Julia's Reviews

Julia is a 2011 Santa Cruz transplant (from the woods of Pennsylvania) and a yoga teacher who-- surprise!--was a Creative Writing and Film Theory major. She reads a lot of fiction and a little non-fiction, and just got into graphic novels, and can't read super scary mysteries because she's afraid of the dark. But she likes her fiction "kinda gritty," not fluffy. She's the Events Coordinator. Besides books, she likes bikes, gardens, and being active in every way possible; she would love to learn how to surf and is ashamed she hasn't yet.

This prequel to Hoffman’s ever-beloved Practical Magic traces the adolescent years of the three Owens siblings—the descendants of a witch and a witch-hunter—as they discover their secret, feared ancestral gift. What begins with whimsical wishes and parlor tricks spirals into the manifestation of the Owens’ curse: to their bloodline, falling in love is fatal. Hoffman’s quick storytelling is as delightful as ever, mystical yet light-footed, weaving family lore into the teens’ journeys of self-acceptance. - Julia

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The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic #1) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781501137471
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 10th, 2017

When a boy is accidentally killed on a North Dakota reservation, the family of the shooter undertakes a drastic attempt at redemption. The fraught but permanent tie between the families sparks questions of trust, loyalty, justice, and memory. As in life, there are no concrete answers, and Erdrich does not attempt to prettify that which life makes messy. Her prose, as ever, is unrelentingly affecting; the agonies, hopes, and longings of these characters become the reader’s own. LaRose traces its characters’ paths as they cross back and forth between old tradition and modernity, the spirit world and tangible experience, reconciliation and grief. - Julia

LaRose: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062277039
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 11th, 2017

After Josie extracts herself from a long relationship with a deadbeat, loses her dental practice in a lawsuit, and assumes guilt in a young patient’s death, she escapes to Alaska. Trekking across desolate highways and sweeping landscapes in a rundown RV with her confused children, Josie (often hilariously) tries her best to keep it all together—her kids’ tempers, the facade of their weird “vacation,” her sanity, and her falling-apart heart. - Julia

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Heroes of the Frontier Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101974636
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 27th, 2017

The lives of six children and their four parents are merged when an uninvited party guest sparks the dissolution of two marriages. So begins Ann Patchett’s ambitious suburban epic, tracing 50 years of secrets and resentments, loss and loyalty. Scenes across decades are dropped for the reader to gather—nonlinear, yet told in somehow perfect order. An impressionistic portrait that makes logical sense from afar but holds impeccable emotional realism and thoughtfulness in each stroke. - Julia

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Commonwealth: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062491831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 2nd, 2017

When people tell me they don’t like short fiction, I recommend the title story of this collection: a clear-eyed, perfect-length punch in the gut, emblematic of Ferris’s dark wit and panoramic insightfulness. Few writers can, within one sentence, inspire a belly laugh while highlighting the misery of life’s everyday drudgeries—and still give a wink toward the awkward, beautiful mysteries of life. - Julia

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The Dinner Party: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316465953
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 2nd, 2017

If you don’t know about The Moth yet or haven’t been obsessively listening to The Moth Radio Hour—where have you been? Welcome to the legendary live storytelling event that showcases the transformative power of empathy, deep listening, and community. True tales as diverse as you can imagine (told by astronauts, refugees, moms, and celebrities), now in print, that might even give you a spark of hope for this stormy world. - Julia

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The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown Cover Image
By Catherine Burns (Editor), Neil Gaiman (Foreword by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781101904404
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Archetype - March 21st, 2017

Anne Lamott wants us to start living like we value forgiveness and humility more than we value being right and winning. Unlikely in these divisive times, you say? Yet Hallelujah Anyway makes a reasonable case that we can, and should, start within our personal lives, weaving lofty spiritual wisdom with a dose of cynicism and silliness. In true Lamott fashion, even the God-talk isn’t dogmatic, but resonates as inspiring and relevant. - Julia

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Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780735213586
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

In the pursuit of truth and its exposure, photojournalist Lynsey Addario is always trying to get closer to the place where truth is happening. For a photographer documenting war-torn Libya, the lives of women under Taliban rule, or the effect of violence in Congo, that very often means putting herself in mortal danger. This memoir is blunt and intense (Addario is, at heart, an adrenaline junkie and adventure addict), raising questions of journalistic ethics and how one can truthfully, respectfully document others’ lives and deaths. —Julia

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It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143128410
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - November 8th, 2016

“You were warned.” The words uttered to stoic timber baron Pemberton before he’s introduced to seductive, brilliant Serena invoke no apprehension. He immediately brings her home as his business partner and wife. Both feel they’ve met their match—until Serena’s ambition and thirst for power obliterate more than just their forests’ hardwoods. Spellbinding and atmospheric, this novel pulls us into the 1930s North Carolina logging industry and into a blinding love that questions where devotion ends and obsession begins. - Julia

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Serena: A Novel Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061470844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 29th, 2009

Elizabeth Lesser introduces Marrow as a love story, not a memoir of grief. When her sister Maggie requires a bone marrow transplant and Lesser is a perfect match, the sisters wholeheartedly, messily push into the emotional and spiritual core of their relationship. With staggering tenderness and humor, Marrow brings us the last years of Maggie’s life and shows how a sisterhood as imperfectly complex as any other is made transcendent by two people’s commitment to ultimate vulnerability and authenticity. Reader advisory: Do not read in public with mascara on.  —Julia

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Marrow: A Love Story Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062367631
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Wave - September 20th, 2016

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