Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons By John Paul Brammer Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982141516
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 7th, 2022

J.P. Brammer writes from a very specific background as a gay Mexican-American man raised in rural Oklahoma, but these are identities you don't need to personally claim in order to both love and benefit from this book. His writing style makes you forget you are reading and instead feel as if you're having a conversation with someone who is deeply invested in helping you seize the best from life. And he's hilarious, so that's a plus.


Review by Marii

Staff Pick Badge
Woolgathering By Patti Smith Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811231251
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Directions - October 26th, 2021

In less than 100 pages, Smith continues her exploration of her childhood, grief, Rimbaud, art, and love seen in her other books, now partially through the lens of late 2020. It's lyrical and beautiful, as Smith's words always are. And it fits in your pocket!


Review by Sofia B.

Staff Pick Badge
Who Is Wellness For?: An Examination of Wellness Culture and Who It Leaves Behind By Fariha Roisin Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063077089
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Wave - June 14th, 2022

This book will make you re-examine the wellness culture we see today while also helping you rethink how you care for yourself and others. Smart and eye opening.


Review by Rosa

Staff Pick Badge
Pretty Baby: A Memoir By Chris Belcher Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982175825
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - July 12th, 2022

As "LA's Renowned Lesbian Dominatrix", Chris Belcher could pay off her student loans while working towards her doctorate, and keep from slipping into the cycle of poverty she had escaped from once she left West Virginia. She was also able to examine gender dynamics behind the dungeon door, and the way masculinity presents itself when she has her boot pushing into someone's back. Complicated questions of sexuality, queerness, identity, and power arise with every essay in this memoir, as well as the way society harms those that deviate from the norm. 


Review by Sarah C.

Staff Pick Badge
The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir By Ingrid Rojas Contreras Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385546669
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Doubleday - July 12th, 2022

In this memoir, Ingrid Rojas Contreras examines the violence that has impacted her family since the Spanish invasion of pre-colonial Colombia, and the perseverance of her indigenous heritage in the magical practices that have been carried through the (male) generations. Meditations on memory, trauma, beliefs, and history are both lyrical and thought-provoking, especially when Rojas Contreras laser focuses on her relationship with her mercurial mother and their mirror-image experiences with amnesia and supernatural experiences. 

 


Review by Sarah C.

Staff Pick Badge
We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life By Laura McKowen Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781608687862
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New World Library - January 25th, 2022

The latest book in my "quit lit" have-reads, McKowen's memoir gives us an up-close view of her dark experiences under addiction. She then showcases the joys and hardships of sobriety, which those of us who suffered with alcoholism (or any other addiction), can attest to. A raw and emotional, yet beautiful, memoir, We Are the Luckiest is sure to impact you!

 


Review by Zack

Staff Pick Badge
Riverman: An American Odyssey By Ben McGrath Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780451494009
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Knopf - April 5th, 2022

I LOVED this story of Dick Conant, who spent the last years of his life living at the river’s edge making epic journeys via canoe. Ben McGrath is a writer for The New Yorker who met Conant once, and after his disappearance, read his idiosyncratic journals to meet the people Conant knew in order to understand the mythic presence Conant created around himself. Moving.


Review by Laura

Staff Pick Badge
The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir By E. J. Koh Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781951142278
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tin House Books - January 19th, 2021

As children, it is so difficult to understand the decisions our parents make, or how they love us. Koh’s rediscovery and subsequent translation of her mother’s letters is the rediscovery of a mother’s love. The interspersed memories provide a hard-hitting perspective, but it is balanced by such lyrical delivery. 


Review by Madison

Staff Pick Badge
What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma By Stephanie Foo Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593238103
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ballantine Books - February 22nd, 2022

In this breathtaking memoir, Foo uses her skill as a journalist to put her most painful memories under the microscope. She lives with complex PTSD, a condition that occurs when a traumatic incident happens not just once, but repeatedly over years. The first quarter of the book is the hardest to read, for this is where she poignantly relays the abuses her parents committed, but careful readers will be rewarded by one of the most honest and intimate narratives about healing that I have ever read. What My Bones Know fills an essential gap in the genre of trauma literature by portraying the challenges of navigating mental illness, seeking therapy solutions, and confronting family secrets that are unique to the female, Asian-American experience. You will put this book down feeling armed with hope.


Review by Jess

Nina Simone's Gum By Warren Ellis Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780571365623
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Faber & Faber - October 19th, 2021

Is this book about Nina Simone's gum? Of course it is, and the story behind that piece of music history is worth reading alone. But it's also about the multi-instrumentalist and beautiful weirdo Warren Ellis and the magic in his collected talismans over the years as a member of the Bad Seeds and Dirty Three.


Review by Sarah C.

Pages