Staff Picks by Tag

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The Cemetery of Untold Stories: A Novel By Julia Alvarez Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781643753843
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Algonquin Books - April 2nd, 2024

My sole gripe with this book is that the cemetery is not real and I cannot go visit. Although I'd of course still need a good enough story to get past the gate. The characters are a more mature cast than in Alvarez's earlier novels, and there is a contemplative feel to the storytelling. An excellent addition to the canons of Caribbean literature and magical realism. 


Review by Natalie

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The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers: A novel By Samuel Burr Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593470091
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Doubleday - April 9th, 2024

Crosswords, jigsaws, garden mazes, sudoku; in a manor house full of puzzles, Clayton Stumper is the biggest mystery of them all. Abandoned on the doorstep of the Fellowship of Puzzlemakers as a baby, Clayton has spent his young life surrounded by love and logic in the companionship of the society. But the question still remains, who is he really? The puzzlemakers are now aging and Clayton needs to find his own way, and more of his own people, if he is to solve the most important puzzle of his life.


Review by Deborah

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A Botanical Daughter By Noah Medlock Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781803365909
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Titan Books - March 19th, 2024

Four words: gardening, fungus, Frankenstein, dendrophilia. This book is as mesmerizing as it is gruesome. 


Review by Lauren

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Family Meal: A Novel By Bryan Washington Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593421093
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - October 10th, 2023

Cam & TJ are childhood friends, almost brothers, estranged through time, distance and trauma.  When they find each other again in their hometown they circle each other warily, not trusting that the history they share is enough to bring them back together.   A beautiful and often graphic story of finding a way through the devastation of grief back to the arms of an imperfect and messy family.


Review by Charlotte

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We The Animals: A Novel By Justin Torres Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780547844190
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - September 11th, 2012

I never saw the film this book was made into, and I didn't need to. The images in this book are seared into my brain and heart as though I was in the room when the action was taking place.  The family violence, the wild otherness of the brothers, the blooming sexuality and sex itself, so much packed into this small book.  I felt it all and wanted more.


Review by Charlotte

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James: A Novel By Percival Everett Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385550369
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Doubleday - March 19th, 2024

James retells the tale of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with a twist – Jim, Huck Finn’s enslaved companion, is our protagonist. No amount of description can do this novel, or Everett’s body of work, justice. What can is reading – something described in this very book as “a completely private affair and completely free and, therefore, completely subversive.”  Welcome to the world of classic literature, Percival Everett style.


Review by Zac

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Victim: A Novel By Andrew Boryga Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780385549974
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Doubleday - March 12th, 2024

"I wasn't trying to play the victim until the world taught me what a powerful grift it is." 
From the very beginning I was compelled by our main character Javi and his story. 
I can promise you, Javi is an unreliable narrator you haven't read before. 


Review by Rosa

Headshot: A Novel By Rita Bullwinkel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593654101
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Viking - March 12th, 2024

It's teenage girls boxing in Reno. Cool, right? But it's also the inner workings of a girl's brain: her past, her future, her present of hitting another girl not too different from her in the stomach. Bullwinkel reminds us so simply and so vividly what it is to be a teenager with thick skin and an audience of twelve at such a specific yet fleeting time in your life. This was expansive yet relatable in the witnessing of girlhood, in the violence and in the quiet. Punch to the gut, punch to the heart. 

 


Review by Emily

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Land of Milk and Honey: A Novel By C Pam Zhang Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593538241
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - September 26th, 2023

This book left me simultaneously sated and starved. The way Zhang describes food–you can smell it, feel it, taste it. In a near-future world where smog has devastated plants and animals alike, an unnamed chef goes to work in a reclusive community sheltered from the reality outside. There, she discovers what she is willing to do to survive. Land of Milk and Honey brings a whole new essence to “eat the rich.” 


Review by Lauren

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The Book of Love: A Novel By Kelly Link Cover Image
$31.00
ISBN: 9780812996586
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House - February 13th, 2024

I would have read and loved this book if it were just a messy story about teenagers in a band who kiss the wrong people. It is that and much, much more. Known for her shorter fiction, Kelly Link makes full use of the novel form to build an enchanting world grounded in the mundane but with magical twists: people turn into animals, supernatural beings vie for power, and four dead students come back to life and must complete a series of magical tasks to earn the power to stay. If you love weird slow burn puzzles that keep you guessing, read this book. If you want your heart to be touched, read this book.
 


Review by Jess

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