Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life By Laura McKowen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608687862
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New World Library - January 25th, 2022

The latest book in my "quit lit" have-reads, McKowen's memoir gives us an up-close view of her dark experiences under addiction. She then showcases the joys and hardships of sobriety, which those of us who suffered with alcoholism (or any other addiction), can attest to. A raw and emotional, yet beautiful, memoir, We Are the Luckiest is sure to impact you!


Review by Zack

Staff Pick Badge
Calling a Wolf a Wolf By Kaveh Akbar Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938584671
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Alice James Books - September 12th, 2017

I found myself writing down words and sentences on scraps of paper as I read Kaveh Akbar's debut collection of poetry. More an act of devotion than habit, I wanted to keep his words close.  While addiction and recovery form the central thesis of Akbar's work, it's the manner in which he mines the unreliable taxonomies of desire, want, and need that took me over. The title of the collection comes from an exquisite line in one of the poems: "Thinking if it had a problem it might have a solution/ thinking if I called a wolf a wolf I might dull its fangs.” A paean to the ineffable, the elusive, the sometimes maddening limits of language and its infinite imperfections that can make your head hurt and your heart break. 

Staff Pick Badge
Lights All Night Long: A Novel By Lydia Fitzpatrick Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780525558750
Published: Penguin Books - February 4th, 2020

Exchange student Ilya has just arrived in the balmy heat of Louisiana from the frozen tundra of Russia. Smart, hardworking, and thoughtful his journey was to be the opportunity of a lifetime. But he can’t seem leave his home behind, or the brother he would do anything to save. In Lights all Night Long, Lydia Fitzpatrick juggles a coming of age tale; a murder mystery; and social commentary on addiction, drug use, and corruption. And it works. Beautifully. She somehow manages to avoid all the predictable tropes of each to create this sparkling world full of hope, friendship, and the power of family in all its forms.

Review by Erin

Staff Pick Badge
The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath By Leslie Jamison Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316259583
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Back Bay Books - January 15th, 2019

This is not just another addiction memoir. But don't worry—that's the point. Jamison's own story is told in fragments, interspersed with the stories of many others (names you already know, others the world never will), brilliantly structured much like the AA meetings that ultimately helped her get sober. Each story is a drop in the bucket, a part of the whole. It is Jamison's voice—unflinching, self aware—and not necessarily her story that captivates. She is not tone deaf to the experiences of others, which serves her well as she presents so many stories alongside her own. I was so ready to dismiss this book, but I simply couldn't. I couldn't put it down; nor could I put it out of my mind.

Review by Kitri