Staff Picks by Tag

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The Tangleroot Palace: Stories By Marjorie Liu Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616963521
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tachyon Publications - June 15th, 2021

A collection of short stories from the Eisner award-winning creator of Monstress that will satisfy any fantasy reader. One story is eerie and twisted; another is apocalyptic and horrific; yet another is a fairytale retold, queer and tender; and in the eponymous tale is a princess who flees home to save herself. Liu is obsessed with dense magical forests and the precarity of life: how do we live and how do we love when survival is an ever-present demand? 

 



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Terminal Boredom: Stories By Izumi Suzuki, Polly Barton (Translated by), Sam Bett (Translated by), David Boyd (Translated by), Daniel Joseph (Translated by) Cover Image
By Izumi Suzuki, Polly Barton (Translated by), Sam Bett (Translated by), David Boyd (Translated by), Daniel Joseph (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781788739887
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Verso Fiction - April 20th, 2021

Recently translated into English for the first time, Izumi Suzuki's strange and disconnected prose creates a meandering trail of science fiction vignettes with apathetic and drug-addled characters, bored to death with life, or as one teenager addicted to television puts it, "tangled up in fatalistic resignations." The perfect beach read for anyone who really hates the beach and loves Black Mirror.


Review by Sarah C.

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Milk Blood Heat By Dantiel W. Moniz Cover Image
$25.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780802158154
Published: Grove Press - February 2nd, 2021

This debut collection of short stories is searing, gut-wrenching, and alive. Raw emotion bursts from each story, drawing readers into the ordinary yet slightly enchanted lives of young Floridian women making their ways in the world.



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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life By George Saunders Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781984856036
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 12th, 2022

Tolstoy + Chekhov + Gogol + Turgenev + Saunders = a crash course in good writing! My favorite chapter was on "The Nose" by Nikolai Gogol for the pure absurdity of the story and the great clarity Saunders brought to understanding it.


Review by Emily

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The Secret Lives of Church Ladies By Deesha Philyaw Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781949199734
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: West Virginia University Press - September 1st, 2020

This small but mighty book is a palette cleanser for those who are rusty when it comes to short stories. We are thrown into the lives of Black women navigating themselves through the difficulty of religion and sexuality. Each short story has the complete potential of being a full length novel, and although we experience the characters for a short time, you are left wanting more. These short stories are intimate, personal and a religious experience.


Review by Javi

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Sarahland By Sam Cohen Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781538735077
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 8th, 2022

Sarahland is an acid road trip with writhing bodies stuck together by lip gloss and bodily fluids I can't mention here. The little connections and pop culture references - BUFFY! - made me beam in delight, and one story in particular made me dream of becoming a Sarah who turns into a tree. The fluidity of gender and sexuality, as well as all the different shapes and sizes a body can be, are all celebrated in this collection of messy queer Sarahs. 


Review by Sarah C.

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The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593134092
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - February 1st, 2022

Mariana Enriquez brings the senses alive with her descriptions of the putrescent. Her addicting stories read like freshly unearthed urban myths and legends, full of yearning, filth and witchcraft. They make me feel gross and I love them for it. I haven't been this excited about a book in quite some time, and I will greedily consume anything she produces in the future.



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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

This short story collection was unlike anything I've ever read. I've never seen women and queerness so front and center in this way and Machado does it all with a breezy air of magical realism. From a retold fable with parenthetical asides to reimagined Law & Order plotlines to an inventory of lovers set against a global virus (which may hit close to home, eesh). I hope it sticks with you like it has stuck with me.


Review by Emily

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Black Light: Stories By Kimberly King Parsons Cover Image
$15.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780525563501
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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Where the Wild Ladies Are By Aoko Matsuda, Polly Barton (Translated by) Cover Image
By Aoko Matsuda, Polly Barton (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593766900
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Soft Skull - October 20th, 2020

A collection of traditional Japanese myths molded to fit contemporary times leads to the following: an incense company that brings lovers and pets back from the dead, fishing for skeletons and potential ghost girlfriends from the Edo period, very pushy but top performing door-to-door saleswomen, and a tree that requests you to stop bringing your hungry children over for blessings because her burrs are not what you think they are and you are making the tree uncomfortable.


Review by Sarah C.

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