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Bookseller's Choice - Pam

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Bookseller’s ChoiceUse the arrows on either side of the page to flip through the magazine.The book covers are clickable, and will take you to the book on our website: ebbooksellers.comFeel free to download & share the magazine!•••1About Pam’s Choices"It's difficult to remember a time when there weren't books and the love of them in my life. My greatest joy was the Christmas gift that I knew contained that new hardcover carrying with it its smell, feel and prospect of hours spent delving into some new and magical place. Tell me a Story!When, a few years ago, I saw a reissue of one of those books with a medallion affixed to the cover announcing its 50th Anniversary, I realized that I've carried no other consistent passion with me and smiled contentedly.I'm still captivated by those same childhood sensations and fortunately have found a place where I can try to share them with you!"

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2The Unseen - by Roy Jacobsen, translated by Don Bartlett and Don ShawThe first in a trilogy, The Unseen, set on a fictional Norwegian island is quietly masterful both in its prose and its characters. Peopled by three generations of a single family, who work the land and sea surrounding them, we are allowed into their world - the sometimes harsh island that is their home and the changes (some welcome and necessary-some not) encroaching from the mainland world.True Story - by Kate Reed PettyKate Reed Petty pulls together an intricately layered debut novel that refuses to conform to a single literary genre, structure or style. A rollercoaster ride through “the true story” of four characters 15 years after one traumatic night.Thought-provokingThe Death of Vivek Oji - by Akwaeke EmeziEmezi is a major talent with a capital M. They have given us a book that will continue to linger in your heart and soul long after its last sentence is savored. An exquisitely written, powerful and haunting novel.

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3Norwegian by Night -by Derek B. MillerPitch perfect on many levels! Billed as a Scandanavian crime novel, but it's actually wrapped around a book filled with heart, laugh aloud humor and asks lots of questions large and small. Sheldon is unforgettable. A thriller, caper, and thoughtful piece about fathers and sons, past wars, present societal issues and living life well. Also try American by Day with some of the same characters.The Girl in Green - by Derek B. MillerOK - so you know I'm a fan of Mr. Miller. His brilliance at creating unforgettable characters and transporting the reader into a book's setting continue in this wonderful novel. Set amid the Syrian civil war, follow a most unlikely pair trying to locate a young victim they encountered years earlier. An intelligent and insightful trip into a brutal situation. It is filled with humility, warmth and the author's trademark wit.A Gentleman in Moscow - by Amor TowlesA masterpiece I've recommended since hundreds of times since its publication. Beginning in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is convicted of being an unrepentent aristocrat and sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel near the Kremlin. He now lives in an attic room and watches history unfold right outside his doors. This is so beautifully written and filled with such wonderful characters that it's impossible to forget.

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4Ways to Disappear - by Idra NoveyWhen Brazlian auth Beatriz Yagoda vanishes, her American translator travels to Rio de Janeiro feeling her intimate knowledge of the novels she has worked on will help her children's search for their mother. Their quest leads them down unexpected paths and as they begin to question their own lives searches they find there are numerous ways to define disappearance. A fast-paced and at time madcap debut written in spare and wonderfully poetic prose.Hum If You Don’t Know the Words -by Bianca MaraisSome books draw you in with their language, some with their sense of place, some with unforgettable characters. This debut set in apartheid South Africa embodies all of these.The Far Field - by Madhuri VijayAn absolutely remarkable novel it's hard to believe is a debut. Set in India, you'll set out from the south of the country to Kashmir with a young woman searching for someone lost from her childhood. The journey, which leads her to both personal and political awakenings will enthrall you page after page.

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5The Shadow of the Wind - by Carlos Ruiz ZafónIf you've never had the exquisite pleasure of reading this sumptuous novel - you really should do it now. A story within a story set in Barcelona, it unravels a young man's quest to unearth the works of an enigmatic author. What an amazing read!The Do-Right - by Lisa SandlinAn unconventional debut filled with grit and humor. It was the Winner of both the Shamus Award and Dashiell Hammett Prize. After 14 years in prison for killing the man who was raping her, Delphia Wade is now employed by Tom Phelan, a small time fledgling PI in a blue collar Texas city....and she does most of the heavy lifting. The spare, clipped prose is wonderfully poetic! Her second book featuring these 2 characters, The Bird Boys, is equally complex and compelling. Loved 'em both.Lights All Night Long - by Lydia FitzpatrickA remarkable and intricate, well-paced mystery that, at its core, is a story of familial bonds in all their complexity. Heartwarming. Heartbreaking. Not easily forgotten. I was, and am still enthralled by it.

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6The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, & The Winter of the Witch - by Katherine ArdenHaving always been a sucker for folklore, fairy tales and Russian settings, this trilogy combines it all into 1 luscious borscht and had me from page 1. Set in a medieval Russian forest during midwinter, meet Vasya, an unforgettable character bestowed with her grandmother's magic and uses both it and her bravery to save her family.Where the Crawdads Sing - by Delia OwensAn astonishingly beautiful first novel set in the outer banks of North Carolina. You will ache and root for Kyay an abandoned child coming of age with her beloved marshes as nurturer. Add a compelling mystery and courtroom drama and you have a truly unforgettable story of loneliness, survival and love.Sharks in the Time of Saviors - by Kawai Strong WashburnWhile I've never much cared for the term "unputdownable" when describing the attributes of a book, it just might wiggle into this review. Kawai Strong Washburn, has written a compelling and marvelous melding/juxtaposition of Hawaiian legend and the hardscrabble lives of contemporary islanders. After a fall into the ocean, 7-year old Noa is returned unharmed to his mother. As he struggles to understand the "gift" that he possesses, every family member struggles in their own way. Familial bonds and those of their heritage are tested in a truly indelible novel. I so loved this!

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7Your House Will Pay - by Steph ChaWith its roots in an actual event in 1991 Los Angeles, Steph moves us to 2019 in a still racially divided Los Angeles when yet another black teen is shot and tensions grow. In that setting, the lives of the two families most directly affected by the 1991 shooting are brought together. I'll say no more. This is a powerful, no-easy-answers book that MUST be read.Deep River - by Karl MarlantesHaving loved Matterhorn, I was excited to find a new novel by this author.....and I wasn't disappointed. If you're ready for an 800 page multi-generational family saga, this is the book for you. Beginning in 1893 it traces the lives of 3 Finnish siblings who flee Russian occupied Finland and settle in the Pacific Northwest to begin working in its logging industry. Detail abounds, but none feel wasted. It was a wonderful read.The Mercies - by Kiran Millwood HargraveThis powerful and heart-rending novel was inspired by the real events of the 1617 storm in Norway that killed all the men in the town of Vardo and the 1620 witch trials. Left alone and forced to learn to provide for themselves, the women become adept at doing so. Three years later they must reckon with their greatest threat in the person of a witch-hunting Scottish cleric and his wife who have been sent to insure the community is god fearing and attends the local church. As a bond forms between a local woman and the cleric's wife, tensions heighten. This will tug at every emotion.

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8Homeland Elegies - by Ayad AkhtarA masterful blend of memoir and fiction, this is an unforgettable journey through the lives of a Muslim family finding their place in a post 911 America. A searing navigation of the loves we try to reconcile - familial, religious, societal and the definition of home. Written with wisdom, wit and unsparing honesty, this an important book that you will continue to contemplate for a very long time. Both intimate and epic, this is a must read.The Cold Millions - by Jess WalterThank you Jess Walter for yet again treating us to your beautiful writing and wonderful storytelling in a novel filled with a kaleidoscope of unforgettable characters navigating the tumultuous union struggles and social inequity in early 1900's Spokane. Loved it!Magpie Murders - by Anthony HorowitzAnthony Horowitz has ingeniously corraled so much between the covers of this novel, that it's a difficult one to describe without destroying both the suspense and the fun you'll have once you crack it open. Yes, it's a homage to those Golden Age mysteries many of us love, but it's also one of the best contemporary novel-within-a-novel crime creations to come along in a long time. I was completely captivated. You should also read his Moonflower Murders, The Word is Murder, & The Sentence is Death. If you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes pastiche novells, try The House of Silk and Moriarty. The guy really know how to tell a story!

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9Migrations - by Charlotte McConaghyFranny Stone, the lost, damaged and complex narrator has talked her way aboard a fishing vessel crewed by its own band of wanderers, to track what may be the final migration of the Arctic tern due to our manmade carelessness of the planet. As the journey progresses, her life, past and present, unfolds in a (possibly final?) migration of its own. In gorgeous prose, the author has given us much to think about. Haunting.Kitchens of the Great Midwest - by J. Ryan StradalDelightful, funny and quite tender. Lars Thorvald has a love of food and for Eva, the daughter he is raising. We follow her life through the lenses of 8 different characters and dishes at different stages of her life. You needn't be a foodie or from the Midwest to thoroughly enjoy this. Also enjoy the author's following novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, 3 complex, strong women - 2 estranged sisters & 1 grandaughter baking pies and making beer!Another Brooklyn - by Jacqueline WoodsonA chance meeting with a long-ago friend sends August back to her childhood in 1970's Brooklyn. Exquisitely written and emotionally complex, from page 1 you'll be drawn into the characters navigating the loves, fears and friendships as they grow to adulthood.

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10Leave the World Behind - by Rumaan AlamA finalist for the National Book Award for fiction, this gripping novel opens with a white family renting an air BNB Long Island home, only to have the owners, who are black, knock at the door asking to stay the night due to a power outage in Manhattan. Sounds like your typical "disaster" trope, right? Wrong. It doesn't take you necessarily where you expect. Over the layer of unseen cataclysm and humanity's coping mechanisms in the face of an impending catastrophe the author deftly builds on issues of race, class, and age. Prescient in today's world?Crooked Hallelujah - by Kelli Jo FordThere are a million ways a novel can approach family and community.. Kelli Jo, in a book of interwoven chapters , spreads the lives of four generations of Cherokee women on the pages of a truly wonderful book that is compelling, compassionate and quietly tender. I genuinely cared for these people and their hardscrabble lives.The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals - by Becky MandelbaumSpoiler alert - if you're a Trump supporter, you might not want to read this. Bright Side Animal Sanctuary is struggling. FInancially strapped, the target of arson and an anti-semetic attack, the owner's long-estranged daughter comes home to lend support. All these complicated emotions are gloriously handled by this very gifted author who has penned a tender, funny and moving portrait of the meaning of home. Chock full of heart.

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11An Unnecessary Woman - by Rabih AlameddineRabih Alameddine is a magician. His portrait of aging, intelligent Aaliya Sohbi, living alone in her Beirut apartment is astonishing. An introvert, surrounded by books, she yearly translates one of her favorites into Arabic simply for her own enjoyment, Divorced, childless, estranged from her family, Aaliya's internal dialogues revolve around her beloved literature, philosophy, historical and present Beirut, and her own past. This is an unconventional and unforgettable book written in a very unique voice.Anxious People - by Fredrick BackmanI suppose you could say this book is a locked room mystery about a bank robber who takes clients at an apartment open house hostage.....but it isn't. This is a hilarious, painful and tender book about the human condition with all its strengths and foibles, dreams and nightmares. As you read, you'll be nodding your head and wondering how he knew.The Triumph of Seeds - by Thor HansonWith impish humor and the unbridled enthusiasm of a natural storyteller, biologist/author Hanson takes you on a fascinating tour of what might initially seem the rather bland world of the overlooked seed - how they survive and their contributions to our survival. You'll be equally captivated by Feathers and Buzz.

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12The Library Book - by Susan OrleanA fascinating and immediately engaging story of the 1986 Los Angeles Central Library fire that raged for 7 hours and damaged/destroyed more than a million books. It is also a passionate reflection on the author's lifelong love affair with books and libraries...their importance and eccentricities.God’s Hotel - by Victoria SweetA treasure of a book about the author's time practicing at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital, considered the last almshouse in the country. A two-month stint that turned into a 20-year tenure in this low-tech environment allowed Sweet to practice what she describes as 'slow medicine" when a doctor is allowed the time to pay attention to her patients. The warmth, humor and passion all combine to make this one of the more unforgettable pieces of nonfiction I've ever read.The Ravenmaster - by Christopher SkaifeChristopher Skaife is the Yeoman Warder and Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. A wonderful and very funny storyteller, he gives us a fascinating and loving glimpse into the lives of these seven quite amazing and uniquely individual birds. Funny, I adore this book and have put it in the hands of any likely (and even unlikely) nonfiction readers. I would be stunned to hear of any who didn't adore it as much as I did. Amazing!

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13The Library Book - by Susan OrleanA fascinating and immediately engaging story of the 1986 Los Angeles Central Library fire that raged for 7 hours and damaged/destroyed more than a million books. It is also a passionate reflection on the author's lifelong love affair with books and libraries...their importance and eccentricities.God’s Hotel - by Victoria SweetA treasure of a book about the author's time practicing at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital, considered the last almshouse in the country. A two-month stint that turned into a 20-year tenure in this low-tech environment allowed Sweet to practice what she describes as 'slow medicine" when a doctor is allowed the time to pay attention to her patients. The warmth, humor and passion all combine to make this one of the more unforgettable pieces of nonfiction I've ever read.The Ravenmaster - by Christopher SkaifeChristopher Skaife is the Yeoman Warder and Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. A wonderful and very funny storyteller, he gives us a fascinating and loving glimpse into the lives of these seven quite amazing and uniquely individual birds. Funny, I adore this book and have put it in the hands of any likely (and even unlikely) nonfiction readers. I would be stunned to hear of any who didn't adore it as much as I did. Amazing!

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14Odes to Common Things - by Pablo Neruda, translated by Ken Krabbenhoft, illustrated by Ferris CookI've always felt an affinity for the everyday things of the world, but until I found Pablo Neruda I didn't know there was a way to translate those feelings to words that so simply yet eloquently gave voice to them. From the more general (pliers, scissors, thimbles and hats) to the tribute to the table and the pair of socks your previously mundane daily companions take on an entirely new meaning. This edition of 25 ot Neruda's odes, published with the Spanish on an opposing page and exquisite pencil drawings is a book that everyone should own, cherish and share.Tell Me How It Ends, by Valeria LuiselliThe forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin American minors facing deportation form a powerful look into the lives of these children. Brilliant! Compassionate, humane and eye-opening, we're allowed inside the painful process of the sometimes horrifying injustices of our immigration policy.A Must Read