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!

Bookseller Recently Read

randy

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Ultraluminous Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780374279660
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - December 5th, 2017

K is an escort with a heroin addiction who has just returned to New York after working for 7 years in Dubai. In what will be her one last year, she seeks out clients in the world of high finance, she falls in love with a veteran, and she remembers her time spent with the Sheikh, a bomb maker for hire. I was floored by the raw emotion evoked by the directness of Faw’s prose. And the last 5 pages are jaw dropping! - randy's December Staff Pick, 2017


Cory

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Stephen Shore: Selected Works, 1973-1981 Cover Image
By Stephen Shore (Photographer), Wes Anderson (Contribution by), Quentin Bajac (Contribution by)
$80.00
ISBN: 9781597113885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aperture - May 15th, 2017

Shane

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The Power Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316547611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 10th, 2017

This book altered my imagination! I don't read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction, but I know that this is definitely on the list of must reads. It isn't even really post-apocalyptic in the way that you might be imagining. It is just like if women developed this ability and the world that we know immediately changes. This book is what happens when the whole world changes.

It won the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction which is quickly becoming my list of favorite books.


Mark

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The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve Cover Image
$27.95
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


Shualee

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Smokefall: A Play Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781468314229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Overlook Press - April 25th, 2017

Seeing this play in Chicago two years ago pushed all my buttons - moved me emotionally, challenged me intellectually, made me laugh, cry, and awed me with its insanely imaginative examination of the changing nature of the American family. A bold, ambitious, but still very human work for our times, this is my favorite new play of the decade.


Jim

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316013697
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Young Readers - April 1st, 2009

Hilarious, and hitting me right in the feels.


Jarek

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Night Shift Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780451481733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - September 5th, 2017

Here's the perfect book for someone you know battling depression.

I know, I know. Depressed people can't read much (he said from experience) but this is an intelligent, thoughtful and accurate illustration of the life and death battle with the darkness. Not taxing to read. No deep concentration necessary. No "pull yourself into the sunshine" crap. Just a glimmer of color in the end, which is mostly what you crave when you're stuck in the dark.

If you're looking for the right words to say and there are none - Here's a start. Here's a way to say "I'm paying attention."


David

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Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481461313
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - August 29th, 2017

A delightful introduction for children to Mary Blair, Walt Disney's favorite artist, who contributed color styling and inspirational artwork for many of the classic Disney animated films of the 40's and 50's and then returned to the studio in the 60's as an Imagineer. Walt said Mary used colors he didn't know existed. This book's charming illustrations capture not only Mary's color sense but her evolving fashion sense as well.


Lauren

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My Absolute Darling Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780735211179
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 29th, 2017

Very rarely have I ever found myself reading a 400 page book in two sittings, but once I started reading "My Absolute Darling," I could barely bring myself to put it down. This novel is alive in every sense of the word, from the deceivingly simple yet elegant prose, to the harrowing internal life of 14-year-old Turtle Alveston, to the vibrant descriptions of the Northern California wilderness. Every time I expected the plot to go a certain way, Gabriel Tallent found a road I hadn't even imagined, much less traveled. You don't just root for Turtle's survival, you yearn for it, ache for it, hurt with her hurts and triumph in her triumphs. This isn't a book you just read; it's one you feel. 


Alyssa

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316213097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - August 12th, 2014

Could not put this book down.  It's a rare thing to find a teen vampire novel with a strong female lead and a plot not entirely driven by a creepy romance.  And it's not a trilogy!


Clare

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Wicked Like a Wildfire Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062436832
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - August 15th, 2017

I saw this book reviewed as "Guillermo del Toro's version of Practical Magic," and I can't think of a better or more fitting description. Everything that Lana Popovic writes is a burst of insane, wild creativity, with a darker edge that lingers intriguingly throughout. An insanely good book from start to finish, I've been excited to share this book for months.


Devin

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The Lonely Hearts Hotel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735213739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 7th, 2017

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a dynamic, beautifully written novel. Heroes stand as young Pierrot and Rose, circus performers who enchant their crowds and serve as the beating heart of the Montreal great depression. Heather O'Neill manages to break my heart and enhance my desire to run away to the circus that much more as she weaves breathtaking phrases with bizarely wonderful similes. O'Neill will make you believe in magic in a painfully real way.


Cliff

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The End of the Day Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316316743
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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.


Kris

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The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062429209
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - August 1st, 2017

I loved this book! I could read Megan discussing paint drying. Wait, I think I DID read her discussing paint drying! Honestly, I have come late to her work and I am so impressed with her smart, big-hearted, personal, ironic, politically-engaged, messy, funny, surprising, unorthodox but always oddly comforting approach to the art of the essay. When I heard her speak about the book, I was moved to tears. I did, in fact, introduce myself to her afterwards and promptly burst into tears. Her words are just, well, timely and hopeful.


Drew

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Locked in: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration--And How to Achieve Real Reform Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780465096916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Basic Books - February 7th, 2017

I'm shocked and disappointed that this book hasn't been talked about more, given how prevalent the issues of crime and imprisonment are today. While challenging the popular ideas reformers have about the causes and responses of mass incarceration, Pfaff provides fascinating insight and novel ideas for addressing our flawed criminal justice system(s). A totally necessary read.


Shualee's Reading List

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power Cover Image
By Ryan North (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Erica Henderson (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780785197027
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Marvel Comics - September 1st, 2015

Searching for a superhero comic that's actually, well, comical? Look no further! Ryan North's tale of college student/mutant crime fighter Doreen Green is laugh-out-loud funny, the artwork by Erica Henderson is a brightly colored retro delight, and Squirrel Girl herself is an immensely likable heroine who's actually capable of solving problems instead of just punching them really hard. A quirky, refreshing treat for all ages. (P.S. make sure to read the hilarious footnotes at the bottom of the pages - full of bonus laughs at no extra cost!)


Bill

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The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time Cover Image
$8.95
ISBN: 9781523502387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing - May 16th, 2017

READ THIS BOOK!  Brook Gladstone's take on the current political and social environment is scary, blunt, and appropriate.  Her historical perspective is insightful and necessary.  From Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin to Jonathan Swift and John Milton, from Arthur Schopenhauer and Walter Lippmann to Neil Postman and Ned Resnikoff, Gladstone draws observations and conclusions from a wide variety of sources to bring clarity to the world situation and especially Trump's America. The Demagogue danger to Democracy can not be understated or left to someone else to fix.  We must all be AWARE!


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'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), Emma Straub (Foreword by)
$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