Lara's Recommendations

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Barracoon: The Story of the Last
By Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker (Foreword by), Deborah G. Plant (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780062748201
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad - May 8th, 2018

When Hurston found Cudjo Lewis and asked for his story, he was thrilled that someone would finally tell his story. Hurston provides her own impassioned commentary alongside a vivid portrait she paints of a man devastated, but no longer enslaved. She writes in Cudjo’s own words, immortalizing his dialect, and develops a kinship with him that results in a rare instance where trauma is handled with care and empathy.

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The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735217713
Availability: Backordered
Published: Riverhead Books - February 6th, 2018

Francisco Cantu, the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, decides to join the Border Patrol himself. What we get is a strange narrative where men are trained against the threat of violent drug cartel, but arrest mostly the "little people," or migrants, "people looking for a better life." As he battles bad dreams and personal guilt, Cantu takes you through a casually harsh system, revealing deeply tragic stories.

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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393249897
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 3rd, 2017

Caitlin Doughty has written a book that compares all the bizarre, morbid, and fascinatingly gruesome ways that we as human beings handle death. Kicking off right here in Colorado with the nation's only open air pyre, this book is uncomfortable and entrancing — its descriptions of our treatment of the dead highlight numerous ways we approach the human condition, and how we live when others move on.

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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525559443
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - March 20th, 2018

You may remember Landrieu as the Mayor of New Orleans who ordered the removal of four confederate statues. Whether you agree or disagree with his decision, this book is well worth a read for its examination of the shadow that slavery casts. Landrieu confronts his own assumptions around Southern history, and his journey leads him to realizations that are eye-opening, even for the most vehement liberal. 

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Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao's China Cover Image
By Lian Xi
ISBN: 9781541644236
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - March 20th, 2018

If you've been reading a lot of books with short blurbs on rebel girls but crave a story with more substance, look no further. Lin Zhao was a supporter of communism until her religion, family, and identity were repeatedly threatened — then she became a badass counter-revolutionary. Thrown into prison and subjected to brutal mental and physical torture, she writes her manifesto out in blood.

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Norse Mythology Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393609097
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 7th, 2017

I've read my fair share of Norse mythology, but what makes this book so fantastic is that it's written by Neil freaking Gaiman. This means the prose is approachable while still being beautifully crafted, so it reads like one of his works of fiction. He also characterizes the gods in a way that almost makes you   guilty for getting a fly-on-the-wall perspective of such mythical figures. Just read it. You know you want to.

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Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep Cover Image
By Andrew Holecek, Stephen LaBerge (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781622034598
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sounds True - July 1st, 2016

Most books I found on lucid dreaming tended to be based in western thinking — until I came upon this one. Andrew Holecek blends the pragmatic approach of western tradition with the philosophical ideas of eastern practices. If you want to learn how to improve skills while you sleep, resolve issues with people who may not be alive, or create a dream body that transcends physical limitations, you need this book.