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Staff Picks

    Melody, Bookseller, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Everything,Everything by Nicola Yoon

    This Book is everything, everything! Nicola Yoon has not failed me yet. It is a beautifully written book about a girl named Maddie who has been sick her entire life and has never left her house. Maddie has never been able to leave. Until Olly moves in next door and she has the sudden urge to live. 

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    Jasper, inventory coordinator, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Generation Decks by Titus Chalk

    If you're a seasoned MTG player, you've just found your next book! If you've never heard of Magic: The Gathering, you should also pick up Generation Decks and find out what you have been missing. Chalk throws us back to 1993, when Richard Garfield came up with the bonkers idea of an incomplete collectible card game (an asymmetrical game where you manage resources to summon creatures and cast spells, all the while having no information of what your opponent is capable of)! Chalk goes through Magic's 20+ year trailblazing history of game mechanics and savvy business strategies, eventually bringing us to the community-driven scene it is today. While I loved the history lesson, my favorite thing about this book is when Chalk unabashedly tells of his personal on-again, off-again relationship with the game, a love affair that many of us share. Generation Decks is easily my go-to book recommendation of 2017.

    Lydia, children's specialist, Jersey City

    Most Recent Staff Pick: Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail

    This novel is about 8th grader Gracie and the various social dynamics she's dealing with at school while also trying to be the perfect child for her parents to make up for the child they lost long before she was born. I thought this was a light and touching read. This is a really good coming-of age novel that's perfect for tweens who are not yet ready for YA novels but too old for most chapter/middle grade books.

    Karrie, offsite/outreach coordinator, Jersey City & Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick:

    Abandon Me: Memoirs by Melissa Febos

    Febos’ latest memoir Abandon Me is a raw and eloquent exploration of her Native American heritage, her relationship with substance abuse and an arduous affair with a married woman. Presented in essay form, each chapter reveals different accounts of the longing and distance felt throughout her life, including her relationship with her seafaring captain step-father and an addiction to heroin. Febos clings tightly to each relationship out of fear of solitude, repeating the same actions over and over but hoping for a different outcome. Her need for connection, with family, lovers, and especially, one's self, is a universal message to which each of us can relate.

     

    Chazz, bookseller, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick:

    The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin' Sad by Adam Gnade

    A very honest, straightforward and brief anti-depression book written in a very punk rock style and portable enough to fit in your pocket. It offers very encouraging and empowering advice that's written in a language that's highly relatable to help you get over your inner and outer demons. So if you've been feeling low but also live a very hurried lifestyle then you should get this motherfuckin' book!

     

    Dan, Bookseller, Brooklyn & Jersey City 

    Most recent staff pick: The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World by Damon Krukowski

    "Our accelerating disappearance into the digital ether now defines us," according to a recent piece in the New York Review of Books. Given this reality, Damon Krukowski’s new book is a timely and highly useful defense of analog. Krukowski, a member of the late-1980s alternative rock band Galaxie 500, argues that what we have gained by digitizing music is far less important and meaningful that what we’ve lost: the ability to listen closely, the feeling of proximity between ourselves and what we are hearing, and the messy noise that gave texture to music. Anyone who has ever burned a CD, owned an iPod, or listens to Pandora—really, anyone who has ever come in contact with music—should check out this ear-opening book.

    Kristina, cafe manager, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Triangle by Marc Barnett

    The first book of this upcoming trilogy introduces us to Triangle and Square. Within the beautifully illustrated pages Triangle sets out to Square's neck of the woods with a super sneaky plan to trick his friend. Will Triangle complete his mission successfully? What is his motivation? Will Square come up with his own plan? These are all questions that can be contemplated with the kids after reading.

    Ashanti, inventory manager, Jersey City & Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies

    Davies has a Bierce-like ability to set the shot so perfectly you don't see the the target until it's already bleeding. The redemption in question bristles with an electric irony so sly, it might be easy to miss if it weren't both shocking and satisfying. Davies throws the reader into this constructed relationship between puritan do-gooder Patience Haim and Galen Pike, gruffian awaiting the gallows, to yes, meditate on the weird relational web of humans, but also to tell a damn good story.

    Willbookkeeper, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Notes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone

    This is a fun book with a lot of layers to it, it's both a satire and a neo-noir novel of coping with life. The internet has disconnected, maybe to never come back. Those addicted to twitter, instagram, and more must take to the streets to get their "fix". Be it by forcing cats to perform tricks for their amusement or by standing in the street looking for validation in 140 characters. The economy tumbles and people start to freak out at the massive change to the world that may be the new way of things. All this is told through the eyes of Wayne Gladstone, who's going through a divorce and just lost his way of ignoring the world. He's heard a rumor that someone in NY is still online. So with a blogger and a webcam girl, both now out of work, he sets out to find the internet and the why of things. 

    Christopher, Bookseller & Cafe, Jersey City 

    Most recent staff pick: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

    Becky Albertalli understands how teens speak and in this lovely, funny, follow-up to the incredible Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, she's really hitting her stride of becoming the voice to a generation in need of a strong voice like Albertalli. This is smart and doesn't talk at you in "Juno" speak but actually treats its characters like fully realized human beings. I love this book! it's a must read heading into this Spring season. 

    Alison, Operations Supervisor, Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch

    In an innovative and moving retelling of the story of Joan of Arc, Lidia Yuknavitch portrays a future in which the essence of humanness is at stake. Forced to flee Earth, a portion of humanity lives on space station CIEL where they are condemned to lives without gender, sex, procreation, or old age. Hope only exists in the legend of Joan and rumors of rebellion and insurrection on the Earth's surface far below. Yuknavitch beautifully examines the will and need to fight against tyranny and oppression even at the cost of one's life.

    Camille, Operations Supervisor, Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

    In her new collection of short stories, Roxane Gay throws out the blueprint nining the narratives of women amongst us. Almost portrait-like in their tidy insight into messy inner lives. Gay stiches the hard to watch into the cathartically easy to empathize with shining light of persistence of ordinary life through and after trauma. Also: GREAT sex writing!

    Aubrey, Children's Manager, Jersey City & Brooklyn

    Most Recent Staff Pick: Hello, Mr. Dodo! by Nicholas John Firth

    These joyful Technicolor illustrations, retro in a way that brings Roger Duvoisin to mind, are accompanied by the tale of two unlikely friends, one extinct, one not. 

    Crystal, bookseller and children's specialist, Brooklyn and Jersey City. 

    Most recent staff pick: Love is Love by DC Entertainment 

    Love Is Love is a comic book anthology to honor the victims, survivors and families of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. Artists from around the world have come together to share inspiring and heart-breaking artwork about that tragic and unforgettable night. It will inspire you and remind you at every turn, to be yourself, and to be brave. 

    Dylan, bookseller & barista, Jersey City & Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: Gorgeous by Cathy G. Johnson

    I've been waiting for this book since Cathy did an event at our Brooklyn location last year and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Cathy's hazy graphite illustrations work perfectly with this brief but emotionally devastating story. It leads you down surprising paths while exploring unexpected emotional depths. I finished this book and was caught so off guard, I immediately read it again. (Dylan)

    Hannah, operations manager, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick:

    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

    We read this over 6 months ago and have thought about it every day since. It's hard not to overpraise George Saunders, but there is not a funnier, sadder, more beautiful, empathy inducing, and ultimately heartbreaking book that will come out this year. Also, there are a lot of great dirty jokes. If you're a fan of Saunders short fiction, you will be astonished by what he does with all this space. If you have no idea who or what this is, you will love it anyway. Please read this. It's a transformative piece of work.

    Mike, bookseller, Brooklyn and Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick:  The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Weglius

    Jakob Wegelius latest has delivered a grand, globetrotting adventure with shades of Dickens and Kipling.

    Brian, Events Coordinator,  Brooklyn & Jersey City

     

    Christine, owner

    Most recent staff pick: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (ebook available)

    Emma's newest book feels like it was written just for me. Two couples that have been friends for two decades, going through the growing pains of marriage and friendship, raising kids into adulthood...it all resonated with me. I flew through this book, enjoying both the moments reliving my teenage years with Harry and Ruby as well as the familiarity and frustrations of a long-term marriage with Zoe, Jane, Elizabeth and Andrew. I have a feeling this is going to be this year's summer read. (Christine)

    Adrian, formerly the world's only illiterate bookseller, who has moved up to chapter books

    Most recent staff pickThe Myster of the Gold Coin by Harper Paris 

    This is the first book in the Greetings From Somewhere series and a great pick for beginning chapter.

    Vivi and Cora, resident babies

    Most recent staff pick: Everywhere Babies by Susan Myers