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Essex

These events all took place in our Essex store.

The Other Americans By Laila Lalami

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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The Other Americans: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525436034
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Vintage - March 17th, 2020

Following the hit and run death of Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant who owns The Pantry, his daughter Nora suspects his death was not an accident. Multiple characters-divided by race, religion and class tell their stories and connections among them emerge. so we know each person more intimately. We also learn to forgo assumptions. A fast read.


Parable of the Sower By Octavia E. Butler

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Parable of the Sower Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538732182
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 30th, 2019

An outstanding African-American science fiction writer. The crater on Mars where Perseverance landed has been named for her. 


In a tale of survival (written in 1993) set in California in 2025, Butler shows how 15 year old Lauren Olmina faces the chaos brought upon her community by climate change and economic chaos. She works to create a sense of community among strangers who ward off thieves and criminals. Her fight leads to the birth of a new faith Earthseed and a startling vision of humanity.


The Paris Library By Janet Skeslien Charles

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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The Paris Library: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982134198
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Atria Books - February 9th, 2021

The emotional power of this story makes it a page turner. Odile's life is altered in 1939 when the Nazis invade Paris and threaten to close the American Library where she works. Odile and the other librarians resist and smuggle books to patrons. At the end of the war she suffers an unspeakable betrayal.


In the 1980s Odile helps a teenager Lily in Montana to overcome loneliness. Their shared love of language draws them together. A dark secret connects them. The themes of jealousy and enduring love taken from Their Eyes Were Watching God influence the message of this story.


Klara and the Sun By Kazuo Ishiguro

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Klara and the Sun: A novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593318171
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Knopf - March 2nd, 2021

Another masterpiece by Ishiguro. What resides within the human heart? Ishiguro explores wheat it means to love when he tells the story of Klara, an (AF) artificial friend adopted by a young girl Josie who suffers from a lingering illness. The unusual choice of a narrator (AF) makes us reflect on our modern world and the value of relationships. Ishiguro recognizes our modern world and the enduring need for love.


Jack By Marilynne Robinson

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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Jack (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374279301
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 29th, 2020

For lovers of Robinson's trilogy Home, Lila and Gilead, this fourth book Jack follows the story of the alcoholic prodigal son of the Presbyterian minister.


Much of the book is dialogue between Jack and the African-American high school English teacher Della where we gain insight into the depths of each character and their seeming star-crossed love for each as they reside in St. Louise where it is against the law for inter-racial relationships. I was amazed at Robinson's ability to peel away layer after layer of each character so that we have a deep understanding of what motivates each character and why they have an abiding love for each other. 
 


An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Reviewed by: 
Heather
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An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY #3) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807057834
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Beacon Press - August 11th, 2015

What if history books included the perspective of the native peoples whose lands, homes, and food supplies were destroyed so that European colonists could claim the land they touched as their own? When the government use the military after the Civil War to eliminate the natives, it was the story of genocide and exploitation. She awakens our consciousness. Evidence based with notes and bibliography.


The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows: Feminine Pursuits by Olivia Waite

Reviewed by: 
Miriasha
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The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows: Feminine Pursuits Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780062931825
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Avon Impulse - July 28th, 2020

This was an instant favorite comfort read for me, with its slow-burn friends-to-lovers historical romance between two women in their 40s: a printing press owner and a bee-keeper. Olivia Waite ingeniously crafts realistic happily-ever-afters for queer characters in her historical romances - even with marriage off the table, her characters find a way to make meaningful commitments to each other.


The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

Reviewed by: 
Miriasha
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The Prey of Gods Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062493033
Availability: Not in Stock. Backordered at the Warehouse.
Published: Harper Voyager - June 13th, 2017

This is a sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction that takes place in near-future South Africa and has world-building myths with gods and demigoddesses and a trip to the world of the dead but also a genetically altered hallucinogenic drug that turns people into giant animals and a robot uprising and a political campaign and a transgender pop star and a m/m couple and all of them are connected. It’s bonkers. Like, so, so absolutely mind-breaking weird. And I loved it.


An Unkindness of Ghosts By Rivers Solomon

Reviewed by: 
Miriasha
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An Unkindness of Ghosts Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617755880
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Akashic Books - October 3rd, 2017

This book - a slave narrative in space- was haunting, horrifying, disturbing, dark, but so, so good. The character’s voices were so specific and clear, the relationships so clearly affected by circumstance and yet loving in the ways they could be. This book paints a picture of an ugly world, whose characters still have to live, and still each have their own small reasons to keep on trying. It's also my favorite representation of gender outside binary in any book. Even set on a futuristic spaceship, this book is incredibly grounded in the injustices of our world and ends with a seed of hope.


The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Reviewed by: 
Isabel
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The Once and Future Witches Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316422048
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Redhook - October 13th, 2020

Harrow's sophomore novel does not disappoint! Follow the Eastwood sisters (who are suffragist witches!) as they fight to bring witching magic back into the world. Fun and creative, but also heartfelt and human, this is a delightful read.


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