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Rachel Watkins

Rachel is the operations and events director at Avid Bookshop. She fell in love with books because of the mindful introduction to literature her parents gave her starting at age 3, when her father read her the entire Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. He read the entire series to her again at age 7. She enjoys tending to her 2 chickens, working in her yard, and reading with her dog, Dolly Parton.

My Staff Picks: 
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Leave the World Behind: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062667632
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Ecco - October 6th, 2020

I tore through Leave the World Behind, a breath-taking stunner that slyly becomes a heart-thumping thriller. Alam examines race, class, and family relationships subtly and this is where his storytelling shines. 5 of 5 stars!


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You Can Keep That to Yourself: A Comprehensive List of What Not to Say to Black People, for Well-Intentioned People of Pallor Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617758966
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Akashic Books - September 1st, 2020

Adam Smyer has written a book of humor that is totally on-point for today's cultural climate. A quick read, You Can Keep That to Yourself is a funny and blunt book that my 18-year-old daughter and I both read and then discussed. I wanted to see if it seemed relevant to her because it was very useful to me. She was more familiar with more of the content (youth!) but she learned some new things too. This book is the perfect jumping-off point for much-needed conversations about how to be an anti-racist. It's extremely short and very accessible. I wish I could give this book to everyone. (language: spicy)


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The Push: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984881663
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - January 5th, 2021

I read Audrey Audrain's debut, The Push, in 2 days because I literally couldn't stop. What does it mean to be a good mother? What if you don't connect emotionally with your child? How much emotional trauma is passed down from mothers to daughters? THE PUSH examines 4 generations of females as well as the ways having children impact one marriage. I loved this book.


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Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor Cover Image
By Layla Saad, Robin Diangelo (Foreword by)
$25.99
ISBN: 9781728209807
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Sourcebooks - January 28th, 2020

Want to learn how to be a good ancestor? Need to address your privilege and feel uncomfortable about talking about racism? You need to read and work through Me and White Supremacy.


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Parakeet: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374229450
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 2nd, 2020

The book is a treasure with the type of writing that slaps you in the face, gives you pause, makes you sigh. Whether describing hotel body wash or explaining day trading, the characters in Parakeet are interesting and yes, there's a dead grandmother reincarnated as a parakeet. Highly recommend.


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A Burning: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525658696
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Knopf - June 2nd, 2020

A terrorist train fire is blamed on a young Muslim girl due to a social media post in A Burning, Majumdar's debut. This compelling story has a cast of characters who are all making life decisions with moral implications, whether or not they realize the repercussions. Highly recommend.


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Enter the Aardvark Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316536158
Availability: In our warehouse - should ship in 5-7 business days.
Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 24th, 2020

A closeted gay Republican Congressman is thrust into a bizarre series of events involving colonialism, an aardvark, and perhaps a ghost. The backstory of the taxidermist who stuffed the aardvark provides historical context. Enter the Aardvark is a hilarious ride that is super entertaining and I highly recommend you kick back and dive in.


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The Night Watchman Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062671189
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Harper - March 3rd, 2020

The Night Watchman is an extraordinary book based on the life of Erdrich's grandfather who was a night watchman at a jewel bearing plant as well as an activist against Native dispossession. The other featured protagonist is Patrice Paranteau who you will quickly come to adore. The Night Watchman is one of Erdrich's best works and I highly recommend it!


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Little Family: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735211773
Availability: In our warehouse - should ship in 5-7 business days.
Published: Riverhead Books - April 28th, 2020

In beautiful prose, Ishmael Beah gives us the story of five children living on their own in an unnamed postcolonial African nation. They have formed a little family with code phrases, special whistles, and other safety measures for their life of petty theft while living in an abandoned airplane. The most compelling storyline in Little Family is that of Khoudiemata, the young teenager who is starting to understand her strength and power. As Khoudi starts to make friends outside of her little family, she begins to see that what has seemed permanent won't last.


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The Revisioners Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781640094260
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - August 18th, 2020

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s The Revisioners is a tribute, a prayer, a triumphant cry of gratitude to those who came before us. The intergenerational memories and desire for freedom and survival push Ava forward when things get hard. Moving into her grandmother’s house with her son seems to be a temporary fix, but she has no idea the legacy she has inherited. The Revisioners honors with reverence the histories of those who had no voice.


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Mostly Dead Things Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781947793309
Availability: In our warehouse - should ship in 5-7 business days.
Published: Tin House Books - June 4th, 2019

Arnett's storytelling is razor sharp and Mostly Dead Things reads like a beautiful train wreck. Death's influence is everywhere, from the roadkill and peacocks Jessa taxidermies, to her father's suicide. Arnett explores what it means to be vulnerable as well as lose everything and still be able to get up every morning.