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Susan Currie is a writer and the former head librarian at TCPL!

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Odyssey Bookstore will be closed on Thursday, November 26th, for Thanksgiving. 

If you place an online order after store hours this Wednesday or anytime on Thursday, it will not be processed until Friday morning when we reopen. Thank you!

Community Pick - Susan Currie

AFTERLIFE

AFTERLIFE

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A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: O, The Oprah Magazine * The New York Times * The Washington Post *Vogue * Bustle * BuzzFeed * Ms. Magazine *The Millions * The Huffington Post * PopSugar * The Lily * Goodreads * Library Journal * LitHub * Electric Literature

The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

"A stunning work of art that reminds readers Alvarez is, and always has been, in a class of her own." --Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Poet X

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves--lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack--but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including--maybe especially--members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

AMERICAN PRISON: A REPORTER'S

AMERICAN PRISON: A REPORTER'S

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An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform." --NPR.org

New York Times Book Review

10 Best Books of 2018 * One of President Barack Obama's favorite books of 2018 *
Winner of the 2019 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize * Winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism * Winner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism Award * A New York Times Notable Book

A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history.

In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still.

The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison's sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone.

A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America.

BAD KITTY CAMP DAZE

BAD KITTY CAMP DAZE

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Bad Kitty is headed for a camp experience like no other in the eleventh installment of Nick Bruel's bestselling Bad Kitty chapter book series.

Kitty's life is really hard. Like really, REALLY hard. All she asks for is twenty-two hours a day to sleep and food to be delivered morning and night. But does she get it? No. And when Puppy and Baby get a little rambunctious during her naptime, Kitty gets bonked on the head and starts to believe she's . . . a dog.

This new dynamic freaks out Puppy, so he's sent away to Uncle Murray's Camp for Stressed-Out Dogs to relax with other canine campers.

But guess who sneaks along?

Still believing she's a dog, Kitty fits right in. That is until she and Uncle Murray encounter a bear, and then the feline claws come out.

Bad Kitty Camp Daze is perfect for any kid with or without camping experience.

"Will satisfy [Bad Kitty's] millions of fans with plenty of cat-titude and feline foolishness." --Kirkus Reviews

"A must-have for early chapter book readers." --School Library Journal

BEL CANTO

BEL CANTO

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Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening-until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.

"Patchett doing what she does best. . . . What gives this novel its power is Patchett's flair for sketching the subtleties of her characters' behavior."-New York Times Book Review

Freshman Common Book: NYU/Steinhardt School, Converse College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
CLEOPATRA

CLEOPATRA

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.

Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.

Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and -- after his murder -- three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.

Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.

CONSIDER THE FORK: A HISTORY O

CONSIDER THE FORK: A HISTORY O

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Award-winning food writer Bee Wilson's secret history of kitchens, showing how new technologies - from the fork to the microwave and beyond - have fundamentally shaped how and what we eat.

Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious -- or at least edible. But these tools have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson takes readers on a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of objects we often take for granted. Technology in the kitchen does not just mean the Pacojets and sous-vide machines of the modern kitchen, but also the humbler tools of everyday cooking and eating: a wooden spoon and a skillet, chopsticks and forks. Blending history, science, and personal anecdotes, Wilson reveals how our culinary tools and tricks came to be and how their influence has shaped food culture today. The story of how we have tamed fire and ice and wielded whisks, spoons, and graters, all for the sake of putting food in our mouths, Consider the Fork is truly a book to savor.

DEATH ON THE NILE

DEATH ON THE NILE

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Soon to be a major motion picture sequel to Murder on the Orient Express with a screenplay by Michael Green, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh alongside Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer--coming October 23, 2020!

Beloved detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey to Egypt in one of Agatha Christie's most famous mysteries.

The tranquility of a luxury cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life.

Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: "I'd like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger." Yet under the searing heat of the Egyptian sun, nothing is ever quite what it seems.

A sweeping mystery of love, jealousy, and betrayal, Death on the Nile is one of Christie's most legendary and timeless works.

"Death on the Nile is perfect." --The Guardian

"One of her best. . . . First rate entertainment." --Kirkus Reviews

--The Guardian (UK)
IF NOT, WINTER: FRAGMENTS OF S

IF NOT, WINTER: FRAGMENTS OF S

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By combining the ancient mysteries of Sappho with the contemporary wizardry of one of our most fearless and original poets, If Not, Winter provides a tantalizing window onto the genius of a woman whose lyric power spans millennia.

Of the nine books of lyrics the ancient Greek poet Sappho is said to have composed, only one poem has survived complete. The rest are fragments. In this miraculous new translation, acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson presents all of Sappho's fragments, in Greek and in English, as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them, inviting a thrill of discovery and conjecture that can be described only as electric--or, to use Sappho's words, as "thin fire . . . racing under skin."

"Sappho's verse has been elevated to new heights in [this] gorgeous translation." --The New York Times

"Carson is in many ways [Sappho's] ideal translator....Her command of language is hones to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth." --Los Angeles Times

LIB BK

LIB BK

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Susan Orlean's bestseller and New York Times Notable Book is "a sheer delight...as rich in insight and as varied as the treasures contained on the shelves in any local library" (USA TODAY)--a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries. "Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book" (The Washington Post).

On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. The fire was disastrous: it reached two thousand degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library--and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a "delightful...reflection on the past, present, and future of libraries in America" (New York magazine) that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In the "exquisitely written, consistently entertaining" (The New York Times) The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries; brings each department of the library to vivid life; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

"A book lover's dream...an ambitiously researched, elegantly written book that serves as a portal into a place of history, drama, culture, and stories" (Star Tribune, Minneapolis), Susan Orlean's thrilling journey through the stacks reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books--and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country.

ORLANDO

ORLANDO

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Virginia Woolf described "Orlando" as "an escapade, half-laughing, half-serious; with great splashes of exaggeration, " but many think Woolf's escapade is one of the most wickedly imaginative and sharply observed considerations of androgyny that this century will see.

Orlando is, in fact, a character liberated from the restraints of time and sex. Born in the Elizabethan Age to wealth and position, he is a young male aristocrat at the beginning of the story - and a modern woman four centuries later. The hero-heroine sees monarchs come and go, hobnobs with great literary figures, and slips in and out of each new fashion. Woolf presents a brilliant pageant of history, society, and literature as well as subtle appreciation of the interplay between endings and beginnings, past and present, male and female.

PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH ANNIV

PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH ANNIV

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Illustrated in black-and-white. We're celebrating the thirty-fifth
anniversary (1996) of this modern kids' classic with a special hardcover
edition! This ingenious fantasy centeres around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who
comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces
with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and
begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet
lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which, " Faintly
Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to
the Kingdom of Wisdom...
POSSESSION

POSSESSION

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National Bestseller

Winner of England's Booker Prize and the literary sensation of the year, Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire--from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany--what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.

An exhilarating novel of wit and romance, an intellectual mystery, and a triumphant love story. This tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets became a huge bookseller favorite, and then on to national bestellerdom.

SWERVE: HOW THE WORLD BECAME M

SWERVE: HOW THE WORLD BECAME M

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Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius--a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.

The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.