Staff Picks by Tag

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Pizza Girl: A Novel By Jean Kyoung Frazier Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781984899002
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - May 4th, 2021

Pizza Girl, a pregnant pizza-delivering eighteen year old, is nonchalantly trying to blow up her life despite the support from her golden retriever boyfriend and her Korean mother living the American Dream (through her). With the ghost of her alcoholic father haunting her off her own cliff, she grabs on to the last branch of safety: a crush on a middle-aged housewife. Ugly & uncomfortable, unwinding & gripping, set against the backdrop of the lazy, hazy suburbs of Los Angeles. Takeaways: tender but sharp writing for a debut and, screw pineapples on pizza, let's talk about pickles on pizza.

 


Review by Emily

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All This Could Be Different: A Novel By Sarah Thankam Mathews Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593489123
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Viking - August 2nd, 2022

One of the best novels I read this year. A beautiful story about trauma, family expectations, love and found family. Story unfolds in a way where every character feels real. Makes you want to call your friends, grab a drink and catch up. Loved Loved Loved!!!


Review by Rosa

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Crumbs By Danie Stirling Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780358467816
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Clarion Books - July 19th, 2022

Even with a character who can see the future, love is unpredictable. In this coming of age story, Ray and Laurie are forced to face their flaws, their desires, and each other.


Review by Madison

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Honey and Spice: A Novel By Bolu Babalola Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063141483
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: William Morrow - July 5th, 2022

Let me be honest: I am not a romance reader. I find it difficult to read when my eyes are rolling across the floor at some of the dialogue or character descriptions. I am, however, a MASSIVE fan of rom coms (embrace your contradictions!), and this book delivers. Two characters with chemistry and emotional barricades that need to be torn down during a fake relationship on an English university campus, genuine and beautiful female friendships, and enough song references to build a reading soundtrack? Honey and Spice deserves a handful of popcorn with every turn of the page. 


Review by Sarah C.

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The Queen in the Cave By Júlia Sardà, Júlia Sardà (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Júlia Sardà, Júlia Sardà (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781536220544
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Candlewick Studio - May 24th, 2022

This is about growing up, and finding new versions of yourself, and the people who bear witness to your metamorphosis. If you have sisters, I’m begging you to read it. Also, I mean – look at the cover.


Review by Allie

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Vinyl Moon By Mahogany L. Browne Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593176436
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 11th, 2022

From Cali to Brooklyn, Angel has her new classmates, her Uncle Spence, and her music playlists to help heal her broken arm and her spirit from her troubled past. We also see her make a home within the words of Toni Morrison, Tayari Jones, and James Baldwin, discovering Black authors through the guidance of her teachers. Browne's novel shines as a beautiful balance between the light and dark sides of being a teenager. 


Review by Emily

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All My Rage: A Novel By Sabaa Tahir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780593202340
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Razorbill - March 1st, 2022

This beautifully crafted, inter-generational story follows two childhood friends during their final year of high school in a small Mojave desert town. I was instantly drawn into the lives of Salahudin and Noor as they navigate grief, the unpredictability of their parental figures, racism, isolating secrets and fears. Told in alternating perspectives, you cannot help but rage against all the obstacles they face. Sabaa Tahir tells their story so eloquently, you will not be able to put it down and it will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page.


Review by Rene

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All Day Is A Long Time By David Sanchez Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780358572015
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper - January 18th, 2022

An unfiltered account of addiction that does not glamorize the disease of addiction. Some of the best writing I've read in a long time. 


Review by Rosa

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Fight Night By Miriam Toews Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781635578171
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - October 5th, 2021

To the chagrin of plenty, when people ask me about Miriam Toews (and when they don't), I often say her name in the same breath as "greatest novelist writing in English today" and "the best writer on grief and loss living on this continent," superlatives that surely test my credibility and raise eyebrows, but I stand by them. So help me. It's easy for me to articulate what makes Toews so compelling: her acidic humor, her total inability to play by the rules, always one eye on the specter of death. Rivaling some of Toews's best novels (All My Puny Sorrows, Women Talking, A Complicated Kindness, to name a few), FIGHT NIGHT is the most invigorating work of art in Toews's oeuvre thus far. Come for Toews's unparalleled knack for writing sour grandmothers; stay for Swiv, the precocious child narrator who says things like this: "I don't know why saying bowel movement and stool is better than vag and piehole. It doesn't matter what words you use in life, it's not gonna prevent you from suffering."

 


Review by Spencer R.

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The Bachelor: A Novel By Andrew Palmer Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593230893
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - July 20th, 2021

"That is our 'pointed task. Love & die." So says John Berryman, the pre-eminent lovedrunk poet and the central obsession of Andrew Palmer's debut novel, The Bachelor, a book that is, yes, partially about romantic love in the age of reality television. But what if you're not a fame-starved Instagram model, and instead a brooding but friendly millennial type, recently void of artistic ambition? Palmer's brilliant work is full of insight and romantic mistakes, like reading the best of Andrew Martin, Ben Lerner, or Elif Batuman. Palmer extracts the language of love for what it is—its hollowness! its empty repetition! ("I've never felt this way before." "I think I'm falling for you.") It's a difficult thing to watch, as it starts to indict us all.


Review by Spencer R.

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