Tournament of Books 2015
 
 

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July 01
Selected by Allison from Forest Grove, Oregon
Tiger's Curse
Tiger's Curse
by Colleen Houck

Allison's Comments:
"This book was very good, filled with action and romance. Kelsey, the heroine, meets a tiger named Dhiren while working at a circus. Little does she know that Dhiren is really a Indian prince with a three century old curse on him. She is swept [away on] a fantastical journey that will make you want to read the book over and over again." (read more)

Your price $9.95
Used - Hardcover
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July 02
Selected by Katie from Portland, Oregon
Thanks for the Memories
Thanks for the Memories
by Cecelia Ahern

Katie's Comments:
"I loved this book! The characters and the story were absolutely endearing. Once I got started, I couldn't stop reading until I reached the end." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 03
Selected by Beth from Portland, Oregon
Beth won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
The Hunger Games Trilogy (Boxed Set)
The Hunger Games Trilogy (Boxed Set)
by Suzanne Collins

Beth's Comments:
"Don't pick up the first book unless you are ready to power through all 3. They read as one long novel anyway and are nearly impossible to put down, even after the end of the last chapter. Though touted for adolescents, this trilogy leaves even jaded adults with much to ponder. You will fall in love with Katniss the protagonist and both her suitors, and your heart will ache with the final blow her young self. Beautiful and intense, this has been the best read I've had in a long time." (read more)

Your price $26.00
Used - Set Hardcover
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July 04
Selected by Mary from Charlottesville, Virginia
Mary won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The House at Riverton
The House at Riverton
by Kate Morton

Mary's Comments:
"What an astounding author debut! Kate Morton makes the World War I era as vital as today's. Grace is a young housemaid who becomes a close friend to the eldest daughter of Riverton House. Hannah is beautiful and privileged but yearns for adventure....I won't reveal more but I will say this is the best novel I have read in a very long time.It is one of the special ones you don't want to end." (read more)

Your price $3.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 05
Selected by C from North Van, British Columbia, Canada
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
by Deborah Madison

C's Comments:
"This is the cookbook I refer to and purchase as a gift for others who enjoy cooking. When shopping for groceries, if I get into a conversation with other shoppers about recipes, this is the cookbook I highly recommend. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone was given to me by my sister who also loves to cook with new recipes. It was after having the mushroom lasagna at her home, that I requested to have a copy. The footnotes on the side are another bonus to help even the novice accomplish outstanding dishes." (read more)

Your price $15.98
Sale - Hardcover
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July 06
Selected by Drew from Coos Bay, Oregon
Drew won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Hunger (Gone)
Hunger (Gone)
by Michael Grant

Drew's Comments:
"Not quite as good as Gone, but that was a hard act to follow up. I think that while Hunger was the main focus of the book, Grant could have expanded on foreshadowing for the rest of the books and building relationships and tensions between a few of the characters. My advice on this one would have to be READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!!!!" (read more)

Your price $4.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 07
Selected by Deborah from Portland, Oregon
Deborah won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
I Spy with My Little Eye
I Spy with My Little Eye
by Edward Gibbs

Deborah's Comments:
"Tonight I read this gorgeous guessing book to two small sisters clad in pajamas. Each page gave a clue: I spy with my little eye...something gray. It has a long trunk... "Elephant!" shouted Zoe, three years old. Anya, only two, hedged until I turned the page to reveal Gibbs' wonderfully creased elephant. "Rhinoceros!" she yelled. We pondered large leathery beasts. The girls' baby curls glowed in the slanty evening sunshine. They hippety-hopped up and down, riveted by the dramatic tension. We turned another page. I spy... something red. It has a bushy tail... Both girls were stumped, so we flipped the page to discover a vivid scarlet fox splashed across the full acreage. "Fox!" screamed Zoe, while without hesitation her sister hollered, "Dolphin!" True story. Splendid book." (read more)


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July 08
Selected by Camilla from Portland, Oregon
Camilla won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Putting Makeup on Dead People
Putting Makeup on Dead People
by Jen Violi

Camilla's Comments:
"I loved this book! To put it simply, I just couldn't put it down...and when I did, I kept coming back. Jen Violi's novel was funny and fresh and really spoke to what's relevant in a teenage girl's life: grieving a lost parent definitely, and also the desire to have a real friendship, learning about yourself as a sexual being, the struggle inherent in a relationship with your mom, and figuring out what the hell you want to do with your life. Her characters were warm and real and made the book an absolute delight. Read it...and recommend it to the young adults you know." (read more)

Your price $8.95
Used - Hardcover
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July 09
Selected by Colleen from South Hadley, Massachusetts
Huntress
Huntress
by Malinda Lo

Colleen's Comments:
"Amazing book. I couldn't put it down. Vivid storytelling. The author created an entirely new and interesting world. Don't be fooled by the young adult category, this book can be enjoyed by people of all ages." (read more)

Your price $9.95
Used - Hardcover
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July 10
Selected by K from Portland, Oregon
The Cellist of Sarajevo
The Cellist of Sarajevo
by Steven Galloway

K's Comments:
"This is not a book I would have picked up on the scores of shelves at Powell's. The Cellist of Sarajevo was lent to my fiancee who never read it, and having just finished a book with nothing to read I picked it up. I am glad I did. This was a well written little novel....I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy read, one which also makes you think. You can't help but feel compassion for others and have a greater appreciation for your own life." (read more)


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July 11
Selected by K from Portland, Oregon
K won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
The History of Love: A Novel
The History of Love: A Novel
by Nicole Krauss

K's Comments:
"Let me start by saying I'm not a writer or a huge reader. I like to read a chapter or two before bed at night. Some books I never get through, few books I find hard to put down. This book was somewhere in between. I enjoyed the charters, which is a must. I enjoyed the realness this book offered. Did it make me laugh out loud or cry? No. And though I will not run to grab another Krauss novel, I did finish The History of Love and didn't feel I wasted my time. Best put, it was a fairly easy, it's a sit on the porch on a summer day read." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 12
Selected by Virginia from Clifton Forge, Virginia
Virginia won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
The Soldier's Wife
The Soldier's Wife
by Margaret Leroy

Virginia's Comments:
"I have just read a wonderful book which brought home to me how precious freedom really is, and how high the cost is of preserving that freedom. The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy is a thoughtful, well-told tale based on the true German occupation of the small Channel Island of Guernsey during World War II. After I read the novel, I researched the facts of the occupation, and the real story is just as compelling as the fictional account." (read more)

Your price $6.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 13
Selected by Ashley from Providence, RI
Ashley won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Pox: An American History
Pox: An American History
by Michael Willrich

Ashley's Comments:
"I simply loved this book. Willrich does an incredible job blending legal, public health, and cultural history. He manages to be critical of the Progressive movement without sounding anti-reform or anti-progress....The information about how the US used vaccination as a tool of empire/war was also new to me and Willrich's insights are very thought provoking. I cannot tell you how often I wrote a "!" in the margin or flipped to the back to write a note to myself. The book is incredibly well researched and organized....I cannot recommend this book enough to someone who wants to learn more about public health's early days, the early anti-vaccine movement, or the Progressive era." (read more)

Your price $9.95
Used - Hardcover
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July 14
Selected by Dana from Portland, Oregon
Dana won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students
Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students
by Mignon Fogarty

Dana's Comments:
"I love Grammar Girl's podcasts, and frequently refer to them to settle an argument or teach a grammar point to kids. I loved her first guide to better writing, and tried using small chunks with my students who could understand grammar at that level. I recently received an advanced reader's copy of her new writing guide for students, and continue to put Mignon Fogarty on a pedestal....She mixes formal grammar vocabulary with informal references and explanations, boiling things down to what we really need to know....I think her humor, her matter-of-fact-ness, and her unapologetic interest in all things language make this an excellent book to have." (read more)

Your price $7.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 15
Selected by Owen from Eugene, Oregon
Owen won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
by Aric McBay and Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen

Owen's Comments:
"This is hardly the first book to acknowledge the desperation of our current predicament....What is different about Deep Green Resistance is that it is the first book that offers a solution that is scaled to the size of our predicament....If we are going to save this sickly planet, we are going to need to organize ourselves squarely against systems of power, and fight them as hard as we can. The authors of this book have clearly thought long and hard about how we need to organize, how we need to strategize, and what sort of pitfalls we need to watch out for. If you love this planet as much as I do, I hope you read this book and take what it has to say to heart. We will need all the heart and courage that we can muster." (read more)

Your price $12.00
Used - Trade Paper
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July 16
Selected by Scott from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Go, Mutants!
Go, Mutants!
by Larry Doyle

Scott's Comments:
"Larry Doyle might be the only author in the world who can write a parody of 1950's science fiction and teen rebellion movies at the same time....The humor is varied and satisfying. Biologically specific musings on the protagonists awkwardly goopy adolescent changes? Simpsons-style pop culture allusions that span across three decades of history, music, and movies? Doyle fits it all in without bogging down an engrossing plot....If you take the time to check a dictionary for the scattered but challengingly specific vocabulary Doyle's narrator uses, it's even funnier and more dazzling due to the narrative structure. I read this over three nights, each evening forcing myself to put the book down. A truly funny book." (read more)

Your price $5.50
Used - Hardcover
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July 17
Selected by Audra from Boston, Massachusetts
Audra won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72
The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72
by Molly Peacock

Audra's Comments:
"A really gorgeous piece of creative non-fiction: a memoir, biography, and cultural history rolled up in to one. Molly Peacock brings poetry to her narrative about the woman who essentially invented collage, interspersing Mrs. Delaney's story with snippets from her own life. Fans of formal biographies will be annoyed that Peacock doesn't disguise herself; in fact, she comments openly on what she learns, and I for one loved it. It was like having dinner with a friend who has been on a fascinating research jag. Also, I just have to note that this hardcover has a marvelous 'hand feel': it's smaller than the average hardcover, but has lovely heft, glossy pages, and full page color plates. It's a treat to own!" (read more)


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July 18
Selected by Chris from Eugene, Oregon
The Next Best Thing
The Next Best Thing
by Kristan Higgins

Chris's Comments:
"The first three pages or so made me think that I'd select the wrong book for a quick vacation read. I was wrong. I haven't read anything by this author before and now I am a new fan. I enjoyed the way she developed the relationships between the sisters, their mother and their aunts. Was nice to feel the small town vibes of an island town just outside of a large city. Love, food, loss, jealousy, and family. Interactions that we all experience. Hope you will enjoy the book, too." (read more)

Your price $3.50
Used - Mass Market
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July 19
Selected by Carla from Vanderbilt, Michigan
Last Night in Twisted River
Last Night in Twisted River
by John Irving

Carla's Comments:
"I absolutely loved this book...This is John Irving, this is how he writes; I love reading his books because I like the way John Irving writes.He doesn't hand everything to you on a silver platter; he makes you think and desire to get in his thoughts. In my opinion the way to successfully write is to write words down in the order that makes a person fee -- and feel strongly....John Irving doesn't write ; he is an artist; and he creates art....Mr.Irving is beautiful. He makes me cry; he makes me love; and he even makes me laugh when I am the only one in the room!" (read more)

Your price $4.95
Used - Hardcover
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July 20
Selected by Ellen from Pontiac, MI
The Curfew (Vintage Contemporaries)
The Curfew (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Jesse Ball

Ellen's Comments:
"In The Curfew Jesse Ball has another beautifully written story with the feel of a fairy tale. Considering the state of the world lately, the dystopian future may be on its way. An excellent read — I devoured it." (read more)

Your price $9.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 21
Selected by Sarah Joyce from Richmond, Kentucky
Everything Beautiful Began After
Everything Beautiful Began After
by Simon Van Booy

Sarah Joyce's Comments:
"I fell in love with Everything Beautiful Began After after having just read the Prologue and the rest of the book did not disappoint. Simon Van Booy's beautiful poetic language is stunning and his descriptions require the reader to pause and take a deep breath to take them in. The characters are so well developed that one cannot help but love and care deeply for them. It is fascinating to watch as they argue over the existence of fate while we quietly witness fate take its toll on each of them. There is a sense of unpredictability, an unknowing that keeps the pages turning....If you want to be swept away into a beautiful love story with writing that literally takes you there as a silent witness to the unfolding lives of the characters, this book is definitely for you. I wanted to continue inside the world Van Booy created with this novel so much that I actually got up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about it, and continued reading until it was finished." (read more)

Your price $7.50
Used - Trade Paper
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July 22
Selected by Esrah from Victoria, British Columbia, , Canada,
Esrah won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $100.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Vintage)
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Vintage)
by Christopher McDougall

Esrah's Comments:
"I read this book about a month ago, and I haven't stopped talking about it since. I've recommended it to all my friends (runners and non-runners alike) and many of them have picked it up! I've been wearing barefoot running shoes for almost a year now, and I've just started trail running. You can use your mp3 player all you want to pump you up, but nothing does it for me like this book. Science, sports and adventure all wrapped in to one with a little history to boot! Needless to say, this book is a great read for anyone." (read more)

Your price $10.50
Used - Trade Paper
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July 23
Selected by Josh from Arroyo Grande, California
Josh won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
by Donovan Hohn

Josh's Comments:
"On the surface, this book is the true story of nearly 30,000 plastic bath toys that escaped from a giant container ship and spent the next decade circling the ocean, much to the delight of beachcombers and to the dismay of environmentalists. What makes it a great read is the sense of wonder that Hohn captures, on topics ranging from the pollution caused by plastics to the science of mapping underwater currents." (read more)

Your price $14.00
Used - Hardcover
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July 24
Selected by Angela from Portland, Oregon
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
by Anne Rice as A. N. Roquelaure

Angela's Comments:
"I love this book! Epically erotic -- it has the intense sexual rawness of any quality erotic story but the author brings new depth by including the psychological and emotional aspect that goes along with a true SMBD relationship. I hated having to put this book down, if I could have I would have read the whole thing in one sitting." (read more)

Your price $8.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 25
Selected by Donna from Portland, Oregon
Donna won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $40.
Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue
Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue
by Spalding Gray

Donna's Comments:
"Very moving, especially Spalding's step-daughter's memorial describing the affect of his depression on the family and imagining what it was like for him to finally make it over the railing. He is much loved and greatly missed." (read more)

Your price $9.95
Used - Hardcover
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July 26
Selected by Stefanie from San Antonio, Texas
In Stitches
In Stitches
by Anthony Youn M.D.

Stefanie's Comments:
"I never imagined I'd find a plastic surgeon's memoir so compelling and humorous. It is often laugh-out-loud funny and Dr. Youn's reasons for becoming a plastic surgeon both surprised and impressed me. I loved this book and can't recommend it enough." (read more)

Your price $2.50
Used - Hardcover
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July 27
Selected by Marci from Sultan, Washington
Written on the Body
Written on the Body
by Jeanette Winterson

Marci's Comments:
"I found myself wanting to savor, remember and use many of her poetic phrases. Winterson has a beautiful way with language. Her deliberate ambiguity of the main character's gender and in the final scene is brilliant!" (read more)

Your price $4.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 28
Selected by NC from Denver, Colorado
NC won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $60.
Little, Big (P.S.)
Little, Big (P.S.)
by John Crowley

NC's Comments:
"'Fairy tales are for children.' Except in the world of Daily Alice and John Drinkwater, of a house with 5 fronts, a changeling, and relatives who give a nod to Oberon and Titania....If a life not chained to logic and likelihood has any appeal, you ought to wander in Crowley's wonderland. With breathtaking feats of sleight-of-hand, Little, Big touches your longing for a world where magic is your Sancho Panza." (read more)

Your price $9.00
Used - Trade Paper
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July 29
Selected by Erin from Phoenix, Arizona
Erin won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Deathless
Deathless
by Catherynne M. Valente

Erin's Comments:
"I didn't know I cared about Russian fairy tales until I read this book. Deathless tells two stories -- one a fairy tale and one a grim reality (the beauty of it is that sometimes you can't even tell which is more fanciful)....Valente weaves a gorgeous story, back and forth between Leningrad and Koschei's country, which is locked in an endless war with that of his brother, the Tsar of Death. There's love here, and hate, and power, and cruelty, and sex, and blood, and memories, and difficult choices, and all the most important things, and by the end, my heart was hurting in the very best way." (read more)

Your price $13.00
Used - Hardcover
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July 30
Selected by Brad from Portland, Oregon
Brad won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir
Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir
by Kim Cooper Findling

Brad's Comments:
"Bold, witty and honest! I sat down to start this book and the next thing I knew, hours had flown by without a notice. I had a hard time putting it down and loved how much I was drawn into the setting of 70s, 80s and then 90s Oregon. Generous insight full of both heartache and humor." (read more)

Your price $11.95
Used - Trade Paper
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July 31
Selected by Rebecca from Kennewick, Washington
Rebecca won a Powells.com gift certificate worth $20.
Jayber Crow
Jayber Crow
by Wendell Berry

Rebecca's Comments:
"A bittersweet story of love, but also a moving commentary on the changes in rural life in America in the 20th century. Many of the passages where Berry describes the changes in small town life and farming in Kentucky remind me of the changes I've heard of from my grandfather and father about ranching and cowboying in Texas. Mostly the book made me want to move to a camp house by a river and spend my days watching the fish and birds and trees." (read more)

Your price $15.95
New - Trade Paper
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