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Here are just some of the books we're talking about at Powell's.

  1. Young God

    There's no way to sugarcoat the contents of this novel by debut author Katherine Faw Morris, and no reason to — it is sharp and chilling and raw, and very compelling. After witnessing her mother's death while cliff diving, 13-year-old Nikki sets out after her father and her inheritance, finding herself in situations that are as shockingly brutal as she is adaptable in this hillbilly horror. Captured in swift and vivid prose, this is for fans of transgressive fiction alongside the likes of George Bataille, Michael Gira, and Richard Hell.

    Recommended by Aubrey June 29, 2015


  2. I Don't Like Koala

    Koala keeps popping up in all the wrong places... that is, he keeps showing up everywhere! Try as he might to get rid of the "most terrible" Koala, Adam eventually learns there may be worse things than a friend who won't leave you alone.

    Recommended by Aubrey June 29, 2015


  3. Uprooted

    For Agnieszka, getting chosen as tribute to serve the wizard Dragon in his remote castle is the worst fate that could happen to an ordinary village girl with a stubborn streak. But things only get more complicated when her best friend is taken by a creature from the nearby corrupt Woods, and some of Agnieszka's secrets, and powers, begin to surface.

    Recommended by Aubrey June 29, 2015


  4. Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking)

    Using the data he collected from his dating website as well as other social media sources, Harvard grad and OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder presents us with a highly readable, honest, and funny look at human behavior. From flirting demographics to marital success stats, he demonstrates our changeable yet predictable nature in a way that is neither plauditory nor judgmental. The charts, graphs, and illustrated tweets throughout are the perfect finishing touch as visual eye candy for your inner nerd.

    Recommended by Aubrey June 29, 2015


  5. The Festival of Insignificance

    Milan Kundera's first novel in more than 10 years is a spare, darkly comical book that explores such subjects as art, Stalin, Schopenhauer, the female navel, marionettes, death, and peeing in parks. Deceptively light, The Festival of Insignificance is as profound as it is funny.

    Recommended by Gigi Little June 29, 2015


  6. A Book of Spirits and Thieves

    A Book of Spirits and Thieves crackles with suspense and intrigue. An ancient book arrives by post and Becca's world is turned upside down. Her body falls into a coma, but her spirit travels to the kingdom of Mytica. Meanwhile, dark doings are afoot in Toronto, as Becca's sister discovers a secret society that desperately wants that mysterious book.

    Recommended by Mary Jo June 29, 2015


  7. The Phantom Bully (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #3)

    Talent shows, pranks, romance, obstacle challenges, lightsaber duels... It's middle-schooler Roan Novachez's final year of Padawan training, and what a year it is. This super-satisfying third installment in the Jedi Academy series is packed with humor and excitement.

    Recommended by Xander June 29, 2015


  8. The Oregon Trail

    Rinker Buck offers a witty, fascinating account of the year he and his brother spent traveling the Oregon Trail in a mule-drawn wagon. Equal parts autobiography and travelogue, Buck writes movingly about both the original trials of the Oregon Trail and his complicated relationship with his father. Bill Bryson fans take note: Buck's blend of historical research and personal eccentricity is sure to win you over.

    Recommended by Rhianna Walton June 29, 2015


  9. The Mountain Story

    Wolf Truly, on his way to commit suicide on a mountain peak, meets a mother, daughter, and grandmother who carry their own emotional secrets. When they get lost and stranded, all bets are off. A fast-paced, page-turning mystery set in a remote and beautiful wilderness, The Mountain Story is an unusual and ferociously addictive read.

    Recommended by Tessa June 29, 2015


  10. Book

    "This is a book. Black words on white paper." But soon those simple words morph into an explosion of imagination. Using illustrations full of dazzling detail, not to mention plenty of those black words on paper, Book celebrates the limitless possibilities found inside books.

    Recommended by Naomi June 29, 2015


  11. Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac

    Underneath this unlikely story of Sasquatch hunters, unicorns, ape-mothers, sea monsters, ghosts, and lifelong curses is a commentary on the important things in life: love, family, and forgiveness. Regret, childhood trauma, and obsession come into Shields's focus, and her resulting tale is amusing, with a chunk of bittersweet poignancy thrown in the mix.

    Recommended by Dianah June 29, 2015


  12. After Birth

    After Birth is a great little novel. In it we meet Ari, a new mother hellbent on befriending a new neighbor, Mina, a writer and former member of a feminist punk band. Ari's complicated relationships with the women in her life — particularly her late mother — have stayed with me long after reading this novel. It is a must-read in a world that so often ignores the darker, more complicated aspects of motherhood and womanhood.

    Recommended by Jess June 29, 2015


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