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Kristen's Picks

Phoenix Books’ events and publicity manager, Kristen has worked and traveled in Ireland, Italy, Maine, and Philadelphia, and has since returned home to Vermont. Kristen is a fan of nonfiction with an anthropological bent and of fiction authors who walk the line between fantasy and reality (e.g. Alice Hoffman and Neil Gaiman). She will forever be devoted to Terry Pratchett (and Granny Weatherwax). She has completed an apprenticeship with herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and has a particular interest in books on herbalism.

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781455566389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Twelve - May 24th, 2016

The Guardian has said, "Rather than asking how we can save our returning servicemen and women, Junger challenges us to take a hard look in the mirror and ask whether we can save ourselves."  We live in a society that is dangerously polarized, a culture that suffers from a profound sense of alienation, and an economy in which the gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to grow.  Junger has distilled these complex issues into a compelling, slim yet nuanced volume.  This book asks intriguing questions and starts the journey toward solutions.


A Festival of Ghosts, by William Alexander

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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A Festival of Ghosts Cover Image
By William Alexander, Kelly Murphy (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481469180
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - August 7th, 2018

A worthy sequel to A Properly Unhaunted PlaceStart with that book, and you'll be eager to have another clever and adventurous story to enjoy in A Festival of Ghosts.  Both books are great fun but also multi-layered.


A Properly Unhaunted Place, by William Alexander

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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A Properly Unhaunted Place Cover Image
By William Alexander, Kelly Murphy (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781481469166
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - August 7th, 2018

Set in the only unhaunted town in a world where hauntings (often friendly) are a part of daily life, this middle grade story is a wonderful adventure for any reader.  It will be especially loved by those who enjoy libraries, Ren faires, and ghost stories.  In addition to being a lot of fun, this book gently and wisely opens the way to conversations about the ways we deal with death, history, and other important issues. I recommend A Properly Unhaunted Place whole-heartedly.


The Fighters, by C. J. Chivers

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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The Fighters: Americans In Combat Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781451676662
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 21st, 2019

The Fighters is a compelling and thought-provoking look at the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through the experiences of six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant. This book gives the reader a sense of context and of the overall arch of events while always focusing on the personal and specific.


Kristen's Top 10 Books to Read Before You Die

Reviewed by: 
Kristen

In no particular order...

Staff Pick Badge
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781455566389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Twelve - May 24th, 2016

Staff Pick Badge
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062316110
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 15th, 2018

Braiding Sweetgrass Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781571313560
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 1st, 2014

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Hild: A Novel Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781250056092
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - October 28th, 2014

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Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781632868305
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - January 23rd, 2018

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LaRose: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062277039
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - April 11th, 2017

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The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781591847922
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Current - August 4th, 2015

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business Cover Image
By Neil Postman, Andrew Postman (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143036531
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 27th, 2005

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Graceling Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780547258300
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 7th, 2009

Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062316110
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 15th, 2018

One of the most fascinating books I've read, this is a great choice for readers interested in history or anthropology, and also for those interested in taking a critical look at whether and why humans are happier than we used to be, and anyone intrigued by the power of story.


Lost Connections, by Johann Hari

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781632868305
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - January 23rd, 2018

An important book that explores the ways in which depression and anxiety may be due less to chemical imbalances and more to imbalances in our culture. Hari delves into the consequences of several features of modern lifestyles:  a lack of connection to nature, a lack of connection to community, a lack of meaningful work, and so on.  Well-researched, well-written, inspiring, and humane, this book is recommended reading for...pretty much everyone.


Stephanie Tourles's Essential Oils

Reviewed by: 
Kristen

Essential oils can be used to enhance health/well-being in so many ways...but are also powerful and concentrated enough that they should be used with care, and can be expensive. This book is a great resource for folks who would like to make use of essential oils, but don't want to go overboard.  Stephanie Tourles' recipes are accessible and a pleasure to make and use, and focusing on these 25 versatile essential oils can help you be efficient and mindful in using these potent ingredients.


The Illustrated Herbiary, by Maia Toll

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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The Illustrated Herbiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Bewitching Botanicals Cover Image
By Maia Toll, Kate O’Hara (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781612129686
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - August 7th, 2018

This gorgeous book is a gentle and insightful tool for anyone who would like to connect with plants on an intuitive level. Highly recommended for those who enjoy working with tarot, for herbalists, and for anyone who feels most at peace or enlivened in the garden, woods, or fields. The cards are an excellent complement to the book. The 36 plants chosen include many herbalists' most beloved species, and will be familiar to gardeners and nature lovers as well.


The Plant Messiah, by Carlos Magdalena

Reviewed by: 
Kristen
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The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385543613
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 10th, 2018

This book - in which Carlos Magdalena brings readers along on his adventures in his quests to save nearly extinct species - is that rare thing: a heartening book on ecology. A pleasure to read, this is a great pick for nature lovers, gardeners, and armchair travelers. The author is not only entertaining but immensely likeable, and his stories will give you hope and perhaps even inspire you to action.


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