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Booknotes - Fall 2019

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.

The Proudest Blue

A Story of Hijab and Family
By Ibtihaj Muhammad & S. K. Ali
Narrated by Ibtihaj Muhammad /  7 minutes

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school--and two sisters on one's first day of hijab--by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.


With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It's the start of... Read More »

Price:

$2.28 USD

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Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by Christopher Myers /  5 hours 32 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

"[A] beautiful, genre-expanding debut. . . . Pet is a nesting doll of creative possibilities." -The New York Times

The highly-anticipated, genre-defying new novel by award-winning author Akwaeke Emezi that explores themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look?


There are no... Read More »

Price:

$25.20 USD

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The World Doesn't Require You

Stories
By Rion Amilcar Scott
Narrated by JD Jackson /  11 hours 59 minutes

The World Doesn't Require You announces the arrival of a generational talent, as Rion Amilcar Scott shatters rigid genre lines to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and love—all told with sly humor and a dash of magical realism. Established by the leaders of the country's only successful slave revolt in the mid-nineteenth century,... Read More »

Price:

$28.74 USD

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The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by Joe Morton /  14 hours 14 minutes

The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

“Ta-Nehisi Coates understands something big and he understands it better than anyone else right now. The Water Dancer led me on a journey up and down the landscape of American slavery with a narrative that feels like The Book of Exodus meets, well, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Over 400 pages I have cried, I have laughed, I have been educated, and I have been enlightened. Coates writes with an honesty that can only come from a sublime, even spiritual, understanding of the souls of the white man and the black man in America. Written with poignancy and humanity, The Water Dancer left me stunned but clear-headed, like I had just been woken up from a deep, dream-filled sleep.”

Norris Rettiger image Norris Rettiger, Lemuria Bookstore
Price:

$31.50 USD

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The Topeka School

A Novel
By Ben Lerner
Narrated by Nancy Linari, Peter Berkrot & Tristan Wright /  10 hours 34 minutes

The Topeka School

“It’s the late ’90s in Topeka, and high school senior Adam Gordon is partying, going to school, and preparing for a national speech and debate competition—living a life he expects to reflect back upon with irony and detachment in some urbane, imaginary future. Lerner shifts between perspectives, stealing stylistic bits from autofiction and documentary; he reinvents the way narrative can place the moments of our lives in the context of history, both global and hyper-local, exploring how history inflicts trauma onto us and how we, in turn, inflict that trauma back onto history. And he does all this while toying with language and the spaces where it breaks down as we attempt to self-define. Simply put, The Topeka School is a work of genius.”

Chris Lee image Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Women of the Copper Country

By Mary Doria Russell
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell /  12 hours 27 minutes

From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow comes an inspiring historical novel about “America’s Joan of Arc” Annie Clements—the courageous woman who started a rebellion by leading a strike against the largest copper mining company in the world.

In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie Clements had seen enough of the world to... Read More »

Price:

$27.59 USD

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Red at the Bone

A Novel
By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by Jacqueline Woodson & Various /  3 hours 52 minutes

Red at the Bone

“Although you can read Jacqueline Woodson’s newest novel over the course of one evening, there is nothing breezy about the richness of its story, nothing short about the depth of its characters, nothing quick about the way this book stays with you after you finish reading. Told through five distinct voices, Red at the Bone tracks an African-American family through time and place as an unexpected pregnancy upends and reshapes family and class expectations as well as individual trajectories. Ultimately, the novel is about legacy in every sense of the word. And since Woodson’s writing packs the emotional punch of an epic in a novella number of pages, the legacy of her book is to be read over and over and over again.”

Kelly Brown image Kelly Brown, Magic City Books
Price:

$21.00 USD

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Out of Darkness, Shining Light

A Novel
By Petina Gappah
Narrated by Nyasha Hatendi & Sibongile Mlambo /  10 hours 6 minutes

“Engrossing, beautiful, and deeply imaginative, Out of Darkness, Shining Light is a novel that lends voice to those who appeared only as footnotes in history, yet whose final, brave act of loyalty and respect changed the course of it. An incredible and important book by a masterful writer.” ​—Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing

“This is how we carried... Read More »

Price:

$22.99 USD

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Inland

A Novel
By Téa Obreht 
Narrated by Anna Chlumsky, Edoardo Ballerini & Euan Morton /  13 hours 7 minutes

Inland

“Inland is a beautifully narrated by voices that are rarely heard in a story of the American west. Lurie, an immigrant from the middle east, and Nora, a pioneer wife struggling to survive, are both haunted by ghosts of their past. The dry arid desert provides a perfect backdrop for the events, relationships and challenges these two characters face. Obrect writes with dialogue present and past creating an almost dreamlike atmosphere in some places of the novel and nightmarish realism in others. This novel lays bare the struggles, relationships, personalities and conflicts that provided the foundation of the wild untamed west. This novel was epic, expansive, and completely nourishing of spirit.”

Avid Bookshop image Ellen, Avid Bookshop
Price:

$31.50 USD

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Hollow Kingdom

By Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by Robert Petkoff /  10 hours 10 minutes

Hollow Kingdom

“This is the zombie apocalypse like you’ve never seen it before! Things go sideways when S.T. the crow’s human, Big Jim, loses an eyeball. Jim’s worsening condition propels S.T. to leave the safety of domestic life, along with the simple, slobbering bloodhound, Dennis. Together they roam the ruins of Seattle, searching for purpose in this new, Cheeto-less world. While Hollow Kingdom mostly follows the foul-mouthed, human-loving crow, Buxton also takes the occasional detour to see how other animals are coping around the world. Not only is our corvid companion a profane delight, she also manages to effortlessly capture the aloof arrogance of a cat, the wise cadence of an elephant, and even the eternal serenity of trees. Hilarious and at times surprisingly poignant, Hollow Kingdom is a must-read for anyone with a sense of humor as black as a crow’s wing.”

Mysterious Galaxy Books image Darcy, Mysterious Galaxy Books
Price:

$29.88 USD

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Gideon the Ninth

By Tamsyn Muir
Narrated by Moira Quirk /  16 hours 49 minutes

Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth is an epic science fantasy that if delivered into the hands of enough people will set the world on fire as it hasn’t been since The Hunger Games. Brilliance doesn’t come close to explaining Tamsyn Muir’s narrative where no single word is wasted or her engineering of a world with characters that end up belonging to you wholeheartedly even long after the last page. With fierce independence and hysterical wit, and laced with moments of pure heartbreaking tenderness and loyalty, Gideon and Harrow’s relationship simultaneously digs under your skin and tugs at your heartstrings. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.”

Nichole Cousins image Nichole Cousins, Still North Books & Bar
Price:

$34.49 USD

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Frankissstein

A Love Story
By Jeanette Winterson
Narrated by John Sackville & Perdita Weeks /  7 hours 10 minutes

Since her astonishing debut at twenty-five with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson has achieved worldwide critical and commercial success as “one of the most daring and inventive writers of our time” (Elle). Her new novel, Frankissstein, is an audacious love story that weaves together disparate lives into an exploration of... Read More »

Price:

$22.94 USD

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Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

A Novel
By Olga Tokarczuk & Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Narrated by Beata Pozniak /  11 hours 39 minutes

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

“Janina is an eccentric middle-aged woman who translates William Blake, studies astrology, and is acutely attuned to the wilderness around her in rural Poland. When hunters and poachers begin to be gruesomely murdered, Janina informs the police that the animals are responsible. As the bodies mount, so does her involvement with the mystery, although her status as a crank and possible madwoman ensures that she’s ignored. This is an extraordinary and disturbing tale — a mystery that becomes more complex as the story continues, accompanied by Janina’s often witty observations on man, nature, justice, and identity. The ending of this hard-to-categorize novel, a finalist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, will knock the breath out of you. Don’t miss this excellent translated work from an award-winning writer!”

The River's End Bookstore image Cindy Pauldine, The River's End Bookstore
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Doxology

A Novel
By Nell Zink
Narrated by Eileen Stevens /  12 hours 31 minutes

A Recommended Book of 2019 from Vulture and Esquire

Pam, Daniel, and Joe might be the worst punk band on the Lower East Side. Struggling to scrape together enough cash and musical talent to make it, they are waylaid by surprising arrivals—a daughter for Pam and Daniel, a solo hit single for Joe. As the ‘90s wane, the three friends share in one... Read More »

Price:

$34.49 USD

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Celestial Bodies

By Jokha Alharthi & Marilyn Booth
Narrated by Laurence Bouvard /  8 hours 3 minutes

Celestial Bodies

“In this gripping family saga, author Jokha Alharthi—the first female Omani writer to be translated into English—involves you deeply in the personal drama of her characters and in the extended family system, which includes former servants and masters, while also somehow telling the modern history of the country of Oman. I was immediately enthralled by the power and clarity of Alharthi’s book, which won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize and is the first book written in Arabic to win it. Don’t miss the opportunity to let this important new book sweep you away!”

Skylight Books image Arlo Klahr, Skylight Books
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Berta Isla

A novel
By Javier Marías
Narrated by Frankie Corzo & Bruce Mann /  18 hours 29 minutes

From the award-winning, internationally best-selling Spanish writer, author of The Infatuations, comes a gripping new novel of intrigue and missed chances--at once a spy story and a profound examination of a marriage founded on secrets and lies.

When Berta Isla was a schoolgirl, she decided she would marry Tomás Nevinson--the dashing... Read More »

Price:

$38.50 USD

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The Ungrateful Refugee

What Immigrants Never Tell You
By Dina Nayeri
Narrated by Dina Nayeri /  10 hours 33 minutes

The Ungrateful Refugee

“At a time when some people aim to terrify us with stories about the intentions of those who seek our help, this book brings a timely voice to illustrate what drives people to endure monumental hardships in order to have a chance to reach safety. An engrossing and powerful book that reveals an infrequently heard perspective on the concept of charity, giving, and receiving, The Ungrateful Refugee makes us look at ourselves and our actions as well as those who receive our acts of ‘kindness.’”

Becky Garcia image Becky Garcia, Malvern Books
Price:

$24.99 USD

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The Undying

Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care
By Anne Boyer
Narrated by Anne Boyer /  5 hours 4 minutes

Award-winning poet and essayist Anne Boyer delivers a one-of-a-kind meditation on illness in the age of data?sharing her true story of coping with cancer, both the illness and the industry, in The Undying. A week after her forty-first birthday, the acclaimed poet Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. For... Read More »

Price:

$18.39 USD

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Trick Mirror

Reflections on Self-Delusion
By Jia Tolentino
Narrated by Jia Tolentino /  9 hours 45 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire
 
“A whip-smart, challenging book.”—Zadie Smith • “Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time.”—Vulture


Jia Tolentino is a... Read More »

Price:

$31.50 USD

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A Pilgrimage to Eternity

From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith
By Timothy Egan
Narrated by Timothy Egan /  12 hours 41 minutes

Tracing an ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, the bestselling and "virtuosic" (The Wall Street Journal) writer explores the past and future of Christianity

"What a wondrous work! This beautifully written and totally clear-eyed account of his pilgrimage will have you wondering whether we should all embark on such a journey,...
Read More »

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$31.50 USD

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