Let’s talk about books, Des Moines!
Book Chat is a Des Moines Public Library team of librarians who are here to start you off on your next reading journey. No matter what genre you read (or don’t read!) the Book Chat team will use its expertise to get the right books into your hands. So how does it work? Use our dedicated phone line or fill out the form below to get started!
Borrow a Book Bundle
Are you looking for a pile of books and want to leave it up to our Book Chat staff to select the titles for you? We now offer Book Bundles at all library locations. Children’s Bundles include 10 board books, picture books, or reader books. Adults can get five books in their preferred genre or collection. All you have to do is call us at (515) 248-6286 between 10 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday, or fill out this form. We’ll have your Book Bundle ready to be picked up within one business days!
Fill out the form to get your Book Bundle HERE!
Call Us Now!
Our Book Chat hotline is now live! Call (515) 248-6286 between 10 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday and we’ll ask you some questions then start putting together a list of suggested books just for you (turnaround times: 3-5 business days). We’ll even put them on hold for you to pick up either during DMPL Express hours or during curbside pickup at any of our locations.
New and Upcoming
Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe
A brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)? How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker? When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken--including his dead mother--and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.
This hilarious middle-grade novel centers around the son of the world’s most famous tech billionaire: spoiled Jett Baranov. So when his father’s private jet drops him in the middle of a place called the Oasis, Jett can’t believe it. He’s forced to hand over his cell phone, eat grainy veggie patties, and participate in wholesome activities with the other kids whom he has absolutely no interest in hanging out with.
As the weeks go on, Jett starts to get used to the unplugged life and even bonds with the other kids over their discovery of a baby-lizard-turned-pet, Needles. But he can’t help noticing that the adults at the Oasis are acting really strange. Could it be all those suspicious “meditation” sessions? Jett is determined to get to the bottom of things, but can he convince the other kids that he is no longer just a spoiled brat making trouble?
Just Like That
Following the death of her closest friend in summer 1968, Meryl Lee Kowalski goes off to St. Elene's Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she struggles to navigate the venerable boarding school's traditions and a social structure heavily weighted toward students from wealthy backgrounds. In a parallel story, Matt Coffin has wound up on the Maine coast near St. Elene's with a pillowcase full of money lifted from the leader of a criminal gang, fearing the gang's relentless, destructive pursuit. Both young people gradually dispel their loneliness, finding a way to be hopeful and also finding each other.
The Barren Grounds
Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything -- including them.
7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up
To his friends at Greycliff Academy, Kirby seems to have it all: charm, brains, and a lucky streak that won't quit. He's also the notorious hero creating the snarky videos "7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up," which expose just how dumb adults can be. Why would any kid want to become one of them?
But there's also a mystery about Kirby. And when his best friend, Raja, finds out his secret, Kirby, Raja, and their friends have to grow up fast and face the world head-on.
Oh My Gods!
Oh My Gods!, the first in a new middle grade graphic novel series, reads as if Raina Telgemeier and Rick Riordan teamed up to write a comic, and offers a fresh and funny spin on Greek mythology.
Karen is just an average thirteen-year-old from New Jersey who loves to play video games with her friends and watch movies with her mom. But when she moves to Greece to live with her eccentric, mysterious father, Zed, suddenly everything she thought about herself--about life--is up in the air.
Starting a new school can be difficult, but starting school at Mt. Olympus Junior High, where students are gods and goddesses, just might take the cake. Especially when fellow classmates start getting turned to stone. Greek mythology . . a little less myth, a little more eek! And if Karen's classmates are immortal beings, who does that make her?
Take Back the Block
Brand-new kicks, ripped denim shorts, Supreme tee--
Wes Henderson has the best style in sixth grade. That--and hanging out with his crew (his best friends since little-kid days) and playing video games--is what he wants to be thinking about at the start of the school year, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to.
But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy Kensington Oaks, the neighborhood Wes has lived his whole life, everything changes. Wes isn't about to give up the only home he's ever known. Wes has always been good at puzzles, and he knows there has to be a missing piece that will solve this puzzle and save the Oaks. But can he find it . . . before it's too late?
Exploring community, gentrification, justice, and friendship, Take Back the Block introduces an irresistible 6th grader and asks what it means to belong--to a place and a movement--and to fight for what you believe in.
The Lion of Mars
Bell has spent his whole life - all eleven years of it - on Mars. But he's still just a regular kid - he loves cats, any kind of cake, and is curious about the secrets the adults in the US colony are keeping. Like, why don't have contact with anyone on the other Mars colonies? Why are they so isolated? When a virus breaks out and the grown-ups all fall ill, Bell and the other children are the only ones who can help. It's up to Bell - a regular kid in a very different world - to uncover the truth and save his family ... and possibly unite an entire planet.
Mars may be a world far, far away, but in the hands of Jennifer L. Holm, beloved and bestselling author of The Fourteenth Goldfish, it can't help but feel like home.
Lumberjanes Vol. 16: Mind Over Mettle
DINOSAURS, DANGER & DIMENSION-HOPPING AND ...OH MY!
Mal wants to learn to be braver, but when she recruits Ripley to help her face her fears, she ends up somewhere she really should be afraid of--the Land of Lost Things, a pocket universe where dinosaurs still roam the earth, and time doesn’t work the way it should. Stranded on her own in an alternate dimension, will Mal be able to find her way back home to camp? And back on the other side of the portal, will Molly, April, Jo, and Ripley be able to find Mal again and save her? Or are they about to get stuck, too?
Collects Lumberjanes #61-64.
The Dark Secret (Wings of Fire Graphic Novel #4): A Graphix Book
In the shadows, trouble is brewing . . .
When Starflight is stolen by his own tribe, he hopes to at least discover some of the long-held NightWing secrets -- what magical powers they really have, who they're allied with in the war, and where they've been living all this time.
But the truth about Starflight's tribe is more terrible than he ever imagined: Not only do the NightWings live in a dark, miserable place, but they've imprisoned several innocent RainWings there, too. Stranded and alone, Starflight only wants to get back to his friends. But the fate of two kingdoms now rests in his talons, and with no one to save him, Starflight will have to find a way to be brave . . . before it's too late.
Keep your brain young, healthy, and sharp with this science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline by neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.
Throughout our life, we look for ways to keep our mind sharp and effortlessly productive. Now, globetrotting neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting-edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age.
Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and cognitive decline, explores whether there’s a “best” diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from “super-brained” people who are in their eighties and nineties with no signs of slowing down—and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Dr. Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about the signs and symptoms, and shows how to ward against it and stay healthy while caring for a partner in cognitive decline. He likewise provides you with a personalized twelve-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.
Keep Sharp is the only owner’s manual you’ll need to keep your brain young and healthy regardless of your age!
Project Hail Mary
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.
Or does he?
An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.
If there's one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it's that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad's in prison.
Life's not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav's got everything under control.
Until, that is, Maverick finds out he's a father.
Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it's not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he's offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he's expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he's different.
When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can't just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He'll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.
Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.
A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May's story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.
Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.
The long-awaited new novel from one of America's most highly regarded contemporary writers, The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed and disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals and politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese "aunt," he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise - but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen, from the oppression of the state, to the self-torture of addiction, to the seemingly unresolvable paradox of how he can reunite his two closest friends, men whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition.
Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen's position in the firmament of American letters.
The Full Plate
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Enjoy family-friendly recipes that are ready in no time, when you've got no time, from New York Times bestselling author, online phenomenon, and TV star Ayesha Curry. Ayesha Curry knows what it's like to have so much on your plate you can barely think about dinner. But she also knows that finding balance between work and family life starts with gathering around the table to enjoy a home-cooked meal. The Full Plate brings the best of Ayesha's home kitchen straight to you, with 100 recipes that are flexible and flavorful and come together in less than an hour. You'll find sheet pan dinners and crowd-pleaser pastas, hearty salads and healthy updates to takeout favorites, and fresh spins on classic dishes-plus kid-friendly meals, desserts, and sides (and a few beverages just for the adults).
- Mushroom Tacos with Avocado Crema
- Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches
- Crab Bucatini
- Sheet Pan Pork Chops
- Guava Ginger Ice Cream
- Spicy Margaritas, and more
The Book on Pie
Look no further than The Book on Pie for the only book on pie you'll ever want or need.
Erin Jeanne McDowell, New York Times contributing baker extraordinaire and top food stylist, wrote the book on pie, a comprehensive handbook that distills all you'll ever need to know for making perfect pies. The Book on Pie starts with the basics, including ways to mix pie dough for extra flaky crusts, storage and freezing, recipe size conversions, and expert tips for decorating and styling, before diving into the recipes for all the different kinds of pies: fruit, custard, cream, chiffon, cold set, savory, and mini. Find everything from classics like Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie, to more inspired recipes like Birthday-Cake Pie and Caramel Pork Pie with Chile and Scallions.
Erin also suggests recommended pie doughs and toppings with each recipe for infinitely customizable pies: Mix and match Pumpkin Spice Pie Dough and Dark Chocolate Drippy Glaze with the Pumpkin Pie, or sub in the Chive Compound-Butter Crust for the Croque Madame Pielets . . . the possibilities are endless. With helpful tips, photographic guides, and inspirations--pie-deas--it's almost like having Erin in the kitchen baking pies with you.
In Snacking Cakes, the indulgent, treat-yourself concept of cake becomes an anytime, easy-to-make treat. Expert baker Yossy Arefi's collection of no-fuss recipes is perfect for anyone who craves near-instant cake satisfaction.
With little time and effort, these single-layered cakes are made using only one bowl (no electric mixers needed) and utilize ingredients likely sitting in your cupboard. They're baked in the basic pans you already own and shine with only the most modest adornments: a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of glaze, a dollop of whipped cream. From Nectarine and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake and Gingery Sweet Potato Cake to Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Cake and Milk Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cake, these humble, comforting treats couldn't be simpler to create. Yossy's rustic, elegant style combines accessible, diverse flavors in intriguing ways that make them easy for kids to join in on the baking, but special enough to serve company or bring to potlucks.
Whether enjoyed in a quiet moment alone with a cup of morning coffee or with friends hungrily gathered around the pan, these ever-pleasing, undemanding cakes will become part of your daily ritual.
One Tin Bakes
ONE TIN, 70 BAKESWhether you want cookies or cakes, pastries or desserts, something fruity, chocolatey, spiced or nutty, baking just got a whole lot easier.From Praline Meringue Cake to Matcha Roll Cake, Peanut Butter Brookies to Tahini Babka Buns, all you need is just one standard 9 x 13in baking tin.Varied and versatile, requiring minimal skill and little equipment, Edd Kimber's delicious treats range from simple bakes to slice and serve to impressive but achievable showstoppers. 'Edd Kimber's One Tin Bakes is a dazzler of a baking book, using one simple tin to make utterly enviable cakes, gorgeous pies, flavour-loaded buns and bars that'll have you swooping in for seconds. Edd's photography and easy style captures in each recipe a beautiful immediacy and freshness that made me linger on every page without exception.' Dan Lepard 'A terrifically clever idea - one tin, seventy bakes: From fabulous cakes, cookies and bars to perfect pies and tarts. The recipes are accessible and gorgeous - Edd really knows how to entice - but more importantly, he gives clear instructions for successful bakes. A must-have in your kitchen!' Helen Goh 'This book is a peek inside the mind of one of my favorite bakers, where creativity with butter and sugar is paired with solid technique and downright fun. Edd shares a true world of possibilities - all within a 9x13 tin. This book is an absolute must-have for every home baker.' Joy Wilson 'I've been a fan of Edd's since he won the bake off, not only because of his recipes but because of his character. There are no gimmicks and his passion and energy are contagious. Most of all, he makes me want to bake his recipes. This book is accessible yet elegantly photographed and you always feel like he is speaking directly to you, which is special. Of course, being American, I love a sheet cake and the generosity in these recipes makes me want to go to a picnic or a potluck.' Claire Ptak 'Baking requires skill and perfection and Edd's got it' Mary Berry 'Edd Kimber brings baking back into British homes' Vogue
I Cook in Color
Best known for her easy mix of cooking traditions from the American South and her homeland of Kerala in Southern India, Chef Asha Gomez continues to evolve her unique cooking style.
In this next vibrant cookbook, I Cook in Color, Asha embraces dishes from around the globe, celebrating international flavor profiles and the melding of culinary traditions that reflect both her cherished memories of her mother's Kerala kitchen, as well as her extraordinary travel experiences. Recipes include:
The Good Book of Southern Baking
Celebrated pastry chef Kelly Fields has spent decades figuring out what makes the absolute best biscuits, cornbread, butterscotch pudding, peach pie, and, well, every baked good in the Southern repertoire. Here, in her first book, Fields brings you into her kitchen, generously sharing her boundless expertise and ingenious ideas. With more than one hundred recipes for quick breads, muffins, biscuits, cookies and bars, puddings and custards, cobblers, crisps, galettes, pies, tarts, and cakes—including dozens of variations on beloved standards—this is the new bible for Southern baking.
Modern Comfort Food
A collection of all-new soul-satisfying dishes from America's favorite home cook!
In Modern Comfort Food, Ina Garten shares 85 new recipes that will feed your deepest cravings. Many of these dishes are inspired by childhood favorites--but with the volume turned way up, such as Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese sandwiches (the perfect match for Ina's Creamy Tomato Bisque), Smashed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions, and the crispiest hash browns that are actually made in a waffle iron!
There are few things more comforting than gathering for a meal with the ones you love, especially when dishes like Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are at the center of the table. Old-fashioned crowd pleasers like Roasted Sausages, Peppers, and Onions are even more delicious and streamlined for quick cleanup. For dessert? You'll find the best Boston Cream Pie, Banana Rum Trifle, and Black and White Cookies you'll ever make. Home cooks can always count on Ina's dependable, easy-to-follow instructions, with lots of side notes for cooking and entertaining--it's like having Ina right there beside you, helping you all the way.
From cocktails to dessert, from special weekend breakfasts to quick weeknight dinners, you'll find yourself making these cozy and delicious recipes over and over again.
An Eater Best Cookbook of Fall 2020 • This groundbreaking new cookbook from chef, bestselling author, and TV star Marcus Samuelsson celebrates contemporary Black cooking in 150 extraordinarily delicious recipes.
It is long past time to recognize Black excellence in the culinary world the same way it has been celebrated in the worlds of music, sports, literature, film, and the arts. Black cooks and creators have led American culture forward with indelible contributions of artistry and ingenuity from the start, but Black authorship has been consistently erased from the story of American food.
Now, in The Rise, chef, author, and television star Marcus Samuelsson gathers together an unforgettable feast of food, culture, and history to highlight the diverse deliciousness of Black cooking today. Driven by a desire to fight against bias, reclaim Black culinary traditions, and energize a new generation of cooks, Marcus shares his own journey alongside 150 recipes in honor of dozens of top chefs, writers, and activists—with stories exploring their creativity and influence.
Black cooking has always been more than “soul food,” with flavors tracing to the African continent, to the Caribbean, all over the United States, and beyond. Featuring a mix of everyday food and celebration cooking, this book also includes an introduction to the pantry of the African diaspora, alongside recipes such as:
- Chilled corn and tomato soup in honor of chef Mashama Bailey
- Grilled short ribs with a piri-piri marinade and saffron tapioca pudding in homage to authors Michael Twitty and Jessica B. Harris
- Crab curry with yams and mustard greens for Nyesha Arrington
- Spiced catfish with pumpkin leche de tigre to celebrate Edouardo Jordan
- Island jollof rice with a shout-out to Eric Adjepong
- Steak frites with plantain chips and green vinaigrette in tribute to Eric Gestel
- Tigernut custard tart with cinnamon poached pears in praise of Toni Tipton-Martin
A stunning work of breadth and beauty, The Rise is more than a cookbook. It’s the celebration of a movement.
The Mexican Home Kitchen
Bring the authentic flavors of Mexico into your kitchen with The Mexican Home Kitchen, featuring 85+ recipes for every meal and occasion.
Add a little sparkle to any occasion with 80 seriously simple cocktail and mocktail recipes for any occasion, united by their unique and exciting use of fizzy mixers.
Bubbles are shortcuts to joyful moments. Whether the bubbles come from Champagne, cava, cider, beer, soda, or kombucha, a fizzy drink signals celebration and instantly turns any meal or get-together into a special one. Fizz is the ultimate guide to introducing more liveliness into your cocktail repertoire and bringing the most casual fête to the next level of celebration--with minimal effort.
Organized by occasion and purpose (Bubbles after work? Crowd-worthy batches for the holiday? Bringing your drinks to a summer picnic?), the drinks in Fizz are as gorgeous as they are simple, with plenty of booze-free bubbles alongside the classics to suit all tastes. Spritzes, negronis, and sangria abound, while those looking to expand their drinks horizons will delight in choices like Spiced Rhubarb Tonic and booze-free Ginger Kombucha. There's a breezy mocktail or a potent punch for everyone, making it easy to turn any day into a celebration.
Half Baked Harvest Super Simple
From the author of Half Baked Harvest comes her second cookbook with 125 show-stopping recipes made simple: fewer ingredients, fool-proof meal-prepping, easy entertaining, and everything in between.
Tieghan Gerard is known, both on her blog and in her debut cookbook, Half Baked Harvest Cookbook, for her stunningly beautiful meals and thoughtful recipes that taste even better than they look. Half Baked Harvest Super Simple takes what fans loved most about her debut, and promises all of those comfort-food forward, freshly-sourced recipes distilled into quicker, more manageable dishes using trending techniques that sell--from the almighty Instant Pot to night-before meal prep. Super Simple is the compendium for home cooks who are just starting out or pressed for time. It teaches the most important cooking basics and delivers sometimes good-for-you, always hassle-free meals without sacrificing taste. Whip up everyday dishes like Cardamom Apple Fritters, Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese, and Lobster Tacos to share with your family, or plan stress-free dinner parties with options like Slow Roasted Moroccan Salmon and Fresh Corn and Zucchini Summer Lasagna.
Modern, vibrant, fuss-free food made from easy-to-find ingredients, East is a must-have whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or simply want to eat more delicious meat-free food.
Meera Sodha's stunning new collection features brand-new recipes from a wide range of Asian cuisines. This cookbook is a collaboration between Sodha and the East Asian and South East Asian home cooks and gourmet chefs who inspired her along the way. There are noodles, curries, rice dishes, tofu, salads, sides, and sweets, all easy to make and bursting with exciting flavors.
Taking you from India to Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan, by way of China, Thailand, and Vietnam, East will show you how to whip up a root vegetable laksa and a chard, potato, and coconut curry; how to make kimchi pancakes, delicious dairy-free black dal and chili tofu. There are sweet potato momos for snacks and unexpected desserts like salted miso brownies and a no-churn Vietnamese coffee ice cream.
Coconut & Sambal
Coconut & Sambal reveals the secrets behind authentic Indonesian cookery. With more than 80 traditional and vibrant recipes that have been passed down through the generations, you will discover dishes such as Nasi goreng, Beef rendang, Chilli prawn satay and Pandan cake, alongside a variety of recipes for sambals: fragrant, spicy relishes that are undoubtedly the heart and soul of every meal.
Lara uses simple techniques and easily accessible ingredients throughout Coconut and Sambal, interweaving the recipes with beguiling tales of island life and gorgeous travel photography that shines a light on the magnificent, little-known cuisine of Indonesia.
What are you waiting for? Travel the beautiful islands of Indonesia and taste the different regions through these recipes.
'Start with Lara's fragrant chicken soup, do lots of exploring on the way whilst dousing everything with spoonfuls of sambal, and end with her coconut and pandan sponge cake' – Yotam Ottolenghi, author of SIMPLE
'An incredibly delicious Indonesian meal on your table every time' – Jeremy Pang, chef and founder of School of Wok
In Bibi's Kitchen
Grandmothers from eight eastern African countries welcome you into their kitchens to share flavorful recipes and stories of family, love, and tradition in this transporting cookbook-meets-travelogue.
“Their food is alive with the flavors of mangoes, cinnamon, dates, and plantains and rich with the history of the continent that had been a culinary unknown for much too long.”—Jessica B. Harris, food historian, journalist, and public speaker
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Bon Appétit • NPR • San Francisco Chronicle • Food Network • Vogue • Delish • The Guardian
In this incredible volume, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and food writer Julia Turshen present 75 recipes and stories gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. Most notably, these eight countries are at the backbone of the spice trade, many of them exporters of things like pepper and vanilla. We meet women such as Ma Shara, who helps tourists “see the real Zanzibar” by teaching them how to make her famous Ajemi Bread with Carrots and Green Pepper; Ma Vicky, who now lives in suburban New York and makes Matoke (Stewed Plantains with Beans and Beef) to bring the flavor of Tanzania to her American home; and Ma Gehennet from Eritrea who shares her recipes for Kicha (Eritrean Flatbread) and Shiro (Ground Chickpea Stew).
Through Hawa’s writing—and her own personal story—the women, and the stories behind the recipes, come to life. With evocative photography shot on location by Khadija Farah, and food photography by Jennifer May, In Bibi's Kitchen uses food to teach us all about families, war, loss, migration, refuge, and sanctuary.
A Knock at Midnight
An urgent call to free those buried alive by America’s legal system, and an inspiring true story about unwavering belief in humanity—from a gifted young lawyer and important new voice in the movement to transform the system.
Brittany K. Barnett was only a law student when she came across the case that would change her life forever—that of Sharanda Jones, single mother, business owner, and, like Brittany, Black daughter of the rural South. A victim of America’s devastating war on drugs, Sharanda had been torn away from her young daughter and was serving a life sentence without parole—for a first-time drug offense. In Sharanda, Brittany saw haunting echoes of her own life, as the daughter of a formerly incarcerated mother. As she studied this case, a system came into focus in which widespread racial injustice forms the core of America’s addiction to incarceration. Moved by Sharanda’s plight, Brittany set to work to gain her freedom.
This had never been the plan. Bright and ambitious, Brittany was a successful accountant on her way to a high-powered future in corporate law. But Sharanda’s case opened the door to a harrowing journey through the criminal justice system. By day she moved billion-dollar deals, and by night she worked pro bono to free clients in near hopeless legal battles. Ultimately, her path transformed her understanding of injustice in the courts, of genius languishing behind bars, and the very definition of freedom itself.
Brittany’s riveting memoir is at once a coming-of-age story and a powerful evocation of what it takes to bring hope and justice to a system built to resist them both.
I've Got Your Number
A plucky bride-to-be makes an unexpected connection after she appropriates a stranger's cell phone. Kinsella pens her most lovably neurotic protagonist yet, throws her into a thoroughly modern romantic love triangle, and creates a laugh-out-loud caper. Proving once again that in chick-lit, it's less about the predictably feel-good ending, and more about the rollicking good ride it takes to get there.
A charming stand-alone tale about how modern technology changes lives. A nice light read for our current dark times.
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing—down to number four.
Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books—well, maybe not comic books—but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.
The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on—and they might not pick the same side.
Stephanie Perkins meets 10 Things I hate About You in The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, a fresh, romantic debut from author Lily Anderson inspired by Much Ado About Nothing.
Named One of the 16 Best Young Adult Books of 2016 (So Far) by Paste Magazine!
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
"I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."
So begins the latest whirlwind teen romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Co-written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES is a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
She won't back down. She'll never stop. And in this seductive, suspenseful novel, one gorgeous sister puts her future on the line for the exploited—even as her past and present collide, threatening to take her out . . .
Tyesha Couvillier will never forget the rip-offs and brutal treatment she endured as a sex worker. So as the new director of the groundbreaking Lower East Side Women's Health Clinic, she'll take on the Ukranian mob and corrupt strip club bosses to stop local exotic dancers from being pressured into selling sex. And if she and her crew can pull off an elaborate heist, the evidence they steal could upend this vicious game—and give exploited women a chance at justice . . .
But suddenly Tyesha's traumatic past and high-drama family are back on the scene—and turning up the heat to explosive. With a notorious celebrity ex-lover out to win back her heart, and a drug kingpin from her Chicago past in the mix, crucial scams go dead-wrong, and buried secrets bring wrenching betrayal. Now this fiercely compassionate beauty must gamble on tricks she never dared to protect those she loves—and survive to carry on the fight.
A Justice Hustlers Heist Novel
The New One
With laugh-out-loud funny parenting observations, the New York Times bestselling author and award-winning comedian delivers a book that is perfect for anyone who has ever raised a child, been a child, or refuses to stop acting like one.
In 2016 comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein took their fourteen-month-old daughter Oona to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked them up at the airport she asked Mike if he would perform at the storytelling night. She said, "The theme of the stories is jealousy."
Jen quipped, "You're jealous of Oona. You should talk about that."
And so Mike began sharing some of his darkest and funniest thoughts about the decision to have a child. Jen and Mike revealed to each other their sides of what had gone down during Jen's pregnancy and that first year with their child. Over the next couple years, these stories evolved into a Broadway show, and the more Mike performed it the more he heard how it resonated -- not just with parents but also people who resist all kinds of change.
So he pored over his journals, dug deeper, and created this book: The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad. Along with hilarious and poignant stories he has never shared before, these pages are sprinkled with poetry Jen wrote as she navigated the same rocky shores of new parenthood.
So here it is. This book is an experiment -- sort of like a family.
A funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms, joyful and hard-won vulnerability, becoming who you're supposed to be, and the limits of love.
Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson's a Black day care teacher, and they've been together for a few years—good years—but now they're not sure why they're still a couple. There's the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other.
But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike's immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.
Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together, or fracture everything they've ever known. And just maybe they'll all be okay in the end.
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, O, the Oprah Magazine, Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, Real Simple, Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, and Lit Hub
The World That We Knew
On the brink of World War II, with the Nazis tightening their grip on Berlin, a mother’s act of courage and love offers her daughter a chance of survival.
At the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. Her desperation leads her to Ettie, the daughter of a rabbi whose years spent eavesdropping on her father enables her to create a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Hanni’s daughter, Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she and Lea and Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked.
What does it mean to lose your mother? How much can one person sacrifice for love? In a world where evil can be found at every turn, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never-ending.
Two Old Women
Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.
Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail, Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women, she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal, friendship, community, and forgiveness "speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom" (Ursula K. Le Guin).
The Compton Cowboys
A rising New York Times reporter tells the compelling story of The Compton Cowboys, a group of African-American men and women who defy stereotypes and continue the proud, centuries-old tradition of black cowboys in the heart of one of America's most notorious cities.
In Compton, California, ten black riders on horseback cut an unusual profile, their cowboy hats tilted against the hot Los Angeles sun. They are the Compton Cowboys, their small ranch one of the very last in a formerly semirural area of the city that has been home to African-American horse riders for decades. To most people, Compton is known only as the home of rap greats NWA and Kendrick Lamar, hyped in the media for its seemingly intractable gang violence. But in 1988 Mayisha Akbar founded The Compton Jr. Posse to provide local youth with a safe alternative to the streets, one that connected them with the rich legacy of black cowboys in American culture. From Mayisha's youth organization came the Cowboys of today: black men and women from Compton for whom the ranch and the horses provide camaraderie, respite from violence, healing from trauma, and recovery from incarceration.
The Cowboys include Randy, Mayisha's nephew, faced with the daunting task of remaking the Cowboys for a new generation; Anthony, former drug dealer and inmate, now a family man and mentor, Keiara, a single mother pursuing her dream of winning a national rodeo championship, and a tight clan of twentysomethings--Kenneth, Keenan, Charles, and Tre--for whom horses bring the freedom, protection, and status that often elude the young black men of Compton.
The Compton Cowboys is a story about trauma and transformation, race and identity, compassion, and ultimately, belonging. Walter Thompson-Hernández paints a unique and unexpected portrait of this city, pushing back against stereotypes to reveal an urban community in all its complexity, tragedy, and triumph.
Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings
It's the first Christmas in Santaland for April Claus--but it may also be her last unless she can uncover a villain with a killer Christmas wish. . . .
Love is full of surprises--though few compare to realizing that you're marrying the real-life Santa. April Claus dearly loves her new husband, Nick, but adjusting to life in the North Pole is not all sugarplums and candy canes. Especially when a cantankerous elf named Giblet Hollyberry is killed--felled by a black widow spider in his stocking--shortly after publicly arguing with Nick.
Christmastown is hardly a hotbed of crime, aside from mishaps caused by too much eggnog, but April disagrees with Constable Crinkle's verdict of accidental death. As April sets out to find the culprit, it'll mean putting the future of Christmas on the line--and hoping her own name isn't on a lethal naughty list . . .
An outrageously funny adult graphic novel about middle-aged women that reexamines romance, lust, and gender norms
Lee Soyeon, Myeong-ok, and Yeonjeong are all mothers in their mid-fifties. And they’ve had it. They can no longer bear the dead weight of their partners or the endless grind of menial jobs where their bosses control everything, down to how much water they can drink. Although Lee Soyeon divorced her husband years ago after his gambling drove their family into bankruptcy, she finds herself in another tired and dishonest decade-long relationship with Jongseok, a slimy waiter at a nightclub. Meanwhile, Myeong-ok is having an illicit affair with a younger man, and Yeonjeong, whose husband suffers from erectile dysfunction, has her eye on an acquaintance from the gym. Bored with conventional romantic dalliances, these women embrace outrageous sexual adventures and mishaps, ending up in nightclubs, motels, and even the occasional back-alley brawl.
With this boisterous and darkly funny manhwa, Yeong-shin Ma defies the norms of the traditional Korean family narrative, offering instead the refreshingly honest and unfiltered story of a group of middle-aged moms who yearn for something more than what the mediocre men in their lives can provide. Despite their less-than-desirable jobs, salaries, husbands, and boyfriends, these women brazenly bulldoze their way through life with the sexual vulnerability and lust typically attributed to twenty-somethings.
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
Wanting to organize an assisted death on her own terms, a world-weary octogenarian forges an unexpected bond with an exuberant 10-year-old who drags her to tea parties, shopping sprees and other social excursions. Lyons' touching tale of intergenerational friendship is reminiscent of Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove and strikes a winning balance, reaching deep feelings while avoiding the traps of sentimentality. Despite the somber subject, this a thoroughly enchanting feel-good read.
"I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ."
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.
The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.
As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.
A Promised Land
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.
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