Staff Picks by Tag

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Breasts and Eggs Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
ISBN: 9781609456702
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Europa Editions - March 23rd, 2021

Beginning with a hot summer trip in the middle of the city, Natsu hosts her sister and young niece, the latter who refuses to talk but spills her heart out about the fears of puberty onto the pages of her journal. Ten years later and in another sweltering summer, Natsu begins a rocky path towards motherhood as her fears of growing older and lonelier mirror that of her niece's past. Her journey reveals the complications that stand in the way of a single woman desiring a life that does not depend on the conventional company of men, especially in a world so ready to dispose of women at a certain age. 

Review by Sarah C.

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His & Hers: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250266095
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - March 30th, 2021

There is a complex web surrounding the characters in "His & Hers" stretching back twenty years to the night five sixteen year-old girls went into the woods together and two of them came out changed forever.  Now the sticky strings of the we have reached out and ensnared the grown women those girls have become.  Ringleader Rachel Hopkins has been killed in the very same woods and on the scene is BBC presenter Anna Andrews, one of the five original friends, as well as DCI Jack Harper who also has reasons to want Rachel dead.  Told in alternating chapters, "His & Hers" will keep you guessing until the very end.

Review by Deborah

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Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450147
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2020

A wonderful collection of poems, and an intimate look into being indigenous in a nation that violently stifles her family's identity as well as their bodies. Despite grief and bitterness, she weaves in threads of joy and hope. Her poems about her brother best encapsulate this feeling.
Natalie Diaz is a Mojave woman enrolled in the Gila River Indian Tribe. Check out her first collection of poems, When My Brother Was An Aztec, if (like me) you can't get enough!

Review by Jessie

We Are the Wildcats Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534439917
Availability: Coming soon - available for pre-order now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 13th, 2021

Control. College. Coach.

Three words define playing for the Wildcats, West Essex high school's celebrated varsity field hockey team. Over the next 48 hours, this group of newly-minted varsity girls will learn the limits of their friendship, perseverance, and dedication to a game that appears simply competitive. 

The story seems pretty at first: a group of girls bonding as a varsity squad the night before their first scrimmage. Yet, like all that's compelling in life, the truth reveals itself when you look close and dig deep. We are the Wildcats is a tightly wound narrative that ratchets higher and higher until the inevitable break.


Review by Danielle

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Seven Lies: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984879714
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - June 16th, 2020

A first-rate psychological thriller whose slow-burn comes not from the “thriller” portion of its genre definition, but the “psychological,” Elizabeth Kay’s debut is a soul searching look at women’s friendship.  Jane and Marnie have been best friends since they were eleven years old, through school and jobs, broken families, men and marriage, and so, so much death.  Who couldn’t forgive Jane for doing everything in her power to keep her best friend close?  Who wouldn’t find themselves asking what lengths they would go to for such a friendship?

Review by Deborah

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A Master of Djinn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250267689
Availability: Coming soon - available for pre-order now
Published: Tordotcom - May 11th, 2021

Thank you, P. Djeli Clark, for writing this Victorian Egyptian steampunk novel just for me!  "A Master of Djinn" melds the mysterious adventures of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody archaeological mysteries with the snarky steampunk vibe of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.  Along with a dash of the inclusive romance that I've been devouring lately and a cast of multicultural characters, the result is the most entertaining book I've read this year from the most original voice I could hope to find.

Review by Deborah

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The Accidental Apprentice (Wilderlore #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534477568
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - March 30th, 2021

Adventure is the last thing Barclay wants, and he's sure he won't find any apprenticed to a mushroom farmer. An accidental trip to the woods flings him into a hidden world of magic, Beasts, Beast collectors, and all the adventure he thought he didn't want.

Barclay's world is quirky and weird, and I'm so jealous I can't wander into the woods, bond with a Beast, and gain magical powers, too! Perfect for fans of Pokemon, How To Train Your Dragon, and Harry Potter!

Review by Sarah B

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Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250252685
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - July 14th, 2020

Blacktop Wasteland bolts out of the gate with a first chapter that is propulsive and unrelenting. Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a getaway driver, who has been trying to get out of the life, but overwhelming debts pull him back in. Cosby has raced to the top of the list of thriller writers to watch with this novel. Besides being a top notch crime novel, Blacktop Wasteland also weaves in issues of race and poverty without feeling preachy. You could wait for the paperback, but I wouldn't advise it.

Review by Mark B.

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We Do This 'til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice Cover Image
By Mariame Kaba, Tamara K. Nopper (Editor), Naomi Murakawa (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781642595253
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Haymarket Books - February 23rd, 2021

Abolitionist and activist Mariame Kaba has curated accessible essays about transformative justice and prison abolition. From R. Kelly to killer cops, Kaba explains the principles behind her work and how difficult it can be to break away from the punishment = justice mindset instilled within us. Every essay pushes for difficult conversations to have with yourself, but Kaba is there to remind you that "hope is a discipline", and that the beauty of abolition is held within the possibilities of a future that does not require the harmful relic of the prison industrial complex. 


Review by Sarah C.

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Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250224354
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Celadon Books - March 9th, 2021

There has been a push in the world of true crime to shift focus from the perpetrator and their crimes, to the victims and their stories, and this book is no exception. The descriptions of the crimes, facilitated by the harmful indifference of law enforcement, are grisly but brief, opting more for an exploration of a buoyant queer community in 1980's New York as it faced waves of renewed discrimination in the wake of the AIDs epidemic.  My heart broke for these victims, and I smirked with recognition listening to each of their stories. I left this book feeling enriched and educated by the trials and resilience of my forebears, as well as a  renewed desire to keep their stories alive.

Review by Dean