Kay's Staff Recommendations

Welcome to Kay's Recommendations! Bookselling is Kay’s fourth career but it might have been her first and only career if she roughly followed grade-school aptitude testing that said she should become a librarian. An avid reader, Kay’s go-to is science fiction, but she often dips into off-beat (i.e. dark) fiction, and both fiction and non-fiction about nature, the environment, art, gardening, adventure and unusual minds.  Her favorite book changes about every five years; most recently it would have to be The Overstory by Richard Powers. 

Check out what Kay has been reading below!

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Meet the Neighbors: Animal Minds and Life in a More-than-Human World By Brandon Keim Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781324007081
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 16th, 2024

Keim’s journey into animal minds begins with dozens of delightful, and probably surprising, stories about undeniably intelligent and sensitive animals. Next, the author examines philosophers’ thinking about animals, which isn’t pretty. Since the Greeks, philosophers (and religions) have, with few exceptions, belittled any consideration of animal welfare. Thankfully, this has been changing for the better since the 1980s. Keim looks next at pest control and then at treatment of wild animals. In both cases, cruelty has historically been the norm, but compassion is becoming more common both philosophically and in practice. Thank you, Brandon Keim, for this passionate, thought-provoking review of recent leaps in understanding animal minds, and the enormous gaps that humans need to bridge in light of this new knowledge. Your book deserves a wide audience.


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The Internet of Animals: Discovering the Collective Intelligence of Life on Earth By Martin Wikelski, Keith Gaddis (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Martin Wikelski, Keith Gaddis (Foreword by)
$23.16
ISBN: 9781771649599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - May 14th, 2024

In 1967, two Illinois teens built a receiver to track Sputnik as it crossed the US. They modified it to track migrating birds, but the system wasn’t scalable. Author Wikelski took a professorship at U Illinois in Urbana-Champagne in 1998 expressly to work with the one still-living inventor; his goal was to build an effective, scalable system to track animals of all kinds, anywhere. The book traces Wikelski’s 20+ years of tenaciously following every opportunity to build his “internet of animals.” Failures were legion. But today, the system is slowly going online around the world, and the applications are jaw-dropping. One use of the system - to save individual members of a group of endangered species, (e.g. from poachers) - alone makes the author’s tenacity priceless. Inspiring.


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Playground: A Novel By Richard Powers Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781324086031
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 24th, 2024

Powers raises his poetic prose to the heavens in Playground. Add Powers’s thematic triad of intense but flawed relationships between key characters, a powerfully informed environmental message, and fantastical technological advancement, and the result is nothing less than a masterpiece. 


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Fire Escape: How Animals and Plants Survive Wildfires (Books for a Better Earth) By Jessica Stremer, Michael Garland (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jessica Stremer, Michael Garland (Illustrator)
$22.99
ISBN: 9780823454426
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Holiday House - June 25th, 2024

This is a wonderful, comprehensive, brightly illustrated middle-grade dive into all aspects of wildfires, including types of wildfires, their impact on plants, animals and land, descriptions of firefighter jobs and firefighting techniques, prescribed burns, animal helpers (very fun), evolving theories about fire management, and more. There is a helpful glossary, extensive bibliography, and source notes. This is an impressive book. It’s the 9th in the series, with 4 more planned soon.


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Fire Exit: A Novel By Morgan Talty Cover Image
$23.16
ISBN: 9781959030553
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tin House Books - June 4th, 2024

Charles is haunted by the missing pieces of his history, his emotionally absent mother, his adoring father who he couldn't save, and his daughter who he can't speak with. He decides to write the story of his (known) life for his daughter; he's convinced she needs it to make her own history complete. The complexities of reservation life add a sharp edge to an otherwise earnest and tender tale.


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Woodworm By Layla Martinez, Sophie Hughes (Translator), Annie McDermott (Translator) Cover Image
By Layla Martinez, Sophie Hughes (Translator), Annie McDermott (Translator)
$21.95
ISBN: 9781949641592
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Lines Press - May 14th, 2024

This delightful horror story stars three generations of women living in a house permanently haunted by annoying, noisy, sleepless ghosts. An obnoxiously wealthy family lives next door. They flaunt their wealth and are nasty to the women; in fact, the family's social standing in town seems largely built on continuous mistreatment of the women. The women are finally motivated to trade fortunes with their neighbors. Fun! 


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Not a River: A Novel By Selva Almada Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644452851
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - May 7th, 2024

The jungle-like air is thick and stifling when three friends arrive at their favorite weekend getaway: camping, drinking, and fishing on a fairly remote island surrounded by a slow, lazy river. The men are wound up and careless. One of the island's village leaders is strung tight even before the fishermen arrive. Two terse encounters between the visitors and residents build palpable tension, which finally explodes at an evening dance in the village. Almada's slim novels pack wicked, well-earned earned punches at men behaving badly. This is her best work yet.


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Beneath the Surface of Things: New and Selected Essays By Wade Davis Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781778400445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - April 30th, 2024

COVID put hard brakes on Davis’s far-flung travels and writing focused on anthropology and cultural themes. While confined, his sharp eye found obscured aspects of familiar historical stories and contemporary issues. The result is succinct, piercing thought-pieces on subjects as disparate as South American cultures' coca rituals, widely practiced daily for 500+ years; Jerusalem’s 2000+ years role as a sacred site for Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and an unusual look at WWI. His essay about climate fear is a welcome alternative to daily doom stories. Great writing about interesting subjects!


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Brother. Do. You. Love. Me. By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (Illustrator)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781778401442
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - May 7th, 2024

This unusual love story is between two brothers. The older brother dedicates six months to his beloved younger brother, doing nothing but working to bring him back from a very dark place. I fell in love with both of these remarkable brothers. The entire book is beautiful and uplifting, but the end is truly spectacular. 


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The Unlikely Hero: The Story of Wolf 8 (a Young Readers' Edition) By Rick McIntyre, David a. Poulsen Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781778400223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Kids - April 16th, 2024

Wolf 8 is a pup in one of the first wolf packs reintroduced to Yellowstone, and this story is about how he became leader of one of the largest, most successful wolf packs in the park. Wolf 8 is the runt of the litter and is bullied his three brothers. He eventually wanders from the pack and soon finds eight young wolf pups. He plays with them, and they are having fun when mom cautiously joins them. The father of her pups had recently been killed, and she needs an adult male. Wolf 8 likes her, and she likes him. The story that follows is almost magical - especially because it is based on first-hand observations.


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Clear: A Novel By Carys Davies Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781668030660
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - April 2nd, 2024

This quiet story deeply tugged my heartstrings. I fought racing to the denouement with enjoying every precious moment in which a new connection sprouted between two very different men. The burning question is: will they find a way to move forward, together?


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I Cheerfully Refuse By Leif Enger Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780802162939
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - April 2nd, 2024

The not-too-distant future is physically and psychically damaged. A wealthy ruling class oversees much of the world, and commoners are merely slave labor. A few corners of the world are mostly ignored, including the area around Lake Superior, where Rainy and his wife get by. Tragedy sets Rainy off on his sailboat alone, his bass guitar and Lake Superior his only company. Moody Lake Superior offers endless thrills, horror in human form feels as if it’s around the next stretch of land, and Rainy is just trying to get through one day at a time. This is a grand adventure story set in scary times.


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Secrets of the Octopus By Sy Montgomery, Warren K. Carlyle, IV Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781426223723
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: National Geographic - March 19th, 2024

 

If you are not already head-over-heels in love with octopuses, Montgomery’s new book will seduce you. For those already in love, new research will fill you with more love. Some truly strange new species have been found and are delightfully described. Of course, recent experiments have discovered new aspects of octopus intelligence. Perhaps most interesting are stories about funny, weird, and (apparently) intense emotional human-octopus relationships. Bonus: the book is filled with gorgeous photographs.


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Whalefall: A Novel By Daniel Kraus Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781665918169
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MTV Books - August 8th, 2023

WOW! Whalefall is poignant, brainy, fascinating, and unputdownable. Did I mention unique? When I finished reading and closed the book, I was so dumbstruck that I was glued to my chair for over thirty minutes.


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Through the Night Like a Snake: Latin American Horror Stories By Sarah Coolidge (Editor), Mónica Ojeda, Tomás Downey Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781949641578
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Lines Press - March 12th, 2024

This book contains ten short horror stories written by Latin American authors. Most striking is the role the terrain itself plays in setting the tone of horror in many of the stories. One story is set in a mountainous, bug-ridden jungle shack where new occupants repeatedly find tiny, finely carved animals made of bone. Another is set alongside a busy road outside a town in the Córdoba Pampass - a flat, pesticide drenched, dusty countryside. Yet another is in Chile during Pinochet’s rule, in a commune protected by the military. Perhaps extreme geographies and brutal histories both past and recent help make horror a fitting genre for Latin American writers.


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The Book of Doors: A Novel By Gareth Brown Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063323988
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - February 13th, 2024

Booklovers are bound (ha ha) to love this novel about magic books. One evening near closing time, a regular customer leaves behind a tiny magic book inscribed to the last bookseller in the store. Great adventures begin!!


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The Women: A Novel By Kristin Hannah Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781250178633
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 6th, 2024

The Women is a gorgeous, intimate, long overdue ode to Vietnam’s women vets. Hannah’s hero eventually finds some peace, but many women did not return home or returned home too broken to live well. Thanks to Kristin, this novel will surely bring long-overdue recognition of and thankfulness for the brave women who served in Vietnam.


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The Future By Naomi Alderman Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668025680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 7th, 2023

Three companies (social networking, purchasing and logistics, personal computing) more or less run the near future. Most people believe the end of the world (TEOTW) could happen any day for one of many reasons. The three leaders have multiple bug-out places. They are together when they receive an early warning, and so they are off in a plane. It disappears. Add a brilliant young techie who specializes in teaching people how to prep for TEOTW and a close advisor to one of the three leaders who’s been going rogue (and a budding relationship between them), and you are set for a fast-paced, high-tech, fun, and almost believable ride to tomorrow.


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Cross-Stitch By Jazmina Barrera, Christina Macsweeney (Translator) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781949641530
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Two Lines Press - November 7th, 2023

Warning: this review is written by someone who is decidedly unhandy with needle and thread. Three girls become friends partly because of a shared interest in embroidery. They remain friends for a couple decades for many other reasons. When Mila can finally leave her husband and child for an extended time, they plan a trip to Paris. Not long after the trip, Mila and Dalia learn that Citali drowned in Senegal. Mila starts writing about their lives together. The stories are interspersed with excerpts from other authors about needlework, including: if women wrote history, the modern age would begin with the discovery of needle and thread; and, if men did embroidery, it would be considered an art, not a craft. I closed the book with a new respect for needle and thread, and I might even take another stab at using them!


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The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year By Margaret Renkl Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9781954118461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - October 24th, 2023

This book is perfect for anyone who likes to observe wildlife in their own backyard. Renkl writes 52 brief muses, one for each week of the year, inspired by the activity in her yard. Her short essays are accompanied by charming collages composed by her brother; the siblings clearly share the same love of nature. And Renkl knows how to compose a spectacular backyard ecosystem for attracting a wide range of migrant and resident animals, and she shares many clever tricks.  


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Again and Again: A Novel By Jonathan Evison Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593184158
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - November 7th, 2023

Eugene is an old man who prefers solitude in the nursing home where he lives. Uncharacteristically, he befriends a new young man who cleans his room. Angel shares stories about girlfriend troubles, and Eugene regales Angel with stories of his past lives. Their relationship runs into trouble when a staff member tells Angel that Eugene's stories are lies. Eugene is furious, but it starts him on a much-needed new path with himself, and with Angel. The end: perfect.


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Cocktail By Lisa Alward Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771965620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Biblioasis - September 12th, 2023

You will likely recognize a neighbor, a family member, a friend, even a spouse or yourself in many of these stories. The stories succinctly capture a variety of familiar emotions and behaviors: angst, desire, revulsion, anger, jealousy, guilt, fear, loneliness, instability, unhealthy family dynamics, cruelty, relief, fantasy and lust, deafness, manipulation, deceit, self-doubt, selfishness, cheating, lying - and perhaps the most dangerous: self-delusion and denial. Alward’s stories are written with precision and land with a punch.   


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California Against the Sea: Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline By Rosanna Xia Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781597146197
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Heyday Books - September 26th, 2023

The California coastline will experience more frequent and more powerful storms and rising sea levels as climate change accelerates. Some cities and towns have started preparing by moving buildings further inland, installing public storm-warning systems, and limiting property owners’ manipulation of beaches, such as building stone or concrete walls to retain or rebuild beach property. Beach construction is a temporary fix and merely moves erosion to other properties. Public beach erosion may threaten long-term viability of some vacation-dependent economies. California clearly has a great deal of work left to do. While climate change is already harming ocean coastlines, lake coastlines will eventually face similar issues. Any volunteers?


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How to Build a Boat By Elaine Feeney Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781771965859
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Biblioasis - November 7th, 2023

This is an insightful, sympathetic story about a highly intelligent autistic boy who can’t interact successfully with anyone other than Eoin (his dad) and Marie (grandma). The first day of high school is nearly a disaster, but Jaime is saved by a single attentive teacher. What begins as lunchtime entertainment for her soon becomes a mission to help Jaime learn the basic social skills needed to survive the rest of high school. She is joined by the new woodworking teacher. There are many ups and downs throughout the year, but by the last day of school, Jaime, while still awkward, has won over much of the student body. Cheers!


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Standing Heavy (Biblioasis International Translation #42) By Gauz', Frank Wynne (Translator) Cover Image
By Gauz', Frank Wynne (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771966009
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Biblioasis - October 3rd, 2023

When not fearing eviction or avoiding relatives’ demands to send money, three illegal immigrants from Côte d’Ivoire work as impeccable security guards in upscale women’s stores on Paris’s Champs-Élysées. The diversity of shoppers supplies nearly endless entertainment for the large, black, acutely visible guards. They share hilarious, absurd, and stupid stories that keep them awake, amused, and standing tall for very long shifts.


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Cocktail By Lisa Alward Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771965620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Biblioasis - September 12th, 2023

You will likely recognize a neighbor, a family member, a friend, even a spouse or yourself in many of these stories. The stories succinctly capture a variety of familiar emotions and behaviors: angst, desire, revulsion, anger, jealousy, guilt, fear, loneliness, instability, unhealthy family dynamics, cruelty, relief, fantasy and lust, deafness, manipulation, deceit, self-doubt, selfishness, cheating, lying - and perhaps the most dangerous: self-delusion and denial. Alward’s stories are written with precision and land with a punch. 


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A Stone Is a Story By Leslie Barnard Booth, Marc Martin (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Leslie Barnard Booth, Marc Martin (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534496941
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - October 3rd, 2023

As a life-long rock-hound, this book would have been pure magic to me as a child: I would have learned just enough to make up a story about different experiences my rock may have gone through to become the exact rock that was in my hand. This book may have also spurred me to learn more about the science of rocks, which would have helped me tell more detailed, and perhaps more real-life, stories. Rock loving kids will love this book!


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The Future (Biblioasis International Translation #44) By Catherine LeRoux, Susan Ouriou (Translator) Cover Image
By Catherine LeRoux, Susan Ouriou (Translator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781771965606
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Biblioasis - September 5th, 2023

The Future is set in an alternative ‘French’ Détroit, a city with few jobs and businesses, almost no government or social services, and destroyed or damaged infrastructure. Remaining residents skew old, young, or criminal. After learning of her daughter’s death, Gloria comes to Parc Détroit to find her two granddaughters. Via her daughter’s neighbor and other acquaintances, Gloria obtains useful information; of particular hope is the large group of abandoned and troubled kids who live together in Parc Rouge. The Parc kids function as a weakly cohesive group. Some individuals behave with reckless abandon, but most are solid, intelligent kids. Gloria’s search, of course, doesn’t end at the Parc. This dystopian setting is fascinating, and as dark as Parc Détroit sounds, the novel closes with signs of environmental revival and with genuine hope for the city’s inhabitants - both young and old, and sometimes together!


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Alien Worlds: How Insects Conquered the Earth, and Why Their Fate Will Determine Our Future By Steve Nicholls Cover Image
$39.95
ISBN: 9780691253589
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Princeton University Press - August 1st, 2023

Nicholls makes learning about insects a joy. With insects representing one quarter of all animals, he justifiably calls them the most successful group of animals on planet earth. Here are some juicy nuggets from this delicious book: Over one million species have been identified, but Nicholls thinks 5 million is a more reasonable count. Very early evolution of bodily diversity coupled with extreme adaptability is what allowed insects to conquer nearly all ends of the planet. As many of us have guessed, insects do, indeed, have greater resistance to extinction than other animals. They obliterate the laws of aviation. Of their two options for successful offspring, laying massive numbers of eggs is the method used by 99% of insects; only about 1% invest time and energy helping offspring survive. Research supports the label of “superorganism” for selected ants and termites. Wow. Nicholls closes with a profound statement: “recent research points to the fact that insect brains possess enough complexity to generate a basic level of consciousness.” Consider that next time you grab a can of Raid.


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Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet By Ben Goldfarb Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781324005896
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 12th, 2023

I am so excited to discover a new (at least for me) subject in ecology/environmental studies: road ecology. Road ecology is the study of how life changes for plants and animals near roads and traffic. One of the biggest road ecology issues is all too familiar:  roadkill. US drivers kill one million animals every day! Wow. Remedial action is uncommon. Of projects completed, many were initiated by individuals or small groups to fix massive, ongoing roadkill in a specific location. The design of overpasses and underpasses that successfully draw targeted animals across is surprisingly challenging, but there is progress. Other issues under this umbrella include noise and light pollution; excess heat generation; and runoff of salt, oil, exhaust, and other poisons. Road ecology is a young field, so it is rarely considered when new roads are planned. Since every major new road comes with thousands of other new roads built to and from it, road ecology must be incorporated into the planning process. Get involved when possible! A final note: one of the most environmentally impactful road ecology actions is to remove roads from national and state lands, especially forests. Every little unpaved road negatively affects the environment. Let’s get to work!


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Many Things Under a Rock: The Mysteries of Octopuses By David Scheel, Laurel "Yoyo" Scheel (Illustrator) Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781324020691
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 13th, 2023

This intimate portrayal of octopuses’ daily life is based on 25 years of diving in coastal Alaskan waters. Octopuses spend much of their time privately observing the neighborhood from a safe, hidden home, often under a rock. Hunting and eating habits, mating, predator avoidance, and interactions with other octopuses are described. While most books about octopuses focus on their intelligence, this is the first book I’ve found that paints a full picture of how octopuses live - and die - in the wild. 


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The Endless Vessel: A Novel By Charles Soule Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063043046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - June 6th, 2023

A dramatically beautiful object - clearly not of this world - is given to the owner of a small company. Employee Lily sees signs of her long-dead father in the innards of the object, setting her on a mission to find where it came from. The story that unfolds is beautiful, magical, hopeful, occasionally frightening, and often inspiring. This story will grip you tightly until it releases you, finger by finger, in the end.


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The Book of Pet Love and Loss: Words of Comfort and Wisdom from Remarkable People By Sara Bader Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781982134310
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 13th, 2023

Tears rolled down my face as I read dozens of heartfelt, heartwarming, and heartbreaking quotes and short stories by people reckoning with the last stages of life with - and the first stage of life without - a precious animal friend. Bader has composed a perfect book for anyone facing the loss of a dear pet. Keep a copy handy for a friend in need.


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Dust By Dusti Bowling Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316414234
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - August 15th, 2023

The arrival of a new boy in school coincides with Clear Canyon City’s first recorded dust storm. Adam stumbles as he walks to his desk and brushes against Avalyn. Instantly, it feels as if all the air has been sucked out of her body. This isn’t the first time Avalyn has felt as if she absorbed someone else’s emotions, much like X-Men’s Empath does. Dust storms continue to coincide with Avalyn and Adam touching briefly. What is happening? You’ll race through the book to find a dark answer. Dust bravely depicts a type of child abuse that, tragically, is not uncommon. Tenderly and effectively, Bowling describes reasonably easy steps a child can take, whether they are abused, or suspect someone else is abused. 


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Thing: Inside the Struggle for Animal Personhood By Sam Machado, Cynthia Sousa Machado, Steven M. Wise Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781642830859
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Island Press - June 6th, 2023

Happy the Asian elephant made news in 2022 when an appeals court denied her habeas corpus (personhood). This book presents scientific and philosophical reasons why elephants, great apes, and many whales qualify for personhood. Not a diatribe, this book calmly explains why humanity must finally dismantle its false sense of superiority over animals.


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The Full-Moon Whaling Chronicles By Jason Guriel Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781771965514
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Biblioasis - August 1st, 2023

It’s 2070. Earth is vastly different, but tech innovation has kept the planet mostly livable. YA fiction is wildly popular, especially a book called “The Full-Moon Whaling Chronicles.” Amongst its most fervent fans are some whale-hunting wolves and two humans. Told in delightful rhyming couplets, the wolves’ and humans’ stories alternate and influence each other. There is much to enjoy: the rhyming couplets, self-deprecating, quirky, and often funny characters, plenty of curious tech innovations, and humorous links to the past, such as zubered, ZukTube, ZikZok, zlog, Tesla Trouts, Kia Prawns, Ben Gauzy (an ancient curse), Ganwulf, Wulvia Plath and plenty more.


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Open Throat: A Novel By Henry Hoke Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780374609870
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - June 6th, 2023

There’s not an extraneous word in this one-of-a-kind, remarkable story narrated by a lonely lion living beneath LA’s HOLLYWOOD sign. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!


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The Last Ranger: A novel By Peter Heller Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593535110
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Knopf - July 25th, 2023

Immerse yourself in Yellowstone’s dramatic landscape. where lovers and protectors of wildlife (especially wolves reintroduced in 2006) are newly pitted against locals who skirt laws to hunt prized park denizens. Action, adventure, and mystery keep the plot in high gear. A tender, soulful ranger - unmoored by loss and now rocked by turf battles - is the story’s beating heart. 


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Ascension: A Novel By Nicholas Binge Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593539583
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 25th, 2023

This is a fabulously curated group of stories, all building on current societal, scientific, and technological trends and taking them to believably disturbing outcomes. There is not a single weak story in this collection. Ascension glides so effortlessly you won’t realize you haven’t shifted in your chair for hours. It has tentacles in many genres - adventure, thriller, sci-fi, horror, psychology, philosophy, many sciences - plus fabulously eclectic characters. Stunning. 


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On Writing and Failure: Or, on the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer (Field Notes) By Stephen Marche Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781771965163
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Biblioasis - February 14th, 2023

I am not a writer, and after reading Marche’s astonishingly quotable book, I am very grateful I’m not a writer. If you are or want to become a writer, beware: Marche will give you dozens of pithy reasons why you shouldn’t. But if you insist, Marche helpfully describes exactly what it takes to be a writer. This is a tiny gem!


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The Deluge By Stephen Markley Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781982123093
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 10th, 2023

Anyone interested in climate change fiction covering the near future (~now to 2040) won’t find a more informative, deep-dive novel than Deluge. Thrilling, terrifying, maddening, and occasionally hopeful, you won’t be quite the same when you finish the book.


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At the Edge of the Woods By Kathryn Bromwich Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781953387318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - June 6th, 2023

Bromwich has crafted a lovely, quiet, and haunting tale of a woman who escapes a luxurious but miserable life to live alone in a tiny cottage outside a small village. Laura becomes a creature of the forest but still depends on the village for small jobs to buy necessities. The villagers’ trust is necessary to get and retain work and be safe in her isolation. Can Laura throw off her once-lofty status to become a member of a tiny, rough-edged community? Gritty and very satisfying. 


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Critical Mass: A Novel (A Delta-v Novel #2) By Daniel Suarez Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593183632
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Dutton - January 31st, 2023

Critical Mass is a worthy sequel to Delta-V. No spoilers; I’ll just say that, like the first book, this is packed with new leaps in technology, and you will be cheering on the central characters and their mission.


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Birnam Wood: A Novel By Eleanor Catton Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374110338
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 7th, 2023

This complex, masterfully paced thriller is set in New Zealand, where a group of young adults secretly grow food on other people’s land. An American billionaire's arrival wreaks wide-ranging havoc on land and lives alike. Tension builds from the first chapter thanks to rich inner monologues of key characters.


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The Power of Trees: How Ancient Forests Can Save Us If We Let Them By Peter Wohlleben, Jane Billinghurst (Editor), Jane Billinghurst (Translator) Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781771647748
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - May 2nd, 2023

Wohlleben has taken off his gloves and has named the enemy: foresters, and associated players like government agencies, lumber companies, lobbyists, and the heavy machinery that kills soil for centuries (think of still-visible Roman roads). New, non-green careers for all (OK, that's my personal contribution). Next steps: 1) In unforested areas, plant pioneer species such as birch and aspen, which in time will shade and nurse the beech, oak, maple, etc. that will grow into ancient forests. 2) Leave existing forests to rehabilitate themselves as needed or to manage themselves if intact. 3) Pay forest owners for carbon they sequester; collect carbon tax for tree removal; find replacements for wood-based products. This is the third book “save the forests” book I’ve recently read, but Wohlleben has nailed the solution in just a few strokes. FABULOUS!!!


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The Blackhouse: A Novel By Carole Johnstone Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982199678
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Scribner - January 3rd, 2023

Tightly bound Scottish island inhabitants are very unhappy when Maggie McKay returns. She arrived with her mother as a six-year-old decades earlier, convinced she was Andrew MacNeil (reincarnated), and someone named Robert had been murdered. Run off the island then, she's back to find the truth. Twists come as quickly and unexpectedly as the fierce storms that engulf the island.


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Confessions with Keith By Pauline Holdstock Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771964975
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Biblioasis - October 25th, 2022

Vita is a middle-aged woman whose life is falling apart at every seam. Vita’s clipped journaling is sprinkled with droll, often self-deprecating observations. I wanted to shake her, scrub away heaps of denial and make her DEAL WITH IT. Then Vita would make me laugh again, and I’d forgive her. Holdstock has an uncanny gift for matching writing style and content, as she also did with in her prior book Here I Am. I can’t wait for Holdstock’s next twist of magic. 


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Planting Our World By Stefano Mancuso, Gregory Conti (Translated by) Cover Image
By Stefano Mancuso, Gregory Conti (Translated by)
$25.99
ISBN: 9781635422566
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Other Press - April 18th, 2023

Mancuso is a plant neurobiologist. He’s incensed that vast quantities of biological breakthroughs are discovered by plant scientists - then animal researchers take over and get all the recognition (e.g., Nobel Prizes). Mancuso finds this especially annoying because animal life is a mere 0.3% of living matter, with plants clocking in at 85% (fungi, micro-organisms fill in the rest). Mancuso cleverly organizes his muses around unusual planting themes (planting music, planting law and order) many of which will have you ROTFL while you learn fascinating, if obscure, chapters in the history of plant science. More Mancuso please! 


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Lark Ascending By Silas House Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781643751597
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Algonquin Books - September 27th, 2022

Lark grows up as climate-driven wars pit gun-toting fanatics intent on complete control against loosely formed bands of resisters. While most of Lark's early life is spent idyllically at a distance, he is finally forced to travel a long distance through war zones. Lark recounts times of bliss and harrowing moments of horror with equally affecting and lovely prose.


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The Alpha Female Wolf: The Fierce Legacy of Yellowstone's 06 By Rick McIntyre, Jane Goodall (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Rick McIntyre, Jane Goodall (Foreword by)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781771648585
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - October 25th, 2022

This is McIntyre’s fourth book documenting the return of wolves to Yellowstone. Female 06 is unusual from the start: she leaves her natal pack when very young, lives alone for several years, and snubs many suitors. Eventually she chooses brothers 754 and 755 to settle down with, another unusual, yet auspicious, decision. Fierce, fast, fair, and famous, 06 is the epitome of a female alpha wolf. You will fall in love. McIntyre’s series is unparalleled. Why? McIntyre went out every single day for 15 consecutive years to document the wolves. WOW. Just WOW.


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The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World By Max Fisher Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780316703321
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 6th, 2022

If you had any doubts about social media’s predominant role in driving divisiveness and rage in societies worldwide, The Chaos Machine will erase them. Fisher’s many impeccable sources have documented (time after time) how algorithms, especially YouTube’s and Facebook’s, have radicalized hundreds of millions people worldwide. Companies know how to undo some of this, but they won’t because user time - and then revenue - would quickly drop. Frightening. 


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The Rabbit Hutch: A novel By Tess Gunty Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593534663
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Knopf - August 2nd, 2022

Gundy’s daring, bold, and brilliant debut will shake you, shock you, make you laugh, maybe make you cry, and keep you riveted to the very last page. It takes place in a once-thriving, now decaying industrial Midwestern town. Most residents are decaying with the town, but Blandine’s internal volcano is about to erupt and shake the town. Stunning.


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The Wild Hunt By Emma Seckel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781953534224
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - August 2nd, 2022

The setting is dark: an isolated Scottish island whose residents are deeply haunted by WWII losses. Residents enact a ritual every October 1st to pacify a massive population of crows who terrorize the island for exactly one month. The ritual goes awry this year. Perfectly drawn moments of horror are eventually redeemed by genuine healing of the residents. Your heart will race, it will break, and it will finally rejoice.