Staff Pick List

Drew

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The Heavenly Table Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780385541299
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - July 12th, 2016

Donald Ray Pollock's newest novel follows three southern brothers heading North to find fame and fortune as bank robbers and an Ohio farmer struggling to support his wife and son after being swindled out of a large sum of money. Their paths will converge in a mix of humor, compassion and violence in this examination of rural society facing radical changes during the turn of the century. His characters exhibit both ruthlessness and hope when faced with a seemingly unjust world. Containing striking imagery, a dark streak of comedy and swift action; this book will sweep you across the unforgiving landscape its characters inhabit. This book is for any fan of Southern Gothic writers, historical fiction or Western films.


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The Twenty Days of Turin Cover Image
By Giorgio De Maria, Ramon Glazov (Translator)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781631492297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - February 7th, 2017

I'd never heard of this book or author until it was described to me as a combination of Lovecraft and Borges and I was instantly sold. Giorgio De Maria was a well regarded Italian author and this novel of his written in the 1970s has just been published in English for the first time. Narrated by a resident of Turin investigating unsettling and still unexplained disturbances and murders from 10 years prior, we glimpse an unromanticized version of this Italian city in which government, the church, its citizens and possibly the supernatural are conspiring against the narrator as he unearths what happened during the "twenty days of Turin." De Maria's wonderful prose reveals a city as rich in history as it is in dread. He also anticipates the profound impact of social media and its own terrors nearly 40 years before its existence. Quick, immersive and a pleasure to read, this decades old lost novel has more to say about existence today than one would expect.


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Shadowbahn Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735212015
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blue Rider Press - February 14th, 2017

Steve Erickson is both criminally underrated and one of my favorite writers - his newest novel continues his streak of writing expansive stories that defy easy categorization. In Shadowbahn, the World Trade Center mysteriously appears overnight in the South Dakota Badlands 20 years after the towers were destroyed, a brother and sister from L.A. drive across the USA where the states are no longer unified, and Elvis Presley's stillborn twin Jesse wakes up in an alternate timeline in which he survived and Elvis died at birth. Shadowbahn is strange and somewhat overwhelming, but in a good way - it's combination of history, fractured timelines, fractured politics, family and the unexplained are tied together through Erickson's love of 20th century music. Incredibly relevant when looking at our own political reality, if you've read Steve Erickson before you know what to expect, and if you haven't then I encourage you to give him a try.


Shualee's Reading List

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The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374536893
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - March 14th, 2017

That rare book that acts equally well as both an in-depth study for theatre folk who love musicals and an introductory primer for people who just don't get why that person on stage started singing. Viertel explores musical theatre by breaking it down into its component parts (the opening number, the "I Want" song, etc), then devoting a chapter to each to see what really makes them tick. Using examples from wide variety of Broadway shows, and peppered with juicy insider anecdotes, Jack Viertel is a fun, sometimes curmudgeonly, but always informative guide to just how and why the musical theatre developed in the way that it did.


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The Wicked + the Divine Volume 1: The Faust ACT Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632150196
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Image Comics - November 25th, 2014

Hands down the most addictive comics series currently running. Every ninety years, a pantheon of twelve gods take human form, inspire humanity, are worshiped as the ultimate rock stars for two years, then die. But this time something is different. A complex, riveting pop culture fantasy-mystery with dynamic art and a fascinating, diverse cast of characters that continue to show unexpected depth as the series goes on. Edgy, intelligent, full of shocking twists and reversals, this is the grown up comics series you've been looking for.


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The Sandman: Overture Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, J. H. Williams III (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781401265199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vertigo - November 15th, 2016

A concentrated blast of unbridled imagination. If you know Neil Gaiman mainly from his novels and short stories, you're missing out on some of his most masterful and inventive writing. Enter a world where Dream is a being and stars are capable of thoughts, feelings, and sometimes madness that can devour worlds. The Sandman Overture, being a prequel, works as an excellent self-contained entry point to a sprawling epic that can often seem intimidating to delve into. Add J.H. Williams III's mind-bending hallucinogenic art to Gaiman's dizzying amount of ideas per page, and have you a feast for the eyes and mind not to be missed.


Shualee

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The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374536893
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - March 14th, 2017

That rare book that acts equally well as both an in-depth study for theatre folk who love musicals and an introductory primer for people who just don't get why that person on stage started singing. Viertel explores musical theatre by breaking it down into its component parts (the opening number, the "I Want" song, etc), then devoting a chapter to each to see what really makes them tick. Using examples from wide variety of Broadway shows, and peppered with juicy insider anecdotes, Jack Viertel is a fun, sometimes curmudgeonly, but always informative guide to just how and why the musical theatre developed in the way that it did.


Shualee's Most Anticipated Plays 2017

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Smokefall: A Play Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781468314229
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Overlook Press - April 25th, 2017

The next great American play. A father decides to leave his family on the eve of his wife's giving birth to twins. His preteen daughter mutates herself in order to please him and keep him close. The twins begin to have varying opinions about whether it's safe to leave the womb, and their mother is left with the hard task of holding everything together. A stunning, imaginative examination of the changing nature of the American family, suffused with magical realism and hints of Thornton Wilder's Our Town used in fresh new ways.


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Oslo Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781559365567
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 9th, 2017

A globe-trotting political epic that also manages to be an intimate portrait, Oslo tells the story of Norwegian couple Mona Juul and Terje Rod-Larsen as they manage the improbable feat of setting up the diplomatic back channels that led to the historic Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestine in 1993. A vivid play about how the political is always personal.


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Arlington (Tcg Edition) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781559365505
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 16th, 2017

Most well known in America for his collaborartion on the Broadway musical version of Once, Enda Walsh also creates spare, brutal, yet poetic dramas, and his latest is no exception. Arlington uses a combination of theatre, dance, and visual art to tell a story of love blossoming within the strictures of a dystopian future dominated by authoritarianism and surveillance.


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Smart People: A Play Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780810134645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Northwestern University Press - December 15th, 2016

One of the rising stars of the American stage, Lydia R. Diamond rips her themes right out of today's headlines with this searing comedy about four intelligent "liberal" professionals bumping up against their own preconceived notions of race, class, gender, and love in and around Harvard University.


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Elegy Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780571329991
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Faber & Faber - March 14th, 2017

Fresh off his smash hit Constellations, Nick Payne delivers another tale at the intersection of human love and cutting edge science. Miriam has devised a cure for Lorna's degenerative brain condition, but one of the side effects is that it erases Lorna's memory of the last twenty years of her life with her wife, Carrie. A moving examination of the effects of new technologies on our humanity.


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Dry Powder: A Play Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802126429
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - January 3rd, 2017

A vicious satire of modern day high finance, Dry Powder chronicles the fallout at a private equity firm when the company's president throws a lavish engagement party for himself after ordering extensive layoffs at a grocery store the firm just bought. Bad publicity sends the employees desperately jockeying for position in ways that may have lasting consequences.


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Hangmen Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780571328871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Faber & Faber - February 14th, 2017

The acclaimed author of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Pillowman, and the films In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths returns with a new, brutally dark comedy about a village hangman newly out of work after Britain ends its policy of capital punishment.


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The Kilroys' List: 97 Monologues and Scenes by Female and Trans* Playwrights Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781559365352
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - April 11th, 2017

The Kilroys LIst is an annual industry survey of excellent unproduced plays by playwrights that identify as female and trans in an effort to address their systemic underrepresentation in American Theatre. Originally conceived as a tool for producers, this collection will also be a boon to actors looking for audition material from fresh new voices and perspectives.


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Daphne's Dive (Tcg Edition) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781559365314
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - April 11th, 2017

The Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and co-creator of the musical smash In the Heights (having its Saint Louis premiere this year) is back with a kaleidoscopic look at seventeen years in the life of a North Philadelphia dive bar, and the ways that its patrons lives are changed by a sense of community and the passage of time.


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Mary Page Marlowe Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781559365345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - January 3rd, 2017

Another Pulitzer Prize winner, for August: Osage County, Tracy Letts narrows his focus on the life of one woman, and then fragments it, jumping back and forth in time and casting six actors to play his singular heroine from the ages of 12 to 69 in an affecting collage of the aspirations, disappointments and small evolutions that make up the lives of ordinary people.


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Sweat (Tcg Edition) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781559365321
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 16th, 2017

The parade of Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights continues with Lynn Nottage's new, starkly realistic play detailing the waning way of life of a group of small town Pennsylvania factory workers trying to make it through another day while living under the continual threat that their livelihoods might not be around the day after.


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Hand to God: A Play Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781468313925
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Overlook Press - April 4th, 2017

The uproarious Broadway dark comedy smash of 2015 finally makes it to print. When devout Christian teen Jason gets involved in his church's puppet pageant, he accidentally unleashes a violent, outspoken alter ego in a googly eyed felt puppet named Tyrone, who threatens to upend Jason's entire life in the wake of his father's sudden death.


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The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek (Tcg Edition) Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781559365222
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 2nd, 2017

Revered South African playwright Athol Fugard's newest work examines the effects of twenty years of apartheid through the lens of works by the outsider artist Nukain Mabuza, driven to create detailed paintings on rocks, often on land owned by white farmers.


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The Great Society: A Play Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802123732
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Grove Press - May 2nd, 2017

The second installment of Robert Schenkkan's theatrical epic detailing the life and presidency of Lyndon Johnson, which began with the Tony Winning All The Way (now an HBO film starring Bryan Cranston), The Great Society chronicles Johnson's push to establish his legacy through social programs only to jeopardize it by ramping up America's involvement in Vietnam.


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The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781559364898
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - April 11th, 2017

The long delayed publication of Angels in America author Tony Kushner's first full length play since 2002's Homebody/Kabul finally comes to fruition on the heels of a successful London premiere. A family play in the traditional mold of Arthur Miller, his latest sees the Marcantonio clan dealing with patriarch Gus' announcement that he intends to end his own life, and the political, personal, and spiritual upheaval caused by his decision.


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Biography of Julie Van Bartmann Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781557134219
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Green Integer - May 16th, 2017

Jazz age prose pioneer Djuna Barnes' never before published play finally sees print, detailing the fateful visit of the title character, a famous opera singer, to the home of domineering Baron Born. As the singer brings every member of Born's family in her thrall, she sets in motion a series of encounters with possibly fatal consequences.


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Kung Fu Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781559364805
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 16th, 2017

The renowned writer of the Tony winning M. Butterfly turns his eye on the life and philosophy of Bruce Lee in a bio-play that tells Lee's story through a mixture of traditional theatre, Chinese opera, and martial arts.


Clare

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The One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780316259170
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - December 6th, 2016

What do you get when you start with a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, and add in a self-important bird god, two brave women in love, mustachioed men, a stupid and cruel bet, a moon who visits earth, a magic pebble, an ordinary pebble, more mustachioed men, a singing harp, traitors, wise grandmas, and a secret league of storytellers? A hilarious, fantastic book. A beautiful, witty, sarcastic, poignant, wonderfully sass-filled book. A book you'll mount on your wall and recommend to all your friends and clutch tightly to your chest and laugh lots to, as well. Could not recommend more.


Jonesey

What’s in the trunk of your car? Car? No. Public transportation. Also, walking. Also my bicycle. My awesome boa-sporting alter ego has a long board. Covered with Molly Crabapple art. 

What’s your favorite memory? Happens daily.

Using only one word, describe yourself. YES.

Author you love to hate: John Kennedy Toole. Really.  

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Girl Trouble: An Illustrated Memoir Cover Image
By Kerry Cohen, Tyler Cohen (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780997068337
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hawthorne Books - October 11th, 2016

This slim work cuts like a knife. Kerry Cohen offers deeply moving portraits of the girls and women who have been her friends. Her sister, Tyler, is her first friend and also the artist who gives us beautiful images of these women and girls. Kerry is relentless in her storytelling - it is sometimes cringe-inducing. Here is humor, loss, heartbreak, betrayal, confusion and love. Boys are mentioned, and while they were a focus of Cohen's life, it is clear that she, like many of us, was invested in her friendships in a way that is unique and fundamentally life-altering. She shows us what it is to try to be friends in a world where friendship is a useless currency, and it is difficult, but not ever impossible. A magnificent read! -Jonesey's October Staff Pick, 2016


Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781619028258
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 13th, 2016

Trace is entirely original in its language, approach and effect. It Lauret Savoy uses her background in geology to very literally ground this book in the land of America. There is no place here for readers to imagine or redefine the story. She reminds us on every page of the very real dangers faced by peoples whose stories are erased, redefined, re-imagined - whose landmarks and beings are re-named, rebounded, re-purposed. This is a journey across centuries and mountain ranges that is at the same time a recent weekend trip to a local historical marker. Savoy's prose is welcoming and precise. She has crafted a book of immense importance that is also incredibly beautiful. Trace is a 2016 winner of an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. -Jonesey's October Staff Pick, 2016


Sarah

What's in the trunk of your car? A teddy bear, a mixing bowl, a medieval arrow.

Who would play you in a movie? I'd play myself...but what I really want to do is direct.

Using only one word, describe yourself. Quirky

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A Super Upsetting Cookbook about Sandwiches Cover Image
By Tyler Kord, William Wegman (Illustrator)
$22.99
ISBN: 9780804186414
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - June 14th, 2016

This book should not exist. And yet it does. This is an addictive read, both hilarious and thought-provoking. Just when you think you've got a real handle on this whimsical and quirky narrative, it starts dropping truth-bombs about ethical consumerism and endangered species. Right now you are thinking this staff pick has been assigned to the wrong book. This is a sandwich cookbook. You're damn right it is. It's a sandwich cookbook I read cover-to-cover before ever entering the kitchen, and I would have been happy if I stopped there. But then I did enter the kitchen, and the magic started. This is not really a book for casual chefs. You're usually going to make three or four separate recipes before you start assembling the sandwich. And it is so. worth. it. The flavor combinations are unlikely, but delicious. These are both looks and tastes to impress without being fancy or fussy. This is a wonderful gift for people with an oddball sense of humor, foodies who don't take themselves too seriously, and collectors of the unconventional. -Sarah's Holiday Staff Pick, 2016


Randy

What’s in the trunk of your car? Currently, jumper cables, lug wrench, tool box, Ryobi cordless drill-driver, bottle of motor oil, and old license plates.

What's your favorite smell? Cliche but rain. Especially during the Spring.

If you had a super power, what would it be? Immortality. Is that a super power?

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Mikhail and Margarita Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609453756
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - March 14th, 2017

Mark

What’s in the trunk of your car? A box of my own books and a spare tire.

Who would play you in a movie? Who else? Richard Dreyfus

Author you love to hate: Henry James---he's responsible for so much pretension

Theme song to your life: Introduction(Chicago, from Chicago I)

What’s your porn star name? But...then everyone would know.

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CrossTalk Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780345540676
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - October 4th, 2016

Connie Willis is one of the few who has ever managed genuine humor in science fiction. But she can also turn on a dime and rivet the reader in place with pulse-pounding intensity. She is altogether accomplished storyteller and fine stylist. After the knuckle-whitening tension of her last novel, the two-volume epic of time travel and the London Blitz, she returns now with something completely different---a romantic comedy. Or is it? Willis never plays with just one level. Her work is permeated by resonances top to bottom. Here she mixes social media, matchmaking, and telepathy to tell us something about our expectations in a digitized, slotted, hyper-expectant, glossy age of breathless need to make every moment Matter. Willis is prepared to open the world to our expectation and show us the unexpected consequences of our trajectories. -Mark's Holiday Staff Pick, 2016


Lauren

 

 
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A History of American Sports in 100 Objects Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780465097746
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Basic Books - October 11th, 2016

This is the perfect holiday gift for any sports fan in your life. This book tells the story of everything from Annie Oakley's rifle to Babe Ruth's "called shot" bat to the dress Billie Jean King wore during the "Battle of the Sexes" match to a hockey stick from the Miracle on Ice, all the way up to Michael Phelps' 2008 swim cap and a brain scan from a concussion-ailed football player. The book is not only a fascinating collection of artifacts, but also a collection of snapshots that showcases the climate of American sports (and, in many cases, American culture on a larger scale) in every era. No matter your favorite sport, you'll find something to be wow'ed by in this book. -Lauren's Holiday Staff Pick, 2016


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