Zazu's Past Picks 3


If it's got spaceships, dragons, wormhole generators, wands, or any kind of flying—I'm on it! I love sci-fi and fantasy (for any age), but I'll read anything, particularly the satirical, unconventional, bold, thought-provoking, historically accurate, geek-related, or tech-oriented.

Zazu's Staff Picks:

<-- See my Current Staff Picks here.
See more of my Older Staff Picks here -->


 

Staff Pick Logo
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250112576
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 20th, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Eloquent Rage

Comments:
Just the other day a man came in, vociferously lamenting the "angry" tone of a feminist biography he'd recently read. Although the book may not have been to his personal taste, there's no doubt women (especially those of color) have every reason to be angry-- not least because tone-policing so often negatively impacts them. (Think of being called "bossy" or "bitchy" instead of the male alternatives: "determined" and "forward".)

Dr. Cooper has written a beautiful book on harnessing that anger (and the negative perception of it) for the better. Her easy, approachable, even humorous style blends delightfully with her part personal memoir / part thoroughly thought-out and researched academic nonfiction.

A truly enjoyable way to spend a cozy afternoon, as she both entertains, inspires, and teaches. A truly remarkable feat for what could be a difficult topic.

Highly recommend to all men and women in the mood for a great read!


Staff Pick Logo
All the Names They Used for God: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399593000
Availability: Backordered
Published: Spiegel & Grau - February 20th, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: All the Names They Used for God

Comments:

I am absolutely astounded. Floored. Not only is every single story in this collection a stand-out, but each work leads you seamlessly into the next, pieces put together so masterfully into a whole that even staunch novel-readers will be unable to put it down.
The truths found in these historical stories are so skillfully, beautifully manipulated, that the characters, though in a time apart, yet whole realized, unique, and even relatable, feel set in ageless myths. These could be stories that have been told from time immemorial, whether short origin-story folk tales, or epic narratives heard round a night-long blazing fire, all eyes glued to the haunting tones of the speaker.
A perfectly delicious book to lose yourself in and have your sense of awe and wonder feel utterly reinvogarated.


Staff Pick Logo
The Long Island Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781452154855
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - April 3rd, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: The Long Island

Comments:

Coming soon!!


Staff Pick Logo
We Are Brothers Cover Image
By Yves Nadon, Jean Claverie (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781568462929
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Creative Editions - March 13th, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: We Are Brothers

Comments:
Don't make the mistake of writing this one off or passing it by for its brown cover or "brothers" in the title. This is a simple yet delightfully lyrical story- not about plot or even family, but FEELING.

That universal feeling of fear... anticipation... determination... shock... elation!... camaraderie... contentedness... love.

It's absolutely breath-taking! You must read this book- just take a few minutes- and feel something GOOD.


Staff Pick Logo
Llamaphones Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781419728273
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 6th, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Llamaphones

Comments: Coming Soon!


Staff Pick Logo
Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence Cover Image
By Gabrielle Giffords (Foreword by), Colum McCann (Introduction by), Brian Clements (Editor), Alexandra Teague (Editor), Dean Rader (Editor)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780807025581
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press - December 5th, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Bullets Into Bells

Comments:
Whether you're simply looking for exceptional poetry or are feeling the need to engage in advocacy but aren't sure what to do, this is the book for you.

Breath-taking poetry is paired with short responses from people with whom each poem particularly resonates-- like the head of Gays Against Guns responding to a stunningly beautiful poem on the Pulse shooting. Each poem goes far above and beyond the scope of gun violence, though, and speaks to a deeply personal yet universal human desire, fear, or wont.

This is also a great entry point for those new to poetry, as each one has a context and thoughtful response, as well as book clubs or students and teachers looking for something to dig deep into for discussion. You may also feel inspired to look up something of the people and organizations quoted, and they can help give you a jumping off point into continuing to learn and advocate for change.


Staff Pick Logo
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481498548
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - February 6th, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza 

Comments:
I gulped this awesome book down in just 2 incredible days!


Elena is smart, funny, and ferocious. ...Oh, and she was also born of a virgin (it's called "parthenogenesis", she'd like you to know), hears voices, and, now, apparently... heals people? Unfortunately, she's living in a modern day Florida city, not some legend, so it doesn't all exactly make her popular.


As Elena attempts to maneuver both regular life as a teen AND has to deal with the burden of a potential apocalypse on her shoulders, the metaphorical, the poignant, the absurd, the sweet, and the funny, all come together to create a great mystery and coming-of-age tale.


This story shrugs off the stereotypical young adult genre tropes of meet-cutes, perfect romantic encounters, and superhuman teen protagonists. Instead, we are presented with a story that is all about defying standard story expectations and outcomes, allowing for a rich realism you didn't even know you were craving.


One of the best diverse young adult books I've ever read. Shaun David Hutchinson proves yet again his books are must-read for ALL!


Staff Pick Logo
A Secret History of Witches Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316508582
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Redhook - May 1st, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: A Secret History of Witches

Comments:
This book is so much more than the title alone implies - I gulped it down in 2 days, though it's also the PERFECT book to sink into and stretch out over a long winter!

Historical fiction at its absolute finest, this book follows the story of 5 generations of Romani women - mothers and daughters over the course of changing centuries - who must endure the sexism and xenophobia inherent with their family legacy and the times. Each generation is extraordinarily unique in personality, desires, and goals, yet the obstacles they face repeat themselves, just in different ways.

The language twists and turns beautifully, allowing you to clearly envision the wind-swept cliff-tops, damp leaves swirling into a cave that offers refuge; to spy the twisted darkness deep in the eyes of a pristine, self-righteous priest; to feel both the aching love of a gnarled cat and the sudden vitriolic hate of a former steadfast husband that target women of every age.
Fans of Outlander, Practical Magic, and other female-empowered family sagas and historical fiction will never want to leave these deliciously absorbing pages.

Louisa Morgan, I await your next book with great anticipation!


Staff Pick Logo
Paper Girls, Volume 1 Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632156747
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Image Comics - April 5th, 2016

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Paper Girls, Vol. 1

Comments:
For fans of Netflix's Stranger Things or even the cult classic Twin Peaks, this graphic novel evokes a gripping sense of gritty surrealism - well grounded by the desperately pragmatic girls on bikes who plow through the suddenly dark and mysterious world they find themselves in.

Badass heroines, a fascinating mystery, and weird & dark found lurking around every corner - it's the perfect comic to get lost in!


Staff Pick Logo
The Pomegranate Witch Cover Image
By Denise Doyen, Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781452145891
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - August 1st, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: The Pomegranate Witch

Comments:

Want to know about the
   pomegranate
      pomegranate
         pomegranate
                war?

This is a deliciously cozy story to tuck into on a long, dark night! Fabulous illustrations and beautiful, rhythmic language makes you want to linger and sing over each page.

The ending is particularly delightful and rewarding-- maybe there's more to the Pomegranate Witch than meets the eye... in fact, maybe she embodies what is best about childhood!


Staff Pick Logo
Seamusas Short Story Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781554987931
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Groundwood Books - August 1st, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Seamus's Short Story

Comments:
Seamus is short!
But he finds a fun & creative way to get tall!
I love that this story challenges gender norms without making a big deal of it - it's not a heavy-handed "message" story.

Light, sweet, funny - this is a great family romp!


Staff Pick Logo
The Nowhere Girls Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481481731
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - October 10th, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: The Nowhere Girls

Comments:
This is the book I wish everyone would read, regardless of their age or personal interests. 

It's about three girls, whose stories don't often get told, but it is also about a whole school, and a whole town, who don't want to hear them, yet it is also about all girls, everywhere, and all boys, and all kids, and all humans who so often feel invisible, unheard, and powerless.

It is also a story superbly written, an un-put-down-able page-turner, a breath-taking, heart-soaring, fist-pumping kind of a book that will have you cheering and crying, often all at once.

If you only read one book this year, let it be this one.


Staff Pick Logo
The Fog Cover Image
By Kyo Maclear, Kenard Pak (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781770494923
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tundra Books - May 16th, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: The Fog

Comments:
The fog crept up on the animals on the Island. It was terrible-they couldn't see anyone or anything! But what could they do? They got used to it and pretty soon, they all forgot there had ever been a time before the fog. Except for one little bird...

This is one of those perfect stories that teaches something valuable without hitting you over the head with the message. A smart, fun, sweet story, whimsically illustrated with hidden details, this is a book to treasure and re-read over the years.


Staff Pick Logo
Young Jane Young: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781616208691
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - May 1st, 2018

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Young Jane Young

Comments:
If you read only one book this year, let it be this one!

It will fulfill both your “fun, easy, page-turners” and your “smart thought-provokers” quotas. How many books can do that??

On the surface, this book is about a few women and their connection to the story of a political sex scandal. Just as is true of the media frenzy and the public shaming that ensues (both in the fictional story and how it often happens in real life), it is not about the man who causes it. In this, Zevin is brilliant--she flips the table on this female-vilifying narrative, and CHOOSES to focus on the women, not to blame them, but to dig deep into their hearts and souls. We get to know them, and love them, for all their bits and pieces.


I rejoice in the existence of this book. It is not one-sided, it revels in the complexities of issues pertaining to sexism and does not shy away from asking the questions we've all asked, even if only to ourselves. This book, so easy, so readable and so entertaining, is also invaluable--for lifting us up, teaching us better, and giving us, somehow, a breath of fresh air and a taste of our own medicine at the same time.


Staff Pick Logo
At the Edge of the Universe Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481449663
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon Pulse - February 7th, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: At the Edge of the Universe

Comments:
This was a deliciously engaging book, with a premise so wonderfully unique you won't know where it's going until it's there. I love these characters from the bottom of my heart--not just because they represent people with identities and issues that are so often either overlooked or even belittled, but also for their warmth, their humanity, their love and hate, triumphs and hurts that feel so utterly real and important. I dare you to try to put this book down once you've picked it up. (I finished it in 2 days flat.) Your heart will never feel the same again.


Staff Pick Logo
The Geek Feminist Revolution: Essays Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780765386243
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - May 31st, 2016

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: The Geek Feminist Revoution

Comments:
Award-winning fiction writer and essayist, Kameron Hurley, turns her attention to the issues that have plagued her and countless women this century. Part memoir and part critical sociological commentary, this collection of essays is a satisfyingly unabashed examination of how pop culture fails women of every kind.

Anyone who reads stories, watches television/film, uses the internet, and plays games, and gives a damn about the power structures that undermine diverse groups within this society, should pick up this book. For those who have missed issues like gamergate, Hurley's words will teach with searing honesty; for those who know of these problems all too well, her earnest words will inspire and comfort; and for everyone in between, be ready to be enraged, enlightened, and motivated to keep fighting the good fight.


Staff Pick Logo
Real Friends Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781626727854
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - May 2nd, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Real Friends

Comments:
For fans of Raina Telgemeier!

This is an HONEST portrayal of what makes being a kid so hard--the ups and downs of friendship and "fitting in".

These characters and story will be relatable to everyone--whether you've ever felt like the outcast or the popular kid or anywhere in between.


Staff Pick Logo
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393609394
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 2nd, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Comments:
Admission - I'm not really a person in a hurry. But I just can't seem to ever get myself to read those longer nonfiction books, even if I'm SO interested in the topic!

Neil deGrasse Tyson here blends his hard facts with an engaging and often humorous narrative style - perfect! An information-packed book I can actually enjoy - and get through!

Highly recommended for every kind of inquisitive mind!
 
P.S. For a taste of N.D. Tyson's style, check out the YouTube video "Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains The Universe While Eating Spicy Wings" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da8-QfGemgo


Staff Pick Logo
Leave Me Alone! Cover Image
By Vera Brosgol, Vera Brosgol (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626724419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 13th, 2016

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Leave Me Alone!

Comments:
Sometimes... we just want to be LEFT ALONE!
This is a hilariously witty and sly tale with great illustrations that will help kids understand that it's okay to want some time to yourself.
Brosgol plays expertly with the interaction between words and illustration to giggle-inducing effect.
Fun (and relatable, I'm sure) for the whole family!


Staff Pick Logo
Grumpy Pants Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780807530757
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Albert Whitman & Company - May 1st, 2016

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: Grumpy Pants

Comments:
You know how sometimes you just can't shake that whiny, pouty, GRUMPY mood? This calming story lets you know it's okay to be grumpy, and suggests that what you may need is just a little something comforting and familiar to make you feel better! Expressive illustrations will have kids giggling and the story itself is likely to soothe the grumpies!

A new favorite for fans of our bestselling The Pout-Pout Fish!


Staff Pick Logo
Franklin's Flying Bookshop Cover Image
By Jen Campbell, Katie Harnett (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9780500651094
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thames & Hudson - October 17th, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu

Title: Franklin's Flying Bookshop

Comments: I love this book! Open it up and you will find yourself immersed in a beautiful world, filled with gentle rhymes, silly antics, honest musings, and a sweet love of stories!

For anyone who's ever felt misunderstood (like poor Franklin) or anyone who's ever felt brave enough to stand up for their friends (like Luna), this one's for you!

The PERFECT treasure to gift to a little one's growing library.


Staff Pick Logo
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763677541
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - October 10th, 2017

Bookseller: Zazu
Title: The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse 

Comments:
Has anything bad ever happened to you that turned out not to be bad after all?

Veterans of creating hilarious & thought-provoking stories, this illustrator-writer team bring us a great new origin story for the wolf's howl.

Get ready to giggle - and read this one over and over again!