Staff Picks by Tag

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Friday Black By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Cover Image
$16.99
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

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Julián Is a Mermaid By Jessica Love, Jessica Love (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jessica Love, Jessica Love (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763690458
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Candlewick - April 23rd, 2018

Julian is a mermaid - of this there is no doubt. But how will this identity expression be met by his family? This is a question we get to explore through this book's resplendent watercolor illustrations and streamlined story. It's about the transformative power of loving acceptance during pivotal moments of self-doubt. For the mermaid in all of us. 



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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) By Tomi Adeyemi Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

The best fantasy I have read in ages. Achingly masterful and brimming with complexly rendered main and secondary characters, Adeyemi's Orisha world will sweep you up in its embrace with one arm and brandish a knife at you with the other. Paced perfectly at un-put-downable, this is your 2018 must-read.



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Version Control: A Novel By Dexter Palmer Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307950352
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - January 10th, 2017

 We've all read books about the very real dangers of exploitation and radicalization online and in technology whose bottom line is an unrealistic neo-Luddism. Dexter Palmer's Version Control is antithesis of those books: it braids together surveillance capitalism, dating apps, time travel, and an intimate, often sad portrait of a marriage together into a powerful exploration of possibility and truth. It's funny and sharp, and I loved every page.


Review by Christina

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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body By Roxane Gay Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062420718
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - June 12th, 2018

This is a raw and intimate account of one's relationship to the context of one's body. Gay lays herself bare as she explores the 'why' of her body, all the while forcing the reader (at least this one) to do the same. An amazing read for anyone currently residing in a body.



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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) By N. K. Jemisin Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316229296
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Orbit - August 4th, 2015

NK Jemisin is a master worldbuilder and an amazing stylist. The hype is real! Read this book!


Review by Christina

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Jam on the Vine By Lashonda Katrice Barnett Cover Image
$16.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780802124678
Published: Grove Press - February 9th, 2016

Ivoe Williams is one of the most driven characters you'll ever rmeet. As a journalist and newspaperwoman in the time of Jim Crow, she has to be. Her struggles, achievements, and loves come about in a pervading atmosphere of oppression that is catastrophic and banal. But Ivoe's story is is also about incredible strength and joy, animated by vibrant prose and a truly rewarding depth of historical detail that lifts up the work of early African American newspapers. A wonderful, compelling novel.


Review by Christina

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Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography By Audre Lorde Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780895941220
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Crossing Press - January 1st, 1982

Zami is an achingly beautiful autobiography that explores poet, essayist, and activist Audre Lorde's childhood and early adulthood, growing up as a Black lesbian poet in New York City in the 30s and finishing before her rise to fame in the 60s. Her language is sensual and frank as she writes of the smell of pounding garlic in her mother's mortar and pestle, the sound of her sisters whispering stories to each other late at night, the taste of the apricot brandy passed among friends at a New Years' Eve party in a cold-water walk-up. Lorde's experiences in the Greenwich Village lesbian bars of the 1950s are fascinating, as is reading about how relentlessly many of the women in even those spaces try to define her by whatever part of her identity is most comfortable for them. Ultimately, the book is a tender and unflinching homage to the women who've shaped Lorde's life.


Review by Christina

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Who Fears Death By Nnedi Okorafor Cover Image
$16.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780756406691
Published: DAW - June 7th, 2011

Who Fears Death is the story of Onyesonwu, a girl and powerful sorceress born into a terrible legacy in near-future dystopian Africa. Onyesonwu undertakes a quest for revenge that turns into something much more complex; along the way, she must fight for acceptance, equality, friendship, and to make peace with her fate.


Review by Christina

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Lagoon By Nnedi Okorafor Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481440882
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: S&S/Saga Press - February 2nd, 2016

The last sentence of this book gave me shivers. In addition, it contains a short chapter written from the perspective of a small bat that is so achingly, hauntingly beautiful it made my heart hurt.

And now I want to go to Nigeria, but I think I'll stay away from the water.


Review by Anje

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