Georg's Staff Favorites

Georg joined Annie Bloom's books in November of 2021. He enjoys reading poetry, contemporary fantasy and sci-fi, and memoirs. Georg grew up in Montana, where he went to the University of Montana for English. He moved to Portland in 2019, and he received his MFA in poetry from Portland State University.

 

Series I recommend:

The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, starting with The Fifth Season.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, starting with All Systems Red.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, starting with Annihilation.

 

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The Hurting Kind Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781639550494
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Milkweed Editions - May 10th, 2022

Ada Limón's The Hurting Kind is a collection of closely watching, both the surrounding world and interior responses to it, filled with the urge to connect and understand. There is a desire to loosen the boundary between self and other running through the collection. The poems feel like small vignettes of connection with speakers trying to bear witness and be witnessed (receive beauty and notice the receiving). Limón frequently asks "who got us here? Who allowed living to happen before and for me?" There is a lineage to our living.

Limón's poems also hold space for the more-than-human and the strange otherness of the non-human, their mystery and our wonder. Oftentimes there is a feeling of ongoingness, where the speaker has left the scene, but the scene will continue without them, where they can imagine its continuing, love and life and the world still existing and moving.

There are so many places where the sentence is on showcase as well: what can be shown or felt within the singular unit and how the movement happens, alongside novel phrasing and painterly images. One of my favorite collections I have read. It makes me feel full and want to reach out toward the world around me.

 


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Nettle & Bone Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250244048
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Tor Books - April 26th, 2022

Nettle & Bone is a fairy tale that focuses on characters who would be on the side in other tales: the third sister, the old witch and her demon hen, a small-kingdom fairy godmother, a skeletal dog, and the knight waiting to die. There is a larger narrative at play surrounding the specific story of Nettle & Bone, and Marra often doesn't pick up on the game being played by the major players. She ultimately has one goal in mind: to kill the prince lording over her family. The storytelling is delightful and eerie, full of magical beings and strange, otherworldly places. The world-at-large in Nettle & Bone feels bigger and more expansive than the story at play, and so it feels like the characters are part of a living place. The book moves quickly and is easy to pick up and become engrossed in, though to me the climax and resolution felt like they could have been stretched out a bit more. The pacing felt a bit rushed to me. Overall, Nettle & Bone is very well-written and realized and a joy to experience.


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Four Treasures of the Sky: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250811783
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Flatiron Books - April 5th, 2022

The Four Treasures of the Sky is a deft and engaging story following Lin Daiyu, a girl kidnapped from China and smuggled into the United States in the 1880s. Zhang's novel takes a magnifying glass to the anti-Chinese sentiment, laws, and violence of the late 19th century US. This is a time and series of events that are largely glossed over in American history, but like many actions of the past, these have repercussions into the present, as seen with renewed anti-Asian sentiment and violence throughout the pandemic. Lin Daiyu's story is not wholly unique to her as a victim in this time, but hers is memorable in her effort to claim her name as her own while others take pieces of herself from her. The interiority of Daiyu and the images Zhang writes are complex and captivating throughout the whole book.


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Time Is a Mother Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593300237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Penguin Press - April 5th, 2022

This is a collection concerned with connection and how we get to where we are (both spatially and as people, how we become us). Vuong explores life, violence, love, and death in poems that feel particular to Vuong's voice as a write. The images are strange and unique in the way they don't play out or resolve in an expected way. The lines often take a left turn away from the known into something more specific and strange. This collection of poems invigorates my desire to love and create.


Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593136287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Crown - April 5th, 2022

A book about how humans have impacted the environment in various, unforeseen ways, and how humans are trying to remedy those effects. This book is fascinating with all of the problems and potential solutions, and the ability for us to foresee and mitigate issues from the new solutions.


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When We Were Birds: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780385547260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Doubleday - March 15th, 2022

In Trinidad and Tobago, Yejide is a daughter in a lineage of matriarchs who are tasked with putting the souls of the dead to rest. Darwin is a new gravedigger/tender in Port Angeles's largest graveyard that is filled with restless dead wronged, a sight essentially desecrated. Their connection is gravitational and unavoidable, almost fated. I felt pulled through the story in a similar manner. Banwo fills this books with so many poignant moments of love, spirituality, growth, care, and devotion.


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Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781640094147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Counterpoint - March 8th, 2022

Red Paint is Lapointe's process toward understanding her trauma and beginning healing through the connections to her ancestors, the land, punk music, and writing. Her writing is deeply intimate and introspective, observant of her experiences and the experiences of her predecessors in the Pacific Northwest when colonizers arrived. A book about finding power in connections to lineage and land and self.


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How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063072640
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: William Morrow - January 18th, 2022

A strange and particularly deadly virus that morphs the human body is uncovered in a near future Siberia. It spreads, and the world has to find ways to reinvent ways of living, dying, grieving, and surviving. Each chapter has a new perspective character who is in some way connected to another character or chapter in the book. A beautiful constellation of grief. It feels like an anthology of lives impacted by this incredible occurence. The writing is beautiful, and each chapter is just as moving as the last, full of complex lives and questions and wonderings.

Nagamatsu is also interested in the technologies and businesses that spring up in the future to combat the virus and capitalize on its existence and become important to people (such as robo-dogs with recorded voices of loved ones who have died). Ultimately, he is concerned with nontraditional grief and what we do when something gets in the way of grief or you're not able to say goodbye. This book is grounded in grief and trends toward hope and possibility.


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No Land to Light On: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982187422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Atria Books - January 4th, 2022

A story of two Syrian immigrants, Sama and Hadi, and their boundless love told alongside anecdotes of migratory birds and their shrinking numbers and lands. The couple is separated by the 2017 travel ban on immigrants and refugees from South East Asia while Syria and its people are in the midst of civil war. The writing is often poetic and beautiful, full of emotional images and complex circumstances.


The Sentence Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062671127
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Harper - November 9th, 2021

This book is beautifully written and easy to read punctuated by moments where Erdrich heightens the images and leans into her poetic techniques. I listened to the audiobook, and Louise Erdrich is a great and captiaviting reader of her work. The characters are well-realized and disctinct. This is one of the few books recently where I wanted to stay with the characters and listen to Erdrich read more.


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I Will Die in a Foreign Land Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781953387080
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Two Dollar Radio - October 19th, 2021

Beautiful, complex, and full of history that connects the characters in the Ukrainian protests and fight against Russia in 2013-2014. I read this months before Russia's further invasion, and it feels well-timed and tells the important recent history in a compelling narrative.


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Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393867770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 17th, 2021

Dove is a masterful poet who has been writing for decades, and you can see her experience in this collection. It's full of her years of living and writing. Highly observant of the momentary as well as having frequent and prolonged contact with history, from when events in history took place to the span of a life. Carefully crafted in form and voice (both hers and others she speakes with). One of my favorite aspects of this collection is the way many of the book's sections have their own projects within the larger whole.


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Pilgrim Bell: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Graywolf Press - August 3rd, 2021

Akbar's poems often explore the space of the page, syntax, God and faith, language, power and oppression, etc. One of my favorite poets to return to.


Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250305978
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book - June 1st, 2021

Somebody's Daughter is Ford's Memoir about her younger years, focusing on her relationship with her mother and trying to build a relationship with her father. Ford's style is so easy to read, and she shows how she comes through the other side after the hardships and abuses she experienced.


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The Renunciations: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Graywolf Press - May 4th, 2021

Kelly's poems all feel carefully measured and emotionally expansive. Many of her images have an intimate connection with the natural world and how the speaker of the poem relates to the world through those images.

Content warning for sexual assault.


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Hummingbird Salamander: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250829771
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Picador - April 5th, 2022

VanderMeer creates a captivating mystery surrounded by questions of ecological disaster and conspiratorial powers toiling in the dark. The protagonist embodies what it looks like to be gripped by strange obsession and to follow the trail to the very end. 


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We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice Cover Image
By Mariame Kaba, Tamara K. Nopper (Editor), Naomi Murakawa (Foreword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781642595253
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Haymarket Books - February 23rd, 2021

Essays by Mariame Kaba about organizing and working toward prison abolition. Kaba has spent much of her life doing this work, and these essays provide a foundation for folks who want to and are doing similar work. She discusses recent trials and events where she has organized and what justice would look like to her in those scenarios. One of her strongest points as an organizer, abolitionist, and essayist is her view of hope as a discipline and how to hope/return to hope when powers and laws seem stacked against you.


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The Only Good Indians: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781982136468
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - January 26th, 2021

A horror story of a wronged spirit's revenge as it seeks out the men who wronged it. Jones uses perspective to great effect in this novel, creating chilling, memorable moments of grisly consequences.


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Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2020

Diaz ia a master at capturing complex, resonant emotions through strange, beautiful, and haunting images.


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The Tradition Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556594861
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 2nd, 2019

Brown's poems are each masterfully crafted, from their movement from the beginning to the end line, to the lines and line breaks themselves, to form. I find something new each time I return to this collection.


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Deaf Republic: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978310
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Graywolf Press - March 5th, 2019

A book worth exploring multiple times! There are also perfomances of this book out there. I listened to the BBC Radio version. Kaminsky builds a narrative throughout the book through individual poems. He creates emotionally complex images about revolution, deafness, love, complicity, death, etc.