Staff Picks by Tag

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Biography of X: A Novel By Catherine Lacey Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250321688
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - March 19th, 2024

Hey, Catherine Lacey completist here. This one here? If I quit my job now, I'd end on a high note having read BIOGRAPHY OF X. Catherine Lacey's most remarkable book yet. The book I didn't know I always wanted to read from her—if you think the premise is engrossing, there's more. It's journalism; its an alternate history of art and literary culture; it's Lacey at her sharpest and wisest. I wish I could read it again for the first time. I can't. But you can.


Review by Spencer R.

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Small Worlds By Caleb Azumah Nelson Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802161963
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - July 18th, 2023

A tender tribute to love, grief, Blackness, family, dancing, cooking, hip hop, jazz, and home! Nelson builds crescendos of self contemplation amidst moments of forced reckonings that embody the uncertainty and wonder of growing up, falling in love, starting anew, being lost, losing people, knowing home, and upending one's soul. It's not until the last few pages that my heart fully wraps around the words I've been given and from there I sit in awe of the small world into which I was invited. 
 
 


Review by Sofia

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Ripe: A Novel By Sarah Rose Etter Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781668011638
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - July 11th, 2023

The absurd idea of continuing to commute to work and pay bills and host dinner parties while the world is falling apart and people are suffering is made into book form with Ripe. Even the comedic beats are as black as the void that has followed Cassie since her birth, growing bigger and more enticing as an escape during her hellish complicity in tech-gentrified San Francisco. 


Review by Sarah C.

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Ghost Music By An Yu Cover Image
By An Yu
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802161253
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - November 14th, 2023

Ghost Music by An Yu is a wistful and thought-provoking book. Song Yan is living an unremarkable, simple life in Beijing as a piano teacher with her husband and mother-in-law, when boxes of mushrooms are suddenly being sent to their apartment every week from an unknown sender. The truths she discovers as a result  sets her routine and everything she knows to be reality ablaze. This book urges us to reflect on who we are outside of our family, relationships, and career…outside of ourselves and our routines. I also love the jacket cover art–it’s quite whimsical!


Review by Lauren

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The Guest Lecture By Martin Riker Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802160416
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - January 24th, 2023

What a magnificent novel. The Guest Lecture is succinct in its execution, wise and generous in its intellectual offerings, creative and a little experimental but never belligerent. If you're ever to summon an English economist into the rooms of your conscience, let it be John Maynard Keynes, and may your guide be as good as Abby, Martin Riker's heroic/anxious protagonist. High entertainment and a hell of a lot of fun. I'm going to read it again before too long.

 


Review by Spencer R.

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Liberation Day: Stories By George Saunders Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525509615
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 10th, 2023

I've read everything this guy has ever published, and after 25 years since his first (and best) collection, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, he's still coaxing the dark out of us and showing that people are neither bad nor good: they're both. This collection contains classic George Saunders—the story "Ghoul" is set in a hell-themed amusement park—as well as new, subversive modes of storytelling. If you haven't read him, literally anywhere, right now, is a great place to start.


Review by Spencer R.

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I Will Greet the Sun Again: A Novel By Khashayar J. Khabushani Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593243305
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - August 1st, 2023

I am absolutely awestruck by the beauty of this debut. It is a tale of sexual and cultural awakening that unfolds in slow time with a beauty and easy lilt that instill a sense of great peace in the reader.
 
Balancing the character's vulnerabilities with a fortitude of self and profound familial affections, Khabushani paints a compassionate portrait of youth with an immediacy and generosity that make this book universal.


Review by Wes

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No Longer Human By Osamu Dazai, Donald Keene (Translated by) Cover Image
By Osamu Dazai, Donald Keene (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811204811
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Directions - January 17th, 1973

Some call Osamu Dazai the Japanese Thomas Bernhard—a masterful writer of estranged narrators, the relentlessly dour, and timeless cruelties. Originally published in 1948, and translated into English by Donald Keene in 1958, this extraordinary book recently found new life on TikTok, where it's introduced thousands of young readers to literature in translation.

 


Review by Spencer R.

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Early Work: A Novel By Andrew Martin Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250215017
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - July 9th, 2019

A novel I return to when I can't read anything else. This unabashedly funny debut chronicles the post-academic life of writer Peter Cunningham. Martin’s characters are all sharp and easy to love, despite their errors. They drink too much, lay out their ambitions, overanalyze, pursue destructive relationships, and mine the dreadful ends of experience for something to poke and laugh about. There's even a love triangle. A brilliant book that names the unnameable gloom of being unsure and writing in the 21st century.


Review by Spencer R.

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One's Company: A Novel By Ashley Hutson Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393866643
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 14th, 2022

Always kooky but never clownish, One's Company is the most impossible of things: a zany novel about trauma.


Review by Wes

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