Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
Self-Help (Vintage Contemporaries) By Lorrie Moore Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307277299
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Vintage - March 13th, 2007

Recommended to me by two of our best booksellers (thank you, Wes; thank you, Emily), this is the first story collection I ever fell in love with. Lorrie's grief is heavy and familiar with a willingness to find relief and comfort in growing in and out of love and in the universality of death and loss. Allow her to bring solace to an achy heart and you'll want to swim in her wit and drown in her sorrows forever.  

Review by Sofia

Staff Pick Badge
Skeletons in the Closet By Jean-Patrick Manchette, Alyson Waters (Translated by) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681377605
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: NYRB Classics - November 7th, 2023

A brutal, complex, and cool-as-hell '70s version of the hard boiled private eye noir, with nihilism, humor, and radical left-wing politics aplenty.


Review by Connor

Staff Pick Badge
Surfing. 1778-Today. 40th Ed. By Jim Heimann (Editor) Cover Image
By Jim Heimann (Editor)
ISBN: 9783836591461
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Taschen - September 13th, 2023

Yes, surfing is cool, but did you know just how cool? Peek inside for an encyclopedia of grainy old photos, vintage advertisements, sleek swimwear, and an extensive collection of writing on the history and lifestyle of the sport. Perfect as a gift.

Review by Connor

Staff Pick Badge
Death Valley: A Novel By Melissa Broder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668024843
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - October 3rd, 2023

I will never think of Best Western the same. This book is a trip through creativity in the midst of heartache. Writing through grief. Finding yourself by losing yourself, completely. In Death Valley, Broder brings readers along on a surreal journey that either has her lost in the desert for days or planted firmly in the queen size bed of her hotel room. I'm glad I will never know which one is true. This work is deeply personal. Trippy and emotional. Unpredictable and yet completely relatable. An exploration through the meaning of life, death, and everything in between; climb on the back of a giant bird and let the vivid colors of Death Valley consume you. 


Review by Brandon

Staff Pick Badge
Camp Damascus By Chuck Tingle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250874627
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tor Nightfire - July 18th, 2023

A departure from Tingle’s typical steamy sentient food stories, this first of two traditional LGBTQ+ themed releases is scary because it reflects a chilling reality. Told through the lens of a young queer woman, it answers the question: How far could hatred masked as religion go to keep queer youth in line? Expect plague-like flying insects, monsters, and one pretty cool scene involving a rock-n-roll flame-thrower. But in this cinematic exploration readers can also expect heartfelt emotion, love, and friendship.  A crew of misfits brought together by a (terrible) common experience must travel back to the conversion camp that cursed them to rediscover their authentic selves, but do they have the tools they need to defeat their demons? 


Review by Brandon

Staff Pick Badge
How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins By Helena de Bres, Julia de Bres (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Helena de Bres, Julia de Bres (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781639730346
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - November 7th, 2023

I loved this because I am an identical twin BUT, if you've ever been fascinated or a little weirded out by twins, you very well might like this too. As a philosophy professor and identical twin, Helen de Bres combines her teachings with her lived experience to expound on the intersectionality between being multiple as well as a woman, queer, and disabled versus being a singleton. (And her twin sister, Julia, made the illustrations inside the book!)

Review by Emily

Staff Pick Badge
Winter in Sokcho By Elisa Shua Dusapin, Aneesa Abbas Higgins (Translator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948830416
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Open Letter - April 27th, 2021

Quiet, atmospheric, a little chilly to the bone. A college graduate moves to Sokcho, a town nestled between North and South Korea, to work at a guesthouse during the off season. A traveling French graphic novelist visits Sokcho in search of inspiration. The two develop a bond that I can only describe as liminal, constantly between growing close while growing apart. The town and everything in it unfolds before us through our narrator’s eyes and the very second a thought comes to her head. It’s beautiful, a wintery cocoon, and deeply meditative. 

Review by Javi

Staff Pick Badge
Tales of the Urban Wild: A Puma's Journey By Tiffany Yap, Meital Smith (Artist) Cover Image
By Tiffany Yap, Meital Smith (Artist)
ISBN: 9781634050586
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Reverberations Books - October 24th, 2023

For the hobby naturalists and carnivore fanatics, this book is an observation of not only pumas, but about the importance of biodiversity. Pumas are deeply fascinating and misunderstood creatures, that all of us should understand that carnivores (especially pumas/mountain lions/panthers) are a necessity to our changing environment – they keep things in balance and provide for big and small creatures alike. By the end of the book, the term “everything is connected” becomes apparent. 

Review by Javi

Staff Pick Badge
Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion By Mitchell S. Jackson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781648290923
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Artisan - September 5th, 2023

Oversized suit jackets, cable-knit crewnecks, long fur coats, diamond chains, colorful glasses, Air Jordans and Chuck Taylors – these are the ingredients of basketball style. Mitchell S. Jackson’s Fly carves out six visual eras of the sport’s history and ties each one to the politics and culture of the time. This is no mere photo book, though. If you aren't a basketball fan, pickup Fly and look for yourself – Jackson’s captions might just do the trick. Among my favorites are: “Michael Jordan, 1985 Slam Dunk Contest. Was it the shoes?” (p. 100); “All knit, no problem,” (p. 170); “The texture on that suit is straight sophisticated,” (p. 189); “Baby, I’m a star.” (p. 217).

Review by Zac

Staff Pick Badge
Whalefall: A Novel By Daniel Kraus Cover Image
ISBN: 9781665918169
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: MTV Books - August 8th, 2023

We all know that getting stuck inside a whale is a coming-of-age rite of passage for young men escaping the weight of a traumatic upbringing. But Whalefall isn't your average been there done that story of getting eaten while deep-sea diving for your father's corpse; the body horror of being digested inside a stomach and the suspense of Jay's oxygen tank running out serve as metaphor for the crushing expectations he felt from his father in life, and still in death.

My favorite part about this book: Daniel Kraus puts the science in science fiction. I've never read 'ocean horror' that did such thoroughly-researched, while also compassionate and loving, work to show us the beauty and horrors of the sea in the most realistic way possible. Claustrophobic and relentless, I highly recommend.

Review by Jess