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Gary's Picks!

 

Bookseller Bio

Gary obsesses over stories, mostly ones with massive worldbuilding and epic tales of fantasy! A pop culture geek at heart, he also devours media tie-ins for series like Star Wars or Welcome to Night Vale. And don't get him started on Harry Potter!

 

 

 


 

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
This Is How You Lose the Time War Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534431003
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - July 16th, 2019

There is a war going on, eternal and meticulous, between two factions that can move through time and space. Across many strands and possibilities. Their agents alter histories through the smallest of gestures, a nudge here, a whispered suggestion there. In this war, agents act alone, and there's no fraternizing with the other side. When Red stands amidst a victory on a war-torn world, she finds a letter from the enemy. It's coy, taunting, playful. Blue believes she's gotten the upper hand, and in another strand at another time, she's about to make her move when she gets a reply. This is beautiful tale across time and space is an intimate and poetic in the best of ways. 

--Gary


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The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316489768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - July 16th, 2019

As an avid fan of fantasy, I'm always eager to find a new epic world to sink my teeth into. The Rage of Dragons is one such a world; a civilization trapped in an unending cycle of warfare. It's gritty, brutal, and dangerous. While soldiers are sent to fight a war along the border, class tensions cause a whole other slew of problems at home. Within this world, we're introduced to Tau, a common boy who wants to be a swordsman. When tragedy strikes, Tau sets out on a mission for vengeance, and he'll stop at nothing to prove that even a Lesser can prove more fearsome and formidable than any Noble. 

--Gary


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Master & Apprentice (Star Wars) Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780525619376
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - April 16th, 2019

Twenty years ago, I discovered my love for Star Wars. I was eight years old, sitting at the end of the front row of a sold-out movie theater when Phantom Menace premiered. I was too young to be disappointed, the way many fans of the original trilogy were. I've grown up since to be an avid defender of the prequels, but at the time I was just enthralled. This movie was for me. The film opens with two Jedi, a Master and an Apprentice. Twenty years later, Claudia Gray has breathed life into this relationship that ended far too soon. This story, which takes place nearly a decade prior to Episode I, shines a light on the dynamic duo. Qui-Gon is a bit of a renegade, a student of prophecy who disagrees with many of the decisions of the Jedi Council. Obi-Wan is a bit of a stickler, a by the books padawan determined to become a great Jedi Knight. When the two of them are sent to Pijal, they'll be forced to reconcile with their beliefs and their faith in not only themselves, or the council, but the will of the Force. It’s everything my inner child could have hoped for and more.

--Gary


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Star Wars Queen's Shadow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368024259
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney Lucasfilm Press - March 5th, 2019

As a fan of all things Star Wars, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. Set just a few years after the events of The Phantom Menace, Queen's Shadow follows Padmé Naberrie, the former Queen of Naboo, as she transitions from her role in planetary politics to broader, galactic affairs. Along with her loyal handmaidens, Padmé travels to Coruscant to begin her life in the Senate. Once there, she must learn to navigate this new, more complex political field, allying herself with other senators in order to fight for the causes she believes in. There's a warmth to this story that was refreshing, and though we're spared from the blaster fire and epic space battles of most Star Wars stories, the stakes are just as high! I could not put this book down. 

--Gary


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The Raven Tower Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316388696
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - February 26th, 2019

The Raven Tower is a fantasy novel unlike anything I've ever read before. The narrator is a god, a very old, very pensive god. The story is told in two parts, one following the tale of the soldier Eolo, who finds himself in Vastai during a time of upheaval, and the other chronicling the history of The Strength and Patience of the Hill, our narrator. While the book alternates between these two narratives, it never feels rushed. Strength and Patience has all the time in the world, and that comes through in the way they tell this story. Despite this, the two stories weave together beautifully, culminating with our protagonists officially meeting and forever changing the destiny of the city where this all takes place. For anyone who enjoys high concepts and rich storytelling, this one's a must! 

--Gary


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The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250175489
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - February 5th, 2019

The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating narrative; it's a text that exists within the world that Lyons has created, with relevant footnotes and annotations to add to the reader's understanding. When we begin our story, Kihrin, our protagonist, is in prison. His jailer, a mimic who can read minds and change her appearance at will, demands her prisoner tell her a story. And so it begins, with Kihrin explaining just how he wound up in this situation. He and his jailer take turns retelling the events that led us to this moment, with each chapter alternating viewpoints. Even though the two stories take place at different points in time, they both weave together brilliantly. It's a tale of gods, kings, and demons. And that's only the beginning. As an avid reader of epic fantasy stories, it just doesn't get much better than this! 

--Gary


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Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy (Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, Art of Star Wars, SciFi Gifts for Women) Cover Image
By Amy Ratcliffe, Kathleen Kennedy (Foreword by)
$29.95
ISBN: 9781452166315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - October 30th, 2018

When looking back at the Star Wars saga, especially the original trilogy in particular, it's very easy to wonder where all the female characters are. Beyond Princess Leia herself, it doesn't seem like there's enough representation in the Star Wars galaxy. Never fear! This wonderful book by Amy Ratcliffe provides a wealth of information about all the female characters that have appeared over the years. Not only in the movies, but in the books and comics and TV shows too! Each chapter details another character, introducing the reader to who these fierce women are, where they came from, and why they're important! The book is also filled with beautiful artwork from many talented artists. I cannot recommend it enough! 

--Gary


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The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781524798024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - October 9th, 2018

Like the previous installments in The World of Lore, Dreadful Places, is an engaging deep dive into all things horrifying. This particular title focuses all on, well, "dreadful places". From haunted hotels to creepy castles to faraway shores, accounts of the horrific are ever-present. Aaron Mahnke does a wonderful job of retelling the local folk tales, before digging even deeper to find the nuggets of truth in each of these stories. Plus, the illustrations are just to die for. ;)

I loved this book! 

--Gary


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Alice Isn't Dead: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062844132
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 30th, 2018

"This isn't a story. It's a road trip."

Whether you're a fan of the podcast, or just a fan of horror stories, Alice Isn't Dead is the perfect thriller. The story follows Keisha Lewis, whose wife Alice has gone missing. After months of searching to no avail, she mourns, believing Alice to be dead. That is, until she spots Alice in the background of news reports from all across America. Keisha takes a job with a trucking company, and travels the country, determined to find her wife. What she finds instead is an otherworldly conflict in the hidden corners of our nation. Keisha doesn't know what this secret war with inhuman killers has to do with her, but she has learned one thing: Alice isn't dead, and she'll do whatever it takes to find her. 

--Gary 


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Hilda and the Hidden People: Netflix Original Series Book 1 Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781911171447
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flying Eye Books - September 4th, 2018

Hilda is a tough, blue-haired adventurer who lives in the wilderness with her mother and her trusty deer fox, Twig. Now the star of her very own Netflix show, Hilda was first introduced in a series of graphic novels by Luke Pearson. Hilda and the Hidden Folk is a faithful retelling of the first two Hilda stories, giving even more depth to her encounters with the trolls, elves, and giants that live in the wilderness around her home.On her quest to save her house from destruction, she encounters weather spirits, rides on the back of a woof, and helps a giant find his long lost love. I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait for the next one! 

--Gary


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The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250153708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - July 17th, 2018

I’ve been a fan of the McElroy brothers and their podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me for years, so when they began their D&D campaign, The Adventure Zone, I was totally on board. The podcast may be finished, but the exploits of the Tres Horny Boys live on in the graphic novel adaptation of their first arc, Here There Be Gerblins! The story follows the fighter Magnus Burnsides, the cleric Merle Highchurch, and the wizard Taako (you know, from T.V.) on their very first mission! With Dungeon Master Griffin McElroy always available to drop in and offer some sage advice, the boys fight gerblins, charm a bugbear, and flee from a flaming dwarf. This book is a delight, and I’m legitimately excited for the follow-up. Whether you’ve listened to the podcast or not, this book is worth your time. (But seriously, listen to the podcast. It’s free!)

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
Scales & Scoundrels Volume 1: Into the Dragon's Maw Cover Image
By Sebastian Girner, Galaad (Artist)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781534304826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - February 13th, 2018

This book is epic! Dragons, dungeons, lost treasure, undiscovered civilizations. I couldn't get enough. Read it!

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
How to Stop Time: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525522898
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 11th, 2019

I’ve always been fascinated by tales of immortality, and this book delivers! While stories of folk like Nicholas Flamel or The Count of St Germain are full of magic and whimsy, this book takes a more pragmatic view of the situation. Our hero, Tom, was born in 1581, and he’s lived a very lonely existence since, losing first his mother, and then his wife. When he moves back to London, the weight of the past nearly overshadows his life in the present. Matt Haig weaves an incredible tale of history, love, and loss through the centuries. Tom’s introspective nature, coupled with the ultimate warning — “Never fall in love” — gave this story a weight that I haven’t encountered in other immortality stories. I love it, and you will too! 

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524797966
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - October 10th, 2017

Aaron Mahnke is a masterful storyteller, proving that the history behind our most recognizable monsters can be even more horrifyin gthan the fiction. The book is rich with historical accounts; meticulously researched and presented in nice bite-sized chunks. Whether you're a fan of the podcast, the tv series, or just a horror junkie, this book is a must! 

--Gary


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It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062476074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - January 8th, 2019

The newest novel from the world of Night Vale is a delicious study of the intersection between science and religion. It's a book about belief, relationships, interlopers, a mysterious desert otherworld, and a Smiling God. It follows a scientist, Nilanjana Sikdar, who is on a mission to discover the origin of mysterious sinkholes appearing around her town. Are they the result of a government conspiracy? Divine retribution from the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God? Do they have something to do with the House that Doesn't Exist? Can Nilanjana figure it out before all of Night Vale is consumed? Whether your a fan of the podcast or not, this book is a treat! I couldn't put it down!

Joyfully, it devours! 

--Gary


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William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh (William Shakespeare's Star Wars #7) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781594749858
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - October 3rd, 2017

For fans of Star Wars and/or theater alike, The Force Doth Awaken is a delightful addition to the Shakespeare’s Star Wars saga! Doescher’s dedication and love of theater shines through every scene, from playful references to BB-8’s own iambic verse. I loved this book so much I can hardly wait for the next one. 

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
Soleri: A Novel Cover Image
$34.99
ISBN: 9780765386489
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - June 13th, 2017

SOLERI is epic fantasy at its finest. As a die hard fan of high fantasy, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for massive world-building, and the Soleri Empire feels true and ancient from the very first page. Inspired by Egyptian and Roman cultures, in which empires rose and fell in the shadows of their ancestors, Johnston breathes life into this civilization. The Soleri have been the ruling family for thousands of years, with loyal subjects and the blessings of the gods. Though grand in scope, the novel is rather intimate. It follows a family, separated by politics, who come together in what could very well be the fall of an empire. I really loved this book! Do yourself a favor and pick it up today!

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
Thrawn (Star Wars) (Star Wars: Thrawn #1) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781101967027
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - January 30th, 2018

In the years preceding the Battle of Yavin, the Empire was at the height of it's power. Imperial officers scramble for power through cunning and manipulation. It's amidst this turmoil that we meet Thrawn, a Chiss warrior from the Unknown Regions of space. Exiled from his militaristic homeworld for radical thinking, he turns out to be a powerful tool for the Emperor. With the help of his translator, Eli Vanto, and the up-and-coming Arihnda Price, Thrawn quickly moves up the political ladder, securing his place as one of the most powerful people in the galaxy. 

As a fan of Timothy Zahn's original Thrawn trilogy, and the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, this book does an incredible job of showing the Chiss warrior's brilliance and ruthlessness. Despite being a Rebel at heart, this book had me rooting for the rise of an Imperial Officer and cheering as he coolly dispached any opposition.

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
Trees, Volume 2 Cover Image
By Warren Ellis, Jason Howard (Artist)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781632155221
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - October 11th, 2016

In the not-so-distant future, humanity has discovered that we are not alone in the universe. Huge monoliths have settled on the Earth like giant trees, exerting their pressure on the populace. Ten years later, we still know nothing about the alien craft. Cities in the shadow of the Trees have fallen into various states of chaos. And now, after a decade of silence, the Trees are preparing to speak. This book was so compelling. I waited far too long to pick this up, but it's quickly become one of my favorites. It follows characters spanning the globe, showcasing different cities around the world and the people who call them home. Highly recommended!

--Gary


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Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Novel Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781101967003
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - May 2nd, 2017

The newest release of the Star Wars canon, Catalyst sets up the events of the new "Rogue One" film. The story follows Jyn Erso's father Galen. A brilliant scientist, Galen's research has attracted the attention of Orson Krennic, a top member of Chancellor Palpatine's Death Star project. Determined to create a superweapon before their enemies can, Krennic enlists Galen to do his bidding. Trapped under his thumb, the Ersos must escape Krennic's plans in order to save themselves and the galaxy!

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
Star Wars Ahsoka Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781484782316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney Lucasfilm Press - October 3rd, 2017

After walking away from the Jedi Order and narrowly surviving Order 66, Anakin Skywalker's former padawan is just trying to keep her head down and avoid any unwanted Imperial attention. Weaponless, and on the run, she's found a home on Raada, a backwater moon good for little more than farming. When the Empire arrives, Ahsoka is forced back into action. Relying on her wits, and some inconspicuous use of the Force, she's determined to find a way to save her friends and undermine the relentless grip of the Emperor Palpatine. For fans of Clone Wars and RebelsAhsoka is like revisiting an old friend, and watching as she forges alliances to spark the Rebellion. 

--Gary


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American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062472106
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - August 16th, 2016

In Neil Gaiman's universe, all of the gods are real. Deities from cultures all around the world come together in this epic fantasy spanning the crossroads of America. When the Old Gods are no longer worshipped, they'll do whatever it takes to regain relevence. Shadow Moon, freshly released from prison, finds himself entagled with a mysterious man known only as Mr. Wednesday, and is dragged across America in this wonderous tale of myth and modernism.

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1 Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062468611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - September 6th, 2016

Mostly Void, Partially Stars is the first volume of the Welcome to Night Vale script books. Whether you're a long time listener, or you've never heard of Night Vale at all, this is the place to start. This volume contains the first year's worth of podcast episodes, illustrations by "our favorite weird artist" Jessica Hayworth, and behind the scenes introductions by the extraordinary creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.
Night Vale is a quiet desert community where conspiracy theories are always true, and all us residents can do is tune in to the Community Radio and hope for the best. In these volumes, you'll learn about the forbidden dog park, Old Woman Josie and the angels, a foreboding glowing cloud (ALL HAIL), and a budding romance between our subversive radio host and that new scientist with his perfect hair.

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062468635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - September 6th, 2016

Mostly Void, Partially Stars and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe are the first two volumes of the Welcome to Night Vale script books. Whether you’re a long time listener, or you’ve never heard of Night Vale at all, this is the place to start. Each volume contains a year’s worth of podcast episodes, illustrations by “our favorite weird artist” Jessica Hayworth, and behind the scenes introductions by the extraordinary creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Night Vale is a quiet desert community where conspiracy theories are always true, and all us residents can do is tune in to the Community Radio and hope for the best. In these volumes, you’ll learn about the forbidden dog park, Old Woman Josie and the angels, a foreboding glowing cloud (ALL HAIL), and a budding romance between our subversive radio host and that new scientist with his perfect hair.

--Gary


Staff Pick Badge
Saga Volume 1 (Saga (Comic Series)) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781607066019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - October 23rd, 2012

In a galaxy torn apart by war, two lovers from different side of the conflict run away together. In a desperate attempt to protect their newborn daughter, our heroes travel the galaxy in search of a safe place to call home. I cannot express how wonderful this series in. Volume 1 is only the first steps into the most epic space opera I've read in recent years. 

--Gary


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Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1: Precious Little Life Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781620100004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oni Press - August 14th, 2012

This is the first installment of the Scott Pilgrim saga. Scott is an average 20-something who only wants to find love. But first, he must battle Ramona Flower's Seven Evil Exes! Written and illustrated by Bryan Lee O'Malley, and the inspiration for Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, this series captures the heart through music, video games, and failed relationships. 

--Gary