Lake Forest Park

Latest Staff Picks

Under the canopy of oppressive heat and humidity, small town Louisiana residents in 1943 brace for an exciting (for some) and horrific (for others) event. Willie Jones, 18, will be executed at midnight for the rape of a white girl. Tensions mount as the narrative moves quietly from one burdened character to another, each playing a role in the condemning of a young man who loved Grace. Resigned to his fate, Willie spends his last month anticipating his death, while his parents, Frank and Elma do the same, knowing their son's innocence will not matter. Heartsick with his options, the prosecuting attorney is forced by Klan members to choose life for his own son, Gabe, or that of Willie Jones. Simply told, this complex web of humanity explodes when the evening takes the worst possible turn!

Picked by Jane

Well worth the investment in time and $, Shelley's history is wide-ranging and accessible, written out of a devout Protestant perspective but never flinching from the appalling and inexcusable ways in which the Visible Church has often behaved.  Shelley's portrait aligns with the "already and not yet" reality of an Invisible Church being constructed, as a work of the Spirit, like a house of cards in a whirlwind--a seeming impossibility, nevertheless we catch rare but crystal-clear glimpses of this miracle wrought from the hand of the One who "commands the very wind and waves."  

Picked by Adam

Writing a review for this book is gonna be hard but I'm going to try. This may be the I best book I've read this year. So many raw and stunning sentences just waiting for you to fall in love with.  Told through letters from a son to a mother, I underlined the hell out of my copy. It broke my heart but it also put it back together. Read this and join the Ocean Vuong can club with me. 

Picked by Rosa

Two sisters vanish from a popular beach in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky with only one witness. As months pass with no progress, their disappearance reverberates throughout the peninsula, unearthing long held mistrusts and prejudices. Julia Phillips gives you not a police procedural but a series of interconnected hopeful, desperate, and at times devastating glimpses into the lives of both native and Russian women in this small pocket of the world. Through their eyes, we come to know Kamchatka, their dreams, their fears, and what keeps them tethered to this harsh land while clues slowly reveal themselves around them.

You'll have to read this novel because there is so much more that I cannot put into words. 

Picked by Laura

Child logic and base ferality attempt to work together in this beautifully bleak fable. A group of fairies are forced to leave their previous...home and survive the wilderness. If you are looking for a sweet moral ribbon to tie around this tale, you wont find it. It is lost; buried in the woods amongst the maggots. 

Picked by Dean

I wanted to leap from my chair several times while reading this book because it is so good that it felt disrespectful to read it sitting down.

 

There is not another book like this on the planet, but there should be. I can promise you that I will be talking about this book until the day I die.

Picked by Claire

If The Dresden Files and The Magicians had a book baby, this would be it. Our heroine is an ordinary private eye hired to solve a murder at a boarding school for magical teenagers. Unfortunately, it's also the school where her magical twin sister, Tabitha, works. As Ivy gets further involved in the inner workings of the school, its faculty, and its students, she questions her sanity and skill. Can she keep up appearances, find the killer, and reunite with Tabitha?

 

Excellent storytelling with a plot that had me guessing "whodunnit" until the last 50 pages.

Picked by Danielle

This book almost ruined a vacation. I could not, nor did I want to, think about or do anything else until I finished. 

Gender politics and the role art plays in our lives are the matters at the heart of the thing and the three singular voices with which the story is told perfectly illuminate the impossibility of absolute definition. Brilliant.

Picked by Wesley

This may be a very funny novel about art and idealism. Or it may be a very serious novel about how our work defines us - albeit one that will make you laugh uncontrollably and at random. Either way, the joke's on us: gleeful, satirical and disarmingly sincere, profound and bombastic in equal measure, and so, so familiar to anyone who has been in their twenties, or contemplated the big questions about whether we are what we create or whether, maybe it's the other way around, Loudermilk is refreshing and incisive. 

Picked by Sam