Staff Favorites 2017

Staff Favorites 2017

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The Lockpicker Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781936364183
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Heron Press - July 17th, 2017

There’s something fascinating about the mechanics of how criminals practice their craft. Few novels depict this better than this one from Chang, author and staff writer on the acclaimed F/X series Snowfall. Want to know how lockpickers choose their tools? How stolen jewelry is fenced? How to track down someone when the trail goes cold? This novel, partially set in Seattle, digs into the details without ever steering into the weeds or letting up on the suspense. Throw in forbidden love, murderous obsession and strained familial ties, and you’ve got my favorite novel of 2017. ~ Jim


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Mrs. Fletcher Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501144028
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - August 1st, 2017

Perrotta's reputation as the Chekhov of suburban America gets a fresh polish in this story of a middle-aged mother and college-age son struggling, apart and together, with sexual desire in a social-media-driven world. There’s much in this story of boundary-pushing and bewilderment that speaks to the Bainbridge Island of Claire Dederer’s memoir of middle-aged love, lust and longing, Love and Trouble. ~ Jim


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The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393608717
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 6th, 2017

This memoir by a career long-haul trucker with a classical education and a cross-country crush on NPR’s Terry Gross is more than one person’s story. It’s a fascinating exploration of flyover America by someone who’s seen the worst of it—and still has faith in the best of it. His perspective on what ails the country is a prescription every bit as essential as that provided in Hillbilly Elegy, Nomadland, and other nonfiction journeys through our non-coastal country. ~ Jim


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Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501126062
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 5th, 2017

This stark yet lyrical, brilliantly written novel revolves around a racially mixed family’s odyssey from the Gulf of Mississippi to the state penitentiary at Parchman, to pick up the husband and father upon his release. Intimately viewed from the alternating perspectives of mother and son, the journey unfolds as a drama with details that the central issue of race in our country, and its effects on one extended family. Written by the author of the National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this is an important book! ~ John


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The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - March 13th, 1998

I came late to this powerful dystopian masterpiece, originally published in 1986, its resurgence fueled in part by the highly praised television series. In a post-apocalyptic world where fertile women are scarce, “handmaids” are assigned to husbands of the ruling class for the purposes of procreation. The novel unfolds through the eyes of one of these women, whose voice I found so convincing it gave me goosebumps—her fears, her yearnings for freedom, her ironic sense of humor, and her reflections on her previous life. I don’t usually read speculative fiction, but this book knocked me out! ~ John


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You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316270755
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 13th, 2017

Alexie once told me, “Poetry is my main pursuit as a writer. Prose pays the bills.” The author fuses his finest expressions in both modes in this singular, wide-ranging memoir, in which poems often serve as entire chapters. Lyrical, moving, hard-edged and hilarious, it explores not only his life and identity as a writer and an Indian, his odyssey from the Spokane Reservation to an urban environment, and his complicated relationship with his mother, but also the ever-shifting terrain of memory itself. Alexie is one of our most important writers, and this is a distinct achievement. ~ John


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Sourdough Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374203108
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: MCD/Farrar Straus and Giroux - September 5th, 2017

This is the tale of a bright, robotics-coding AI specialist who changes her life when she learns to bake bread. Sloan delivers a mashup of mystery, magic and sci-fi that is a bit like sourdough itself. Quirky, funny, suspenseful and a little bit romantic, this is a thoroughly captivating story. ~ Susan


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The Women in the Castle: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062563675
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 2nd, 2018

Now on almost everyone’s book group list, this is the story of the widows whose husbands plotted the failed assassination of Hitler. Holed up in a crumbling manse in a small German village at the end of WWII, they must make choices to rebuild their lives as the town makes choices to rebuild its society and humanity in the face of crumbling defeat, poverty and prejudice. If you loved All the Light We Cannot See or The Nightingale, you will relish this look at a group of resilient women. ~ Susan


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Don't Let Go Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781524742256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books - February 27th, 2018

New Jersey Detective Napoleon Dumas has never stopped looking for his twin brother’s murderer. He was found with his high school sweetheart on the tracks of a railroad siding, the same night Napoleon’s girlfriend Maura walked away from him. The tragedy has haunted their town for fifteen years. When Maura’s fingerprints are found in the rental car of a suspected murderer, this episode from Napoleon’s youth is suddenly reopened and long buried secrets begin to surface. Coben is a great storyteller, one of my real favorites, and this new detective is one that must come back in a sequel…soon! ~ Susan


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Ghachar Ghochar Cover Image
By Vivek Shanbhag, Srinath Perur (Translator)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780143111689
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Published: Penguin Books - February 7th, 2017

Laced with humor and tragedy, this novel is a lean and elegant portrait of an Indian family in Bangalore adapting to their newly acquired wealth. A very enjoyable quick read. ~ Kiyo


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Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9780961454739
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Image Continuum Press - April 1st, 2001

For those of us artists who struggle to improve our craft, this wonderful book shines a light on the fears hiding in our psyche. Bayles’ and Orland’s central question about artists is “Why do so many who start, quit?” What follows is an honest inquiry into why making art can be challenging, why facing our fears is crucial, and advice on how to deal with new fears as our careers evolve. If you find yourself struggling with procrastination, creative block, fear of failure, or fear of success, give this book a try. It might be the kick in the pants you need. ~ Kiyo


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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781439156810
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - July 6th, 2010

This is a must read not only for writers, but for any aspiring creative person. The book opens with King’s formative years—from his childhood to his first commercial success—and abruptly ends with his struggles with addiction. The second part shifts to his thoughts on the writing process, or what he refers to as the “toolbox.” Using plain and concise language, he describes these tools and makes every effort to demystify the art of writing. King closes on an empowering note by sharing how writing aided in his recovery from the near fatal accident in 1999. While I’m not a huge Stephen King fan, this is one King book I will read again and again. ~ Kiyo


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The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780770435868
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - April 21st, 2015

When he was a twenty-three-year-old freshman graduate student, Kiehl walked into the maximum-security prison in Abbotsford, British Columbia. His task was to interview prisoners to determine which ones showed psychopathic traits. Many of the men he would talk to were considered the most dangerous in Canada. But his work began the career detailed in this book, and it’s a fascinating story told by someone who is now one of the leading experts in the field of psychotherapy. Kiehl holds the reader's attention right up to the last page. ~ Ann


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The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501166020
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 10th, 2017

Ed Asner does not mince words. He is unapologetic about being "An Old-Time Lefty," and he’s not happy with those on the right who cite the Constitution both as God-given and as the bedrock of their beliefs. Asner examines and explains not only the original fifty-five framers of the Constitution but also the Constitution itself, the Bill of Rights, and for good measure a variety of other targets. It's a lively work since Asner presents his biases front and center, and, in chapters that are both instructive and entertaining, he makes his case. ~ Ann


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The Deal of a Lifetime Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781501193491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - October 31st, 2017

This novel is a delicate tale about life and what it’s worth. Is the life of a man with cancer who has achieved much but come up short as a father worth more than the life of small girl, also with cancer, who is coloring the chair in her hospital room because, “You’re allowed to draw on the furniture when you have cancer.”? Death, wearing a grey knitted jumper, is there too. She’s lurking in the hospital corridors keeping track while carrying with her a folder with all our names in it. Is she about to let the man make the deal of a lifetime? Backman weaves the story gently and reveals the fateful ending with care. ~ Ann


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The Heart's Invisible Furies Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524760786
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth Press - August 22nd, 2017

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Reincarnation Blues Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399178481
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - August 22nd, 2017

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The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781451651133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 10th, 2017

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I Love Dick (Native Agents) Cover Image
By Chris Kraus, Eileen Myles (Foreword by), Joan Hawkins (Afterword by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781584350347
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Semiotext(e) - July 14th, 2006

The speaker in this novel is vulnerable and very, very smart. Kraus unabashedly lays her inner world bare as she works through an intense and sudden desire for the idea of a man and makes peace with her artistic career. ~ Rose


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Between the World and Me Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 14th, 2015

Coates writes this short and poetic book to his son, offering him advice on living unafraid but self-protective as a boy of color in white supremacist America. He covers some of his own formative experiences and those of his classmates at Howard University, including dealing with the loss of a friend who was killed by a policeman. ~ Rose


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A Little Life Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: Backordered
Published: Anchor Books - January 26th, 2016

This emotionally intense and deeply beautiful novel follows Jude through a life haunted by childhood trauma and the shame that keeps him from moving forward or finding peace in the prosperous and love-filled adult life he creates for himself. Trigger warning: molestation, sexual abuse, self-harm, anorexia. ~ Rose


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Heroes of the Frontier Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101974636
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 27th, 2017

When Josie loses her dental practice in a lawsuit and her husband finds another woman, she journeys to Alaska with her two young children, hoping to experience some resolution and adventure in the juncture between her old life and whatever’s next. Josie’s disdain for contemporary society is insightful, her humor down to earth, and the situations this trio find themselves in are memorably hilarious. This is not a “poor me” woman, but someone who knows she must come to terms with her past, provide for her children and find a place they can call home. I wish I had been along for the ride. ~ Julie


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The Smell of Other People's Houses Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780553497816
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - February 21st, 2017

This profound young adult novel, written by a fourth-generation Alaskan, examines the 70’s-era culture of so many small towns in that part of the world, where domestic violence, alcoholism, child abuse and poverty are still the highest in the nation. The story is told in alternating voices of young adult characters, voices that intertwine as they seek to survive, understand and overcome the past. Beautifully written with deep knowledge, Hitchcock's book was chosen for Kitsap Regional Library’s One Book, One Community program. It should be on every high school’s reading list as well. It reminds us that houses always smell better when there is a mom inside. Ages 12 & up. ~ Julie


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Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765393586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - January 9th, 2018

This is the third book in McGuire’s Wayward Children series, in which she tells the stories of what happens when all those plucky youths stumbling through magic doors finally come back to an Earth where they no longer feel at home. Beneath the Sugar Sky is a treasure hunt, a search for a way to save the life of a young woman whose mother died before her daughter could be born. McGuire unites a diverse cast with a unifying thread of surreal beauty. And while it’s worth starting with Every Heart a Doorway, the first book in this series, Beneath a Sugar Sky is my favorite of this series so far. ~ Jo


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The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545424936
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 30th, 2013

The first of a four-book series, this is a YA novel about a girl with a curse, and a group of boys looking for a dead Welsh king. Where those two coincide is a glorious catastrophe of an adventure. Stiefvater’s prose is beautiful and she has a rare gift for the inexplicable yet perfectly appropriate metaphor. I love her way with words, and the story really shines in her wonderfully spiky characters fitting into each other and learning about friendship, sacrifice, and the ways magic speaks in the world. Ages 13-17. ~ Jo


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Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon (Marvel Now #1) Cover Image
By Matt Fraction (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), David Aja (Illustrator), Javier Pulido (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780785165620
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Marvel Comics - March 19th, 2013

I’ve had multiple people tell me this is a great starting point for reading comics about Hawkeye, and within a few pages it was easy to see why. There are no muscle-bound uber-mensches here. Rather, in the muted palette and the brisk storytelling, you get the sense of a man who is just kind of muddling through the superhero business, because he feels some kind of conscience and possibly just doesn’t know what else to do. His life might be a disaster, but it’s a wonderfully fun one to read about. Ages 13-22. ~ Jo


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Lincoln in the Bardo Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812995343
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 14th, 2017

A breathtaking look at grief, as President Abraham Lincoln loses his young son while in the White House. The moving, sometimes humorous voices in this book paint loss in so many rich hues. I also highly recommend this as an audiobook. ~ Victoria


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Exit West Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735212176
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 7th, 2017

This novel tells the haunting tale of Nadia and Saeed, who begin a relationship during a civil war in an unnamed country. Life is ominous: neighborhoods reduced to rubble, abandoned offices calmly looted by employees, windows covered by bookshelves to forestall bullets. The couple exit their land via a mysterious door to other countries. But reinventing oneself in exile is harrowing even in the best of times. Both promise and despair crackle through Hamid’s spare prose in this rich dystopian story for our times. ~ Victoria


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To the Bright Edge of the World Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316242837
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - August 29th, 2017

A lyrical tale crossing centuries, set in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Ivey introduces us to Sophie and her husband, Col. Allen Forrester, part of the early wave of explorers and settlers of European descent in the west, whose unique and loving partnership defies the expectations of the times. Their stories, retrieved from boxes in an attic a century later, are intertwined with the correspondence of the couple’s great nephew and a young museum exhibits curator in the Alaskan town near where much of story takes place. Enchanting! ~ Victoria


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Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780802127006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - June 6th, 2017

A tragic tale that surgically dissects the battle for Hue and in the doing perfectly underscores the failures of our military and political leadership to understand Vietnam and why we should never have been there.

 ~ Dave


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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393354775
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 31st, 2017

Both odd and lovely, this is the account of a friendship between two brilliant Israeli psychologists—Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky—whose research upended prior entrenched views about how the human mind works. ~ Dave


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Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501163883
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - February 6th, 2018

A British alchemist of the English language paints a New York we could only imagine in the telling. The story revolves around the clash that results with the arrival of a mysterious transplant from England into the city’s affluent merchant class. Of course, Spufford throws a very baffling young woman into the mix. ~ Dave


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Hot Milk Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781620406700
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 9th, 2017

In this steamy, dreamy, and mysterious novel, a woman and her mother travel to the Spanish coast, to an enigmatic but secretive doctor, in hopes of finally finding a cure to the mother’s long-term illness. A haunting and sensuous read. ~ Jane


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My Absolute Darling Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735211179
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 29th, 2017

One of the strongest young heroines ever encountered in literature must face one of the most frightening monsters—her own father. A true masterpiece, this coming of age story is unbearable at times, and astoundingly beautiful at others. It will keep you enthralled till the very last page. ~ Jane


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The Fortune Teller Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250099778
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - June 6th, 2017

An archivist specializing in ancient texts is asked to appraise a tarot deck, perhaps the earliest deck known, dating back thousands of years. In a parallel tale, the mysterious history of the deck is revealed as the modern-day drama of the appraiser and her mysterious wealthy client unfolds. A suspenseful tale, steeped in mysticism. ~ Jane


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Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780544558144
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 10th, 2017

What an adventure! Strycker set out on a journey in 2015 with an incredible goal—to see almost half the bird species of the world in one year. His methods were even more amazing. He contacted local birders in every area he planned to visit and arranged to go birding with them. All were eager to share their knowledge, and sometimes their floors to sleep on, to be a part of this record breaking experience. Not only did Noah see more birds than he could have hoped for, he made friends around the world and experienced many incredible places. He shares all his adventures with humor, joy, and a sense of discovery. You may want to grab your binoculars and go off on an adventure of your own, even if it is only in your back yard. ~ Alison


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The Explorer Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481419451
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 12th, 2017

This is my favorite middle grade book of 2017! Four very different kids survive a plane crash in the Amazon jungle, and readers will be fascinated by how they build a raft, harvest honey like monkeys, taste spiders, and adopt an orphan sloth. As they struggle, they learn a new respect for the natural world and wild, untamed places. Ages 8-12. ~ Alison


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The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1) Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780375815300
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 19th, 2017

Terrific! Fantastic! This prequel to His Dark Materials Trilogy is every bit as good as the original! Ages 13 to 17. ~ Rodie & Alison


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Celine (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101973486
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - January 2nd, 2018

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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781451697728
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2016

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A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness (Flow) Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9780761193777
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Workman Publishing - October 3rd, 2017

This book is so much fun! I love all the little extras like small journals, postcards, and stickers. The articles inspire me to see my mindfulness practice in new ways, try new things, and revisit helpful habits. The design is lovely, with beautiful art and photographs. It’s a great way to start or end the day and a happy reminder that we are enough. ~ Charysse