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Keplers 2021-2022 Gift Guide

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As we witness the dawn of space tourism, Captain Kirk’s famous opening words from Star Trek keep playing in my ears – “Space: the final frontier… to explore strange new worlds …to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”I am a first-generation immigrant to the U.S., and the words frontier and new worlds hold special meaning for me. Frontier thinking has long been a force in American history, and it continues to influence American culture today. While most of us might never enjoy space tourism in our lives, frontiers are an inbuilt part of our drive as humans. What’s the next frontier you are seeking – a new job, a new partner, a new home?Whatever your next frontier might be, we have a book that can help you get there. Want to try cooking a new cuisine? Facing a business challenge? Concerned about your kid’s excessive screen time? Not sure what to do with your life? Need help talking to someone in your family whose political beliefs conflict with yours? Want to explore new cultures and languages? Ready to resume traveling the world? Just want to get through the gift buying for the holidays? And in the unlikely scenario that space is your next frontier, we have something for you too! Our knowledgeable team is here to help, with our curated selection of over 30,000 books at the bookstore and many more we can get for you.At Kepler’s we continue pushing the boundaries of our frontier: deepening literacy, strengthening our community, and paying decent living wages to our hardworking sta. As always, we appreciate your support with all our hearts.We hope you enjoy the enclosed complimentary gift guide that features books passionately selected and introduced by our sta, and that some of these books might help you reach your next frontiers.Happy holidays and be safe.Praveen Madan · CEO, Kepler’s Books · Board Member, Kepler’s Literary FoundationDear Community Member:

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KEPLER’S BOOKS · 1010 EL CAMINO REAL MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · (650) 324-4321MatrixLauren Gro (Riverhead Books, $28)An enchanting, strangely provocative imagining of the life of Marie de France, a 12th-Century French abbess in England — Gro's gorgeous prose captures both the fairytale beauty and dark, deathly grit of medieval life with impressive dexterity. Historical fiction fans will eat this up, like I did. (Todd)The Other Black GirlZakiya Dalila Harris (Atria Books, $27)Edgy and unexpected, The Other Black Girl gives us an insider view of a young black woman’s career in a very white NYC publishing house. What happens when an “OBG” arrives in the oce? No spoilers here, except to say it’s wildly creative, thought-provoking, and suspenseful. (Amanda)The SentenceLouise Erdrich (HarperCollins, $28.99)With pops of humor, Louise Erdrich weaves an unusual ghost story. This tale of a haunted bookstore in Minneapolis is filled with quirky characters, each of them coming to terms with identity, forgiveness, and justice during a tumultuous year. A timely read that will definitely keep you engaged. (Diane)Under the Whispering Door TJ Klune (Tor Books, $29.99)When high-powered attorney Wallace Price finds himself dead, it turns out to be a much bigger inconvenience than he could have imagined. Luckily, tea shop owner/soul courier Hugo is ready to help him resolve his unfinished business and move on to the other side. This charming, romantic, cozy hug of a book is the perfect balance of funny and thoughtful; the perfect gift, from teens to grandparents. (Michael)3

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GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE IN STORE AND AT KEPLERS.COM4The Apollo MurdersChris Hadfield (Mulholland Books, $28)Astronaut Chris Hadfield gives us an edge-of-your-seat Cold War thriller, taking on the Apollo missions with history-bending twists, fraught turns, and rich, technical details. Consider this your front row ticket to space. (Amanda)Harlem ShueColson Whitehead (Doubleday Books, $28.95)Ray Carney's world is Harlem in the 1960s. He has watched his business and hustles change throughout the years but hangs on to his dreams of a better life with his family. Written in broad strokes and richly woven with fascinating characters while keeping a quick pace, this is a real gem. (Marilyn)BewildermentRichard Powers (W.W. Norton, $27.95)Richard Powers astonishes us once again, this time with a haunting tale of a visionary scientist and grieving father whose ferocious devotion to his unique son leads to some controversial decisions. Few books have fused science with humanity in such sublime, heart-rending ways. (Todd)SilverviewJohn Le Carré (Viking, $28)Silverview is vintage John Le Carré — one of the all-time masters of spy stories — with elegant prose and very dry wit. A fascinating afterword by Le Carré's youngest son gives clues as to why the author may have kept this oft-revised manuscript in a drawer until after his death. (Pam)Mrs. MarchVirginia Feito (Liveright Publishing Corporation, $26)Mrs. March is one of those novels in which you have no idea what is going on, or who to trust, and yet you cannot put the book down. Part crime drama, part psychological thriller, completely engrossing. (Stephanie)

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KEPLER’S BOOKS · 1010 EL CAMINO REAL MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · (650) 324-43215The EveryDave Eggers (McSweeney's, $28)At turns hilarious and horrifying, visionary and stellar in its execution, this dystopian novel is a profound, cautionary tale of what could happen if the rise of big tech monopoly is not stopped. Delaney, a young woman, is single-handedly fighting the behemoth, but will it work? The beautiful hardcover editions with various collectible book jackets are available exclusively at independent bookstores and make a special holiday gift. (Aggie)Five Tuesdays in WinterLily King (Grove Press, $27)Fans of Lily King's beloved, best-selling novel Writers & Lovers will rejoice at this brilliant collection of ten short stories. And if this is your first time reading Lily King, well, you'll quickly become a fan, too! And like the bookseller in the title story, you might find yourself looking in books for “remembered selves as if they were lost acquaintances.” I’m so much under the spell of this book. (Aggie)The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina Zoraida Córdova (Atria Books, $27)A richly-told story following in the traditions of Latin American magical realism. With secrets, quirkiness, and magic, Zoraida Córdova beautifully weaves fantastical elements into the Montoya family’s generational search for identity and their quest to save themselves. Storytelling at its finest. (Amanda)The View Was ExhaustingMikaella Clements, Onjuli Datta (Grand Central Publishing, $27)Hollywood’s golden couple is faking it. Or are they? The View is romantic escapism in its most delicious form: think the south of France, yachts, and young love. But Win and Leo’s story is deeper than your typical romance; it’s steamy, smart and sparkling. The perfect millennial romance! (Stephanie)

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GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE IN STORE AND AT KEPLERS.COM6On AnimalsSusan Orlean(Simon and Schuster, $28)A delightful and profound book about the relationships between humans and animals, ranging from household pets, animals we eat as food, and various tamed and untamed animals with which we share this planet. Join the beloved New Yorker sta writer on an exciting global journey with chickens, tigers, dogs, whales, pigeons, and many others. (Praveen)London's Number One Dog-Walking AgencyKate MacDougall (William Morrow & Company, $27.99)I'm a dog mom, an Anglophile, and a sucker for coming-of-age stories, so MacDougall's memoir was an absolute pleasure to read. Lighthearted, funny, and moving, this book demonstrates how embarking on unconventional routes (pun intended) can lead to the best destinations. (Meredith)This Book Is Literally Just Pictures of Animals Silently Judging YouSmith Street Books, Editors (Smith Street Books, $14.95)Need a little levity? Love funny pictures of animals? This book is literally exactly what you need right now! You'll laugh, share it with a friend, and then grab your own camera to capture more judging animal pictures. The only thing missing? A shot of my oh-so-surly cat, Sugar! (Carolee)The Speckled Beauty:A Dog and His PeopleRick Bragg (Knopf, $26)A heartwarming, whimsical memoir about how a bad stray dog and his imperfect human make a perfect family. This is my favorite book to give this season. Speck was not just a bad boy — he was a terrible, terrible boy — but it's a known fact that every dog is a healer. In times of loss and uncertainty, Speck is there for people who need him most. Magical storytelling about unconditional love. (Aggie)Where the Deer and Antelope PlayNick Oerman (Dutton, $28)Oerman takes us with him on a journey through nature as he meditates on the importance and beauty of America’s national parks. His voice is both charming and clever, putting the same amount of care into describing his hiking gear as the hikes themselves. I wish he would narrate my life! (Ella)

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KEPLER’S BOOKS · 1010 EL CAMINO REAL MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · (650) 324-4321The Storyteller:Tales of Life and MusicDave Grohl (Dey Street Books, $26.99)In this fun, insightful memoir, Dave Grohl shares his story, from being a young boy with a dream of rock stardom to the high profile he enjoys now. Taking the reader on a journey from his early career in Scream, through his time in Nirvana, and now with the Foo Fighters, he is quite a talented storyteller indeed. (Kirsten)Renegades: Born in the USABarack Obama and Bruce Springsteen (Crown, $50)Obama and Springsteen both lend their incredible, unique voices to this book as they explore their experiences with race, masculinity, and what it means to be a father. Taking advantage of both backgrounds, political and musical, they discuss the state of America and its best hope for unity. (Ella)Broken Horses: A MemoirBrandi Carlile (Crown, $28)Perfect for fans of Elton John, Dolly Parton, and Dave Matthews. This is a book not just about how music is made, but how a musician is made. Carlile, a self-described extreme empath, invites readers into her heart, showing them her best and her worst memories and how they’ve shaped her work. Powerful, honest, and poetic, Broken Horses knocked me out of my saddle. (Brittany)7

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GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE IN STORE AND AT KEPLERS.COMTaste: My Life Through FoodStanley Tucci (Gallery Books, $28)Being Italian-American myself, I could relate to Tucci’s childhood experiences, and especially the family interactions around an Italian-American table. Tucci’s dry sense of humor in describing his life, and his pairing of his life’s work with good meals along the way, is priceless. (Sina)Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love: Recipes to Unlock the Secrets of Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer: A CookbookYotam Ottolenghi, Noor Murad (Clarkson Potter Publishers, $32)Yotam Ottolenghi has never steered me wrong, and his newest cookbook is no dierent. This time he works his Middle Eastern-infused magic on our pantries and freezers. Test Kitchen recipes deliver the flavor of Ottolenghi with minimal stress and no extra trips to the grocery store. Sign me up! (Stephanie)Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's GuideCecily Wong and Dylan Thuras (Workman, $42.50)An adventure is only as good as the foods you enjoy along the way! Gastro Obscura is the perfect companion for those with a wanderlust heart and a taste for new experiences. (Jenna)Burnt Toast and Other Disasters:A Book of Heroic Hacks, Fabulous Fixes, and Secret SaucesCal Peternell (William Morrow & Company, $25.99)Try as we might to get the best ingredients and best produce each time we cook, sometimes time, budget, and mistakes plague our cooking process. Peternell, who spent two decades at Chez Panisse, teaches us how to right our wrongs deliciously, and to transform ordinary staples into treasured meals. (Charlie)8

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KEPLER’S BOOKS · 1010 EL CAMINO REAL MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · (650) 324-43219The Book of Hope:A Survival Guide for Trying TimesJane Goodall(Celadon Books, $28)What is hope, where does it come from, and how do we pass it along to our children — these are the central themes of this lovely, time-critical book. Having “hope” is hard these days. However, as history has proven, humanity is resilient. Jane can help you find it. (Sina)Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid:The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate ChangeThor Hanson (Basic Books, $28)An inviting read into scientific research devoted to climate change’s impact on life, from the smallest plankton to forests, from teeny insects to the largest animals. The research finds interesting correlations on adaptations, from changing behavior in angelfish to survival strategies even on genetic levels of hurricane lizards. Life‘s on the move. (Marilyn)The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson,Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double HelixHoward Markel (W.W. Norton, $30)“Heart-pounding excitement,” “Must-read,” “A book for every reader,” “Unravels the most profound scientific mystery of our time,” “A lively and sweeping narrative of this landmark discovery… that finally gives the woman at the center of this drama her due.” — Brought to you by a trained historian, physician, and accomplished writer. (Praveen)This Is Your Mind on PlantsMichael Pollan (Penguin, $28)Michael Pollan does it again, this time delving into the power of three plant drugs: opium, caeine, and mescaline. In his clear and engaging prose, he explores the history, science, and his personal experience with each. Part journalism; part memoir...another fabulous book by one of my favorite authors! (Carolee)The Once and Future Forest:California's Iconic RedwoodsSave the Redwoods League(Heyday Books, $26)Five excellent writers share their deep knowledge of our majestic redwood forests. You’ll learn about species unique to their canopy as well as new tech tools used for a deeper study of climate change. This will appeal to anyone who has ever been fascinated by these beautiful, mysterious, important trees. (Marilyn)

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GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE IN STORE AND AT KEPLERS.COM101000 Years of Joys and Sorrows:A MemoirAi Weiwei, Allan H. Barr (translator)(Crown Publishing Group, $32)While detained by Chinese authorities, artist-activist Ai Weiwei envisioned his memoir as a gift for both his son and his late father, a celebrated poet who himself endured years of exile. A remarkable story of artistic risk-taking and hope, demonstrating that “the individual’s yearning for freedom can never be repressed.” (Jasmine)The Baseball 100Joe Posnanski(Simon and Schuster, $40)Posnanski guides the reader through the best players in baseball history and definitively ranks each from 100 to 1, with some choices which are bound to be controversial. From the inception of the game to the present, he shares many fascinating stories about the legends that made baseball America’s favorite pastime. (Charlie)Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced,and Stumbled Our Way to CivilizationEdward Slingerland (Little, Brown Spark, $29)Grab a glass of your favorite spirit and sink into Edward Slingerland's wonderful exploration of some surprising ways booze has impacted humans and the development of civilization. Much of it is positive, so cheers to that! (Carolee)The Dawn of Everything:A New History of HumanityDavid Graeber, David Wengrow (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $35)If the future doesn’t look too bright, take a note from the past! Did bands of hunter-gatherers spend all their time on food? Were early farmers creating dominating hierarchies? These scholars carefully and thoughtfully use recent studies to argue for a more interesting approach to our species' past. (Charlie)

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KEPLER’S BOOKS · 1010 EL CAMINO REAL MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · (650) 324-432111Poet Warrior: A MemoirJoy Harjo (W.W. Norton, $25)Our Poet Laureate is a storyteller of grace and insight, keenly connected to the flow of the world. To read her work is to be spoken to intimately, and to be guided down her intense and passionate path is a privilege I highly recommend. (Harry)How to Live. What to Do:In Search of Ourselves in Life and LiteratureJosh Cohen (Pantheon Books, $28)What can fictional characters teach us about living our own real and often messy lives? Anything but prescriptive, How to Live. What to Do transcends self-help; instead, it oers a new mode of self-inquiry through literature, a practice to last a lifetime. Rewarding and profound! (Jasmine)Several People Are TypingCalvin Kasulke (Doubleday Books, $24)Gerald's consciousness gets accidentally uploaded into his work's Slack channel in this hilarious, absurdist novel. Kasulke is brilliant in this satire of our brave new world of Zoom and working from home, and has created the perfect gift to send to your colleague. (Michael)I Hope This Finds You Well: PoemsKate Baer (Harper Perennial, $12)To live in the world is to make your peace, every day, with a certain amount of pain. The way Kate Baer turns her ugly-caustic-condescending incoming mail into poetry is refreshing to the soul. To see these familiar messages held up to the light and declawed is delightful. (Harry)

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GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE IN STORE AND AT KEPLERS.COM12Inside CatBrendan Wenzel(Chronicle Books, $17.99)Inside Cat may be confined indoors, but, through windows of every shape and size, he can learn everything he needs to know about the world...or can he? This book encourages readers and cats of all ages to pay closer attention to the spaces right in front of them. (Meredith)It Fell from the SkyTerry Fan, Eric Fan(Simon and Schuster, $17.99)When a mysterious orb lands in the garden, Spider claims this wonder from the sky as his own, charging his neighbors admission to a magical display called WonderVille. After an unexpected disaster occurs, only an act of generosity can bring wonder back. The exquisite illustrations will delight young and old! (Jasmine)Mr. Tiger Davide Cali (Tate Publishing, $16.99)Mr. Tiger is a sweet story about a masked wrestler whose trademark move, “The Leap of the Tiger”, has helped him rise through the ranks. Under the mask, though, he’s quite shy and would love help to talk to a special someone. This wholesome story will delight both kids and adults! (Sonia)Time For Bed, Old House Janet Costa Bates, A.G. Ford (Candlewick Press, $16.99)Isaac is having his first sleepover at Grandpop's house and is nervous about being away from home. As a solution, Grandpop asks Isaac for help in putting the house to bed. Going through the house, turning o lights, pulling down the shades, and reading the house a bedtime story puts Isaac at ease. (Kirsten)

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KEPLER’S BOOKS · 1010 EL CAMINO REAL MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · (650) 324-432113PonyR.J. Palacio(Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99)This dazzling historical novel follows Silas, a young boy whose father is taken away in the dead of night. His only companions as he embarks on a journey to get him back are a ghost and a mysterious pony. Heartwarming and unforgettable, this book is destined to be a classic. (Donna)LoteríaKarla Arenas Valenti, Dana Sanmar(Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99)A fantastical story about a girl named Clara who finds herself face to face with the myths of her childhood favorite game, Lotería. When her cousin Estaban vanishes, it is up to Clara to win the game of Lotería and bring her cousin back home. Full of action, adventure, and folklore! (Joseline)The Outlaws Scarlett and BrowneJonathan Stroud(Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99)Buckle up for this wild story! Scarlett and Browne — two scared but fierce kids on the run in England — couldn’t be more dierent. Scarlett is quick and mercurial; Browne is dreamy and methodical. Both have dark secrets, revealed slowly though this wild romp all over England. An excellent adventure! (Marilyn)Batpig: When Pigs Fly Rob Harrell (Dial Books, $14.99)It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… pig? This hilarious super-swine hero origin-story had me giggling the whole time I was reading. It’s perfect for fans of Max Meow and Dog Man, and will be a hit for any young reader! (Donna)

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GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE IN STORE AND AT KEPLERS.COM14Iron WidowXiran Jay Zhao (Penguin Teen, $17.99)A Chinese mecha fantasy with a feminist revenge plot? What more does one need? Zhao is able to write action and adventure viscerally, with careful attention to detail in describing ancient Chinese themes and future universal dangers. A vivid page-turner that will leave you craving more. (Charlie)Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the WorldBenjamin Alire Sáenz (Simon and Schuster, $19.99)This sequel to the modern classic Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon and Schuster, $14.99) is the perfect conclusion to one of YA's greatest romances. Ari and Dante navigate new love, new friends, and the pain and joy of growing into adulthood in this beautiful novel. (Michael)Whistle: A New Gotham City HeroE. Lockhart, Manuel Preitano (DC Comics, $16.99)I loved this beautifully-illustrated graphic novel which tells the story of Willow, a young Jewish activist stuck in an unethical job in order to pay for her mom’s medical bills. When a freak accident bonds her telepathically to her loyal dog companion, she decides to use her powers to be a voice for her community. (Donna)Daughter of the DeepRick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion, $19.99)Don’t miss this incredible, action-packed modern take on Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Aspiring underwater explorer and linguist Ana Dakkar stumbles into the middle of a century-long school rivalry that is turning deadlier by the day, and the secret of her mysterious heritage is finally revealed. (Donna)

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KEPLER’S BOOKS · 1010 EL CAMINO REAL MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · (650) 324-4321Invasion of the UnicornsDavid Biedrzycki(Charlesbridge Publishing, $16.99)A unicorn spy?! Join this fluy (and surprisingly kind-hearted!) secret agent as he explores the world he might just want to take over. Filled with bursts of color and beautiful illustrations, this story of an outsider learning to love his new earthing family is sure to make you want to bring this book home to your own Fearless Leader. (Brittany)Aaron Slater, IllustratorAndrea Beaty, David Roberts (Abrams Books, $18.99)Aaron longs to be a storyteller, but writing doesn’t come easily to this dyslexic dreamer. Fortunately, he finds creative inspiration and his own unique voice, transforming his struggles into art. Printed with a dyslexia-friendly font, this newest book in the Questioneers series celebrates the power of art to communicate. (Jasmine)The Book of Labyrinths and Mazes Silke Vry, Finn Dean (Prestel Junior, $19.95)Filled with photographs, drawing, artwork, illustrations, and puzzles, this book not only shows us how to navigate our world of lines, spirals, patterns, mythology, and real life mazes, but also explains why they are so popular. You’ll get great tips on how to solve mazes, as well as instructions on how to create your own labyrinths. (Kirsten)My First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters: 15 Incredible Pops-UpsOwen Davey (Candlewick Studio, $17.99)Mythological creatures come to life in this amazing pop-up book. Fabled monsters from Greece to Japan to Egypt to Russia fill its pages, and the many gorgeous illustrations will keep you captivated. You’ll read this over and over again! (Joseline)15

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Kepler's sta are the heart and soul of our work. Please help us pay living wages by joiningour membership program.JOIN OR LEARN MORE AT KEPLERS.COM/MEMBER1010 EL CAMINO REAL #100, MENLO PARK, CA 94025 · 650-324-4321 · KEPLERS.COMJOIN THE LOVE!“Fantastic, knowledgeable booksellers; incredible events; deep, ethical engagement with community!” -MT“The people there...they have helped me to raise READERS!!!” -Odette“LOVE it all, love the store, love the employees, love the books, love the commitment to authors!” -Kelly“You are a treasure.”-Mary“Kepler’s is a cherished old friend.” -CWF