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Staff Picks

Enjoy a selection of our staff's favorite recent reads!

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Wash Day Diaries By Jamila Rowser, Robyn Smith Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781797205458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - July 5th, 2022

The first word that comes to mind when I think about Wash Day Diaries is 'intimate': reading the stories of these four gal pals feels like being invited to hang out with your best friends with all their triumphs and struggles. If you're feeling a little lonely or lost, why not reach for this book? I guarantee it will inspire you to reach out to your loved ones.

—Andy


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Dream of the Divided Field: Poems By Yanyi Cover Image
By Yanyi
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593230992
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - March 1st, 2022

Yanyi dissects everyday heartbreak like no other. This poetry collection is a tender look at the contradictions inherent to being a body in the world. With longing and bravery, Yanyi tells a story that is at once deeply personal and intensely relatable.

—Skylar


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The Winners: A Novel (Beartown Series) By Fredrik Backman Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982112790
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - September 27th, 2022

The whole Beartown series is like Friday Night Lights, but in Sweden and with hockey! Backman writes the most wonderful characters. You'll be rooting for the Beartown team as if you were one of them, crying when they lose and dancing when they win. This is the third in the trilogy, Beartown and Us Against You came first and are phenomenal!

—Erin


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Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion By Jia Tolentino Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525510567
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 14th, 2020

Journalist Jia Tolentino writes 9 near-perfect essays on subjects ranging from her brief stint in reality tv to her take on the infamous Fyre Festival scandal of 2017. I got this book as a gift more than a year ago and I still can't stop thinking about it.

—Gabby


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The Woman Destroyed By Simone De Beauvoir Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780394711034
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - August 12th, 1987

Let me urge you to read The Woman Destroyed, Beauvoir's series of short stories with the backdrop of postwar Paris struggling to make sense of a new world. She tells the tale of three women: one tortured by her husband, another tortured by her son, and the last tortured by herself. This book is the nexus of the theory behind The Second Sex and the brilliant prose of The Mandarins.

—Charlotte


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Bliss Montage: Stories By Ling Ma Cover Image
By Ling Ma
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374293512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 13th, 2022

Blurring the line between fantasy and reality, this collection of short stories is as sweet to read as the cover looks. Ma delves into relationships between friends, partners, parents, and one's own self with beautiful detail and a magical twist. The writing is straightforward and perfectly cutting. My absolute favorite story was G, but I also loved Los Angeles and Office Hours. Peel yourself an orange and go read.

—Tabitha


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Earthlings By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (Translator) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802157010
Availability: Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Grove Press - September 21st, 2021

If you're wondering what, or who, that plush hedgehog is on the cover of the book, it is Piyyut, an emissary sent by the Magic Police of Planet Popinpobopia. And so begins Murata's really strange and really wonderful novel, Earthlings. Here, Murata explores what a person who rejects societal norms thinks like, acts like, and even tastes like. Yet again, Murata pushes her signature hyper-realist form to the brink of dystopia. Or is it utopia?

—Jen


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Salt Body Shimmer By Aricka Foreman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781936919758
Availability: Available in 3-7 Days
Published: YesYes Books - August 11th, 2020

Aricka Foreman's poems sing with striking, resonant lines. With the "camouflage it takes to be a woman," she writes of resistance to decades of violence. Her voice is timely, unique, and much-needed.

—Skylar


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Mr. Boop By Alec Robbins Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9781945509803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Silver Sprocket - May 24th, 2022

A disclaimer: this book is not for everyone. However, if you or someone you love can be described as "chronically online," "horny in a way that involves breaking intellectual property law," or even "has anxious attachment issues" you could do a lot worse.

—Andy


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Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel By Bonnie Garmus Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780385547345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 5th, 2022

Smart, funny, and heart wrenching, you will tear through this book. Set in California in the '60s, Lessons in Chemistry follows the life and career of chemist Elizabeth Zott. One part Julie and Julia, one part Art of Racing in the Rain, and a heavy dose of heart.

—Erin


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Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative By Melissa Febos Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646220854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - March 15th, 2022

Every word Melissa Febos writes is gospel. Part memoir and part a lesson in the craft of personal writing, this book contains valuable advice for writing many genres. It also provides an unflinching look at bodily autonomy and the treatment of women in modern culture. A must-read for anyone hoping to gain confidence in their identity or in their writing!

—Skylar


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Orlando: A Biography By Virginia Woolf Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780156701600
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 24th, 1973

"He loved, beneath all this summer transiency, to feel the earth's spine beneath him." Orlando is a book about identity, sex, and the nature of time. Virginia Woolf anticipated the contemporary questioning of gender norms by a century. With her renowned poetic lilt and stream of consciousness, she asks the reader to peer into themselves and ask, what grounds me? Do I derive my meaning from society or from myself?

—Charlotte


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Animal: A Novel By Lisa Taddeo Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982122133
Availability: Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - May 31st, 2022

This is the book that made me finally start a Goodreads account! Featuring an incredibly complex female main character, arguably justified murder, some terrible exercise classes, a random momentary adoption, and the importance of bonds between women, Lisa Taddeo's novel will shock and horrify you... but it might just soothe your heart, too.

—Zoe


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Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us By Rachel Aviv Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374600846
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 13th, 2022

A deeply reported nuanced portrait of how our culture makes sense of mental illness from New Yorker writer Rachel Aviv. Through her work, Aviv implicitly suggests a perhaps novel approach to mental health care—one that is compassionate, calm, curious and without judgment, one which takes social factors and the history of the field into close consideration. One that champions process over answers. That Aviv does so with incisive prose and stunning detail is icing on the cake. Strangers to Ourselves is a moving, satisfying blend of memoir, reporting, and cultural commentary.

—Allie


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Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency (American Poets Continuum #194) By Chen Chen Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781950774692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOA Editions - September 13th, 2022

I'm by no means a frequent poetry reader, but Chen has my heart. This collection of poems is funny, beautiful, surprising, and honest. It's for people who like poetry, people who don't like poetry but have a sense of humor, and anyone who has ever experienced a human emotion, whether that's love, loss, or joy at watching your dog jump onto your bed. Some of my favorites include "A Favorite Room", "Things the Grackles Bring", and "The School of Eternities".

—Tabitha


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Dog Songs: Poems By Mary Oliver Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143125839
Availability: Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 29th, 2015

To read her is to love her. Mary Oliver is a refuge, and this collection is no exception. It's a love letter in the form of poetry to dogs and to the bonds we have with them. "Steadfastness, it seems," she writes, "is more about dogs than us. One of the reasons we love them so much."

—Zoe


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Best Barbarian: Poems By Roger Reeves Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393609332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 22nd, 2022

Reeves' second collection, Best Barbarian, is full of cutting yet elegant poems that interrogate fatherhood, racism, and the simultaneous love/grief of being alive in America these days. What does it mean to experience beauty in a seemingly catastrophic world?

—Ira


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Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) By Leigh Bardugo Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250751362
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - October 20th, 2020

This is the perfect spooky-but-not-technically-Halloween-related book. Leigh Bardugo is a master of the craft, and her ability to weave her experiences as an undergrad at Yale into a creepy fantasy world beneath the surface of academia is incredible. Against your will, you will fall in love with the characters despite (or perhaps because of) their many, MANY flaws.

—Zoe


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Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands By Kate Beaton Cover Image
$39.95
ISBN: 9781770462892
Availability: Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - September 13th, 2022

In this memoir, Beaton recounts the two years she spent working in the oil sands of Alberta trying to pay off her student loans. Dealing with displacement, misogyny, environmental destruction, and more, Beaton's deeply empathetic storytelling never leaves anyone behind. I've been waiting for this book for years and it was absolutely worth it.

—Andy


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Sex and Rage: A Novel By Eve Babitz Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781619029354
Availability: Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Counterpoint - July 11th, 2017

Babitz tells the story of the beautiful, young and chaotic Jacaranda in hazy 1970's California- and eventually New York City. This book is about being lost and found over and over, finding yourself and your purpose.

—Gabby


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True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us By Danielle J. Lindemann, PhD Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374279028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 15th, 2022

At once a Sociology 101 class and a love letter to the reality television, this excellently-researched book covers the expansive history of the genre and its implications for American society. Unscripted TV is a fun-house mirror that at once magnifies and distorts our cultural practices. Putting American society under a microscope and broadcasting it to millions, reality TV has undeniable impacts on the way people think and interact.

—Skylar


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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) By Donna Tartt Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400031702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 13th, 2004

A small New England college, a group of mysterious classics students, and a murder. We know who did it, the more interesting question that drives the story is why it happened. Tartt's atmospheric writing and complex characterization won her the Pulitzer for The Goldfinch, but this is my favorite of hers, and quite possibly my favorite of all time. If you haven't gotten to read it yet, read it now! There's no better book for the season.

—Tabitha


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Brain on Fire (10th Anniversary Edition): My Month of Madness By Susannah Cahalan Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781451621389
Availability: Available in 3-7 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 6th, 2013

This memoir tells the story of a woman labeled crazy, insane all because her brain feels like its burning from the inside. This book is amazing, and perfect for anyone interested in understanding issues of the brain. 

—Lydia


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The Deceptions: A Novel By Jill Bialosky Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781640090248
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint - September 6th, 2022

This novel overflows with intrigue, betrayal, and curiosity. Bialosky's poetry background shines through in lyrical passages that detail the implosion of the female narrator's life. As her deceptions are exposed, she draws parallels to the Greek myth of Leda and the swan. A gorgeous musing on motherhood, marriage, and society's claims upon the female body.

—Skylar


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Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063021426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - August 23rd, 2022

This novel reads exactly like it was written by someone in academia -- and it was! Babel examines the difficult intersection of scholarship and colonization against the backdrop of Oxford in the Victorian Era. But also... there's lots of magic. And really fun footnotes. And incredible prose. You know what? Please just read it.

—Zoe


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Circe By Madeline Miller Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316556323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2020

This book is fantastic! Miller centers the story of Circe, who in the classics was more of a side character. This book is beautifully written, and heartwarming. A recommend for anyone who grew up obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology. 10/10!

—Lydia


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Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother's Disappearance as a Child By Laura Cumming Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501198717
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 27th, 2019

Set in 1929, Cumming's riveting memoir takes off by recounting her mother's kidnapping at the age of three--an event she wouldn't learn of until half a century later. Linking findings from photographs, historical documents, and works of arts, the author discovers more than one secret was kept from her mother throughout her childhood, and aims to rewrite her story as it truly occurred. Ultimately, she delivers a profoundly moving narrative on the intimacy of mother-daughter relationships and the care required of keeping legacies alive.

 —Maria