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December 01
Selected by Kali from Portland, Oregon
Jitterbug Perfume
Jitterbug Perfume


Kali's Comments:
"Rereading this book makes me feel whole again. Robbins at his best." (read more)


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December 02
Selected by Diana from Cleona, Pennsylvania
The Land of Painted Caves
The Land of Painted Caves
by Jean M. Auel

Diana's Comments:
"[The Land of Painted Caves] is truly up to [Jean Auel's] specialty... [S]he is truly a master of her art. I have truly enjoyed Ayala and have been glad to see the progression in her life. Thank you Jean... [T]his truly has been a labor of love for you and a treasure for me to behold." (read more)

Your price $4.95
Used - Hardcover
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December 03
Selected by Howard from Kinder, Louisiana
Timeline
Timeline
by Michael Crichton

Howard 's Comments:
"I have always been a loyal fan of Science Fiction. Just about any Technology that can be named owes much of its origin to those who think about the possibilities which leap far beyond the known boundaries of what is. I believe Michael Crichton is one of the Masters, one who helps to shape our future and provide food for thought to our engineers and scientists." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 04
Selected by Ron from Hanover Township, Pennsylvania
Horns
Horns
by Joe Hill

Ron's Comments:
"What would you do if you woke up one morning and found horns sprouting from your forehead? And if those horns gave you a new ability? Tune in and find out in this excellent novel." (read more)

Your price $5.50
Used - Trade Paper
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December 05
Selected by Kate from Los Angeles, California
Kate won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $100.
Invisible Cities
Invisible Cities
by Italo Calvino

Kate's Comments:
"A timeless novella in a series of prose poems, translated from the original Italian, in which explorer Marco Polo talks with Kublai Khan and described for him 55 imaginary cities he's seen on his travels. Each chapter in this slim book is a short, beautiful burst of language." (read more)

Your price $7.98
Sale - Trade Paper
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December 06
Selected by Alan from Los Gatos, California
Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?
Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?
by Baxter Black

Alan's Comments:
"This is good knee slapping, jaw dropping good old fashioned fun. To this day I use some of the phrases in this book. I love a good book that can make me chuckle, laugh and hold my belly. Baxter at his best. Anyone who reads this or has an opportunity to listen to the audio is in for a real treat. Try it. You won't be disappointed." (read more)

Your price $3.50
Used - Trade Paper
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December 07
Selected by Joseph from Redmond, Washington
Joseph won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
This Beautiful Life
This Beautiful Life
by Helen Schulman

Joseph's Comments:
"I picked up This Beautiful Life after seeing that it was named as one of the NY Times 100 Notable Books of 2011. To be honest, I didn't recall hearing about this book during the year but am happy I picked it up now as it was a very good read....The story itself centers around the Bergamont family who have moved from a typical small, intimate, earthy college town to big city New York where the father, Richard, is appointed to a job at a mythical New York university (to be honest the job is quite nefarious in nature)....Their son Jake is a typical teenager with the same lusts and desires as any other boy his age. He is forwarded an explicit video from a younger girl who likes him...and it goes viral. The rest of the story talks about the disintegration of their family structure and how such a small mistake led to such big consequences. I felt the author did a great job making the reader think. She challenges the reader to keep asking "Is this really fair what is happening to Jake or to his family?" The book is an easy read and well worth your time." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Hardcover
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December 08
Selected by M from Mill Valley, California
Wildwood Signed Special Edition
Wildwood Signed Special Edition
by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis

M's Comments:
"This is a lovely story and the drawings are whimsical and really add to the story telling." (read more)

Your price $75.00
New - Hardcover
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December 09
Selected by Sue from Pleasant Hill, California
Sue won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
1Q84
1Q84
by Haruki Murakami

Sue's Comments:
"I don't remember how I got turned on to Haruki Murakami -- but I'm so glad that it happened. I've sought out his other books and short stories. I actually paid full price for this book at the airport because I couldn't wait to dig in. This was no short story. It took me a solid,exciting month of bedtime reading to finish. I love how Murakami references rock music -- Tengo wearing a Jeff Beck tee shirt....A wonderful book from a masterful writer." (read more)

Your price $14.95
Used - Hardcover
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December 10
Selected by Stephan from Portland, Oregon
Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes
by Frank Mccourt

Stephan's Comments:
"Angela's Ashes is a book about struggle. It is a memoir of the many obstacles that Frank McCourt overcame during his childhood. Most of the story is set in Limerick, Ireland. The majority of the book takes place during the 1930s. Frank is the main character of the book, but his family members (including his parents and many siblings) are very important as well because of the roles they play in trying to survive. Frank's family constantly struggles with their extreme poverty and barely gets by. As a child Frank is well aware of his family's poverty and he knows how hard things are for his mother especially. Frank does his best to help out the family. Frank works hard to find and keep jobs. When the family is especially desperate, he sometimes steals food, just so they can have something to eat. However, Frank also has a childish side to him, when he goes on adventures that the adults do not approve of. These adventures include taking apples from an orchard and being chased away by an angry farmer. Frank's two-sidedness makes him interesting to read about and easy to relate to. Frank's mother is perhaps the character who suffers the most. In addition to her family's extreme poverty she loses three of her children, all of whom died at a very young age. She cares a great deal about her children and is very persistent in her efforts to support them, doing everything she can to put food on the table. Frank's mother gets all of the help that she can from her own mother and from Frank's aunt. Although she doesn't like it, she often has to beg for food and money because things are so desperate. Because of how hard Frank's mother works and because of the extent of her suffering, it is very hard not to feel sorry for her. Frank's father is quite the opposite from his mother, as it is very difficult to feel sorry for him. Frank's father is the reason for many of the family's problems. He spends almost all of the family's money on alcohol. He makes many promises to change, but he never does. Frank's mother always gives him another chance, but each time he leaves her more and more discouraged and desperate. McCourt's writing style is interesting. He tells his stories based on what he remembers. When he does not remember everything, he makes up specific details that make his story seem more genuine and make it more interesting to read. He is always very honest about his thoughts and feelings. An example of this is shown in the following excerpt, where McCourt describes what was going through his mind, when he stole bread and lemonade to help his mother when she got sick. He writes "It's wrong to steal from Kathleen with the way she's always good to us but if I go in and ask her for bread she'll be annoyed and tell me I'm ruining her morning cup of tea, which she'd like to have in peace ease and comfort thank you. It's easier to stick the bread up under my jersey with the lemonade and promise to tell everything in confession." McCourt's honesty is refreshing as it makes his story seem much very personal. Overall, Angela's Ashes is a book that is worth reading. The combination of honesty, details, and fascinating life stories is very intriguing. This combination creates a book that achieves two goals: convincing readers that they are better off than they think, and giving people who are struggling hope of a better life. The book could be inspiring to a poor audience, and also engaging and interesting for other audiences. It can be appreciated by almost anyone." (read more)

Your price $5.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 11
Selected by Garret from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada,
Garret won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Debt: The First 5,000 Years
Debt: The First 5,000 Years
by David Graeber

Garret's Comments:
"This book is an education in and of itself! As the title implies, Graeber leads us through millenia in surveying the economic history of civilization. The results provide serious food for thought as the necessity of a new global financial order becomes more and more obvious. Precisely calculated debt and the casting of repayment as a grave moral issue enabled acceptance of the previously unthinkable: that the value of human beings could be denominated in money and employed as such in the settling of accounts. This timely and chilling history of debt provides a solid foundation for those eager to imagine and realize a more humane and equitable account of the economic side of human society." (read more)


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December 12
Selected by Jeanne from Portland, Oregon
Jeanne won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Waterlily
Waterlily
by Ella Cara Deloria

Jeanne's Comments:
"This book made a lasting impression on me. I guarantee it is unlike any other you have read....What I find now, years later, is that I remember the details and impact of the book far more than any other I have read in recent years. The author wrote it not only to share the life-changing events in the heroine's story, but also the mundane. Her intent, as an academic and as a Lakotah, was to leave us with a better understanding of the life of her people before and in the early stages of the white man's influence. While the book was not "difficult" reading, I did have to suppress my expectation and desire for the book to follow the patterns of typical fiction. But as a result, when the book ended I had a more complete "relationship" with Waterlily. She was fascinating. I still think of her frequently." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 13
Selected by Shalaena from Portland, Oregon
Shalaena won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
11/22/63
11/22/63
by Stephen King

Shalaena's Comments:
"This is one of King's best books! This book will have you turning the pages as quick as you can! King has such a fertile imagination. This is the best book King has put out in years!! Pick up a copy today!" (read more)

Your price $12.50
Used - Hardcover
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December 14
Selected by Jo from Arlington, Massachusetts
Jo won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman

Jo's Comments:
"Thoughtfully written, like most of Neil Gaiman's books it takes you around a left turn, through a side door and offers a perspective both skewed and beautiful. Oh sure, it's a story about a child but it's also a story that can hold a 40-something-year old's interest as well. It is a dark and sweet look at a person whose upbringing is non-traditional and who finds his way through the world...s. A well crafted story where the traditionally scary things, are not scary and the traditionally normal things, aren't that either. I enjoyed it a great deal, I think you might as well." (read more)

Your price $29.95
New - Compact Disc
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December 15
Selected by Kaitlyn from Portland, Oregon
Kaitlyn won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Cooked: My Journey from the Streets to the Stove
Cooked: My Journey from the Streets to the Stove
by Jeff Henderson

Kaitlyn's Comments:
"Chef Jeff Henderson's autobiographical memoir, Cooked, is exemplary proof that it is possible for an author to provide an inspiring message without sounding preachy and repetitive. Cooked follows Henderson's rise and fall (and rise again), starting with his affiliation with hustlers and drug dealers, to being one of the top crack cocaine dealers in San Diego by his 23rd birthday, to his arrest and eventually his ascent into the culinary industry. A main focus of the memoir is Henderson's process of self-realization. Throughout the book, Henderson manages to maintain a casual, yet professional writing style that keeps the story interesting and easy to read, and keeps Henderson's message clear without leaving the reader as though they have just been lectured by a parent. I had a blast reading Cooked, and would certainly recommend it to anyone, especially those with a passion for cooking or for motivated and relatable main characters." (read more)

Your price $7.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 16
Selected by Wendy from Portland, Oregon
Leviathan
Leviathan
by Scott Westerfeld

Wendy's Comments:
"Leviathan is the first book in Scott Westerfeld's amazing steampunk trilogy that begins with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Westerfeld's alternate history version of the event pits the Clankers (those who wage war with huge, armored, steam-powered weapons) against the Darwinists (who create living, breathing, fabricated "beasties" for the same purpose)....This book was absolutely outstanding." (read more)

Your price $6.00
Used - Trade Paper
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December 17
Selected by Nikki from Portland, Oregon
Nikki won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Color of Magic (Discworld #01)
The Color of Magic (Discworld #01)
by Terry Pratchett

Nikki's Comments:
"I really enjoyed this book! I am a big fan of fantasy and humor and TP does not disappoint with The Color of Magic. I saw the movie before I read the book -- and was surprised to see that the movie was pretty accurate (although obviously not as detailed as the book can be). Really liked reading this and look forward to exploring more novels from TP." (read more)

Your price $7.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 18
Selected by Cicely from Yachats, Oregon
Cicely won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
by Ann Voskamp

Cicely's Comments:
"This book is poetically written and I find it so easy to read and relate to this woman. She writes honestly and passionately about her journey as a mother and all the ups and downs. I learned a great deal from reading this book...things that have helped me in my daily life...to be happier, more content, and more at peace. I am so thankful I found this book when I did, because I truly needed her and the support she gives through this book....I recommend it for anyone looking for a true, workable way to find more happiness in daily life. It's all about gratitude." (read more)

Your price $11.50
Used - Hardcover
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December 19
Selected by Anne from Gaithersburg, Maryland
Anne won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Family Man
The Family Man
by Elinor Lipman

Anne's Comments:
"I've read all of Elinor Lipman's books and enjoyed every one, but three of them stand out, and this is one of them....In The Family Man, Henry, a middle-aged gay man, is accidentally reunited with Thalia, the adopted daughter whose custody he'd relinquished years before. Despite their differences -- he's a well-to-do retired lawyer and she's a struggling, unsuccessful actress -- they become friends....As always with Lipman, the characters seem so real that you want to meet them, and the dialogue sparkles with truth and wit. There's a happy ending for every character, but it doesn't seem contrived. I hated to put down this book." (read more)

Your price $5.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 20
Selected by Helen from Waterville, New York
Helen won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Last Town on Earth
The Last Town on Earth
by Thomas Mullen

Helen's Comments:
"Although this is a first novel it is surprisingly well researched and polished. It has won more than one prize including the Fennimore prize for historical fiction. The book is set in the state of Washington during the last year of WWI and the flu epidemic. It celebrates the American genius for eccentricity, moral courage, and the march to a different drummer....[A]n interesting contrast to Camus' The Plague but of equal moral worth." (read more)

Your price $2.50
Used - Trade Paper
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December 21
Selected by Alan from Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Life as We Knew It
Life as We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Alan's Comments:
"Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is an amazing book about a family that tries to survive a crisis. Everything changed when an enormous asteroid hit the moon out of it axis....Miranda is in high school when the international disaster occurs....[She] tries to live out her life as normally possible. Her brother teaches her how to ski in case of an emergency. During winter, which was caused by volcanic eruptions, she visits friends and skates just as she used to. She lives in a house that has no electricity, no heat, and is very cold due to subzero temperatures....Life As We Knew It is a very sad and depressing, but just as you're about to cry something happens that makes you smile and/or laugh. Miranda makes it to be a year older, but the question is how long will it be until everything is back to normal or how long is Miranda's family going to survive. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what's going to happen next. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an amazing book." (read more)

Your price $3.98
Sale - Trade Paper
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December 22
Selected by Amber from Portland, Oregon
Amber won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Help
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

Amber's Comments:
"[A]wesome book and just as awesome as a movie... It really touched my heart and even made me tear up at times. I highly recommend everyone reads it....It definitely makes you think about how times were before Martin Luther King and makes me thankful that things have changed and progressed so much. This book is also very humorous. It's a reminder of how we should make a stand for what we believe in....[A] must read... You'll love it!" (read more)

Your price $2.50
Used - Trade Paper
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December 23
Selected by Sari from Riverside, California
Sari won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Your Presence Is Requested at Suvanto
Your Presence Is Requested at Suvanto
by Maile Chapman

Sari's Comments:
"Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto is a creepy, compelling novel that makes the most out of its location: Finland. Something is amiss at the sanitarium beside the Baltic Sea. As the wealthy ladies dine on rye bread and cheese and patter beside the windows and as the days grow shorter, the feeling of impending doom increases. I would recommend this novel for anyone who has read and enjoyed Iris Murdoch's The Bell." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 24
Selected by Jim from Fresno, CA
Jim won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America
Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America
by Eric Jay Dolin

Jim's Comments:
"This is one of those "page turners" that will make you ask why we didn't learn history this way in school. It's history AND an adventure story. You'd be amazed at the many things in American history that were influenced by the fur trade. Pilgrims traded for furs. The Lewis and Clark expedition was to ensure we would control the west for the fur trade. Astoria, Oregon, settled as a fur trading post in 1811 making it the oldest American city west of the Rockies. Those are just a few. I'm a real history fan, and it's interesting to view the effect of pursuing a commodity on historic events. If you enjoyed reading Cod, or Leviathan, then you will really enjoy Fur, Fortune, and Empire. It is a well researched, and well written, book." (read more)

Your price $9.95
Used - Hardcover
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December 25
Selected by Jasmine from Chula Vista, California
Jasmine won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
by Donalyn Miller

Jasmine's Comments:
"I absolutely loved this book. It was on my to-read list for the longest time and once the school year ended in June, I finally had the time and energy to read teaching-related books....This book was everything I was hoping for and more. This is the book I wish I was around when I first started teaching....It was an fantastic read and I highly recommend it to teachers who love reading and want to create a classroom of lifelong readers. While it shared some theory and education philosophies, it definitely provided a lot of practical tips and ideas that were easy to implement into my classroom. The way Miller writes makes you feel like you're having coffee with an old friend. Her love of reading pours out of this book and it is so contagious, you can help but catch it and want to pass it on. Get this book now, you won't be disappointed!" (read more)

Your price $24.95
New - Trade Paper
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December 26
Selected by Connie from Vancouver, Washington
Connie won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Rules of Civility
Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles

Connie 's Comments:
"What an incredible read; this is one of those rare books that I read more and more slowly because I didn't want it to end. How can a male writer know so well what is in his female characters' minds, particularly that of his main character Katey Kontent. This is truly a rags to riches to rags (at least in one case) ride that will either take you back to your own flaming youth, or it will catch you up in anticipating what may lie ahead...I want more from Amor Towles." (read more)

Your price $4.95
Used - Hardcover
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December 27
Selected by Victoria from Hillsboro, Oregon
Galway Bay
Galway Bay
by Mary Pat Kelly

Victoria's Comments:
"Mary Pat Kelly created a world in which, unfortunately, my relatives also lived in right in Galway. I was so moved by this book, I could not stop reading it even when it was searing my senses. My husband, good man that he is, got me a signed copy for Christmas the year it came out. It holds a treasured spot on my bookshelf. Some day, I will have the courage to read it again, and remember what my family went through. Thank you Mary Kelly." (read more)

Your price $7.95
Used - Hardcover
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December 28
Selected by Patricia M. from Genoa, New York
Middlesex (Oprah's Book Club Selection #58)
Middlesex (Oprah's Book Club Selection #58)
by Jeffrey Eugenides

Patricia M.'s Comments:
"If you've read all the overviews and reviews and you still haven't picked up and read this book -- too bad -- you don't know what you're missing....open it, I dare you to put it down. I was really astonished as to the approach of the subject and the added angst of a young person growing up and finding that an amazing new conflict of judgement and choice has added a different twist to life between childhood and becoming a young adult. The main character, and eventually a loving family find a new normalcy. It would be really wonderful if more people could pass by snap judgements as to differences and approach each other with greater depth and acceptance." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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December 29
Selected by Melissa from Florence, South Carolina
The Pawn (Patrick Bowers)
The Pawn (Patrick Bowers)
by Steven James

Melissa's Comments:
"Steven James has created a wonderful series with the Patrick Bower books. I was looking for another author to read while I waited for the new Ted Dekker book to come out. Boy did I find a great one....James' book are suspenseful and yet not unrealistic. I bought one of his books for my little brother for his birthday. He took it on vacation with him and finished it not even two days after he got it in the mail. I have read The Pawn and The Rook and can't wait to get another one in the series. A must read author for everybody!" (read more)

Your price $4.95
Used - Mass Market
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December 30
Selected by Deborah from Boulder Creek, California
First Day on Earth
First Day on Earth
by Cecil Castellucci

Deborah's Comments:
"I've long thought that one reason we love stories about aliens (or sentient nonhuman creatures) is that at one time or another, we've all felt like aliens ourselves. I know I have, and I'll bet that just about everyone who's survived adolescence has, too. (The "just about" is a hedge in case there are, somewhere in the world, people who just sailed through; I'm willing to allow for the possibility, even if I don't know any of them.) Cecil Castellucci takes that experience and whirls it around in a blender with the mythos of alien abduction and a protagonist who's not only smart but has to face a whole lot more than many of us....The characters are uncompromising, the prose cuts right to the core, and I devoured the book in one sitting. Not just for teens, First Day on Earth is both gritty and lyrical, subtle and over-the-top. It shows with poignant eloquence how the symbols and tropes of speculative fiction can convey our deepest human experiences." (read more)

Your price $3.50
Used - Hardcover
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December 31
Selected by Susan from Portland, Oregon
Susan won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $100.
Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death, and Life in New Orleans
Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death, and Life in New Orleans
by Dan Baum

Susan's Comments:
"If you've ever been to New Orleans, or are thinking about going, or love the series Treme, this book is required reading. Former New Yorker writer Dan Baum takes you to New Orleans with the pre- and post-Katrina stories of 9 wildly diverse New Orleanians. Baum brilliantly allows his 9 interviewees to weave a history lesson (Hurricane Betsy, Mardi Gras Indians, Krews, second lines) into their personal stories of the devastating impact Katrina had on the people, built environment, and culture of this amazing city." (read more)

Your price $10.95
Used - Trade Paper
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