Gift Guide: Bookworms

Detroit Rave Flyers 1993-1999

$15

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Across 76 pages, this volume from collaborative publishing project Colpa Press acts as a mesmerizing archive of Detroit’s rave culture from 1993 to 1999. From sci-fi aesthetics to kawaii imagery, the collection’s varied and bold designs document an equally vibrant, thriving party scene in the birthplace of techno. Price is in Pounds.

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More than a serene getaway, Bali abounds with nightlife, surf culture, innovative bamboo architecture and more. It was this lush amalgamation that inspired Elora Hardy to found her sustainable design and architecture firm, IBUKU, after growing up on the island. In Bali Mystique, published by Assouline, Hardy traverses multifaceted destinations within the tropical locale through 200+ images and personal anecdotes that serve as an ode to …

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Brandi Carlile’s memoir, Broken Horses, charts the singer-songwriter and producer’s upbringing in the impoverished outskirts of Seattle, as well as her experience being openly gay within a homophobic faith. As the book describes, these difficult moments shaped Carlile as well as her art, from her early days singing in local competitions to opening for Dave Matthews Band. Honest and insightful, the memoir is an unflinching look …

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Laura K Zimmermann’s magical children’s book Mushroom Rain glows with dazzling fungi illustrations by Jamie Green. The fascinating, informative work includes insight on the mysterious power of mushrooms, from helping to create rain to smelling like bubblegum. With lyrical descriptions as well as additional facts and activities in the back matter, the book is an enchanting and educational tour of ecology.

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Aamina Ahmad pays exacting attention to her characters’ psychological nuances in her debut novel, The Return of Faraz Ali. The neo-noir novel tells the tale of a Faraz Ali who was taken from his birthplace in Lahore (Pakistan’s second largest city) as a child only to be sent back years later by his powerful politician father, now as a police officer tasked with covering up …

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Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s debut novel Four Treasures of the Sky is a surreal epic underpinned by Chinese folklore and American history. It follows the journey of heroine Daiyu who is kidnapped and smuggled from China to the US, where the Chinese Exclusion Act is taking hold. From a brothel in San Francisco to the mountains of Idaho, the story traces Daiyu’s journey to survive an …

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Emily St John Mandel’s sixth novel Sea of Tranquility playfully and indulgently bends time travel, metaphysics and grief. The science fiction novel juggles an ambitious amount: a young man in 1912 exiled to the Canadian forest, an author trapped in a pandemic-ravaged Earth, moon colonies, paranormal investigations, the 25th century and even references to Mandel’s previous works. Both meta and mind-bending, Sea of Tranquility examines the end of …

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What begins as a romantic and oftentimes comedic story of love turns into a deeper examination of class, politics and cultural difference in Monica Ali’s Love Marriage. Bengali protagonist Yasmin Ghorami is happily engaged to white, upper-class Joe Sangster, but during the days leading up to the wedding the differences between their backgrounds, secrets and a mother with an Oedipus complex threaten their union. The …

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Baking by Feel: Recipes to Sort Out Your Emotions (Whatever They Are Today!)

$35

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Anyone who has ever turned to baking as a therapeutic way to reflect on their emotions will appreciate author and social media creator Becca Rea-Tucker’s forthcoming cookbook, Baking By Feel: Recipes to Sort Out Your Emotions (Whatever They Are Today!), which is available for pre-order now. Across 256 pages filled with beautiful imagery, Rea-Tucker organizes 65 recipes into five emotional states: happy, sad, mad, anxious …

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Acid House As It Happened

$75

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When London’s rave scene began in the late ’80s, it ignited a culture around uninhibited style, the Roland TB-303 synthesizer and blissful hedonism. More than wild revelry, the scene—dubbed acid house—became a meeting place for people across genders, sexualities, class and race. That unity is revealed in former The Times editor and photographer Dave Swindells’ book Acid House As It Happened. Swindells, who followed the …

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A compelling reflection on history and culture, The Only Woman by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Immy Humes celebrates women in male-dominated fields while illustrating the absurdity (and perils) of tokenism. From 1860 to present day and across 20 countries, Humes spotlights pioneers and disruptors, re-contextualizing gender equality and paying tribute to famous and overlooked musicians, astronauts, railroad workers, sportspeople, politicians, activists and more.

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The Covid-19 pandemic and gentrification have threatened small businesses and iconic establishments in LA’s Koreatown, as well as the livelihoods of many in the neighborhood. To document, commemorate and celebrate the area, photographer Emanuel Hahn composed Koreatown Dreaming, a photo book that comprises the stories of 40 small businesses and immigrants with poetry and essays by Katherine Yungmee Kim, Lisa Kwon, Cathy Park and Dumbfoundead. …

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