Staff Picks by Tag

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My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir By Jenn Shapland Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781947793286
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Tin House Books - February 4th, 2020

If you’ve ever read the title of Carson McCullers’ seminal work “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” and thought: “I’ve just read the most beautiful poem, written for me”—if you’ve ever done that—maybe you should pick up this book. 

Shapland deftly writes about closeted queer desire, her own coming to terms with herself, and McCullers vs. the coded language she has long been shrouded in. 

I don’t know where to put this magnificent  book—but maybe it belongs with you. 


Review by Kitri

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Ghost Wall: A Novel By Sarah Moss Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250234957
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - December 31st, 2019

How mystifying the customs of ancient peoples seem to us... but how far removed are we, really?

Sylvie and her parents join a small university class on "a summer experience" living as Iron Age Britons may have. As prehistoric tasks become more intuitive to the group, so do the rituals they once thought horrific.

This unassuming wisp of a book belies the disquieting story within.

"I shivered. Of course that was the whole point of the re-enactment, that we ourselves became the ghosts, learning to walk the land as they walk it two thousand years ago."



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In the Dream House: A Memoir By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
$26.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781644450031
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

In the Dream House will set you back on your feet from the moment you open the cover. Explosively imaginative, the essays inside each use a different literary trope (Mystical Pregnancy; Star-Crossed Lovers; Meet the Parents) to explore the many facets of trauma and self, seesawing between lively irony and inevitability. Machado's relentless sieving of memory and narrative for truth manages to be deeply beautiful, playful, and sharp all at once. I can't recommend it highly enough!


Review by Christina

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In the Dream House: A Memoir By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781644450383
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - December 1st, 2020

In picking the carcass of her own experience, Carmen Maria Machado has written a new kind of memoir. Short vignettes, told through kaleidoscopic lenses, are pieced together by the reader—not that it feels anything like work. It feels more like therapy.


Review by Kitri

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How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir By Saeed Jones Cover Image
$26.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781501132735
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 8th, 2019

Saeed Jones's memoir is my favorite fall book so far. Expanded from an essay (entitled How Men Fight For Their Lives) he originally published on The Rumpus in 2012, How We Fight For Our Lives exposes intersections of racism and homophobia in moments of intensity as well as moments of quiet. Jones lets the reader know him--his vulnerability is at the forefront as he details his coming of age, his relationship with his mother, and his understanding of the world and how to survive in it. I read it in one sitting.


Review by Alyson

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salt slow By Julia Armfield Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250224781
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - October 4th, 2022

With the recent trend of short story collections exploring the darker parts of womanhood, it can be difficult to dedicate your time to one book out of all the overwhelming options. However, Armfield's descent into body horror, queer desire, and personal monstrosity stands out due to the delicious decay surrounding her prose. Perfect for fans of Daisy Johnson and Carmen Maria Machado. 


Review by Sarah C.

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The Last True Poets of the Sea By Julia Drake Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780759554993
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 15th, 2021

I wanted to hug these characters and never let go; live out my life on these salty shores, in the tiny shops; claim the metaphors as my own, never thinking of happy moments as anything other than pebbles on my own beach.  Julia Drake expertly captures the precious and painful experiences of family, friendship, and love in a net of small town lore, diverse journeys toward mental health, and some of the most beautifully poetic lines I've ever read. Simply put, The Last True Poets of the Sea made me ache for an understanding I didn’t know I needed.


Review by Katelynn

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The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics: Feminine Pursuits By Olivia Waite Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780062931795
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Avon Impulse - July 23rd, 2019

This gorgeous book is a historical, Sapphic, friends-to-lovers romance between a tenacious astronomer and a wealthy widow (who happens to be skilled in embroidery). AMAZING COVER ASIDE, this is an excellent "gateway" book for Romance: readers will enjoy how Waite draws parallels between women's experiences in the 19th century and the 21st. 

Our heroines get to work translating a new astronomical text despite rebuffs from London's Scientific Society. As their friendship flourishes and their pursuits war against societal gatekeepers, they ask each other: who determines Art? What is the difference between Scientist and Hobbyist? And best of all -- can ladies have happy endings?



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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me By Mariko Tamaki Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626722590
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: First Second - May 7th, 2019

Fred Riley has a problem: her girlfriend, Laura Dean? Terrible. A beautiful, terrible flake. Also, she keeps breaking up with Fred. But Fred loves Laura Dean because Laura Dean, impossibly, chose her. Fred struggles to balance the hurtful, manipulative things Laura Dean does with the depth of her love, knowing she's stuck in a vicious cycle but feeling powerless to break free. How can she ever stop loving Laura Dean? Valero-O'Connell's gorgeous, sherbet-colored art and Mariko Tamaki's writing, always true to the complex emotions of her characters, combine to make a beautiful queer coming of age story.


Review by Christina

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Tell Me How You Really Feel By Aminah Mae Safi Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781250251022
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Square Fish - October 13th, 2020

This YA novel is essentially Rory and Paris fanfiction, if Rory was Persian and Paris was Jewish-Mexican. Oh, and if they were lesbians with secret crushes on one another. It's everything you wanted that Netflix's last season of Gilmore Girls didn't deliver.

Rachel and Sana hate each other. When a chance blunder at school forces a collaboration in Rachel's senior film, neither girl trusts the other to get it right. And, as much as she is loathe to agree with her film adviser, Rachel knows Sana is perfectly cast as her Helen of Troy. Soon, the prim cheerleader is narrating the Greek epic and demanding other changes. With only 30 days left to meet academic deadlines, Rachel needs the film to be perfect to clinch her spot at NYU... and Sana needs a distraction as she runs down the clock on mailing her deposit to Princeton. The sweetest romance could bloom between them if they cast aside fear and their prep school personas. 



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