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Self-Help Humor


Animal Farm

Animal Farm Lowest new price: $12.82
Lowest used price: $9.70
List price: $20.00
Author: George Orwell
Brand: Everyman s Library

 

Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message.

 

Taking as his starting point the betrayed promise of the Russian Revolution, Orwell lays out a vision that, in its bitter wisdom, gives us the clearest understanding we possess of the possible consequences of our social and political acts.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Features:

  • Everyman s Library

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Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life Lowest new price: $6.00
Lowest used price: $2.50
List price: $22.99
Author: Jen Hatmaker
Brand: HarperCollins Christian Pub.

New York Times bestselling author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF Jen Hatmaker returns with another round of hilarious tales, shameless honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie.

In this highly anticipated new book, beloved author Jen Hatmaker parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere. Whether it’s the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”) or the way she learned to forgive (God was super clear: Pray for this person every day, which was the meanest thing He ever said to me. I was furious.), she offers a reminder to those of us who sometimes hide in the car eating crackers that we do have the moxie to get back up and get back out. We can choose to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold, and lead vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives.

Features:

  • THOMAS NELSON

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Men Explain Things to Me

Men Explain Things to Me Lowest new price: $5.79
Lowest used price: $4.95
List price: $12.95
Author: Rebecca Solnit
Brand: Haymarket Books

"This slim book—seven essays, punctuated by enigmatic, haunting paintings by Ana Teresa Fernandez—hums with power and wit."—Boston Globe

"The antidote to mansplaining."—The Stranger

"Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions."—Salon

"Solnit tackles big themes of gender and power in these accessible essays. Honest and full of wit, this is an integral read that furthers the conversation on feminism and contemporary society."—San Francisco Chronicle Top Shelf

"Solnit [is] the perfect writer to tackle the subject: her prose style is so clear and cool."—The New Republic

"The terrain has always felt familiar, but Men Explain Things To Me is a tool that we all need in order to find something that was almost lost."—National Post

In her comic, scathing essay, "Men Explain Things to Me," Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

This updated edition with two new essays of this national bestseller book features that now-classic essay as well as "#YesAllWomen," an essay written in response to 2014 Isla Vista killings and the grassroots movement that arose with it to end violence against women and misogyny, and the essay "Cassandra Syndrome." This book is also available in hardcover.

Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in DisasterA Field Guide to Getting LostWanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.

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  • Haymarket Books

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Modern Romance

Modern Romance Lowest new price: $7.30
Lowest used price: $1.48
List price: $17.00
Author: Aziz Ansari
Brand: Ansari Aziz

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from Aziz Ansari, the star of Master of None and one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices


At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” 

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.

Features:

  • Modern Romance

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Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven

Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven Lowest new price: $9.27
Lowest used price: $8.95
List price: $15.99
Author: Jaya Saxena

A magical lifestyle guide for everything from powering up a stylish crystal to banishing terrible Tinder dates

Want to feel terrifyingly beautiful? Wear the right color of eye shadow to project otherworldly glamour. Need to exorcise a toxic friendship? Repeat the proper incantation and make it disappear. Want to increase your energy? Whip up a tasty herbal “potion” to rev up your stamina. DIY projects, rituals, and spells—along with fun historical sidebars—summon the best trends of the modern witchy lifestyle and the time-trusted traditions of the hell-raising women of the past. With humor, heart, and a hip sensibility, Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman dispense witchy wisdom for the curious, the cynical, and anyone who could use a magical boost.

Selected Table of Contents:

CHAPTER 1 - Self-Initiation: An Induction into Basic Witchery
What We Mean by “Witchcraft”
Our Favorite Pop Culture Witches

CHAPTER 2 - Glamours: The Power to Change How You Look
How to Clothe Yourself in Literal Darkness
The Dark Magic of Unfeminine Haircuts
A Spell for Self-Care

CHAPTER 3 - Healing: The Power to Care for Yourself
A Spell to Make Peace with Your Body
Magical Exercise
A Ritual for a Relaxing Netflix Binge

CHAPTER 4 - Summoning: The Power to Care for Others (and Have Them Care for You)
The Transformative Power of Vulnerability
A Collaborative Ritual to Deepen Friendship

CHAPTER 5 - Enchantment: The Power to Make Choices about Love and Sex
Conjuring Your Perfect Mate
The Magic Circle of Consent
A Spell for Talking about Sex

CHAPTER 6 - Banishment: The Power to Avoid What Brings You Down
Expelling Social Toxicity
The Different Types of Personal Demons
A Spell to Counter Impostor Syndrome

CHAPTER 7 - Divination: The Power to Decide Your Destiny
A Spell to Name Your Heart’s Desire
How to Read Tea Leaves

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel Lowest new price: $11.04
Lowest used price: $1.99
List price: $17.00
Author: Haruki Murakami
Brand: Haruki Murakami

Coming this October: Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki Murakami

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force—and one of Haruki Murakami’s most acclaimed and beloved novels.

In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city’s placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.

Features:

  • a visionary novel by one of Japan's greatest living novelists, Haruki Murakami.

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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War Lowest new price: $4.16
Lowest used price: $0.25
List price: $16.00
Author: Max Brooks
Brand: Max Brooks

“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.


Eyewitness reports from the first truly global war

“I found ‘Patient Zero’ behind the locked door of an abandoned apartment across town. . . . His wrists and feet were bound with plastic packing twine. Although he’d rubbed off the skin around his bonds, there was no blood. There was also no blood on his other wounds. . . . He was writhing like an animal; a gag muffled his growls. At first the villagers tried to hold me back. They warned me not to touch him, that he was ‘cursed.’ I shrugged them off and reached for my mask and gloves. The boy’s skin was . . . cold and gray . . . I could find neither his heartbeat nor his pulse.” —Dr. Kwang Jingshu, Greater Chongqing, United Federation of China


“‘Shock and Awe’? Perfect name. . . . But what if the enemy can’t be shocked and awed? Not just won’t, but biologically can’t! That’s what happened that day outside New York City, that’s the failure that almost lost us the whole damn war. The fact that we couldn’t shock and awe Zack boomeranged right back in our faces and actually allowed Zack to shock and awe us! They’re not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid!” —Todd Wainio, former U.S. Army infantryman and veteran of the Battle of Yonkers


“Two hundred million zombies. Who can even visualize that type of number, let alone combat it? . . . For the first time in history, we faced an enemy that was actively waging total war. They had no limits of endurance. They would never negotiate, never surrender. They would fight until the very end because, unlike us, every single one of them, every second of every day, was devoted to consuming all life on Earth.” —General Travis D’Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

Features:

  • World War Z An Oral History of the Zombie War

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Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery

Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery Lowest new price: $6.39
Lowest used price: $5.85
List price: $21.00
Author: Rhett McLaughlin

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the YouTube superstars and creators of Good Mythical Morning comes the ultimate guide to living a “Mythical” life, featuring stories and photos from their lifelong friendship, as well as awesomely illustrated guides, charts, and activities aimed at laughing more, learning more, and never taking yourself too seriously.

 
Thanks for reading this description. You’re obviously a curious person, which means you’ve already taken your first step towards achieving Mythicality. Lucky for you, opening this book is even more rewarding than reading about it online. Within its pages, you'll discover twenty ways to fill your life with curiosity, creativity, and tomfoolery, including Eat Something That Scares You, Make a Bold Hair Choice, Say “I Love You” Like It’s Never Been Said, and more. Along the way, you’ll also find:

·         Embarrassing stories and photos we'll probably regret sharing
·         Character Building: The Board Game
·         An important message from the year 2075
·         A quiz to help you determine if you should get a dog
·         A eulogy you can read at any funeral
·         Grownup merit badges to earn
·         Contributions from Mythical Beasts, and much more

If you decide to read this book, be warned – there is a high likelihood of increased Mythicality in your life, which means you may soon find yourself laughing more, learning more, and not taking yourself too seriously. This mentality has been known to spread easily to friends and loved ones.

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Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life

Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life Lowest new price: $2.36
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List price: $16.00
Author: Glennon Doyle Melton
Brand: Simon & Schuster

Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award
The inspiring and hilarious instant New York Times bestseller from the beloved writer, speaker, activist, and founder of Momastery.com whose new memoir Love Warrior is an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

Glennon Doyle Melton’s hilarious and poignant reflections on our universal (yet often secret) experiences have inspired a social movement by reminding women that they’re not alone. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her personal story in moving, refreshing, and laugh-out-loud-funny new essays and some of the best-loved material from Momastery.com. Her writing invites us to believe in ourselves, to be brave and kind, to let go of the idea of perfection, and to stop making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending they’re not hard. In this one woman’s trying to love herself and others, readers will find a wise and witty friend who shows that we can build better lives in our hearts, homes, and communities.

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  • Carry On Warrior The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life

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Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood Lowest new price: $4.24
Lowest used price: $6.08
List price: $15.00
Author: Haruki Murakami
Brand: Haruki Murakami

Coming this October: Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki Murakami

Stunning and elegiac, Norwegian Wood first propelled Haruki Murakami into the forefront of the literary scene.

Toru, a serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. As Naoko retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A magnificent coming-of-age story steeped in nostalgia, Norwegian Wood blends the music, the mood, and the ethos that were the sixties with a young man’s hopeless and heroic first love.

In 1987, when Norwegian Wood was first published in Japan, it promptly sold more than 4 million copies and transformed Haruki Murakami into a pop-culture icon. The horrified author fled his native land for Europe and the United States, returning only in 1995, by which time the celebrity spotlight had found some fresher targets. And now he's finally authorized a translation for the English-speaking audience, turning to the estimable Jay Rubin, who did a fine job with his big-canvas production The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Readers of Murakami's later work will discover an affecting if atypical novel, and while the author himself has denied the book's autobiographical import--"If I had simply written the literal truth of my own life, the novel would have been no more than fifteen pages long"--it's hard not to read as at least a partial portrait of the artist as a young man.

Norwegian Wood is a simple coming-of-age tale, primarily set in 1969-70, when the author was attending university. The political upheavals and student strikes of the period form the novel's backdrop. But the focus here is the young Watanabe's love affairs, and the pain and pleasure and attendant losses of growing up. The collapse of a romance (and this is one among many!) leaves him in a metaphysical shambles:

I read Naoko's letter again and again, and each time I read it I would be filled with the same unbearable sadness I used to feel whenever Naoko stared into my eyes. I had no way to deal with it, no place I could take it to or hide it away. Like the wind passing over my body, it had neither shape nor weight, nor could I wrap myself in it.
This account of a young man's sentimental education sometimes reads like a cross between Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and Stephen Vizinczey's In Praise of Older Women. It is less complex and perhaps ultimately less satisfying than Murakami's other, more allegorical work. Still, Norwegian Wood captures the huge expectation of youth--and of this particular time in history--for the future and for the place of love in it. It is also a work saturated with sadness, an emotion that can sometimes cripple a novel but which here merely underscores its youthful poignancy. --Mark Thwaite

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  • Norwegian Wood

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