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#Black Voices Event Series

You're invited to experience some essential #BlackVoices! Join Country Bookshelf, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and Ingram as we share this great opportunity to hear from under-represented voices in publishing. The #BlackVoices series seeks to amplify books, authors and stories that are centered around Black people and culture.  We're excited to share this virtual event with Vanessa Riley for Island Queen on Wednesday, August 18th at 5:30pm.  

Register at Ingram 

Save your spot for more in this fantastic series of live virtual events: 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm CT - Virtual event with Propaganda for Terraform Building A Better World

 

Looking to connect with a favorite author?

Check out these two past events in the #BlackVoices series, which feature bestselling authors and fresh new voices in kidlit, in an engaging and accessible format.

#BlackJoy with Paula Chase forTurning Point, Tanita S. Davis for Serena Says, Lisa Moore Ramée for Something to Say, and Janae Marks for From the Desk of Zoe Washington

#BlackJoy with Featuring Nancy Johnson for The Kindest Lie, Helena Andrews-Dyer & R. Eric Thomas for Reclaiming Her Time, Chanelle Benz for The Gone Dead, and Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of Elijah Cummings – We’re Better Than This

Books: 
Pre-Order Now Badge
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063142992
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - September 28th, 2021

When the Reckoning Comes: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780063035041
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Harper Perennial - August 3rd, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
Island Queen: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063002845
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - July 6th, 2021

Terraform: Building a Better World Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780063036246
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperOne - June 8th, 2021

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An Indies Introduce Q&A With Catherine Raven

Ariana had a few questions for Montana author Dr. Catherine Raven, about her new book Fox & I. Catherine Raven is the debut author of Fox & I, a Summer/Fall 2021 Indies Introduce adult selection and a July Indie Next List pick. Be sure to Join us for our live virtual event with Dr. Raven and Outside magazine editor Tim Cahill. Register here. Book cover of Fox & I by Catherine Raven

“Read this book for the story of Fox, stay for the story of the author and how we all are nature. An examination of our relationships with other animals, plants, each other, and the world, Fox & I is a beautifully-written, thoughtful blend of memoir and nature writing that will inform and inspire and make you feel,” said Ariana Paliobagis, the owner of Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana, who served on the bookseller panel that selected Raven’s book for Indies Introduce.

Raven is a former National Park Ranger at Glacier, Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Voyagers, and Yellowstone National Parks. She earned her PhD in biology from Montana State University and is currently an assistant program director and professor at South University in Savannah, Georgia.

Here, Paliobagis and Raven discuss how the author found her memoir voice to tell the story of her friendship with Fox.


Ariana Paliobagis: Fox & I starts with the acknowledgement that foxes live short lives, so the reader always has an anticipation of an ending, and Fox’s life is just a short part of your life. How did this affect how you approached writing and structuring this book?

Catherine Raven, photo by Bill BurkeCatherine Raven: When I decided to write Fox’s story, we were still seeing each other every day. Because the book was meant to be about him, not me, the original structure was chronologic, and Fox was in every chapter.

I intended to write a true story about a fox who changed my views on anthropomorphism, became my first real friend, and inspired me to think more like an animal.

A published writer explained to me that Fox and I was not simply a true story, it was a memoir, as much about me as about him. I very much respected this writer (or I wouldn’t have asked her opinion), so I set out to turn my true story into a memoir. I changed the structure to include scenes that resonated with my own life experiences.

Fox altered my life in important ways. He is responsible for my choice to live in the country and to seek a purpose-driven life. In order to honor Fox, I had to share enough of my own story so that readers could see how greatly he influenced my life.

AP: As someone who has done lots of scientific and academic writing, how did you find your memoir voice? 

CR: I do have two voices; one is for scientific communication. I did not use that voice in my memoir. Two jobs helped develop my memoir voice: guiding and teaching undergraduates.

I’ve been guiding and instructing field classes in Yellowstone National Park for 20 years and I work hard to avoid jargon and “science speak.” Instead, I use my natural voice, one that is like the voice in the memoir.

When I started the book, I was teaching upper division classes for biology majors. I purposely switched to lower division classes designed for non-majors. I knew this would help with my writing. And, truly, I have come to enjoy teaching non-majors a lot more, just as I have come to enjoy writing.

AP: Other than Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Herman Melville, and Mary Shelley, who you reference often, are there other writers who influenced you?

CR: Several memoirs inspired me. Imagination runs wild in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior, a super creative memoir about living simultaneously in two different worlds. This was the first memoir that resonated with me after Fox died, reminding me that I, too, was living in two worlds, one with Fox and one when I entered the “real world” of serious, professionals, hawk-eyed on their lookout for violators of the anthropomorphism taboo. In a voice that blends hope and horror, Kingston brought me inside the dreams and struggles of a girl-child in a Chinese-American family.

In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah of Sierra Leone, like Kingston, shows me a world that I knew nothing about, in the same way that I assumed science and biology would be a new world to the readers of Fox and I. Beah’s is the voice of innocence among almost unbelievable terror. I believe his story because his writing is clear enough to highlight his honesty and earnestness. Beah has more right to preach, rant, and rage about an immense humanitarian crisis than anyone in the world. He doesn’t. So, I saw how to address important issues without writing in an opinionated, editorial tone. Importantly, before I found Beah’s memoir, I thought all memoirs were written by professional writers looking for their next topic. Like me, Beah experienced something so profound that he became a writer in order to tell the story.

In Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a voice very different from mine, I found a memoir with a creative structure that inspired me to finally start Fox and I. Reading Dave Eggers’ memoir, I realized there are no limits on structure if the writer is sincere and the story is well-told. He moves seamlessly in the first, second, and third person voices. This book freed me from the fear of writing a tightly structured book, which had to follow writerly rules that I had not learned.

I enjoy third person. Readers will notice this in the sections I wrote from Fox’s point of view. My favorite third person novels are so excellent, I sometimes pick one up and read a chapter chosen at random. I strongly recommend everyone reads Hilary Mantel’s trilogy (Wolf HallBring up the BodiesThe Mirror and the Light), Anthony Doerr’s All the Light we Cannot See, and Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries. But you’ll need to avoid these spectacularly entertaining books if you have an ego. I can’t tell you how many times I stopped, mid-paragraph to announce out loud, “I will never, ever write this well.”

AP: You write eloquently, passionately, and forcefully about how humans aren’t just part of nature, we are also nature, we are also animals. Can you talk a bit about why this philosophical distinction is so important? What changes once we realize we are not separate from nature?

CR: On a practical level, I worry about folks experiencing loneliness. I want them to realize that Nature isn’t a mother, it’s a community, and that they are inherently part of this community. It’s their birthright. When they realize they are part of this community, it’s unimaginable to me that they could be lonely. Humans might not have a welcome place for everyone at any given time, but the community I call Nature will always have a spot somewhere. I have found comfort with a slug on a forest floor. Would you turn your nose at a housefly? If not for that one dancing fly, Fox and I may never have connected when we did.

On a philosophical level, I think it’s helpful to reassess our common understanding of anthropomorphism. The term assumes that certain personality — or non-physical — traits are the exclusive domain of Homo sapiens. For example, an appreciation of beauty, or the ability to discern something that is visually pleasing. What happens if we believe that animals are more like us than we once imagined? Will we treat them better? I wish I were that naïve. But let’s face it, sometimes our own parents treat us worse than complete strangers; closeness doesn’t translate to kindness.

But I am optimistic enough to believe that some people will treat some animals better, and others will at least start thinking about it.

As a community, I find that people are anthropomorphobic. And so, we have created an artificial divide between humans and non-human animals. We fear the image of animals acting like people, but more so, and more concerning, we fear the image of people acting like animals. A small change leads to many possibilities. For example, what would you do differently, if, like other animals, you thought about your optimal habitat instead of just picking a career and following it to wherever?

AP: If you could have more time with Fox, how would you spend it?

CR: When you finish the book, you’ll know that I did a terrible thing to Fox. You’ll understand that I wasn’t the friend I should have been. I would have liked more time to make it up to him and more time to experience the responsibilities of friendship.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781954118003
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 6th, 2021

GIVE BIG to The MTREP with Country Bookshelf and author Rio Cortez

The Montana Racial Equity Project Staff, with text that reads: The Montana Racial Equity Project, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, advocates equity and and justice for historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed peoples in Montana. We educate, train, and activate organizers, individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and businesses to invest in interrupting racism, bigotry, and prejudice wherever encountered. Donate by visiting https://mtrep.org.info/GBGV. Ending Racism Begins With You.

We are proud to announce our sponsorship of The Montana Racial Equity Project for #GiveBigGallatinValley 2021! We will be donating 10% of sales for the first ever Big Sky Books n’ Brew Fest on May 6th!

The amazing staff at MTREP have recommended the following list of books. After you grab a book check out our local brew specialists, Wild Joes Coffee and Mountains Walking Brewery to enjoy a beverage of your choice.

And don't forget to register for our Give Big Virtual Storytime with Rio Cortez, author of The ABCs of Black History! Register Here!

If you want to learn more about how to donate to MTREP and help them reach their #GiveBigGV goals, follow this link: https://mtrep.org.info/GBGV

Visit @themtrep or email info@themtrep.org for more information.

Books: 
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781620971932
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: New Press - January 7th, 2020

Kindred Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807083697
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Beacon Press - February 1st, 2004

Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780385722704
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - January 13th, 2009

Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (Civilization of the American Indian) Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780806121291
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: University of Oklahoma Press - May 15th, 1988

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250112880
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - March 5th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
A History of My Brief Body Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781937512934
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Two Dollar Radio - July 14th, 2020

When My Brother Was an Aztec Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781556593833
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Copper Canyon Press - May 8th, 2012

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 Cover Image
By Ta-Nehisi Coates (Text by), Brian Stelfreeze (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781302900533
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Marvel - September 13th, 2016

Staff Pick Badge
Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's Cover Image
By Tiffany Midge, Geary Hobson (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781496224934
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bison Books - May 1st, 2021

The ABCs of Black History Cover Image
By Rio Cortez, Lauren Semmer (Illustrator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781523507498
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Workman Publishing Company - December 8th, 2020

$10.00
SKU: 9781523515134

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Country Bookshelf Booksellers at Home

If there’s one thing the past year has taught us, it would be how to stay at home. Though it may sometimes drive us crazy to spend so much time at home, it has also allowed for more time to read. We’ve all got our little habits that make us more comfortable - a fuzzy blanket, the perfect snack, the right time of day. Get to know our booksellers better through their preferences for the perfect reading experience. 

    Here at Country Bookshelf we all like to snuggle up somewhere comfortable to read. Jeanette says: “Being cozy is my fave thing, so my hammock, my bed, a couch corner with a blanket, are all great places for me.” Some of us like to read in bed after dinner, in a cabin or in a comfy chair facing a window. On the struggle of finding the perfect sitting position, Jessica says: “I can't sit ‘correctly’ in chairs, so I like a space I can sprawl around in, particularly with a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa.” Wanting to be near something warm and fuzzy is essential for Frances. “If I'm sitting on a couch, you best bet I have a fuzzy blanket on my lap, no matter what temperature it is outside.” Particular places can also be an important part of an enhanced reading experience. Some places can put you in the right headspace to really put yourself in the story. Matt does a lot of reading at his family’s cabin. “I do half of my yearly reading within a week long span when I go to my cabin.”

    Having the perfect snack or drink is also an important part of the reading experience. Sometimes the foods and drinks in the books we read can have a real influence on us. Ariana observes that “whatever characters in a book are drinking (whether coffee or champagne) is suddenly what I crave while I read.” Both Kasey and Cassie agree that popcorn is the perfect reading snack (quote?). In terms of drinks to accompany reading, coffee and wine are the winners. Anna is a self-professed “bed reader with dogs and wine after dinner.” And Kasey prefers to read in the morning while sipping on coffee. Frances also enjoys coffee, particularly with “oat milk and cinnamon.” Stained pages and greasy fingerprints are commonalities that unite us as readers. Jeanette has observed that “for some reason, though I do not consume pasta in red sauce with high frequency, I have so many memories of getting pasta stains on pages of books while reading and eating.”

    Time of day is an important part of the reading experience, it can influence your mood and overall enjoyment of a book. Cassie’s favorite times to read are at opposite times of day. “I love reading late at night or first thing in the morning, something about those times allows your mind to really be immersed in story.” While Nora observes that she doesn’t “particularly love reading at night time.” Though we may have different ways of experiencing the act of reading 

    Here are some additional fun facts about our booksellers: 

Matt: “I read on impulse. I never sit down planning to read, it's a spontaneous decision every time. I have no problems dropping a book even if I've almost finished it.”

Anna: “I don't feel safe without books in the car in case of emergencies or unplanned stays.”

Ariana: “I read and listen to far too many books at one time which sometimes is confusing and sometimes shows up delightful confluences I might not have noticed otherwise.”

Frances: “In 7th grade I met my favorite author, Wendy Mass, and she was kind enough to sign an entire stack of books for me.”

Jess: “My Dog hates it when I read, and will paw at my books, but she loves walking so she's okay with audiobooks. I am completely immune to spoilers.”

Nora: “I like to listen to music when I read, it doesn't distract me because I'm built different.”

 

Get to know us more in person! We’re open from 10AM-6PM every day for browsing and are more than happy to chat about our shared book-loving quirks.

 

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Bookstore Day Staff Recommendation Safari

Over the course of the last year, it’s been hard to explore the world and connect with our communities in the same capacity that we used to. It has been inspiring to see people persist despite this and come up with creative solutions to maintain connection and curiosity. Here at Country Bookshelf, we see this everyday in people exploring different books and exploring the shelves. Even the most adventurous of us haven’t gotten to explore the boundless expanse of our store. That is why, we are going to take you on safari through the bookstore, and maybe we’ll even spot some staff picks along the way…

There are many different ways to venture through the jungle of the bookstore--some swim in the seas of our card racks when first entering the store, while others are easily distracted by the brightly colored covers of our fiction section. You can’t miss the orange cover of There There by Tommy Orange, which bookseller Cassie would recommend to anyone. “It's a very insightful and action-filled book detailing many different facets of modern American Indian experiences and lifestyles. It taught me a lot about the range of different sub-cultures and experiences across different nations,” she says.

Your eye might also be drawn to the vibrant cover of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. There is Jeanette, gushing over it right now! “A beautiful multigenerational story that tells a history of slavery and colonialism from the east African coast in Ghana to the US. The tales of each character are so singular and beautiful, and Gyasi has a masterful way of getting you invested in everyone's story, even if you're only getting a snapshot of their lives. Some people are just so good at writing!”

Other adventurers head straight upstairs, whether drawn to the philosophical voices, social commentary, or a record of historical events. There is Anna, restocking our vast history section! She recommends Mudlark by Lara Maiklem.

Want to read about the lives of some of your favorite writers? We do too. Our biography and memoir section is filled to the brim with voices, both well known and heard for the first time. You can see Kasey there right now! Rebecca Solnit’s Recollection of My Nonexistence is in her hands. “If you've ever felt like a person, in the world, just living your life, this book will resonate with you.”

Did you hear that sound coming from beneath the stairs? We better go investigate...

A wild Matthew appears in our humor section! He recommends Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. “Humorous and relaxed, it's the perfect book for unwinding from the stresses of the world,” he cries. Ariana can’t help but laugh as she stands right beside him in our essay section. She’s holding one of her favorite books, Book of Delights by Ross Gay. “It's the kind of book you can pick up when you need a pick-me-up or something to ponder, and the delights range from encounters with people to the plants in his garden. This book will make you stop and notice delight every day.” We certainly know how to delight one another here!

You can never go wrong with a classic, but there are always so many new and exciting titles lining our shelves! Kaycee is by our “Hot off the Press” display, telling anyone who will listen how great Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M Masood.

Waiting for the book to come out in paperback so that it doesn’t weigh you down on your travels? We have just the shelf for you! Our “New in Paperback” section is for all the patient folks who have been waiting for the books on their list to come out in soft cover. There’s Frances, with the newly out in paperback Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn. “There is a magic in this novel that seems unexplainable to the characters and maybe even the author. But it is there with every word and every action. You are sure to feel it too,” Frances says with a twinkle in their eyes.

And no bookstore would be complete without some fantastical escapism. Head over to our SciFi/Fantasy section to find your perfect dose of alternate reality. There’s our beloved Jessica with a copy of The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. “This book is a literal cinnamon roll of goodness, all about self-discovery and acceptance, family (and falling in love with family) and community and belonging,” she says. “It's a slow burn, not unlike the time it takes to make delicious cinnamon rolls, but worth every moment.”

We here at Country Bookshelf love books about connection. Whether it be the familial connections in The House in the Cerulean Sea, Ross Gay’s daily joyful connections to the world in Book of Delights, or the connection of artifacts to history in Mudlark. And we love connecting with our customers. 

Didn’t see a title that excites you here? Not to worry. Come on in and celebrate community, and curiosity with us. We’ll connect you with your next favorite book, and if we’re lucky, some new bookish friends too.

 

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Jonathan Meiburg and A MOST REMARKABLE CREATURE

Books in Common NW takes off for a  "raptor-ous" evening and one of a kind adventure with author Jonathan Meiburg and his new book A Most Remarkable Creature. An enthralling account of a modern voyage of discovery to meet the clever, social birds of prey called caracaras, which puzzled Darwin, fascinate modern-day falconers, and carry secrets of our planet’s deep past in their family history. A Most Remarkable Creature is a hybrid of science writing, travelogue, and biography, as generous and accessible as it is sophisticated, and absolutely riveting.

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Action Packed First Week of Spring!

We're utilizing all the sunshine and good vibes we can this first week of spring with a bouquet of great events here at the Bookshelf!

Monday, March 22nd at 6pm - Virtual Book Club discussion of  My Ántonia by Willa Cather

Join our booksellers for our virtual book club discussion of My Ántonia by Willa Cather. Pre-registration is required. Our Book Club meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6pm. All book clubs and events will be held virtually via Zoom for the foreseeable future. We're always happy to see new faces, and there's no month-to-month obligation. Please join us for a fun, casual discussion, and enjoy some refreshments - BYOB.  REGISTER HERE

Tuesday, March 23rd at 7:30pm - Books in Common NW: Susan Conley & Rick Bass

 Criss-cross the US in an exciting literary evening with Susan Conley and Rick Bass as they share their respective new books Landslide, and Fortunate Son: Selected Essays from the Lone Star State. Susan Conley's Landslide is an immersive look at one woman's reckoning with the disintegration of her family, her marriage and her community. Rick Bass's Fortunate Son is a literary tour of the Lone Star State by a native Texan of exceptional talent. The essays encompass a Texas that is both lost and found, past and present. They are bound together by a deep love and a keen eye for the land and its people and by an appreciation for what is given, a ruefulness for what is lost, and a commitment to save what can be saved.  REGISTER HERE

Wednesday, March 24th at 6pm - Country Bookshelf Presents: Malcolm Brooks

From the author of the national bestseller Painted Horses, Montana favorite Malcolm Brooks returns with Cloudmaker - a soaring, spirited novel set during the Age of Aviation and the summer of Amelia Earhart's final flight, in which a young tinkerer and an aspiring pilot building their own airplane unexpectedly come into possession of a rare Lindbergh flight watch owned by a bank robber whose fellow criminals want it back. Cloudmaker is a tale of American ingenuity and optimism set against the backdrop of a deepening Great Depression.  REGISTER HERE

Thursday, March 25th at 6pm - Books in Common NW: David Laskin

Books in Common NW is delighted to welcome award winning author of The Children's Blizzard, David Laskin, for a transporting evening to share his evocative new book What Sammy Knew -- a turbulent coming-of-age novel about a young man who loses his innocence and finds his soul in the ferment of New York City in 1970's.  REGISTER HERE

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Support Your Neighbors

We've got a great week of local author programming coming up this week that we hope you're registered for!

Wednesday, March 10th at 6pm - Country Bookshelf Presents: A Local Author Showcase. 

Join Country Bookshelf and your neighbors for a seasonal round of speed dating with your next great read. Join Ed Power for Dragons in the Snow - A gripping, fast-paced story that blends backcountry ski and snowboard adventure with avalanche forecasting, rescue, and survival. Connie Myslik-McFadden shares her new novel The Second Bucket List - a poignant and uplifting story about the emotional and spiritual journey of a forty-nine year old woman who is diagnosed with ALS. We'll also take a (virtual) trip to Italy with Meredith Smith sharing her new book Inventing the World - An epic cultural journey that reveals how Venetian ingenuity and inventions--from sunglasses and forks to bonds and currency--shaped modernity. Celebrate some great local authors with us! 

Watch the Replay Here

 

Thursday, March 11th at 6pm - Country Bookshelf Presents: Kelsey Sather

Country Bookshelf is delighted to welcome local author Kelsey Sather and invites you to revel in the embodied, ecological magic of Sather's new book Birth of the Anima. A fable for the modern experience, Sather explores female agency and ecological balance in this first book of the Ancient Language of Earth series. 

Watch the Replay Here

We’ve got more events packed into this month with Books in Common, our Virtual Book Club and more great presentations from Country Bookshelf. Follow us on Eventbrite to see all we have in store.

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Books in Common NW: Abby Schneiderman, Adam Seifer & Gene Newman

Did you miss Books in Common NW with Abby Schneiderman, Adam Seifer & Gene Newman? Check out the recording here: https://youtu.be/A9RwNRbNaqA

Books: 
In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You're Not Around Later Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781523510474
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Workman Publishing Company - December 22nd, 2020

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