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Staff Picks

    Ashanti, inventory manager, Jersey City & Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: The Idiot by Elif Batuman 

    I am not the daughter of Turkish immigrants, I didn’t go to Harvard, and I was a child in 1995. And yet, I somehow feel as if, in Selin, Elif Batuman has crystallized every and any internal monologue I’ve ever had in trying to figure out how to relate to other humans -rhizomatic, mind-numbing, rubbing against each other and getting it wrong more often than not. With Batuman’s writing, I’m thrown back into all the discomforts of freshman year, but I’m never uncomfortable or embarrassed for Selin; I’m right along with her in her quiet and restrained longing for Ivan, her self-realizations and stumblings, her myriad navigations. Simply put, I want to live in this novel with Elliott Smith’s “Kiwi Maddog 20/20” on repeat in the background.

    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!

    Lydia, children's specialist, Jersey City

    Most Recent Staff Pick: Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

    Melody, Crystal, and myself love this picture book! It’s a beautiful tale of identity, family, and finding your own place in the world; whether that place is in a classroom, the family you were born into, or the family that picked you. The illustrations are gorgeous and shimmery that both children and adults will love just as much as the story.

    Christopher, Bookseller & Cafe, Jersey City 

    Most recent staff pick: Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them by Gina Kolata

    One part fascinating science mystery,other half a powerful family drama revolving around the revelation of a mutated gene that could cause brutal illness and might be inherited. A family struggles to catch up with medicine to understand what this could mean for their family as a whole. Heartbreaking, life affirming, and a thought-provoking read that asks what would you do to save your family?   

    Alison, Operations Supervisor, Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick: The Vine That Ate the South by J.D. Wilkes

    A modern epic full of charm and intrigue, The Vine That Ate the South is a wild romp that showcases the imaginative and linguistic quirks of the deep south. The unlikely hero is accompanied by the indomitable and unforgettable Carver Canute on a search for an infamous house swallowed whole by kudzu, with its occupants still inside. Set in the depths of Kentucky in a world full of blurred reality, folk tales, and rural lore, the two encounter the stuff of nightmares in the haunted forest which forces them to confront their fears and pasts on the journey. J.D. Wilkes peppers the novel with delightful illustrations that heightens the magical feel of this creative exploration into modern South.

    Melody, Bookseller, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Winky Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

    A beautifully written story with a little bit of everything. It has romance, mystery, jealousy, and even conspiracies. There is a villain, a hero, and a liar. You're just going to have to figure out who is who. 

    Katelyn, events coordinator, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz

    Everything Belongs to Us is the complicated friendship between Jisun and Namin. They are embroiled in protest and burdened by the choices of others. They fall in love and are broken by that love. They find strength and comfort in their connection, at least in the beginning. This is a gorgeous first book that knocked me out in so many ways. It surprised me with its  smooth prose and inventive plotting. It had such style and strong voice that it lingers long after the last page is turned. I am looking forward to more from Wuertz with utter impatience.

    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. 

    Willbookkeeper, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Man in an Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell

    A fun, frenetic, sci fi mystery with a really good premise. A jaded time traveler has a birthday party for himself where every version of him from each year of his life will attend. Only this year when he turns 39 he finds his 40 year old self murdered. Now he has to solve his own murder before it becomes his set destiny and all his future and past selves are the suspects. I had a lot of fun reading this story, Sean Ferrell tackles something that could be really confusing as you can see from the description and makes it very easy to follow. Definitely read for anyone that likes mysteries wrapped in complex problems or those that like time travel shenanigans. 

    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. 

    Dan, Bookseller, Brooklyn & Jersey City 

    Most recent staff pick: Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life by Nato Thompson

    If Foucault were around today and decided to wander around an Apple store and write down his thoughts, the result would look a lot like this book. Nato Thompson, an art critic and curator, traces the history of elites using culture as a tool to gain social and economic influence, from the earliest days of public relations in the 19th century to the contemporary decor of a Starbucks cafe. Thompson blends media criticism-emphasizing the privatization of social experience and the commodification of self-actualization- with poignant meditations on the role of emotion and affect in our daily lives. Thompson effectively describes how the modern power elite use irrationality and fear to manipulate citizens. Sound familiar?

    Chazz, bookseller, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick:

    Smooth-Talking Dog by Roberto Castillo Udiarte, Anthony Seidman (Translator)

    From the same author that translated Charles Bukowski into Spanish, gives the Mexicali subculture and people so much character in his poetry. This is a beautiful, metaphorical, and surprisingly fun read even if the meaning behind the poetry is bittersweet. 

     

    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)

    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.

    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.

    Brian, Events Coordinator,  Brooklyn & Jersey City

     

    Jasper, inventory coordinator, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 

    This collection of myths is a shining example of short-form prose at its best! It's easy and accessible, and most of the stories are appropriate for all ages (bedtime story approved)!

    Karrie, offsite/outreach coordinator, Jersey City & Brooklyn

    Most recent staff pick:

    The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Aldey

    Snow demons, sprites, and bears, oh my! Set against the wilderness of Russia, Vasya still believes in the forest sprites and creatures who protect her town. When her stepmother forbids the family from honoring the household spirits, the snow demon Frost grows stronger to bring a cold, harsh winter as punishment to the townsfolk. The Bear and the Nightingale is an enchanting fairy tale for anyone who loves magic and wonder. 

     

    Kristina, cafe manager, Jersey City

    Most recent staff pick: Sphinx by Anne Garreta

    Beautifully translated from French, Sphinx is a genderless love story set amid the Parisian nightlife scene between the narrator, a DJ, and an American cabaret dancer who remains nameless throughout the entire story. Sticking to true Oulipo fashion, Garreta does an amazing job writing within the constraints she sets for herself and produces a risque story that challenges social & gender norms. (Kristina)

    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