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Books Inc. in Alameda store manager Nick Petrulakis has been known to mix a cocktail now and then.  In this monthly feature, Nick creates a cocktail to go with one of his favorite books for the month.

This month’s featured book and cocktail inspiration is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  Ten years in the writing, "All the Light We Cannot See" is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" ("Los Angeles Times").
Sea of Flames

1.5 oz. Hendrick's Gin
1 oz. Byrrh
.5 oz. St. Germain
2 tsp lemon juice
2 dashes The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Bitters
Stir all with ice. Strain into chilled glass.
 

“This one came together nicely - and I know I'm not supposed to say that about my own concoctions, but there it is! The Byrrh is a really lovely, red-wine based aperitif that was created in France well before WWII (the setting of the novel). The St. Germain is also French. The other story line begins in Germany, so I added the Bitter Truth bitters - a German product.” Enjoy!

Twinmaker is great for kids who want pure science fiction. Reminiscent of the world-building in Uglies, people now use “d-mat” to transport themselves anywhere around the world. However, someone is sending out a message saying that, through the use of d-mat and a code written on a piece of paper, you can change things about yourself. The only problem is that many of those who use improvement end up dead. Clair’s best friend has used improvement and now time is counting down to her death. Clair must team up with an unlikely boy at her school to figure out what’s really going on. This book is fast-paced, descriptive, and exciting. We read it for book club and everyone really enjoyed it!

--Anna Books Inc. Palo Alto

Spring break was supposed to be epic. Aruba. Her best friend, her boyfriend and all their group of friends. Drinking, dancing until dawn and no parents. It wasn't suppose to end like this. Now her best friend Elise is dead and she is in jail awaiting trial for murder. I read this for my book club. It was recommend to me by one of the teens who really wanted me to consider this for the group. I started it and finished it in one sitting and the ending - OH MAN! This is a psychological thriller told through the perspective of Anna who is Elise's best friend and potential murderer. A ripped from the headlines story - compelling, dark and edgy. A teen Gone Girl. --Connie, Books Inc. Opera Plaza

I was moved by the beauty and magic of this novel. I had to remind myself this is a young adult novel and honestly I’m convinced this may find its home amongst other greats such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Song of Solomon.  Magical realism is a non-genre that grants literary clout but also gives us a new view of the world that is delicious as the baked goods the women of the family create in their bakery. The promised tragedy hinted throughout the book is brutal; a comparison to Lovely Bones can be a helpful guide for potential readers. Oh, yes did I forget to mention our protagonist Ava has wings? Her family’s story does little to explain this but it does illuminate the magic, mystery, and tragedy of love. Is it a blessing or a curse? Can we protect our loved ones from the world or does it simply seal their fate?

Recommended for age 14 and up. --reviewed by Renee, Books Inc. Castro

This book is effing whack. It’s about Catholic school. Or, it’s about the Midwest. Or unstoppable corn. Or being horny all the time. Or else an apocalypse caused by gigantic man eating praying mantises, the size of refrigerators. Or about coming of age, and still being confused. I don’t know. It’s awesome. Just read it. For ages 14+ --Reviewed by Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

I LOVED the Newbery honor, Three Times Lucky, and was super thrilled to pick up this sequel, also set in Tupelo Landing. Mo LaBeau is back, and this time she’s ghost hunting for a history project. Turnage’s signature sense of humor is back in full narrative force (“they had about as much in common as yes and no,”) and so is the long, and unforgettable cast of characters.  Replete with true spookiness and paranormal activity, this book stands alone as well as in concert with Three Times Lucky. Ages 10+ --Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

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