Kao Kalia Yang$16.95 $15.59
The war in Laos, also known as "The Secret War" is one of the most heavily censored things in history, while at the same time, one of the most brutal. More bombs were dropped on the country than all of WW2, and the effects are still being felt today. Usually I can't take cripplingly sad content in books, however, the author's story of her family's heroic escape and successful integration into American way of life is one of the most incredible things I've ever read and it's written in such a beautiful way, that I just couldn't put it down, resulting in both my brain and heart growing enormously.
Steve Beard and Jeff Noon$22.78
Jump into a fun and inventive world where citizens can't tell the difference dreams or reality, and language fuses, breeds, and explodes... While genres such as fantasy, horror, noir, and thrillers all mesh together effortlessly. The author uses words like a film maker jump-cuts or a musician scratches. Whether you're a Jeff Noon veteran, or new to him, any book would be a jump into the deep end. But this one especially. For fans of William Gibson, or anyone wanting to expand their mind.
Haemin Sunim$16.00 $14.72
A wonderful little book that I always carry around with me. Each chapter starts with a story, and then is followed by short and thoughtful messages, intertwined with calming illustrations. Even though a lot of the book is about self compassion, it's also about being empathetic towards others and practicing the best ways of listening. Often times, I'll think about a few sentences from this book for the entire day. Many of the author's messages are based on real life situations that people have come to him for advice on, so it's almost like having a one on one conversation with a big brother and then receiving a nice hug afterwards... only to discover that the one giving the hug, was actually yourself the whole time.
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing$19.95 $18.35
Full of beautifully written examples and encounters across continents, this book shows us that even if the planet gets ruined by human interference, there are still many ways for life to regenerate itself and cohabit among the destruction; all starting with a mushroom.
Forty years since it's initial publication, the first-ever English translation of San Mao's work has finally arrived. A Taiwanese author, who broke the social norms of what was expected of women at the time, records her everyday life and thoughts during the time she was living with her husband in one of the harshest deserts on the planet. The stories from her years in the Sahara are emotionally moving portraits of a compassionate, independent, free spirit, who would go on to be a role model for millions of women from Taiwan and China, inspiring and showing them that it's okay to be unique.
Hiromi Kawakami$11.95 $10.99
A supplemental piece to Strange Weather in Tokyo, Parade offers a brief and wonderful introduction to the curiously beautiful mind of Hiromi Kawakami. Filled with adorable illustrations, this is a slice of life story about two characters who share a surreal childhood memory after eating food. It's short, so you can read it over and over again... whenever you would like to step into this strange and wistful world, like swiftly falling into a soft dream.
Having just crossed over, Yang Fei arrives in the afterlife which acts more as a waiting room for people who have yet to be cremated back on earth. Here, he meets the souls of people he's lost, whose stories from their lives offer us thoughtful observations of modern China. The stories, while often tragic, are told all so beautifully... and they show that when the physical world of greed, power, and status is removed, we're left with only the most fundamental aspects of our life: empathy, compassion, and human bonding.
Banana Yoshimoto$16.00 $14.72
Banana Yoshimoto's short and delicate novel discusses broken families, taboo love affairs, suicide, and overcoming loss, yet her characters approach these topics as if they were common and familiar, emphasizing on human relationships and mutual understanding, all while navigating through the everyday musings and passing thoughts during Japan's lost generation. Reading this feels like you're alone drinking coffee with a friend on a dark rooftop in Tokyo, feeling the crisp air of a deep blue night, holding tight and not wanting it to ever end.
Mai Phan Que Nguyen$26.95 $24.26
This story tells the heroic journey of a family spanning multiple generations in the twentieth century of Vietnam history. Told in part by the grandmother who experienced the French Colonial Period, Japanese Invasion, and Land Reform, and the other part by the granddaughter who is coming to age during the Vietnam War. The Mountains Sing is a story of loss and sorrow, but also brings to life the heroism and what many families did to protect the ones they love, all with the hope of providing a better tomorrow.
Haruki Murakami$17.00 $15.64
An intriguing exploration into art and painting, yet in the classic Murakami fashion of the metaphysical and surreal. The novel itself is like an abstract painting, and if you've read any of his other novels, you will know that Murakami doesn't aim to please anyone, and he definitely doesn't hold your hand, thus you will spend a lot of time puzzling out multitudes of meaning. But rest assured, this book will change you... in what way exactly, only time can tell...