Staff Picks by Tag

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The Flatshare: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250295651
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - January 5th, 2021

Absolutely charming, smartly plotted, and completely believable. Tiffy and Leon meet under curious circumstances but manage to build friendship and intimacy over time by writing sticky notes and leaving them about the flat. Tiffy and Leon possess specific, unique styles of voice which make them vivid, if opposite, characters. No lazy or trope-ish story here, though the climax delivers a romantic comedy of Hollywood-esque proportions. 


Review by Danielle

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They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

This is a must read. Abdurraqib combines the experience of music and culture through such an engaging lens, it's hard to put it down. He can talk about Carly Rae Jepsen, Fall Out Boy, Bruce Springsteen, being black, being Muslim, living in contemporary America all in one breath with such ease and such a command for language. Seriously, even his Instagram captions are well-written (you should follow him). 

 


Review by Emily

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Pretend I'm Dead: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501194429
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - January 8th, 2019

This book spoke to me like it had a bullhorn. Weird and, at times, disturbing but not just for the sake of being weird and, at times, disturbing. Mona has her heart broken by Mr. Disgusting then moves to New Mexico to become a maid and...dun dun dun...looks through her clients' stuff while also cleaning out some of her own skeletons. Goodreads touts her as a combination of Mary Karr and Miranda July which I wholeheartedly agree. It feels like hearing from a friend but one of those friends you're not totally sure you like but want to hear more from, you know? Read the sequel, Vacuum in the Dark, to see what happens next!

 


Review by Emily

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Grand: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781982102210
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Gallery Books - August 11th, 2020

You have adventure, family drama, laughs! A comedian, upon her fortieth birthday, takes each of her family members on one-on-one vacations and chooses Grand Canyon whitewater rafting for her younger sister. With alternating chapters between treacherous days on the water and divulging her father's scandal that changed everything, it almost reads as fiction. She meets curious characters on her boat and faces some fears while also sharing the road to her comedy career and her struggles with religion and marriage. It tackles so much in such a digestible read!

 


Review by Emily

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The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad Cover Image
By Mike Birbiglia, J. Hope Stein (Supplement by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538701515
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 16th, 2020

I am neither a father nor about to become one but this book about a comedian fumbling his way reluctantly through fatherhood was a very enjoyable read. Fans of Birbiglia will recognize his humor and delivery as well as his poignant storytelling as he pairs his experience being a father with his wife's experience of being a mother through her poetry. Great insight into the other side of parenthood we don't see as much that will still have you laughing out loud.

 


Review by Emily

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Black Light: Stories Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780525563501
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - August 13th, 2019

The language in this is gorgeous!! In her debut collection, Parsons can write of the ugliest things we don't want to show a black light to like our secret longings, deep-seated self-loathing, or our bodies up close. Then she'll pull a: "Where I'm from, falling asleep is easy. You can hear your eyelashes swipe the pillow. There's so much nothing pouring in, you drift off listening to your choice." Or: "A girl like that can't last. A fleeting gleam. I don't know if there's a word for the ache of missing something when you still have it. I'd kiss her and taste my doom." Wow!  

 


Review by Emily

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Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476739342
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 15th, 2017

I read this for research (no, I don't want to fake my own death) but now I could totally fake my own death. If you've ever wanted to know more, or anything, about the hidden underworld of pseudocide, Playing Dead is a great place to start! Greenwood, loaded with student loan debt herself, investigates what it takes to leave everything behind for a new life.  


Review by Emily

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Assassination Vacation Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780743260039
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 1st, 2005

Did you know, whilst on a train platform before he could fall to his death, John Wilkes Booth's brother saved Abraham Lincoln's son's life? It's interesting tidbits like this that you can pull out at parties or impress your friends with that you'll find in this book. Vowell, a history nerd at heart, travels to locations around the US immortalized by bloodshed, uncovering more about the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. And with her sharp wit and wisecracking humor, it makes you feel like you're being taught a history lesson but by the cool, hip teacher.  

 


Review by Emily

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Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

I go back to this book quite often. If I could underline the whole thing, I would. Carson reimagines an ancient Greek myth into a coming-of-age story told through verse, a combination of prose and poetry that lends itself perfectly to Carson's voice. Our main character, a red winged monster, deals with who to love, his brother and mother and the magnetic boy who takes him by the hand. A haunting and beautiful page-turner that at only 160 pages will make you pick it up again after you've just put it down.  

 


Review by Emily

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How to Love a Country: Poems Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780807043073
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Beacon Press - March 24th, 2020

Blanco was the first openly gay, Latino, immigrant, as well as the youngest person to be the US inaugural poet when he read for Obama's second term. He brings this energy with him in this collection, his beautiful language depicting such heartbreak toward America's tendency for gun violence, racism, and LGBTQ oppression. Throughout, you can see him struggling with the idea of nationhood, digging his way closer to the answer of how to truly love a country.  

 


Review by Emily

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