Staff Picks by Tag

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The Skin and Its Girl: A Novel By Sarah Cypher Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593499559
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ballantine Books - April 23rd, 2024

A family saga and a poetic tale about a young, queer girl coming to terms with her inner and outer identities. Elspeth/Betty is born in a Portland hospital with cobalt blue skin. From her 0-10 year-old perspective, she watches her thrown-together parents become parents, unravels the folklore of her Palestinian ancestors, and discovers her great aunt has more in common with her than she thought. With language so rich you'll want to savor it with a spoon!

 


Review by Emily

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Greta & Valdin: A Novel By Rebecca K. Reilly Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781668028049
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - February 6th, 2024

Opening up this book was like joining Greta and Valdin's Russian-Maori-Catalonian family after all catastrophes have passed. I'm not down at rock bottom, but gradually climbing back up towards the sun with them, warming myself in their affectionate dysfunction. 


Review by Sarah C.

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Don't Call Me Home: A Memoir By Alexandra Auder Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593299951
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Viking - May 2nd, 2023

Alternating between telling the story of her childhood and a present-day visit from her mother, Auder gives a funny and intriguing representation of the turmoil that so often arises in close familial relationships. (With the added element of having a superstar for a mother.) Within these pages is also a hearty nod to the way in which siblings can be life rafts. I very much enjoyed this one!



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The Bandit Queens: A Novel By Parini Shroff Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593498958
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Ballantine Books - January 3rd, 2023

This book will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, but it is such a fun ride. Geeta's alleged murder of her husband has granted her a kind of freedom, and soon other village women recognize that they too could rid themselves of their oppressors. The mood ranges from sad to angry to elated, but ultimately the friendships, community and Geeta's dry wit result in a truly enjoyable read.


Review by Natalie

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The Blur By Minh Lê, Dan Santat (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Minh Lê, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593377468
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2022

Kids are fast. Childhood is faster. Treasure the small moments when your kid isn't a blur. **great alternative to Dr. Seuss "The Places You'll Go"


Review by Alex

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A Show for Two By Tashie Bhuiyan Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781335429209
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Inkyard Press - April 25th, 2023

Can a book be a hug? This book is a hug, a book about familiar expectations, a life plan, sibling love, and a sweet love side story. Follow Mina as she navigates through following her dreams, and enjoy her discovery of how she finds her happiness. 


Review by Alex

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Post-traumatic: A Novel By Chantal V. Johnson Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316264334
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Back Bay Books - March 21st, 2023

(Content warning: This book deals heavily with the topic of trauma and sexual violence.)

I was so enamored by this debut by Chantal V. Johnson! The author has said herself that she wrote the book trying really hard not to resort to the popularized buzz words around trauma, and the result is a piece of literature that breathes new air into discussions surrounding issues that have long been around - like misogyny, feminine beauty standards, PTSD, eating disorders, etc. I appreciate how she shows the minute ways in which past trauma continually impacts people - in an Uber, for example, when the driver makes a wrong turn and Vivian suddenly plunges into a fear-spiral about getting abducted. This is a really important work about cultural allowances of everyday sexual violence. It's witty, it's engrossing, and it entreats the reader to examine the world around them for ways they are contributing to the brokenness.
 



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How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water: A Novel By Angie Cruz Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250208453
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Flatiron Books - September 13th, 2022

This book is a masterclass on making characters come alive on the page. Cara Romero is a Dominican mother and immigrant trying to get a job in the middle of the Great Recession in New York. In a matter of 12 sessions (each chapter = one session), she spills the secrets of her life to a career counselor who will ultimately decide whether she is job-ready. In the course of these sessions, we learn about Cara's family of origin, the people who depend on her, and the depth of her grief for her estranged son whose sexuality she had trouble understanding. This is a loving story about the difficulty - and necessity - of change.



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How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel By Charles Yu Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307739452
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - June 28th, 2011

"Most people I know live their lives moving in a constant forward direction, the whole time looking backward." In this book, a time travel machine technician goes between universes saving people from (ab)using time travel in their efforts to fix their disappointing lives. When he's not doing that, he's searching for his missing father, who disappeared after inventing time travel. Within this strange and mind-bending plot, Yu addresses some of life's most philosophical questions. Is time a forward trajectory? Do regret and nostalgia serve us? How do we reconcile with the ache of a parent's lost dream? This book is an unconventional but beautiful tribute from a son to his father, and calls on us to reimagine the way we think about time.



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All-Night Pharmacy: A Novel By Ruth Madievsky Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781646222254
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Catapult - July 9th, 2024

A story about sisters, connection, love, reconciling the past and facing the future. It hit every note for me. 


Review by Rosa

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