Staff Picks

On of the best things about bookselling is recommending a favorite (and there's always a new favorite)! Take a look at what we're reading now. Click on the bookseller's name for more recommendations from them. Enjoy!

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Mark

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Celestial Mechanics: A Tale for a Mid-Winter Night Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781941110560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Three Rooms Press - April 11th, 2017

William Least-Heat Moon has taken a story of people making choices incompatible with their own desires and natures and given us a travelogue of the spirit. The trajectories of these three people, each one trying to find their place in a cosmos crowded with distraction and uncertainty, reveal the geography of the self and the gravity of choice. In the end we're offered a map of roads oft-traveled and too little remarked on the journey to hope.


David

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Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781484737835
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney Editions - November 15th, 2016

Finally, Dave Smith, founder and Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Disney archives, columnist, and author of multiple volumes of Disney trivia has brought us the long-awaited 5th edition of Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia, arriving in time for holiday gift-giving. This edition has been even more eagerly anticipated since many fans missed out on the last edition which was not widely distributed. This exhaustively comprehensive guide to the entire Disney universe includes coverage of feature films, short subjects, parks and park attractions, television, Imagineers and performers, as well as coverage of recent additions to the Disney family including the Muppets, Star Wars, and Marvel. With more than 800 B/W illustrations. -David's Holiday Staff Pick 2016


Devin

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A Gentleman in Moscow Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780670026197
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 6th, 2016

A beautifully written novel chock full of dynamic characters which exist in an epic setting (The Metropol Hotel in Russia, while civil war rages on). Will not disappoint those who are fans of novels that are both brimming with humor and insight to one's morality.


Lauren

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Beartown Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781501160769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 25th, 2017

Sometimes there are books you want people to read, and sometimes there are books you NEED people to read. Beartown is one of the latter. As relevant as it is poignant, Beartown is a portrait of a struggling town who puts its future in the hands of a junior hockey organization, and the fallout. Backman's novel is at once a love song to the game, a meditation on responsibility and blame, an examination of the politics of a community in isolation, and a scathing indictment of a culture built on toxic masculinity. Jumping in and out of the heads of Beartown's residents with masterful skill and timing, Backman brings each character to life in tender, vivid detail, so you feel the full impact of the years between them, the complicated bonds of loyalty and betrayal and love that drive them all to chaos. Beartown is moving and incisive, a novel you won't soon forget.


Jarek

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Rabbit Cake Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - March 7th, 2017

18 months in a 12-year old girl named Elvis' life after her mother drowns while sleepwalking. Her father copes by wearing his wife's clothes and lipstick, her sister's sleepwalking escalates. The title comes from a tradition of rabbit shaped cakes her mother baked for special occasions. Funny. Gut punch. Tender. 


Kris

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What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735211025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

The complexities of the lives of girls and their mothers are explored through a Nigerian lens in this remarkable debut collection. Strains of magical realism enlarge some of the stories to modern folktale. Yet throughout, Lesley Nneka Arimah delivers a sharp observations on the frought relationships between mothers and the young women they must mentor as they all navigate what is still a very patriarchal world.


Cliff

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The End of the Day Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316316743
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - April 4th, 2017

Claire North is not of this world. There is more heart in her pen than in the chest cavity of any person I've met.


Cory

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All That Is Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781400043132
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - April 2nd, 2013

Upon completion, a mere 27 hours after I began, I set this book down and thought, "That was one of the finest books I've ever had the pleasure to read."

Salter's last novel spans a lifetime, from the last days of WW II where our main character is about to land in Okinawa, through the hey day of the Manhattan publishing industry, through to his lonely twilight years. Imagine all the pensive, novelistic aspects of Mad Men, except, you know, an actual novel.

The author passed away the year after he published All That Is and it can absolutely stand as one of the best representations of his incredible legacy of letters.  The sentences are simple and emotionally incisive. The tracing of the characters as they change, bruise, and bitter over the years is gorgeous. And Salter does not shy away from highlighting the darker, borderline despicable, acts of a lonely, heartbroken man.  People rarely write books like this anymore, or maybe books like this are just rare in general.  That what makes it so resonant and beautiful. 


Clare

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The End of Summer Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781910395264
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery Hill Publishing - February 15th, 2017

love Tillie Walden, and this did not disappoint! Insanely creative, atmospheric, and accompanied with breathtaking art, The End of Summer is an emotional landscape that feels a bit out of Game of Thrones, where a royal family must shut themselves inside their home during a horrific, three-year winter. Car-sized cats, tin soldiers, and secret nooks. This graphic novel digs deep and keeps going.


Bill

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Spectrum 23: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Cover Image
By John Fleskes (Editor)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781933865898
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flesk Publications - November 15th, 2016

I am always excited to see the new edition of this series.  Anyone who enjoys science fiction, fantasy, art & illustration will find ample to enjoy in this collection that spans book covers, editorial illustration, concept art for film, advertising, sculpture, and unpublished personal work.  It is always picked by a panel of accomplished artists and authors, and displays a wide range of styles and tastes.  Whether as a sourcebook for inspiration or doorway to daydreams, hours of pleasure are contained in its covers. -Bill's Holiday Staff Pick, 2016

 


Spike

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The Little Grumpy Cat That Wouldn't Cover Image
By Golden Books, Steph Laberis (Illustrator)
$4.99
ISBN: 9780399553547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Golden Books - July 26th, 2016

"A new classic" --Spike


Shualee

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Lives of the Monster Dogs Cover Image
By Kirsten Bakis, Jeff VanderMeer (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374537142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 9th, 2017

That rare marvel, a book that manages to be an astounding feat of imagination and a heartbreaking character study at the same time. This book will thrill you with its invention and make you ache with its sad, beautiful meditation on life, mortality and what makes us human.


Drew

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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.


Shualee's Reading List

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Lives of the Monster Dogs Cover Image
By Kirsten Bakis, Jeff VanderMeer (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374537142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 9th, 2017

That rare marvel, a book that manages to be an astounding feat of imagination and a heartbreaking character study at the same time. This book will thrill you with its invention and make you ache with its sad, beautiful meditation on life, mortality and what makes us human.


Alyssa

Shane

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Beartown Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781501160769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 25th, 2017

By now, you probably recognize the name Fredrik Backman as one of the world's favorite emerging authors. This book holds up to his canon of fantastic works, but it is quite different from his others. It has the usual Backman qualities in that it will make you laugh and cry, but this one seems deeper and more complex. Beartown deals with the struggles of an entire town trying to become significant again. This is a book about hockey much like how Friday Night Lights is a series about football. It is there, but the human aspect of the story is much more important than the sport. Beartown will break your heart.


randy

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Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781566894951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - April 4th, 2017

Shualee's Most Anticipated Plays 2017

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Smokefall: A Play Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781468314229
Availability: On Our Shelves 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.


Sarah

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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


Jonesey

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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