Award Winners

The Underground Railroad Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385542364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - August 2nd, 2016

2017 Pulitzer Prize - Fiction

“Whitehead's new novel is much more than the story of a runaway slave, Cora, who fights her way to the North; it is also a phantasmagorical look at race in America. In this instance the railroad is literal -- a train roaring through tunnels constructed like a subway, leading Cora to several unlikely destinations. Like the travels of Gulliver, each of Cora's stops on the railroad is a different version of America, displaying the varied ways in which Americans view race and manifest destiny. With exquisite prose, Colson digs deep into the troubled heart of America, exposing prejudice, tolerance, hatred, violence, and love as readers stop at each distinct station. Cora is a hero for the ages, and Whitehead is a writer who can guide us, like a station master, into the light. This is a fantastic novel.”
— William Carl (E), Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553447453
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Published: Broadway Books - February 28th, 2017

2017 Pulitzer Prize - General Non-Fiction

In Evicted, Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as "wrenching and revelatory" (The Nation), "vivid and unsettling" (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America's most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.


The Return (Pulitzer Prize Winner): Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812985085
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Published: Random House Trade - April 4th, 2017

2017 Pulitzer Prize - Biography

When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father went missing under mysterious circumstances. Hisham would never see him again, but he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. Twenty-two years later, he returned to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father's disappearance. The Return is the story of what he found there.
The Pulitzer Prize citation hailed The Return as "a first-person elegy for home and father." Transforming his personal quest for answers into a brilliantly told universal tale of hope and resilience, Matar has given us an unforgettable work with a powerful human question at its core: How does one go on living in the face of unthinkable loss?


Olio Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781940696201
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Published: Wave Books - April 5th, 2016

2017 Pulitzer Prize - Poetry

Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.


Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780375423222
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Published: Pantheon Books - August 23rd, 2016

2017 Pulitzer Prize - History

Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the Attica prison uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. Blood in the Water is the searing and indelible account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century.

 


Larose Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062277039
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Published: Harper Perennial - April 11th, 2017

2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

In this literary masterwork, Louise Erdrich, the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning The Round House and the Pulitzer Prize nominee The Plague of Doves wields her breathtaking narrative magic in an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553447453
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - February 28th, 2017

2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.


Lab Girl Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101873724
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Published: Vintage - February 28th, 2017

2016 National Book Critics Circle Award - Autobiography

Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life--but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father's college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work "with both the heart and the hands." She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.

 

 


Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780871403131
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Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 27th, 2016

2016 National Book Critics Circle Award - Biography

This "historically engaging and pressingly relevant" biography establishes Shirley Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master.


House of Lords and Commons: Poems Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780374173029
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 20th, 2016

2016 National Book Critics Circle Award - Poetry

A stunning collection that traverses the borders of culture and time, from the 2011 winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award

In House of Lords and Commons, the revelatory and vital new collection of poems from the winner of the 2013 Whiting Writers Award in poetry, Ishion Hutchinson returns to the difficult beauty of the Jamaican landscape with remarkable lyric precision. Here, the poet holds his world in full focus but at an astonishing angle: from the violence of the seventeenth-century English Civil War as refracted through a mythic sea wanderer, right down to the dark interior of love.

 


White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781632864130
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Published: Bloomsbury USA - September 5th, 2017

2016 National Book Critics Circle Award - Criticism


Staff Pick Logo
The Girl Who Drank the Moon Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781616205676
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Published: Algonquin Young Readers - August 9th, 2016

2017 Newbery Winner

A fog of sorrow hangs over the city, because each year the witch in the woods demands a baby as a sacrifice. Except that the "witch" abhors the barbaric practice. Every year Zan races to save the baby, feeding it starlight until she can place it with a loving family in another village. But when she accidentally feeds a baby moonlight, the child becomes dangerously "enmagicked." To shield everyone, Zan undertakes raising Luna with the help of Glerk, a swamp monster, and Fyrian, a tiny dragon. Back in the city, Luna's mother has gone mad with grief, yet the unsympathetic leaders of the city require that the tradition continue for disturbing reasons of their own. While Zan struggles to teach Luna to control her powers, things in the city worsen, and a young man enters the forest intent on killing the evil witch. Luna, Glerk and Fyrian race to save Zan from him, but find they must battle an even more sinister enemy lurking in the woods. With a dark yet whimsical fairy-tale vibe, Barnhill's poetical prose reveals the cost of lies, and the absolute necessity of hope. - Karen


Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316213882
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 25th, 2016

2017 Caldecott Winner

A visually stunning picture book biography about modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Javaka Steptoe.


Thunder Boy Jr. Cover Image
By Sherman Alexie, Yuyi Morales (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316013727
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 10th, 2016

2017 PNBA Award

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder. But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky. National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie's lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales's striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.


Staff Pick Logo
Bitch Planet Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632153661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - October 20th, 2015

2017 PNBA Award

The first I heard about the graphic novel Bitch Planet was hearing that women were getting tattoos referencing it... which isn't so unusual. What was unusual is that they were getting these tattoos even before the second issue came out. The comic is set in a future where the world is run by a literal patriarchy, and women can be labeled "Non Compliant" and shipped to a prison moon called Bitch Planet for crimes such as refusing to conform to beauty standards, cheating on their husbands, being lesbians, or engaging in the very vaguely defined "gender terrorism." The satire is sharp, the message is strongly feminist and body-positive, and the book does not shy away from controversial subjects. Also, there's a lot of nudity (though it's gloriously un-sexualized, and the women have realistic and varied body types, which is unusual for a comic). This is a highly entertaining, B-movie style primer to modern feminist issues, and truly one-of-a-kind. Plus, share it with someone else and you'll be guaranteed to have something to talk about the next time you see them.

- Kate

 


To the Bright Edge of the World Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316242851
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Published: Little Brown and Company - August 2nd, 2016

2017 PNBA Award

In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn't return--once he passes beyond the edge of the known world, there's no telling what awaits him.
The Wolverine River Valley is not only breathtaking and forbidding but also terrifying in ways that the colonel and his men never could have imagined. As they map the territory and gather information on the native tribes, whose understanding of the natural world is unlike anything they have ever encountered, Forrester and his men discover the blurred lines between human and wild animal, the living and the dead. And while the men knew they would face starvation and danger, they cannot escape the sense that some greater, mysterious force threatens their lives.

 


On Trails: An Exploration Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781476739212
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Published: Simon & Schuster - July 12th, 2016

2017 PNBA Award

From a debut talent who's been compared to Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, David Quammen, and Jared Diamond, On Trails is a wondrous exploration of how trails help us understand the world from invisible ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet.


Barkskins Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780743288781
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Published: Scribner Book Company - June 14th, 2016

2017 PNBA Award

From Annie Proulx the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, comes her masterwork: an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about the taking down of the world's forests.
In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, Rene Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a seigneur, for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters barkskins. Rene suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse.
Proulx's inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid in their greed, lust, vengefulness, or their simple compassion and hope that we follow them with fierce attention. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable and compelling American writers, and Barkskins is her greatest novel, a magnificent marriage of history and imagination.

 


Staff Pick Logo
Marrow Island Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780544373419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - June 7th, 2016

2017 PNBA Award

From Portland writer Alex Smith, author of Glaciers, comes her second novel, Marrow Island. The narrator's father died during an environmental disaster on the titular Pacific Northwest island. After years in Seattle working as a journalist, Lucie returns to her childhood home. We know at the outset that her estranged best friend, Kate, is involved in a cult that has tried to kill Lucie, and the novel unravels backward and forward through time from there. This is a beautiful, haunting, and probing story of family, place, friendship, love, sex, faith, ecology, and mushrooms.

— Michael


Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316348409
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Published: Hachette Books - May 17th, 2016

2017 PNBA Award

Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible--like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you--writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.
From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.
With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.


The Underground Railroad Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385542364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - August 2nd, 2016

2016 National Book Award- Fiction

“Whitehead's new novel is much more than the story of a runaway slave, Cora, who fights her way to the North; it is also a phantasmagorical look at race in America. In this instance the railroad is literal -- a train roaring through tunnels constructed like a subway, leading Cora to several unlikely destinations. Like the travels of Gulliver, each of Cora's stops on the railroad is a different version of America, displaying the varied ways in which Americans view race and manifest destiny. With exquisite prose, Colson digs deep into the troubled heart of America, exposing prejudice, tolerance, hatred, violence, and love as readers stop at each distinct station. Cora is a hero for the ages, and Whitehead is a writer who can guide us, like a station master, into the light. This is a fantastic novel.”
— William Carl (E), Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA


Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Cover Image
$32.99
ISBN: 9781568584638
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Published: Nation Books - April 12th, 2016

2016 National Book Award Nonfiction

Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.
In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of antiBlack racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W. E. B. Du Bois to legendary antiprison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and procivil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.


March: Book Three Cover Image
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781603094023
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Top Shelf Productions - August 2nd, 2016

2016 National Book Award-Young People's Literature

Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.


The Performance of Becoming Human Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781936767465
Availability: Special Order
Published: Brooklyn Arts Press LLC - April 1st, 2016

2016 National Book Award - Poetry

Daniel Borzutzky returns to confront the various ways nation-states and their bureaucracies absorb and destroy communities and economies. In THE PERFORMANCE OF BECOMING HUMAN, the bay of Valparaiso merges into the western shore of Lake Michigan, where Borzutzky continues his poetic investigation into the political and economic violence shared by Chicago and Chile, two places integral to his personal formation. To become human is to navigate borders, including the fuzzy borders of institutions, the economies of privatization, overdevelopment, and underdevelopment, under which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses in cities, villages, deserts. Borzutzky, whose writing Eileen Myles has described as "violent, perverse, and tender" in its portrayal of a "kaleidoscopic journey of American horror and global horror," adds another chapter to a growing and important compendium of work that asks what it means to a be both a unitedstatesian and a globalized subject whose body is "shared between the earth, the state, and the bank."