Our Children’s Buyer Cappy grew up on Bainbridge before heading to South Carolina to receive a BA and Master’s Degree in History at the College of Charleston. Her historical research centered on women’s political history. While in Charleston she worked as an educator at a children’s museum and as a research assistant for a digital museum. Her reading interests run wide and deep but her favorites are in fantasy, speculative fiction, and feminist non-fiction. When she’s in the store her favorite thing to do is help readers young and old find their next favorite book. If she’s not in the store she’s probably taking her dog Mu on a long walk.
Off with Her Head is a cathartic release for any feminist reader. Smart, well researched, and just plain funny, Herman lays bare the way rampant misogyny has cut down women’s power from the time of Cleopatra to Kamala Harris. The whole book is a delicious eyeroll at the most blatant aspects of the patriarchy that still impact modern women, giving us insight in their origins. It’s like reading history from your favorite feminist stand-up comedian. ~Cappy
This book is laugh-until-you-hurt-and-have-to-put-the-book-down-for-a-break funny. Brosh digs into both her childhood and adult life, finding everyday moments you never knew could be so ludicrously wonderful. Her vigorous and joyful spirit, alongside her signature illustrations, make Solutions and Other Problems an absolute ray of sunshine. You’ll wish it never ends!
Ratajkowski’s stories glide seamlessly, her meditations are intelligent and raw, her anxieties will be reconginzable to many woman. While the content is important and engaging her writing is what stood out to me. Reminiscent of Didion Ratajkowaki is eloquent, casual, and meaningful all at once. She is intimate yet bold. Assertive but gentle. Both women and men stand to learn from her experiences and will enjoy how skillfully she conveys them. ~ Cappy
There’s so much of everything in this exquisitely crafted tale. Love, coming to terms with imperfection, Covid-19, George Floyd, a heavy dose of humor, books, (and a bookstore! and fabulous booksellers!) ghosts, and--as always with Erdrich--an in depth look at the Native American experience. We’ll go anywhere she takes us.
How lucky are we to live in a world with Mary Roach? Intelligent, hysterically funny, endlessly curious; Roach's writing is a gift. In Fuzz we are taken from Colorado to India to the Vatican and back as Roach investigates animals and plants that break human laws. While I loved learning fun facts like "if you make a seagull significantly nervous it will throw up," what shines the most in this book are not the flora and fauna but the people Roach interviews. She has a knack for finding some of the most wonderfully bizarre people, and I couldn't help but adore each and every one of them. If you like learning, laughing out loud, and anything just a little different, this book is for you! ~ Cappy
Imagine you were pulled into a classroom and taught about witchcraft in the same style as sex ed… In The Women Could Fly speculative fiction is met with humor, spookiness, and excellent commentary on race, gender, and politics. For fans of Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler, this subtle dystopian fantasy is the new book about witches you need in your life. ~Cappy
Dead-End Memories is an absolute treat. These five stories feature five very different women, and each story is filled with warmth and light. Yoshimoto’s observations on love and happiness are simple, yet profound – and they just kept coming. This one left a glow over me, and I can't wait to share it with others. ~Cappy
The perfect entry point for people new to Murata, this is my favorite of her works translated to English so far. A master of mixing the macabre with the sweet, her short stories will leave you asking questions like, is it weird to a make a table out of human femurs? Should you leave your boyfriend because you're in love with your curtains? Is cannibalism really that bad if everyone is doing it? In Life Ceremony every bit of the bizarreness that characterizes a Murata book is tempered by beauty and kindness. This woman is brilliant.
In Wake, Dr. Hall takes us on a gripping journey to uncover women’s vital role in historic slave revolts. Hugo Martinez’s illustrations are absolutely fantastic, giving Dr. Hall a superhero vibe as she fights to tell enslaved women’s history. I loved seeing her personal experience intertwined with the historical narrative, particularly her choice not to gloss over how intensely emotional the research process can be. Unique, exciting, and profound I love every single page. ~ Cappy
Through a series of stories that actually happened to Lacey between 1980 and 2020, these sisters are here to remind us that not just micro-aggressions but macro-aggressions against Black women, and Black people in general, are alive and well. Laugh-out-loud funny, Ruffin and Lamar absolutely nail the magic trick of using humor as a tool to teach and talk about one of the most difficult aspects in our society: racism. This book is bursting with love and heartbreak, and I laughed and learned the whole way through.
This spectacular feminist romp through evolutionary biology is a breath of fresh air. In Bitch, zoologist Lucy Cooke delves into the fascinating world of Feminist Darwinism and the amazing scientists whose life’s work has been dispelling sexist assumptions in biology. My favorite chapter was on our very own local orca whales and how biologists discovered that these pods are led by post-menopausal female matriarchs. I highly recommend Bitch to fans of Mary Roach and Darwinism alike! ~Cappy
I don’t say this lightly: Unlikely Animals is a masterpiece. This intricately layered story takes place in a rural New Hampshire town and follows Emma Starling, who can no longer avoid her family and must come home. She knows it’ll be bad but has no idea just how out of hand things had gotten. Her father is hallucinating hordes of animals, her ex best friend is missing, her brother is recovering from another stint in rehab, her mother has reached the end of her rope. To top it all off? She’s talked into becoming the long-term substitute for the town’s 5th grade teacher who’s had a mental breakdown. Told from the perspective of the town graveyard (Yes! You read that correctly!) Hartnett has spun a brilliant, hilarious, poignant, joyful, wacky, optimistic romp. This book is truly a gem. ~Cappy
In a world where men have started to “horde”—which ranges from groups of men forcibly changing tires to groups of men falling off a bridge—Sasha’s life is turned upside down by men’s-rights advocates who blame her for the death of her stalker. Desperate, she agrees to help her somewhat unhinged best friend Dyson start a cult that will free men from toxic masculinity. McElroy’s observations on body image, masculinity, and influencer culture are razor sharp. I laughed and cringed just the right amount as this satirical joy ride went off the rails, all told in the voice of a true crime confessional. ~Cappy
Fantastical, witty, sometimes spooky, this book absolutely stole my heart. While every chapter is essentially a short story, Ge skillfully carries our narrator’s beautiful, funny, poignant tale to the very end. Strange Beasts of China is a meditation on how we treat those around us, both those we love and those with whom we share our world. ~Cappy
Who knew murder in ancient Rome could be hilarious? Historian Emma Southon did! With humor, compassion, and deep expertise, Southon has crafted an absolute treat in A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. An investigation of Roman’s obsession with murder, this book will be a hit with fans of Mary Roach’s or Bill Bryson’s sense of humor. ~Cappy
Set across the PNW, LaPointe combines memoir and creative non-fiction to weave the stories of her Coast Salish female ancestors into her own complex tale. Heart-wrenching, and unflinching, LaPointe depicts the severe mental and physical health problems and hardships caused by PTSD from sexual assault—an issue which disproportionally impacts Native/Indigenous women. In La Pointe's journey towards healing, she finds solace from trauma, both personal and generational, in punk music and in her graduate writing program. Writing with expert craftsmanship, she emphasizes the importance of reconnecting with herself, her ancestral land, and the women who came before her. I think this book will be appreciated by fans of Crying in H-Mart. It is also a profound read for any lover of the PNW. ~Cappy
Dark humor, absurdity, grief, and the lush landscape of Tasmania merge to form this eccentric tale of a woman confronting the void. When Amelia's beloved mother dies suddenly, she flees her loving stepfather and the mortuary they own to be with her biological father. Consumed with grief, she attempts to join the local BDSM scene to get her mind off things. Disaster ensues. Baxter's voice is fresh and her spin on grief is unique but relatable. I devoured New Animal in a sitting and recommend it to anyone who loves a tale about a quirky family. ~Cappy
After listening to McGhee’s incisive story on Libro.fm (our audiobook partner) about our economic policies that were originally designed to promote white supremacy but have damaged both people of color and white people in our country, I bought a hard copy to underscore her many salient points. Expertly crafted, McGhee’s argument is both convincing and deftly made. Her call to action ultimately lends itself to hope, not despair. ~ Cappy
I enjoyed the eclectic feel of this new Didion collection. From Gamblers Anonymous to contemplations on the decisions of Hemingway’s fourth wife, to the crushing but ultimately important lesson of rejection from your first choice in colleges, this collection again proves Didion’s writing is timeless. To me the stand-out essay was “Everywoman.com” and Didion’s defense of Martha Stewart as a feminist icon. The last lines gave me goosebumps. ~ Cappy
Martha Jones is a giant in the field of African American history and this book is her best yet. Beautiful storytelling, which incorporates Jones’s own family history, makes this the perfect book for any armchair historian. Jones brings to light the stories of dozens of black women who are often ignored in history books, proving that these women have been at the forefront in the fight for equality for centuries. Her powerful research will change the way we think about the history of women’s suffrage and voting rights in this country.
Funny, magical, and absolutely strange, this book defies explanation. Clark’s excellent writing is on full display, leading the reader through a labyrinth of stone walls and rushing tides, unfolding an utterly creative plot. The main character (his name is a topic of debate) lives in an endless house of stone and statues, where he is completely content. When “the Other” (the only other known in existence) begins acting strangely our main character is concerned. But when a new person shows up in the House our main character is faced with a reality he once knew and has long forgotten. Speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and crime cult/murder mystery converge in this fabulous and satisfying tale. ~ Cappy
This novel is insane and I loved it. Cecilia and her Aunty Darlington are prim and proper pirates and members of the Wisteria Society. They regularly engage in plundering in-between afternoon tea and evening reading. Then one day, three separate people hire the same assassin to kidnap Cecilia and a wacky adventure ensues. Yes there are magical flying houses, there is a dashing and irresistible love interest, there is a hilariously incompetent and unhinged scorned male villain but at its core The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels is about women kicking ass and taking names. Put simply, this book is so much fun. ~ Cappy
A sweeping coming of age story dominated by strong women and the men in their lives. As the favored grandchild of a wealthy Ugandan clan in the 1970s-1980s, Kirabo is obsessed with the mother she’s never known. Kirabo is surrounded by the intense, often overwhelming love, of her aunt and grandmothers who will stop at nothing to ensure that she has the best possible life. Constantly confronted by the ways patriarchy pit women against each other, the women in this story navigate pain and heartbreak with humor and tough love. Spellbinding, complex, challenging, Makumbi has created a feminist meditation on the nature of female relationships, shot through with history, folklore, and a love story to boot.
In graduate school I studied the rise of the modern right wing, and so I was intrigued by how many of our customers requested this book on the topic. In Jesus and John Wayne Du Mez provides an excellent overview of capitalism, fear, and toxic masculinity, and how they converged with American Evangelicalism to result in the election of Donald Trump – plus plenty of other disturbing things along the way. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to better understand our current political landscape. ~Cappy
Zauner's writing flows naturally and gently, revealing the complex and beautiful relationship she had with her Korean mother, who passed away when Zauner was just 25. She centers her memories around the importance of Korean food, intertwining her sometimes volatile relationship with her mother with vivid memories of steaming hot broth and eating live octopus. To top it all off I also loved the PNW connection.
While Lizzie Bennet will always hold a special place in my heart, Mary Bennet has become the heroine I never knew I needed! So compulsively readable that I had a hard time putting it down and couldn't wait to pick it back up. I read Pride and Prejudice at least 6 times before I was 20, so I was a little nervous to read this re-telling, but Hadlow has created an ode to Austen that is wholly her own style. At it’s core this admirable continuation of a beloved classic is a coming of age story. In addition to all the happy mishaps and misunderstandings of an Austen novel Hadlow includes truly profound observations about life as Mary grapples with questions like: How does one become happy? What is the relationship between beauty and happiness? Utterly satisfying, this book will be loved far beyond Austen fans!
In A Children’s Bible Millet channels the brutal honesty that we only find in children into something special. Set in the near future on the east coast, this book follows a group of eerily mature kids whose completely inept parents have rented a country house for the summer. Determined to live on their own terms, the kids leave their parents behind – until they must go back to save them. Between Millet’s excellent writing and the wacky plot, this dystopian gem had me laughing out loud. ~Cappy
Lily King masterfully blends romantic interests, adult friendships, family relationships, and the ever-present question, “Am I a failure?” into an authentic depiction of life. Casey Peabody is in her early 30s, working in an upscale restaurant, living in a glorified potting shed, and equal parts determined and loathed to finish writing her novel. With engaging and witty writing King explores the tribulations of working as a woman, the horrors of gynecologist visits and student debt, the comfort of eating cinnamon toast with your best friend, budding relationships, and the profound anguish of losing a parent. Reading Writers & Lovers feels like having a long conversation with your favorite friend and is a book I will probably re-read and re-read. ~ Cappy
Written by a Gullah-Geechee (descendant of enslaved Africans along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia) author, this middle reader novel is a beautiful family adventure that blends the challenges for Black South Carolinians in the 1960s with the magic found in folklore. Ten-year-old old Jezebel has an intense love for her family and respect for all living creatures, which leads to new light being shed on elements that are traditionally cast as villainous. This book deals with the strife between Black Americans and the police in an age appropriate, and ultimately empowering and redemptive way. There are also some very fun spooky moments. A lovely coming of age story that I recommend to adults as well as children. Ages 8-12 ~ Cappy
Recently I’ve been loving short stories and essay collections, I’ve also been meaning to read something by Zora Neale Hurston so it felt like fate when this new in paperback collection of her short stories arrived in the store! Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick brings together the complete list of short stories by this iconic Harlem Renaissance writer and it was a joy to read. Hurston centers the Black experience, exploring family, community, hopes and dreams as well as nature. Equally humorous and tragic Hurston’s beautifully illuminated and satirical writing is a testament to American culture and life. This collection also includes an introduction which gives helpful and interesting historical context to these stories. Plus the cover art is gorgeous! ~ Cappy
Ring Shout is by turns clever, intensely imaginative, gory, and action-packed. Maryse is a monster hunter who dedicates her life to avenging the Black community by killing Ku Kluxes – horrifying monsters with giant pointy heads masquerading as Ku Klux Klan members. In my academic life I researched the second wave of the KKK (1915-1920s), and I appreciated the amount of detail, historical accuracy, and incredible folklore in which Clark roots this crazy, creepy, but strangely fun novella. ~ Cappy
Even as a diehard Le Guin fan, I was stunned by how much I loved this work of speculative fiction. As the main character visits fifteen alternate universes in order to entertain herself during an airport layover, Le Guin’s ability to breeze through an alternate “plane” or universe provides the magic of Changing Planes. The reader is left with more than enough to be satisfied by the story, but in awe of the ease with which Le Guin constructs an entire society in so few pages, just to move on. While Le Guin never shies away from the disturbing or difficult, on the whole this book is on the lighter side, investigating humanity with her characteristic deep thought, warmth, and subtle humor.
This book kept me up all night because I just had to know what happened to Addie LaRue. Set across centuries and countries, Schwab’s writing is spellbinding as she recounts the tale of Addie, a woman who trades her life in 17th century France for eternal life—with the catch that no one will ever remember her. I fell in love with Addie and her determination to leave a mark on this world. As a lover of fantasy and speculative fiction I was drawn to those elements of the book, but with half of the plot taking place in 2014 in New York City, this book will also appeal to mainstream fiction readers. An examination of loneliness, the power dynamics of love, and humanity’s deep fear of running out of time, this book will stay with me for a long time. Also, no spoilers but the ending might be my favorite ending to a book I have ever read. ~ Cappy
Technically #2 in the series, you can start anywhere with the smart, steamy, feminist League of Extraordinary Women books and this was my personal favorite. I loved the historical background of the suffrage movement and the strong female friendships. The romance was a cherry on top!
This novel exemplifies that tricky balance between humor and horror. Set in the 1980s in Charleston, South Carolina, Hendrix creatively re-imagines his own mother’s life: this time with a handsome vampire who moves to town and turns her book club’s world upside down and inside out. There is friendship! Gore! 1980s fashion! You’ll laugh! You’ll cringe! You’ll never look at trash bags the same way again! Most impressive, however, is Hendrix’s ability to weave complex issues of racism, failing marriages, and obsession over socioeconomic status seamlessly into this wacky masterpiece.
I listened to this book on Libro.fm and there were so many quotes I wanted to have in writing that I ended up also buying myself a hardcopy! I love essay collections, and Irby's stood out to me for several reasons. Firstly, she's hilarious; and secondly, she is unapologetically herself in all situations. In Wow, No Thank You Irby takes us through preparations for a night out, full-out battles with gynecologists, snack lists, her entire music library, and more. Great for anyone who needs a smart and not-at-all serious read to breeze through. ~ Cappy
Funny, uniquely plotted, and paced. I breezed through this novella in two sittings. Set in present-day Japan, Murata made me feel like I was physically in the convenience store working alongside its star employee Keiko. Her commentary on the many forms the urge to fit in can take is biting yet hilariously subdued - at times almost painfully so. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick clever read. ~ Cappy
Octavia Butler (a Seattleite!) should be required reading, and this book is a prime example as to why. This novel follows teenage Lauren, a visionary leader dedicated to seeking freedom and safety despite the fear, violence, and complacency of those around her. You will be in awe of her at every turn. Butler transcends the science fiction genre with this beautiful page turner that explores religion, family, politics, leadership, and what it means to be a member of a community. ~ Cappy
This quirky story is a breath of fresh air. As the narrator struggles through deciding what to do with her career and producing an answer to her boyfriend’s proposal, you can’t help but fall in love with her. It’s a coming-of-age story about a woman untangling her past so that she can create a future, and it made me laugh out loud. So creatively and beautifully written, Weike Wang is officially a new favorite for me. ~Cappy
This book has taken permanent residence in my brain. In Blue Nights, maybe even more than its companion piece, The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion brings us inside her jumbled, grieving mind. I am obsessed with her ability to tell a completely non-linear but cohesive story. Skipping around from her present life to the day in 1966 when a doctor called to say there is "a beautiful girl here at the hospital, would you like her?" Didion explores the endless pain she feels in the wake of her daughter's death many years later and how this pain is inextricably linked to her own current instability. Haunting and riveting. Joyful and complex. Creative and oh, so Didion. ~ Cappy
This love story is an endearing mix of a daydream and a fever dream. Written in the 1970s, it takes place in New York and centers around two best friends (and third cousins!) and the two incredible women they fall in love with. It’s smart, funny, satisfying, and often completely silly. One of our most frequent requests is for a light and easy – but high quality! – read. I have found it! ~Cappy