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Staff Favorites

The Duck Store staff's favorite titles. Check Often for Updates!

The Grind: Inside Baseball's Endless Season Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780399575952
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blue Rider Press - March 15th, 2016

Barry Svrluga’s The Grind is a fascinating and engaging look at all the moving parts that go into a baseball season. Focusing on the 2014 Washington Nationals, Svrluga sketches a cast of characters for whom baseball is an obsession. A perfect way to get in the mood for spring.

-William


Best Boy Cover Image
$13.46
ISBN: 9781631491924
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - May 24th, 2016

 

For readers who gained an understanding of autism from books such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and memoirs like Temple Grandin’s. With both startling humor and painful heart-break, the reader will gain insight into the difficulties of this unique human experience.

-Andy


Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9780062366696
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - June 14th, 2016

This book is a thorough, entertaining and amazingly detailed account of one of pop culture’s greatest disruptions in the 20th century: Dylan going electric at Newport Folk Festival. Wald delves deep into the cultural, historical, and political contexts of this immensely influential event. Highly recommended for all music-lovers.

-William


A Head Full of Ghosts Cover Image
$13.49
ISBN: 9780062363244
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - May 10th, 2016

Highly recommended for fans of horror and sassy pop culture references. This book manages to be completely terrifying, heartbreaking, and uncomfortably humorous simultaneously. Lots of psychological thrills, a little fore (if you are squeamish this book is not for you), and A LOT of social commentary.

-Fiona


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780062348685
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - June 7th, 2016

 

Welcome to the world of coming out in high school, 2015-style. This is a real page-turner, full of suspense as the reader shares not only the touching emails exchanged by the two young men pondering the risks and rewards of coming out- and Simon’s guesses as to the identity of his friend- but the events in the lives of the charming characters who people Simon’s life. You will not be able to put it down.

-Andy


Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few Cover Image
$13.50
ISBN: 9780345806222
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 3rd, 2016

This ought to be required reading for anyone voting in the 2016 election. A fair, balanced, honestly critical yet optimistic look at the American Political/economic nexus. Reich effectively debunks the big government versus free trade myth.

-William


The Girls Cover Image
$24.30
ISBN: 9780812998603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - June 14th, 2016

As a woman who was 22 and just coming of age in 1969, this novel of a 14-year-old girl swept up in the 60’s California counter-culture, resonated powerfully for me in its portrayal of those two life-changing experiences. I cringed, sighed, swooned, and wept in memory of the torture that was life for my 14-year-old self. Come share an amazingly vivid and compelling evocation of that bit of life.

-Andy


Every Anxious Wave Cover Image
$23.39
ISBN: 9781250067494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 9th, 2016

Rock music, time travel, romantic angst, and hipster ennui. What else could you possible want from a book? I love this book so much I want to buy a copy for all my friends so we can all read it and then build a house out of the books and live together with my friends talking about the book.

-William


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9780393351903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

Does the ever-looming presence of death fascinate and perplex you? Are you curious about the unsettling and laborious work it takes to make the deceased look “alive” for an open-casket funeral or why our culture is so adamant on making the deceased look alive? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then this book is for you!

-Caghain


Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice Cover Image
$25.20
ISBN: 9780399566844
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Large Print Publishing - April 19th, 2016

If you are a fan of Jane Austin than this is the book for you. A surprisingly refreshing contemporary version of a classic novel of manners as well as a template for the romantic comedy. The Bennet family is wonderfully updated. Jane is a yoga instructor, while Bingley recently starred on a fictional version of The Bachelor called Eligible. A wonderfully inventive and wildly entertaining read!

-Andy


My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth Cover Image
$17.96
ISBN: 9780795347047
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rosettabooks - May 3rd, 2016

 

Have you ever wanted to vacation in North Korea? Me neither! Fortunately we don’t have to, we can just read about it and look at the fabulous pictures. This is not a snarky, humorous book, making fun of North Korea. That said, it is pretty funny and horrifying. She does a wonderful job of conveying the incomprehensible absurdity of her situation without losing sight of the actual humans who live there.

-Shelley


Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear) Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780143108283
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 3rd, 2016

 

Jon Fine’s memoir chronicles a particularly vital (and possibly final) era in rock music, paralleling his own coming of age story in alongside the ascent, decline and reformation of his relatively successful ‘90’s era indie rock band called Bitch Magnet. Funny, well written and astute, you’ll appreciate Fine’s honesty and recognize a little of your own awkward stages in Fine’s story—whether or not you ever learned to play guitar.


-William


The City of Mirrors Cover Image
$25.20
ISBN: 9780345505002
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - May 24th, 2016

For readers who fell passionately in love with the incredible skill and grace with which Justin Cronin created the world of The Passage and The Book of Twelve, I have great news: this last book in the series delivers. A fine ending to one of the most impressive works of Speculative Fiction I’ve ever read.

-Andy


Everybody's Fool Cover Image
$25.20
ISBN: 9780735206038
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Large Print Publishing - May 3rd, 2016

Russo’s greatest assets are his wit and the heartfelt compassion and depth of understanding that he brings to the lives of ordinary blue-collar Americans. Not unlike the people you run into in your own life, the apparent stupidity of the choices these men and women make will baffle you that is until Russo leads you inside their hearts and minds. I give this book my highest recommendation.

-Andy


Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Cover Image
$24.29
ISBN: 9781501124372
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 3rd, 2016

There are so many stories to be told about WW II and Chris Cleave does a fine job adding to the canon with this wonderful story of four upper class young people living in England at the time when air raids were devastating London. By interweaving separate points of view, Cleave gives us indelible portraits of the effects of war on the development of his characters. The storytelling is masterful.

-Andy


Martin Marten Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9781250081056
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - April 12th, 2016

If you loved Mink River and The Plover, you will surely love Martin Marten. This time, Doyle spins stories of creatures, both humans and animals primarily, but including tails of insects and native plants, into a wonderful exploration and celebration of the mountain life of Oregon. The theme that holds all of this together is the two coming-of-age tails of 14-year-old Dave and one-year-old Pine Martin and so much more. If you love living in Oregon, as I do, for the wonder and beauty of the natural world, you will fall in love with Brian Doyle’s novels, just as I did.

-Andy


The Summer Before the War Cover Image
$25.20
ISBN: 9780812993103
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - March 22nd, 2016

At first, this story reminded me of Downtown Abbey as Beatrice, the main character, finds her way amidst the class restrictions of her new community. But as World War I approaches, the stakes get higher than the prejudices she must face as an independent single woman. The initial comedy of manners turns deadly serious as Belgian refugees are taken in and sent to the ravaged front in France. An utterly gripping story.

-Andy


A Little Life Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - January 26th, 2016

Brace yourself for one of the most challenging and emotional books you will likely ever read. A profoundly moving story of love and friendship, A Little Life delves into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled. In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human and endurance. When an author is able to create characters you love and care about as if they were real living and breathing people than something special has occurred. Yanagihara uses her magical gift of writing to do this with many of the characters in A Little Life.

-Nathan


The Opposite of Everyone Cover Image
$24.29
ISBN: 9780062105684
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - February 16th, 2016

Joshilyn Jackson has a way of fusing familiar elements into unique combinations. In this novel, a high-powered and successful lawyer who happens to be a single woman is lured into a desperate search by a cryptic message from her estranged mother. This novel is a mediation on what it means to be a family, the ties that bind us, and the secrets that strain those bonds. This novel is entertaining as well as insightful.

-Andy


This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9781616206017
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - May 31st, 2016

For readers on the lookout for entertainment with a punch, and who like a fast, witty read with an inventive style and plenty of twists and turns, I recommend Harriet Chance’s This Is Your Life. You’ll take an Alaskan cruise with 79-year-old Harriet, a widow for two years who will be forced to look back on choices she has made in her life and confront some uncomfortable truths. At times heartbreaking, at times laugh-out-loud funny, this portrait of Harriet and her “ordinary” life will resonate with readers. I agree with the publisher’s description: “Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother/daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, forgiveness, and, ultimately, healing.”

-Andy


Lovecraft Country Cover Image
$24.29
ISBN: 9780062292063
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - February 16th, 2016

Matt Ruff earned my eternal loyalty after I read Set This House in Order, and I have loved everything of his since. This novel rivals the first. What Ruff does better than almost anyone else is create his own blend of genre elements and social criticism into character-driven, page-turning, original tales. Lovecraft Country is a series of six related stories built around a small group of African Americans in the Jim Crow South. A must read.

-Andy


Where I Lost Her Cover Image
$13.50
ISBN: 9780758290557
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - February 23rd, 2016

 

For readers in the mood for a page-turning suspense novel written by a master of voice, character, plot and style, Where I Found Her should satisfy. Set in beautifully evoked resort town in Vermont, its main character, Tess, has come home to visit her best friend with her estranged husband. I can’t do the complexity of the plot and its character justice.

-Andy


Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780300216936
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - January 26th, 2016

Culture Crash is a disturbing and fascinating look at what anti-intellectualism and our culture of convenience is doing to the world of commercial art. A must read!

-William


The Marriage of Opposites Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9781451693607
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 7th, 2016

If you are a reader who loves richly imagined historical fiction, or you are already fans of Alice Hoffman, this new novel is for you. Hoffman will immerse you in this world and cause you to see it from the particular points of view of mother and son.

-Andy


The Nightingale Cover Image
$25.19
ISBN: 9780312577223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 3rd, 2015

I have a passion for well-written novels that explore the experiences of people during World War II, and I am adding The Nightingale to the list of my favorites. Beginning just before the Nazi occupation of France, it tells the experiences of two very different sisters. The choices each makes in the face of Nazi brutality will bring this terrible chapter of human history alive for its readers. You won’t put it down.

-Andy


My Name Is Lucy Barton Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9781400067695
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - January 12th, 2016

To experience life from another person’s point of view is to understand the meaning and value of that person. Nobody does this better than Elizabeth Strout. I don’t know how she does it, really, but Elizabeth Strout’s fiction, including My Name is Lucy Barton, has the power to move me like no other. Please don’t miss out on the small gem of a novel.

-Andy


Fates and Furies Cover Image
$25.16
ISBN: 9781594634475
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 15th, 2015

Fates and Furies offers many of the things that I, as a reader, love. Among them are: a book so full of unexpected twists that I want to start immediately re-reading it once I’ve finished the last page; a book that I can’t seem to stop thinking about for days and days after I’ve finished it; and a book that demands to be thoroughly discussed with a group of friends. This book tells the story of a marriage in two parts, first from the husband’s perspective and then from the wife’s. What the reader DOESN’T know, is what an extraordinary journey the wife is about to take. If you like a book that very well may make you see things ever so slightly differently, Fates and Furies is one not to be missed.

-Andy


Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.16
ISBN: 9781594486630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 27th, 2015

 

Carrie Brownstein’s appeal to fanboys like me—besides her ferocious guitar chops—is her accessible vulnerability; her willingness to be smart and funny; her unrelenting creativity. These things make her memoir an enjoyable and often moving experience. The book tracks Brownstein’s rocky childhood, college years in Olympia, and the formation, ascent, dissolution and reformation of Sleater-Kinney. Highly Recommended.

-William


The Flood Girls Cover Image
$22.50
ISBN: 9781476797380
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - February 2nd, 2016

 

I picked up this novel looking for a bit of comic relief. It sounded sort of like a combination of A League of Their Own and the television series, Mom. And in some ways it is. However, this book also explores the serious consequences of not only alcohol abuse but bullying and the punitive standards that can result from a hardscrabble way of life. I have not been able to stop thinking about this book since I put it down.

-Andy


Descent Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9781616204778
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - December 2015

This is a great literary thriller—more satisfying than Gone Girl. A family is vacationing in the Colorado Rockies and their 18-year-old daughter heads out for an early morning run and never returns. Her family, including her younger brother who was with her, are devastated and torn apart. Gradually, we learn more about what actually happened. I don’t want to give anything but it’s un-put-down-able!

-Shelley


I'll Give You the Sun Cover Image
$9.89
ISBN: 9780142425763
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - October 27th, 2015

 

A story of serious rift in the life of fraternal twins, Noah and Jude, each of whom is an exceptional, talented artist in his/her own right. As with the work of the previously mentioned novelists, you, Dear Reader, will be enchanted by the wonderful uniqueness and originality of the characters, and you will resonate to the reality of the dilemmas they face (which include, but do not limit themselves to, the trials of first love) as they struggle with misunderstandings, betrayals and the passionate need to master their own, very different talents and create art. Told with passion, humor and heartbreak, this one will take you on a complex and unforgettable ride.

-Andy


The Opposite of Everyone Cover Image
$24.29
ISBN: 9780062105684
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - February 16th, 2016

Joshilyn Jackson has a way of fusing familiar elements into unique combinations. In this novel, a high-powered and successful lawyer who happens to be a single woman is lured into a desperate search by a cryptic message from her estranged mother. This novel is a mediation on what it means to be a family, the ties that bind us, and the secrets that strain those bonds. This novel is entertaining as well as insightful.
 

-Andy


M Train Cover Image
$22.50
ISBN: 9781101875100
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 6th, 2015

Patti Smith will tell you her follow-up to Just Kids is about nothing—she’s lying. M Train is a beautiful mediation on grief, loss aging and art. Part stream-of-consciousness memoir, part travel journal, part love letter to the artists and writers that shaped Smith, M train is very different than Just Kids, but no less fascinating. High Recommended.

-William


Did You Ever Have a Family Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9781476798172
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - September 1st, 2015

Ever since Rashomon, I have marveled at writers who have mastered the art of telling stories by interweaving separate points of view, each with a distinct voice. None has impressed me more than this one. In this story, the reader learns how a terrible tragedy effects the life of the people who must find a way to survive it. The challenge of putting the pieces of this complex tale together into a whole that is far more meaningful than its parts, is made fully worth the effort because of the authenticity of the whole to be discovered. I have always believed that the true purpose of fiction is to develop in its readers a greater depth of compassion and empathy. If you agree with this concept, I think you’ll agree with those of us who consider this novel nothing short of a masterpiece.

-Andy


A Spool of Blue Thread Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780553394399
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - April 26th, 2016

I have no idea how to pinpoint the exact source of the magic that inhabiting the world of one of Anne Tyler’s fictional Baltimore families is, I only know that there is no place I would rather visit. There is not magic quite like the ordinary magic of how unique yet, ordinary individuals balance against one another and yet meld themselves into the entity known as “family.” The secrets and accidents that get interwoven into lives and relationships, all these Tyler shows us about her families. The revelations that lie behind the apparent ordinariness of American lives, this is the hidden treasure to be found in Anne Tyler’s fictions I only know that the saddest part is when one of her novels ends.

-Andy


Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781451666175
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone Books - October 29th, 2013

Hyperbole and a Half is one of the most enjoyable and hilarious books I have ever had the privilege to read. Filled with hilarious pictures and stories, Allie Brosh recounts personal moments of her life with such a unique style and wit. She uses humor to give great insight into important human feelings and experiences such as depression and growing up. Everyone should read Hyperbole and a Half and savor each hilarious moment on every page.

-Nathan


The Japanese Lover Cover Image
$25.20
ISBN: 9781501116971
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - November 3rd, 2015

Told in flashbacks that reach as far back as WW II and forward to the present day, and with settings as varied as the San Francisco mansion of an extremely wealthy family to life in a Japanese Internment camp or life as it is lived in an eccentric nursing home, this novel is filled with wonderful observations and insights into the survival of the human spirit and the endurance of love.

-Andy


The Girl with All the Gifts Cover Image
$13.50
ISBN: 9780316334754
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - April 28th, 2015

I love horror, but I’m pretty picky about what I enjoy. I hate any books about the post-apocalyptic world. And I hate books about zombies. But somehow this book changes this unbearably trite genre, turning it into something new with masterful twists and turns. Melanie is chilling, riveting character with an undeniably human voice that makes the pages fly by.

-Fiona


Undermajordomo Minor Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9780062281227
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - June 21st, 2016

Portland author Patrick DeWitt is swiftly becoming my favorite fiction writer. Like Sister Brothers, Major Domo is both an homage and satire of period and genre pieces- this time DeWitt takes aim at the Bronte sisters and the buttoned-down “manor house drama.” Major Domo is a romance, an adventure, darkly comical and wildly original. Highly Recommended.

-William


The Book Thief Cover Image
$11.69
ISBN: 9780375842207
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2007

Hauntingly poetic and immensely ambitious, The Book Thief is not your typical World War II story. With a unique narrative style (death is the narrator); The Book Thief offers a new perspective on a story that has been told many times. However, prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster. Filled with memorable characters, I felt like I was saying goodbye to some of my closest friends as I finished reading the final pages. This is a must read. One of the greatest books I have ever read.

-Nathan


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend Cover Image
$15.29
ISBN: 9781492623441
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - January 19th, 2016

I LOVED this book and I think that any bookseller, librarian or bookworm will love it too. Bivald creates a story that sings the praises of the power that fiction has to connect. While creating her own story of one book-lover’s life, Bivald reminds her readers of so many kinds of books, characters, and stories that we have all loved. Relax and enjoy this wonderful novel.

-Andy


On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light Cover Image
$17.06
ISBN: 9781770412965
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ECW Press - April 12th, 2016

I love novels that take me out of my comfort zone. I love them for the way they use humor to illuminate tragedy and for their apartment communities filled with familiar, yet different, quirky characters who are connected in meaningful ways. I love it when authors take familiar subjects and give the readers an entirely new perspective by creating convincing characters with unique, but believable, points of view. I love this book.

-Andy


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