My staff picks are all over the map, but my special love is for science fiction and history.


If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Archie Goodwin---he has the best hats

Whats the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Lamb's eyes and couscous

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? Richard Feynman

What was your favorite cartoon growing up? Johnny Quest

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever been for Halloween? The Invisible Man

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My partner

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Dog person

What’s your fondest childhood memory? Laughing uncontrollably with my parents

Read the rest of Mark's picks here.

Staff Pick Logo
The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393240801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 12th, 2017

Like the last work of Greenblatt's I read (The Swerve) I was struck by his clear prose and narrative sense as well as his extensive historical knowledge and command of the interconnectedness of a wide range of elements. This work takes a look at one of the central myths of christianity, namely the story of Adam and Eve, and examines its staying power, how and why in spite of centuries of, essentially, debunking the story tenaciously clings to our collective psyche. As allegory, this is no mystery---it's a compelling story---but the fact that so many people still assert its factual reality leads us into the murkiness of our ability to deceive ourselves and ignore evidence. He also does a good job showing how that myth became the source of a millennia-long embrace of studied misogyny, begun primarily by St. Augustine, who somehow could not come to terms with his own erotic obsessions and his desire to become (in my view, not Greenblatt's) Other Than Human for the glory of his newfound faith after his dramatic conversion to Catholicism. The details Greenblatt offers give us ample evidence of someone who was working out personal issues at the expense of half the human population. There are surprising turns of history, of intellectual adventurism, of the human capacity to master the irrational and accept the changes demanded by reason and evidence combined into reconceptualizations of things thought long settled. And then there are the artists and, finally, Milton. Highly recommended. Mark's Staff Pick, November 2017

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Autonomous Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765392077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - September 19th, 2017

Annalee Newitz, cofounder and editor-in-chief of io9, has written a novel that has all the signs of being a major touchpoint in science fiction. Autonomous bases its meditations on questions of ownership and resource allocation in a future where both are matters of patent law. If this seems like improbable grounds in which to grow a gripping, nail-biting action plot, reconsider. Captain Jack Chen is a pirate with a personal submarine and a working knowledge of pharmacology. She “liberates” drugs and see them distributed through networks that get them to people who ordinarily can’t afford them. Autonomous is the kind of novel science fiction is most adept at producing—the thoughtful, philosophically-attuned thriller that leaves you with plenty to mull over once your adrenalin stops pumping.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062444134
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - July 5th, 2016

A debut novel that evokes the best of old- fashioned science fiction adventure and adds smart elements of satire, humor, and social commentary.  The crew of the Wayfarer, a bore ship that "punches" holes through subspace to connect distant locales in interstellar space via wormhole, is a collection of humans, aliens, alien humans, and an overseeing AI named Lovey.  Rosemary, who is fleeing family and hiding a secret, joins them and quickly discovers a new life that is both demanding and accepting in ways she never before imagined. The dialogue alone sets this novel a cut above. The characters are all fully realized, smart, and revealing in ways that bring us into their curious family, matching a wide and crowded universe as distinctly imagined as any in the genre.  An unexpected treat, built of equal parts intelligence, sensitivity, and an adult appreciation of the 12-year-old SF fan in all of us.

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House of Windows Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682308127
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Diversion Publishing - Ips - July 11th, 2017

If H.P. Lovecraft and Saul Bellow had ever collaborated on a ghost story, the result might be very much like John Langan's debut novel House of Windows. Not so much in style, but in the way the two writers would temper each other and blend their signature motifs into something simultaneously more sinister and more sophisticated. Patiently, persistently, and with great skill, Langan has constructed a modern ghost story about nightmares and families and fouled hopes and expectations imposed and denied, with a caution at its heart, that no matter how many windows into the soul one has, if the curtains are drawn or we refuse to honestly look, we cannot truly know each other. Or ourselves.