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Booknotes - Fall 2018

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.

Small Spaces

By Katherine Arden
Narrated by Renee Dorian /  5 hours 16 minutes

Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn't... Read More »

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$25.20

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Dreamers

By Yuyi Morales
Narrated by Adriana Sananes /  14 minutes

In 1994, twenty-five-year-old Yuyi Morales traveled from her home in Yelapa, Mexico, to the San Francisco Bay Area with her two-month-old son, Kelly, in order to secure permanent residency in this country. Her passage was not easy, and she spoke no English whatsoever. But due in large measure to help and guidance provided by area children's... Read More »

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$9.99

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Harbor Me

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by N'Jameh Camara, Various, Jacqueline Woodson & Toshi Widoff-Woodson /  3 hours 49 minutes

Harbor Me

“In Harbor Me, six kids find common ground and build strong friendships through the simple act of talking to each other. The book addresses important contemporary issues of bullying, racial injustice, and immigration in a way that children from a wide range of backgrounds can relate. Jacqueline Woodson's latest is a beautifully written book that celebrates the power of communication and empathy to make our communities stronger. The kids in our store's book club picked this book and universally raved about it.”

Hicklebee’s image Suzi Hough, Hicklebee’s
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$25.20

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Friday Black

By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Narrated by Corey Allen & Carra Patterson /  7 hours 8 minutes

Friday Black

“What a breathtaking collection. These stories are so artfully crafted and imaginatively constructed that at first blush they carry the same satisfaction as the best social satire out there and all the respect that goes along with the label; this collection, however, commands that and more. It is wrenching in its acute, precise indictment of white culture and its guardians, all the while offering language that is playfully impish in its originality. Adjei-Brenyah has an innate ability to create worlds that are familiar and distant and that feel like a privilege to be able to glimpse. This is not to be missed.”

Christen Thompson image Christen Thompson, Itinerant Literate Books
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$19.99

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Transcription

A Novel
By Kate Atkinson
Narrated by Fenella Woolgar /  11 hours 9 minutes

Transcription

“While World War II isn’t my usual era of interest, Juliet’s hilarious inner monologue about everything that happens around her won me over. There is espionage and intrigue, and twists and turns emerge where you least expect them. I can see the 1940s so clearly, thanks to Atkinson’s fantastic writing. This is a book that will be a hit for a lot of different kinds of readers: people who like historical fiction, mystery, or literary fiction.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Karena, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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$29.88

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The Silence of the Girls

A Novel
By Pat Barker
Narrated by Kristin Atherton & Michael Fox /  10 hours 44 minutes

The Silence of the Girls

“The women in Homer’s Iliad hardly ever speak; we are not privy to their thoughts, feelings, or anguish as expressed in their own words. Until now. The Silence of the Girls depicts moments of the Trojan War through the eyes of the female captives at the mercy of the men who have slaughtered their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, as they carve out new lives in the wake of war’s devastation. The focus of Barker’s novel is Briseis, through whose eyes we see, up close, the rift between Agamemnon and Achilles, the bond between Achilles and Patroclus, and the complex, beautiful support system the captured women weave together. Barker’s novel is a masterpiece of resilience, determination, fury, healing, and complicated, completely human characters.”

University Book Store image Anna Eklund, University Book Store
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$28.00

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French Exit

A Novel
By Patrick deWitt
Narrated by Lorna Raver /  6 hours 53 minutes

French Exit

“Quirky, wry, darkly witty, strange, and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious, Patrick deWitt’s French Exit is the perfect remedy for those seeking a respite from the plethora of WWII historical fiction and genre thrillers out there. In deWitt’s depiction of dysfunctional families at their absolute oddest, Malcom Price, his doting mother, Frances, and their cat, Little Frank, abandon New York City practically penniless and scurry off to Paris, where things only get stranger. Every page turned leaves the reader wondering what in the world they will do next. What a breath of fresh air is French Exit! Keep them coming, Patrick deWitt!”

The Country Bookshop image Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop
Price:

$24.14

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Housegirl

A Novel
By Michael Donkor
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh /  10 hours 3 minutes

"Adjoa Andoh performs much of Housegirl, Michael Donkor's accomplished, affecting debut novel, in sparkling Ghanaian English, immersing listeners in the world of Ghana and the Ghanaian diaspora." — BookPage

Nominated for the Edinburgh First Book Award
One of The Millions' "Most Anticipated Books of the Year"
One of The Guardian's "Best Summer... Read More »

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$31.04

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Washington Black

A novel
By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by Dion Graham /  12 hours 18 minutes

Washington Black

“Epic in scope, ranging from a brutal slave plantation in Barbados to scenes in the Arctic, antebellum America, and London, plus a thoughtful denouement in the Moroccan desert, Edugyan’s novel explores the complex relationship between slave and master, the hubris of good intentions, and the tense life of a runaway in constant flight with a Javert on his tail. What results is a compulsive page-turner blessed with effortless prose. Highly recommended.”

Matthew Lage image Matthew Lage, Iowa Book
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$31.50

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In the House in the Dark of the Woods

By Laird Hunt
Narrated by Vanessa Johansson /  5 hours 20 minutes

In the House in the Dark of the Woods

“Gothic and atmospheric, this book is a terrifying fever dream, an extended waking nightmare. It follows Goody, our unreliable narrator, as she gets lost in the woods and discovers what lies beyond the veil. Lurking behind Laird Hunt’s lush and evocative prose is a sense of dread that creeps up your spine as the story twists and writhes. It’s a haunted-woods tale full of wolves and witches—the brutal kind who eat children and steal your very soul. A perfect and easy-to-devour book to usher in Halloween or give you a fright any time of the year. Just be sure to read it with all the lights on.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Kelly, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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$29.88

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Whiskey When We're Dry

By John Larison
Narrated by Sophie Amoss /  15 hours 24 minutes

Whiskey When We're Dry

“A haunting and remarkable debut, John Larison’s Whiskey When We’re Dry stays true to the western genre while subverting many common themes of the American West, producing a wholly original narrative that will linger in your mind for days. I have never encountered a protagonist quite like Jess; she embodies the incredible strength and resolve required to survive in the West, but also the vulnerability necessary to retain humanity in the face of so much violence and brutality. Larison’s prose goes down as smooth as a glass of whiskey, and I didn’t want to stop reading until I’d finished every last drop.”

Tori Odea image Tori Odea, Politics and Prose Bookstore
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$31.50

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Severance

A Novel
By Ling Ma
Narrated by Nancy Wu /  9 hours 53 minutes

Severance

“Candace Chen is a first-generation Chinese millennial immigrant who tries to make a life in New York City by succumbing to the role of the office drone who helps create cheap bibles. But when Shen Fever—a plague that causes its victims to perform a rote task until death—hits, only a few survive, including Candace. She soon finds herself in a cult-like band of other survivors heading to the Midwest while also trying to come to terms with her past and the unknowns of her future. With dark humor, sharp intelligence, and compassion, Ling Ma has written a well-constructed, biting satire of capitalism and a moving glimpse into the roles of memory, place, and identity in a life.”

Kelsey Westenberg image Kelsey Westenberg, The Dial Bookshop
Price:

$22.99

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She Would Be King

A Novel
By Wayétu Moore
Narrated by Wayétu Moore /  9 hours 38 minutes

She Would Be King

“The beauty, pain, and personality of Wayétu Moore’s epic trans-Atlantic story could only be expressed with magic. Moore follows her protagonists from before their births through their lives in the early days of Liberia. Combining folklore, African religions, history, and family narratives, Moore’s beautiful writing brings to life the struggles of justice, slavery, and belonging in this complex, nigh-on-miraculous novel.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Clara, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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$38.99

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Killing Commendatore

A novel
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel & Ted Goossen
Narrated by Kirby Heyborne /  28 hours 24 minutes

Killing Commendatore

“Part ghost story, part fairy tale, wholly human, Haruki Murakami’s new novel is a quiet burn of redemption and rebirth and the stories that cannot be told. An unnamed artist is asked by a faceless man to paint his portrait, a culmination of 9 months lost in art and music, loss and sex, the memories of love and empathy of men. Once you accept the impossible, you can only find yourself enthralled upon a mountain, listening for a bell, ruminating on what is left behind.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jocelyn, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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$42.00

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We That Are Young

A novel
By Preti Taneja
Narrated by Benaifer Mirza /  21 hours 53 minutes

A stunning debut novel, a modern-day King Lear set in contemporary India: the tale of a battle for power within a turbulent family, for status within a nation in a constant state of transformation, and for the love and respect of a father disappearing into dementia

Jivan Singh, the bastard scion of the Devraj family returns to his New Delhi... Read More »

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$42.00

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Ponti

By Sharlene Teo
Narrated by Vera Chok /  9 hours 36 minutes

An award-winning fiction debut about the value of friendships in present-day Singapore—a surprising and powerful portrait of Asia that shows the unique blend of modern and traditional cultures coming together—for fans of Elena Ferrante and Emma Cline.

“I am Miss Frankenstein, I am the bottom of the bell curve.” So declares Szu, a teenager living... Read More »

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$20.69

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Rosewater

The Wormwood Trilogy: Book #1
By Tade Thompson
Narrated by Bayo Gbadamosi /  13 hours 37 minutes

Rosewater

“Want mystery? A vision of near-future, post-alien occupation Earth? Afro-centric? Psychics? A relatable protagonist with a criminal past who is the only hope for saving human kind? How about some zombies and angels? A love story? Rosewater has it all, and somehow it all weaves together into an irresistible, absorbing tale. And the best news? It’s the first in a trilogy, so when it leaves you wanting more, your wish will come true.”

Bookbug image Jessica, Bookbug
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$29.88

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Cherry

A novel
By Nico Walker
Narrated by Jeremy Bobb /  8 hours 5 minutes

Cherry

“To say that "Cherry" is gritty and raw is an understatement to the nth degree. When I began listening to it on Libro.fm I wasn't sure I could get past the use of the "f" word every other sentence, but this novel keeps you hooked into sticking with the sometimes depressing, sometimes funny and sometimes horrifying story for all 8 hours of listening time. Nico Walker's semi-autobiographical novel follows the main character from high school to Iraq and back home where he becomes a heroin addict and a bank robber. While listening to this book I felt that I was witnessing a slow motion car wreck and couldn't turn my head away and stop watching. I'm glad I didn't because the overall lessons from this book were too important to turn away from. How in society are we going to decide to deal with veterans coming back from the front that now have issues with PTSD? How are we as a nation going to deal with everyday Americans that are addicted to opioids and then slide into heroin addiction after their opioide prescriptions are stopped ? How do we as Americans deal with a prison population that is on average looked at as not worth dealing with on any level except avoidance but are capable of writing a brilliant novel? These are questions that one is forced to ask while reading or listening to this book. There are thousands and thousands of armed forces personnel that come back from their war experiences and do not have PTSD, drug problems or violent interactions with others. But after reading this book I think I have a better understanding of the average service member that DOES come back from war with issues that they find hard to deal with. I also feel like I better understand how someone can slip into a heroin addiction and perhaps wants to get out of it but can't overcome the physical withdrawal symptoms long enough to get clean of the drug. The fact that this book makes me understand even just a bit those two situations makes listening to all 8 hours of this book very worthwhile to me.”

Tattered Cover image Suzie, Tattered Cover
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$28.00

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How Do We Look

The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization
By Mary Beard
Narrated by Mary Beard /  2 hours 51 minutes

From prehistoric Mexico to modern Istanbul, Mary Beard looks beyond the familiar canon of Western imagery to explore the history of art, religion, and humanity. Conceived as a gorgeously illustrated accompaniment to "How Do We Look" and "The Eye of Faith," the famed Civilisations shows on PBS, renowned classicist Mary Beard has created this... Read More »

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$10.99

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Small Fry

A Memoir
By Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Narrated by Eileen Stevens /  12 hours

A frank, smart, and captivating memoir by the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents-artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs-Lisa Brennan-Jobs' childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she... Read More »

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$26.39

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