Seward Park

Latest Staff Picks

What is the point of art? Why do we need it? What does it do? These questions are all answered (sort of) in this surreal graphic novel.

Eleanor Davis' short comic The Emotion Room is my favorite short comic of all time, and this book is equally strange, mysterious, sad, and funny.

Picked by Devon

In this devastating collection, Bettina Judd confronts the sanitizing effect of history, and the depersonalized language of industrial medicine. Through a dreamlike, interlocking narrative, her poems explore how these influences combine, both retroactively and currently, to exploit, destabilize, and destroy.

Like wounds on a body, the past remains present. Healing is a question, not an inevitability.

Picked by Devon

LeCarre pays a visit to Peter Guillam in this book that unearths Guillam's involvement with Alec Leamas and takes the reader behind the scenes portrayed in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Guillam's mentor George Smiley looms in the background of the novel. LeCarre fans will not be disappointed as the narrator, and the author behind him, revisits the toll taken on lives during the Cold War and the consequences of his part in it.   

Picked by Bernie

I couldn’t believe this was her first go at graphic novels! Bui tells her family's immigration story in expressions of rusty brown that represent both the heartwarming and heartbreaking shades of her memory. I marveled how the color shows the blend of associations and intention--is it warm like spilt coffee, or broody like mud? Either way, it's as soft and deep as the fog of recollection.

Picked by Michelle

I know what you need: cannibalistic children, a possessed daughter, a shady pharmacological conglomerate, some creepy android dolls, freak weather related events and the Swiss (the people, not the cheese). Good thing Moto Hagio’s Otherworld Barbara has all these unique features  or else you’d be stuck reading 2-3 different western horror stories and watching an M. Night Shyamalan movie to boot.

In Otherworld Barbara, follow Watarai, our young George Michael doppelganger and who serves as our requisite straight you enter with him into a rich family’s possessed daughter’s dream construct, a simple but pleasant enough rural island populated by what initially seems to be just some regular village folk. The kids here are alright too...except they can float around and people have some strange xenophobia towards outsiders.

But when the Island of Baraba starts cropping up in Watari’s real outside life in seemingly random ways he suspects it’s more than just serendipity...

Take your metaphorical corn chip and dip into layer after layer of storytelling so rich I am getting indigestion just thinking about it. With some throwbacks to Inception or Pan’s Labyrinth and enough dissociative females to shake a Murakami novel at, Otherworld Barbara doesn’t disappoint.

Recommendation: find a hermetically sealed container to store your disbelief while you read

Picked by Garrett

This collection of short stories drops you in at different points in time and warps reality. Sometimes comic, sometimes edged in darkness, Joaquin examines colonial history, myth, modern Philippines and diaspora, and the dynamics between generations and space. Totally refreshing to read modern Philippine literature.

Picked by Michelle

When I read a book that I enjoy, it always leaves me wanting to know the author better. Readers of Exit West will have that wish fulfilled with this autobiographical collection of essays from Hamid, subtitled "Dispatches from New York, Lahore and London." His reflections on Pakistan, thoughts on life as an emerging writer, and making pasta for Toni Morrison in his dorm room all contribute to a fuller picture of this exciting writer.

Picked by Bernie

In the untamed landscape of Alaska, anything can kill you. For the Allbright family, the wilderness represents a chance for a new beginning. But as thirteen year old Leni soon learns, her mother's unquestioned devotion to her father is more dangerous than the cold.

Picked by Jayson