Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Logo
Miss Jane Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393354386
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 11th, 2017

An exquisite character study -- based on the life of the author's great aunt. -- Miss Jane tells the story of Jane Chisolm, born to dour parents in the early 20th century Mississippi. Jane is born with a defect, which make having children out of the question, and creates a sort of solitary existence for her, as she makes her place in the world. These are tough times, and there isn't much sympathy to be found on the farm, but the doctor, who delivers her, becomes her mentor, passing her books and the wisdom of his experience. Jane blossoms, despite her physical difference, and becomes a shining example of a loving and compassionate human being. One of my favorite books of 2016.


Review by Mark B.

Staff Pick Logo
Rabbit Cake Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040560
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tin House Books - March 7th, 2017

10 year-old Elvis, her older sister, Lizzie, and Dad flounder following the drowning of "Mom." Boomer, the beloved family dog, Ernie, the adopted parrot, Lizzie's risky sleepwalking and Elvis's zoo volunteering add both levity and heaviness to this grieving family. Mom baked rabbit cakes to celebrate just about everything, and Lizzie manically proceeds to bake 1,000 rabbit cakes to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Crammed with heart-wrenching and hilarious scenes, this upended family copes with love AND many delicious rabbit cakes!


Review by Jane

Staff Pick Logo
Conversations with Friends Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780451499059
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth Press - July 11th, 2017

Sally Rooney reminds me of a millennial Neil Labute; she packs her novel with characters who are all driven by instinct and seem utterly powerless to their base emotional compulsions, often relishing the surrender with nominal regard for consequences. Objects of affection become objects of derision in a story told with a lacerating wit and jarringly raw honesty that make it breathlessly compelling.


Review by Wesley

Staff Pick Logo
Goodbye, Vitamin Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781250109163
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Henry Holt & Company - July 11th, 2017

Easily my favorite book of 2017, Goodbye, Vitamin is full of jaunty wit that never feels twee and packs its fair share of emotional punches that startle the reader but never leave a bruise. 


Review by Wesley

Staff Pick Logo
What We Lose Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780735221710
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Viking - July 11th, 2017

"My theory is that loneliness creates the feeling of haunting."

This passage from Clemmon's' debut novel perfectly conveys the book's ghostly effect. Written with a sparseness that disguies its depth, What We Lose tackles the heady themes of belonging and familial legacies with a power and style that engages, provokes and moves the reader.


Review by Wesley

Staff Pick Logo
The Invaders Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781682450871
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Regan Arts - May 16th, 2017

Waclawiak's second novel is a scathing send-up of the pharmaceutically drowsy morals and manners of the upper crust and their offspring's politicall correct rebellion that never leaves the safety of the golf community gates.

Too funny to consider it a polemic but cutting too close to the bone of contemporary America to feel like a spoof, it is a timely and tightly-drawn yarn.


Review by Wesley

Staff Pick Logo
The Roanoke Girls Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781101906668
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - March 7th, 2017

I once witnessed a truck hit a deer on the highway. I was compelled to watch, equal parts horrified and riveted, as the deer flew into the air, and its neck snapped. I had similar feelings about this book. Enjoy.


Review by Lizzie

Staff Pick Logo
Time's a Thief Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385541862
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Doubleday Books - May 2nd, 2017

Capturing New York during its Giuliani inflection point, beautifully juxtaposing the atmosphere and protagonist to illuminate the character's evolution out of adolescence. The book's clarity, humor and energy are all so distinctly of that time and perfectly rendered that its effect for any reader who lived in New York City as it teetered at the precipice of becoming a capitalist amusement park will be left viscerally shaken.


Review by Wesley

Staff Pick Logo
So Much Blue Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977825
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - June 13th, 2017

What makes a masterpiece? In a career as prolific, eclectic and adventurous as Percival Everett's, his body of work the very definition of singularity, it may even be foolish to hint one book is superior to another. And while it might be brazen to assert So Much Blue may be that magnum opus, it is an accusation i gleefully declare. A blissfully precise pen firmly draws the reader into the life of Kevin Pace in his quest for absolution and closure and the novel's three timelines kept deftly aloft by Everett's signature humor and nuanced storytelling.


Review by Wesley

Staff Pick Logo
Marlena Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781627797641
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Henry Holt & Company - April 4th, 2017

This is the novel I wanted The Girls to be. What Buntin's novel lacks in flair and fanaticism it makes up for in its shrewd and sympathetic examination of the arrogance and exaggerated angst that makes adolescence such an electrifying study.


Review by Wesley

Pages