Lake Forest Park

Latest Staff Picks

The 2016 election haunts this story of a man's (actually a dog's) reactions to his failing marriage, but in this and so many other ways the delicately balanced storytelling avoids simplistic dichotomies and easy answers. The result is an empathetic portrayal of characters who hurt each other and themselves without understanding why, which ends on a note of ambiguous hopefulness.

Picked by Stephen

Do you like the Twilight Zone? Of course you do. But you might not know Richard Matheson. And you should, because arguably the most iconic episodes were adapted from his masterfully-written short fiction. Each story is so tightly crafted as to border on pulp, each ending twists with a stinger that demands your return. If I'm on a plane: 1) I have a Richard Matheson collection in my carry on and 2) I'm not going to look at the wing of the plane. Yeah. He wrote that. 

Picked by Dean

I think I’ve been waiting all my life to find this book. Or, perhaps, I’ve just been waiting for it to find me. With any translated novel there's a kind of unnameable wonder. So, I don’t know if it’s just the beauty of the translation itself from its original French text or something else entirely, but I haven’t read a book this magically alive since Harry Potter. Think of all your expectations of what a fantasy novel can be and know that this novel will surpass every single one. Gah! So this is love.

Picked by Claire

Latinx culture. Near-future fantasy island. Espionage and arranged marriage. Queer romance.

 

In short, a gripping feminist story with excellent stakes, world-building, and character development that ends in a cliff-hanger. Let's just say I need book two of this duology immediately.

Picked by Danielle

I have now read this book twice and, with both readings, finished it in one sitting. This hilarious and heartbreaking novel will make you laugh out loud and then cry so much you'll go through an entire box of Kleenex (or, maybe that's just me). Anddddd that's all I'm going to tell you because I promise it's just one of those books that is best approached--like most worthwhile things in life--by taking a chance and letting the story lead you where it will.  

Picked by Claire

I first discovered Sally Rooney after reading her first book, Conversations With Friends, which I loved! So, of course, I rushed to read her second book, Normal People. On the surface, this sounds like another popular boy befriends awkward girl but this novel unfolds beautifully as you read. With a strong political undertone and exploration of social and economic status, Sally Rooney brings to light many issues worth discussing. But at the heart of the novel, Normal People is an exploration of those friendships we form when we're young that shape us and often times sets the tone of who and what we gravitate towards later in life. Nostalgia will loom over you while you read Normal People.

Picked by Rosa

Native people and their stories are rarely (if ever) given the attention they deserve in American literature. In Orange's first novel, he manages not only to give Native peoples lives and stories their due attention but he also manages to create a narrative that rocks readers to their cores. If I were to compare this to anything I'd say it reminds me of HBO's hit The Wire. There There is made up of vignettes that give texture to each character while also driving its larger plot. At the end of it all there's really only one thing left to do - put on the blues. 

Picked by Josiah

Maybe you already know her short story "Cat Person," which captured a modern feeling—one that has barely begun to be put in print—so well I felt it in my body. There's more of those sickeningly visceral moments in this collection. The stories feel like urban legends stretched into something else, something you feel in the pit of your stomach and taste at the back of your mouth. 

Picked by Kitri

Players turns 30 this year and while the copyright date has gathered a little dust, its labyrinthine charms are sharp as ever. An eerily prescient novel of ideas masquerading as a loose, absurdist marriage (and terror) plot, it is full of sly and steely prose that conveys the grace of architecture.

Picked by Wesley