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Kaley's Picks for October Take Ten

Kaley is a Ravenclaw, a history lover, and a tea connoisseur. Her best friend is her black cat (and witch’s familiar in training), Scotch. When she grows up, she wants to live in a hobbit hole. Here at QRB, she takes turns bookselling, receiving, and posting on the store’s social media.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Ravenclaw edition) by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury $25.50). This book came out when I was 3 years old, and I read it not too long after. The series still plays a huge role in my life today, and I can never go more than a year without rereading all seven books. This Ravenclaw edition contains bonus information.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books $20). Tolkien was the ultimate master of world-building, and I never run out of new lore to explore! There is such a solid culture associated with every society in these books, even their own languages, which makes each character feel even more real, and contextualizes the events. And everyone loves a good Hero's Journey.

The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of Everyday by Sharon Blackie (Ambrosia $17.95). This book came to me at just the right time in my life. Blackie explores the philosophical and psychological history of disenchantment, and how Western society came to be so thoroughly and determinedly disenchanted with the world. She offers up an alternative: enchantment, or falling in love with the world and all its complexities.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (Penguin Classics $8). This book is lesser known than Pride and Prejudice (which is also a favorite), but dear to me nonetheless. Unlike Lizzy Bennet, who is fiery and overconfident, Elinor Dashwood has a quieter strength, a no-nonsense attitude, and a complex inner world that touches my heart.

The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (Anchor $15.95). This should be required reading. Every time you think something is unbelievable, gratuitous, or unrealistic, remember that Atwood made a point of only including things that had taken place in the real world. Decades old, it's eerily relevant to the present day.

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft (Orbit $15.99). Though I grew up loving sci-fi and fantasy, as an adult I think it can be hard to find books that avoid the outdated, exclusionary pitfalls common to the genre. It's also unusual to find a book that is different from anything you've ever read. Senlin Ascends provides both these things.

Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves (Rick Steves $19.99). You know Steves from his PBS travel documentaries, where he's a goofy, lighthearted tourist sharing Europe's finest sights. In this book, his approach is more serious, and he discusses the way his travels (outside cozy Western Europe) have informed his politics.

If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home by Lucy Worsley (Bloomsbury $18.00). Though I do enjoy broader types of history, I am most fascinated by accounts of how people lived on a day-to-day basis. BBC historian Lucy Worsley takes us on a room-by-room tour of homes throughout history to explore what life was really like for our forebears. (There's an accompanying documentary that's worth checking out.)

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage $16). Ishiguro is a master at transporting readers viscerally into his settings, and this book is no exception. It's dreary and haunting, brooding and intimate; and the nonchalance with which he presents the biggest twist of the novel is quite jarring.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Harper Collins $7.99) This book has made me happy since I was little. I love the atmosphere (a rainy Yorkshire moor) and the language; and I don’t care what my English professors would have to say about him, Dickon is one of my favorite characters in classic literature. Provided you can ignore the imperialist bits, this story still has a meaningful message for children and adults today.

Exclusive Ravenclaw House Edition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone – a highly collectable must-have for all Harry Potter fans!

Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw … Twenty years ago these magical words and many more flowed from a young writer’s pen, an orphan called Harry Potter was freed from the cupboard under the stairs – and a global phenomenon started. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been read and loved by every new generation since. To mark the 20th anniversary of first publication, Bloomsbury is publishing four House Editions of J.K. Rowling’s modern classic. These stunning editions will each feature the individual house crest on the jacket and sprayed edges in the house colours. Exciting new extra content will include fact files, profiles of favourite characters and line illustrations exclusive to that house. Available for a limited period only, these highly collectable editions will be a must-have for all Harry Potter fans in 2017.

(British edition)


Staff Pick Logo
The Lord of the Rings Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780618640157
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 12th, 2005

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others.


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The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781487004071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ambrosia - August 7th, 2018

Enchantment. By Dr. Sharon Blackie's definition, a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world, a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life. Enchantment is a natural, spontaneous human tendency -- one we possess as children, but lose, through social and cultural pressures, as we grow older.


Sense and Sensibility Cover Image
By Jane Austen, Ros Ballaster (Introduction by)
$8.00
ISBN: 9780141439662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - April 29th, 2003

Jane Austen's first published work, meticulously constructed and sparkling with her unique wit


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The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 16th, 1998

From the bestselling author of Alias Grace and the MaddAddam trilogy, here is the #1 New York Times bestseller and seminal work of speculative fiction from the Booker Prize-winning author.

Now a Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, and Joseph Fiennes. Includes a new introduction by Margaret Atwood.


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Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel #1) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316517911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - January 16th, 2018

The first book in the word-of-mouth phenomenon debut fantasy series about one man's dangerous journey through a labyrinthine world.

"One of my favorite books of all time" - Mark Lawrence


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Travel as a Political Act (Rick Steves) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781631217630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Steves - February 6th, 2018

Change the world one trip at a time. In this illuminating collection of stories and lessons from the road, acclaimed travel writer Rick Steves shares a powerful message that resonates now more than ever.


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If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781620402351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - October 8th, 2013

From the Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and BBC Television series including Lucy Worsley: Mozart's London Odyssey and Six Wives with Lucy Worsley, available on Netflix.

“Worsley is a thoughtful, charming, often hilarious guide to life as it was lived, from the mundane to the esoteric.” -The Boston Globe


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Never Let Me Go (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400078776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 2006

From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and author of the Booker Prize–winning novel The Remains of the Day comes a devastating novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss.
 


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The Secret Garden: The 100th Anniversary Edition with Tasha Tudor Art and Bonus Materials Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780064401883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - December 21st, 2010

Celebrate an unforgettable classic with this beautifully illustrated 100th anniversary edition.

This 100th anniversary paperback includes Tasha Tudor’s iconic illustrations, an extended author biography, activities, and more, making it the perfect collector’s edition or a wonderful gift for young readers.