Staff Picks: Adult

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Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop: A Novel By Hwang Bo-reum, Shanna Tan (Translated by) Cover Image
By Hwang Bo-reum, Shanna Tan (Translated by)
$28.99
ISBN: 9781639732425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - February 20th, 2024

This charming book, with its softly glowing cover, is a tender love letter to readers, bookshops, and the booksellers who run them. The Hyunam-Dong Bookshop, situated in a Korean neighborhood of the same name, starts out as a small bookstore & coffeeshop, and slowly, through much hard work and thought, becomes a safe community hub for a charming cast of regulars to muse on the ups and downs of life. This huge bestseller, finally translated from the original Korean, was the most perfect & cozy way to start my year! A book-lover's delight!

Heather


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Whalefall: A Novel By Daniel Kraus Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781665918169
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: MTV Books - August 8th, 2023

Whalefall won an Alex Award (for a book written for adults that appeals to teens) from the ALA, and I can see why. The main character, Jay, is a teen grappling with the loss of his bossy and aggressive father. Totally normal YA premise, right? Except in this book, the protagonist is literally swallowed by a whale. The book is divided into short chapters marked by how much air is left in Jay's scuba tank, and because of the quick pace the book is sort of impossible to put down.

Anna


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About Uncle By Rebecca Gisler, Jordan Stump (Translator) Cover Image
By Rebecca Gisler, Jordan Stump (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781949641554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Two Lines Press - February 20th, 2024

Rebecca Gisler’s About Uncle is compelling and repulsive in equal measure, like watching time lapse footage of food scraps in a compost pile. There’s something about life in here, but it’s turning to dirt. Imagine Noémi Lefebvre’s Poetics of Work, but more grimy, slimy, and smelly. I devoured it, including the mold and flies, and I can still smell it on my breath. For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh, Sayaka Murata, and Jenny Hval.

Timothy


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One Dark Window (The Shepherd King #1) By Rachel Gillig Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316312486
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Orbit - September 27th, 2022

“One dark window” is such a treat for those who love a good fantasy novel. Written during the time of kingdoms and monsters, only daggers and magic can be found here and not a trace of modern items like phones. This book is written really well and is super addictive! The story continues in its sequel “two twisted crowns”.

Mayah


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Siren Queen By Nghi Vo Cover Image
By Nghi Vo
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250820563
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Published: Tordotcom - May 30th, 2023

The magic of old-school Hollywood meets real magic in this stunning historical fiction meets fantasy novel. It follows Luli Wei, a young Chinese American actress in California during the Golden Age of movie-making, willing to fight tooth and nail to see her name in lights (in a world where the movie industry is ruled by powerful men and even more powerful magic). Throw in a sapphic romance, some sacrificial rituals, and a glamorous world with an underbelly far darker than it seems, and you've got yourself a story more vibrant than you could ever find on the silver screen!

Bo


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The Haunting of Hill House By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143039983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Penguin Classics - November 28th, 2006

The Haunting of Hill House is an enduring classic, and it’s easy to see why. The opening paragraph of this book drew me in instantly, whispering with an eerie & malevolent sentience that draws you to the house in the same was the main characters are lured to this wretched place. Even on sunny days, this hollow in the hills is deep with shadows. Shirley Jackson is a master of suspense and terror, it was thrilling to find a classic book that I still can’t stop thinking about. Haunting, indeed.

Heather


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The Wren, the Wren: A Novel By Anne Enright Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781324005681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 19th, 2023

 

The best way to imagine The Wren, The Wren is as ripples radiating from a single man, the famed (and fictional) Irish poet Phil McDaragh, who abandons his family when his wife falls ill. Enright is more interested in the ripples than the splash, contrasting McDaragh’s daughter and granddaughter, Carmel and Nell, as both attempt to reconcile the man with his poems (which are included in the book). Lyrical but approachable, filled with deft and surprising sentences, this electric book lands in a place of hope, despite its subject matter.

Timothy

 


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Mister Magic: A Novel By Kiersten White Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593359266
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Del Rey - August 8th, 2023

I have not devoured a book so quickly in YEARS. Mister Magic is shrouded in a weird, unsettling cloak of liminal space. Val has been running her whole life from...what? She can’t remember. Until one day, two men appear and tell her they were famous co-stars with her on a once-beloved children’s TV show that few people now remember, and no one can find any real record of anywhere. Chilling, brilliant, and impossible to put down.

Heather


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Death Valley: A Novel By Melissa Broder Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781668024843
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Published: Scribner - October 3rd, 2023

Melissa Broder continuously writes all the thoughts and feelings I'm too afraid to say. With Death Valley, I was easily transported to the desert and found myself greatly attached to the main character. This book follows a woman who travels alone to the California high desert to reflect on her dying father and sick husband. In the desert, she finds a magical cactus that aids her through grief and sorrow. This is so much more than a desert survival story, it is a funny and honest tale of fear, death, and loneliness.I seriously could not put it down!

Tori


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Yellowface: A Reese's Book Club Pick By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063250833
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: William Morrow - May 16th, 2023

White, failing writer June Hayward will do whatever it takes to reach the level of literary fame that her Asian friend Athena Liu has achieved. So when she witnesses Athena die in a freak accident, stealing her newly finished manuscript and publishing it is just the beginning of the web of deceit June finds herself caught in. Adopting the moniker "Juniper Song" and pairing it with a racially ambiguous author picture, June's lies start piling up, and I questioned many times "when is the other shoe going to drop?" For fans of narrators you love to hate, this foray into the toxic world of publishing is for you.

BO


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Summer Sons By Lee Mandelo Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250790293
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Tordotcom - August 16th, 2022

For fans of everything Gothic, queer, and macabre: Summer Sons is every bit as consuming as the sweltering southern summer it’s set in. Eddie is haunted; haunted by the secrets Andrew (his closest ‘friend’) kept from him, a gruesome and menacing spectre that wants inside his skin, and the truth about Andrew’s death. A cloying blend of dark academia, bad decisions ranging from street-racing to drug-use, and a deeply emotional narrative all combine in this slow-burning novel.

Jenna


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The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches By Sangu Mandanna Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593439357
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Berkley - August 23rd, 2022

Are you looking for something cozy and romantic? This is the perfect book to make you feel warm and hopeful inside, and whether you’re looking for a dash of fantasy or some found family, this book will put a spell on you in no time. Mika Moon is one of the few—and secret—witches living in Britain, but her commitment to flying under the radar is tested when she unexpectedly becomes a teacher to three young witches in need of guidance. Oh, and there’s this grumpy (handsome) librarian, too…

Jenna


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The Charm Offensive: A Novel By Alison Cochrun Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982170714
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Atria Books - September 7th, 2021

Are you a fan of The Bachelor? Looking for some demi/ace or mental illness rep? Or maybe just some drama and romance? The Charm Offensive offers all that and more. Charlie Winshaw is the new white-knight star of “Ever After,” but he’s not on the show for love—he’s there to rehabilitate his image. Dev Deshpande, on the other hand, is a believer in true-love and an all-around hopeless romantic. When Dev is tasked with shaping Charlie into the perfect “Ever After” star, well…sparks do start flying—just behind the scenes. If Charlie is meant to fall for one of the “Ever After” women while the world watches, is it still possible for Dev and Charlie to have a happy ending?

Jenna


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Crying in H Mart: A Memoir By Michelle Zauner Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984898951
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 28th, 2023

This was one of my most anticipated memoirs of all time and it did not disappoint. Zauner connects her beautiful relationship with her mother through the meals they ate together and does it so beautifully. It’s a story about grief but it’s also one about love, culture, and family. This book made me call my mom up and ask her to write down every single home recipe that she possibly could.

Jess


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We Do What We Do in the Dark: A Novel By Michelle Hart Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593329689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Riverhead Books - May 2nd, 2023

This is Michelle Hart's debut novel and I am impatiently awaiting her next work after devouring this beautifully-written and perfectly-paced novel which follows Mallory, a college freshman mourning her mother's death as she enters an affair with an older woman: a professor of children's literature and author of picture books. This book explores so much including loneliness, grief, mother/daughter relationships, lesbian yearning, and how impactful one person can be on your own identity.

Tori


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Big Swiss: A Novel By Jen Beagin Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982153090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Scribner - August 1st, 2023

Greta works as a transcriptionist for an odd and somewhat inept sex coach. Through her work, she develops an obsession with one of his patients, who she nicknames Big Swiss. So when she recognizes Big Swiss' voice at the dog park, she becomes determined to do whatever she can to insert herself into this now-real woman's life. I devoured this strange and hilarious work of contemporary fiction in a couple of days.

Bo


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She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor Duology #1) By Shelley Parker-Chan Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250621818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tor Books - June 28th, 2022

Pitched as The Song of Achilles meets Mulan, this novel far surpasses those boundaries. Parker-Chan is unafraid to answer the question: what if I let my queer characters be morally corrupt, at times pathetic, and utterly compelling in their depravity and anguish? In this fantastical reimagining of the rise to power of the Hongwu Emperor in the 14th century, Zhu Chongba claims her dead brother’s identity and a fate of greatness, with her foil found in the eunuch general, Ouyang, who fights on the opposing side in the war that comes for them both. A stunning political fantasy with engrossing depictions of gender and sexuality, and with a sequel that you don’t want to miss—this is one of my favorite duologies!

Jenna


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In the Lives of Puppets By TJ Klune Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250217448
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - April 25th, 2023

Klune has done it again- he has created another story for adults that reads like a cozy middle-grade fantasy. Puppets is a futuristic spin on the Pinocchio story, so keep your eyes peeled for little easter eggs. I have nothing but praise for this book that is so filled with humor and kindness. Also, prepare to become irrationally attached to some robots.

Anna


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Mr Kato Plays Family: A Novel By Milena Michiko Flašar, Caroline Froh (Translated by) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250842497
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Forge Books - June 20th, 2023

Mr Katō is a recently retired crank who spends his daily walks stewing on all the ways his family, friends, and career failed to live up to his expectations. A chance encounter sets him outside of his comfort zone and ultimately forces him to reconsider those relationships, showing us that it’s never too late to find meaning in life. For fans of Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, but with the weird charm of Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman.

Timothy


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Bad Cree: A Novel By Jessica Johns Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593467947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Anchor - December 5th, 2023

A slow burn thriller following a Cree woman, Mackenzie, who tries to start a new life to avoid dealing with the grief of her sister’s mysterious death; more specifically, she wants to escape her family’s oppressive sorrow. That is, until her increasingly haunting dreams of the events leading to her death begin to seep into reality. I mean, if I woke up with a severed crow’s head in my hand, I’d panic too! In search of answers, she moves back home and quickly realizes she’ll need the strength of her family to fight the lurking evil surrounding them. I couldn’t put this one down.

Beth


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Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes By Travis Baldree Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250886088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tor Books - November 8th, 2022

Orcs! Swords! Alchemy! Gnomes! And ooey-gooey chocolate croissants? Legends & Lattes is a surprising re-imagination as to what fantasy can be. Viv, a fearsome orc warrior, decides to stash her sword and start out on a new adventure: running a coffee shop. This story is full of lovely little moments in a fantastical world that are sure warm your cold, dead heart. But fair warning: it may also give you an overwhelming desire to cozy up in your favorite café with a hot beverage and a cinnamon roll the size of your head.

Heather


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It Rides a Pale Horse By Andy Marino Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316629522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Redhook - October 4th, 2022

I went into this book without reading any synopsis or reviews- totally blind. I was not expecting a dark, cosmic horror that felt like a modern take on H.P. Lovecraft. This book was fantastic. At one point, the world was literally shifting and merging things together, creating gruesome amalgamations and some strange body horror. If Lovecraft is your thing, I urge you to give this book a try.

Anna


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This Is How You Lose the Time War By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: S&S/Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

In this electrifying sci-fi adventure enemy agents Red and Blue seek to one-up each other in a centuries-long game of cat-and-mouse that plays out on battlefields and in London teashops. What neither agent could’ve predicted? The love that blooms when they begin a correspondence. With their precarious--yet fierce--love stringing Red and Blue together across time-strands, only one question remains: is their love and wit enough to keep them one step ahead of their enemies, or is the fight to be together the one battle they can’t win?

Jenna


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The Last House on Needless Street By Catriona Ward Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250812643
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Nightfire - September 20th, 2022

Never in my life have I read a horror novel that kept me guessing as much as this one, and I read a lot of horror books. Ward has crafted a story that truly feels like peeling the layers of an onion as you get to know the characters. I was confused about who the true villain was until the very end of the book. If you're looking for something to absolutely give you chills, this is it.

Anna


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Dead Silence By S.A. Barnes Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250778543
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tor Nightfire - January 24th, 2023

A haunted cruise ship in space. Yep, you read that right. This book has everything I love about both the ghost ship and haunted space tropes. It gave me the heebie jeebies in all the best ways, and I would definitely NOT recommend reading this one at night. I give it 10 out of 10 ghost astronauts.

Anna


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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue By V. E. Schwab Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780765387578
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tor Books - April 11th, 2023

When Addie wishes for independence she gets more than she bargains for. Addie is cursed to live forever and have no one remember her until one day a boy changes it all with three small words “I remember you." Schwab takes you on a masterful adventure over centuries as Addie tries to leave her mark. This book will have you crying, laughing, and clutching at your heart for the emotional journey that Addie lives through. Be careful what you wish for.

Jess


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What Moves the Dead (Sworn Soldier #1) By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250830814
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tor Nightfire - December 26th, 2023

I am such a sucker for a reimagined classic, and Kingfisher's take on Poe's famous The Fall of the House of Usher is wonderful. Rarely do I come across horror novels with such witty and delightful characters. The dialoge made me want to sit down to tea with each person, but the creepy gothic atmosphere made me want to forgo the tea and run away screaming instead.

Anna


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A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) By Becky Chambers Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781250236210
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tordotcom - July 13th, 2021

Everything in the world is so hard, but A Psalm for the Wild-Built is such a warm-hearted balm. Sibling Dex (a traveling Tea Monk) and Mosscap (a sentient, “wild-built” robot) wrestle with hard existential questions about purpose and belonging, but the book is generous and patient. Psalm is a great reminder of how huge and full even a small life can be when it’s well-lived. (And don’t miss the follow-up, A Prayer for the Crown-Shy!)

Timothy


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The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery #1) By Richard Osman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984880987
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Penguin Books - August 3rd, 2021

Solving cold murders is not your typical retiree pastime; however for Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim, and Ron, it’s the highlight of the week at Coopers Chase retirement village. When a local homicide sends the Thursday Murder Club crime-solving in real time, this quick-witted group of senior citizens will use all their cunning to solve their most thrilling case yet. Filled with dry humor and unique characters, this murder mystery is one of the best and certainly the funniest I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Anastasia


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Recursion: A Novel By Blake Crouch Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781524759797
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - March 10th, 2020

Black Mirror fans, this is for you. As soon as I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down. Blake Crouch has created a novel that deals with matters of human relationship and of the heart while also not losing any of his masterful, approachable high sci-fi. I haven't fell so in love with a book in such a long time and the ending STILL has me thinking about it at least once a month.

Jess


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When Women Were Dragons: A Novel By Kelly Barnhill Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593466575
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - May 16th, 2023

Set in the ‘50s, When Women Were Dragons is a story about misogyny and, most of all, how keeping quiet about it won’t change anything. During the Mass Dragoning of 1955, tons of women just up and left their jobs, families, and lives when they -poof- turned into dragons. Barnhill has crafted an extremely powerful story about rising up and speaking out, which could not be more timely.

Anna


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Trust (Pulitzer Prize Winner) By Hernan Diaz Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593420324
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Riverhead Books - May 2nd, 2023

Hernan Diaz’s fantastic second novel opens with a novel-within-a-novel—Bonds by the fictional author Harold Vanner—about a reclusive millionaire and his wife. The following sections refract, reflect, reframe, and undermine that novel and one another, as we learn about the people and events that inspired Vanner. Trust is a kaleidoscopic portrait of American wealth and the individuals who hoard it, full of unreliable narrators and mysteries that deepen even as they’re solved.

Timothy


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The Hurting Kind By Ada Limón Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781639550494
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Milkweed Editions - May 10th, 2022

Ada Limón’s poetry is some of my favorite to recommend to long-time poetry lovers and new poetry readers alike. Her newest collection is no exception. Reckoning with living in a world where suffering and joy, beauty and loss are all held together in the palm of the same hand, The Hurting Kind, is the kind of book that found me right when I needed it most. I hope it meets you wherever you are too.

Claire


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Book Lovers By Emily Henry Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593334836
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Berkley - May 3rd, 2022

It’s a yearly occurrence for Henry to capture my heart with her books–and Book Lovers certainly did. From both the nods to–and subversions of–movie tropes, to the references to the literary world that backdrop Charlie and Nora’s slow unraveling of each other, I was as head over heels for them as they were for each other. A tender love story full of all the banter you could wish for, paired with the joy found in cherishing your partner’s dreams.

Jenna


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When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain (The Singing Hills Cycle #2) By Nghi Vo Cover Image
By Nghi Vo
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250786135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tordotcom - December 8th, 2020

The story-telling cleric Chih encounters three shape-shifting tiger sisters one heart-pounding night and--while avoiding getting eaten--gleans the love story of the tigress Ho Thi Thao and her human wife Scholar Dien. Chih shares their version of the legendary story, while the tiger sisters share their version. Full of stunning prose, sweeping romance, captivating storytelling, and an interesting narrative of truth that this series is known for.

Jenna


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A Year & Other Poems By Jos Charles Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781571315472
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 15th, 2022

Jos Charles' last book, feeld, was the first time I ever thought, "I want to memorize this whole book so it's always nearby." Her new book, a Year & other poems, is just as astounding, the poems charged like the moment before static shock, documenting losses, fears, and longings both personal and collective. Time pulses irrevocably in the daybook that is the long title sequence. I remain deeply moved by how carefully and intentionally Charles selects and places each syllable on the page, and by how that care extends to us as readers.

Timothy


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A Dangerous Place By Chelsea B. Desautels Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781946448866
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Sarabande Books - October 19th, 2021

This debut poetry collection recounts seismic shifts–a cancer diagnosis following the birth of her child–with searing honesty and gorgeous lyricism. DesAutels’ poems follow illness, recovery, motherhood and all the life that happens amid such earth-shaking moments. Throughout the collection, DesAutels shifts between the dangerous, the familiar and where they intersect, be it in the natural world, the home, or within the body itself. In addition to being stunningly written, the whole collection is at once a gut punch and a healing song, and a journey well worth embarking on.

Claire


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What Is Otherwise Infinite: Poems By Bianca Stone Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781951142971
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - January 18th, 2022

In poems that reference "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Virginia Woolf with the same ease as noise music and Star Trek, Bianca Stone's latest collection looks at the dark things that live in us all—shame, doubt, addiction—and reminds us that even Christ spent "forty days in the desert / with what he thought was the Devil / but was really just himself." Here’s the moral questioning of Dante and Milton updated with a contemporary gallows humor about the twin existential fears of climate change and capitalism. "That's purgatory, baby."

Timothy


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Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law By Mary Roach Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781324001935
Availability: Backordered
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 14th, 2021

As thrilling as it is to think about wildlife in the city, the sad fact is that it highlights how humans encroach on the natural habitats and habits of the wild ones. Science writer Mary Roach’s new book for adults, Fuzz, looks at the disruption and danger caused by the two worlds converging. In her wildly entertaining manner, she reports on the chaos that ensues ‘when nature breaks the law’. But whose law? The law of nature? The law of science? The law of humankind?

Collette


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The Heroine with 1001 Faces By Maria Tatar Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781631498817
Availability: Unavailable to Order
Published: Liveright - September 14th, 2021

Folklorist Maria Tatar explores the role of female characters and archetypes from our best known and oft-repeated stories, drawing from ancient tales to modern literature, re-tellings, and social movements. Surveying texts spanning from The Odysseyto Madeline Miller’s Circe, this fascinating read invites us to reengage with and reimagine the heroines we thought we knew, and how their stories shape our world.

Claire


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On Animals By Susan Orlean Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982181536
Availability: Unavailable to Order
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - October 12th, 2021

The introduction is titled “Animalish”: my new favorite adjective! This lively collection of essays by Susan Orlean explores human/animal relationships. Although I picked it up for the animal side of the story, I was blown away by her observations about humans. From backyard chicken farmers to show-dog breeders, from hoarders to conservationists, she covers them all with grace and humor. A thought provoking book that will inspire you to take a closer look at your own animalish universe.

Collette


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Light From Uncommon Stars By Ryka Aoki Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250789068
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - September 28th, 2021

A tender, unflinching story about three unexpectedly intertwined women: one runaway trans girl, a former violinist who sold her soul to a demon, and an alien who’s new to Earth. Katrina is struggling to find her place in the world, but with help from her violin instructor, she’ll find her voice – if Shizuka doesn’t sell Katrina’s soul to hell. Filled with the magic of music and good donuts, romance, and found family, this is a defiantly joyful novel.

Jenna


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The Book of Delights: Essays By Ross Gay Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781616207922
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - February 12th, 2019

I love Ross Gay's writing so much. The prose pieces in The Book of Delights are delightful, but they're also complicated, profound, funny, sad, and so much more. A lot like life. Poet Ross Gay avoids saccharine, Hallmark-style sentimentality and finds the gritty, wonderful depths of delight, gratitude, and joy. Ross Gay's books are my answer to most unanswerable questions.

TIMOTHY


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The House in the Cerulean Sea (Cerulean Chronicles #1) By TJ Klune Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250217318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Tor Books - December 29th, 2020

“I couldn’t put this book down” is a phrase used so often, we barely blink at it. But to be caught in the pages of a book and never want to leave really is a rare and powerful magic. The House in the Cerulean Sea bestowed that level of enchantment on me. This endearing and entertaining story has everything I want in a comforting fantasy read: whimsy, a cast of misfit characters, a smidge of mystery, a dash of romance, and a whole lot of heart.

CLAIRE


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Thousand Star Hotel By Bao Phi Cover Image
By Bao Phi
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894708
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - July 4th, 2017

Local author! Local press! Bao Phi's poems are frank and affecting. I admire the tenderness with which he writes about the joys and challenges of being a man and raising a daughter—especially in America, especially as a Vietnamese American. If you want to read more poetry, this book is an excellent place to start.

TIMOTHY


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The Left Hand of Darkness: 50th Anniversary Edition By Ursula K. Le Guin, David Mitchell (Foreword by), Charlie Jane Anders (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Ursula K. Le Guin, David Mitchell (Foreword by), Charlie Jane Anders (Afterword by)
$19.00
ISBN: 9780441007318
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Ace - July 1st, 2000

Le Guin is one of the greatest American writers of the last century and this is one of her many masterpieces. Like all of her best work, it takes some “what if?” questions—especially about gender and culture—to their logical endpoints, while also simply telling a very good story. I don’t have enough space here to explain how much I love this book.

TIMOTHY


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The Starless Sea: A Novel By Erin Morgenstern Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781101971383
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Vintage - August 4th, 2020

This beautiful novel is a story within a story, looping back on itself through time. These stories are protected by those who are willing to give their lives for them, and many have. Zachary is searching for these stories and the door to their sanctuary without even knowing it. His door is waiting for him, and with the help of two strangers, he becomes part of a world he knows nothing about. Yet it has been speaking to him his whole life.

-Anna


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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: Reese's Book Club (A Novel) By Gail Honeyman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780735220690
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 5th, 2018

I'll be honest, I initially found this book a bit off-putting. Eleanor, this story's recluse heroine, is quite socially idiosyncratic. But as you stick with Eleanor's blunders and maladaptive tendencies, clues about why Eleanor seems to be such an unusual human begin to fit together. The result is a deeply funny ode to emerging from the depths of loneliness and opening one's heart.                                     

Kara


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Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories By Kelly Barnhill Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781616209247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Algonquin Books - March 12th, 2019

Barnhill masterfully expands from her typical work in this eclectic collection of eerie stories. Ranging from the tale of a widow's love affair with a Sasquatch to the life of a girl destined to be a revolutionary pirate; these stories are some of the most imaginative I've read. An extraordinary mix of fantasy, magical realism, science fiction and folk-inspired stories, this book would be a versatile gift. 

-Kara


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Full Throttle: Stories By Joe Hill Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062200693
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 8th, 2020

Joe Hill has written everything from novels to comic books, but he really hit the nail on the head with this collection of short stories. Ranging from supernatural to horror, each story is exquisitely crafted to be wholly different from the last. Some are shocking, some sad, and some sent shivers down my spine. This collection would be perfect for that person on your list who doesn’t mind getting a little spooked.

Anna


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Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury By Sigrid Nunez, Peter Cameron (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Sigrid Nunez, Peter Cameron (Afterword by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781593765828
Availability: Unavailable to Order
Published: Soft Skull - August 6th, 2019

Sigrid Nunez, winner of the National Book Award (2018 ‘The Friend), is the perfect author to bring to life the small period of time during which Leonard and Virginia Woolf lived with the encroaching danger of Nazi Germany and hosted a marmoset named Mitz—first as a sickly guest, then as a constant companion to Leonard. I’m always curious about the private lives of famous authors and Leonard and Virginia Woolf are such an iconic writing couple. In the early 1900’s they were the ring leaders of the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ of writers and artists. They created their own publishing company: Hogarth Press and mentored young whippersnappers such as T.S. Eliot. This book, culled from diaries, biographies and autobiographies gives us a snapshot of a truly likable couple who maintain rigorous writing/editing schedules but make room for the niceties of Sussex, England circa 1930. This is the minutiae of the worst pet in the world (Mitz) and her fierce attachment to Leonard. Virginia’s acerbic asides are hilarious, weirdly intimate and endearing.

Collette


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The Power By Naomi Alderman Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316547604
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - January 8th, 2019

It's like Handmaid's Tale; except this time, women have all the power. A modern science fiction that is so perceptive and relevant, it is hard to distinguish from reality. It starts with an innocent playground fight, then escalates to a national emergency due to all the cases of injured men. Some of these altercations are involuntary; yet, once some women discover they have the power, they seek vengeance.

Beth


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The Glass Castle: A Memoir By Jeannette Walls Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780743247542
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - January 17th, 2006

This book has stayed with me for years. Walls impeccably recounts the story of growing up with her unique, nomadic family. Jeanette’s mother was an artist who encouraged the four Walls children to be independent, so she could focus on painting. Her father was an exceptionally brilliant man who taught them about physics, philosophy and geology, but became reckless and abusive when drinking. Thus, the Walls family would run away from their problems, always hoping to build a better life in their self-designed Glass Castle. At its core, this is a heartbreaking story of family and resilience.

Kara