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If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? Lois Long and Ulysses S. Grant. (Sorry, can't choose just one.)

What’s in the trunk of your car? Currently, jumper cables, lug wrench, tool box, Ryobi cordless drill-driver, bottle of motor oil, and old license plates.

If you had a super power, what would it be? Immortality. Is that a super power?

Favorite pair of shoes (past or present): Past - Doc Martin boots. Present - Chuck Taylor's.

What’s your sign? Really?

What sound do you love? Birds chirping at 4 a.m. (I get up really early.)

What do you think your job is at Left Bank Books?  Practical - buyer, merchandiser, and bookseller. Hopefully - provider of information that helps people better their lives and that strengthens the community.

Here are my favorite books neatly grouped together:   The Standards  Indigenous Literature  Murakami and More  Murder and Mayhem  What the What?!

And if you like talking about what you just read, join our Humble Beginnings book club to discuss the first novels from some of our best writers.


2018 Staff Picks

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles Cover Image
By Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780451491336
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - October 23rd, 2018

This is an absolutely beautiful story filled with some laughs, great friends, and a heart swelling story about family. No other book I’ve read comes close to explaining the human condition as simply or completely as does The Travelling Cat Chronicles. - randy's December Staff Pick, 2018

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The Little Snake Cover Image
ISBN: 9781786893864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Canongate Books - October 2nd, 2018

A wonderfully beautiful allegory reminiscent of Mohsin Hamid's Exit West with a touch of "Meet Joe Black". As a young girl, Mary becomes friends with Lanmo, a jewel-eyed, golden snake who is obviously unlike any other snake. He comes in and out of Mary's life over the next several years, finally helping her make her way to a new city when hers is no longer safe. A perfect tale exploring both the lack of and abundance of empathy in our world. - randy's November Staff Pick, 2018

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Scribe: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 2nd, 2018

What did I just read? Part post-apocalyptic nightmare, part ghost story, part Hatfields & McCoys, and totally awesome! - randy's October Staff Pick, 2018

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Lake Success: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812997415
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 4th, 2018

Totally disgraced, middle-aged, self-absorbed hedge fund manager abandons his family and takes a Greyhound bus cross-country in search of his college sweetheart during the 2016 election? Ridiculously funny. And per usual, Shteyngart has his thumb on the often ludicrous and always true pulse of our times. - randy's September Staff Pick, 2018

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Brother Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635572049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - July 31st, 2018

Francis has all the attributes -  loyalty, compassion, strength, defiance, love, etc., of someone we should all want in our lives. Unfortunately, in his world, they are not always valued.  With a devastating narrative, Chariandy creates a story that burrows in deep and will stay with you for a long time. It's absolutely beautiful! - randy's August Staff Pick, 2018

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Convenience Store Woman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802128256
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - June 12th, 2018

For 18 years, Keiko has structured her life around working at a convenience store and following the employee manual. Along comes man-child Shiraha. Perhaps he can help her be a little less socially awkward around her family and friends. Funny and thoughtful, here’s another Akutagawa Prize winner I absolutely love! - randy's July Staff Pick, 2018

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There There: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

The depth of each character is phenomenal. And even though we know where we're headed, the manic pace of the ending is filled with a tension wound tighter with each turn of the page. A great read! - randy's June Staff Pick, 2018

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The Break Cover Image
ISBN: 9781487001117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: House of Anansi Press - March 6th, 2018

Easily my favorite book of 2018! And I doubt another will come along. - randy's May Staff Pick, 2018

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Indian Horse Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571311306
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - April 10th, 2018

Sparse, beautiful prose that is packed full of feeling and meaning. This is a story about survival and all the dark, isolated experiences that accompany it. A real example of the empathy literature fosters. I loved it! - randy's April Staff Pick, 2018

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Gangster Nation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619027237
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 12th, 2017

Sal Cupertine continues his transformation into the Rabbi David Cohen, but he won't leave his old life behind. Gangster Nation brings back many of the great characters from Gangsterland, as well as introducing a new one that will wreak havoc on the Rabbi's life like none other. Goldberg does a masterful job of delving deep into each of his characters without losing the pace of a well crafted crime novel. What a great sequel! - randy's March Staff Pick, 2018

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Only Killers and Thieves: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062690968
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - February 6th, 2018

Tommy’s parents and sister are brutally murdered leaving him and his brother, Billy, looking for revenge. I enjoyed the story but what I really loved was the development of Tommy’s character. Older than his 14 years, he is constantly being confronted by the evils of the Australian Outback in 1885. And Howarth does a wonderful job describing the beauty found amongst all the sparseness and harshness of the desert. A great debut novel! - randy's February Staff Pick, 2018

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The Immortalists Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735213180
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 9th, 2018

Finding the words to describe how deeply moving this story is is beyond me. Beautiful prose, amazingly wonderful characters, and a narrative with the perfect mix of tension and tenderness. I absolutely loved it! And I am so grateful that Chloe Benjamin found these words and shared them with us. - randy's January Staff Pick, 2018