25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

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November 01
Selected by Rachel from Sammamish, Washington
Rachel won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #01)
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #01)
by Suzanne Collins

Rachel's Comments:
"This book controlled my life for twenty four hours; it was painful to put it aside and do daily tasks....The pages are captivating and the main character is well-explored and complex. I can't wait to read the sequel!" (read more)

Your price $5.95
Used - Hardcover
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November 02
Selected by Ryan from Portland, Oregon
Ryan won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Perelandra (Space Trilogy)
Perelandra (Space Trilogy)
by C. S. Lewis

Ryan's Comments:
"This vividly stunning interplanetary novel holds one of my favorite portrayals of love: "Pure, spiritual, intellectual love shot from their faces like barbed lightning. It was so unlike the love we experience that its expression could easily be mistaken for ferocity." Gorgeous." (read more)

Your price $7.98
Sale - Trade Paper
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November 03
Selected by John from Brooklyn, New York
John won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town
Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town
by Nick Reding

John's Comments:
"A compelling and humane look behind the headlines, or what used to be headlines, as meth addiction moves off the front page and more firmly into the fabric and underground economics of our small towns....We have the doctor, the prosecutor, the law enforcement officer, the child, the producer, the addict...but more than anything, we have the voices of people who all in their own way struggle with what life has become within the rippling effects of addiction." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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November 04
Selected by Karen from Pine Bush, New York
Karen won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Candor
Candor
by Pam Bachorz

Karen's Comments:
"A great example of "be careful what you wish for". The people living in Candor have everything they want, including perfectly behaved children. Unfortunately the price that must be paid for that behavior is heartbreaking. I look forward to reading more by this author and hope that a sequel to Candor might be in the works." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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November 05
Selected by Debra from Troutdale, Oregon
Debra won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
An Echo in the Bone
An Echo in the Bone
by Diana Gabaldon

Debra's Comments:
"This book is so good that I slowed down to savor every word. I turned the last page looking for more. This entire series of books is wonderful. I recommend every one. I can't wait for the next one to come out. I need to know what happens next." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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November 06
Selected by Jonathan from Covington, Georgia
Jonathan won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Mortal Coils
Mortal Coils
by Eric Nylund

Jonathan's Comments:
"Let me first say that I am a long time fan of Nylund's, so know that when I started reading...Mortal Coils I was rather biased. But I'm not writing this review for the people who have never heard of Nylund, but for the throngs of Halo fans out there that are afraid Mortal Coils sucks because it's not another Halo book. Let's dispel that lie right now; Mortal Coils is amazing....This is by far my favorite book of the year and a great read/buy for anyone." (read more)

Your price $10.50
Used - Trade Paper
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November 07
Selected by Lisa from Las Cruces, New Mexico
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
by Erik Larson

Lisa's Comments:
"A truly gripping read. So much history and so many things were born at the Chicago World's fair that shape our every day lives--electric lights, Shredded Wheat and the Ferris wheel. The madness of the murders, and why we don't know more about them or recognize them as part of our cultural consciousness is mind boggling! The tenaciousness of the criminal investigation, and trial are also gripping. I could not put this book down. And can't wait until my next trip to Chicago!" (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 08
Selected by Leah from Astoria, New York
Leah won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Boat
The Boat
by Nam Le

Leah's Comments:
"This collection of short stories really drew me in. Each one was so captivating that I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it. Nam Le maneuvers with ease through various perspectives, tenses, voices, and subject matters. He creates complex characters with simplicity and creates atmospheres with richness and depth. It's an extraordinary first book, and I am so glad that someone recommended it to me!" (read more)

Your price $23.61
New - Hardcover
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November 09
Selected by Tami from Sacramento, California
Tami won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Amplified: Fiction from Leading Alt-Country, Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Musicians
Amplified: Fiction from Leading Alt-Country, Indie Rock, Blues and Folk Musicians
by Steven Horwitz and Julie Schaper

Tami's Comments:
"I was surprised how good most of these stories are. I know most of these people write great songs, so good it seems that good writing goes beyond their usual genre. My favorite story in this book is Rhett Miller's." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 10
Selected by Elizabeth from Chicago, Illinois
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
by Bill Buford

Elizabeth's Comments:
"Heat combines incredible writing with hunger-inspiring topics. Buford is both an honest critic of his own attempts to learn to cook, as well as an incredibly astute observer of the strengths and weaknesses of the astounding culinary talent that surrounds him. This is a must-read for anyone who loves books about food, but would be enjoyed by anyone who admires great prose." (read more)

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Used - Hardcover
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November 11
Selected by Jemima from Nashua, NH
Jemima won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Of Bees and Mist
Of Bees and Mist
by Erick Setiawan

Jemima's Comments:
"This is my favorite read for 2009!It was very unique in that it described ordinary human relationships in a magical way. The writing style and the bizarre elements of the story really drew me in and caught my full attention. The characters were passionate and dramatic. The setting was vague and mystical. Most of all I loved all the imagery. This is a book I will definitely read again. There is such variety and depth to it that I would not get bored. I highly recommend it." (read more)


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November 12
Selected by Danica from Seattle, Washington
Danica won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures
Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures
by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne

Danica's Comments:
"Rarely do I find a knitting book with more than one pattern that I think would be not only worth the time and expense to knit but would be flattering or useful. Mason-Dixon Knitting contains many patterns that are useful, flattering and clever - which makes it a great knitting book to have on your shelf. I also like knitting books written by people who don't take the whole thing so seriously. Ann and Kay realize that in the end you're playing with sticks and string and making something that will hopefully end up great. If not, you can always start over." (read more)

Your price $11.95
Used - Hardcover
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November 13
Selected by Patricia from Aumsville, Oregon
Patricia won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Case of Einstein's Violin
The Case of Einstein's Violin
by William L. Sullivan

Patricia 's Comments:
"I discovered William L Sullivan some years ago while camping. A little store carried many of his books....Mr. Sullivan talks in some of his other books about his dream to write a mystery. The love he puts into the crafting of this novel shows that it has been a dream long percolating....[H]he presents an interesting story, lively dialogue, and a good read. I would recommend this book to anyone." (read more)

Your price $8.50
Used - Trade Paper
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November 14
Selected by Erika from Davenport, Iowa
The Story Goes on
The Story Goes on
by Aileen Fisher

Erika's Comments:
"This is a beautiful book! I loved the childlike illustrations paired with the fun poetry story....Poetry can often be misunderstood and confusing, but this poetry picture book works well with the illustrations to ensure meaning is understood." (read more)

Your price $17.95
New - Hardcover
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November 15
Selected by Marcia from Boston, Massachusetts
The Blood of the Lamb
The Blood of the Lamb
by Peter De Vries

Marcia's Comments:
"Unflinching, raw exploration of a heartbreaking story - told in clean, sparse prose. There are several moments when this prose descends on you like a lightning bolt and leaves you forever altered." (read more)

Your price $14.00
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November 16
Selected by Mary from New York, New York
Mary won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
Pnin (04 Edition)
Pnin (04 Edition)
by Vladimir Nabokov

Mary's Comments:
"[D]elightful novel, about an absent minded professor in a university almost totally at sea with his own preoccupations and research....[S]o well written and touching, a great Nabokovian gem." (read more)

Your price $11.00
Used - Hardcover
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November 17
Selected by Cynthia from Portland, Oregon
Water Steps
Water Steps
by A Lafaye

Cynthia's Comments:
"Just as Kyna's adoptive parents fill her with stories of magical creatures from their native Ireland -- silkies, fairies and leprechauns -- her story has a hint of magic as well. You'll find yourself cheering for Kyna with every water step she takes. And you'll love the Irish myths woven into along with a little bit of mystery too. Good discussion points for mother-daughter book clubs reading Water Steps include overcoming fears, friendship, acceptance, and courage. Recommended for book clubs with girls aged 9 to 12." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 18
Selected by Bev from Portland, Oregon
Bev won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming
by Joshilyn Jackson

Bev's Comments:
"Joshilyn Jackson is the kind of writer we all dream of being. Every description contains scents and sounds and connections that leave the reader no choice but to become a part of the book. The plot of her book is compelling and sufficiently twisted, but the experience of living inside it is extraordinary." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 19
Selected by Kelly from Toms River, New Jersey
Secret Lives of Great Authors: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Famous Novelists, Poets, and Playwrights
Secret Lives of Great Authors: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Famous Novelists, Poets, and Playwrights
by Robert Schnakenberg

Kelly's Comments:
"Very funny. Clever and insightful....a fun read for someone who loves English!" (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 20
Selected by Richard from Mount Holly, New Jersey
Smoke and Spice:Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue (Revised Edition)
Smoke and Spice:Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue (Revised Edition)
by Cheryl and Bill Jamison

Richard's Comments:
"This is a pleasure to read, and use. It starts with excellent guidance on equipment and techniques. This is followed by many easy-to-use recipes that are also great guides even for non-smoke cooking. And for fun there are lots of anecdotes and historical-fun boxes interspersed. If you haven't done this style of cooking, this gem will convert you." (read more)

Your price $8.95
Used - Trade Paper
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November 21
Selected by Jeremy from Downey, California
Jeremy won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World
by Kevin Kelly

Jeremy 's Comments:
"AWESOME READ. [T]his book covers so much ground; it's really accessible too. [R]eading this book really opens your mind. [F]or me as a designer it's a real source of design inspiration. It's great!" (read more)

Your price $6.50
Used - Trade Paper
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November 22
Selected by Steven from Albany, New York
Steven won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend
The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend
by Ed Young

Steven's Comments:
"[B]eautifully illustrated in a simple style that accents the story without distracting from it, and is a wonderful window into Chinese folklore and culture. But more importantly, it speaks to the fundamental truth that all children have their own strengths and their own path." (read more)

Your price $19.99
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November 23
Selected by Shirley from Morriston, Florida
Sweeping Up Glass
Sweeping Up Glass
by Carolyn D. Wall

Shirley 's Comments:
"Wow! I read the fantastic claims on the cover, never expected to call them understatements. The critic for The Boston Globe compared this novel to To Kill A Mockingbird. Well, he is wrong, this book pulls you into the story much better than that. Maybe it's the fact that this book is a "coming of age" story about a grandmother. Some of us have epiphanies as teens, but some of the larger life changes happen after we think we have already grown up. This book leads to that type of change." (read more)

Your price $3.50
Used - Trade Paper
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November 24
Selected by Tavy from Campobello, South Carolina
Zany Miscellany
Zany Miscellany
by Tom Jackson

Tavy's Comments:
"This book is cool! My students love it! Fun and full of information!" (read more)

Your price $7.50
Used - Hardcover
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November 25
Selected by Ronald from Seattle, Washington
Ronald won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (P.S.)
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (P.S.)
by Simon Winchester

Ronald's Comments:
"The Professor and the Madman....is not only an interesting account of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, but carries with it the story of George Merrett's accidental murder on February 17, 1872, by William Chester Minor in Victorian London's crime-ridden Lambeth Marsh." (read more)

Your price $4.95
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November 26
Selected by Samuel from Lafayette, Louisiana
No More Prisons
No More Prisons
by William Upski Wimsatt

Samuel's Comments:
"Nailed it." (read more)

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Used - Trade Paper
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November 27
Selected by Carly from Portland, Oregon
Carly won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy #01)
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy #01)
by James Dashner

Carly's Comments:
"An excellent YA novel and such a page turner! James Dashner has created an eerie blend of Lord of the Flies and Hunger Games. I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced, can't-put-down book." (read more)

Your price $16.99
New - Hardcover
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November 28
Selected by Alice from Phoenix, Arizona
Alice won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Day My Butt Went Psycho!
The Day My Butt Went Psycho!
by Andy Griffiths

Alice's Comments:
"This book is awesome! I'm a guy and what guy doesn't like a book with "butt" in it? It makes me laugh!" (read more)

Your price $1.95
Used - Trade Paper
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November 29
Selected by Trevor from Greenville, South Carolina
Trevor won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Housekeeper and the Professor
The Housekeeper and the Professor
by Yoko Ogawa

Trevor's Comments:
"This book is a serendipity, like a flower growing through the cracks of a cement sidewalk. Ogawa's lowly housekeeper, broken math professor, and latchkey kid show the essence of being human - building community in the midst of loneliness, finding hope in the midst of despair, being human in the midst of inhumanity." (read more)

Your price $8.00
Used - Trade Paper
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November 30
Selected by Melissa from Berryville, Virginia
The Awakener: A Memoir of Jack Kerouac and the Fifties
The Awakener: A Memoir of Jack Kerouac and the Fifties
by Helen Weaver

Melissa's Comments:
"Helen Weaver's candid memoir of life in Greenwich Village in the 1950's is a compelling read and an inside view into some of the major Beat Generation writers and artists. I had the opportunity to read a pre-publication copy and I couldn't put it down." (read more)

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