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Staff Picks

    Christopher, Bookseller & Cafe, Jersey City 

    Most recent staff pick: How to Survie a Summer by Nick White

    I don't believe there are enough adjectives to properly describe how incredible Nick White's astonishing debut novel How to Survive a Summer truly is! Will Dillard is good at keeping the past buried, especially the haunting memories from a long ago summer where he was sent to a camp "to cure him of his homosexuality"as a teenager. Now many years later, Will sets out on a road trip back to Mississippi to return to the same camp now abandoned, to ultimately make peace with his past in order to move on with his life. This is a hauntingly beautiful, thrilling, masterful piece of work. Nick White's words grab your attention and keep you guessing and glued to every page as you try and solve the mystery along with Will.  A true masterpiece and an audacious debut novel.

    Jasper, inventory coordinator, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett 

    A terribly engrossing read! I stayed up many nights devouring sections of this book only to slow down as I neared the end. The Divine Cities series has become one of my favorites in recent years, as Bennett’s writing style is unrivaled in the fantasy genre. On the outside Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is one tough cookie but on the inside is a caring and loyal character that you won’t soon forget. While City of Miracles is the third book in the series, I welcome any and all to dive into this rich, wonderful, and tragic world.

    Lydia, children's specialist, Jersey City

    Most Recent Staff Pick: I Dare You Not to Yawn by Helene Boudreau

    This is a hilarious board book adults and babies can enjoy together. It's a great read aloud with a story line that adults will appreciate and find humorous while babies will find it amusing just from the fun yawning sounds that are written into the story.

    Melody, Bookseller, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick:Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

    Chazz, bookseller, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick:

    Peanut Butter Dogs by Greg Murray

    Just when you thought you were about to embark on an even lower descent into your existential crisis here comes a book, no.... a chronicling of reasons to continue living and fighting the good fight. It's a historical record of some of the most important figures of our time complete with high quality photos and intimate details of their attributes and contributions to society. They act as examples for how we should compose ourselves as well as react in any given situation or any political climate. To this day they continue to perfect the legacy they want to leave behind while continuously making positive impacts on the world around us. You will remember, acknowlege, and appreciate them and what they do the next time you open a jar of Skippy.

     

    Dan, Bookseller, Brooklyn & Jersey City 

    Most recent staff pick: Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us by Kate Bornstein

    In 1994, Kate Bornstein bursted onto the literary scene with her now-classic book Gender Outlaw. The newly revised and updated edition does not disappoint. An autobiographical account of Bornstein’s transition from a man to a woman (although by the time you’re done with this book, you will want to throw these loaded terms out the window for good), Gender Outlaw is simultaneously informative, tender, funny, and intense. The complex gender theory is perfectly complimented by Bornstein’s wit and humor—think if Judith Butler and Amy Sedaris co-wrote a book. This book is for anyone who wants a better understanding of human sexuality, identity, and the role of society in creating both. 

    Ashanti, inventory manager, Jersey City & Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: White Fur by Jardine Libaire

    I always felt like PRETTY IN PINK had a much more interesting premise than it could deliver; buried under the Reaganite conservatism that made Andie think she had to end up with milquetoast Blane (with whom she has next to nothing in common), the star-crossed lover element could have made that first love story fizzy instead of flat as a day-old soda. By contrast, Jardine Libaire is popping the cork on a bottle of Dom Perignon and letting us drink straight from the bottle. WHITE FUR is a heady love story played through protagonists in the forms of housing-project raised, half Puerto-Rican Elise and Banking Heir Apparent Jamey - never was there a pair to piss the gods off more. Their gradual transformation from New Haven neighbors to SoHo domestics wandering past 80's bodegas sneaks up on you and puts you into the city. Libaire's writing is dramatic, intoxicating, galvanizing - her prose crackles with the minor details that make a life magical and that makes that first love all-consuming. 

    Hannah, operations manager, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick:

    PriestDaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood

    This is a memoir collection that will cause you to cry/laugh/hiccup/ gasp all within the span of a few pages. Lockwood is an incredible poet and cultural observer, whose story makes your well trod "unconventional childhood" memoir territory literally a walk in the park. Recommend for fans of Jenny Lawson and unpretentious poetry alike.  

    Alison, Operations Supervisor, Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: Isadora by Amelia Gray

    Amelia Gray fans will not be disappointed in her first novel, Isadora, a haunting portrayal of Isadora Duncan, "the mother of modern dance," who is reeling from the tragic drowning of her two young children. At the height of her career, Isadora is faced with this unimaginable loss and struggles to recover from the shock. Essentially abandoning her lover and family, Isadora turns to dance as a coping mechanism, becoming increasingly unhinged as she fuels her art with her despair. Gray's feverish depiction of Isadora's emotional upheaval is a visceral exploration into the effects of grief.

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    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.

    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.

     

    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. 

    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)

    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