Molly's favorites

Here's Molly and the first chapter book she ever read by herself. It was some book!



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After Sappho: A Novel By Selby Wynn Schwartz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324092315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - January 24th, 2023

After Sappho is a novel in a class of its own. It’s a cascade of linked vignettes and fragments that stitch together real women from throughout history – writers, artists, activists, actresses – all striving for some sort of freedom. Their stories join together in a chorus of stunning prose, deep research, rich imaginings and and sneaky, mesmerizing storytelling. Recommended for lovers of Anne Carson, women, and words.

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The Baby on the Fire Escape: Creativity, Motherhood, and the Mind-Baby Problem By Julie Phillips Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393088595
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now (Usually Ships in 1-5 Days)
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 26th, 2022

It's hardly a how-to guide, but this is one of my favorite books on motherhood I've ever read, as a someone whose creative mind has been forever altered (largely in good ways) by becoming a mother. I deeply appreciated the range of emotions reflected in these essays about artists and writers and their relationships to motherhood—including Alice Neel, Ursula LeGuin, Audre Lorde, and Angela Carter, to name a few. It's a profound and honest examination of the great paradox of parenthood: how it changes you completely, yet you remain exactly who you are.

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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants By Robin Wall Kimmerer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - August 11th, 2015

I don't know why it took me so long to read this beautiful book (a longtime Point Reyes Books bestseller), but I'm so grateful that I finally did. Braiding Sweetgrass is a revelation, a sermon, a love poem, a scientific text, a memoir, and an instructional manual for how to live on earth. We're lucky to have it.

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Inciting Joy: Essays By Ross Gay Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643753041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - October 25th, 2022

I don't often pick up books that explicitly have joy at their center, but as Ross Gay artfully demonstrates in these beautiful, vulnerable, haunting essays, joy is at the center of more than we think. This book revels in the joy to be found in some of our darkest and most despairing moments, as well as in its more obvious expressions, like dancing and kinship and growing food. I devoured it, and then went looking for more joy, which is a pretty great thing for a book to do.

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Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures By Mary Ruefle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933517575
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - August 7th, 2012

These "lectures" meander through subjects -- poets and the moon, the joys and sorrows of reading, fear, and irreverence, to name a few -- with a voice full of wonder, wit, and wisdom. Guaranteed to inspire any writer, dreamer, creative soul, or lover of words, Madness, Rack, and Honey is the book I always wish I were reading again for the first time.

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) By Joan Didion Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374531386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 28th, 2008

She's simply one of the best to ever do it. This is the first book that made me fall a little bit in love with California.

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Signs Preceding the End of the World By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (Translator) Cover Image
By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (Translator)
ISBN: 9781908276421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: And Other Stories - March 10th, 2015

A quick and haunting read about crossing borders of all kinds: between the U.S and Mexico, and also across language, gender, and reality and other-worldliness.

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Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories By Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780140255287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 1st, 1997

Whether you're diving into the wondrous world of Angela Carter for the first time or your appetite for her work is already insatiable (there is no in between), this is a collection to treasure. It includes the re-worked fairy tales for which she is probably best known (The Bloody Chamber) and the hard to find and equally, if not more, amazing collections (Saints and Strangers and American Ghosts and Old World Wonders being my favorites).

The All of It: A Novel By Jeannette Haien Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062090096
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - June 7th, 2011

The All of It is a stunningly beautiful novel about family, religion, shame, and love. Reading it is like sitting spellbound in front of a crackling fire late in the night, when all the really good stories and secrets come out.

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Always Coming Home: A Novel By Ursula K. Le Guin, Shruti Swamy (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Ursula K. Le Guin, Shruti Swamy (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780358726920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - June 27th, 2023

Always Coming Home really is a novel unlike any other. A "fictional ethnography" of people living in a post-apocalyptic Northern California, it's full of stunning prose and landscapes that feel both surreal and familiar. It's an impressive artistic feat of beauty, prescience, and hope.

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The Brothers K By David James Duncan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553378498
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now (Usually Ships in 1-5 Days)
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - June 1st, 1996

All I can really say about this book, a big, beautiful novel that spans generations of an American family, is that every single person I know who has read it has loved it, and we all talk about the characters as if they're old friends. What makes a novel so beloved? It's hard to say, but this one just is.