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Bookery Staff Recommendations

The following recommendations are compiled and updated by the 14 people who work at The Bookery, all of whom are avid readers.
 
 
      
"Indian Killer" by Sherman Alexie
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Warner, 1998, 420 pages. Paperback $13.00    Trade Fiction
High suspense thriller in Seattle where the last skyscraper is being built. One of its construction workers, John Smith, is a Native American removed at birth from his teenage mother and adopted by a middle-class white family. The characters are all vivid and convincing, from the white professor of Indian Studies to the militant activist who delivers sandwiches to Seattle's street people. Equally convincing are the racial and psychological conflicts that lie at the heart of the story, driving it to its final and dramatic conclusion. Read when you have a block of time--you won;t be able to put this down until its end. Recommended by: Victoria Jordan
 
 
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"The Prisoner's Wife" by Asha Bandele
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Pocket Books, 2000. Paperback $12.95    Biography/Social Issues/Activism
This honest, profoundly moving memoir is, indeed, “a love story,” as Asha Bandele states in the first sentence of the book, but it is also a commentary on our prison system, on race, on our society, and on men and women. I felt like I was standing at Asha’s side throughout this book, seeing with her eyes, feeling with her emotions. Her self-honesty is the driving force of this rare and intimate story of a woman’s love and a piece of her life. Recommended by: Suzanne Brown
 
 
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"The Houdini Girl" by Martyn Bedford

Random House, 2000. Paperback $13.00    Trade Fiction/Fiction - Mystery
To those of you who don’t like mysteries—think again! The Houdini Girl is both intellectually satisfying, and as seductive as any other well-plotted, fast-paced thriller. The pivotal character, Rosa, is killed in a train accident. Her suspicious death compels her lover, Red, to re-examine their life together and her mysterious past. Although Red is a magician by trade, it slowly becomes clear that Rosa is the real master illusionist. Recommended by: Aliza Rood
 
 
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"An Invisible Sign of My Own" by Aimee Bender
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. Hardcover $22.95    New Hardcover Fiction
Mona Gray is a young woman “in love with quitting.” Afraid of becoming too attached, she cuts everything short just when the wheels start spinning: piano, running, relationships...the only thing she can’t seem to quit is math. Math--because everything has a simple answer, because nothing is messy and nothing ever changes. But when she becomes the elementary school math teacher she realizes that there are some things that can’t be solved the easy way. Her favorite student’s mother is dying of cancer, her father suffers from his own unnameable illness, and her fondness for the new science teacher threatens to disrupt the sterile world she has created and resided in most of her life. I highly recommend this unusual and moving book. Recommended by: Aliza Rood
 
 
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"The Hungry Ocean" by Linda Greenlaw
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Hyperion, 2000, 228 pages. Paperback $14.00    Nature
If you liked The Perfect Storm, this is the perfect book to read next. The Hungry Ocean is not about the greatest storm of the century, but it is a fascinating nuts & bolts story of a 30-day long line swordfishing voyage to the Grand Banks. All of it is true, and Linda Greenlaw is the real thing. --Dean
 
 
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"The Mission of Art" by Alex Grey
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Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1999. Hardcover $27.50    Art - History and Criticism
An essential read for any artist or anyone who recognizeds the potential of art as a gateway to experiencing the ineffable. Alex's art speaks for itself, but in "The Mission of Art," he approaches issues relative to art in text and has a way of caputring the creative process in an accessible read. Check out his book "Sacred Mirrors" to experience more of his art. ---Hallie
 
 
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"The Pleasing Hour" by Lily King
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Atlantic Monthly, 1999, 237 pages. Hardcover $24.00    New Hardcover Fiction
The Pleasing Hour is subtle, yet romantic and absorbing. Lily King writes with an assurance rarely found in a first novelist. Her story is carefully constructed and the whole thing comes off as effortlessly as if the book had written itself. Recommended by: Aliza Rood
 
 
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"Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston
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Bantam, 1999. Paperback $10.95    Interior Design/Interior Finishes
This book could easily cause an amazing improvement in your life! And, we’re talking about love life, finances, health—you name it! Kingston helps you see how clutter in your house saps your energy and causes confusion and disorganization. After putting her de-cluttering methods into practice, I felt the resultant spaciousness created a corresponding freedom, calm, and ease mentally. Give it a try! Recommended by: Suzanne Brown
 
 
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"A Woman's Path: Women's Best Spiritual Travel Writing " Edited by Lucy McCauley
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Traveler's Tales, 2000. Paperback $16.95    Travel Literature
A good companion book to be kept beside the bed and read slowly, one woman's story at a time. --Isabel
 
 
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"Anil's Ghost" by Michael Ondjaate
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Knopf, 2000, 311 pages. Hardcover $25.00    New Hardcover Fiction
I've put off reading Anil's Ghost because of the difficult setting--the brutal civil war in Sri Lanka during the mid-80s. However, it seems that Ondjaate has written an elegy for his homeland. Reading this novel is like being absorbed into a dreamscape of memory. In spite of the harsh events described, when I finished this book I had a very positive feeling--once again we're in the hand of a master. Recommended by: Dean Benson
 
 
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"Critical Entertainments: Music Old & New" by Charles Rosen

Harvard University Press, 2000. Hardcover $0.00    Music - Classical
Rosen is much like the proverbial hedgehog: prickly, witty, well-roundedly invincible. While primarily known as a concert pianist and writer about music, the scope of his interests and imtellectual mastery ranges from medieval medical treatises to politcal history, literary style, biography and lexicography, post-modernism, and beyond. Rosen slices and dices to the glee of his readers, cutting rightly through nonsense and ineptitude to reach the heart of the matter. His “critical entertainments” are truly incisive and, in fact, entertaining, and are the next best thing to the music itself. Recommended by: Kiko Nobusawa
 
 
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"Caucasia" by Danzy Senna
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Berkley, 2000, 432 pages. Paperback $12.95    Trade Fiction
Not a typical coming-of-age story, Senna brings you into the life of a young girl who is confronted with questioning her identity. Born to parents of different skin color, she struggles to figure out where she belongs. Forced to live as a white Jewish girl, she lives a life of secrecy for her fugitive mother's sake. A great book that explores the reality of race in America. --Hallie
 
 
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"Jacobson's Organ" by Lyall Watson
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W.W.Norton, 2000. Hardcover $24.95    Science - Biological
Surprising revelations about an organ, present in nearly everyone’s nose, that works like our sense of smell except that it communicates with subconscious areas of our brains, powerfully influencing our emotions without our being aware of its actions. A hard book to put down. Recommended by: Isabel Salmon
 
 
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"Kin" by Crystal Williams
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Michigan State University Press, 2000, 76 pages. Paperback $15.95    Poetry
To say that Crystal Williams is a powerhouse of a poet is an incredible understatement. She is passionate, powerful, funny, and yet capable of causing you to weep suddenly as your eyes dance along the page and get caught up in a breathtaking turn of phrase. "Kin" is Williams' first book-length collection of poetry--in it she unearths her own known and unknown roots (she was adopted at 4 days old by a black jazz musician and a white school psychologist) and lyrically weaves her way through a myriad of emotions as she explores a definition of family that extends beyond blood relations. Williams, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is a veteran of the slam poetry circuit, having performed frequently at the Nuyorican Poets Café and competed on the 1995 New York Slam Team. The poems in "Kin" reflect her background as the daughter of a musician and as a performer in her own right. Her command of words and rhythm of delivery causes her poems to leap from the page, and consume the reader in a delightful feast of images and feeling. --Tracey
 
 
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