Staff Picks by Tag

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The Manningtree Witches Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781646220649
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Catapult - August 10th, 2021

Drawing influences from Silvia Federici and historical accounts from 17th century England, A.K. Blakemore's debut is as stunning in its language as it is terrifying in its subject matter. And while the persecution of strange women is by no means new territory, the internal battle between Rebecca and her youthful desires, as well as her relationship to the accused women around her, make this less a story about the Witchhunter General and more about the women who were sent to the gallows because they dared to live and survive beyond the edges of a patriarchal and puritanical society. 

 


Review by Sarah C.

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To Keep the Sun Alive: A Novel 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. 

 



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The Book of Lost Saints: A Cuban American Family Saga of Love, Betrayal, and Revolution 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.



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Deep River Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780802125385
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - July 2nd, 2019

Amazing characters and regional history. One of my top 10 books of the year.


Review by Robert

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The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780345804341
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - June 30th, 2020

Whitehead lined up the plot of this novel as meticulously as dominos and then with a flick tore everything down in moments.

I sobbed at the end. Read it read it read it.


Review by Allie

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The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics: Feminine Pursuits Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780062931795
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Avon Impulse - July 23rd, 2019

This gorgeous book is a historical, Sapphic, friends-to-lovers romance between a tenacious astronomer and a wealthy widow (who happens to be skilled in embroidery). AMAZING COVER ASIDE, this is an excellent "gateway" book for Romance: readers will enjoy how Waite draws parallels between women's experiences in the 19th century and the 21st. 

Our heroines get to work translating a new astronomical text despite rebuffs from London's Scientific Society. As their friendship flourishes and their pursuits war against societal gatekeepers, they ask each other: who determines Art? What is the difference between Scientist and Hobbyist? And best of all -- can ladies have happy endings?


Review by Danielle

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Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781328567659
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Clarion Books - October 2nd, 2018

At first glance, this is a well researched series about an order of medieval assassin nuns sired by Death Himself, so I was pretty much already sold. But THEN I started reading it, and could not stop. For weeks. I burned through all 3 books (and the related upcoming February 2019 release Courting Darkness) in like a week and a half. 

The series takes place in 15th century Brittany, a time when everyone is at war, the duchy has been inherited by a 12 year old girl, and the Catholic Church chose to actively subsume pagan beliefs in order to gain acceptance among a reluctant populace. It is one of these old pagan gods, Mortain, now considered the patron saint of death, that our heroines worship and struggle and fight for. But they are also fighting for themselves. 

The history is fascinating, the trauma is brutal but very well handled, the romance is the healthy and supportive (but fuuun) kind that you want your teens reading about, and the weapons are historically accurate. Don't you want to read about young women finding self actualization and liberation through violence and subterfuge and epic battles? DON'T YOU?


Review by Anje

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The Seventh Cross Cover Image
By Anna Seghers, Margot Bettauer Dembo (Translated by), Thomas von Steinaecker (Afterword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781681372129
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: NYRB Classics - May 22nd, 2018

After being driven into exile by the rise of the Nazis, communist writer Anna Seghers wrote this heartfelt and hopeful thriller that combines the suspense of a Hitchcock movie with the real tragedy of a community in the grip of a collective madness.


Review by Stephen

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Berserker Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250180766
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Square Fish - October 16th, 2018

This violent, glorious book is about a 16 year old female Berserker who has to flee Norway in 1883 for the American West in order to evade the strictures of the law long enough to seek guidance from a long lost uncle who just may be able to help her contain her instinct to mercilessly slaughter anyone who threatens her family.

Berserker combines all the best parts of Norse mythology, historical fiction, and a solid Western. Think Vikings meets True Grit.


Review by Anje

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Manhattan Beach: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781476716732
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Scribner - October 3rd, 2017

Miles (and decades) away from the unconventional style of A Visit to the Goon Squad, Egan takes a chance on historical fiction and manages to create a beautifully-lush and character-driven story centered around WWII-era New York City. The most compelling voice belongs to a young and ambitious woman new to the once male-dominated workforce, and her story of navigation through a life of newfound independence will cause any reader to root for her survival in a world consistently telling her "no."


Review by Sarah C.

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