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Booknotes - Fall 2017

Booknotes, the literary review of The Elliott Bay Book Company, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published and forthcoming books that we're excited to share with you.

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Solo

By Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess
Narrated by: Kwame Alexander with Randy Preston
Length: 4 hours 1 minutes

Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess is a New York Times bestseller! Kirkus Reviews said Solo is, “A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told.” Through the story of a young Black man searching for answers about his life, Solo empowers, engages, and encourages teenagers to move from heartache to healing, burden to blessings, depression... Read more »

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New People

By Danzy Senna
Narrated by: Kristen Ariza
Length: 6 hours 5 minutes

Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, VOGUE, TIME MAGAZINE, NPR and THE ROOT

Named A 2017 BEST SUMMER READ BY


Vogue • Elle • Harper's Bazaar Glamour • Buzzfeed • In Style • Men's Journal • Bustle • Ms. Magazine • Pop Sugar 
• Newsday • The Millions • Time Out • Bitch • CNN's The Lead • The Fader

"[A] cutting take on race...
Read more »

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Improbable Destinies

Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution

By Jonathan B. Losos
Narrated by: Marc Cashman
Length: 11 hours 59 minutes

A major new book overturning our assumptions about how evolution works
 
Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest... Read more »

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Stay with Me

A novel

By Ayobami Adebayo
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

A New York Times Notable Book
The New York Times’ Critics’ Top Books of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, The Economist, Buzzfeed, Paste Magazine, Southern Living, HelloGiggles, and Shelf Awareness
Huffington Post’s Best Feminist Books of the Year
The New York Post’s Most Thrilling and...
Read more »

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The Heart's Invisible Furies

A Novel

By John Boyne
Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
Length: 21 hours 9 minutes

The Heart's Invisible Furies

“This is the novel John Boyne was born to write: A brilliant book of identity and redemption, both heartbreaking and humorous, intimate and expansive. Cyril Avery has been constantly reminded he doesn't belong, first by his adopted parents, then by the church and his country. As we follow him on his journey to acceptance, we are shown the cruelty of fate and the surprising kindness of ordinary people. Boyne perfectly constructs every story told, unveiling the humor and hypocrisy of humanity in each character and illuminating how the arc of Cyril's story is also the arc of modern times. An amazing feat from the first page to the last.”

Book Passage image Luisa Smith, Book Passage
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The Red-Haired Woman

A novel

By Orhan Pamuk
Narrated by: John Lee & Katharine Lee McEwan
Length: 7 hours 21 minutes

The Red-Haired Woman

“'Beguiling' is the perfect word to describe The Red-Haired Woman, which feels like an entrancing fairly tale, set in a far away, exotic land peopled with fascinating men and women. The story plays out over the life span of one man whose actions and choices over one summer, however fleeting, will turn out to be the formative events that shape his entire life. I particularly enjoyed the summer nights in the quiet town, as the boy stole around the back alleys, hoping for a glimpse of the red-haired woman. This book is unlike any other I've read.”

The Vermont Book Shop image Jenny Lyons, The Vermont Book Shop
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Dinner at the Center of the Earth

A novel

By Nathan Englander
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 7 hours

The best work yet from the Pulitzer finalist and best-selling author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges--a political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard.

A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched... Read more »

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A Legacy of Spies

A Novel

By John le Carré
Narrated by: Tom Hollander
Length: 8 hours 28 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The undisputed master returns with his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years--a #1 New York Times bestseller and ideal holiday gift.


Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead... Read more »

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George and Lizzie

A Novel

By Nancy Pearl
Narrated by: Nancy Pearl
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes

George and Lizzie

“I don't know Nancy Pearl, but I imagine the beloved librarian turned national book commentator would be too modest to recommend her debut for your reading list, so I'll do it for her. Pearl has written an intelligent, character-driven page-turner that asks important questions about honesty and forgiveness and examines how conscious choices and behaviors strengthen us and our relationships. Raised by brilliant but emotionally detached psychologist parents, Lizzie faces ongoing and often humorous internal battles that ultimately lead to a crossroads in her marriage to George. You may examine your own relationships as you read this witty, kindhearted story. Pearl clearly seems to love the characters she has created. You'll fall for them, too.”

Village Books image Mary Vermillion, Village Books
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Sing, Unburied, Sing

A Novel

By Jesmyn Ward
Narrated by: Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chris Chalk & Rutina Wesley
Length: 8 hours 22 minutes

Sing, Unburied, Sing

“Sing, Unburied, Sing is a dark and gorgeous song of love and heartbreak, haunting and tragic and disorienting in its timelessness. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill anchors Ward's tale to Mississippi today, which is almost indistinguishable from its notorious yesterday, a present and past (ironically) made more alive in the novel by ghosts and where everyone suffers from the cancers of buried sins. On Jojo's 13th birthday, while Mam is dying and Pop struggles to keep everyone safe, Leonie plans a road trip to the prison to pick up Michael, Jojo and baby Kayla's father. It's The Odyssey meets the Delta blues meets William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and some ineffable something that is Jesmyn Ward's own magic.”

Hudson Booksellers image Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers
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The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

By Michelle Cuevas
Narrated by: Laura Ortiz
Length: 3 hours 55 minutes

A girl's friendship with a lonely black hole leads her to face her own sadness in this original, funny, and touching middle grade novel for fans of Crenshaw and Flora & Ulysses.

When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black... Read more »

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Love and Other Consolation Prizes

A Novel

By Jamie Ford
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller & Jamie Ford
Length: 11 hours 28 minutes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes

“Jamie Ford has written another fabulous story. In Love and Other Consolation Prizes, a child is raffled off as a prize at a world's fair in Seattle in 1909. Based on a real-life raffle, this story is about Ernest Young, a Chinese orphan refugee who is won by the owner of The Tenderloin, a brothel where he becomes the house boy and lives a life with enough food to eat and hope for the future. During the Seattle World's Fair of 1962, Ernest reminisces about all of the life he lived between the two fairs.”

The Country Bookshop image Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop
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Forest Dark

A Novel

By Nicole Krauss
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
Length: 8 hours 12 minutes

Forest Dark

“No surprise: Forest Dark was worth the wait. Tapping into intellectual and deeply personal moments, the two main characters are ones to identify with even as the circumstances they find themselves in are fantastic. Krauss' reflections about marriage are poignant, and there is a lot to contemplate. At first, I enjoyed having moments when I wasn't reading to think, but toward the end I found myself not being able to put it down.”

Kira Wizner image Kira Wizner, Merritt Books
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Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing

Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language

By Daniel Tammet
Narrated by: Daniel Tammet
Length: 10 hours 28 minutes

A mind-expanding, deeply humane tour of language by the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers.

Is vocabulary destiny? Why do clocks "talk" to the Nahua people of Mexico? Will A.I. researchers ever produce true human-machine dialogue? In this mesmerizing collection of essays, Daniel Tammet answers these and many other... Read more »

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Fresh Complaint

Stories

By Jeffrey Eugenides
Narrated by: Jeffrey Eugenides, Ari Fliakos & Cynthia Nixon
Length: 8 hours 2 minutes

"The theme of complaint extends beyond the title story, but for listeners the key takeaway is the word 'fresh.' Jeffrey Eugenides's fresh writing...showcases his originality and — since he also narrates it — his ability to navigate multiple accents and personalities." — AudioFile Magazine

The first collection of short fiction from Pulitzer...
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The Future Is History

How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

By Masha Gessen
Narrated by: Masha Gessen
Length: 16 hours 44 minutes

WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 

WINNER OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY'S HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD  

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEWLOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POSTBOSTON GLOBESEATTLE TIMESCHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NEWSWEEK, PASTE,...
Read more »

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A Moonless, Starless Sky

Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa

By Alexis Okeowo
Narrated by: Kamali Minter
Length: 7 hours 55 minutes

WINNER OF THE 2018 PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD

"A rich and urgently necessary book"
(New York Times Book Review), A Moonless, Starless Sky is a masterful, humane work of journalism by Alexis Okeowo--a vivid narrative of Africans who are courageously resisting their continent's wave of fundamentalism.

In A Moonless, Starless Sky Okeowo weaves together... Read more »

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