Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
Tales from the Inner City Cover Image
By Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781338298406
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - September 25th, 2018

Tales From the Inner City is short story collection by the beloved artist Shaun Tan, where crocodiles live on the 87th floor, men turn into frogs, and snails fall in love. His world is our world slightly altered by small detail. Through Tan's unique imagination and breathtaking art, he investigates our deeply relational coexistence with animals. They occupy our imagination in fantastic and ordinary ways (just like his stories). I haven't been able to shake the otherworldly fugue I encountered in Tales from the Inner City and I think everyone will enjoy dipping their toes in Tan's stories.


Review by Halley

Staff Pick Badge
Friday Black Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328911247
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

The stories in Friday Black are volatile, unpredictable concoctions. While reading them, I imagined author Nana Kwame Adeji-Brenyah as a mad scientist, mixing beakers with wild abandon: some societal critique here, a little gallows humor there, a dose of dystopian sci-fi just for kicks. The resulting stories feel just as likely to combust as they do to end. Adjei-Brenyah is among the most exciting new voices in fiction I've encountered all year, the heir apparent to Vonnegut and Saunders's tradition of dark, socially incisive postmodernism.


Review by Theo

Staff Pick Badge
Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780451495112
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
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

Staff Pick Badge
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

Staff Pick Badge
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.

Staff Pick Badge
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

Staff Pick Badge
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

Staff Pick Badge
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

Staff Pick Badge
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.

Staff Pick Badge
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 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

Pages