Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I By Robin LaFevers Cover Image
$15.99
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

Staff Pick Badge
Five Feet Apart By Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry (With), Tobias Iaconis (With) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534437333
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 20th, 2018

Two teenagers with cystic fibrosis: they have a long list of DON'Ts but very few DOs. Stella sticks to her schedules and pins hope on a lung transplant. Will is ready to be 18, free of hospitals and his mother's race for a cure. An endearing and honest story of two teenagers learning there's more to living than simply surviving. 



Staff Pick Badge
Weaveworld By Clive Barker Cover Image
$19.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780743417358
Published: Gallery Books - April 1st, 2001

Clive Barker (my future husband) displays the fecundity of his imagination by creating a dark fantasy epic on the scale of Tolkien full of deliciously sacrilegious subtext. The characters and scenes within have woven themselves into my psyche never to be unraveled. Thank Goddess.  



Staff Pick Badge
The Sandman: A novel (Killer Instinct #4) By Lars Kepler Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780525433057
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - January 8th, 2019

Swedish husband and wife Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril are the authors of the internationally bestselling Joona Linna series. It's been five years since we've had the pleasure of  new novel in the US and "The Sandman" was well worth the wait. Gut-clenching Nordic crime at its best, atmospheric and populated with complex, compelling characters. 


Review by Deborah

Staff Pick Badge
Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy By Angela Garbes Cover Image
$24.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780062662941
Published: Harper - May 29th, 2018

I love this fascinating, totally mind-blowing book on the science and culture of pregnancy. Like A Mother's blend of essay, memoir, and reportage shows Seattle writer Angela Garbes' chops as a journalist as she interrogates cultural myths and picks apart the massive systemic issues that arise from treating pregnancy like an illness instead of "a superhuman power." Chapters range from placentas (my pick for #1 most underrated organ), breastmilk, miscarriages, and how to best care for pregnant addicts, to the violent, racist history of gynecology. Garbes' tone of curious wonder and emotional connection to her material will resonate with any reader - you don't need to have a uterus to get swept up in her enthusiasm.


Review by Christina

Staff Pick Badge
Friday Black By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781328911247
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

The stories in Friday Black are volatile, unpredictable concoctions. While reading them, I imagined author Nana Kwame Adeji-Brenyah as a mad scientist, mixing beakers with wild abandon: some societal critique here, a little gallows humor there, a dose of dystopian sci-fi just for kicks. The resulting stories feel just as likely to combust as they do to end. Adjei-Brenyah is among the most exciting new voices in fiction I've encountered all year, the heir apparent to Vonnegut and Saunders's tradition of dark, socially incisive postmodernism.


Review by Theo

Staff Pick Badge
The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life By Anu Partanen Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062316554
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - June 27th, 2017

Want to convince your relatives that universal healthcare, free high quality education, and a robust social safety net are a good thing without them thinking you're a pinko commie? Hand them this.


Review by Anje

Staff Pick Badge
Allmen and the Dragonflies By Martin Suter, Steph Morris (Translator) Cover Image
By Martin Suter, Steph Morris (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781939931573
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Vessel Press - May 8th, 2018

Johan Friedrich von Allmen, well-educated, heir to a vast fortune, never employed, has found himself in reduced circumstances. Forced to relocate to the gardenhouse of his Swiss estate with only his resourceful Guatemalan butler, Carlos, for company, Allmen is in  desperate need of funds. When an opportunity to pilfer Art Nouveau glass bowls from a neighbor arises, Allmen becomes first thief then detective in this delightful crime caper. 


Review by Deborah

Staff Pick Badge
The Souls of Yellow Folk: Essays By Wesley Yang Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393357554
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 26th, 2019

This collection of previously published essays establishes Wesley Yang as one of the great cultured observers of these times. Absolutely one of the best collections of the year. 


Review by Kalani

Staff Pick Badge
Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha) By Tasha Suri Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316449717
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Orbit - November 13th, 2018

The first in the Books of Ambha, this is an epic fantasy based in Mughal India. Mehr is a young Ambhan noblewoman with the magic of her exiled Amrithi mother running through her veins. Although Amrithi have always been feared and misunderstood for their power, now huge numbers of them are disappearing. To protect her family, Mehr strikes a deal that proves to be more complicated than she could have imagined. Suri has woven an exciting tale of embracing your heritage and acknowledging your privilege, being true to yourself and doing what's right.


Review by Kitri

Pages