Susan Recommends

Susan is our floor manager and bookseller. 

My reading choices are eclectic, and like quirky characters. The genres I read most are literary fiction, southern noir, sci-fi/fantasy, current events, and memoir.

Favorite Genres: Literary Fiction, Southern Noir, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Current Events, and Memoir

5 Most Recent Books:

The Flight Attendant The Woman in the Window The Last Ballad You Don't Have to Say You Love Me The Radium Girls

5 Favorite Books:

Alexandria Quartet Team Rodent Cruddy Never Let Me Go Them

5 Favorite Children's Books:

Mama Do You Love Me? I Traded Dad for a Goldfish Heidi Looking for Alaska Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
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The Flight Attendant Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385542418
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - March 13th, 2018

"Cassandra 'Cassie' Bowden is the flight attendant, and our unreliable narrator. She is an alcoholic that blacks out frequently, is fond of one night stands, and she’s a petty thief. She meets Alex Sokolov, a hedge fund manager, on a flight to Dubai and they plan a rendezvous at his hotel. They have dinner, and go to his room. They drink, have sex, and drink some more. At some point an associate of his, Miranda, joins them for more drinks. The next morning Cassie wakes up with a killer hangover, and discovers Alex next to her in bed, dead. She has gaps in her memory from the night before. She remembers Miranda leaving, and she remembers getting dressed to leave as well. What she doesn’t remember is how she came to be back in the room, how Alex was killed, and who killed him. Being an American in Dubai with a dead body seems like a bad idea, so Cassie decides to cover her tracks and return on her scheduled ight to Paris, and then New York. But, the FBI is waiting to question the airline crew when they arrive, and Cassie’s answers unravel quickly. Bohjalian creates complex characters and places them in an intricate plot that will leave you on the edge of your seat."--Reviewed by Susan

 


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The Woman in the Window Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062678416
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - January 2nd, 2018

"Suffering from agoraphobia, Anna Fox spends her days indoors drinking too much wine, taking too many prescription drugs, watching classic noir films, while also watching her neighbors through the windows. One night, Anna witnesses a woman being murdered by her husband. However, she’s an unreliable witness as well as an unreliable narrator. Who will the police believe with no evidence? What are we to believe with Anna’s increasing paranoia, and the twists and turns that weave throughout her story? The writing is captivating, and the characters complex in this psychological thriller reminiscent of Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window.’ Best to read with a glass of merlot, and a classic black and white film playing in the background. Enjoy!"--Reviewed by Susan


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The Last Ballad Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062313119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 3rd, 2017

"Wiley Cash breathes life into this fictionalized account of the very real Ella May Wiggins, who fought for social and racial justice in the early 20th century. Ella May struggled to raise her four children alone, with another on the way, by working at the local textile mill. When the unions came to town, Ella May made a decision that would alter her life, and the lives of her family and friends. At her very first union rally, Ella May showed immense courage when she faced off against anti-union thugs, and became a unifying voice with her heartfelt ballads dedicated to the mill workers. I’m ecstatic that Wiley Cash re-discovered Ella May. She was a brave and extraordinary woman. This is an enthralling tale of struggle and courage, injustice, and hope. This book needs to be read by everyone!"--Reviewed by Susan


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You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316270755
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 13th, 2017

Recemmended by Andrew and Susan

"This memoir by Alexie is not so much his own story, but rather an elaborate ode to his mother, and her in uence then and now onhis life and work. While it not only touches on the expected markers in one’s life; in Alexie’s case this mostly means the grief and poverty that permeated his life until he managed to physically, if not mentally, escape, it also shows how having a powerful anchor in one’s life can give it direction and focus, even if the anchor itself is a bit unsteady. Told in short-story- like chapters and poetry, this gives an un inching window into where Alexie came from, where he has gone, and the main thread in his mother that ties all of it together."--Reviewed by Andrew

"After the death of his mother, Alexie turns his memories and emotions into an intense, and complicated memoir that only Alexie could write. He uses prose and poetry to convey the complicated bonds of family amid addiction and trauma, with compassion, humor, and love. Admitting that he may be an unreliable narrator of his own life, he writes of her life, and their relationship with brutal honesty. This is a heartbreaking, beautiful, and emotionally raw memoir. And, it is simply mesmerizing!"--Reviewed by Susan


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The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781492649359
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - April 18th, 2017

"Kate Moore discovered the 'radium girls' while directing a play in London by Melanie Marnich, 'These Shining Lives.' The play was based on true events, and as Moore researched the story of these lives, she realized that they had never been given the justice they deserved. Upon the discovery of radium, young women were hired to paint watch faces in radium factories, assured of not only the safety, but also the benefits of this new wonder. The Radium Girls is a compelling page turner that reads like a novel. The strength of these young women, as they literally fight for their lives in the early 1900s, is inspiring, and heart-breaking. From The London Theatre Review: 'bitterness turns to anger as you begin to realize how little value corporations, back then and now, placed on the lives of their workers and the public.' For those who liked The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks and Hidden Figures, The Radium Girls is another story of the forgotten sacrifices made by women that ultimately changed lives."--Reviewed by Susan


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Salt Houses Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9780544912588
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 2nd, 2017

"Hala Alyan’s debut novel is a piercing portrayal of war, displacement, and belonging that begins during the Six Day War.  In Salt Houses, Alyan portrays the impact of exile on the individual, the family, and the generations that follow. The Youcab’s, a Palestinian family, are uprooted time and again over a span of fifty years.  Told through the perspective of different characters, Salt Houses is an intimate portrayal of love, loyalty and loss.  At times heartrending, this is a lyrical, powerful, and timely novel."--Reviewed by Susan

 


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Down City: A Daughter's Story of Love, Memory, and Murder Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9781455563319
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 7th, 2017

"Down City reads like noir, but is in fact a powerful tale of death, corruption, destruction and love.  Leah Carroll’s mother was brutally murdered by the mob when she was 4-years- old.  She was intermittently raised by her alcoholic father, and their relationship was wrought with turmoil, as well as unconditional love.  He was found dead in a seedy motel room in down city when Leah was 18.  In Down City, Leah returns to Providence to discover what happened to her family, and why.  Part memoir, and part investigative journalism, this is a tragic story of an inept justice system, a broken family, and one woman’s search for the truth."--Reviewed by Susan


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Rabbit Cake Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - March 7th, 2017

"Annie Hartnett’s debut novel, Rabbit Cake, is a truly unique tale told through the eyes of 12-year-old Elvis, who is trying to make sense of the sleep-swimming death of her mother. While Elvis seeks to explain her loss through medical texts, her sister’s sleepwalking becomes out of control, and her father grieves by wearing his wife’s belongings.Through it all the Babbit family attempts to save one another as they try to heal. Rabbit Cake is an exploration of life, death, and how grief can tear a family apart, and put them back together. This debut is smart, dark comedy that you won’t be able to put down."--Reviewed by Susan


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Norse Mythology Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393609097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 7th, 2017

Neil Gaiman transports you to the land of ice and fire itself in his retelling of the Norse myths. mGaiman has used the gods to spin tales of fantasy in his novels, and his storytelling skills will captivate you in his newest book, Norse Mythology.  I’ve always had an interest in Norse Mythology, but found most texts dry considering how interesting the myths themselves were.  From Yggdrasil to Ragnarok he breathes life into these gods; their jealousy, vanity, courage, and cunning.  Norse Mythology is accessible, yet magical, and you won’t want the stories to end!


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The Futures Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9780316354172
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lee Boudreaux Books - January 17th, 2017

This strong debut novel follows a young couple of disparate backgrounds from Yale to New York City in the midst of the 1980’s financial meltdown. While Evan is a scholarship kid at Yale, Julia comes from a comfortable, privileged background. Young and in love, they move to New York City where Evan lands a job at a hedge fund and Julia accepts a position at a non-profit arts organization. As Evan becomes immersed in his career, Julia becomes lonely and isolated leading to disastrous consequences. The telling of the story in alternate viewpoints of the two main characters makes for a compelling debut!


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Cruel Beautiful World Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781616203634
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Algonquin Books - October 4th, 2016

Susan recommends


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Dark Matter Cover Image
$24.29
ISBN: 9781101904220
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - July 26th, 2016

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch defies genre.  It is a mystery, a thriller, and a sci-fi love story.  I really can’t say too much without giving away it’s secrets, or spoiling the ending, but I’ll try.  Jason Dessen is a contented family man.  He’s a college physics professor who loves his wife and son, and he’s chosen this life over the alternative life of pursuing academia discovery, honors, and distinction.  While walking home for family night, Jason is kidnapped by a man in a mask who asks him “Are you happy with your life?”, before rendering him unconscious.  Jason awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by people welcoming him back to a world he never knew.  This is a thrilling page turner, and the plot is simply brilliant!


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How to Set a Fire and Why Cover Image
$22.46
ISBN: 9781101870570
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: Pantheon Books - July 5th, 2016

Fourteen year old Lucia Stanton is reminiscent of Huck Finn, Scout, and other legendary young characters.  She lives with her eccentric aunt in a one room garage, her father is dead, and her mother has been institutionalized.  Lucia is sarcastic, funny, cynical, and more intelligent than many of the adults that she encounters.  Arriving at her new school, having been expelled from her previous one after stabbing a classmate in the neck with a pencil, she discovers the Arson Club.  Armed with only her wit, and her dad’s zippo, she’s ready to set the world on fire.  Jesse Ball’s newest novel is captivating, harrowing, and so much fun!


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Under the Harrow Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143108573
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 14th, 2016

Under the Harrow is a powerful, psychological thriller, by debut novelist Flynn Berry. The story of two sisters, their relationship, and the trauma and secrets that surround them will haunt you from the very first page. Nora is looking forward to spending the weekend at her sister's home in the countryside, but she arrives to find Rachel has been brutally murdered. Nora's struggle to search for her sister's killer, turns into obsession, and as past history comes to light, this complex and compelling tale will keep you spellbound.


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Secondhand Souls Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061779794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - May 10th, 2016

Now out in paperback:

"I devoured Secondhand Souls, the sequel to A Dirty Job, and loved every clever, quirky minute of it!  7-year-old Sophie, the Luminatus, is missing her hellhounds, the souls of the dying are being stolen, and there is a congregation of ghosts residing atop the Golden Gate Bridge. It is left to the fervent death dealing heroes from A Dirty Job, along
with some new recruits, to make sense of it all in time to thwart the Morrigans and save San Francisco, along with a lot of souls. Oh, and the Squirrel People are not making this any easier. Moore’s writing is witty and incisive, and the characters, both human and
non-human alike are ripe with empathy, truly the Author Guy at his finest. Secondhand Souls was so much fun, I want to re-read A Dirty Job and start this long, strange trip all over again!"


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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper Cover Image
$22.49
ISBN: 9780778319337
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mira Books - May 3rd, 2016

This is a tale of mystery, hope, and above all a love. story. You will be charmed by 69 year-old Arthur, you really can't help it. His story begins on the one year anniversary of the death  of his beloved Miriam. They had always lived a simple life, and kept to a strict schedule, which Arthur continued to maintain. Sorting through her belongings, he discovers a charm bracelet that he has never seen before. He finds a telephone number engraved on the bracelet, which takes him on a journey to find the mysteries of the charms, and the mysteries of his love, Miriam. If you enjoyed A Man Called Ove, or The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, this is your next favorite book.


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The Wild Robot Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316381994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 5th, 2016

"This is Brown’s middle grade debut and he doesn’t disappoint. Roz is a robot who awakens on an island with no idea of who she is or how she landed in this bewildering environment. As this wonderful heroine finds a way to survive among her encounters with strange creatures, she learns how to adapt as well as the meaning of compassion, 
acceptance, and family. A heart warming and charming tale for young and old alike, Brown provides us all with the opportunity for thought provoking discussion across generations. Read it alone, read it with others, and read it again! Peter Brown has been 
awarded the Caldecott Honor Award, the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award, and, The Children’s Choice Book Award for Best Illustrator of the Year. (The Children’s  Choice is the only book award voted on by children themselves!)"
 


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Monstrous Cover Image
By Marcykate Connolly, Skottie Young (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062272720
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 9th, 2016

Now out in paperback:

"Marcykate Connolly’s debut children’s novel, Monstrous, is absolutely delightful!

Kymera is not your typical young girl. Her father has brought her back to life, and in the process has made some modifications, giving her wings and a serpent’s tail. She is forbidden to interact with the humans in the nearby city of Bryre because they would harm her. However, the city is under the spell of an evil wizard and the young girls are becoming ill and slowly dying. Under the direction of her father, Kym enters the city under the dark of night and rescues girls so that her father can heal them and send them to a better home. During one of her trips to the city, Kym is befriended by the king’s page, Ren, and their friendship leads her to question everything she has known.  I loved, loved, loved this book! The characters are compelling and I promise that you will be captivated by the monstrous Kymera."


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Where All Light Tends to Go Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780425279793
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 2nd, 2016

I finished this and was absolutely spellbound by Joy's writing.  Jacob McNeely has been dealt a raw hand, as most in this corner of Appalachia have.  He works for his father, who runs a meth drug ring, waiting for the payday that he has been promised.  The drug has driven his mother insane, and all of his hopes ride on his one true love, the only beauty in his life, to escape this savage landscape.  His characters ring true; they are damned, hopeful, and hungry in a harsh reality that requires true survival skills, physically and emotionally.  This is an authentic, brutal, and beautiful page turner that you just can't put down.  Truly, a compelling debut!


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Pigs Can't Swim: A Memoir (Merloyd Lawrence Book) Cover Image
$13.49
ISBN: 9780306824234
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Da Capo Press - January 26th, 2016

Now out in paperback:

"Pigs Can’t Swim is a touching and heartfelt memoir. Helen Peppe looks back at at her life growing up on a small farm in rural Maine. The youngest of nine, Peppe had to contend with poverty, sibling rivalry and the troubling realization that the farm animals that she so loved, would eventually be served as dinner. From an early age she found solace and escape through her love of reading. This is a moving memoir told with great humor and great sadness."


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City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9781250067630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - January 5th, 2016

"City of Thorns is a compelling and haunting account of life in the refugee settlement of Dadaab, an isolated city located in Kenya, that was born of many a crisis. This city of refugees was initially created in 1992 as tens of thousands of refugees fled the civil war in Somalia, and now in 2016, it is home to roughly half a million people. Security forces, 
supported by the United States and Great Britian, prey upon the populace with violence and extortion. Forbidden to leave the camp and unable to work, they are a largely forgotten populace. Although I hesitate to compare one book to another, it has rightly been compared to Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Rawlence, a former Human Rights Watch researcher, follows nine families to bring attention, and humanity to the plight of those forgotten in Dadaab. A must read that puts a spotlight on the current refugee crisis."


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The Core of the Sun Cover Image
By Johanna Sinisalo, Lola Rogers (Translator)
$14.40
ISBN: 9780802124647
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - January 5th, 2016

A dystopian tale from the “queen of Finnish weird”, Johanna Sinisalo, The Core of the Sun is set in a patriarchal world where women are bred for sex and procreation. Intelligent, independent women are shunned, sterilized, and relegated to menial labor. Vanna and her sister Manna, are complete opposites. While Manna is an eloi, the sub-human species bred to reproduce, Vanna is a morlock, an intelligent woman who must pretend to be an eloi like her sister in order to survive. Vanna befriends the handyman, Jare, at her grandmother’s estate in order to access books and knowledge. When Manna marries and disappears, Vanna and Jare need to work together to uncover the secrets of Manna’s life and death. Together they infiltrate the chili pepper drug trade in order to finance their venture, ultimately uncovering a strange religious cult that possesses the highly addictive chili pepper, the Core of the Sun.
 
Wickedly engaging, The Core of the Sun is a social commentary reminiscent of The Stepford Wives and The Handmaid’s Tale.


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The Silver Swan Cover Image
$15.26
ISBN: 9781590517161
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Other Press (NY) - May 19th, 2015

Alexander Feldmann is a handsome, charming, world­renowned cellist, and the owner of a rare Stradivarius cello, the Silver Swan. Mariana, his only child, grew to become a gifted and sought­ after cellist herself. As her father grows older, Mariana leaves her life behind to care for him in his final years. Upon his death, Mariana learns that he has left his prized Silver Swan to a former student. Bound by their relationship to the Silver Swan and Alexander, Claude and Mariana’s lives become entwined. As dark secrets from her father’s past emerge, Mariana begins to question the relationship with her father, his relationship with Claude, and the legacy of the Silver Swan. This is an amazing debut from Elena Delbanco.  Her characters are complex and passionate, and their tale is intense and beautifully flawed. You needn’t have traveled the world’s famous music halls to fall in love with The Silver Swan.


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The Good Luck of Right Now Cover Image
$13.49
ISBN: 9780062285614
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - February 10th, 2015

Bartholomew Neil has lost his mother, and at the age of 38, is left to fend for himself, for the first time – ever. He comes across a letter in his mother’s belongings from Richard Gere, and he reaches out to Gere in order to find meaning in his life. With the help of a defrocked priest, a shy librarian and her paranoid brother, Bartholomew and company set out on a road trip to find truth and peace of mind, or maybe just each other. The Good Luck of Right Now is charming and heartfelt. You cannot help but to fall in love with these flawed, quirky characters trying to find themselves, together, in a world that is foreign to all of them.


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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March Cover Image
By Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock (Retold by), Susan Buckley (Retold by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780803741232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - January 8th, 2015

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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Save Yourself Cover Image
$13.50
ISBN: 9780385347365
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - May 6th, 2014

I have never been disappointed by Kelly Braffet. I loved Josie and Jack, as well as ,Last Seen Leaving. Her newest novel, Save Yourself, is another great work of terrible beauty. SaveYourselfinserts us into the lives of sisters Layla and Vernaas we follow them from a world of hippie turned born-again parents, into a world of dysfunctional families, troubled friends and vicious peers. Her vivid dialogue will keep you hanging on every word. A truly captivating summer read!


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With or Without You Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780812983401
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - March 11th, 2014

With or Without You has it all, heartbreak, humanity and a search for truth and understanding amidst a dysfunctional universe. Domenica grew up with her louder–than–life mother in Danvers, Massachusetts. An only child in a large, extended family, Domenica always felt a step outside of her contemporaries. Her mother, Kathi, while her biggest obstacle, was also her biggest champion. Kathi pushed Domenica to pursue scholarship opportunities that landed her in a prestigious prep school. Kathi’s demons, however, are visited upon Domenica herself and it is their love/hate relationship that drives this darkly humorous, self-deprecating, compelling tale of hope and recovery.


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MaddAddam Cover Image
$15.26
ISBN: 9780307455482
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - August 12th, 2014

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Books


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Mama, Do You Love Me? Cover Image
$7.19
ISBN: 9781452131498
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - March 4th, 2014

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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Looking for Alaska Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780142402511
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - December 28th, 2006

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (Illustrator)
$7.19
ISBN: 9780060587031
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTrophy - September 26th, 2006

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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Never Let Me Go (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400078776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 2006

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Books


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Them: Adventures with Extremists Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780743233217
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 7th, 2003

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Books


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Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780684838465
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 10th, 2000

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Books


Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World (Library of Contemporary Thought) Cover Image
$9.90
ISBN: 9780345422804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - May 5th, 1998

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Books


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The Alexandria Quartet Boxed Set Cover Image
$58.00
ISBN: 9780140153170
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: Penguin Books - November 1st, 1991

One of Susan's 5 Favorite Books


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