. Filled with energy and wit, fantastical images and unforgettable characters, this satire of Stalinist Russia was banned from the time of its completion in the 30s, and was only available underground. This beautifully translated edition is the first to contain Bulgakov’s complete text. ~ McNevin
The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart
Yes there's a wonderful TV series, but have you read the books? The Mysterious Benedict Society charmed me as a middle schooler, and again when I reread it as an adult. Plucky misfit kids, a series of tests and puzzles, a quirky (and yes, mysterious) mentor, a looming evil that threatens everything they hold dear... all combined into one rollicking adventure, with plenty of heart. It would make an excellent read-aloud! And while you decide, I think it's time for another re-read... Ages 8+. ~ Megan
How to Find Your Way in the Dark, by Derek Miller
In this prequel to Miller’s superb Norwegian by Night, we meet Sheldon Horowitz at age twelve, recovering from the murder of his father and adapting to life with his Uncle Nate and two teenage cousins. It’s 1938 and Sheldon is consumed with desire for vengeance for his father’s death. As he lurches toward adulthood with his best friend Lenny, he encounters comedians in the Catskills, mafia hitmen, wacky accordion players, and a burning desire to defend his country. If you loved Norwegian by Night and American by Day, Miller’s third book in the series will make you laugh out loud and wipe away tears as you share the coming of age of this stunningly crafted character. Norwegian by Night is one of my all-time favorite novels and How to Find Your Way in the Dark just might be a close second. ~ Susan
The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
This is the kind of story that might as well begin with "Once upon a time" as Obreht delves into the intersection of grief and mythology (both personal and national) with a keen eye toward what is most human about the fantastical (and vice versa). A theme that runs through Obreht's work is the tension that emerges when a family's history contradicts or is in conflict with its stories, and in this novel she's drawn the layers of that tension with particular care. One of my all-time favorites. ~ Rafe
New In November
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