25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Staff Picks


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Staff Picks




New Arrivals
Browse more New Arrivals in Staff Picks

  1. $14.95 New Hardcover add to wish list
  2. $17.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Lucky Us

    Amy Bloom 9781400067244
  3. $12.60 Sale Hardcover add to wish list
  4. $18.17 Sale Hardcover add to wish list
  5. $12.59 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Of Metal and Wishes

    Sarah Fine 9781442483583
  6. $11.89 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Frostborn (Thrones and Bones)

    Lou Anders 9780385387781

Staff Pick
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Browse more picks by Gigi Little

The Trauma of Everyday Life
The Trauma of Everyday Life
by Mark Epstein
Staff Pick
Mark Epstein masterfully examines the intersection between psychotherapy and Buddhism, and his new book focuses on a fascinating subject within that convergence: trauma. Using even the Buddha's own personal traumas, Epstein pens an exploration that is wise, insightful, and surprisingly uplifting.
Recommended by Gigi Little, Powells.com

List Price $16.00
Your price: $11.20
Sale - Trade Paper

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in Children's
Browse more picks by Richard C.

Of Metal and Wishes
Of Metal and Wishes
by Sarah Fine
Staff Pick
This unusual and hauntingly powerful love story is set in a slaughterhouse factory housing a ghost who grants wishes. The factory hires a cheap labor force and it turns into an exploding workplace. This moving novel weaves violence, tenderness, and forgiveness into one alluring story.
Recommended by Richard C., Powells.com

List Price $17.99
Your price: $12.59
Sale - Hardcover

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Staff Pick
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Browse more picks by Mary Jo

The Magician's Land
The Magician's Land
by Lev Grossman
Staff Pick
The Magician's Land brings Grossman's trilogy to a triumphant conclusion. Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the land he once ruled. He sets out on new adventures with Plum, a young magician. Meanwhile, Janet and Eliot fight to save Fillory from destruction.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

List Price $27.95
Your price: $19.57
Sale - Hardcover

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Staff Pick
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Browse more picks by Ted

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
by Hampton Sides
Staff Pick
Truly a great adventure story, Sides's thrilling tale of the 1879 polar expedition of the USS Jeannette left me slack-jawed and wide-eyed. Vividly experience the grim, harrowing journey into a frozen world and discover the fate of the heroic crew determined to survive. Impossible to put down, this book has award winner written all over it.
Recommended by Ted, Powells.com

List Price $28.95
Your price: $20.27
Sale - Hardcover

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in Children's
Browse more picks by Richard C.

Frostborn (Thrones and Bones)
Frostborn (Thrones and Bones)
by Lou Anders
Staff Pick
Drawing on Norse legends is the first of a series involving Karn, a farm boy who would rather play board games, and Thianna, a half-frost giantess. They join together to battle trolls, walking dead, and a fire-breathing dragon. This is a wonderful summer read filled with humor and adventure.
Recommended by Richard C., Powells.com

List Price $16.99
Your price: $11.89
Sale - Hardcover

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in GREEN
Browse more picks by Shawn D.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
Staff Pick
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki may be a simple story, but it carries an emotional heft that feels like a throwback to one of Murakami's classic early novels, like Norwegian Wood. His ephemeral and effortless prose flows like a perfectly choreographed dream and will leave you as satisfied as a long afternoon nap.
Recommended by Shawn D., Powells.com

List Price $25.95
Your price: $18.17
Sale - Hardcover

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Staff Pick
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Browse more picks by Fredericka

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City (Vintage)
Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City (Vintage)
by Russell Shorto
Staff Pick
Many Americans have a specific idea of the city of Amsterdam: they think of its front-and-center red light district or legal drugs or, for those less interested in vice, the Anne Frank House. But Russell Shorto's interests go deeper — in Amsterdam he traces the history of the place and its liberalism, from the inception of its legendary canal system to now, with a keen eye. This is a must-read for anyone who has visited, or wants to visit, Amsterdam.
Recommended by Fredericka, Powells.com

List Price $16.95
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Sale - Trade Paper

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in LIT
Browse more picks by Genevieve A.

Sweet Thunder
Sweet Thunder
by Ivan Doig
Staff Pick
This charming story from Ivan Doig reintroduces the personable Morrie Morgan — now newly married and finding himself in charge of a rundown mansion and as a novice newspaper editor in 1920s Butte, Montana. Readers will find much to love in this look back at a fascinating time in American history.
Recommended by Genevieve A., Powells.com

List Price $16.00
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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in Christianity
Browse more picks by Dianah

A Shimmer of Something: Lean Stories of Spiritual Substance
A Shimmer of Something: Lean Stories of Spiritual Substance
by Brian Doyle
Staff Pick
Possibly poems, possibly really (really) short stories, possibly mini essays, Brian Doyle's "box poems" — smallish bits of writing with perfectly aligned edges and not one word short or long — are so perfectly exact, they seem utterly intriguing even before you start to read. (How, exactly, did he do that?)

Doyle is a man who lives and breathes stories, and this slim book is stuffed with them. The almost worshipful view Doyle has of life's minutia is sometimes breathtaking — how does he articulate so clearly the myriad things that catch his attention (things that very few of us ever even notice)? Doyle writes, "Maybe we guzzle forty stories with every breath we draw and they soak into us and flavor and thicken and spice the wild stew we are." Doyle's style is so offbeat and unusual, every time I read him, I envision all his stories lined up inside him, so tightly packed that they escape in a giant, gorgeous burst of words and laughter.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Your price: $14.95
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Staff Pick
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Browse more picks by Tracey T.

Tangle Stitches for Quilters and Fabric Artists: Relax, Meditate, and Create with Rhythmic Stitches
Tangle Stitches for Quilters and Fabric Artists: Relax, Meditate, and Create with Rhythmic Stitches
by Jane Monk
Staff Pick
This is a great book for the quilter looking to bring something new to their craft. Zentangle is a style of doodling taken to an art form, and its practitioners are passionate about their repetitive pattern drawing. Tangle Stitches combines this art with quilting, a perfect fit as the doodles are very similar to common quilting stitches. The projects are mostly small and easy to manage.
Recommended by Tracey T., Powells.com

Your price: $24.99
New - Trade Paper

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in Literature
Browse more picks by Adrienne

Fourth of July Creek
Fourth of July Creek
by Smith Henderson
Staff Pick
An enjoyable summer read — deeply textured story, characters that bear out their frail existence, and great writing.
Recommended by Adrienne, Powells.com

List Price $26.99
Your price: $18.50
Used - Hardcover

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in Beauty and Fashion
Browse more picks by Tracey T.

A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution (Arden Shakespeare Library)
A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution (Arden Shakespeare Library)
by Joy Emery
Staff Pick
A History of the Paper Pattern Industry is a joy for any follower of fashion history. I've often been fascinated by how the early days of modern fashion (starting around the 1850s) followed developments in technology. Whether it's the maturation of the sewing machine, the development of chemical dyes for superior color, or the increase of factory jobs for women, the late 1800s and early 1900s were an amazing time in clothing. What I hadn't taken into consideration was how much paper patterns also played into modern fashion history. A History of the Paper Pattern Industry is concerned primarily with U.S. paper pattern history, while filled with plenty of depictions of pattern envelopes. No doubt the designer/sewist will find inspiration here, but this is really more of a sociological study of the pattern business.
Recommended by Tracey T., Powells.com

Your price: $34.95
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Sale Books
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The Polar Express
The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg
Staff Pick
Could a bookseller's favorite book really be a children's Christmas picture book? I am often asked to name my favorite book — an impossible question to answer, really — and I find myself mentioning The Polar Express time and again (not without... (read more)

List Price $18.95
Your price: $7.98
Sale - Hardcover

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Used Books
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A Short History of Nearly Everything
A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson
Staff Pick
This learned and amusing work covers the origin of the universe to the human genome. A welcome journey with Bryson in typical wise and witty fashion.... (read more)

List Price $16.99
Your price: $7.95
Used - Trade Paper

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in Cooking and Food
Browse more picks by Aubrey

One-Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chevre, Paneer--Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less!
One-Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chevre, Paneer--Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less!
by Claudia Lucero
Staff Pick
This fantastic cheese-making cookbook from Portland's own indie crafter is so easy to use it's almost hard to believe. Almost. I've made yummy cheese from the step-by-step photo recipes in it several times now, thanks to Claudia's simple, encouraging instructions. This book boasts 16 varieties of fun cheese recipes to try, all in one hour or under. There's an assortment of cheese accompanying recipes in the back as well. I recommend this wonderful book to all dairy lovers!
Recommended by Aubrey, Powells.com

Your price: $14.95
New - Trade Paper

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in Travel
Browse more picks by Rhianna Walton

Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation
Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation
by Elizabeth Pisani
Staff Pick
Indonesia is interesting in its own right, but in Elizabeth Pisani's joyful hands, this improbable nation of 13,466 islands spanning over 3,300 miles becomes a fascinating cautionary tale about the benefits, limits, and dangers of enforcing a national identity. Pisani has spent many years living and working in Indonesia, and her historical and political insights and anecdotes are sharp, funny, and sympathetic, grounded in the oftentimes perplexing reality of island life. I found myself coveting her temerity as she island-hops, rides her motorbike up volcanoes, has tea with a corpse (twice), and participates in village rituals. She's optimistic but keenly aware of the nation's flaws; likewise, although many of her stories are hilarious and strange, they're also respectful — this never devolves into a "how weird are the Indonesians" travel piece. This book is wonderful and witty — a perfect pick for the Jared Diamond fan with wanderlust.
Recommended by Rhianna Walton, Powells.com

Your price: $26.95
New - Hardcover

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Staff Pick
Browse more picks in DISP
Browse more picks by Jen C.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Murakami
Staff Pick
Known for his beautiful, haunting, lyrical, and — at times — funny surrealistic stylings, Haruki Murakami is one of the most beloved Japanese authors in the Western world. Although infused with the pop culture of the West, his writing remains at its core firmly rooted in Japan. And as modern as his style is, his work draws upon the country's past while delving deep into the Japanese psyche. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is pure Murakami — a vast, enchanting mystery filled with dreamlike surrealism. Considered by many to be his best work, the novel tackles themes as varied as the nature of consciousness, romantic disappointment, and the lingering wounds of World War II. Readers will eagerly want to unravel this intricate, multi-layered tale.
Recommended by Jen C., Powells.com

List Price $16.95
Your price: $11.87
Sale - Trade Paper

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Bestsellers

Wednesday,
August 20, 2014
California
  1. California
    by Edan Lepucki
  2. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
    by Haruki Murakami
  3. The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition
    by Bill Mollison
  4. All About Love: New Visions
    by bell hooks
  5. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
    by Haruki Murakami

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