Staff Picks by Tag

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On a Sunbeam By Tillie Walden Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250178138
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: First Second - October 2nd, 2018

On a Sunbeam follows a girl named Mia and her crew-mates as they travel the stars, repairing the ruins of long-abandoned space colonies. This is the rare space opera that trades bombast for introspection, prizing quiet moments over flashy space battles (although there's a little of that, too). In both the story and the art, there's a warmth and humanity here that defies the coldness of its extra-atmospheric setting.

Review by Theo

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My Body Is a Book of Rules By Elissa Washuta Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597099691
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Red Hen Press - August 12th, 2014

When is a body a house, a trap, an experience, a burden, a book, a treasure, or a betrayal? When is a body yours alone, and when, in its history, has it belonged in fact or in feeling to others? Elissa Washuta's memoir is a powerful confrontation of the ways in which sexual trauma, mental illness, catholicism, law & order, Indigeneity, settler colonialism, history, and instant messaging have informed her identity and relationship to her body. It's a raw, visceral, unflinching book with a wide streak of dark humor.

Review by Christina

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Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home By Nora Krug Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476796635
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - September 17th, 2019

New York Times illustrator Nora Krug uses comics, collage, narrative and found documents to explore her ambivalent feelings of nostalgia and guilt for her German family's wartime past. A fascinating historical detective story!

Review by Stephen

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The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, an Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece By Sarah Weinman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062661937
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco - September 10th, 2019

I am a horror reader with a wary interest in true crime. Hauntings and hellspawn are my bread and butter, but real life atrocities keep me up at night. This is a tactful victim-focused true crime book that doesn't linger on the lascivious details. Weinman's thesis is that the 1948 kidnapping case of 11-year-old Sally Horner serves as direct inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel 'Lolita', a notion that Nabokov himself protested. For this reader, Weinman builds a strong case and exposes the dirty bones of what some consider Nabokov's masterpiece. 

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I Capture the Castle By Dodie Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312201654
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 15th, 1999

I'm a sucker for coming-of-age novels, more so when the setting is a crumbling English castle. Cassandra is a witty, observant girl on the cusp of adulthood. Her family is in a perilous financial situation: her father probably isn't writing another groundbreaking novel, her stepmom has retreated to London, and her sister pins their salvation on their new, wealthy American neighbors. A lesser-known work by the author of 101 Dalmations, suitable for adult and teen readers alike!

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Sometimes I Lie: A Novel By Alice Feeney Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250144850
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Flatiron Books - October 30th, 2018

Meet Amber. She's immobilized in a hospital bed, unable to move or speak but capable of hearing all that goes on around her. How she got here is the one thing she doesn't know. What don't we know about Amber? Everything.

And you'll have to read to the very end to find out if she's lying.

Review by Deborah

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Everything Under: A Novel By Daisy Johnson Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781555978266
Published: Graywolf Press - October 23rd, 2018

In this gender-bending retelling of the Oedipus myth, Johnson's words gnash, bite, and bruise, taking on a harsh beauty that mirrors the darkness of the river canal wilderness. With interweaving perspectives and characters on the edge of madness or beyond, this book is one of my most memorable reads of the last few years. 

Review by Sarah C.

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The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution By Yuri Slezkine Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691192727
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Princeton University Press - June 18th, 2019

This is a book that stays with you long after the enormous length of time time that you’ll spend reading it. Not content to merely rival the classics of Russian literature with an epic account of the idealism and ultimate tragedy of the Bolshevik Revolution, Slezkine bores deeply into the Bolsheviks' attempts to create a new socialist society by attacking bourgeois art, fashion, and fitted kitchens.

Review by Stephen

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A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel By Paul Tremblay Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062363244
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 10th, 2016

This story revolves around 14-year-old Marjorie, the eldest of two sisters and her increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior. Is it the onset of mental illness or full on demonic possession?? This books sends up the exhausted tropes of past exorcism tales whilst simultaneously exploiting them to the benefit of the reader. It is a witty and creeptastic read with an homage to Shirley Jackson that left me reeling.

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High Rhulain: A Tale from Redwall By Brian Jacques Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142409381
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Firebird - March 13th, 2008

I started reading this series when I was 8, I am now 34 and I still re-read it and get new things out of it. Does your kid looove the Warriors series? Their mind will be blown by the world of Redwall. Imagine, if you will, an egalitarian community of woodland creatures who fight tyranny, go on epic quests, and throw the best parties with the most scrumptious and elaborate meals you've ever read about. 

Every creature, big or small, shy or outgoing, regardless of gender, is valued and has an important role to play. Sometimes it's a formerly enslaved squirrel, or maybe a mute badger grandmother, or perhaps a young ottermaid who has perfect aim with a slingstone...

Review by Anje