Staff Picks by Tag

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Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780451495112
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - February 21st, 2017

This book is a twisted bramble, ripe with grimy tales that really satisfy. Enriquez's voice entertains, educates, and terrifies. "I like dark themes,' she says, "...I would say it's my way of looking at things." amen, sister.


Review by Dean

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Jagannath Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101973974
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - February 6th, 2018

If you enjoy the fiction of Ursula Le Guin, and seek something new, read Karin Tidbeck. Her novel Amatka is powerful but Tidbeck's short stories are nigh perfect, perfectly weird.


Review by Alex

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Wonderland Cover Image
By Samuel Ligon, Stephen Knezovich (Illustrator)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780990819394
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Lost Horse Press - April 7th, 2016

I'm not sure whether this is a book of short stories or long jokes. Then again, maybe it's an art book with very extensive captions. Whatever label applies, I am totally enamored of Samuel Ligon's Wonderland. There are many passages to savor and worthy of reading aloud to friends and foe alike. And it's so nicely packaged too!


Review by Mark B.

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The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812988635
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House - January 16th, 2018

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.


Review by Theo

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Wait Till You See Me Dance: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977689
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - March 21st, 2017

A supremely weird, supremely good collection of short stories and vignettes. Voltaire Night left me instilled with a bizarre and almost unsettling feeling of gratitude. The First Full Thought of her Life took my breath away. The sense of what I can only describe as casual foreboding - the nonchalant acknowledgment that in the end, whether literally or metaphorically, we're all just ticking bombs - that permeates Wait Till You See Me Dance gave me pause again and again. Which is a long way of saying that it's just an excellent, odd, exciting book, one that will stick with me for a long time.


Review by Sam

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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

This collection of short stories feels the way I think epiphanies are supposed to feel. Haunting, gorgeous, and bizarre, these inventive stories are sensual and creepy. Machado combines magical realism, body horror, and feminism to create an unflinching look at the way s the world debases and abuses the female body and our relationship to our own bodies. 


Review by Courtney

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Homesick for Another World: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399562907
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - December 5th, 2017

Between her two latest books — this story collection and her similarly excellent 2015 novel Eileen —Ottessa Moshfegh has become one of my favorite fiction writers working today. The stories in Homesick for Another World are dark and unredemptive; they find humor in misery and relish abjection. They are peopled with characters riddled with shame and self-loathing, leading to bizarre and sometimes cruel behavior. They are, in short, probably not for everyone. But readers with a taste for the bitter stuff will find Moshfegh’s writing delightfully distasteful and full of surprising moments and incisive commentary.


Review by Theo

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Cold Hand in Mine Cover Image
By Robert Aickman, Reece Shearsmith (Foreword by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780571311743
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Faber & Faber - August 9th, 2016

I credit Adam at the Lake Forest Park store, for introducing me to Robert Aickman. At the time, Cold Hand in Mine was not in print, but his books of "strange stories" are now in wonderful paperback editions by Faber & Faber. The terrors within these pages are subtle and disquieting. Aickman has been compared to Algernon Blackwood and M.R. James, but he may even be better those those acknowledged masters of unsettling fiction. These timeless and creepy stories are extremely well-written and I want to do my part to ensure that Aickman finds the reading audience that he deserves.


Review by Mark B.

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Worlds from the Word's End Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781911508106
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: And Other Stories - September 12th, 2017

Take a disorienting dive into language, meaning and identity with this new collection of experimental narratives by the author of the fantastic Vertigo.


Review by Stephen

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Vertigo Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780989760751
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Dorothy a Publishing Project - October 1st, 2015

This debut collection of short fictions and narratives is so witty, raw and insightful that you'll read it again and again!


Review by Stephen