Lake Forest Park

Latest Staff Picks

This memoir is about the author's inappropriate relationship with a teacher she first meets in middle school and the years following it. The prose hits like a razor to the skin, cutting deeper and deeper as you read. I was blown away by how honest and raw the author is throughout the book. These are the kind of writers I want to fill my shelves with. Do yourself a favor and read it and then pass it along. 

Picked by Rosa

Bump writes from his own childhood experience on the South Side of Chicago. It’s a heartfelt story with familiar themes of family, love, and growing up, but from a completely unique voice – one that will endear you to main character Claude McKay and one that needs to be heard.

 Pair it with Margo Jefferson’s Negroland a memoir, also about growing up, decades earlier and in another part of Chicago, as an affluent African-American. Two illuminating and unforgettable portrayals of race in the U.S.

Picked by Elisabeth

If you’ve ever read the title of Carson McCullers’ seminal work “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” and thought: “I’ve just read the most beautiful poem, written for me”—if you’ve ever done that—maybe you should pick up this book. 

 

Shapland deftly writes about closeted queer desire, her own coming to terms with herself, and McCullers vs. the coded language she has long been shrouded in. 

 

I don’t know where to put this magnificent  book—but maybe it belongs with you. 

Picked by Kitri

I don't get to do as much walking as I would like, but when I do, I feel great. Walking feels like a revolutionary art these days. This short but wtunning book invokd so many feelings for me. I wish this was 300 pages long because I would read it.

 

Picked by Rosa

How mystifying the customs of ancient peoples seem to us... but how far removed are we, really?

Sylvie and her parents join a small university class on "a summer experience" living as Iron Age Britons may have. As prehistoric tasks become more intuitive to the group, so do the rituals they once thought horrific.

This unassuming wisp of a book belies the disquieting story within.

"I shivered. Of course that was the whole point of the re-enactment, that we ourselves became the ghosts, learning to walk the land as they walk it two thousand years ago."

Picked by Sarah

Hot with violet urgency, and shrouded in the moss and fog of the rural Northwest, Vera Violet opens with the eponymous Vera on the run someplace deep in Montana, and does not let up until the final page. In between is something like the root system of a tall cedar, or the wiring Harness on an old pickup: tangled at first glance, but intricate as soon as you start to trace it. This is an unforgettable novel.

Picked by Sam

Primarily taking place during the forgotten Laotian Civil War, a war that is known as “America’s secret war of the 1960s,” Run Me to Earth follows three orphan teenagers just trying to survive among the wreckage around them. Paul Yoon has written the perfect follow up to the gorgeous collection of stories in The Mountain, that also follows the lives of innocent civilians who are left to pick up the pieces after destruction and war. We see the three teenagers grow up and separate but they remain forever tied though their tragic memories of childhood. Yoon has proven to be masterful at creating quietly compelling characters with real human stories that stay with you once you close the book. This is a timeless work by a writer at the top of his craft. 

Picked by Kalani

I loved this clever twist on 80's movie tropes - I spotted The Breakfast Club, Can't Buy Me Love, and Pretty in Pink -  and a fake date, friends to lovers Regency romance. Seb is a bluestocking anthropologist and member of the Union of the Rakes, a group of five Eton men who bonded over mischief and a long day of penance. Lady Grace is a herpetologist and scholar who's been on the shelf, crushing on a rakish colleague named Mason Fredericks who is oblivious to her availability. Seb volunteers to help his friend attract Mason's attention but here's the catch: he has terrible, debilitating social anxiety. With the aid of a fellow Union member and society elite, Seb transforms himself into a charming rake who publicly pursues Grace. Their plan begins to work but their hearts have other ideas...   

Eva Leigh delivers a sexy, ambitious happily ever after that's sealed by a very dramatic, filmworthy grand gesture. I can't wait for book two!

Picked by Danielle

Primarily taking place during the forgotten Laotian Civil War, a war that is known as “America’s secret war of the 1960s,” Run Me to Earth follows three orphan teenagers just trying to survive among the wreckage around them. Paul Yoon has written the perfect follow up to the gorgeous collection of stories in The Mountain, that also follows the lives of innocent civilians who are left to pick up the pieces after destruction and war. We see the three teenagers grow up and separate but they remain forever tied though their tragic memories of childhood. Yoon has proven to be masterful at creating quietly compelling characters with real human stories that stay with you once you close the book. This is a timeless work by a writer at the top of his craft.

Picked by Kalani