Staff Picks by Tag

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Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel By Kawai Strong Washburn Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250787316
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - March 2nd, 2021

The Hawaiian motto of “Ohana Over Everything” sums up this beautiful debut novel by Kawai Strong Washburn. This is a family that swims off the page into real life. As the son of Native Hawaiians from the Big Island myself, I often felt like the children of this novel. I understood Dean’s rebellion, I felt Kaui’s search for purpose, and I rooted wholeheartedly for Nanoa’s ambitious spirit to save the family. This is the Hawaiian novel I’ve long waited for.


Review by Kalani

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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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Run Me to Earth By Paul Yoon Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501154058
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books - January 19th, 2021

Primarily taking place during the forgotten Laotian Civil War, a war that is known as “America’s secret war of the 1960s,” Run Me to Earth follows three orphan teenagers just trying to survive among the wreckage around them. Paul Yoon has written the perfect follow up to the gorgeous collection of stories in The Mountain, that also follows the lives of innocent civilians who are left to pick up the pieces after destruction and war. We see the three teenagers grow up and separate but they remain forever tied though their tragic memories of childhood. Yoon has proven to be masterful at creating quietly compelling characters with real human stories that stay with you once you close the book. This is a timeless work by a writer at the top of his craft. 


Review by Kalani

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Deep River By Karl Marlantes Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802148971
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - July 14th, 2020

Amazing characters and regional history. One of my top 10 books of the year.


Review by Robert

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Hollow Kingdom By Kira Jane Buxton Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781538745830
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grand Central Publishing - July 7th, 2020

Is it absurd to use a domesticated crow and his blood hound sidekick to tell the story of a zombie apocalypse? Or just absurd that no one has ever thought to create such a hilariously profane avian hero, in the midst of an identity crisis and spurred on by a love for Cheetos? Either way, "Hollow Kingdom" is a glorious Seattle receptacle where the movie “Zombieland” and the book “The Truth About Animals” are tossed together with the anthropomorphized voices of the urban animal kingdom. Now, my only hope is that this clever cast of characters will rescue my cat when I succumb to the pull of my phone and the audiobook read in the many voices of Robert Petkoff.


Review by Katelynn

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Juliet the Maniac: A Novel By Juliet Escoria Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781685891275
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Melville House - April 9th, 2024

Who is Juliet? She's any of us who ever felt like they were losing their minds. She's the friend you have that's beautiful and brilliant but can scare you sometimes. She's honest, she's real. She's you and she's me. For those who suffer from mental illness, this book will make you feel less alone. Read this book!


Review by Rosa

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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525562047
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

Writing a review for this book is gonna be hard but I'm going to try. This may be the I best book I've read this year. So many raw and stunning sentences just waiting for you to fall in love with.  Told through letters from a son to a mother, I underlined the hell out of my copy. It broke my heart but it also put it back together. Read this and join the Ocean Vuong fan club with me. 


Review by Rosa

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Tears of the Trufflepig: A Novel By Fernando A. Flores Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374538330
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - May 14th, 2019

If Haruki Murikami had been born in Mexico and raised in southern Texas, this is the book he would have written. It's futuristic and hallucinogenic look at that region gives us a unique and welcome lens to view the border. 


Review by Robert

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Normal People: A Novel By Sally Rooney Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984822185
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Crown - February 18th, 2020

I first discovered Sally Rooney after reading her first book, Conversations With Friends, which I loved! So, of course, I rushed to read her second book, Normal People. On the surface, this sounds like another popular boy befriends awkward girl but this novel unfolds beautifully as you read. With a strong political undertone and exploration of social and economic status, Sally Rooney brings to light many issues worth discussing. But at the heart of the novel, Normal People is an exploration of those friendships we form when we're young that shape us and often times sets the tone of who and what we gravitate towards later in life. Nostalgia will loom over you while you read Normal People.


Review by Rosa

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Afterword by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Afterword by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143039976
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Classics - October 31st, 2006

This beautifully strange novel leaves quite a distinct and lingering impression. In this tale of mystery and isolation we are met by two sisters cut off from the world. They live alone, happily and ferally in their dilapidated family home in an almost mundanely mystical lifestyle à la Grey Gardens. Delivering an effortless sense of unease, this captivating and understated story will leave you in a satisfying state of unknowingness.



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