Lake Forest Park

Latest Staff Picks

Each story here feels like it is dressed in a color that doesn't exist in nature. They feel familiar, somehow, but with an effect of feeling slightly left of center, rattling your expectations.

As the stories progress, they feel increasingly tighter with a strengthening emotional punch that will leave the reader breathless.

Picked by Wesley

This novel opens with Sibitri in Bengal, India, writing to the American granddaughter she doesn't know, Tara. Asked by Bela, her daughter, to convince Tara to stay in school, Sibitri reminisces about her family history, wrought by life's silences and omissions. Written in exquisite prose, this complicated family saga brings a full circle effect to its unfortunate characters, three strong women, bringing understanding to the enigmas of the past.

Picked by Jane

This illustrated memoir tells the story of a family that is forced to flee their home country in the midst of the Vietnam War. Debut author Thi Bui intimately shares her unique point-of-view as a 2nd-generation Vietnamese-American in simple but beautiful illustrations. This is simply a must-read to better understand the perspective of refugees and the many obstacles they face.

Picked by Kalani

Harsh but funny and, ultimately, strangely moving, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is an unputdownable underdog's journey.

Helen might be schizophrenic; she may just be a little fed up and batty from years of being frustratingly dismissed by everyone she encounters. Though it's probably the former, the book never feels exploitative, as Cottrell's ability to keep the pitch-black humor tempered with compassion is wildly impressive.

 

Picked by Wesley

With bold vision and glittering prose Carter brings us her own reteling of classic fables such as Bluebeard and Little Red Ridinghood. Simply captivating! With roaring sensuality we are carted straight to the dark mythic heart of these tales, made all the more beautiful by Carter's care and craft. It's not wonder she has gone on to inspire such authors as Emma Donaghue and Sara Waters (go check them out as well!). Put on your warmest cloak, find a quiet wood, and enjoy.

Picked by Dean

Although Chamber's second book is set in the same universe as her first, it is far from a sequel. She switches perspectives between an AI trying to hide her identity among organics, and a young clone-girl born to slave away in a scrapped-tech factory. She covers issues of body dysphoria and perseverance in the worst situations, as well as what it means for each of us to live our lives on our own terms. I loved it even more than her first book!

Picked by Ashley

Greenwell's first novel is rhapsodic - a sophisticated tale that peers into the contiguous relationship between our desires and our loneliness. Like James Baldwin or the best of Edmund White, the novel's tone is astoundingly elegant, its urbanity and quietude brought sharply into focus when considering how gratuitous the narrative could seem in the hands of a less refined writer. 

Picked by Wesley

Will Eisner's expressively drawn collection, combining kitchen-sink melodrama with fairytale elements, introduced "graphic novels" to the world and inaugerated the modern era of comics as art. This beautiful new edition is the perfect way to experience them.

Picked by Stephen

First of all, the art alone is beautiful - Ferris turns the interior of a notebook into a lush bic-pen-crosshatched explosion of emotional expressive art. The narrator/artist is Karen, a ten year-old wolf girl. She's Harriet the Spy meets Anne Frank mashed with Maurice Sendack. She weaves a complicated story of family secrets, wartime tragedies, burgeoning sexuality, the social unrest of the 60's and the difficultly of growing up weird through the eyes of a character who doesn't understand it all.

Picked by Courtney