Dora

Dora Recommends

Dora is a friend of the store, and part of the auxiliary staff for larger events.

If the writing flows I can read quickly.  The writing has to be bad for me to quit.  A sense of place enhances the experience for me.  Just a title or cover might attract me.  If everyone is reading it, I'm probably not.

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The Monk of Mokha Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781101947319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 30th, 2018

"The Monk of Mokha is a revelation. Not only for the information about the history of coffee or sense of Yemen; mostly for the hope it gave me in humanity. That was because the protagonist, Mokhtar Alkhanshali was someone whose persistence and courage against all adversity was amazingly formidable. Never mind the ongoing civil war in Yemen, being captured by a renegade group, talking his way through uncounted checkpoints, somehow this man found his way through that maze and delivered a shipment of coffee to Oaklandthat was deemed the world’s best by Coffee Review with a 97/100 rating. This makes sense since Yemen is said to be where the first coffee was brewed. We get a picture of him via Dave Egger’s readable and compassionate portrayal not just of Mokhtar, but also the many people who helped him. Each new character is vividly portrayed. There was the general in his home village of Yemen who initially seemed scornful,  but changed when he saw the shooting skills the coffee entrepreneur had developed shooting tin cans while growing up in California. Once the general took his side, village opposition and cynicism disappeared. Rarely do I  nd something that I don’t want to put down, but the Monk of Mokha is surely one. For all the numerous setbacks there is triumph when the ship comes in. Yes, in a way I’ve blown the ending, but that fact is there from the beginning. The point is always the journey to that triumph."--Reviewed by Dora


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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel Cover Image
$24.29
ISBN: 9780062645128
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - June 13th, 2017

"A reviewer in Singapore called Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows audacious. I would agree and say perhaps the author, Balli Kaur Jaswal was too ambitious or her editor too severe. Never mind. This is a fun, worthwhile read. Imagine if parts of Fifty Shades of Grey were baked into a novel like chocolate chips in a cookie. There is way more to this story then a few titillating fantasies. Interesting information about the Sikh culture, mystery, women’s empowerment, maturity and most of all friendship play into a very good story. This is one of the few books I wish could have been longer to give all its dimensions their due place. Well worth a read."--Reviewed by Dora


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The Leavers (National Book Award Finalist) Cover Image
By Lisa Ko
$23.36
ISBN: 9781616206888
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - May 2nd, 2017

"What did I like best about this book? Tough to choose given the number of positives. Lisa Ko’s empathy for the characters was moving and their circumstances were so believable. The immigration issue like any other has two sides, but reading this story makes snap judgements hard. Not to say all is grim. There is humor and irony, too. Readers can feel the plight of adopting parents in the suburbs as well as those struggling to survive with a salary earned in a nail salon. The ability of people to reinvent themselves might be the heart of this story. That is beautifully tempered by our longing for the familiar. This is one I would happily read again."--Reviewed by Dora


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Lenin's Roller Coaster (Jack McColl Novel #3) Cover Image
$25.16
ISBN: 9781616956042
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - March 7th, 2017

"David Downing has lots going on within the plot of Lenin’s Roller Coaster. There is an improbable escape by a man accompanied by a young boy through a Russia roiling with revolution during 1917.  Since the man is a most capable spy named Jack McColl, perhaps this is not completely impossible.  Then there is the woman he loves who is striving to have a career as a reporter.  Caitlin is a strong character whose story alternates with that of the spy, Jack, in cliffhanger fashion.  She is in the heart of Leningrad and must decide if she is a journalist or revolutionary.  There are lots of factions  ghting each other and they are all eager to get their hands on either of the protagonists.  Excitement to spare, I found this a tough book to put down."--Reviewed by Dora


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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Cover Image
$23.39
ISBN: 9781250113320
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 17th, 2017

"Lillian Boxfish is a delightful character in an equally delightful book.  Having lived in Manhattan since the thirties, she has survived into the mid-eighties and retired.  After a brilliant career writing advertising for Macy’s she now has more time to write verses.  She is no novice with books of verses to her credit.  My favorite part is this woman is based on a real character.  Kathleen Rooney writes so well you find yourself strolling Manhattan’s teeming streets with Lillian as she reminisces over her fascinating life."--Reviewed by Dora


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Judas Cover Image
By Amos Oz, Nicholas de Lange (Translator)
$22.50
ISBN: 9780544464049
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - November 8th, 2016

Recommended by Dora


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The Singing Bones Cover Image
$22.49
ISBN: 9780545946124
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 11th, 2016

"Neil Gaiman’s quote about these sculptures is, “I want to squeeze them in my hands as I walk in the dark.”  Me, I want only to look at the beautiful pictures that illustrate this one of a kind interpretation of the Brothers Grimm.  This is not a children’s book.  Rather The Singing Bones is a book for adults who want to revisit childhood, perhaps, but also take a trip deep into the unconscious mind with all its fluctuations from terror to wonder.  There is a profound depth to the artist’s simplicity of form.  Just check out The Turnip.  Read the bite size story and see what your imagination can evoke."--Reviewed by Dora


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The Wangs vs. the World Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9780544734098
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 4th, 2016

"The Wangs Versus the World is a departure from the usual book about rich Asians published lately. The Wangs were rich until the patriarch made some bad decisions and then doubled down. His wife, two daughters and college age son are in denial when the story starts. They quickly learn how bad things really are and almost as quickly begin to rise to the challenge. Reading the story as they go from privilege to penury for all the grimness is made hilarious by the highly readable and amusing prose of Jade Chang. Her background in art gives an interesting dimension to the story. The character of the older daughter has been a successful artist until she, too had a reversal of fortune. Ms. Chang’s description of what went awry and the art world’s reaction is hilarious. Also show me a book where the car has opinions. The pampered pink Mercedes is now schlepping them across country and tells you just how that feels. The family dynamic is universal and becomes relatable. The son tries to please everyone while the youngest daughter, still in high school manages to be furious with everyone. I did not want to put this book down. By the time I finished I was ready for The Return of the Wangs. Jade Chang in her first novel literally took me around the world."--Reviewed by Dora


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News of the World: A Novel Cover Image
$20.69
ISBN: 9780062409201
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - October 4th, 2016

Recommended by Dora


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Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780761169086
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing - September 20th, 2016

"Are you looking for suggestions for good Christmas gifts? Do you know somebody who is fascinated by the unusual? Do I have a coffee table book for them and you! Here it is: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders. You can check out the concept on the website of the same name. The book itself is helpfully broken down into regions where you can see the unusual objects and places for yourself. The information is clear and concise. In short a fun book to look at whatever your mood."--Reviewed by Dora


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Church of Marvels: A Novel Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9780062367563
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - May 17th, 2016

Now out in paperback:

"Leslie Parry may live in Chicago but her ability to recreate New York City at the close of the 1800’s is very good. There is an element of magical realism to this story which may not appeal to everyone, but I did not want to put it down. Much of the action takes place on Blackwell’s Island which is an apt name for a place where people labeled insane were warehoused and mistreated, but much more takes place on Coney Island and in Manhattan. Nothing is what it seems and somehow the author pulls it all together in the dramatic conclusion. Underdogs triumph and loose threads are pulled tight."--Reviewed by Dora


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Neither Snow Nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service Cover Image
$23.40
ISBN: 9780802124586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - May 3rd, 2016

Recommended by Dora


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The Nest Cover Image
$24.29
ISBN: 9780062414212
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - March 22nd, 2016

"Amy Poehler couldn’t stop reading this book and neither could I. After reading her blurb on the cover my only thought was, “I’ll just see about that!” Before the second chapter my only thought was whether or not the book would finish as well as it started. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney delivered to a very satisfying end. Her characters were believable, recognizable and ultimately charming even amidst dysfunction. Most of their problem stemmed from an inheritance that they were meant to share. Need I say more? If you like a family saga that is amusing and gentle in its mockery of human foibles; this may be the book for you."--Reviewed by Dora


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Murder on the Champ de Mars (Aimee Leduc Investigations #15) Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9781616956240
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - March 8th, 2016

Now out in paperback:

"Murder on the Champs de Mars is Cara Black’s fourteenth mystery in the Aimee Leduc series. Her baby daughter has been born, so now she is a working mom as well as seemingly never out of danger and intrigue. I like this series because it puts me in Paris with an intriguing cast of characters. This time she is trying to solve the disappearance of an elderly gypsy woman who may have important information about the death of Aimee’s father. The story is fast paced, exciting and did I mention that it is set in Paris? There is a handy map in the front so you can follow her adventures rue to rue. The ending is quite a surprise if you follow the series, so a good addition. Cara Black leaves me wondering what she has in mind for her next book."--Reviewed by Dora


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Mislaid: A Novel Cover Image
$13.49
ISBN: 9780062364784
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - January 26th, 2016

Recommended by Dora


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Hunters in the Dark Cover Image
$22.50
ISBN: 9780553447347
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: Hogarth Press - January 12th, 2016

"Robert Grieve is turning thirty and has no life plan.  Letting life happen can be an iffy proposition especially in Cambodia.  As a British citizen he isn’t worried about the theft of his passport.  The big casino win he scored in Thailand didn’t excite him much either.  Who was the man who invited him home and changed so much?   Hunters in the Dark despite its passive hero is a compelling read and a strange hybrid story of suspense, mystery and love.  I did not want to put the book down."--Reviewed by Dora
 


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Between Clay and Dust Cover Image
$13.49
ISBN: 9781632060372
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Restless Books - September 8th, 2015

"Stories of brothers in conflict are ancient and timely both, much like Pakistan where this story takes place.  Each one is a wrestler but one is righteous and uncompromising while his younger sibling is brash and sensitive.  Drugs are only part of what divides them. This is a story of generations of tradition traduced by the modern world.  Deceptively simple in its writing while rich in symbols and humanity,  Between Clay and Dust is well worth reading and perhaps rereading."--Reviewed by Dora


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Far from the Madding Crowd Cover Image
$6.29
ISBN: 9780008127701
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Collins - April 28th, 2015

Recommended by Dora


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Ghana Must Go Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780143124979
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - January 28th, 2014

"Ghana Must Go is one of those stories that makes you care about a family. Not because you want to be part of that family, but because their story is the story of all families. Their strengths and weaknesses, failures and triumphs are captivating and compelling. Most of all, their secrets and the revelation of those secrets are what makes their lives together seem so real."--Reviewed by Dora

The more I read, the more I wanted to know what happened. The author skipped from father to mother to children at various times in their lives not as a device to pull the reader along, but to help understand the person’s motivation. This is an author I plan to watch.


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The Tapir Scientist (Scientists in the Field) Cover Image
$17.09
ISBN: 9780547815480
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - July 23rd, 2013

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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 Cover Image
By Hakan Nesser, Laurie Thompson (Translator)
$13.50
ISBN: 9780307946416
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - May 21st, 2013

"If you like a police procedural mystery; this may be the book for you. The landscapes are largely interior and the story is grim; so be warned. That being said; I am glad to have read it because I was left with more questions than answers. Not about the story, Nesser wrapped it up tightly. My questions were in regard to human nature and justice. How can we explain, understand or justify the strange and sometimes horrendous behavior of human beings?"--Reviewed by Dora


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No Kiss for Mother Cover Image
$15.26
ISBN: 9780714864754
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Phaidon Press - September 3rd, 2012

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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Where the Wild Things Are Cover Image
By Maurice Sendak, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9780060254926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - December 26th, 2012

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant #1) Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780425192931
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - February 3rd, 2004

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Books


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The Ten Thousand Things (New York Review Books Classics) Cover Image
By Maria Dermout, Hans Koning (Translator), Hans Koning (Introduction by)
$13.46
ISBN: 9781590170137
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review of Books - July 31st, 2002

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Books


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Effi Briest (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By Theodor Fontane, Hugh Rorrison (Translator), Helen Chambers (Translator)
$14.40
ISBN: 9780140447668
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - July 1st, 2001

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Books


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The Age of Innocence (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Cover Image
By Edith Wharton, Cynthia Griffin Wolff (Introduction by), Laura Dluzynski Quinn (Notes by)
$9.90
ISBN: 9780140189704
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - March 1st, 1996

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Books


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The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780679743590
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: Vintage - August 23rd, 1994

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Books


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Mill Cover Image
$8.96
ISBN: 9780395520192
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 30th, 1989

One of Dora's 5 Favorite Children's Books


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