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Book Recommendations: 
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Tomorrow Is New Year's Day: Seollal, a Korean Celebration of the Lunar New Year By Aram Kim, Aram Kim (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Aram Kim, Aram Kim (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374389284
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - December 27th, 2022

HNY-- again! If you ever wonder what your Korean friends are having for their first meal of the New Year (both lunar and Gregorian), you can learn all about it and other traditions. The illustrations celebrate the holiday with their color and movement.


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Koreatown Dreaming: Stories & Portraits of Korean Immigrant Life By Emanuel Hahn Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780762484584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Running Press Adult - October 17th, 2023

For years, I’ve wanted to document Ktown’s ever-morphing visual landscape. But I’ve also made peace with my photographic laziness. Spanning Los Angeles, Atlanta, Annandale, New York, Flushing, Pal Park, Fort Lee, Dallas, and Honolulu, Hahn captures the gloriously complex, human ways the community has evolved beyond the church car show.


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The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781536223361
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - July 11th, 2023

Instantly my favorite Klassen! The graphite and ink illustrations of a snowy, ostensibly Tyrolean landscape should skew toward delighting rather than frightening children. The heroine’s pluck and resourcefulness instantly makes her a protagonist we can admire and learn from. Do stories need complicated backstories and motivations? Turns out, nope.


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Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself, and Impostor Syndrome By Aparna Nancherla Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984879806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 19th, 2023

OK, you might ask, why is that JC recommending a book about depression, anxiety, and imposter syndrome for the holidays? Well, it’s by THE Aparna Nancherla! Who else can infuse charming drollness into experiences normally—but not this time—to be avoided? If you’re for distinctive, comedic voices, Nancherla’s is not to be missed.


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Mushroom Rain By Laura K. Zimmermann, Jamie Green (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Laura K. Zimmermann, Jamie Green (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534111509
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sleeping Bear Press - March 15th, 2022

What will you do when, “without warning, they appear, Mushrooms!” From the dewy forest floor on the cover, through each illustration’s glow, to the scientific facts, this book is the perfect companion for an adventure anywhere you happen to observe nature’s mysteries staking tiny, surprising claims on our unnaturally ordered world.


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Good Pop, Bad Pop: The Sunday Times bestselling hit from Jarvis Cocker By Jarvis Cocker Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781784707910
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Vintage - October 17th, 2023

Spoiler alert: Jarvis Cocker seems to keep most of the items reviewed because of his love of pop culture. If you're super-familiar with his voice, you can almost hear him recounting these stories-- that is, if you hadn't already listened to the interviews conducted around its initial UK publication a couple years ago.


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Everything Now: Lessons from the City-State of Los Angeles By Rosecrans Baldwin Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250849199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - June 14th, 2022

I'm honestly unsure what I could say to make this book any more popular here. But I believe we can all take note of Baldwin's line, "old caches, some used and discarded, some not discovered," because that, along with gorgeousness, is this city.


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Very Good Hats By Emma Straub, Blanca Gómez (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Emma Straub, Blanca Gómez (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593529430
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Rocky Pond Books - January 10th, 2023

What isn't a hat? isn't a question this book answers. Instead, it'll encourage you to be creative with what's on your head as well as what's in it all throughout the day.


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The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes) By Kate Lebo Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250829474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - April 12th, 2022

The splendor and bounty of summer fruit offerings might inspire you to try stopping time by canning and preserving. In addition to breaking down the steps, Lebo offers anecdotes and insights to help while away the minutes (or hours) that her recipes take.


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The Stars Did Wander Darkling By Colin Meloy Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063015517
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 13th, 2022

Set in a coastal hamlet just rife with satanic-panic opportunities, life just got even more cabin-in-the-woodsy for a group of friends. Because it's such a genuinely creepy read, I contemplated saving this for this year's upcoming spooky season, but I realized that warning you about rural/small-town horrors before you make your summer plans might be more neighborly.


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Activities of Daily Living: A Novel By Lisa Hsiao Chen Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781324050476
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 18th, 2023

"'How does art serve you?'
"'It lets me love life while preparing to die."'
This meditation on living, presence, and absence will likely be the most interesting novel I'll have read all year, and paperbacks (the one for this JUST came out!) are good for pauses.


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For Heaven's Sake: Hong Kong's Paper Offerings for the Afterlife By Chris Gaul, Chris Gaul (Translator), Yoyo Chan (Translator) Cover Image
By Chris Gaul, Chris Gaul (Translator), Yoyo Chan (Translator)
$23.00
ISBN: 9789882372825
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chinese University of Hong Kong Press - February 14th, 2023

BURN EVERYTHING! Ever think you could have done more for someone? This bittersweet exploration of the material culture of filial piety and generational obligation that transcends death might make you consider what can be done now and later.


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Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute By Talia Hibbert Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780593482353
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Joy Revolution - January 3rd, 2023

Talia Hibbert's debut in the YA space is really just encapsulated by its title. Like, should I be concerned that she'll pivot to YA more fully? Then again, it'd be hard to mind if characters across all ages were as articulate. Even while dealing with different issues around mental health, relationships, and larger social structures, her writing breezes by and charms.


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Tove Jansson (The Illustrators) By Paul Gravett Cover Image
$29.95
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9780500094334
Published: Thames & Hudson - December 6th, 2022

Happy Moominous New Year! Are they rabbits? No, but you can dream of the trolls' scrapes and adventures in unreal landscapes through this soggy winter. Learn about Jansson's wider body of work as an artist and writer. And if you want bunnies, there's always Miffy.


$18.00
SKU: BUNSCOMFORT
Availability: Out of Stock

I support pretty much all cooking comics, but this is one of the better ones, with very clear recipes. The images are photographed, so you know what the process is actually supposed to look like at each step. Following along the adulting narrative through manageable steps could be useful and comforting for someone dealing with everything happening all at once.


$35.00
SKU: 9781234567897N
Availability: On Our Shelves Now

From the Eisner-nominated illustrator comes this amphibian adventure. Charm everyone with a jar of hot chocolate mix and this slice of life. If you end up buying yourself a copy (as I undoubtedly will have), place it next to Phoebe Wahl’s Little Witch Hazel and blow everyone’s minds with their combined woodland textures and beyond-cuteness.


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Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A Map of Folk Horror By Kier-La Janisse, Herb Lester Associates Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781916349599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Herb Lester Associates - August 1st, 2022

Each of us knows (or are) the type of person who looks forward to Spooky Season all year round. And when, if not the holidays, is everyone holed up and looking forward to fictional scares and trips elsewhere that take the mind off real fears?


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All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms By David Arora Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780898153880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - February 1st, 1991

Who knows when we'll next get rain, but now we can feel prepared for the deliciousness that follows. The pictures are AMAZING and deserve their own monograph.


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Hinterland: America's New Landscape of Class and Conflict (Field Notes) By Phil A. Neel Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781789142136
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Reaktion Books - May 1st, 2020

For your spooky season needs, read this terrifying research into our descent into environmental, political, and social collapse. Try to resist the pull of preparing a bunker; I feel like it'll only help the folks profiting from all this extremism.


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Kuma-Kuma Chan, the Little Bear By Kazue Takahashi Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781940842578
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Museyon - May 16th, 2022

Who wouldn't want to spend each day with Kuma-Kuma Chan? Or would it be "live as" Kuma-Kuma Chan? I mean, everyone does the things Kuma-Kuma Chan does....Could this book be *THE* primer on life?


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In Sensorium: Notes for My People By Tanaïs Cover Image
By Tanaïs
$26.99
ISBN: 9780358381709
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Harper - February 22nd, 2022

Has the fear of anosmia drawn us closer to smell? Whatever accounts for the proliferation of fragrance-related products and media, Tanais' essays on their experiences and scent memories stand apart from similarly marketed works. Their ferocity in addressing the historical, cultural, and linguistic encounters and clashes of war, migration, and capitalism is a compelling approach to trauma.


All the Lovers in the Night By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator) Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781609456993
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Europa Editions - May 3rd, 2022

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Scattered All Over the Earth By Yoko Tawada, Margaret Mitsutani (Translated by) Cover Image
By Yoko Tawada, Margaret Mitsutani (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811229289
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - March 1st, 2022

Touching upon labor, food, robots, environmentalism, nationalism, nationality, nuclear power, ethnic stereotypes, and sexuality through extant, dying, and made-up languages, Tawada's latest brings to (my) mind more questions than it provides answers. How different would it be, for instance, if it had been written in German instead of Japanese?


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Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest By Phoebe Wahl Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780735264892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tundra Books - September 21st, 2021

Join Little Witch Hazel on a journey of growth through the seasons and relationships that Mosswood Forest offers, and let’s also ensure that all the rad grandparents, parents, aunties, uncles, and caretakers we know get to explore Wahl’s beyond-charming woodland world with the children (and kids-at-heart) in their lives.


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The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma's Kitchen By Joanne Lee Molinaro Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780593084274
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery - October 12th, 2021

What recipe won't you want to make from this cookbook? If you happen to discover one, don't let me know.


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William Shakespeare × Marcel Dzama: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Seeing Shakespeare) By William Shakespeare, Marcel Dzama (By (artist)), Leslie Jamison (Contributions by) Cover Image
By William Shakespeare, Marcel Dzama (By (artist)), Leslie Jamison (Contributions by)
$30.00
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781644230442
Published: David Zwirner Books - May 18th, 2021

A full Dzama monograph would’ve been lovely, but we’re probably OK with reading words, too? Forget scholarly annotations; (re-)contextualize Shakespeare’s lines with Dzama’s shimmering colors and bold lines. Feed everyone’s inner theater kid and help yourself, friends, and family create new connections with part of the literary, poetic, and theatrical canon.


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A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020) By David Sedaris Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780316558792
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 5th, 2021

I grew up listening to This American Life, and the Davids pretty much live in my brain, especially during the holidays. Who wouldn’t enjoy tucking into Sedaris’s takes on life as a writer, member of his clan, wearer of textiles masquerading as clothing, and pick-upper of roadside rubbish, along with some hot chocolate?


$30.00
SKU: 9781734324723N
Availability: Out of Stock

Goodspeed’s lines and colors are so simple that one might think, “Well, I could’ve done that.” Even if one has and I just didn’t realize it, everyone’s still lucky that this slim guide to life exists. Charm everyone with Goodspeed’s pithy observations on pressing realities like time, productivity, haircuts, too-memorable TV commercials, and plant care.


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The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland (Canons #6) By Nan Shepherd Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781786897350
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Canongate Books - October 1st, 2019

I still marvel over Shepherd’s beyond-keen attention to the seasonal shifts that the flora, fauna, and people around her undergo. Inspire your friends and family to engage with environments outside L.A.’s (admittedly often wondrous) bubbles and develop a new language of place.


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Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations By Jonny Sun Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062880857
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Harper Perennial - April 20th, 2021

I likely had these exact thoughts, but I never caught them before another alighted. Maybe their fleeting nature seemed meaningful at the time? Sure, these short essays might be letting me off the hook; I won't have to work as hard to recall the lost moments, ideas, and emotions that Sun examines. Still, I'm glad to live in a time when words can feel more personal instead of merely didactic.


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Heaven By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator) Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$23.00
ISBN: 9781609456214
Availability: Backordered
Published: Europa Editions - May 25th, 2021

I get it-- following up a kids' classic highlighting the sanctuary school can provide with a story about horrific bullying and alienation feels like a bit of a whiplash. BUT(!) in addition to the hair-raising, stomach-churning physical violence, Kawakami brought me closer to the heightened stakes and rawness of youth, when each new experience and reflection felt so integral to my self formation.


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Matilda By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780142410370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 16th, 2007

This was one of my favorites while growing up, and a little bit of comfort still seems necessary. I had to consider whether it'd make more sense to recommend this in the summer, when people might have more time to read. Ultimately, the need to appreciate the ways students and teachers support and challenge each other now, before the school year officially ends, won out.


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Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories (Art of the Story) By Kevin Wilson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063041028
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Ecco - September 1st, 2020

I raved about this collection to everyone I know when it first came out, and every subsequent re-reading reminds me how excellent short stories can and should be.


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Accidentally Wes Anderson By Wally Koval, Wes Anderson (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Wally Koval, Wes Anderson (Foreword by)
$40.00
ISBN: 9780316492737
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voracious - October 20th, 2020

If you haven't gone on a trip in forever (and how many of us have?), this book might help determine your next destination. Then again, given how ordinary some of the subjects are, maybe it'll just inspire you to pay attention to the extraordinary colors and symmetry of the built environment around you as you walk around this spring.


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This Is How You Lose the Time War By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: S&S/Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

Has the pandemic era upended your sense of time, too? Then it's the perfect time (heyyyy!) to read This Is How You Lose the Time War-- well, not that it won't be once this crisis is over and the normal temporal markers (like, you know, holidays and birthdays out with friends) return. Time-, genre-, gender-, and everything-else-bending, this novella and its characters morph with each chapter. I re-read this *immediately,* and it actually improved on the second read-through. How often does that happen?


$10.99
SKU: 9798583133338n
Availability: Out of Stock

Who isn't interested in discovering more about the intersectional figures and beautiful places that have enriched our city? As a radauntie, I want to give this to every kid my friends have to help cultivate their creativity and curiosity (and to keep them occupied so my friends can get a break). You could pair this with mini-field trips to the sites to get everyone outdoors, too. See you there!


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Another By Christian Robinson, Christian Robinson (Illustrator) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534421677
Availability: Backordered
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - March 5th, 2019

Seriously, all Christian Robinson illustrations <3 forever. I think this slim, text-free book is relevant to all sorts of uncertainty and discovery through cycles of wakefulness and dreaming, but you can pretend you bought it for a kid you know and like. 


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The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir By E. J. Koh Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781951142278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - January 19th, 2021

Not to judge a book by its cover, but how pretty is this one? That said, I recommended it as my 2020 holiday pick even though the hardcover didn't feature this gorgeous illustration. Koh's reflections on language(s) and their relationships to different selves and roles really make this memoir a stand-out. Even-- and perhaps especially-- if you don't gravitate toward nonfiction, this is a MUST-read to see how entire stories come from everyday thoughts and experiences. Our copies have signed bookplates!


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Big Macs & Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World By Vanessa Price Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781419744914
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Abrams Image - October 13th, 2020

I forget all the things Jill Zimorski, MS, gushes about regarding this comprehensive guide to pairings at all price points, but I also recommend that you listen to her Reading & Drinking Podcast to find out. Anyway, back to my own recommendation: Price's guide to pairings is as fresh and lively a portal to new worlds as the wines she recommends. My two tiny quibbles with this book are that 1) I wish she would've considered what wine might pair with Fuego Takis and 2) it would've come with a warning about maybe reading with a snack or some food on the way.


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Your House Will Pay: A Novel By Steph Cha Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780062868848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - July 28th, 2020

I've long appreciated Steph Cha's geographical specificity, and this one is her first novel not featuring Juniper Song navigating its neighborhoods to solve a crime. Though it often sits on our Mystery shelves, don't mistake it for a typical whodunit. Instead, this novel one dives into relationships resulting from LA's histories of migration and immigration. I read this in the spring of 2020, not too long after returning from Seoul, and I still think about the ways it treats how social media and secrecy impose and sustain alternate narratives of race-inflected interactions. 


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Breasts and Eggs By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator) Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781609456702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - March 23rd, 2021

In the immortal words of Popeye, "I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam," so I have some i s s u e s with the imo-kinda-sorta-a-copout-but-I-guess-it-makes-sense ending. What saves the book for me are Natsu's fantastical, is-she-dreaming-or-experiencing-psychosis interludes. Reflecting on the novel on this International Women's Day of 2021, I think Kawakami's treatment of women's views on their bodies, roles, responsibilities, relationships, and restrictions read as very true-to-life. Of course, your own mileage may vary. 


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Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures By Merlin Sheldrake Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525510314
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Random House - May 12th, 2020

Ever wonder why Pluto and Brontosauri keep changing categories? This book won't explain any of that, but it explores the ever-shifting nature of scientific knowledge through mycology. Presenting arguments for how and why our thinking around science and philosophy need to reflect newly discovered complexities, Sheldrake still manages to make his case accessible to the lay reader (like this trypophobic one who finds the mere idea of spores TERRYFING).


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The Best of Me By David Sedaris Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780316628242
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Little, Brown and Company - November 3rd, 2020

The Best of Me compiles essays from Sedaris' many publications. For enduring fans of the Sedarises and new readers, these reframe the writer's family, fashion, humor, and relationships by virtue of being together. Personal essays have long been my bread-and-butter as a college counselor, and I can only hope that young adults could write with even a fraction of Sedaris' humor and reflection.