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What you think your job is at Left Bank Books: Hair model

If you had a Super Power, what would it be? Animal shape shifting would check all of my boxes. Not only am I intensely curious about animals, but then I would get to experience flight, the depths of the sea, and everything in between.

What’s your sign? One of those duck crossing signs.

What’s in the trunk of your car? A sun bleached Illini bag containing a roll of painters tape, a front license plate bracket, and a trunk net that is missing the equipment to be hung. It has been there since I bought the car. That was in 2014.

What’s your favorite memory? I remember driving down the highway with my mom and needing to be ready to roll up the windows at any given second. She would bark at the dogs poking their heads out of other people's cars. As a teenager that was fantastically embarrassing, but it still makes me smile.

Using only one word, describe yourself. Ugh, bumbling.

If they made a movie about your life, who would play you? They actually already make a TV show staring me. It's called Bob's Burgers, but they had to rename my character Tina Belcher for legal reasons.

Stick or Automatic? I really miss driving stick. I love feeling like I'm an essential part of the whole driving experience.

Author you love to hate: I'm not sure about love to hate, but I have VERY strong mixed feelings about James Patterson.

Theme song to your life: Lousy Connection by Ezra Furman

Favorite smell: I honestly do not know. Pizza? My cat smells wonderful for some reason, so maybe her? Is that too weird?

Favorite pair of shoes (past or present): I have a pair of over the top floral print Doc Martens that are simply wonderful.


Bee's picks by genre:

YA Fiction, Sci-Fi, Graphic Novels



Staff Pick Logo
Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316440868
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - November 7th, 2017

This book reads like an action mob movie with a flair of magically super powered brawls. It's fast paced, but also well fleshed out. The culture of the Green Bones has a wonderful depth that includes everything from the necessity of these ruling gang families to all the flaws of their pride.  It's a well thought out, well written, and fantastically delivered read.

Staff Pick Logo
The Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316547611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 10th, 2017

This is one of those amazing books where it hits you so hard and makes your blood pump so fast that you need to take a break to breathe through and process what you just read. Naomi Alderman writes in such a way that you can feel the impact of this power in every ounce of the book. The Power is incredibly well thought out and well written.

Staff Pick Logo
Star Wars Lost Stars Cover Image
ISBN: 9781368013789
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney Lucasfilm Press - August 1st, 2017

Claudia Gray managed to accurately capture the feel of the Star Wars Universe while simultaneously exploring a new perspective that focuses less on heroes, and more on the people that are actually wrapped up in the mess of this intergalactic war. This was the Star Wars book I didn't know I needed. It has sent me down both a spiral of consuming Star Wars novels, and made me a strong fan of Claudia Gray.

Staff Pick Logo
The Witch Boy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338089516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - October 31st, 2017

 I find all of Molly's work fun and engaging. Witch Boy is no different. It's a wonderful graphic novel that takes a fun story and uses that as a vessel to introduce discussion on gender issues and the damages of forcing social norms. Meant for younger readers, but I think would be fun for anyone.

Defy the Stars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316394031
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

By all accounts this should have been a pretty standard YA novel. Instead it took the tropes and turned them over to discuss things like what defines person-hood, what makes a person good or bad, and how do we stand up for the things we want to fight for. I'm not sure when it happened, but I was pulled in and could not put it down until I was done.

Staff Pick Logo
Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition Cover Image
ISBN: 9781449489625
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - May 1st, 2018

Julia Kaye put the words to the confusing mess of thoughts I have had for a lifetime. I knew from that point this book was going to hit me on a deeply emotional level. Kaye uses her words and highly expressive illustrations to perfectly capture emotions that I've struggled with (and that I thought I was alone in experiencing). In the hour it took me to get through this book I was tearing up, laughing, smiling, sighing, and everything in between. Thank you Julia Kaye, if nothing else you have positively impacted my life by telling your story.

Staff Pick Logo
The Stars Are Legion Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481447935
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Saga Press - February 7th, 2017

Kameron Hurley creates worlds like no other author. Between the disturbingly one of a kind world building, the wonderfully flawed characters, and the enthralling unreliability of the narrator this book fully absorbed me.

Staff Pick Logo
The Poet X Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - March 6th, 2018

Poet X is a wonderful coming of age novel completely written in verse. It's beautifully written and navigates a wide variety of social roles and expectations. I think it can be summed up in the two lines: And I think about all the things we could be if we were never told our bodies were not built for them.


Staff Pick Logo
Body Music Cover Image
By Julie Maroh, David Homel (Translator)
ISBN: 9781551526928
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - November 14th, 2017

What an absolutely amazing collection of stories about all aspects of love and so many forms of love. The artwork fits perfectly with the theme and it explores so many aspects of relationships in a beautiful way.


Staff Pick Logo
For Every One Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481486248
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - April 10th, 2018

This has got to be one of the most appropriately named books out there. Jason Reynolds has managed to approach all of our insecurities in a way that inspires one to overcome their obstacles. It's beautifully unifying, incredibly heartfelt, and I feel fuller having read it.

Staff Pick Logo
A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620104996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Limerence Press - June 12th, 2018

Books like this are so important. It simultaneously analyzes the damaging qualities of our gendered language, why pronouns matter, how to support non-binary folx in everyday language, and how to stand up as an ally for your genderqueer pals. It's informative and filled with character. They recommend in the beginning of this book reading it then throwing it at people to inform them. I fully support this.

Staff Pick Logo
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

By the end of the first chapter of Children of Blood and Bone I was completely invested in the story. The world is fleshed out wonderfully and the characters are fully realized in a way that makes them easy to connect to and understand. It's a book that will consume you and pull you along for the magnificent ride


Staff Pick Logo
The Princess and the Pit Stop Cover Image
By Tom Angleberger, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419728488
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - July 10th, 2018

Listen, this book is awesome. The artwork is action packed. It's simply really fun to read. At 30 years old is it too late to say, "when I grow up I want to be her." I think it's important for media to de-gender things as boy interests or girl interests, and this does a great job of just that. Girls like race cars too.

Staff Pick Logo
I'm Afraid of Men Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735235939
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Canada - August 28th, 2018

This, to me, is one of those important books that talks to everyone. Everyone should listen. As enlightening as it is emboldening it makes me want to tear down the walls of our gender essentialism and misogyny. I’ve never read a book that so clearly illustrates that moment when a person approaches you on the street and you’re not sure if the violence that’s about to happen is because you’re a woman or because you are trans. Read this.

Staff Pick Logo
How to be a T. Rex Cover Image
By Ryan North, Mike Lowery (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780399186240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - August 21st, 2018

The first step to being a T-Rex is to be awesome. The other first step to being a T-Rex (too cool for second steps) is to read this book because it will make you even more awesome. You'll laugh, you'll roar, and you'll make your brother jealous with your radical claws.