Thu's Top Ten Favorites for You and Yours

If you can't tell, I read all kinds of books. Sometimes I become interested in a topic and I devour everything related that I can get my hands on.

This list consists of the first ten things that popped in my head. I don't consider myself literary, just someone who loves to read. If you tried, I guess you could see a recurring theme, but it's random!

When I envisioned this list I thought about someone falling in love with a book and sharing it with someone they thought would enjoy it too. My hope is that when you go through this list, it'll remind you of the people in your life. Runner. Writer. Movie Lover. Activist. Nerd. Environmentalist. Patriot. Feminist. Parent. Or a bright-eyed child. Make of it what you will, but I encourage you to share these wonderful works with someone that will love it too.

Dumpling Dreams: How Joyce Chen Brought the Dumpling from Beijing to Cambridge Cover Image
By Carrie Clickard, Katy Wu (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481467070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - September 5th, 2017

It’s time for young Joyce to learn something new, and that something new is how-to make dumplings! She rolls, she kneads, she burns, ten, twenty, one-hundred, and eventually Joyce SUCCEEDS! Her hard work pays off and cook acknowledges what a great job she’s done. Her heart is filled with pride. As Joyce becomes older, her passion for cooking helps her overcome great obstacles and serves as a reminder of love and happiness in all places.

As an aunt to two rambunctious and curious boys, four and seven, I am always interested in what they’re reading. I love stories with humor, morals, cultural references, history, fun characters, and colorful illustrations. There is even a dumpling recipe at the end that parents and kids can do together. DUMPLING DREAMS is an all-you-can-eat buffet for everyone!


Moxie Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626726352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 19th, 2017

Vivian Carter is fed up! She is fed up with sexism, misogyny, and indifference. It turns out she is not alone. What started out as an anonymous zine transforms into a feminist movement at her high school in her small Texas hometown.

MOXIE is as fun as it is a platform for dialogue among all ages about feminism, activism, and equality.

When I started it, #METOO became viral, and I thought this book could not have come at a better time. This book is essential for young people who want to have this conversation, but need a place to start.


We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590566
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - October 3rd, 2017

The wait is over and National Book Award-winner Ta-Nehisi Coates is back for another. I don’t care if you heard that BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME was better. Get this book now! This collection of essays includes his famous Coates’ iconic essays including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” as well as eight new essays which examine the Obama Administration. Ta-Nehisi Coates despises being the loudest voice and messenger for the black person’s struggle. I think that’s tough, but it’s reality. Get this book now because you need to know!


What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781616207823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - November 7th, 2017

MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2017!!

Beloved native Houstonian and legendary journalist Dan Rather delivers more than six decades of wisdom in the form of essays defining patriotism. Rather’s experience is invaluable and honest. What does patriotism look like? What vehicles make American democracy possible? What can we do to cultivate diversity of thought and expression in our country? Everyone knows someone that would love this book! America NEEDS this book!


Eating Animals Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316069885
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - September 1st, 2010

Author Jonathan Safran Foer shares the beautiful moment of holding his child for the first time. In awe, he crosses paths with the realization of all the important decisions he must make which will set and influence his son’s life. “Should his son be raised a vegetarian,” is one on the list of endless subjects. Insert EATING ANIMALS. 

I read this book as a part of a reading binge for a time I was obsessed with all things “urban farming,” “off the grid,” and “locally sourced.” Initially, I thought it would be a case for vegetarianism, but it isn’t. Why are meals socially significant? Why do we feel comfortable eating some animals, but not others? Where does our food come from? What lengths have we gone to make food so accessible? How do we justify all of this, and should we have to? EATING ANIMALS offers something for people that love reading about nature, culture, and food. 


Ender's Game Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780765394866
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - October 17th, 2017

Isn’t this everyone’s favorite book? I read it as a kid, I read it again in January, and when Keaton asked me whether I had chosen books I read this year, I could have dreamt this, but he might have had a raised eyebrow, I read it again that night and thought, “YES!” It is so good!

Ender Wiggin is a lab rat, he’s got issues, and he commands a fleet in space against insect aliens set to destroy Earth. Did I mention he’s six? 

If you’re like me and you’ve already read ENDER’S GAME, but unlike me, you say you've read it one too many times... I’d scoff, re-buff, flash a toothy smile and recommend Austin-based author Ernest Clines’ READY PLAYER ONE or ARMADA.


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553447453
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - February 28th, 2017

Matthew Desmond weaves a story about the cycle of eviction through a sample of eight perspectives in Milwaukee. If you’ve ever wondered how or why books earn Pulitzer Prizes, read this now! It’s a social and political commentary. It’s psychological. It is heartbreaking and infuriating. It is first-class journalism. EVICTED discards sympathy masked as empathy, and serves voice and dignity to the individuals in this book. 


Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780312626686
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - August 2nd, 2011

Barbara Ehrenreich’s work has revived and paved the way for hardline investigative journalism like EVICTED and HILLBILLY ELEGY. NICKEL AND DIMED chronicles Ehrenreich’s three-month experience working a variety of minimum wage jobs like waiting tables, house cleaning, and Wal-Mart, and how this is a reality for many Americans. She examines the life of minimum wage Americans, discusses the consequences of a widening inequality gap, and frankly shows us all why we should give a –– I mean, show a little concern.


Paprika Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307389183
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - February 12th, 2013

Atsuko Chiba is a scientist that uses dream monitoring and intervention to treat mental illnesses. In the dream state, she is alter ego Paprika. When her colleagues begin to demonstrate strange behavior, she must navigate a labyrinth of dreams to solve this mystery before she’s stuck in the subconscious realm and everyone becomes catatonic.

PAPRIKA is suspenseful mental exercise. Perfect for you and perfect for anyone that loves mystery, sci-fi, and weird Murakami-esque human behaviors. That’s a fact and proven by book scientists/sellers named Thu!


What I Talk about When I Talk about Running: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307389831
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 11th, 2009

Imma let you finish, but Haruki Murakami is my favorite writer of all time! How does a person become an author of a billion mind-blowing fantastical books? Some might say, open a jazz club in Hawaii. I’ve heard running ultra-marathons helps too. After reading this memoir, I don’t believe anyone can stretch their imagination so far and commit it to print without living a meditative and colorful life like Haruki Murakami.


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