It’s time for our annual holiday gift giving recommendations! Check out all of the picks on display in the front corner of the store across from the wine bar! Each cover image links to the book’s page on our website for purchase and is followed by our staff blurb and publisher description.
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is an uproariously funny book about the unquiet undead and the man who makes them go stumble in the night. Johannes is a necromancer of some little infamy and obsessed with one thing, curing death by any means necessary. If you like Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett then you will love this funny novel. Read the first page and a half, I highly recommend it!
A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice.
Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
American Nations by Colin Woodard
Perfect for a history lover, poli-sci junkie or anyone wiht a fascination for different parts of the country, American Nations is an exploration of the idea that North America isn’t three countires, it’s eleven. Eleven different nation states all with their own history, foundation myth, and definition of the American dream.
Particularly relevant in understanding who voted for who in this presidential election year, this is an endlessly fascinating look at American regionalism and the eleven “nations” that continue to shape North America
According to award-winning journalist and historian Colin Woodard, North America is made up of eleven distinct nations, each with its own unique historical roots. In American Nations he takes readers on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, offering a revolutionary and revelatory take on American identity, and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and continue to mold our future. From the Deep South to the Far West, to Yankeedom to El Norte, Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) reveals how each region continues to uphold its distinguishing ideals and identities today, with results that can be seen in the composition of the U.S. Congress or on the county-by-county election maps of any hotly contested election in our history.
Black Sun Rising by C. S. Friedman
Damien Vryce is a priest and he has been given a rather unusual mission, to begin to teach other priests the tenets of sorcery. These Sorcerers or Adepts as they are called each have a unique species of Fae that they work with and Damien must travel with an adept that has lost her memories as well as The Hunter an adept so dangerous that he is almost a devil to the church. The fate of the world hangs in the balance in this epic adventure!
Blending science fiction and fantasy, the first book of the Coldfire Trilogy tells a dark tale of an alien world where nightmares are made manifest.
Over a millennium ago, Erna, a seismically active yet beautiful world was settled by colonists from far-distant Earth. But the seemingly habitable planet was fraught with perils no one could have foretold. The colonists found themselves caught in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a terrifying natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, drawing forth a person’s worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them life.
Twelve centuries after fate first stranded the colonists on Erna, mankind has achieved an uneasy stalemate, and human sorcerers manipulate the fae for their own profit, little realizing that demonic forces which feed upon such efforts are rapidly gaining in strength.
Now, as the hordes of the dark fae multiply, four people—Priest, Adept, Apprentice, and Sorcerer—are about to be drawn inexorably together for a mission which will force them to confront an evil beyond their imagining, in a conflict which will put not only their own lives but the very fate of humankind in jeopardy.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Oh The Magicians! I love this book (and it’s pretty different from the show) imagine Harry Potter and his friends are Americans and also 18 years with no clue what they want in the world. That’s Magicians. After highschool Brakebills (a magical college) recruits people who have magical potential and then train them up. Follow Quint and his friends as they learn to control their magic and eventually discover that magic doesn’t magically make life and adulting any easier.
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .
The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician’s Land, The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips
Cooking is one of my absolute favorite things in the world! I simply love having all of my friends over and throwing a dinner party with everything made from scratch and All Under Heaven is one of my must have cook books. It break’s down the cuisine of China into several different regions so that you can experiment with all kinds of cooking. This is a great book for beginners with easy substitutions and for experts with a pantry list in the back!
A comprehensive, contemporary portrait of China’s culinary landscape and the geography and history that has shaped it, with more than 300 recipes.
Vaulting from ancient taverns near the Yangtze River to banquet halls in modern Taipei, All Under Heaven is the first cookbook in English to examine all 35 cuisines of China. Drawing on centuries’ worth of culinary texts, as well as her own years working, eating, and cooking in Taiwan, Carolyn Phillips has written a spirited, symphonic love letter to the flavors and textures of Chinese cuisine. With hundreds of recipes–from simple Fried Green Onion Noodles to Lotus-Wrapped Spicy Rice Crumb Pork–written with clear, step-by-step instructions, All Under Heaven serves as both a handbook for the novice and a source of inspiration for the veteran chef.
Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune
Wallace is dead, but he is having a hard time accepting it and he is not crossing over. So the reaper takes him to a small village in the middle of the mountains and Wallace is given one week to get it together and get across. Wallace begins, with the help of a tea shop manager, to learn about the way life should be lived. It’s a shame he couldn’t figure it out before he was dead. This book is simply put beautiful, there are no other words. Beautiful.
A Man Called Ove meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story from TJ Klune, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea.
Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.
And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.
But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.
The Good War by Studs Terkel
The Good War is the definitive verbal history of the Second World War. Made up of accounts from people all over the world and woven into an incredible narrative this book puts a human and real face on a war that all too often is too focused on the big picture. This is a great book for anyone who is interested in WW2 but want’s to hear the stories of the people who were there, not just read the battle reports.
“The Good War”, for which Studs Terkel won the Pulitzer Prize, is a testament not only to the experience of war but to the extraordinary skill of Terkel as interviewer. As always, his subjects are open and unrelenting in their analyses of themselves and their experiences, producing what People magazine has called “a splendid epic history of World War II.” With this volume Terkel expanded his scope to the global and the historical, and the result is a masterpiece of oral history.
Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler And Stalin is the perfect gift for the history obsessed loved on in your life. Focusing primarily on the struggle between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union award winning historian Timothy Snyder argues that the fate of these people set up the 20th century in a way few other places did. Filled with information and eminently readable this book is a must
From the bestselling author of On Tyranny comes the definitive history of Hitler’s and Stalin’s wars against the civilians of Europe in World War II.
Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.”But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens–and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.
Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.
Bloodlands won twelve awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. It has been translated into more than thirty languages, was named to twelve book-of-the-year lists, and was a bestseller in six countries.