Bess's Picks

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The Beatryce Prophecy By Kate DiCamillo, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate DiCamillo, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536213614
Availability: Not in Stock... Available to ship in 3-5 days
Published: Candlewick - September 28th, 2021

A sweet book about love, courage, trust, wisdom, and the power of words.

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Beowulf: A New Translation By Maria Dahvana Headley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374110031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - August 25th, 2020

Headley infuses a tradition of staid translations with a vibrant performative quality and feminist, humanizing empathy. Her language embraces Old English words along with social media jargon ("hashtag: blessed") creating a lively, entertaining, and energetic text. She allows Grendell's mother complexity, inviting the reader to empathize withher, a woman who is all too often and easily reduced to a one-dimenstional monster. 

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Indian-Ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family By Priya Krishna Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781328482471
Published: Harvest - April 23rd, 2019

Kirshna worked with her mother, Ritu, to record favorite family recipes -- delicious and accessible mashups of traditional Indian flavors and techniques and more typical American influences. Two of my favorites are dahi toast dipped in ketchup and nachos with chaat spices and chutneys. The uncomplicated recipes celebrate flexibility and improvisation over stricltly traditional fare.

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Outlawed By Anna North Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635575422
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Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - January 5th, 2021

In North's alternate history of late 19th-century America - where an undefined plague has decimated the population, destroyed the young US, and enabled a variety of extreme gender expectations - woman's purpose is entirely bound up in bearing healthy children, and those who are barren are shunned or even hanged as witches. Resisting these constrictions, a group of outlaws (inspired somewhat by the Sundance Kid and crew) provide a different possible life. They are outcasts who don't conform to society's roles. Outlawed shows us the trauma of enforcing gendered roles, and the freedom provided by open sexual and gendered expression.

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Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland By Patrick Radden Keefe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307279286
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Published: Anchor - February 25th, 2020

This is an enthralling story of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It covers the '70s to the '90s and the influence on the present. It's a gripping story of politics, family, murder, conviction, and paramilitarism. Keefe's writing is engrossing and reads like a political thriller or murder mystery.

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A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel By Ruth Ozeki Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124870
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Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

Beautiful. Reading this is like learning (about Zen, quantum mechanics) and then applying that knowledge to the text—almost like a really gripping textbook. A main character named Ruth was quirky I thought, but it wasn't until near the end that the quantum mechanics gives this choice some weight and meaning. I loved the characters, and it was wonderful to have so many of them. It's a totally engrossing book.

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A Thousand Steps into Night By Traci Chee Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358469988
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Published: HarperCollins - March 1st, 2022

Miuko isn't a beauty of particularly clever. She's average, often a klutz, and completely unextraordinary. But then she's kissed and cursed by a demon and she must go on a quest to find a cure. She's aided and impeded by spirits, gods, monsters, and even other demons. These supernatural characters are utterly human in personality and actions. This Japanese-inspired fantasy is engrossing and humorous. Every page is welcomingly and entertainingly readable.