Latest Staff Picks

Waterland is simultaneously an intimate family drama and a many-hundred-year-long history of the British Fenlands. Through the voice of an unforgettable (and funny!) narrator, Swift demonstrates how social history informs our everyday lives, how long-forgotten history becomes essential.

Picked by James

"I want to love myself. I want to understand my own experiences." Depressed and caught between social anxiety and loneliness, Nagabi Kata is trying to reorient herself by discovering her own desires and needs for the first time. At 28, she visits a sex worker from a lesbian escort agency for her first sexual experience. It goes totally awry, but it's one of many demonstrations of her immense bravery in this funny, moving graphic memoir. Her willingness to be vulnerable and her irrepressible sincerity make even her darkest moments brighter with hope.

Picked by Christina

Denis Johnson is one of those authors I have a hard time talking about without lapsing into absurd superlatives, so I won't even try to restrain my praise for his latest (and, sadly, last) story collection. The title story alone is worth the price of admission, and ranks among the best short stories I have ever read; The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is as disarmingly funny and as sneakily sublime as anything Johnson has written. We are lucky that Denis Johnson, who sadly passed away last May, has graced us with this final masterpiece--it's as fine a swan song as any author could hope for.

Picked by Theo

The Job of the Wasp is narrated by the most recent arrival at a school for orphaned boys. The new boy immediately starts to feel isolated and at odds with the other students at this creepy academy. When the dead bodies start to turn up, our narrator must place blame or possibly find himself as the prime suspect. Are the murders the act of a demented headmaster, or a twisted game played by the boys themselves? This dark and unsettling novel is a coming-of-age tale, a murder mystery and a Gothic ghost story that will have you turning pages at a breakneck pace.

Picked by Mark B.

My son and I have read this book so many times I can recite it! It's a favorite and was always in regular rotation for night time stories. My son, now 9, still asks me to read this with him. Besides the amazing art from Marla Frazee, this is simply a lovely, sweet and special book. You can find stars anywhere if you're willing to really look. This book helped us see the magic and wonder all around us. I'm so excited that it's come out as a board book so little ones can snuggle up and look at the world in a new way too.

Picked by Patti H.
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Love Cover Image
By Matt De La Pena, Loren Long (Illustrator)

Matt De La Pena is a gem. His previous Last Stop on Market Street remains a much beloved book in my heart, but I think in some ways Love has surpassed it. This is one of those books that was meant for all ages. And in these trying times, it's important to remember what connects us.

Picked by Halley

Never again! Never again would I be ensorcelled into reading a multi-volume epic fantasy. I have failed. Sanderson's The Way of Kings is a breezy adventure encased in a door-stopping package. Seriously: I read all 1,252 pages in two and a half days. Then, forgoing sleep and nourishment, I finished the sequel (Words of Radiance) and another book within the same universe (Warbreaker) the following week. So yes, Sanderson, cast me wherever thou wilt! Your stories are refreshing, your universe filled with Easter eggs, and Wit. I look forward to reading ALL of your books.

Picked by Alex

In need of a mad-cap fantasy-not-fantasy-but-definitely-fantasy-novel? This is it. Follow insufferable Elliott in his insufferable quest to bring peace to insufferable warriors of fairyland. Oh, and talk to at least one mermaid (preferably plural), woo an Elf (at the loser's expense), and navigate the Borderland School (preferably without physical exertion). Perfect for most ages (sorry middle schoolers), all grumpsters, and every know-it-all. Losers can come too.

Picked by Alex

This is a wonderful and unique book. It's been endlessly fun, enlightening, and helpful at home. It empowers kids to put a voice to the struggles and trials of getting through the demands put on them each day. This book is full of tricks and hacks to make life smoother and easier. The coolest part is that it my son and I loved loved loved doing the activities. It has made a difference in our life in such a positive way.

Picked by Patti H.