Cindy's Recs

 

These are Cindy's most recent recs. To see her earlier recs, click here

 

 

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The City of Good Death Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781632062529
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Restless Books - February 23rd, 2021

Pramesh runs the most desirable death hostel in Kashi, India, the holiest of cities alongside the Ganges River. He calmly oversees a revolving door of families with their dying loved ones as well as an assortment of priests and others needed to carry out the rituals of death. However, his respected position in the community is challenged when his estranged cousin, Sagar, dies nearby without the proper rituals and begins haunting the hostel, interfering with the peaceful deaths of others. How and why Sagar came to be near Pramesh, and how to restore the equilibrium of the hostel, forces Pramesh to face his complicated past. This character-rich, atmospheric novel, winner of the 2018 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, is a delightful mix of humor, heartbreak, and insight.

-Cindy


The Book of Longings: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525429760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - April 21st, 2020

Monk Kidd imagines that Jesus Christ had a wife, Ana, who doesn't actually appear in history but provides illuminating context for the historical life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. Before she marries Jesus, Ana lives with her wealthy Jewish family in Sepphoris. Marrying into a poor family introduces the harsh realities of Jewish life under Roman rule. Jesus' preaching takes him away for months at a time, allowing Ana an independence that other women don't have. Ana's longing for agency is as passionate as Jesus' longing for a relationship with God, and as he faces crucifixion, she vows to be with him. Monk Kidd mixes historical and fictional characters, giving an engrossing portrayal of life during the Christian New Testament era. Christians and non-Christians alike will appreciate the well-developed characters and carefully researched settings. 

-Cindy


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Bluebeard's First Wife Cover Image
By Seong-Nan Ha, Janet Hong (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781948830171
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Open Letter - June 16th, 2020

Seong-Nan probes life's uncertainties and absurdities in her newest and perhaps most assured short story collection. Here are women and men operating under rigid societal expectations, struggling to remain in control of their fate. In the title story a couple loses their child to a horrific school fire, and subsequently loses focus for everything else in life. In another story kites, white shirts, and a deadbeat husband coalesce into a statement about opportunity lost. Exploring the spectrums between constraint and freedom, paranoia and apathy, these eleven stories are miniature worlds that will elicit pangs of recognition for the universal human experience. Do yourself a favor and read this excellent translated work from an award-winning Korean writer!

-Cindy


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The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris Cover Image
By Marc Petitjean, Adriana Hunter (Translated by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781590519905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press - April 9th, 2020

Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo travels to Paris in 1939 for her first and only trip to Europe. Overshadowed by her famous husband, Diego Rivera, and devastated due to his affair with her sister, she undertakes the trip to mount an exhibit of her own work, on her own terms. Her time in France is a whirlwind of famous people who find her larger-than-life personality intoxicating. She also enters into a brief, passionate affair with Michel Petitjean, a young gallery representative. Author Marc, Michel's son, hopes to learn more about his father as he researches Kahlo's visit and uncovers letters and documents that breath life into their relationship. Numerous photographs add to the narrative, including "The Heart", an extraordinary painting she gave to Michel as she left Paris, and him, for good. This slim book, humanizing Kahlo underneath her mythical status, is a little jewel.

-Cindy


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Amnesty: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982127244
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - February 18th, 2020

 

Danny, an undocumented worker in Sydney, Australia, realizes he has information about a murder that by all rights should be reported to the police. Over the course of a day he bargains with himself and conducts imaginary negotiations for asylum in exchange for helping the police with their investigation. Danny entered Australia legally as a student four years ago but dropped out of college and overstayed his visa. After four years, he’s convinced himself that he can live in Sydney indefinitely. When he hears that a body discovered by a riverbed is Radha, one of his former employers, he suspects her lover is responsible. Danny has to decide if his responsibility to the rule of law is more powerful than his need to remain invisible. Gentle humor and compassion mark this immigrant story with a twist. 

-Cindy


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Anyone: A Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062890634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - December 3rd, 2019

A scientist's experiment gone wrong leads to a technology, called "flash," that changes the world. Scientist Gabby White discovers a process that allows one person's consciousness to take over the body of another. 25 years later, when flash is ubiquitous, an enigmatic woman with a motive to subvert the technology is running for her life. Annami, a brilliant technology worker with a hidden past, is planning to undermine the owner of the flash network, NeOnet Global. Annami is "one of the few people who knew the truth behind the lie of the world, and the only one who seemed to want to make it right." When the money she needs to complete her plan is stolen, her fury propels her to take revenge on the perpetrators even as she continues the scheme to cripple NeOnet. Annami, both detective and enforcer, could be the next futuristic female heroine.

-Cindy


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Naked Came the Florida Man: A Novel (Serge Storms #23) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062796004
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - January 7th, 2020

The 23rd Serge Storms novel serves up hilarious anarchy as usual! This time Serge, driving his gold '69 Plymouth Satellite, makes an improbable tour of Florida cemeteries with his perpetually stoned sidekick, Coleman. Serge says, "Nobody could ever write a better job description for me: Florida, no appointments, and a tank of gas." Serge has an aversion to what he considers unethical behavior, as well as a propensity to stick his nose in other people’s business, leading to antics that manage to be sociopathic and funny all at once. The most puzzling mystery they encounter - rumors of a monster haunting an abandoned sugar field - leads to small-town rodeos, high school football and, yes, a crazy Florida Man. The satisfying conclusion, where bad guys lose and good guys win, is a hallmark of the series. 

-Cindy


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Small Days and Nights: A Novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781324005230
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 21st, 2020

 

Grace Marisola returns to her childhood home in India after her mother's death to find that she's acquired both a secret house and an unknown older sister. Her mother secretly owned a house on isolated property near the sea in Madras, and this is where she hoped one day to retire with her oldest daughter, Lucia, who was born with Down syndrome and was moved to a residential facility as an infant. Her mother left no information behind, and Grace can barely process this news. Nevertheless, she believes that bringing Lucia to the Madras house, and living together as sisters and adults, will be a way for her to throw off the apathy that so far has marked her life. Yet the challenges of being a single woman in rural India and in caring for a disabled adult are more than she anticipated. 

-Cindy


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Navigate Your Stars Cover Image
By Jesmyn Ward, Gina Triplett (Illustrator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781982131326
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - April 7th, 2020

Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward offers a stirring message of encouragement and empowerment in this lovely, slim volume of text and imagery. Navigate Your Stars is her electric 2018 commencement address at Tulane University finally in book form. Her own story of hard work and heartbreak before achieving success is grounded in the reality of frequent obstacles, while at the same time unapologetically hopeful. Her inspiring message of the importance of personal resiliency and the power of family bonds will be encouraging for graduates, job seekers, and anyone who is embarking on a new path or who simply needs affirmation that striving for a dream is worthwhile.

-Cindy


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Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing (A Zofia Turbotynska Mystery) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780358161462
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - March 17th, 2020

Zofia Turbotynska is bored. As the wife of a professor in Cracow in 1893, she has certain gender and social expectations that she is at pains to exceed. She's also smart, energetic and, honestly, a busybody with no place to turn for intellectual stimulation. So when multiple residents of a local nursing home are found dead, Zofia is sure a murderer is on the premises and throws herself into investigating. Even though the local police department dismisses her discoveries, and her husband is blissfully clueless about what she does during the day, Zofia eagerly channels her intelligence and affinity for gossip into sleuthing. Set within the captivating atmosphere of Polish bourgeois society in the 1890s, this is an altogether entertaining and original whodunit. If Miss Marple were 40 years younger you'd have some idea of Zofia's determination and charm. This is the first of what are hopefully many Zofia Turbotynska mysteries!

-Cindy


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The Second Sleep: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525656692
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - November 19th, 2019

In 1468, London priest Christopher Fairfax arrives in rural Axford, where the parish priest, Thomas Lacey, recently died. Fairfax plans to deliver the eulogy and leave, but soon realizes that Lacey may have been murdered. Fairfax knows England's history: in the distant past an apocalypse occurred, and the Church now holds complete authority over the country. Lacey, in a shockingly heretical act, owned books published before the apocalypse, and he may have been murdered because of the material he collected. Fairfax stays in Axford, both because he's obsessed with the forbidden information he's uncovering and also because he's attracted to a young widow. Her fiancé is a headstrong and brawny, the opposite of Fairfax, but becomes an indispensable factor in uncovering the unimaginable past. The Second Sleep is an audacious, genre-bending novel.

-Cindy


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Odsburg Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781947845084
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ooligan Press - October 29th, 2019

Welcome to the small town of Odsburg, Wash., where mountain lions live in basements and a couple is so hungry they eat themselves, literally, out of house and home. Odsburg  is narrated by the only "socio-anthropo-lingui-lore-ologist" in existence, Wallace Jenkins-Ross. In transcripts of field recordings, candy wrappers and letters found in books, the surreal landscape of Odsburg takes shape and its inhabitants become whole. Ben Jemison sees people and objects as if they're burning, and believes that this isn't a disability but a metamorphosis. The "Existentialists In-Dependence Recovery and Support Group" credo says, in part, "I reach out for whatever stable surfaces might help to keep me upright and moving forward in a world...where everything seems so crumbly and chimeric and questionable." Odsburg, like Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor's little desert town of Night Vale, shows, through philosophical musing and existential uncertainty, the shared humanity and essential goodness of disparate people.

-Cindy


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Trinity Sight Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781538556726
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blackstone Publishing - October 1st, 2019

Lyrical language and indigenous traditions elevate a typical dystopian road trip into something more nuanced. The story opens with hints of societal breakdowns caused by climate change. Archeologist Calliope Santiago is driving in New Mexico when long-dormant volcanoes erupt. Along with burning buildings, unbelievably, almost everyone disappears. Calliope, pregnant with twins, can't find her family. She and two surviving neighbors set out to search for their kin. Ghosts, dreams and murderous mythical creatures stalk the small group. None of it makes sense to Calliope, who doesn't believe in the Christian Rapture story but, as one indigenous survivor tells her, "The white man's bible is only one end-of-the world myth." This is an original, emotional story written by a master of imaginative language.

-Cindy


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The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062889003
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - March 24th, 2020

If a faceless old woman lives in your home, never seen but injecting an almost imperceptible sense of unease into your life, you're probably a resident of the little desert town of Night Vale. In the newest story from the creators of the wildly popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, the Faceless Old Woman recounts her story before she arrived in Night Vale. She had a blissful childhood in the Mediterranean hundred of years ago, but after tragedy struck she turned to a life of lawlessness and danger. When a trusted friend betrayed her, she vowed revenge--and this is what she's still seeking, centuries later, and Night Vale holds the key to her scheme. Certainly, listeners of the podcast will be delighted with this story, but readers who enjoyed Alice Isn't Dead and anyone looking for highly original adventure with a touch of the surreal will enjoy it as well.

-Cindy


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