Staff Picks by Tag

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Maison Ikkoku Collector's Edition, Vol. 1
 By Rumiko Takahashi Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781974711871
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: VIZ Media LLC - September 15th, 2020

An oldie but goodie. I love anything Rumiko Takahashi writes and has been a part of my childhood without me knowing it (people are most familiar with Inuyasha, which I watched secretly when I was 8 because it was too violent). But Maison Ikkoku is near and dear to my heart. It’s a slice-of-life manga about a landlord named Kyoko, who takes care of a boarding house filled with eccentric and lovable people. She meets Godai, a resident at the boarding house, who’s trying to pass his college entrance exams while falling in love with Kyoko. The book revolves around the importance of community and the slow-burn romance between Kyoko and Godai (who are, by far, my favorite fictional couple), with funny moments scattered throughout. It is wonderful wonderful wonderful. 


Review by Javi

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Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard  By Joan E. Strassmann Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593329924
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: TarcherPerigee - October 25th, 2022

Perfect book for those who are curious about the birdwatching world. Birdwatching as a hobby entails patience and time, waiting for the sounds of rustling leaves and whisper songs. And though it’s already a mindful hobby, Joan argues that we can be slower when it comes to observing birds, either from your backyard or walking in your neighborhood. She dedicates a chapter per bird, giving us insight and information from the bird expert themselves. Then comes the ‘slow birding’ itself, with reflection questions and activities to hone in on your observational skills when watching birds and how they behave. It’s been my favorite companion while I birdwatch from my balcony or at my local park.


Review by Javi

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The Marriage Portrait: A novel By Maggie O'Farrell Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593320624
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Knopf - September 6th, 2022

13 Years old and now engaged to marry your recently deceased sisters fiancé. What could go wrong? Lucrezia de'Medici must leave her family home, and will be expected to bear an heir for Alfonso of Ferrara. He is loving and attentive, and life is pleasurable, until its not. Who is he really? She tells us from chapter 1 that he wants to kill her. A fascinating historical spin. O'Farrell does not disappoint!


Review by Jenny

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Night Boat to Tangier By Kevin Barry Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101911341
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - July 7th, 2020

Kevin Barry's gritty, painful night in the ferry terminal of Algeciras, Spain with two aging drug runners takes you on an intense journey without leaving the terminal bar. As Charlie and Maurice watch passengers from Morocco unload, hoping to cross paths with a long lost daughter, Barry offers aching glimpses into decades of relationships, regrets and remorse. Barry's writing is tight and honest - as glaring as the ferry terminal lights on the dirty terminal floor. 


Review by Jenny

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Finding Me: A Memoir By Viola Davis Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063037328
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperOne - April 26th, 2022

Achingly honest and open to the world, Davis takes you from her broken childhood to her triple crown of acting awards. Always searching to be accepted, she learns to accept herself first. Her realities are tough to read, but Davis hides behind nothing. She doesnt focus on the fame and fortune, but on the tough grind required to reach her goals.  


Review by Jenny

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Tomb of Sand: A Novel By Geetanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Geetanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell (Translated by)
$29.99
ISBN: 9780063299405
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperVia - January 31st, 2023

This is possibly the best reading experience I ever had! While the size may be intimidating, I can promise you'll want to go on this incredible journey with the 80yr old Ma. Every page felt alive. So if you have a long trip planned soon, BRING THIS BOOK WITH YOU. You'll be in the best company. 
 


Review by Rosa

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Dinosaurs: A Novel By Lydia Millet Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781324021469
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 11th, 2022

What a wonderful novel. After a bad break up, lonely, heartbroken, middle-aged Gil moves to Arizona to begin again. His new neighbors live in a glass walled house and Gil studies them as he studies the local flora and fauna, eventually becoming much more than a mere spectator. In this look and ordinary life, Millet somehow delivers a novel that is at once foreboding and comforting. 

And Gil. Gil will restore your faith (or at least begin to) in humanity and maybe even straight, white men. 

In a word, captivating.


Review by Erin

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Spear By Nicola Griffith Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250819321
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tordotcom - April 19th, 2022

A customer told me about Spear. She loved Griffith's novel Hild as much as I did and said that Spear is a substantial novella. This epic is set in the 6th century, following our hero, Per, all the way to the court of King Arthur. In her own words, Griffith calls this Camelot "queered six ways from Sunday" yet, that is largely "peripheral." Griffith is a local author, and clearly enjoyed her research - there are some wonderful words: gralloched, geas, bog butter, shaving coins like a thief, skystone. The magic here is unlike anything else, it's fresh and sweet. Even though shorter than a novel, it's rich in detail: a fly is "hurrying by;" there are "skeins of geese" in the sky; midges that "darn the air."


Review by Laura

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The Book of Accidents: A Novel By Chuck Wendig Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399182150
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Del Rey - March 15th, 2022

This book delivers horror, with an even greater dose of humanity, revolving around cycles of abuse, ghosts of our past, generational trauma, and the ultimate power of having love for our fellow humans. It does all of this with a readability that makes time melt away, I had a hard time putting this book down whenever I picked it up.


Review by Arlo

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The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of Their Lost World By Steve Brusatte Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062490438
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - April 30th, 2019

I was (and still am) The Dinosaur Kid, shaking with excitement at watching Jurassic Park at 5 years old, vowing to become a Paleontologist one day in the distant future -- while I'm considering going back to school for a masters in something paleontological, I read this book out of the pure delight and interest in these fascinating creatures, and Brusatte delivers. It's accessible and riveting, and at times personal, while also still being engaging for someone who may be trained in a related science field. Give it a shot, it's like having your most charming, passionate, and smart friend tell you at length about their favorite special interest.


Review by Arlo

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