Staff Picks by Tag

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Red at the Bone: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525535287
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - September 1st, 2020

Told in sparse paragraphs but with full language, like only the best bits you underline in a book. Woodson weaves together the many stories of a multi-generational black family as, across time, everyone navigates their own relationship with identity, gentrification, parenthood, class, and that red-to-the-bone feeling that comes with love.


Review by Emily

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Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062248572
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco - July 28th, 2020

Trethewey comes at writing a memoir like the poet that she is. Her words will break your heart almost as much as her story does, told from a daughter's perspective of her mother suffering through domestic violence. She really shows the thin line between love and hate, passion and anger, especially in the bone-chilling recorded phone calls between her mother and ex-husband. Through her efforts to learn more about the woman she lost when she was 19, Trethewey will take your breath away.


Review by Emily

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Tokyo Ueno Station: A Novel Cover Image
By Yu Miri
$25.00
ISBN: 9780593088029
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - June 23rd, 2020

I picked up this slender but powerful book on the last day of the year and read into the night, into the new year. Days later, I find it unfurling like a banner in my mind as 2021 lurches forward. The story of Kazu, a deceased laborer whose ghost haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations, is as much social commentary as it is character study with its examination of poverty, homelessness, grief, and regret. Miri deftly weaves events of Kazu's life that led to his homelessness with Japanese history with conversations from station passengers who float into view and then bob away, unaware, on their own streams. Miri's writing feels almost painterly at times: repetition feels like brushwork, vivid colors flash behind the lids, texture shapes the geography of loss. A beautiful ache of a book. 


Review by Em

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Greenwood: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984822000
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - February 25th, 2020

This book is quietly nuanced in its message and slow to unfold, but never boring. It's a mystery grown from a family drama, which builds on a dust bowl history lesson, all surrounding the Lorax's stump--with drops of irrepressible hope leaking between each regretful and foreboding ring. Christie skillfully draws eerie parallels between generations and environmental catastrophes, but what's even more impressive is how he will simultaneously warm your heart and make it ache with each of the 4 points of view. 


Review by Katelynn

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Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802156983
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - November 5th, 2019

This novel is both the stories of twelve women and a sweeping history of the Black British experience. With poetic prose, dazzling characters, and intricate details, it is impossible not to get lost in Evaristo's work.


Review by Kelly

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To Keep the Sun Alive Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781948226769
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Catapult - January 21st, 2020

It is 1979, and the Islamic Revolution is at the doorstep of one family's fruit orchard in Northeastern Iran. The simplicity of family life becomes more difficult to maintain as each character's path becomes more complex by the risk of losing love, duty, traditions, and their safety. Not necessarily a light read, but a rich, lyrical story. 

 


Review by Kelly

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The Book of Lost Saints Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250185815
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Imprint - November 5th, 2019

I could not put this book down. Marisol's spirit visits her nephew Ramon in modern-day New Jersey and prompts him to unearth painful family history and discover what happened to her after she disappeared during the Cuban Revolution. This story is many things - funny, heart-warming, captivating - and it is one of the few books that can make me laugh and cry while reading the same page.


Review by Kelly

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The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525541608
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - August 4th, 2020

In the wake of beloved outcast Vivek's death, their friends and family, as well as those only tenuously connected to their life, spill forth details both intimate and insignificant to build a complete character taken from the world before they could truly bloom. Emezi's talents shine brightest when they delicately  dance around genres, from crime noir to multigenerational tale to supernatural, and some of the most heart-squeezing moments occur when Vivek speaks briefly from beyond the grave, letting their voice be heard above the din.


Review by Sarah C.

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Sisters: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593188958
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - August 25th, 2020

I always come back to one word when it comes to Daisy Johnson's writing: feral. It's coated in muck and nettles, and moves like wounded animal still hungry for a hunt - desperate and disjointed as it builds up momentum until the frenetic moment when the words bite down with bloody fangs and send everything reeling. I texted my friend immediately after closing Johnson's newest sibling psychological horror with a single excited phrase - Sisters just punched me in the gut.


Review by Sarah C.

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Tigers, Not Daughters Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781616208967
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - March 24th, 2020

What's most striking about this story is how much you care. From the first page, I was entranced and had no real interest in doing anything else with my life until I got to the last page. The story follows three sisters who are being haunted by their late sister's ghost. And yet, it's also not really about that at all. It's about grief, sisterhood, survival and taking back power. Not to mention that the writing is such that it constantly leaves you in an aftermath of wonder. I'm positive I'll be thinking of the Torres sisters for years to come.


Review by Claire

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