Aggie was born in Sarajevo, in the former Yugoslavia, and she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. Her top 10 favorite books are (in no particular order):

  1. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  2. The Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro
  3. They Came Like Swallows, by William Maxwell
  4. Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  6. Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
  7. Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee
  8. Letters of E.B. White, by E.B. White
  9. Independent People, by Halldor Laxness
  10. As the Birds Bring Forth the Sun, by Alistair MacLeod
Favorite Genres: 
Literary Fiction
Book Recommendations: 
Staff Pick Badge
Homeland Elegies: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316496421
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 15th, 2020

Ayad Akhtar might have just written the most terrifying, provocative narrative on contemporary post-Trump America, a unique literary work filled with facts and political analysis. This auto-fiction novel reads like a 'mayday, mayday' urgent distress call for help. What is going on with our country, with our nation? At the age of four, the author, born on Staten Island, moved to Wisconsin with his Pakistani parents. He grew up with his mother's homesickness for Pakistan and his father's jubilation for America, the land of opportunities. Akhtar writes that 9/11 was perhaps the last disastrous event that united all Americans in their grief. He examines different factors why the diverse American nation is now politically and culturally divided more than ever. Homeland Elegies is not only an immensely critical discourse on capitalism, immigration, and race but also an unflinching self-examination portrait. The author loses his mother from recurring cancer and his father from reverse exile. And as he's mourning for his American homeland, he's looking for hope from his old teacher. Can art help in shaping the world anew? --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
Apeirogon: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400069606
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Random House - February 25th, 2020


Apeirogon, by Colum McCann, is an epic story about Palestine and Israeli war, but in the heart of this novel is a story about two grieving fathers from the opposite sides of the conflict, united in their grief after unimaginable loss of their young daughters, both killed in two separate acts of radical violence. The title of the book comes from a geometric shape with a countably infinite number of sides, similar to the fragmented structure of this book, with its one thousand and one short chapters. Much like ‘One Thousand and One Nights,’ this unparalleled novel weaves a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope. McCann is our modern Shahrazad, pleading for the senseless killing to stop. --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
The Heart Is a Full-Wild Beast: New and Selected Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780998267579
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Public Space Books - December 3rd, 2019

A posthumously published collection by beloved local author John L’Heureux, a former Jesuit priest and the longtime director of the Stanford Creative Program, is the book I keep at my bedside. These illuminating stories range from humorous to tragic, each a true gift of compassion and grace. --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
The Secrets We Kept: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525656159
Availability: Usually Arrives at Kepler's in 3-14 Days
Published: Knopf - September 3rd, 2019

This perfect historical novel is made of the most alluring ingredients. First, a divine and doomed love affair between Russian author Boris Pasternak and his muse and secretary, Olga Ivinskaya, a woman immortalized in Pasternak’s epic novel Doctor Zhivago, which was banned in Russia for more than 30 years. Second, two American women typists working for the CIA and their forbidden love story in the midst of the Cold War and the witch hunt against homosexuals. Lara Prescott brilliantly portrays how a timeless novel like Doctor Zhivago can change the course of history. After I finished reading The Secrets We Kept, I pressed the book against my chest, as if I could hear the lovers’ hearts still beating. --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
Inland: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812982756
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 26th, 2020

Great books make us create our own mythology and embark on a journey to ancestral lands that may have never existed. As I was reading Inland by Tea Obreht, I marveled at the beauty of her prose, the exquisite density and luminosity of her sentences. I dare to say, no other book since Beloved by the incomparable Toni Morrison, made me feel such awe at what books can do. You’ll want to reread this spectacular historical novel of the American West over and over again. --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
Where Reasons End: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984817372
Availability: Usually Arrives at Kepler's in 3-14 Days
Published: Random House - February 5th, 2019

When the unimaginable happens, Yiyun Li continues her conversation with her 16-year-old son lost to suicide. If a mother’s grief and words could will Nikolai back into existence, he would be standing here right now. What’s left is only her love shining out of the darkness.  --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
The Tiger's Wife: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385343848
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - November 1st, 2011

From the very first pages of Tea Obreht's novel The Tiger’s Wife, I felt as if I had just entered a temple, and all of my prayers were answered, at once. This is not an ordinary book; it’s one of those sacred books that brings miracles into people’s lives, page after page bringing me to tears...A passage such as, “and a hazy yellow moon was climbing along the curve of the old basilica on the hill. As it rose, it seemed to be gathering the silence up around it like a net,” feels as if it has been ripped straight from my heart.  Tea’s writing is so evocative, every character, every place that she describes, becomes or already is part of my life. A young doctor Natalia is on a quest to unravel the mystery of her grandfather's sudden departure and his abrupt death not long after he left home (reminiscence of Tolstoy's last days). Read to find out why he went to search for a deathless man (local legend), and what the love story between a young peasant girl and a wild tiger had to do with his disappearance? With her magical storytelling, Tea's resurrecting a whole lost world, a place and a country no longer on the map.--Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316384131
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Lee Boudreaux / Back Bay Books - November 1st, 2016

Beautifully written historical novel. From the very first sentence, this multigenerational Jewish family story narrated by Molly, the daughter of one of the three Syrkin sisters, Ada, Vivie and Bec, had me spellbound. It’s about a single tragedy that changed the lives of everyone in the family, and obligation imposed by strong family traditions and expectations. Ultimately, it’s about how family ties can shatter and shelter us, at the same time. --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
Last Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525558125
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Penguin Books - December 3rd, 2019

The most extraordinary stories about ordinary people. --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
West: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501179358
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Scribner - April 2nd, 2019

An unforgettable historical novel, full of adventure and wonder, longing and hope. Cy Bellman is a 35-year-old widower, living in 1818 Pennsylvania who leaves his 10-year-old daughter Bess in care of his sister, to travel into the uncharted wilderness to search for the mysterious gigantic animals whose giant bones surfaced in a Kentucky swamp.  While young Bess awaits in vain for her father's letters and faces different kinds of dangers at home, Bellman is pursuing his mystical quest, accompanied by a young Shawnee boy. This is a perfect little book, great for book clubs. Oh, and it has one of the most amazing endings I have ever read. --Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
Other People's Love Affairs: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616207052
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Algonquin Books - August 21st, 2018

Staff Pick Badge
A Lucky Man: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978433
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Graywolf Press - June 4th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
My Absolute Darling: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735211186
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Riverhead Books - June 26th, 2018

 To read My Absolute Darling is to enter the jungle-like lush world of California's Mendocino coast, overgrown with wild nasturtium, moss, and ferns, where the motherless 14-year-old girl Turtle Alveston lives with her separatist father in a house covered in gnarled rose canes. Nothing can prepare you for the horrors of abuse Turtle must endure, or for the realization that the darkest heart of darkness beats in her father's monstrous chest, or the heartbreaking fearlessness she shows on her hero's journey to the light and freedom. -- Aggie

Staff Pick Badge
The Winter Soldier Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316477598
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Back Bay Books - September 17th, 2019

Daniel Mason's masterful prose is like listening to a church organ's sacred music; every majestic, somber sound is deeply felt in the reader's heart.--Aggie


Staff Pick Badge
All the Lives We Never Lived: A Novel Cover Image
Not available
ISBN: 9781982100513
Availability: Not Available at this Time
Published: Atria Books - November 27th, 2018

Staff Pick Badge
Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307276681
Availability: In Stock at Kepler's Now
Published: Vintage - July 26th, 2011

Reading "Swamplandia," by Karen Russell, is to enter a world of such an exquisite and terrifying beauty, where deep, deep in Florida's Everglades, on a remote island, swamp orchids, live oaks and mangroves, lives 13-year-old alligator wrestler Ava with her sister Ossie and brother Kiwi. Their mother had just died, Ossie eloped with her ghost lover, their father Chief Bigtree is away on a business trip, and brother Kiwi is working as a teen janitor for a theme park called the World of Darkness. This is a story about Ava's journey in a fourteen-foot long skiff, with a ghastly Bird Man, looking for her sister through a 1,000,000 acres of wilderness, braving love sickness and ghosts, guided by the terrible longing for her mother and the memory of their love.--Aggie