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Jenn

    Jenn, events director, Brooklyn & Jersey City
    Most recent staff pickTigerman by Nick Harkaway (ebook available)
    I could not possibly have been more excited for Tigerman, Nick Harkaway's third book. Expectations: met and then some. This is about family, environmental apocalypse, government bureaucracy, international intrigue, and oh yeah, REAL LIFE SUPER HEROES and how far you’d go for someone you love. It’s a real shift from The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker; Harkaway’s humor is in full force, but in many ways this is a far more realistic — and therefore more terrifying — story. And here’s where I run out of words and start to ramble and babble and so I will just say: buy it. Buy it now. (Jenn)

    Staff Pick Logo
    Tigerman Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9780385352413
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - July 29th, 2014

    I could not possibly have been more excited for Tigerman, Nick Harkaway's third book. Expectations: met and then some. This is about family, environmental apocalypse, government bureaucracy, international intrigue, and oh yeah, REAL LIFE SUPER HEROES and how far you’d go for someone you love. It’s a real shift from The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker; Harkaway’s humor is in full force, but in many ways this is a far more realistic — and therefore more terrifying — story. And here’s where I run out of words and start to ramble and babble and so I will just say: buy it. Buy it now. (Jenn)


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    What We See When We Read Cover Image
    $16.95
    ISBN: 9780804171632
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Vintage Books - August 5th, 2014

    If you are a reader (which you are, because you are reading this right now, HI THERE) then you must must must pick up What We See When We Read. Mendelsund is a much-lauded art director and cover designer (for good reason; have you seen the Kafka redesigns?), and he brings the knowledge and experience that inform his work to every page of this discussion on how we turn words into pictures. The fonts vary in size and positioning, images integrate themselves throughout, and each page is a work of art designed to make you stop and think. Can you picture Anna Karenina clearly? How much does it matter if you can’t? How good is your sense-memory of smell? How important are adjectives? And what is the point of describing a river, anyway? This is the Reading About Reading book I didn’t know I wanted, and will now chase everyone around with. (Jenn)


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    Friendship Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780374158613
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - July 1st, 2014

    This book made me laugh and (while I am not much of a crier) made me sad -- which are the two things everyone always wants to hear about a book, right? Gould approaches the titular topic with wit and insight; I was snorting over g-chats and snarking with the main characters, and then shaking my head and yelling at them as they made some of the terrible decisions we are so prone to in our 20s. If you've ever fallen in love with -- and then out of love with -- a friend, you have to pick this one up. (Jenn)


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    Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country: Traveling Through the Land of My Ancestors Cover Image
    $14.99
    ISBN: 9780062309969
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Harper Perennial - March 11th, 2014

    I never thought I’d be able to crown an all-time favorite, but I just finished this book and I think it was fate. Erdrich writes movingly about family, nature, and the importance of words, but most of all she is looking for answers to the question, “Books. Why?” And this is the question I’ve been trying to answer, both professionally and personally, since I learned to read. Everyone who reads should read this. (Jenn)


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    Red or Dead Cover Image
    $30.00
    ISBN: 9781612193687
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Melville House Publishing - May 27th, 2014

    This is one of the strangest novels I've ever read, and -- despite my absolute ignorance about the state of British football -- definitely one of the most interesting. Peace has created something weird and wonderful out of the life of legendary Liverpool Football Club coach Bill Shankly. Red or Dead is a hypnotic reading experience, a spot-on portrayal of what it's like to be part of a dedicated community, and a convincing portrayal of a fascinating man. If you're looking for: a behind-the-scenes look at the English Premier League; a companion to your World Cup cheering; a doorstop of a book to tackle over the summer; or a stunning example of a master stylist at work, this book is for you. (Jenn)


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    The Girl in the Road Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780804138840
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - May 20th, 2014

    This is an incredibly strong debut. Byrne fully imagines not only a future version of India and Africa, but also some really satisfyingly weird new technology -- and she juggles two intensely moving storylines. If you’re looking for a new voice in sci-fi, you must read this. The Girl in the Road gives us a murder mystery, a fascinating and occasionally disturbing vision of the future, and two complex new heroines to root for. (Jenn)


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    The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death Cover Image
    $24.95
    ISBN: 9780385537056
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Doubleday Books - May 6th, 2014

    I have never played a game of poker in my life, nor am I likely to (I have zero poker-face abilities) -- but that couldn't matter less. Colson Whitehead is one of those writers who can do literally anything. If he decided to read the phone book out loud, I would go to that event. If he wrote about garbage, I would read it. And this tour of the poker world is hilarious, insightful, and absolutely gripping. It's a great vacation read, a great subway read, a great weekend read; listen, I'm telling you, it's a great read. Bonus points if you pair it with beef jerky. (Jenn)


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    My Lucky Little Dragon Cover Image
    $6.99
    ISBN: 9780545540469
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Cartwheel Books - January 7th, 2014

    This might be my new go-to baby shower
    gift. It's got adorable animals, and praise-worthy adjectives with which
    to shower a little one: clever, kind, brave, chatty, snuggly, trusty
    ... It's also got sparkle and pizzazz, and a sweet little mirror in the
    back. (Jenn)


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    Invasive Species Cover Image
    $9.99
    ISBN: 9780425269497
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Berkley Books - December 3rd, 2013

    This book kept me up nights, both because it was hard to put down and because I was having visions of giant killer wasps. Wallace delivers one of the best creature-features I've read in a good long while; Invasive Species contains political shenanigans, apocalyptic adventure, and a hard look at our changing environment. (Jenn)


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    The Scar Boys Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9781606844397
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Egmontusa - January 21st, 2014

    Vlahos's debut is big-hearted and bold. The Scar Boys is a coming-of-age novel that tackles trauma and recovery, toxic friendships, first love, first passions, and the power of music. It's set in the 1980s, but the stings and elations of teen years are timeless, and both adults and teenagers alike will recognize themselves in -- and be rooting for -- the characters. (Jenn)


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    The Lion Seeker Cover Image
    Email or call for price and availability
    ISBN: 9780547898049
    Availability: Out of Print
    Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 15th, 2013

    This one absolutely knocked me over. Set in South Africa during WWII and written in close third person, with lots of dialect and regional slang, it follows the fortunes of a family of Jewish immigrants as they try to make a life for themselves. The combination of historical interest, strong voice, and excellent pacing make this an incredible debut and a must-read for fans of Hilary Mantel and Dara Horn. (Jenn)


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    Life After Life Cover Image
    $27.99
    ISBN: 9780316176484
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Reagan Arthur Books - April 2nd, 2013

    I can't decide if this is a profoundly hopeful book or a profoundly depressing book, but either way, once I had picked it up I couldn't put it back down. Ursula Beresford Todd's life is normal enough on the surface -- except for the fact that she keeps repeating it. Does life in fact have a goal? Can we truly change our future? Life After Life is ambitious both in structure and in theme, and Atkinson pulls it off. Good for both historical fiction buffs and sci-fi (particularly time travel/parallel universe) fans. (Jenn)


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    Bleeding Edge Cover Image
    $28.95
    ISBN: 9781594204234
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Penguin Press - September 17th, 2013

    This book is a moving target through and through, and trying to sum it all up feels impossible. Instead, here is a list of things you can expect: ‘90s and ‘00s references; mafioso and hackers and dotcom billionaires; unscrupulous government agents of uncertain affiliation; terrorism (this is, after all, a novel about 9/11); finances both legit and shadowy; conspiracy theories galore; underground videotapes and the Deep Web; murders; karaoke nights, parties, school playgrounds; and New York City, the most important character in the whole book, blazing and shady all at the same time.


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    As the Crow Flies (Walt Longmire Mysteries) Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780143123293
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Penguin Books - May 28th, 2013

    As the TV show version nears its 3rd season and I still can't get over how accurate Robert Taylor's portrayal of Walt is, I think it's high time to mention this series. The books are more or less what would happen if Lonesome Dove and The Long Goodbye had babies: hardboiled noir set on the plains of Wyoming. They're perfect winter reading, full of snowdrifts and storms and the chill of unpleasant memories. (Jenn)


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    The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9781590515051
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Other Press (NY) - September 24th, 2013

    Through the lens of his own family's lives as citizens of Pakistan and the United States as well as through his extensive ancestry, Mufti examines the evolution of Pakistan from its formation to its current status. It's a huge project to undertake but he balances the personal with the political well, finding the human moments in history and the sweeping themes in everyday life. As a memoir and a biography of a nation both, it's well worth a read. (Jenn)


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    Magic Marks the Spot (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1) Cover Image
    By Caroline Carlson, Dave Phillips (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780062194343
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: HarperCollins - September 10th, 2013

    I can't stop telling people about this book, which follows a young girl who ends up on the high seas with a rag-tag group of pirates, her governess, and her magical gargoyle. I wish I could go back in time and give this to my 8-12 year old self. Recommended for every reader who has a sense of adventure and a strong imagination, especially fans of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Alice in Wonderland. Carlson has written a smart, funny, and captivating debut, and begun a wonderful new series. (Jenn)


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    We Need New Names Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780316230810
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Reagan Arthur Books - May 21st, 2013

    NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names is a must-read, whether or not you find yourself drawn to international fiction. It follows a young girl who starts out as a child in Zimbabwe, first in a middle-class enclave and then a ramshackle village, and then goes to Michigan to live with relatives. It’s about alienation and suffering and being a kid and growing up too fast and what it’s like to try to find a home, and it’s affecting and wonderful.


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    MaddAddam Cover Image
    $27.95
    ISBN: 9780385528788
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Nan A. Talese - September 3rd, 2013

    Like all truly good series books, this newest installment will make you want to read The Flood novels over again from start to finish. MaddAddam follows the surviving Gods Gardeners, revealing the history of Adam One and Zeb -- and the surprising ways they influenced Crake in his early years. Happily for fans like yours truly, we also get lots of the Crakers and of Toby, who is the scrappiest scrapper that ever done scrap. And if you haven't read these yet, I can't recommend them highly enough; it's one of the best-written, most frighteningly plausible post-apocalypse series I've ever read. (Jenn)


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    Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9780385350860
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 15th, 2013

    I never thought there would be another Bridget book -- what could possibly come after the triumphant reunion with Mark Darcy? Turns out: A WHOLE LOT. There are some serious sniffle-moments in Mad About the Boy, as well as the usual hilarity and hijinks. Watching Bridget tackle parenthood, texting, middle age, and many other trials and tribulations is like finally getting back in touch with a college roommate and getting tipsy (or squiffy, as Jonesy would say) as you hash out the last decade. Welcome back, Bridget. I missed you! (Jenn)


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    Battling Boy Cover Image
    By Paul Pope, Paul Pope (Illustrator)
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9781596431454
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: First Second - October 8th, 2013

    Pope's first all-ages book has so much to love: classic mythology and world-building all his own; two scrappy main characters who find themselves taking on tasks that the adults just can't seem to cope with; terrifying monsters; enchanted t-shirts; and last but certainly not least, his signature artwork. Its appeal is definitely all ages -- adults and kids alike will dig into this series and want the next installment ASAP. (Jenn)


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    The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese Cover Image
    $27.00
    ISBN: 9780385337007
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Dial Press - July 30th, 2013

    If you like travel, cheese, escapes to the Old World, and/or warped family sagas, you will want to pick this up. As a freelance editor for a foodie periodical, Paterniti learned of the ultimate cheese, made by hand with love by a man in Spain. Many years later, as a journalist looking for a story, he found out that the cheese was no longer being made and decided to find out why not. The story gets bigger and more complicated from there, and includes betrayal, revenge fantasies, an international move -- and lots and lots of cheese. (Jenn)


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    Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9780385535212
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Doubleday Books - July 16th, 2013

    Against my expectations, I adored Rakoff’s Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish. I am highly allergic to hype, and this book couldn't really have more. It's Rakoff's first and only novel, published posthumously, and it's in verse, AND it's got the full Chip Kidd treatment, plus illustrations by Seth. There's a lot going on there, you know? But it was lovely. The rhyme scheme is very Seussian, which seems weird at first but then turns out to be a lot of fun even during the sad parts (and there are a lot of sad parts), and Rakoff's wit has a lot of bite to it. Honestly? I might even read it again. (Jenn)


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    All Our Pretty Songs Cover Image
    $9.99
    ISBN: 9781250027085
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: St. Martin's Press - July 30th, 2013

    We are nuts for this book. McCarry has taken a scene near and dear to our hearts -- Seattle grunge in the '90s -- and made it the setting for a rock'n'roll, retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. But the twists don't stop there, and All Our Pretty Songs is about much more than romantic love. For everyone who has ever needed music to survive -- which is all of us, right? (Jenn & Molly)


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    Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales #5) Cover Image
    $7.99
    ISBN: 9780062223876
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Avon Books - May 28th, 2013

    I look forward to each new installment in James's fairytale series of romances, and the newest (a retelling of Rapunzel featuring a young British woman and a Very Proper Scottish lord) might be my favorite thing she's ever written. She breaks genre rules right along with the hearts of her characters. For example: the conflict here? The hero and heroine have lots of emotional and physical chemistry, but are a disaster together in bed. This flies against everything I thought I knew about how romance novels work. But if you are a master like Eloisa James, you can do these things, and still deliver a "Happily ever after." (Jenn)


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    Matilda and Hans Cover Image
    By Yokococo, Yokococo (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780763664343
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Templar Books - May 14th, 2013

    Hans and Matilda are two very different kittens -- one is a terror who is constantly playing pranks, and one is as good as good can be. When Hans lets the animals in the zoo out one night and a reward is posted, Matilda comes to the rescue! Or does she? Best twist-ending in a picture book we've seen in a while. (Jenn)


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    The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Five Novels in One Outrageous Volume Cover Image
    $20.00
    ISBN: 9780345453747
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Del Rey Books - April 30th, 2002

    I decided on a summer reread of Adams' five-book trilogy since it has probably been a decade since I last spent time with Arthur, Trillian, Ford, and Zaphod (if you don't count the recent movie version, which I almost do because it was such a great adaptation). My recommendation is, do not try to eat or drink while reading, because no matter how many times you've read them before, these books are still hilarious enough to induce spluttering. (Jenn)


    Staff Pick Logo
    The Shining Girls Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780316216852
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Mulholland Books - June 4th, 2013

    I don’t read a lot of horror. But when Lauren Beukes writes something (have you read her yet? READ HER), I read it. She’s smart, she’s political, and she’s one of those writers who manages to turn the world on its ear while making it look easy. Her newest novel, The Shining Girls, just came out and wow. It’s a serial killer story, with time travel, set in Chicago between the 1930s and the 1990s. It’s complicated and dark and gory and almost gave me nightmares, and I feel like if you have a beach visit or a plane ride coming up, you need it. (Jenn)


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    Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great Cover Image
    By Bob Shea, Bob Shea (Illustrator)
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9781423159520
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Disney-Hyperion - June 25th, 2013

    That Unicorn, he's so fancy -- and Goat just can't stand it. All his cool tricks just don't seem to compare with Unicorn's magical powers. But then, it turns out that Goat has some things going for him that Unicorn thinks are pretty great. Can Goat and Unicorn be friends? Maybe even ... fight crime together?! Or at least play nicely? There's only one way to find out. "Taste my cloven justice" is totally going to be our new motto. (Molly and Jenn)


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    Thinking, Fast and Slow Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780374533557
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - April 2nd, 2013

    I’m a sucker for accessibly-written, this-is-how-your-brain-works books (see also Why We Make Mistakes and The Power of Habit and The Shallows) and Kahneman does an excellent job of presenting the science without going over a normally-educated reader’s head. Kahneman lays out both his own research and that of others in a highly accessible style, with lots of mini-quizzes and examples to illustrate the bigger points. More than anything else, it’s got me mulling the priming effect and the ways in which the novels I read might be priming me emotionally. INTERESTING, Y’ALL. (Jenn)


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    The Malice of Fortune: A Novel of the Renaissance Cover Image
    $15.95
    ISBN: 9780307951045
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Anchor Books - June 4th, 2013

    This book hits the sweet spot for summer -- it's a thriller, so there's lots of action (not to mention gore) and conspiracies and plotting, but it's also historical, so you can feel like you're learning things! Which -- if you're like me, and got through British history classes by reading Sharon Kay Penman -- will be right up your alley. The Borgias, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, murder, intrigue, and suspense: it's the whole package. (Jenn)


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    Equilateral Cover Image
    $24.00
    ISBN: 9781620400067
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - April 16th, 2013

    Here's the pitch: A 19th century astronomer convinces an international array of backers to fund the building of a giant, visible-from-space, equilateral triangle in the Sahara Desert, which he then plans to LIGHT ON FIRE, so that Earth can attract the attention of the Martian genius philosophers that everyone is absolutely positive exist. Sounds like the best kind of crazy, am I right? This novel plays with real history (up to a certain point), and while it's deeply steeped in the gender and racial politics of its setting, it also manages to both excoriate and understand its increasingly befuddled protagonists. (Jenn)


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    Lawless Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780545450294
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Scholastic Press - April 1st, 2013

    I'm a sucker for a good heist story, so I knew I was going to fall for Lawless right from the get-go. An Ocean's Eleven or Leverage for the younger set, it follows M Freeman as she leaves home for the elite Lawless School. She has no idea that she comes from a family of master criminals, or that she's been trained her whole life to join their ranks. Right and wrong don’t come into it just yet -- M is just trying to survive! Action-packed, full of twists and turns and double-crosses and international intrigue, it’s a true page-turner. (Jenn)


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    Snapper Cover Image
    $24.95
    ISBN: 9780307908056
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Pantheon Books - April 23rd, 2013

    Snapper is a quiet, almost unassuming read, but the images and characters will sneak in the cracks of your mind and take up residence. Kimberling's prose is clean and crisp, and the every-day moments he describes are vivid and absorbing, worthy of a deeper look. (Jenn)


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    Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling (an Origami Yoda Activity Book) Cover Image
    $12.95
    ISBN: 9781419705342
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Amulet Books - March 26th, 2013

    Just when I thought I couldn't love Angleberger any more, this book comes out. The Origami Yoda books are some of my favorite chapter books out there, both for their clever plotlines and their nerdy origami fun, and this book teaches kids to draw, fold, and nerd to their hearts' content. I recommend getting two: one for the kid, one for yourself! (Jenn)


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    The Dark Cover Image
    By Lemony Snicket, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780316187480
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 2nd, 2013

    Snicket and Klassen's take on the perennial childhood fear of the dark is absolutely gorgeous, and thoroughly endearing. Laszlo would like very much for the dark not to visit him every night, and does his best to keep it at bay. But one night he embarks on an adventure that goes from scary to sweet. Is there anything creepy that Snicket can't turn into fun, and that Klassen can't make into art worthy of hanging on your walls? Nope. (Jenn)


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    How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9781594487293
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Riverhead Books - March 5th, 2013

    Between the potentially-off-putting title and the fact that this novel is written in the second person, you might be inclined to give it a pass. But I promise you, you'll be sad to miss it! Chronicling the narrator's journey from poor village boy to aging former tycoon, and the parallel journey of his youthful crush, Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is beautifully written, sharp, and entertaining. This is without a doubt the best rags-to-riches story I've read since ... well, I actually can't remember the last time I read one I liked this much. (Jenn)


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    Vampires in the Lemon Grove Cover Image
    $24.95
    ISBN: 9780307957238
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - February 12th, 2013

    Russell takes a turn for the dark and violent, in addition to the surreal and absurd, in her new short story collection. Her protagonists have grown up, and boy howdy so have her plotlines. From the American frontier, to inner-city schools, to Antarctic tailgaters, to kidnapped Japanese factory girls, there is a huge range of stories here to enjoy. Maybe read with the lights on, though? (Jenn)


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    Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Trilogy #1) Cover Image
    $9.99
    ISBN: 9780544022492
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Houghton Mifflin - March 5th, 2013

    I missed this book when it first came out, but the buzz about the soon-to-be-released sequel got me curious. The plot, once you hear it, basically sells itself: a convent of assassin-nuns in medieval Brittany is busy training up the next generation, and 17-year-old trainee Ismae is sent to court on her first mission. While you can see some of the plot points coming a mile away (Of course she falls for the nobleman she's gone undercover with! Of course she stumbles into layer upon layer of wicked court intrigue!), the book is a lot of fun, and the characters are well-drawn enough that I'll definitely be picking up Dark Triumph. (Jenn)


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    When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice Cover Image
    $17.00
    ISBN: 9781250024114
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Picador USA - February 26th, 2013

    This one is for fans of Cheryl Strayed and Annie Dillard. When Terry Tempest Williams' mother dies, she leaves her daughter several shelves of diaries that all turn out to be blank. Williams is an incredible writer, and her fascination with nature melds with her contemplations on family and the creative voice to produce a gorgeous tear-jerker of a memoir. (Jenn)


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    One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels #2) Cover Image
    $7.99
    ISBN: 9780062068538
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Avon Books - January 29th, 2013

    If you are looking for a gateway to romance novels, try this one! Revolving around a gambling den in London, One Good Earl follows a smart, scientifically-minded lady (in a society that finds the combination of science and women Absolutely Scandalous) trying to find the formula for happiness and love, and the hero is a brooding mess (as you might expect). (Jenn)


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    Chu's Day Cover Image
    By Neil Gaiman, Adam Rex (Illustrator)
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780062017819
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: HarperCollins - January 8th, 2013

    As cute as the panda video that may have inspired it, this picture book is our new favorite read-aloud. When Chu sneezes, you better watch out! His sneezes are so powerful he has to wear an aviator cap and goggles at all times. Kids will have fun not only with the build-up to the Big Sneeze, but tracking the other animals in the cast. (Jenn and Molly)


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    What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal Cover Image
    By Laina Dawes, Skin (Foreword by)
    $16.95
    ISBN: 9781935950059
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Bazillion Points LLC - January 8th, 2013

    I picked this up because Music Writing Book Group was reading it, and I am so glad I did. Dawes writes not only about her own experiences as a black woman in the heavy metal/hardcore scene, but also interviews anyone else she can find who will talk to her -- not an easy thing, with this divisive of a topic! A fascinating look at the fringes of the fringe community. (Jenn)


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    Gods Without Men (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
    $16.95
    ISBN: 9780307946973
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Vintage - January 8th, 2013

    This was one of my favorite books of 2012. What do a British rocker, a couple with an autistic child, a Spanish monk on pilgrimage, frontier outlaws, a New Age cult, and a military training base have in common? Kunzru's storytelling abilities are on full display in this brilliantly weird and thought-provoking novel that I will be giving to all our Cloud Atlas fans. (Jenn)


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    Familiar Cover Image
    $15.00
    ISBN: 9781555976255
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Graywolf Press - October 2nd, 2012

    If you've read his other books, you'll know that Lennon does nothing simply, and Familiar is just as beautifully complex and warped as one might hope. Elisa is compelling because of, rather than in spite of, her flaws, and her circuitous journey is like a highway accident -- a complete wreck that you can't help but stare at. From a shattered family and a troubled marriage, Lennon crafts an intensely psychological thriller that is surprising, engrossing, and unforgettable. For all fans of a weird story well-told. (Jenn)


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    This Is Not My Hat (Caldecott Medal - Winner Title(s)) Cover Image
    By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780763655990
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - October 9th, 2012

    It's hard to believe that anything could be as darkly and endearingly funny as I Want My Hat Back, but I am here to tell you that This Is Not My Hat is just as good -- and I might even like it better! A tiny fish just stole a very fashionable hat from a very large fish, and isn't worried about it at all. Nope, not worried at all... But maybe he should be! (Jenn)


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    Ask the Passengers Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780316194686
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 23rd, 2012

    I will read everything King writes, ever. She tackles common themes of YA -- alienation, bullying, substance abuse -- but does beautiful, dangerous, and fascinating things with them. In her newest, Astrid Jones tries to figure out what it means that she's falling in love with a girl while being surrounded by people hiding their own secrets. (Jenn)


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    Safe as Houses (Iowa Short Fiction Award) Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781609381141
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: University of Iowa Press - October 1st, 2012

    I'm a sucker for a good short story, and Bertino's debut collection is absolutely full of them. There are words for the individual pieces of her style: whimsy, surrealism, wry humor, a knack for hitting a nerve. But it's hard to describe the way all the pieces fit together -- and how beautifully they do. Safe as Houses is everything I want out of a short story collection: variety, emotional resonance, even aliens. I laughed; I teared up a bit; and then I immediately lent it to a friend. (Jenn)


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    Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic Cover Image
    $28.95
    ISBN: 9780393066807
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 1st, 2012

    I've been a fan of Quammen's writing for years (I have a very dogeared copy of The Boilerplate Rhino somewhere in my stacks), and Spillover might be my favorite of his books. It's a really fascinating examination of infectious diseases -- specifically the ones that pass from animals to humans, called zoonoses, like AIDS and SARS and H1N1. Epidemiologists suspect that this is where "The Next Big One" will come from (anyone else see Outbreak?) and Quammen takes us behind the scenes to look at the diseases already out there, how and why they happen, and what the future of zoonoses might look like. The best kind of informative-scary! (Jenn)


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    The Devil in Silver Cover Image
    $27.00
    ISBN: 9781400069866
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Spiegel & Grau - August 21st, 2012

    In exchange for roughing up a couple of undercover cops (a total mistake, of course), Pepper gets thrown in the New Hyde mental institution for 72 hours of observation. Does he actually belong there? Does anyone? And is New Hyde haunted? Creepy, insightful, and playfully referential. (Jenn)


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    Distrust That Particular Flavor Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780425252994
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Berkley Publishing Group - September 4th, 2012

    You probably know Gibson for his sci-fi (and if not, pick up Neuromancer immediately), but his essays are also worth reading. As he explains in his intro, for a hardcore novelist like him, each piece of truth-telling is an exercise in weird fiction -- and it shows. Worth buying for the Steely Dan album review alone! (Jenn)


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    The Age of Miracles Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780812992977
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Random House - June 26th, 2012

    Our narrator, Julia, is 11 years old when the world changes forever. It's October, and time suddenly becomes elastic. One day, for no apparent reason, a day is suddenly 25 hours long. Three days later, 25:37, and they continue to stretch. This novel has the feel of an apocalyptic To Kill a Mockingbird or a more sober True Grit, with a knowing, worldly voice-over guiding the reader through the moment in her childhood that everything changed. Understated, odd, and haunting. (Jenn)


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    Big Mean Mike Cover Image
    By Michelle Knudsen, Scott Magoon (Illustrator)
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9780763649906
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - August 14th, 2012

    Mike is the biggest, meanest dog in town -- he goes to the gym, he drives a loud car, he has a spiky collar and pointy claws. Everyone knows that he is Big Mean Mike! Except, apparently, for some very cute fuzzy bunnies, who keep showing up in his car. How can Mike be big and mean AND be friends with bunnies?! Be prepared to growl, yell, and then go "Awwwwwwwwww!" when reading this one! (Jenn)


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    Capital Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9780393082074
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 11th, 2012

    You may not think you want to read a novel about the 2008 bank collapse, but you'd be wrong. Lanchester's examination of the lives of families on one street in London is smart, witty, and may even make you feel better about the crazy state of economics today. (Jenn)


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    Alif the Unseen Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780802120205
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Grove Press - June 19th, 2012

    This book pushes a bunch of my buttons: Arab culture and politics, computer programming, mysticism, explosions, alternate dimensions. Weeks later, I'm still mulling over the details and characters. If you've read and enjoyed The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, and/or Neuromancer by William Gibson, this one is for you. (Jenn)


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    Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780307949332
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Vintage - July 10th, 2012

    You should buy Tiny Beautiful Things for yourself, and then for your best friend, and maybe also your mom and your brother and anyone else who has ever needed a helping hand. (Really: everyone.) It's one of the most comforting, companionable book you could ever have on your shelf. Nota bene: I highly recommend not reading this on the subway, unless you're totally fine with sobbing in public. (Jenn)


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    Sorry Please Thank You: Stories Cover Image
    $24.95
    ISBN: 9780307907172
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Pantheon - July 24th, 2012

    Yu's new short story collection works with some of the same elements as his novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, and then goes off in new, strange, and wonderful directions. The first short story in particular is a killer. (Jenn)


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    Zone One Cover Image
    $15.00
    ISBN: 9780307455178
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Anchor Books - July 10th, 2012

    Fans of horror and apocalypse will be delighted by Whitehead's vision of an overrun U.S. complete with zombies both terrifying and pitiful; fans of literature will revel in his linguistic flights of fancy and wry commentary on society. It's in my top five favorite end-of-the-world novels to date, and believe me when I say I've read more than my fair share. (Jenn)


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    Zombie Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781616950880
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Soho Press - June 5th, 2012

    Jeremy is fourteen, obsessed with zombie flicks, and struggling at school and at home. His dad disappears every night, he's probably going to get his butt kicked weekly (if not daily) by the local jock brigade, and every time he talks to the girl of his dreams he gets a nosebleed. Angelella has written a truly surprising, frequently sinister, and very clever YA novel. (Jenn)


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    Gone Girl Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780307588364
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - June 5th, 2012

    I highly recommend not talking about this book with anyone else who has read it until you're done, because the spoilers are major and you really, really, really don't want to know anything ahead of time. REALLY. Flynn's got a razor-sharp writing style and dissects the myriad ways that relationships change us for both better or worse, in the meantime serving up one of my favorite whodunits since Turn of Mind. (Jenn)


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    The Shadowed Sun (Dreamblood #2) Cover Image
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9780316187299
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Orbit - June 12th, 2012

    Book 2 is here, Book 2 is here! Thank the publishing gods that they were only a month apart, I was having trouble waiting even that long. In the sequel to The Killing Moon, we find out how Gujaareh is doing under Kisuati rule, what has happened to the ninja-priests after discovering the corruption deep in their ranks, and get a whole new cast of characters to obsess over. (Jenn)


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    The Legend of Pradeep Mathew Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781555976118
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Graywolf Press - May 8th, 2012

    This is the best novel narrated by a cranky, aging, alcoholic Sri Lankan sportswriter that you never knew you wanted to read. Also, you will learn about cricket, which is possibly the weirdest sport ever invented by humans and endlessly entertaining to try and suss out. (Jenn)


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    Bring Up the Bodies (John MacRae Books) Cover Image
    $28.00
    ISBN: 9780805090031
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Henry Holt & Company - May 8th, 2012

    Even though we all know exactly what happens to Ann Boleyn, this is a compulsive reading experience. Cromwell is the ultimate narrator, seeing the Tudor shenanigans with a sigh and then rolling up his sleeves to get it done. (Jenn)


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    The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Cover Image
    $28.00
    ISBN: 9781400069286
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Random House - February 28th, 2012

    I can't recommend this highly enough for my fellow productivity freaks. If you've ever wondered what it is about your bad habits that make them so hard to shake, or want to hack your daily routines, Duhigg gives you the tools (and the background info) to do it. (Jenn)


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    The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1) Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780316187282
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Orbit - May 1st, 2012

    Ninja-priests and dream magic! This is epic fantasy at its finest, and the ancient Egypt-inspired setting is surreal and fascinating (and a nice break from pseudo-medieval Europe). (Jenn)


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    I Hunt Killers Cover Image
    $19.00
    ISBN: 9780316125840
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 3rd, 2012

    What if Matt Saracen had, like, the worst dad in the whole world? A dad who was actually a serial killer, and intended to make his son one as well? Jasper Dent's life is kind of like that. Advisory: don't read this book at night unless you have a very, very strong constitution. (Jenn)


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    Lost Everything Cover Image
    $20.99
    ISBN: 9780765329127
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Tor Books - April 10th, 2012

    Brian Francis Slattery has written another apocalypse novel, and I for one hope he never stops. It's an incredibly timely and moving meditation on war -- who and what do we fight for? Who are we fighting against? And, of course, in true Slattery style, it's also bursting at the seams with laughter and hijinks, and parties I wish I could attend. (Before the shooting starts, anyway.) (Jenn)


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    Blueprints of the Afterlife Cover Image
    $14.00
    ISBN: 9780802170910
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - January 3rd, 2012

    This one I picked up because customers couldn't stop raving about it, and recommending it to each other, and you guys are always spot on when that happens. It's a zany, mildly absurd but also incredibly thoughtful, philosophically-inclined blockbuster of a plot -- Total Recall meets Blade Runner, maybe? Anyway it's great. (Jenn)


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    Boy and Bot Cover Image
    By Ame Dyckman, Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780375867569
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - April 10th, 2012

    I would like to give this to robot-loving-children everywhere. Do little boys need oiling? Do robots like applesauce? Important questions are answered herein! (Jenn)


    Papertoy Monsters: 50 Cool Papertoys You Can Make Yourself! Cover Image
    $18.95
    ISBN: 9780761158820
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Workman Publishing - December 29th, 2010

    A breakthrough paper-folding book for kids--paper airplanes meet Origami meets Pokemon. Papertoys, the Internet phenomenon that's hot among graphic designers and illustrators around the world, now comes to kids in the coolest new book.