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Emily

    Emily, manager, Brooklyn
    Most recent staff pick: Another Day by David Levithan (ebook available)
    We lurved his Every Day, and now David Levithan has shifted perspectives: we get to meet A through Rhiannon's eyes. Because A had woken up in a different body every day of their life, it was just kind of normal for them. But for Rhiannon, it sounded like something out of a sci-fi novel at first. We grow with her as she experiences love (and heartbreak) that just don't really make sense in the brain, but the heart goes there anyway. Such a treat to revisit A and Rhiannon's world. (Emily)

    Staff Pick Logo
    Another Day Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780385756204
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - August 25th, 2015

    We lurved his Every Day, and now David Levithan has shifted perspectives: we get to meet A through Rhiannon's eyes. Because A had woken up in a different body every day of their life, it was just kind of normal for them. But for Rhiannon, it sounded like something out of a sci-fi novel at first. We grow with her as she experiences love (and heartbreak) that just don't really make sense in the brain, but the heart goes there anyway. Such a treat to revisit A and Rhiannon's world. (Emily)


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    Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir Cover Image
    By Maggie Thrash, Maggie Thrash (Illustrator)
    $19.99
    ISBN: 9780763673826
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    Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 8th, 2015

    If you're not quite ready for summer to be gone, or if you need a good dose of nostalgia, this is the book for you. My 15-year-old self would have identified with this book SO HARD. Maggie Thrash really captures the way that such little things can seem so huge in the context of camp, and of adolescence. Such excitement! Such reluctance! Will she ever kiss the girl? The art and the visual storytelling are phenomenal -- Honor Girl deserves a spot on your shelf right next to Mariko and Jillian Tamaki's award winning This One Summer and Liz Prinz's Tomboy. (Emily)


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    A Deadly Wandering: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation, and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age Cover Image
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9780062284075
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    Published: William Morrow & Company - June 2nd, 2015

    This book addresses the science of attention and distraction and how it relates to technology and connectedness. Is it actually addictive, or just extremely compelling? Is your phone the first thing you touch in the morning? Richtel weaves stories of neuroscientists and their latest research with the story of one young man and the families of two rocket scientists who died because he was texting behind the wheel. It has the pull of a courtroom drama or a true crime narrative, but the criminal or victim isn't just Reggie or Jim or Keith -- it is all of us. He doesn't vilify technology so much as he sheds light on how technology develops much faster than our brains (or our culture) can adapt to it. (Emily)


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    Kitchens of the Great Midwest Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780525429142
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Pamela Dorman Books - July 28th, 2015

    Eva Thorvald is the focal point of this novel, but we get to watch her grow through the eyes of people who were affected by her during different stages in her life. Stradal captures the push and pull of family dynamics, the awkwardness and good intentions of a Midwestern adolescence, and the unique kind of drive that comes with an obsession for good food. The balance of flavors is just right. (Emily)


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    Summerlong Cover Image
    $26.99
    ISBN: 9780062321169
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Ecco Press - June 16th, 2015

    If you're craving a summer read with a slightly different energy, Bakopoulous's Summerlong introduces you to the petri dish that is summer in a small Midwestern college town. It swirls with a slow intensity, undercurrents brushing to the surface and then under again, lives overlapping in the past, diverging, and then converging again in Grinnell, Iowa, over the course of a summer. He captures both the lost-ness of your twenties and the listlessness of your forties. (Emily)


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    Shadowshaper Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780545591614
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - June 30th, 2015

    In a Caribbean immigrant community in the heart of Brooklyn, our heroine Sierra has just learned of a long-hidden familial and cultural history of Shadowshaper magic. Something is amiss, her grandfather's friends keep disappearing, and tapping into the talent that her own mother shunned may be Sierra's only hope of helping. It's fun to walk around Brooklyn after living in Older's world -- each painted wall has the possibility of spirit and breath. (Emily)


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    Everything I Never Told You Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780143127550
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Penguin Books - May 12th, 2015

    Newly out in paperback, this is one of my favorite books from last year. On the first page, we learn that a teenage girl is missing, but in order to find her we delve into the past -- of her childhood, of her mother's unrealized dreams of achievement, and of her father's unrealized dreams of acceptance. Each character is shaped by other people's expectations of them, and Ng masterfully weaves together the narratives into a powerful novel. (Emily)


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    The Argonauts Cover Image
    $23.00
    ISBN: 9781555977078
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Graywolf Press - May 5th, 2015

    As she did with Bluets, Maggie Nelson brings philosophy and queer theory to the personal stories she shares of love, relationships, and (now) parenthood. I would pair this book with Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation and Sarah Manguso's Ongoingness: The End of A Diary. Nelson is just so masterful at allowing for a fluid boundary between the intellectual and the intertextual, the art and the artifice, the poetic, and the personal. And if you ask nicely, I'll tell you a story about the Anne Carson interview she mentions on page 49. (Emily)


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    Zipper Mouth Cover Image
    $14.95
    ISBN: 9781558617483
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Feminist Press - October 4th, 2011

    The prose is what sucked me into this novel -- it is gritty and vibrant and somehow also whimsical, like a wall covered in full color graffiti at dusk when the sun imbues it with something extra. In love (unrequited) with your best friend -- what queer hasn't been there? I don't even like drugs, and yet this novel made me nostalgic for an experience I never had - to be twenty-something and wasted and lost and inspired in the thick heat of a NYC summer... (Emily)


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    Cured: The People Who Defeated HIV Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780142181843
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    Published: Plume Books - February 24th, 2015

    If you enjoyed The Emperor of All Maladies (or have been watching the phenomenal miniseries on PBS), I would recommend this book as your next medical drama. It's a page turner that also inspired hope and wonder -- I am in awe of how far scientific research has brought us in the last 50 years. It offers a balance of molecular science (distilled for the layperson), personal stories of doctors and patients, and the cultural stigmas that affect medicine. We mourn the losses along the way, but we also admire the deep knowledge we've gained. Cures and prevention of HIV and cancer are possible. What is more uplifting than that? (Emily)


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    Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter Cover Image
    $24.95
    ISBN: 9780393239133
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    Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 16th, 2015

    Reader beware: after reading this book, you may decide you would rather make things with your hands than ever point-and-click for work again. MacLaughlin gives us just enough plot and plenty of rumination as she relates how she came to be a carpenter. Each chapter centers on a tool and uses it as a metaphor for the life lessons to be learned from it. If you are craving transitions or are in the midst of one, this is a great book about grace and humility and, ultimately, craft and pride. (Emily)


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    An Exaggerated Murder Cover Image
    $16.95
    ISBN: 9781612194271
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    Published: Melville House Publishing - March 3rd, 2015

    This postmodern detective novel is anything but procedural, anything but formulaic, and likely unlike anything else you've read. It's smart, it's funny, it is baffling at times and insightful at times, and its chapters are short, making it the perfect commute read. Its ensemble cast of Trike, Lola, and Max are wildly entertaining (they even create drinking games to mock each other). Is the billionaire Joyce playing games with Trike? Is Cook playing games with his readers? Does it matter? My favorite sections are the ones where Cook gets experimental and tries to show us, on the page, the different ways that Trike's deductive mind works. Good for fans of Jasper Fforde and Pynchon's Inherent Vice. (Emily)


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    Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story Cover Image
    By Salina Yoon, Salina Yoon (Illustrator)
    $7.99
    ISBN: 9780802737311
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Walker & Company - July 22nd, 2014

    This is the cutest story ever. Penguin and Pinecone become the best of friends, and Penguin knits Pinecone a scarf. But sadly, inevitably, they must part. A pinecone should live in the forest. Months (or years) later, Penguin returns to see what Pinecone has been up to. So much has changed! But they still value each other for what they had, and what they've become. It's my favorite friendship fable in years. (Emily)


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    Here Cover Image
    $35.00
    ISBN: 9780375406508
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Pantheon Books - December 9th, 2014

    No plot? No problem! It's not so much that this book has no plot, but rather that its plot is the arc of the history of life on earth, from the miasmas of millennia ago to the deluges of the distant future. But it limits that history to events that occur in one small, specific corner of the globe roughly the size of a living room. You read this book for the experience of reading it. It's almost more like performance art. It literally contains multitudes. (Emily)


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    The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780553392043
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    Published: Ballantine Books - January 20th, 2015

    It's January, that time of year when we all try to reflect and improve our lives (and make fun of ourselves a little for it). But if you want to embrace that tendency, I recommend The Sweet Spot. Carter strikes a good balance here, with a small dose of personal experience and a heavy dose of the neuroscience of decision-making, emotion, and flow. If you've been feeling a bit "off" for reasons you can't articulate, this book helps lay out some of those whys and offers both small and large ways to address them. (Emily)


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    When Mystical Creatures Attack! Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781609382834
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    Published: University of Iowa Press - October 2014

    Kathleen Founds' collection of linked short stories introduces a young teacher who has a breakdown and the students for whom she's already made a difference. We get her story through emails and letters, through essays her students wrote, through progress reports at the psych ward, through recipes, and through answers in an advice column. Can a book be both whimsical and heavy? I wouldn't have thought so -- until this book fell into my hands. (Emily)


    Neverhome Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780316370134
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Little Brown and Company - September 9th, 2014

    Hunt has crafted a fabulous unreliable narrator in Ash Thompson. She is a tough farm wife who decides to pose as a man and take her husband's place on the front lines in the Civil War. She's loyal and she betrays, she kills and she saves lives, she lies and she seeks truth. This felt a bit like Mark Twain to me -- Huck Finn with his picaresque adventures and big social issues rolled into one narrative. The end of the novel gutted me, a real punch the last few pages. Powerful stuff. (Emily)


    This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate Cover Image
    $30.00
    ISBN: 9781451697384
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    Published: Simon & Schuster - September 16th, 2014

    I'll read anything Naomi Klein writes (and will watch any interview she does) because I have a HUGE intellectual crush on her. In This Changes Everything, she tackles climate change and capitalism, and she makes accessible so many issues that perhaps you hear about but don't really understand or bother researching because it just seems depressing (like fracking and natural gas, tar sands, geoengineering, extractivism, divestment, carbon offsetting, etc). Her argument is huge -- that we are almost (but not quite) out of time and pretty much the whole system needs to change. But Klein somehow manages to make the reader feel smarter, angrier, and more hope-filled at the same time. (Emily)


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    Echo of the Boom Cover Image
    $18.00
    ISBN: 9781940207179
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    Published: Rare Bird Books - April 15th, 2014

    Echo of the Boom follows four teenagers with very different backgrounds as they grapple with the state of their little worlds, the world at large, and all of the possible points of convergence. One is a social media empress who dreams of the end of the world every night. One is a Katniss-like figure raised by survivalists. One gets kicked out of so many schools that he creates an index where other students can predict how long he'll last at the next school. And one travels the world and learns about his father's CIA past. Great characters, great voice, great book design. For fans of DFW and Don DeLillo and anyone who has a sinking suspicion that the apocalypse is upon us.  (Emily)


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    Maggie & Me: Coming Out and Coming of Age in 1980s Scotland Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781620405888
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    Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - April 8th, 2014

    Damian Barr came of age in industrial Scotland in the 1980s, and in this memoir, he's not afraid to get dirt on his hands -- but he's also capable of allowing the reader to laugh with him in hindsight. He is a smart kid with unavailable (and sometimes abusive) parents, and we see him survive the bullying, meet his first boyfriend, meet his first girlfriend, and eventually enter the world as an adult, though only after many difficult (and sometimes hilarious) situations. Kids develop the darndest coping mechanisms, and yet, somehow, most of us emerge -- not unscathed, but at least on two feet and moving forward. Think Billy Elliot meets David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. (Emily)


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    Things That Are: Essays Cover Image
    By Amy Leach, Nate Christopherson (Illustrator)
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781571313515
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Milkweed Editions - June 17th, 2014

    These essays are unlike anything else I've read -- they seesaw between wonder and intellect, and the language itself breathes. It invigorates. Leach describes the natural world, but it's clear that her essays are also metaphors for ourselves. My favorite is "Please Do Not Yell at the Sea Cucumber." If you want something fresh and new, Things That Are might be for you. (Emily)


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    The Book of Duels Cover Image
    By Michael Garriga, Tynan Kerr (Illustrator)
    $18.00
    ISBN: 9781571310934
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    Published: Milkweed Editions - March 18th, 2014

    This is a unique collection. Each chapter is a triptych of voices relating the critical moment of a duel, real or imagined -- interior monologues from each of the duelists on what circumstances led up to the moment, and what is going through their minds as they pull the trigger or bowstring or banjo string or raise the claw, and then one story from a witness. I don't compare much to Eduardo Galeano, but somehow, Garriga's short chronicles come close. They extract and distill the deepest human motivations and emotions from pivotal moments in history. (Emily)


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    Book of Hours Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9780307272249
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 4th, 2014

    Poetry about fathers, and specifically about the loss of fathers, is already a rich tradition. Kevin Young's contribution to it is powerful in that it weaves the death of his father in with the birth of his son -- in short stanzas and short lines that contain multitudes. His father creeps into the son sequences in the way that long-term grief often does -- not always on the days we set aside for it, but rather amid the quotidian: the scent of a shirt, the bark of a dog, the random appearance of the coffee he used to drink. Sometimes thankfully, sometimes painfully, it takes so little to bring them back. (Emily)


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    Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780226099446
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    Published: University of Chicago Press - April 10th, 2014

    In addition to its stunning full-color production and French flaps, this book contains interviews with Scott McCloud, Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Phoebe Gloeckner, Joe Sacco, Alison Bechdel, Francoise Mouly, Adrian Tomine, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware. One of them illustrated ads for Cartier, one received a rejection letter from Adrienne Rich, and one's mother was an auto mechanic. Oh, and they mention comics once or twice. Do I really need to say anything else? (Emily)


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    Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More Cover Image
    $24.99
    ISBN: 9781476709123
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    Published: Atria Books - February 4th, 2014

    Mock does a fantastic job of balancing the telling of her own story -- as a trans woman with roots in Hawaiian and African American culture -- with an astute yet elegant analysis of the social constructions of gender and the circles of influence that race and class inflicted on her as she came into her womanhood. Her story will resonate with anyone who felt different while growing up, who navigated family and social lives and their sense of trueness to themselves, and who eventually found a way to laugh, to love, and to be as real as possible. (Emily)


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    A Prayer Journal Cover Image
    $18.00
    ISBN: 9780374236915
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - November 12th, 2013

    You don't need to be religious to appreciate this small gem -- it's as much about O'Connor's striving to be a better writer and her continuous "staggering between Despair and Presumption." It shows a depth of reflection that I fear we are at risk of losing in our culture of 24/7 stimulus and status updates. I recommend flipping to the back and reading the words in O'Connor's own hand first -- it's a blessing to encounter such a raw look at a brilliant soul and mind. (Emily)


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    What I Had Before I Had You Cover Image
    $24.99
    ISBN: 9780062237842
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: HarperTorch - January 7th, 2014

    Perhaps I have a weakness for coming-of-age stories and novels that grapple with mental illness (this book is both), but I was truly impressed with Cornwell's debut, which centers on a mother and a daughter and the ways that mental illness has had an impact on them through generations. You're reading, you're enthralled by the story and the characters and the Jersey Shore in the summer, and sprinkled throughout are these wonderful sentences that make you stop, simple yet resonant like the clear ping of crystal stemware. It reminded me a bit of Simon Van Booy, and I don't think I've seen as strong and solid of a debut since Emily St. John Mandel.


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    Nothing Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781937512118
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 26th, 2013

    The narrative flows with both a breathy intensity and a cool hollowness in Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon's debut novel, Nothing. The rise and fall of a toxic friendship, the pulsing house parties that stop after a girl dies, the wildfires and mountains, the middle class kid who hops trains to Missoula to find the truth about his father -- they swirl and converge and blur together like smoke in your eyes, but the light, it's sharpened and heightened somehow too. She captures perfectly that early adulthood wasteland where you're friends with people and you do things, but you're not really sure why anymore, and either the momentum carries you through or it doesn't, either you emerge at the other end of the tunnel or the walls come crashing down, and there's something about the dialog, the rhythm. I don't know, it's just that the ambivalence and hesitation and put-on confidence are exactly as they should be.


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    Let's Get a Pup! Said Kate Cover Image
    By Bob Graham, Bob Graham (Illustrator)
    $6.99
    ISBN: 9780763621933
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - July 14th, 2003

    A fabulous rendition of that monumental moment in a child's life -- the PUPPY! (Do you know about our dog blog?) And what I particularly like is that the parents are atypical or perhaps Brooklyn-typical (the mom has tattoos, the dad has piercings, they're all a bit scruffy) but it's not about that. We've all got our lives to live. And every family deserves a bouncing puppy!


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    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital Cover Image
    $27.00
    ISBN: 9780307718969
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - September 10th, 2013

    Like David Simon's The Wire and Dave Cullen's Columbine, this book is about all of the moral dilemmas that surround massive tragedy, and about the ways that interconnected systems succeed and fail and undermine each other when infrastructure breaks down. Fink does a remarkable job of remaining, for the most part, neutral -- and yet there are heroes and villains (often in the same person) and no shortage of drama. Natural disaster, medicine, corporate hierarchies, crime, law, media -- they feed and play off of each other. You ask yourself, "What would I do in such dire circumstances? Was what happened right or wrong?" and as is often the result of the best investigative journalism, I couldn't always answer those questions with certainty. It was hard to read sometimes, but utterly riveting. (Emily)


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    The Signature of All Things Cover Image
    $28.95
    ISBN: 9780670024858
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Riverhead Books - October 1st, 2013

    I was surprised to be so taken in by this book. It just reminded me that I shouldn't make assumptions about my own reading tastes, let alone anyone else's. In Alma Whittaker, we get to see firsthand the frustrations built in to being born privileged and brilliant -- and a woman -- in the early days of the American republic. And Gilbert has also crafted one of those rare novels that presents the reader with a life, a full life, and keeps your interest the whole time. I haven't read one done so well since John Williams' Stoner.


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    The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra Cover Image
    By Pedro Mairal, Nick Caistor (Translator)
    $15.49
    ISBN: 9781939931078
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: New Vessel Press - July 15th, 2013

    After an accident as a child, Juan Salvatierra never spoke again. But he painted. And painted. And painted. He painted every day on rolls -- a diary of his life and the life of the village and its shifting landscapes -- and by the time he died there were hundreds of them. His estranged children had to decide what to do with them and became intrigued when they realized that one roll was missing. What kind of secret life did their father have that year? And is anyone still around who remembers it? (Emily)


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    The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard Cover Image
    Email or call for price and availability
    ISBN: 9781586422141
    Availability: Out of Print
    Published: Steerforth Press - September 24th, 2013

    Wow, this book is intense. There was so much complexity in the Matthew Shepard case that was overlooked or deliberately obscured. Jimenez makes the argument that the anti-gay hate crime explanation (rather than the reality of meth trafficking) was easier and more useful for pretty much every party involved: for the murderers who wanted to protect their drug collaborators; for police and prosecutors who knew that the meth trade was a much larger problem to tackle than homophobia; for heartbroken friends and family who needed a cause to channel their grief into; for activists who needed a martyr to catalyze a movement; for a president facing scandal and impeachment who needed a smoke screen; for media outlets who wanted a story before all the facts were known... Matthew Shepard's brutal murder will always be a tragedy, but this book suggests that the story is nuanced and complex, rather than the simplistic myth the public demanded and came quickly to accept. (Emily)


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    The Humans Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9781476727912
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Simon & Schuster - July 2nd, 2013

    This was my beach read of the summer. A mathematician makes a huge discovery, and it causes concern among distant aliens who fear humans will rise above their station in the universe. So, of course, they send one of their own to inhabit his body, destroy the proof and anyone who knew about it, and dispose of his wife and teenage son. The alien's disgust at the human race and the crazy situations that arise while he's inhabiting the object of his revulsion are pretty hysterical, and you won't be surprised to learn that the cold and heartless alien gets more heart the more time he spends on Earth. (Emily)


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    Babayaga Cover Image
    $27.00
    ISBN: 9780374107871
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - August 6th, 2013

    Many booksellers I know were big fans of Sharp Teeth, so I was excited for Barlow's sophomore effort. Babayaga is a sort of magical realist detective novel set in the middle of the twentieth century in Paris, with witches, ad men who are actually spies, and the most incredible monologues from an inspector-turned-flea. (Emily)


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    The Midnight Promise: A Detective's Story in Ten Cases Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781609451332
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Europa Editions - June 25th, 2013

    I trust Europa when it comes to world noir, and they certainly have succeeded with this one. Zane Lovitt writes like sort of an Australian Chandler, with the quick, snappy dialogue and observations that you'd expect from a private investigator, but also with the stunning descriptions of beauty and squalor that have perhaps nothing to do with his cases. It jumps around chronologically, so you have to enjoy each chapter on its own to an extent. But the final story, and the way it brings everything together, and the way it ends, the last few pages, they took my breath away. (Emily)


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    The Panopticon Cover Image
    $22.00
    ISBN: 9780385347860
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Hogarth - July 23rd, 2013

    What a character and what a voice from debut novelist Jenni Fagan! We meet Anais -- wearing a blood-soaked dress in the back of a cop car -- on the way to a youth detention facility called the Panopticon. She's been in the system for her whole life, her favorite foster parent was a prostitute who she later found murdered in a bathtub, and she can't remember the events that somehow covered her in blood because she was strung out at the time. Once you get used to the Scottish slang (and vulgarity), it's easy to get wrapped up in the story and to be touched by the bonds Anais forms with her fellow detainees and staff from the facility. For fans of Orange is the New Black and Girl, Interrupted. (Emily)


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    Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780385523394
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Spiegel & Grau - March 8th, 2011

    The book is better than the show (SHOCKING)! The show is a worthy guilty pleasure for sure, and the book undoubtedly has its moments of straight-up entertainment. But where it truly thrives is in painting a human picture of those who survive in the US prison system, and in recognizing the massive shortcomings of that system. Kerman acknowledges that her experience is extremely atypical compared to most inmates she encountered, due mostly to privileges bestowed on her by race and class. But having made it through, she shows us that connection can happen within a soulless system. Inspired by Kerman, we've decided to do a book drive that will benefit inmates -- it's one of the ways that we, as a bookstore, can contribute to making their time spent inside more productive. Please see this page for details. (Emily)


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    City of Bohane Cover Image
    $15.00
    ISBN: 9781555976453
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Graywolf Press - June 4th, 2013

    The Wire + The Sisters Brothers + Alexander McQueen + Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. At first, I wasn't sure whether I'd like it -- I couldn't quite settle in to the swishy slang-y vernacular. And then I decided to read the first few pages out loud, and it was like landing in Oz: the prose became all angles and light and bursts of technicolor. Imagine a futuristic urban Wild West with a fancy fashion sense. Barry has created such a vivid and lurid world in the city of Bohane -- one with cultural spats and turf wars, one where the men seem to rule but women have most of the power, and one where love is a force that haunts. (Emily)


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    Melvin the Luckiest Monkey Cover Image
    $14.95
    ISBN: 9781849760867
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Tate Publishing(UK) - June 25th, 2013

    If you've ever met someone who is determined to be unhappy, despite all efforts to the contrary, this is the book for you! A charming tale of friendship between a monkey and a penguin, and as an extra, a fresh variation on the slip-on-a-banana-peel gag (which I'm sure you thought was impossible). (Emily)


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    The Illusion of Separateness Cover Image
    $23.99
    ISBN: 9780062112248
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: HarperTorch - June 11th, 2013

    This was my first introduction to staff favorite Simon Van Booy, and I was extremely impressed. Such spare prose and such deep and heartfelt observations. Sometimes interwoven novels that jump from era to era, person to person, continent to continent can feel disjointed, but Van Booy's narrative is masterful, and truly does allow you to believe that seemingly disparate lives can connect in the most beautiful ways. (Emily)


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    Welcome to Lovecraft Cover Image
    $24.99
    ISBN: 9781600102370
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: IDW Publishing - October 7th, 2008

    Three kids and their mother are coping with a tragedy that has brought them to live alone in the (possibly haunted) mansion their father grew up in -- and they discover keys that each have a different purpose. One unlocks your brain, one allows you to emerge anywhere, one allows you to switch genders. And others have much darker purposes: one allows you to become a ghost temporarily and one is called simply "The Black Key." Joe Hill demonstrates writing skill that rivals that of his father (Steven King), and Gabriel Rodriguez does really wonderful work with thick and thin lines, giving it the mythological feel of a woodcut. (Emily)


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    The Wig in the Window Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780062110503
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: HarperCollins - June 18th, 2013

    This is a great middle grade mystery about two best friends who fancy themselves talented sleuths. And that may be the case, but there's also a chance that they have over-active imaginations that create connections that aren't there (though what 7th grader doesn't do that?). Like most things in life, the real answer may lie somewhere in between. The Wig in the Window is a lot of fun for the young reader in your life. (Emily)


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    18% Gray Cover Image
    $15.95
    ISBN: 9781934824719
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Open Letter Books - January 29th, 2013

    This is part adventure road novel, part lamentation over the loss of love, and part homage to the small echoing moments of America, captured through the camera lens of a lost and drifting young man from Bulgaria. (Emily)


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    The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level Cover Image
    Email or call for price and availability
    ISBN: 9781615190676
    Availability: Out of Print
    Published: Experiment - May 14th, 2013

    This book will be well received by fans of Rebecca Skloot, Sam Kean, and Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies. It focuses a bit more on the science and research end of the spectrum, rather than the treatments -- but that is part of what makes it so interesting. As our understanding of the genetics of cancer expands, the ways we can treat and prevent the disease shift. Reading this book made me feel smart and hopeful. (Emily)


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    Bough Down Cover Image
    By Karen Green (Artist)
    $36.00
    ISBN: 9781938221019
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Siglio - April 30th, 2013

    I never thought that I'd say that a book reminds me of Anne Carson's Nox, and yet, here I am, saying it. It's a grief memoir, it's an art object, it's poetry. It's evocative, it's funny, it's heartbreaking. I've been instagramming the shit out of quotes on its pages, and the final line is one of the best I've read. (Emily)


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    Odd Duck Cover Image
    By Sara Varon (Illustrator), Cecil Castellucci
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9781596435575
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: First Second - May 14th, 2013

    This is one of those rare books that hits all the right notes -- it will entertain kids and earn much sympathy from adults (Cecil and Sara proved this at their launch tea party!). The art and the writing complement each other perfectly -- much like Chad & Theodora's unexpected friendship. You never can predict who will 'get' you. Odd Duck is one of my favorite books of the year. (Emily)


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    The Lola Quartet Cover Image
    Email or call for price and availability
    ISBN: 9781609530990
    Availability: Out of Print
    Published: Unbridled Books - April 30th, 2013

    In her latest, Emily St. John Mandel shows how relationships formed in high school, so often fraught with drama, can ebb and flow and fade and come back to haunt. Among her characters, the perception of what's important and the potential impact of actions varies widely, and something as seemingly insignificant as a photograph can become riddled with layers of meaning, differing for each person who sees it. The writing is taut and Mandel's characteristic infusions of moral ambiguity and complexity remind us, as good novels should, of what it means to be human. (Emily)


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    Stories We Tell Ourselves:
    $18.00
    ISBN: 9781609381530
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    Published: University of Iowa Press - March 15th, 2013

    Two fascinating long-form essays that blur the line between memoir, psychology, and cultural analysis. In the first, Herman wonders what happens, biologically, when we dream, and also asks why similar tropes emerge in everyone's dreams and why we feel so compelled to share them. In the second, she tells of her daughter's experience with "Alice-in-Wonderland Syndrome," a temporary condition of perceiving things as very large and close or very small and far away. (Emily)


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    The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780143122821
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    Published: Penguin Books - March 26th, 2013

    One of my favorite books from last year is now out in paperback! Goldstone delves into the myth and reality of Joan of Arc, and perhaps even more fascinatingly, she illuminates the importance of Yolande of Aragon, who most of us have never heard of, but who was hugely influential at the time. When asked why no one has written about this connection, Goldstone writes, "There is no more effective camouflage in history than to have been born a woman." (Emily)


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    Red Doc> Cover Image
    $24.95
    ISBN: 9780307960580
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 5th, 2013

    If you haven't experienced the lyrical beauty and confusion that is Anne Carson, Red Doc> is a good place to start. You need not have read Autobiography of Red to enjoy Carson's latest. It rejoins both characters decades later, G still tending his herd and also tending his aging mother, and Herakles (now known as Sad But Great) recovering from serving as a soldier. One of the most prominent traits of Carson's writing is its uncategorizability. She weaves her narrative in short, understated lines, but they have the weight and deep observation of poetry. Sometimes it's like a play, sometimes lists, sometimes grammatical, sometimes not -- not unlike the mind and heart. (Emily)


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    Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World Cover Image
    $28.00
    ISBN: 9780345527264
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Ballantine Books - February 26th, 2013

    Though similar in some ways, Elizabeth Bisland and Nellie Bly were remarkably different in others: one leaned toward intellect and good writing, the other toward daring and a good story; one was amazed by the British Empire, the other disgusted by it; one was comfortable with fame and hype, and the other shunned it at all costs; and one won, while one did not. Goodman showers us with lavish details -- of the New York where both women launched their careers, of the ships and trains that carried them away and then home, of Nellie Bly's encounter with Jules Verne himself in France, and of the rapidly changing world of journalism. (Emily)


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    Snippet the Early Riser Cover Image
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9781582464602
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - March 12th, 2013

    Snippet the snail tries to figure out different ways to get his family out of bed (i.e. their shells) -- so much to fit into the day! The illustrations are bright and adorable with plenty of detail and just the right amount of cleverness. (Emily)


    Staff Pick Logo
    Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780375701290
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

    If you have loved this book, I highly recommend that you re-read it ASAP. If people keep telling you to read it and you haven't yet, do it now! This novel-in-verse is one of the most lovely renderings of how one manages, again and again, to find the "art" in heartbreak. And Carson has written a follow-up to it, Red Doc, which comes out in early March, and OMG HAVE I MENTIONED HOW EXCITED I AM FOR IT???!!! (Emily)


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    Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief Cover Image
    $28.95
    ISBN: 9780307700667
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 17th, 2013

    I was surprised at how taken in by this I was. Pulitzer Prize-winner Wright is a truly talented journalist, and the epilogue is masterful. The NYT review starts with: "That crunching sound you hear is Lawrence Wright bending over backward to be fair to Scientology," and yet you feel, at least a little bit, like you're also catching up on the gossip. In the end, I wonder whether the creation of a religion was, for Hubbard, the true pinnacle of being a good science fiction writer: he not only created a convincing world on the page, but he got people to truly believe in it. (Emily)


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    A Book of Sleep Cover Image
    $6.99
    ISBN: 9780375866180
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - January 11th, 2011

    I would call this stunning picture book a refreshing alternative to Goodnight Moon, one that has the same classic quality but feels more modern. It's totally going to be my baby shower standby, so if we know any of the same pregnant ladies, I totally call dibs! (Emily)


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    Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9781616951290
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Soho Press - December 26th, 2012

    This intense novel moves between three narrative strands: a reminiscent look at a childhood with an alcoholic father who suffered from bipolar disorder, the main character's decision to leave his barely-held-together Hollywood life and ride the whims of his own disease, and finally his shock treatment, institutionalization, and reunion with his daughter. (Emily)


    Staff Pick Logo
    Artful Cover Image
    $25.95
    ISBN: 9781594204869
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Penguin Press - January 24th, 2013

    Smith's masterful fiction is not widely known in the U.S., but it should be. Her latest is a nonfiction rumination on the power and importance of art and storytelling. Creative nonfiction at its finest, this one reminds me of one of my other favorite British literary stylists, Jeanette Winterson. (Emily)


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    Sailor Twain: Or, the Mermaid in the Hudson Cover Image
    By Mark Siegel, Mark Siegel (Illustrator)
    $24.99
    ISBN: 9781596436367
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: First Second - October 2nd, 2012

    A fabulous and fantastical yarn set on a riverboat in the Hudson River, the story and the art both seem particularly suited to the winter, for some reason. So full of longing, this one, for people who have left and also a longing to believe in one's own fantasies. (Emily)


    Staff Pick Logo
    The Age of Miracles Cover Image
    $15.00
    ISBN: 9780812982947
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Random House Trade - January 15th, 2013

    Though we wish they'd kept the hardcover design, The Age of Miracles, newly in paperback, is a staff favorite that follows a young family as they cope with a gradually unfolding environmental disaster -- the rotation of the earth has been slowing down, and the days are getting longer and longer and longer. (Emily)


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    The Price of Salt, or Carol Cover Image
    $14.95
    ISBN: 9780393325997
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 17th, 2004

    Written by Patricia Highsmith under a pseudonym in 1952 (several years before Nabokov's Lolita) and published as a pulp novel, this is a tale of forbidden love, New York in the winter, and a crazy road trip. I would call it more psychological fiction than romance, and it will definitely enfold you with its twisted plots and emotions. It also contains the best paragraph I've read in years: it stopped me in my tracks (I was walking and reading), and I read it over and over and over again. No, I won't tell you what page it's on (unless you ask nicely. Maybe). (Emily)


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    Wizzywig Cover Image
    By Ed Piskor, Ed Piskor (Artist)
    $19.95
    ISBN: 9781603090971
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Top Shelf Productions - July 17th, 2012

    Remember that movie Hackers with Angelina Jolie before she got famous? This book is like that movie combined with Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, but as a fictionalized documentary made after the hacker has been caught. It tells the story of how he became a hacker phenom, how he lived underground, and the struggle to get him freed after he's in federal prison. It's not just fluff and fun, though -- it offers some pretty scathing commentary on the effect of media on public perception of pretty much everything. (Emily)


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    Joseph Anton: A Memoir Cover Image
    $30.00
    ISBN: 9780812992786
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Random House - September 18th, 2012

    In 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini announced that Salman Rushdie had been sentenced to death for writing The Satanic Verses. Bookstores were threatened and even bombed, and yet the indies displayed it proudly. This book lays out the events that led to that moment, the 8 years in hiding that followed, and it suggests that the fatwa (and its aftermath) was a precursor to the Islamic extremism that became more prevalent decades later. Rushdie tells his memoir in third person, such was the extent that it did it not feel like his life, then or in hindsight. He demonstrates the possible price of creative expression, and ultimately, its utmost importance. (Emily)


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    The Spokes Cover Image
    $14.00
    ISBN: 9780984414246
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Solid Objects - June 15th, 2012

    Our narrator gets on a ferry, disembarks in the afterlife, and encounters her dead mother and a younger version of herself in this otherworldly, dreamlike novella. If you've lost someone (to death, to time, to inevitable growth), and then dreamt of them, and have felt so happy to see them, in that dream, so happy that it alerts you to the reality that it's a dream, and it awakens you, and you feel the loss all over again -- then you should read this book. (Emily)


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    The Cutting Season Cover Image
    $25.99
    ISBN: 9780061802058
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: HarperTorch - September 18th, 2012

    This novel achieves a rare balance: a page-turner that is refreshingly complex -- morally, socially, narratively. Attica Locke weaves a story about the ways that we do and don't escape our histories, both individually and as a culture. Caren Gray grew up at Belle Vie, a preserved antebellum plantation where her ancestors were slaves, and after Hurricane Katrina, she finds herself back there, working as manager of tourist operations. The discovery of the body of an undocumented farm worker on the grounds brings up questions about the people who work there, about the corporation that wants to take over the land surrounding Belle Vie, and about how class and labor relations in the South change, yet somehow, stay the same. (Emily)


    Staff Pick Logo
    The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code Cover Image
    $27.00
    ISBN: 9780316182317
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Little Brown and Company - July 17th, 2012

    Sam Kean is great at making the science of genetics accessible while bringing out the stories that litter the history of scientific discovery. He tells of the sexual scandals that led to important work being ignored, and of the "hibakusha," or survivors of both atomic bombings in Japan (who helped us learn about genetic damage and, more amazingly, how chromosomes can heal themselves). He offers lots of literary references and I've laughed out loud several times -- exactly what makes science writing awesome. (Emily)


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    Mother, Come Home Cover Image
    By Paul Hornschemeier, Thomas Tennant (Introduction by)
    $22.99
    ISBN: 9781560979739
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Fantagraphics Books - May 2009

    This is the most beautiful and heart-rending graphic novel I've ever read. It's been in my top three for years. But a warning: be careful reading it in public, unless you want people to offer you Kleenex on the subway. (Emily)


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    Daniel Fights a Hurricane Cover Image
    $14.00
    ISBN: 9780143121190
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Penguin Books - July 31st, 2012

    If you're familiar with Jones's first novel, Light Boxes (which was briefly optioned by Spike Jonze), that should be reason enough to check out his latest. This book will also appeal to fans of Steven Hall's The Raw Shark Texts, Rivka Galchen's Atmospheric Disturbances, and any other fiction that lives in that hinterland where reality, imagination, hallucination, and coping with loss swirl around like wind, like the ocean. (Emily)


    Staff Pick Logo
    The Westing Game Cover Image
    $7.99
    ISBN: 9780142401200
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Puffin Books - April 12th, 2004

    I still remember this book vividly from when I read it as a young'un. It's a middle grade mystery where an eccentric millionaire dies and his will lays out a mystery that must be solved by someone in the community in order for anyone to inherit his money. A great cast of characters, and I still remember the thrill of the reveal, all these years later... (Emily)


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    The Obstinate Pen Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780805092950
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Henry Holt & Company - April 10th, 2012

    We've been fans of Dormer's since Socksquatch came out. This is the creator's latest, featuring a pen that writes things that are sometimes nonsensical, sometimes full of truth, but never what the person holding it is trying to write. And don't you want your child to learn the word "obstinate"? (Emily)


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    The Year of the Beasts Cover Image
    By Cecil Castellucci, Nate Powell (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9781596436862
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Roaring Brook Press - May 22nd, 2012

    Told in alternating chapters of comics and prose, this is a summer tale of sisters and social life, of growing up, of fitting in, or not, of boys, of jealousy, and a story that we sense, early on, will have tragic results. In the comics chapters (with Nate Powell's stunning artwork), the characters are Medusa, a mermaid, a centaur, and a minotaur who are returning to school in the fall. As the stories progress, it becomes more and more apparent that the mythological metaphors are pretty perfect and that the stories are, of course, linked. Grief and loss turn people to stone, and the minotaur is elusive in his labyrinth of emotion. (Emily)


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    The Reapers Are the Angels Cover Image
    $20.00
    ISBN: 9780805092431
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Holt McDougal - August 3rd, 2010

    Moar zombies!! A perfect summer read, this features an awesome female protagonist named Temple who fends for herself and the man-child Maury in a zombie-infested wasteland haunted, both stylistically and thematically, by the ghost of William Faulkner. (Emily)


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    The Sneetches: And Other Stories Cover Image
    By Seuss
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780394800899
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Random House Children's Books - August 12th, 1961

    I think people forget about Seuss's great short stories sometimes. Sneetches with Stars upon thars! Too Many Daves! And those eerie pale green pants! He teaches us so much about conflict, and how so often, there is really no need for it. (Emily)


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    A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Cover Image
    $13.95
    ISBN: 9780156364652
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Mariner Books - August 23rd, 1977

    If the last time you read an O'Connor story was in high school, I highly recommend revisiting her. Her stories are dark and violent and absurd (like Karen Russell), darkly funny and twisted (like Manuel Gonzalez), eerie and elegant (like Sarah Hall), and, quite simply, classic. She was a master. (Emily)