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Em's Picks

 

 

     Emma Percy is a book artist, papermaker, forager, and gardener who can usually be found meandering around the woods with their dog, making a mess of their living-room art studio, or reading with a cup of tea. Originally from Buffalo, NY, they moved to Norwich in January 2022, and have worked as a silkscreen printer, a digital printer, a florist, and a farmworker before joining the Norwich Bookstore staff. Their favorite word is "selvage", which refers to both the edge of a piece of woven fabric and the untilled weedy border of a farm field. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Pick Badge
Young Mungo Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802159557
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: Grove Press - April 5th, 2022

A beautifully heartbreaking story of a first love, a fragmented family, and a struggle to survive in spite of harrowing circumstances. Coming of age in post-industrial Glasgow, Mungo is caught up in a tangled web of his family’s troubles, sectarian violence, and the murky intentions of strangers, but the tenderness of his budding secret relationship with James shines like a beacon through the storm brewing around them. Some of the most immersive, slow-burning storytelling I’ve read in awhile, I feel as if I know the characters personally, and it did make me cry.  -Em


Staff Pick Badge
Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374104092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: FSG Originals - February 4th, 2014

A chilling, dreamlike mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. Layers of secrets and otherworldly phenomena unfold slowly but steadily, and the lines between living and dead, real and imagined, become hazier with each page, perhaps bringing up more questions than answers. Beautifully written and totally unsettling. -Em


Staff Pick Badge
A Ghost in the Throat Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771964111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: Biblioasis - June 1st, 2021

This is a story that’s going to linger with me for a long time. It’s a riveting, eerie, and poetic account of a woman’s private quest to piece together the life of another who was mostly erased by the historical record, while at the same time contending with longing and mortality in her own present-day. Eibhlín Dubh and her loved ones - their passions, tragedies, drudgeries, and joys - feel present right there beyond the veil, yet painfully just out of reach.  -Em


Staff Pick Badge
Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780870714993
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: Oregon State University Press - March 1st, 2003

Kimmerer’s writing is just as tender and engrossing as the delicate, ancient species she writes about - a lovely confluence of natural-cultural history, biology, and personal reflection that feels like a breath of fresh air. Consider this an invitation to slow down and appreciate the microcosmic world of beings much smaller and more subtle than us.  -Em


Staff Pick Badge
Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking Cover Image
By Jason Logan, Michael Ondaatje (Foreword by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781419732430
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: Abrams - September 11th, 2018

As gorgeous as it is informative, this guidebook offers a simple recipe for every color of the rainbow, beautiful photographs and peculiar drawings, and a set of general guidelines for foraging plant and mineral pigments and turning them into art materials. A lovely resource for artists, gardeners, and curious observers alike.  -Em


Staff Pick Badge
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781603586283
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: Chelsea Green Publishing Company - August 19th, 2016

If you’re intimidated by the idea of fermenting at home, or just aren’t sure where to start, this is a fantastic introductory guide to the hows & whys of making delicious ferments in your own kitchen. The recipes cover a wide range of foods and drinks, from vegetable and bean ferments to sourdough to homebrewed beer, alongside explanations of how each fermentation process actually works so you can experiment with your own variations. I’ve been enjoying homemade ginger beer, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi, and I’m excited to branch out from there!  -Em


Staff Pick Badge
Parable of the Sower Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538732182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 30th, 2019

Written in 1993 and set in a dystopian near-future of 2024, this story can hit uncomfortably close to home, but the protagonist's unwavering faith in her ability (and responsibility) to survive and shape a better world offers insight into how we might face the uncertainties of our current moment. Parable of the Sower and its sequel, Parable of the Talents, are powerful reminders of the importance of creativity, community care, and adaptability in the face of crisis. A gripping and fortifying read, though not for the faint of heart. -Em


Staff Pick Badge
Landmarks (Landscapes #4) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780241967874
Availability: Usually Available in 2-10 Business Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 2nd, 2016

Few books have affected me as much as this one, and I revisit it often to peruse its glossaries of peculiar Celtic words, which describe natural phenomena with a precision that can only come from deep familiarity with the land. These are dispersed between immersive and moving stories of writers who have devoted their life's work to the British landscape, and the author's own reflections on the connections between landscape and language. A trove of insight for anyone interested in repairing our modern disconnection from the earth.  -Em


Staff Pick Badge
The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781631499012
Availability: Usually Available in 2-10 Business Days
Published: Liveright - July 13th, 2021

A fascinating journey through time from the most ancient hand-spun plant fibers to the futuristic synthetics of today, with centuries of surprising history in between. I came away from this book with a newfound appreciation for these materials that we wear and use every day, usually without a second thought, and for the people past & present whose stories are bound up in them.  -Em


If you're looking for a new creative project, The Wild Dyer is a great place to start working with natural dyes. I often recommend this book to students in my dye workshops because it's beginner-friendly and visually engaging, but it also gets into the key nitty-gritty details of how to prep different kinds of fabrics to achieve the best results, something I've noticed can be lacking in other introductory sources. I particularly appreciate the focus on using recognizable plants that can be homegrown, foraged, or even sourced from your kitchen scraps. It even includes some creative sewing projects so you can incorporate the beauty of botanical pigments into your everyday life.  -Em


Staff Pick Badge
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY #3) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807057834
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (call to confirm availability)
Published: Beacon Press - August 11th, 2015

A definitive, eye-opening retelling of the story of the USA from the perspective of Native nations, describing in comprehensive detail the last 400+ years of Indigenous resistance to colonization and genocide. Dunbar-Ortiz traces the evolution of the US as a militarized colonial power from the first arrival of Europeans in North America to the present day quagmire wars abroad and continual marginalization of Native people at home. Though difficult to stomach at times, this book provides a crucial perspective shift challenging the dominant narratives of US history and national identity, and should be required reading for everyone living in this land today.  -Em


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