Lara is an illustrator and comic artist who slings books, flings paint, and shuffles soles. Find her at Elliott Bay or anywhere rugs are cut.

Reviews & Recommendations

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The Five Wounds: A Novel By Kirstin Valdez Quade Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324020219
Availability: Ships in 2-10 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 25th, 2022

In the run-down New Mexico town of Las Penas, conquistadors once rained blood on cracked earth, now the desert sky aches above a raging opioid crisis, kids have kids while parenting their parents, and old men in abandoned gas stations seek violent redemption. Valdez-Quade pieces together the perspectives of the Padilla family as they struggle to reach each other, past craters of grief and petty pockmarks of indignity. Did I mention it's funny? Heartachingly funny! And honest? devastatingly honest! I dare you not to fall in love with every character that stumbles across the page.

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No One Else By R. Kikuo Johnson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683964797
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Published: Fantagraphics - November 9th, 2021

This story creeps through fiery cane fields of grief, pads down long hallways of resentment, and pounces into lush forests of humor and hope on soft little cat feet. Perfectly paced, cleanly rendered, and told with a subtle, literary sensibility, Johnson does deep work that leaves blazing afterimages on the imagination.

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI By David Grann Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307742483
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Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

This book is for you and everyone you know. Seriously. It has wild action; lucid, propulsive prose; heavy history; racial reckoning; a dash of political intrigue; and good old frontier murder. After you tear through it yourself (and you will tear though it, it's as adrenaline-pumping as the best plotted who-dunnit) you can gift it to your cowboy uncle, your fiction-addicted mother, your activist friend, or your true crime-loving cousin (true story). There's even a young readers edition for the teen history buff in your life!

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The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements By Eric Hoffer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060505912
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Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - January 19th, 2010

Hoffer dissects the socioeconomic and emotional conditions that spawn mass movements and forge fanatics. Focused, forceful, and free of judgement, this brilliant little book was written in the '50s but is essential reading for every era.

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The Essential Rilke By Galway Kinnell, Hannah Liebmann Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060956547
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Published: Ecco - September 5th, 2000

Almost unbearably beautiful. The temptation is to tumble headlong into the ever lovely, ever necessary "Duino Elegies" but consider stopping for the subtle grandeur of "Autumn Day" or passing a little while in the Jardin des Plantes with the muscular fury of "The Panther". Galway Kinnell's poetic voice with Hannah Liebmann's native ear combine to conjure my very favorite translation of this truly essential poet.

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

Just look at that cover—delightful! Detailed descriptions and lush photographs are excellent identification aids for new explorers in the mushroom kingdom, while interspersed vignettes, harangues, recipes, and quotes from a mix of mycophiles livens up the read. Inspores! Inspires!

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Asterios Polyp (Pantheon Graphic Library) By David Mazzucchelli Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307377326
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Published: Pantheon - July 7th, 2009

Witness two (three?) small beings caught in a vast cosmic mechanism. Fate! Longing! What does it mean to be whole? Who can complete us? Mazzuchelli's words and pictures are precise, sophisticated, and intentional in every detail. A masterpiece. 

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Sabrina By Nick Drnaso Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770463165
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Published: Drawn and Quarterly - May 22nd, 2018

Set aside a full afternoon to read this book because it will mess you up. The deliberately dingy color schemes and missing pieces put me in a state of frustration and paranoia. Drnaso's book begins in the aftermath of a murder and spins out into the questions of our time: Is our media just a vehicle for hysteria? What is truth? Is personal tragedy doomed to drown in a sea of sociopolitical agendas? Brace yourself for Sabrina

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The Hard Tomorrow By Eleanor Davis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770463738
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Published: Drawn and Quarterly - October 8th, 2019

With bold, sensitive linework and a keen ear for dialogue, Davis captures scenes of playful intimacy and sobering violence that squeeze the heart and punch the guts. If Drnaso's Sabrina expressed the paranoia and alienation of 2018, The Hard Tomorrow nails the confusion, hope, and heartbreak of 2020. Required reading!

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Akissi: Tales of Mischief: Akissi Book 1 By Marguerite Abouet, Mathieu Sapin (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Marguerite Abouet, Mathieu Sapin (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781911171478
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Published: Flying Eye Books - May 8th, 2018

Who's got a bossy older brother, a tricky pet monkey, and a well-developed sense of adventure? Akissi! Follow our fierce and funny protagonist as she hunts down big trouble in her little west African village. Jokes! Snakes! Capes! Parasites! Soccer! Hijinks! (For a grown-up follow-up try Aya: Life in Yop City).

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Milo Imagines the World By Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399549083
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - February 2nd, 2021

Just perfect. 
This book finds the BIG truths amid the vivid little details of a single subway ride. de la Peña and Robinson inspire readers to engage with their surroundings as observers, artists, and storytellers, ultimately challenging kids to see beyond assumption (to that universal human thing) and imagine a kinder world.

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On the Origin of Species and Other Stories By Bo-Young Kim, Sunyoung Park (Editor), Joungmin Lee Comfort (Translator) Cover Image
By Bo-Young Kim, Sunyoung Park (Editor), Joungmin Lee Comfort (Translator)
ISBN: 9781885030719
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Published: Kaya Press - May 25th, 2021

After a long, award winning run in Korea, many of Bo-Young's stories make their English language debut in this frankly beautiful collection (need I wax poetic on the enchanting typeface and hot pink flash pages?)--Kaya press has done it again! Prepare to be swept away into the surprising worlds of these philosophical science parables that offer an ever evolving picture of the meaning and uses of humanity in a post-human world. Fun fact for Bong Joon Ho fans: Kim Bo-Young was a consultant on Snowpiercer.