Staff Picks

Here are staff picks of new books from our Bookworks booksellers, below.

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Home Body Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781449486808
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - November 17th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AARON

Home Body by the brilliant Rupi Kaur is her third collection of poetry and once again she shares intimate images of her life both in verse and in drawings. Writing short poignant poems Kaur brings the reader with her as she navigates memories of her past as well as sharing the realities of her present. Home Body is a captivating read.


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The Five Wounds: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393242836
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 30th, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY DEB

The Five Wounds is the story of five generations of the Padillas of Las Penas, New Mexico. Quade’s characters come to life from page one, and their stories pulled me in instantly. What I found really engaging was how particular they were as Northern New Mexicans, yet as universal as any family. In the bickering of adult siblings, Amadeo and Valerie, I could hear the echoes of my own New York Jewish family (despite the physical and cultural distance between the two). In the way the Padilla matriarch, Yolanda, both cares for and enables her children and grandchild, she was at once uniquely herself, and also every mother and grandmother with a beloved young person in trouble. You will laugh and cry and roll your eyes along with the characters, especially sassy, yet vulnerable Angel, a 16-year old who is about to become a mother at the opening of the book. I had the privilege of conversing with Kirstin Valdez Quade during her virtual author event with Bookworks, and I asked her what she most wanted readers to take from her beautiful debut novel. She said, “that you’ll root for the characters” as they live and love. I did.


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Let Love Rule Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250113085
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - October 6th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AARON

Rock icon Lenny Kravitz discusses the first 25 years of his life in his incredible memoir Let Love Rule. Born to a Jewish father and a soon to be famous African-American mother Lenny discusses the dual aspects of his upbringing in both New York and later in Los Angeles during the seventies and eighties. Filled with incredible insight into what it means to be bi-racial and unbelievable anecdotes from an incredible childhood Kravitz gives us tremendous access to the people and places that shaped his musical sound and rock star persona


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Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

Natalie Diaz explores indigeneity, sexuality, and trauma in this tour de force. From the beginning title poem, "Postcolonial Love Poem" to the last, "My Brother, My Wound" Diaz moves the reader through the pain and joys of love and family, showing us all that healing is not only possible, but necessary.


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Guillotine: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450307
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - August 4th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

A stark and incredible collection from emerging writer Eduardo C. Corral. Corral exposes border experiences, the plight of immigrants south of our borders, and his own queerness. "Has cruelty ever saved you?" he asks in the poem "Questions for My Body." His work shows that yes, indeed, it has and can.


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When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry Cover Image
By Joy Harjo (Editor), LeAnne Howe (With), Jennifer Elise Foerster (With)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780393356809
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 25th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

A labor of love that contains the work of four hundred some indigenous poets, this book is a valuable contribution to the field of American literature that will be an excellent resource at any level of education, for both students and laypeople interested in exploring the work of generations of native writers.


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The Death of Sitting Bear: New and Selected Poems Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062961150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - March 10th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

Renaissance man N. Scott Momaday ruminates on his lives in Oklahoma and New Mexico, his migration as the bear, his spirit animal. You can hear his rich and resonant voice in these poems, which are complemented by his own Asian inspired brushstroke paintings. Mythic, dreamy, and mysterious, this is one for the ages. Every poetry lover should read or buy this collection.


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Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063009332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 3rd, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

If you can, buy this book on audio so you can hear the author read it in his sonorous, one of a kind voice. Momaday contemplates nature, changes in the land over time, and how we can all become Earthkeeprs, or protectors of the earth, either on the land or from our homes. An Earthkeeper can be someone who helps conserve the earth but also an Earthkeeper of the mind. From his early life in Oklahoma to his decades in New Mexico, Momaday ruminates on animal spirits, including horses, dragonflies, his own spirit animal, the bear, among others. One of my favorite scenes in the book,which includes essays and poems, is where as a young boy he goes out onto the plains of Oklahoma with a relative, who talks about seeing wolves there at one point in the not so distant past. I highly recommend this book; Momaday's marvelous memories and most artful language shines and will encourage readers of all ages to become Earthkeepers. 


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Index of Haunted Houses (Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781946448668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarabande Books - September 1st, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

A surprisingly satisfying and stark debut collection that takes the reader on a tour of abandoned places, replete with ghost stories and hauntings. Beautifully designed with perfectly complementary black and white imagery of homes and abandoned structures that bring these gothic poems into reality for the reader. Big congratulations to both the author and Sarabande Books for this incredible book.


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The Night Always Comes: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063035089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - April 6th, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

Lynette is clinging to a fragile roadmap to a perceived better, more secure future. The path she has traveled so far has been largely uphill with devastating crashes.  One, late coming conversation with her mother throws Lynette into an emotional and financial tailspin. Orbs of frustration, anger, and resentment collide as Lynette tries to maneuver off  a twisting road that looks unbeatable. Willy Vlautin is back with another story of lives lived on a precipice where day to day existence is precarious.  In The Night Always Comes, he has brought to the page gritty characters, urban streets, longing for a home, and persistent gazes toward tomorrow.


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The Falling Woman: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616208578
Availability: Backordered
Published: Algonquin Books - June 23rd, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER

The Falling Woman is an Indies Introduce Debut pick from Spring 2020. The story’s hook is an airplane accident investigator saddled with the unwanted job of finding “sasquatch,” as his fellow investigators call an unlikely survivor of a very destructive accident in the sky. The other side of the story is the survivor, a woman and cancer patient in remission who walks away from the hospital after the accident without giving a name, an explanation, or a destination. The plot moves along like a mystery novel. The climax is a public hearing where Charlie, the main character, is expected to reveal that he found “the falling woman” and help the governmental department ride off into the sunset.

This is a modern day quest not for an object but for the intangibles of what make life and death meaningful in the midst of society’s preoccupation with a successful career as the definition a successful life.  Through his storytelling, Richard Farrell touches on ambition, power, fear, illness, work relationships, privacy versus the public’s right to know, balance between work and relationships, and the tension between doing what is right for someone else versus what is expected of us. When the two main characters finally meet each other, they develop a relationship in which Charlie gains an understanding of the seemingly incomprehensible choices that Erin makes with her remaining life. She is the catalyst for Charlie to make a courageous decision, and through his relationship with her he clarifies what is really important in his own life. This is a wonderful story that reminds us of the good in each other.


Half Broke: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781324003076
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 4th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER

I could not wait to read this book from the moment I heard about it, and it did not disappoint. Ginger Gaffney’s memoir is completely enthralling from the first page to the last. I couldn’t really believe this was her first book, and I can’t wait until she writes another. In the meantime, dear customer, you get to savor reading this book for the first time.

Ginger is a horse trainer based in the Taos area.  She mainly works with people affluent enough to be able to pay her and own horses and land. One day she gets a phone call from a ranch about horses behaving strangely: biting, charging, and acting crazy. She had never heard of or seen horses behaving this way. She goes to the ranch, and it turns out to be a place where non-violent offenders are released as a reward for good behavior to serve out the rest of their sentences and live under strict rules while there. If they violate any one of the rules, they are sent back to jail. As for the horses, they have often been dumped there because they are un-trainable or have other behavioral problems that label them undesirable.

As Ginger works with the horses and teaches the inmates how to handle the horses, we gradually learn about their (human and equine) shocking and heartbreaking history. As horses and people learn to trust each other and work out some of their issues, Ginger realizes that working at the ranch has also changed her. I found myself alternately laughing and crying as I read each chapter. It was a revelation to witness the incredible power of healing that is possible for people who work with horses. I feel privileged to get a look inside the window that Ginger Gaffney opened for us through her words. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.


Anxious People: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501160837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - September 8th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

A half hour or so after reading Anxious People by the wonderful story builder, Fredrik Backman, I faced a dilemma.

I was torn between immediately commencing another read through of it, or calling friends to see if they had read it yet and if so, which character spoke to them the most.  But then again, I thought, would I have to loan my copy or buy a copy for someone who hadn’t read it?

Backman expresses the concerns of young and elderly and ages in between with a gentle pen as if, were he to meet you in line at the grocery store and asked how you are doing he would really want to know.  The main stage is an apartment for sale which people  interested in have come to view.  But the viewing is disrupted by someone who dashes in carrying  lots of anxiety, a bad decision and no money.  In Anxious People Backman links aspects of parenting, working life, and loneliness, with the mortar of puzzling bits of details that add dimension and flourishes to the space he builds.  Apartment hunting will never be the same nor will the reader’s thinking about how important everyday interactions with people can be.


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Memoirs and Misinformation: A novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525655978
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - July 7th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY PAT

On the back cover is a quote by Jim. “None of this is real, and all of it is true.” And so we are launched into the world of a current Jim Carrey, the era of his box office hits behind him, struggling with that age old predicament of finding purpose and contentment in a Hollywood that is vicious and delusional, brutally judgmental, yet full of real and imagined surprises. The movie industry machinery is revealed with laser focus, the insecurities of fame, money, and talent, they dig deeply into it all with honesty, humor and imagination. Whether it is real or not is beside the point, this is a true Hollywood tale, filled with juicy tidbits about many famous people, with Carrey as the star, and he knows this world inside and out. The ending? Well you just have to go down that road with him. It is an ending of epic proportions.


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The Glass Hotel: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525521143
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - March 24th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER

The Glass Hotel is completely absorbing from the first page. Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, explores seemingly ordinary and sometimes amoral characters and creates a fascinating story relevant to current times. She skillfully delves into the abundant shades of grey that lie between our ideas of good and evil. She interweaves times, places, and people in a web that explores the type of people involved in a Ponzi scheme; alternate universes that the mind can travel, if one had made a different choice at certain points in their lives; and how people, living and dead, can haunt someone. She populates her story with ghosts or hauntings, at one point insightfully writing, “There are so many ways to haunt a person, or a life…” She doesn’t judge her characters but intimately fleshes out the ambiguity that influence their choices leading to unintended consequences. I highly recommend this book.


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Air Mail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781948814386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Torrey House Press - October 13th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY DEB

In 2020, grief and pain, often such lonely emotions, are being faced almost universally. The widespread pain of the coronavirus pandemic, its economic fallout, and the long overdue reckoning on racial injustices, can, and do, trigger our personal traumas in unexpected ways. Pam Houston and Amy Irvine delve into these issues, and more, in Air Mail, Letters of Politics, Pandemics, and Place. What began for these acclaimed authors (who had not been acquainted before) as a correspondence for an Orion magazine feature on how writers were making their way through the isolation of sheltering-in-place due to COVID-19, became a sustaining interchange for them. And for me. Every night this small, powerful book sat on my bedside table, I let myself read one of each of their letters, and by reading their anger, fear, and resolve, I came to understand my own feelings better and found determination of my own.

From the day-to-day (savoring the small joys of their mountain homes, to fearing the hugs of their mask-less hyper-masculine neighbors) to the nation- and planet-wide concerns of the day (the systematic dismantling of environmental protections, and global climate disruption), they took me on a journey, though none of us left home.

Houston and Irvine still had not met by the end of the book, but the foundation of their friendship had been solidly laid, the sources of their individual anguish courageously explored, and their resolve to survive and thrive through it all had been fortified. And so had mine. I would be surprised if they aren’t still writing now, months after the last letter in Air Mail. I’m buying this book for my best friends. When you turn its final pages, maybe you will too (at Bookworks website (for now, due to COVID-19), of course).


The Warehouse: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984823809
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - August 25th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY PAT

Want to know what the planet would be like if Amazon took over all of retail? Well this book gives you a realistic description of what that could look like, and with today’s situation, it is moving in that direction at breakneck speed. The main character, Paxton, an entrepreneur who lost his business through undercutting by the Cloud is now working for the same company in one of their massive live-work facilities, where everyone works, sleeps and if there is time, socializes.  Zinnia works there too, undercover, trying to find a way to bring the Cloud down. And Gibson, the CEO of the Cloud, gives us the backstory of how he came to own all of retail. Told in these three voices, we learn about this possible future in a wonderfully creative way. It’s creepy because it is so close to where we are headed, but it is also written well and ends with a small flicker of hope, which I really appreciated. A good read in these times, as much as it disturbed me, I also really enjoyed reading it


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Hollow Kingdom Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538745830
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - July 7th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY PAT

I’ve never read a novel that could morph from hilarity to horror in the span of a paragraph, but this book does it over and over. A dystopian, eco fiction romp, this story carries on without the human race, narrated by an opinionated crow and random dogs, sheep, camels, bears and cats. As odd as the setup, the premise is great, told with wonderful characterization and empathy, as well as non-subtle hints about the downfall of humankind. ST (short for shit turd) entertains, braves danger and learns from the other survivors while he and his sidekick, Dennis, a bloodhound, tromp through Seattle, dealing with the carnage and saving the domestic animals that can’t escape their household prisons. A wildly creative novel, told with humor and a deep understanding of the natural world, I was infatuated right up to the lovely ending.


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Three Women Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451642308
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - July 7th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER

Wow! Lisa Taddeo's Three Women is stunning. Part of the beauty of the book is the way she let the women's voices and experiences shine through with so much clarity and detail. Even their emotions, so different from one another are written so clearly that it seems like the women themselves wrote the book. There seem to be no judgments in the narration to sway the reader from one side to another. Though, in the epilogue Taddeo writes some of her own thoughts and conclusions that only enrich the reading experience by adding her perspective. The additional beauty is in the writer’s observations of other people’s reactions to these three women. This is a complex work that will make you think about your own life, those around you, and the impact you have on one another.


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You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780062840639
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - January 7th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

This book is one worth turning to if you are either a beginning student of astrology or an advanced one. It takes one through the basics of each sign, explains planetary aspects, and shows the reader how to chart their own birth houses and what it all means. The packaging is beautiful, but this really could be a workbook, as internet famous astrologer Chani Nicholas takes you through the process of getting to know your chart better, which can be supplemented with material from her website. The difference between this book and others in the field is its focus on free will and self acceptance. Nicholas prefaces the work by saying that too many of us for too long have been judged negatively or treat our own astrological signs with disdain; she posits that whatever our charts look like, we should be radically accepting of who we are and our ability to use our traits for the best, no matter our signs.


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The Crystal Witch, 6: The Magickal Way to Calm and Heal the Body, Mind, and Spirit (Modern-Day Witch #6) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781454934684
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sterling Publishing (NY) - November 5th, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

This book is so fun. Small, sturdy, and accessible, it teaches one the basics of the spiritual properties of different minerals and their crystals, from a Wiccan perspective. It contains information about many mineral types, how to "wash" and charge your crystals, spells for a plethora of issues, and more! An encyclopedic look at the metaphysics of crystals.


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Writers & Lovers Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802148537
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 3rd, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY DEB

Seems to this reader that it’s always a dicey thing for writers to write about writing. Many of us harbor fantasies about doing just that, and we don’t necessarily want to hear about the realities of the thing when we’ve got a notion of what we think it’s like already running through our minds and hearts. But Lily King pulls it off, because Writers & Lovers isn’t just about writing. It’s about life. It’s about that time in life when you figure out who you are. It’s about how Casey, King’s first-person protagonist, finds her way to what she really needs to do in life, how she navigates grief for her mother who dies suddenly, and it’s about love. Yes, a coming of age story, too. All done well. Enjoy!


They Went Left Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316490573
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 7th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

I thought the writing was compelling. It’s set in the aftermath of World War ll, it considers the  emotional trauma in trying to piece together a life following release from concentration camps.  I think it offers valuable insight into a period when people were desperately trying to find family members and find some sense of beginning again.  It offers a lot to think about and discuss.


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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780399589065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - March 24th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA


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Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393357660
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 7th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

 


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The Immortalists Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735215092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 5th, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY MARINA


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Lab Girl Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781432840846
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Large Print Press - April 26th, 2017

RECOMMENDED BY DEB


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American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143133186
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 19th, 2018

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA