Staff Pick

Timothy Egan's newest book, A Pilgrimage to Eternity (Viking, $28), is part travelogue, part history, and part
religious narrative. As he treads the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrim route that starts in Canterbury, England,
and ends in Rome, Italy, Egan traces this history of Europe and Catholicism and weaves in his own family's story.
He comes to the route with his eyes open, both to the wonder of the landscape he is walking through—described
in elegant prose that makes me long for the clear air of the Alps and the sun-soaked hills of Italy—and to the truths
that history lays at our feet. Though the book is written with a Twain-esque twinkle, Egan isn't afraid to address
the big questions of faith, violence, and the tumultuous present of our world and institutions. He writes about the
landscape with as much reverence as he does the relics, and addresses history and philosophical musings with
a liveliness and humility that come from placing one foot in front of the other. A Pilgrimage to Eternity is charming,
insightful, beautiful, and leaves the reader with just a little bit of hope that maybe faith and love can help save a
person after all.

A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735225237
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Viking - October 15th, 2019

Staff Pick

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul…then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” Herman Melville’s great novel, Moby-Dick, is an incredible exploration of revenge and the conflict of man versus nature, but it is also a reverent and insightful novel of the sea. Indeed, the ocean is as much a character as Ishmael or Ahab, and Richard J. King’s book, Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby-Dick (Chicago, $30), shows us just how deep Melville’s research went. King delves into the natural history behind the work, teaching us about whale intelligence, marine animals, and period research methods while also taking a broader cultural view of how the sea was seen by the American public when Melville was writing. Whether you love Moby-Dick or just like getting your feet wet, King’s book captures the enduring power that the ocean still has over us, and what that means in an era of climate crisis.


Ahab's Rolling Sea: A Natural History of
ISBN: 9780226514963
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: University of Chicago Press - November 11th, 2019

Staff Pick

“The world is at the start of something new. We are the shaping spirits of our destiny. And though I am not an inventor of machines I am an inventor of dreams. Yet I wish I had a cat.” Frankissstein,(Grove, $27), by Jeanette Winterson, is deft and lean, weaving together several stories in a meditation on the nature of life and intelligence. We start in 1818 during a rainy Swiss summer, following Mary Shelley as she begins to write the masterpiece that invented an entirely new genre of fiction. Then we move to today, where Dr. Ry Shelley, a trans man, is falling in love with Victor Stein, a pioneer in AI technology. The two stories parallel each other, Ry being both the analog for Mary Shelley and the monster from the story, and introduce us to a cast of loveable, hilarious, and occasionally infuriating characters. From body horror to sexbots, musings on eternal life to transhumanism, Winterson's witty and sexy book (which was long-listed for the Booker Prize) is a love story in every sense of the word: a love between people, between a creator and their work, and for the nature of life itself.

Frankissstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802129499
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Grove Press - October 1st, 2019