Staff Picks by Tag

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Milk Blood Heat Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802158154
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - February 2nd, 2021

This debut collection of short stories is searing, gut-wrenching, and alive. Raw emotion bursts from each story, drawing readers into the ordinary yet slightly enchanted lives of young Floridian women making their ways in the world.


Review by Kelly

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Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century Cover Image
By Alice Wong (Editor)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781984899422
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - June 30th, 2020

This book is as diverse and intersectional as the disability community itself, with stories of joy, humor, challenges and frustrations told from a wide range of perspectives. Reading this anthology has changed the way I see and experience the world around me. I have no doubt that these pieces will deeply move and remain with you.


Review by Kelly

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Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781632172525
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Sasquatch Books - March 10th, 2020

This is one of those special books that appeared in the store with little fanfare but has become one of my most favorite craft books. I've owned this book for months and every time I open it I still find something new to love. Yes, this is an instructional, useful book that gently teaches you basic stitches and techniques for mending all kinds of clothing, but more than anything this book is a meditation on care. The illustrations, stories, and sentiments in this book are created with immense care. The Montenegro sisters make a compelling case for slowing down and taking care of ourselves and our surroundings in many ways, including (but not limited to) our clothes.


Review by Alyson

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On Fragile Waves Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781645660095
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Erewhon - February 2nd, 2021

This debut novel by E. Lily Yu is an immigration story. The Daizangi family are traveling from Pakistan for Australia. The story, for the most part, is told through the eyes of young Firuzeh, who is traveling with her younger brother Nour, and her parents. Firuzeh briefly befriends a young girl on the boat that eventually lands them on the island of Nauru, but her friend Nasima falls overboard during a rainstorm, and drowns at sea. Nasima reappears as a ghost, who keeps Firuzeh company as she makes her way in a new land. Even though there are supernatural elements (or maybe just Firuzah's vivid imagination, helping her to survive) this story of a family's struggle to survive, and fit in somewhere in the world is grounded in reality. A heartbreaking story that gives those of us living in relative comfort a peek into the struggles that are faced by so many in this world.


Review by Mark B.

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Slingshot: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250253002
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Wednesday Books - April 27th, 2021

Irreverent and rip-off-the-bandaid honest, this book is the coming-of-age story of the moment. It's uncomfortable, messy and everything a book about two teenagers falling in love for the first time should be. And it's all that while being a beautifully singular reminder of how letting people into your life can heal you, break you, but also reveal you. This book made me frustrated, swoony, nostalgic, reflective—I'll have Gracie Welles in my head for a lifetime.


Review by Claire

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Black Buck Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358380887
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - January 5th, 2021

No wonder our black salesman that breaks the fourth wall has been widely likened to Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street what with Askaripour's regimen of two hours of movie trailers and music videos before writing. A very well-balanced satire that makes you laugh and cringe at our very own world he holds a mirror to. A very hard one to put down!


Review by Emily

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We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982103033
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 16th, 2021

Easily combining the modern ways of standup comedy for Indigenous folks with the tragic history of their 'real estate problem' (as the great Charlie Hill puts it), Nesteroff does wonders in 270 odd pages. He flexes his wide knowledge of comedy and show business and is upfront in the Author's Note that he himself is not Indigenous so his goal was to highlight the voices in comedy and show business who are. And, in these short but comprehensive essays/chapters, I think he succeeds.


Review by Emily

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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984856029
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House - January 12th, 2021

Tolstoy + Chekhov + Gogol + Turgenev + Saunders = a crash course in good writing! My favorite chapter was on "The Nose" by Nikolai Gogol for the pure absurdity of the story and the great clarity Saunders brought to understanding it.


Review by Emily

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Second First Impressions: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062912855
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 13th, 2021

Aptly named, I finished this book, put it down, then picked it back up again and reread it because I wanted a second first impression. Impossible of course because you can only read something for the first time once, but my second read somehow just made me love these characters even more. Thorne's dialogue is just as sharp as it always is and while Teddy and Ruthie are without a doubt the most instantly-loveable duo, it's the cast of secondary characters in this one that really make this book an utter delight.


Review by Claire

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Crying in H Mart: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525657743
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Knopf - April 20th, 2021

Like author Michelle Zauner, I also lost a parent in 2014. While reading Crying in the H Mart I was vividly transported back to that time through Zauner's careful writing, reliving the same pain and grief, but also feeling the powerful love of family that emerges from such difficult times. This is a beautiful, emotional memoir that captures the heartbreak of losing a parent perfectly.


Review by Kalani

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