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David's Staff Picks

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Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism By Jack D. Forbes, Derrick Jensen (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Jack D. Forbes, Derrick Jensen (Foreword by)
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ISBN: 9781583227817
Published: Seven Stories Press - November 4th, 2008

The dominant cultures on this planet are sick. Forbes has attempted to better understand the wanton disregard for our home and fellow earth-dwellers exhibited in the modern world by viewing it through the lens of the Algonquin idea of the wetiko, a cannibalistic creature that was once human but has been consumed by greed and gluttony. In this book, Forbes argues that this disease is not constrained to individuals, but has infected whole societies for millennia, going back to the first “civilizations” in Egypt and the Middle East all the way through the colonial/imperial societies that control the globe today. The key to his thesis is an understanding of the world as one unified whole, a symbiotic environment in which everything is connected and related to the rest, which is why clearcutting a forest or poisoning a river is no different from consuming the flesh of a relative. As a member of a wetiko society it can be difficult to see the connections between your mother, a bee, and the Pacific Ocean, but reading this book is a step in the right direction; at least, it was for me. If you’ve ever had the feeling that you are disconnected from a larger whole and that disconnect disturbs you, pick this book up. You might find some answers.


Mona: A Novel By Pola Oloixarac, Adam Morris (Translated by) Cover Image
By Pola Oloixarac, Adam Morris (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250829573
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Picador - March 15th, 2022

The Collector By John Fowles Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316290234
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - August 4th, 1997

The Silmarillion: The legendary precursor to The Lord of the Rings (Pre-Lord of the Rings) By J.R.R. Tolkien Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780345325815
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - January 12th, 1985

Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel By Kawai Strong Washburn Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250787316
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Picador - March 2nd, 2021

Little Brother By Cory Doctorow Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780765323118
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - April 13th, 2010

The Word for World is Forest By Ursula K. Le Guin Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780765324641
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Tor Books - July 6th, 2010

The Legend of Broken By Caleb Carr Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812984521
Availability: Not in Store - Please contact Chapter One for ordering.
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 9th, 2013

Walkaway: A Novel By Cory Doctorow Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9780765392770
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Tor Books - May 22nd, 2018

Tender Is the Flesh By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (Translated by) Cover Image
By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (Translated by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781982150921
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 4th, 2020

Nothing But Blackened Teeth By Cassandra Khaw Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250879516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Nightfire - August 30th, 2022

Autonomous: A Novel By Annalee Newitz Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780765392084
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Tor Books - September 4th, 2018

Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung By Nina MacLaughlin Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374538583
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: FSG Originals - November 19th, 2019

The Troop: A Novel By Nick Cutter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781501144820
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Gallery Books - August 16th, 2016

Suffer the Children By Craig DiLouie Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781476739632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery/Permuted Press - May 20th, 2014

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Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World By Tyson Yunkaporta Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062975621
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - May 18th, 2021

This book has been continuously changing the way that I see the world on a fundamental level ever since I read it. Yunkaporta’s ability to put complex and challenging ideas onto paper in a way that makes them accessible to anyone is special, and the result is a book that presents new (or old) ways of thinking that are desperately needed in today’s world. Ranging in topic from sex to quantum physics to cooking to neurobiology, Yunkaporta yarns with the reader and various experts in a conversational way that allows him to use traditional Aboriginal techniques of conversation to educate the reader as if they were standing next to him as he draws symbols in the sand. I won’t try to summarize his teachings/understandings because I am still trying to work through them myself, but trust me when I say that if you are willing to give some effort, this book will help you understand the connectedness of all things and, maybe, your place among them. 

 


This Is How You Lose the Time War By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

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The House of Rust: A Novel By Khadija Abdalla Bajaber Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 19th, 2021

I’m a sucker for talking cats, and while Hamza intrigued me with his chilly snark, it was the whirlpools of myth and culture that sucked me down into the depths of this tale. This magic-infused Mombasa is a vibrant and dynamic city where old ways tangle around the inhabitants like a net around fish, while at the same time bizarre and fanciful happenings give them the tools they need to cut the bonds of tradition and forge their own path. At the heart of the story stands Aisha, too proud to fit into any pre-made box and too full of life to submit to an existence centered around others. With Hamza’s help and a never-ending well of courage, she sails into the teeth of the unknowable, leaving behind everything for a chance to simply be who she is. This book is a portal to a world where daring and obstinance are magic powers that can change lives, and not even the father of sharks can resist the power of a girl who refuses to submit. As beautiful as the sunlit ocean and as mysterious as the deep currents that swirl beneath the surface, this is a novel that I won’t soon forget.


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There There By Tommy Orange Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525436140
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 2019

The Left Hand of Darkness: 50th Anniversary Edition By Ursula K. Le Guin, David Mitchell (Foreword by), Charlie Jane Anders (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Ursula K. Le Guin, David Mitchell (Foreword by), Charlie Jane Anders (Afterword by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780441007318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace - July 1st, 2000

Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel By Ahmed Saadawi Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143128793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 23rd, 2018

Beloved (Vintage International) By Toni Morrison Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400033416
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 8th, 2004

Mongrels: A Novel By Stephen Graham Jones Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062412706
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 24th, 2017

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Underneath By Lily Hoang Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781636280042
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Red Hen Press - October 12th, 2021

If you like delving into the darkest depths of the human psyche, this book is for you. Hoang spins a vivid tale of abuse and generational trauma that ends before it even begins, with the death of our narrator Arlene at the hands of her own mother. From her vantage point in a purgatory-like afterlife, Arlene examines her mother’s life, from a horrific childhood filled with bullying and casual mistreatment through the births of her four children and all the way to her imprisonment for the murders of those very children. With her newfound insight, Arlene eviscerates the social and familial cultures that pushed her mother to become the monster that she knew and loved, sparing nobody and nothing from her cold analysis. Brutal, poetic, and unflinching, this is the kind of fictionalized true crime that will forever change the way you see the world and the people who live in it.


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Hella By David Gerrold Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780756416584
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: DAW - July 20th, 2021

A book this fun has no business being so interesting and thought-provoking. Hella is a low gravity world home to massive wildlife ( a.k.a. giant dinosaurs) and even larger weather patterns, a combination that forces the colonists trying to build a home there to adapt to their surroundings in profound ways. Seasonal migrations, strong communal bonds, and strict rules regarding consumption and ownership all contribute to the foundation of the new society, but when a large group of new colonists arrive with news that Earth is no longer safe to return to, the resources and resolve of the whole colony will be tested. As tensions rise and xenophobia starts to divide the Hellans, a neurodivergent boy named Kyle and his loved ones have to embrace new technologies and old connections to save not only their colony, but the ideals that make that colony home. This is science fiction at its most entertaining without sacrificing any of the nuance, inclusivity, and world-building that makes the genre great.


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The Marrow Thieves By Cherie Dimaline Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781770864863
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dcb - September 1st, 2017

It isn’t very often that I come across a book that can inspire a three hour long book club discussion, and I had to drag myself away before it became four. The amount of cultural commentary, historical parallels, and pure emotional punch that Dimaline packs into less than 250 pages is incredible and stands with the best of the best in post-apocalyptic fiction. The characters are heartachingly vivid, the world-building is nuanced and elegant, and the future she foretells resembles our dark past in disturbingly prophetic ways. However, even in the face of all the negative, there is true beauty to be found in this story. The love the characters have for each other, the strength they find in their communities, and their defiant refusal to give up is extremely powerful, and it left me craving more. Dimaline is a powerhouse, and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.


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And Then I Woke Up By Malcolm Devlin Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781250798077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - April 12th, 2022

Truth and reality have become ethereal vagaries in today’s society, and Devlin takes full advantage of that instability to tell a story that obliterates the line between believability and insanity. As a recovering believer in a zombie apocalypse that never was, our narrator Spence plumbs the depths of his journey into madness and back in an attempt to find some kind of sense in the senseless violence that erupts from what seems like a simple misunderstanding. As he recounts his tale, it becomes clear that misunderstandings are rarely simple, and even the most unbelievable occurrences can seem inevitable when belief becomes the unquestioned foundation of one’s world. A scathing indictment of our inability to see beyond the limited perspectives that shape our lives, this book will make it clear exactly how deep we’ve gone down the rabbit hole of our own psychoses, and how difficult it will be to climb back into a connected and authentic world.


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Sorrowland: A Novel By Rivers Solomon Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250849267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - May 3rd, 2022

Sometimes you come across a book that defies all attempts at categorization or summation, and this is one of those books. Vern’s story could be called an unlikely queer romance, a coming-of-age tale, a conspiracy theory, a return to the land, a rejection of religion, a testament to the power of community, a sci-fi monster myth, or a black woman’s attempt to take her life back from powerful groups that sees her as nothing more than cattle, but in reality it contains pieces of each. Solomon weaves all of those elements into a tapestry that sheds light on the brutal practices of the United States government and calls out the religious patriarchy that is the root of so much oppression in this country, but those massive forces are simply the background against which Vern stands out like a beacon. In the face of overwhelming odds and crushing pressure, she accepts herself for who she is and who she becomes, and she is willing to kill and die for that right. What more can you want from a hero? 

 

 


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Magma By Thora Hjörleifsdóttir, Meg Matich (Translator) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802157393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - July 13th, 2021

This book takes the stereotype of Scandinavian countries as peaceful, idyllic places and flips it on its head. The downward spiral that Lilja goes through to maintain her relationship is all too familiar in our society, as are the manipulations and degradations that her lover forces on her as his control grows. Many people, especially Americans, want to put foreign countries on a pedestal simply because they don’t experience the negative aspects of those places, but Hjorleifsdottir makes absolutely sure that nobody will confuse her world with heaven. Searingly poetic and brutally honest, Magma is an expression of solidarity with abused women across the globe from one of the places that is supposed to be safe from such things.


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Glory: A Novel By NoViolet Bulawayo Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525561132
Availability: Not in Store - Usually Ships in 1-5 days.
Published: Viking - March 8th, 2022

Inspired by the fall of Robert Mugabe in 2017 and the chaos of post-colonial Zimbabwe, Bulawayo has created a story through which readers can engage with a historical narrative that is ignored at best, intentionally hidden at worst. Using animals to populate this proxy world gives her the freedom to discuss the political reality of her homeland without reservation, and it gives readers space to learn through story without as much interference from internalized bias and stereotypes. This is the story of an old horse, his downfall, and the trials he forced upon his own countrymals, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a tale of defiance, community, and resilience in the face of crushing pressure. It’s the story of a group of animals taking their future in their own paws and making it what they want it to be. It’s hope