Jay's Reading List

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Rabbit Cake By Annie Hartnett Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040560
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
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. 

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Loner: A Novel By Teddy Wayne Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501107900
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 1st, 2017

I like to think about whether a book is good or bad based on judging if the writing did what the writer wanted it to do (not just "did I like the story"). If Teddy Wayne wanted to completely creep me out we have a winner. This ine's unsettling. It's told from the point of view of David, an incoming freshman at Harvard. It's told in second person - that second person being the young woman on whom he has become fixated. I wanted to stop midway through but soldiered on until the end. I need a shower now.

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The Girls: A Novel By Emma Cline Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812988024
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 9th, 2017

On the surface, this is a novelization of the Manson murders, which is why I hesitated before reading it. I have enough murder and suffering in my Facebook feed. I don't need to be entertained by it. But this isn't really about that. It's really a story of a 14 year old girl lost in a disintegrating family and stormy adolescence who finds a connection with an older woman (and by older I mean, like 20) who is part of a free thinking, drug fueled group of young women led by a severely f'ed up male leader. Parts of this - the obligatory sex, the desperation for intimacy, the anger and shame- were so familiar to me as a teenager I was left wondering if I would have made some of the same decisions as the narrator. That's what works about this book (and any good book) - unfamiliar struggles of a character are drawn so that they are universal struggles recognizable to nearly every reader - in this case, every reader who grew up female. Excellent storytelling.-Jay's September Staff Pick, 2016

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Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir By Carrie Brownstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399184765
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Riverhead Books - October 25th, 2016

Whether your point of reference for Carry Brownstein is her role opposite Fred Armisen (Portlandia) or her Riot Grrrl roots (Sleater –Kinney) you’ll love this memoir that gives us something celebrity memoirs usually don’t offer – a truly intelligent and fierce look into what makes a young girl looking for an identity grow through a childhood fraught with turmoil to become a formidable feminist badass. -Jay's Holiday Staff Pick, 2015

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A Little Life By Hanya Yanagihara Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Anchor - January 26th, 2016

Jay's October Staff Pick, 2015

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Forgiveness 4 You: A Novel By Ann Bauer Cover Image
Email or call for availability and/or price.
ISBN: 9781468310238
Published: The Overlook Press - March 17th, 2015

Gabriel is an ex-priest haunted by a past that is (to him) unforgivable.  While rebuilding his life working his quiet job at a bookstore he meets an advertising executive who finds his uncanny ability to comfort the guilty and absolve sins marketable.  Soon begins a global campaign targeted at guilty souls without faith who wish to confess and be forgiven – and Gabriel is at the center of the forgiveness revolution.  This book is a satirical contemplation of the American need to both embrace and reject faith. -Jay's May Staff Pick, 2015


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How to Build a Girl: A Novel By Caitlin Moran Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062335982
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Perennial - June 30th, 2015

This is my official book recommendation for pretty much everyone except those who don't like strong female leads, excruciatingly funny coming of age stories or sharp British wit from a working class/poor girl who reinvents and sort of collages herself into a brutal rock critic at age17 circa 1990. Fast read, spot on riot grrl feminism. -Jay's pick


The Girl on the Train: A Novel By Paula Hawkins Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780735219755
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

Rachel is a raging alcoholic.  She also narrates this Hitchcockian thriller.  Be ready for blank spaces in time, horrible decisions, questionable motives and behavior surrounding the murder of a woman whose life Rachel watches from seat on a commuter train.  Rachel soon becomes entangled in the investigation and finds herself at the center of the danger.  This is a fast, furious and fun read.  Don’t expect to put it down before bedtime. -Jay's April Staff Pick, 2015


Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community By Laura Erickson-Schroth (Editor) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780199325351
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - June 10th, 2014

Jay's September Staff Pick, 2014

Frog Music By Emma Donoghue Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316324670
Availability: Backordered
Published: Back Bay Books - February 24th, 2015

Jay's May Staff Pick, 2014

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Hild: A Novel By Nicola Griffith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250056092
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Picador - October 28th, 2014

Jay's January Staff Pick, 2014

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism By Doris Kearns Goodwin Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781416547860
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 5th, 2013

Jay's Holiday Staff Pick, 2013