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Molly

    Molly, (former) events director, Brooklyn
    Most recent staff pick: Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente (ebook available)
    It's been several years since Valente released a book for grown-up readers, and the resulting novel is one of my absolute favorites this year. It's as if she took everything she learned writing the middle-grade Fairyland series -- and leapt off into the stars. Severin Unck is the daughter of a famous filmmaker, and an artist in her own right. But when she vanishes from her latest film set, no one understands what happened. Told in screenplays, gossip columns, transcribed conversations, and more genres than you can count on one hand, Radiance is a glorious trip both backward and forward in time that explores family, storytelling cinema, love and well, quantum physics. Really. (Molly)

    Staff Pick Logo
    Radiance Cover Image
    $24.99
    ISBN: 9780765335296
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Tor Books - October 20th, 2015

    It's been several years since Valente released a book for grown-up readers, and the resulting novel is one of my absolute favorites this year. It's as if she took everything she learned writing the middle-grade Fairyland series -- and leapt off into the stars. Severin Unck is the daughter of a famous filmmaker, and an artist in her own right. But when she vanishes from her latest film set, no one understands what happened. Told in screenplays, gossip columns, transcribed conversations, and more genres than you can count on one hand, Radiance is a glorious trip both backward and forward in time that explores family, storytelling, cinema, love, and, well, quantum physics. Really. (Molly)


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    Fates and Furies Cover Image
    $27.95
    ISBN: 9781594634475
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Riverhead Books - September 15th, 2015

    Saying this book is "about marriage" is selling it a bit short. Yes, it's about a marriage -- complicated, tangled, loving, sturdy, and still full of secrets -- but it's also about art, power, failure, success, and the way we move through the world, observant and oblivious at once. When I finished Fates and Furies, I felt ruined for other books; Groff's two-voice tale lured me into Mathilde and Lotto's world completely, and my expectations were just too high for anything else to compare. Passionate, pitch-perfect and perceptive, it's one of my absolute favorite books of the year. (Molly)


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    You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir Cover Image
    By Felicia Day, Joss Whedon (Foreword by)
    $25.99
    ISBN: 9781476785653
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Touchstone Books - August 11th, 2015

    Felicia Day's book begins with a delightful explanation about why she might look kind of a little bit familiar. From that one thing. No, that other thing. Maybe? But if you're a Buffy fan or a gamer, or follow any of her plentiful online ventures, you know exactly who she is: a multi-talented writer/actor/producer/singer/violinist/I'm going to stop now because that list gets long real fast. Day's memoir is a delightful, funny, and -- I'm not afraid to say it -- inspiring read about how being the weirdo you are is the best possible thing you can do for yourself and the world. (Molly)


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    The Fifth Season (Broken Earth #1) Cover Image
    $15.99
    ISBN: 9780316229296
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Orbit - August 4th, 2015

    Jemisin is a brilliant world-builder -- and this is (at least) her third world. The Stillness is prone to shakes, quakes, and other geological happenings; certain people, called orogenes, have the power to stop these shakes before they start. Orogenes are feared and hated, unless they're part of the Fulcrum, where they are trained and controlled. Jemisin weaves three storylines -- a mother looking for her kidnapped daughter; a girl taken to the Fulcrum; two orogenes, reluctantly working together -- into a mesmerizing whole, building a vivid, uncertain world populated with unforgettable characters. (Molly)


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    Magonia Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780062320520
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: HarperCollins - April 28th, 2015

    Just when you think you don't want to put any more birds on things, along comes Maria Dahvana Headley's Magonia to show you how wrong you are. Aza Ray Boyle suffers from a mysterious illness that makes breathing -- just plain old breathing -- incredibly difficult. Her best friend is a boy named Jason who is just about to become more than a friend when everything goes sideways: Aza starts seeing ships in the sky, the birds get real weird, and Aza's illness takes a sharp turn for the worse. When she wakes up after an ambulance ride, she's no longer at home, no longer struggling to breathe -- and no longer the person she always thought she was. Headley's writing soars along with her plot, splitting the difference between dreamy and adventurous while always painting a wonderfully vivid picture of a world above the clouds. Can I have a sequel, like, yesterday? (Molly)


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    The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic Cover Image
    $17.95
    ISBN: 9780983186335
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Featherproof Books - May 12th, 2015

    This is more than just a great collection of Hopper's thoughtful, passionate writing on music, from her callout of emo's gender problems ("Emo: Where the Girls Aren't") to her conversation with Jim DeRogatis about what R. Kelly got away with. It's an Important book, with a capital I, because its title is infuriatingly true (with a little bit of wiggle room, as Hopper notes at the outset). In a delightfully matter-of-fact way, Hopper has planted a flag in the male-dominated world of rock writing: This kind of book can exist. It shouldn't be the only one. It deserves that gorgeous gold edging on the pages. And it needs to be read. (Molly)


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    We Mammals in Hospitable Times Cover Image
    $15.95
    ISBN: 9780887485961
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Carnegie-Mellon University Press - February 3rd, 2015

    I devoured this slim, perfect book in one quiet evening and immediately thought about going back to the beginning, to read these poems again and again until I had wrung every last drop of wisdom out of them. Martin was an artist in residence in Antarctica, and the landscape of a place few of us will ever see infuses her images and broadens her perspective. This book ranges widely, from the tiny familiarity of a cat who fears vacuums to the strangeness of wildlife on the other side of the world. It's called We Mammals for a reason: Martin has a deeply empathetic humanity, but she extends it wider than most. This is the kind of book that changes your perspective in tiny, vital ways. (Molly)


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    All the Rage Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9781250021915
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: St. Martin's Griffin - April 14th, 2015

    Romy Grey lives in a small, small town -- the kind where everyone knows everyone's business, and power rests in the hands of the local sheriff and his buddies. Something awful happened to Romy, but no one believed her, particularly since one of the sheriff's boys was involved. Now, she's an outsider, moving through her days of class and work clad in a carefully applied armor: red lips, red nails. When a pretty, popular girl goes missing, the ugliness festering in town becomes too much for anyone to ignore -- least of all Romy, who's still trying to rebuild herself. Infuriating, pointedly accurate about small-town life, bitingly smart and brilliantly paced, All the Rage made me want to punch something, which probably sounds like a bad thing but is, in this case, the highest compliment. (Molly)


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    Razorhurst Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9781616955441
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Soho Teen - March 3rd, 2015

    It's been too long since the last Larbalestier novel, but boy, was Razorhurst worth the wait. Set in bloody 1930s Sydney, it's the story of Kelpie, a girl who can see ghosts. It's a curse and a blessing for the orphaned street urchin; some ghosts help her survive, but it's also a ghost whose whispers send her into the scene of an ugly murder. It's there she meets Dymphna Campbell, the best girl of one of Sydney's crime bosses, who (naturally) has secrets of her own  -- and good reason to keep an eye on Kelpie. Vivid, bloody, historically fascinating and supernaturally spooky, Razorhurst is full of characters who are as sharply drawn as the razors its mobsters wield. (Molly)  


    After Birth Cover Image
    $23.00
    ISBN: 9780544273733
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Houghton Mifflin - February 17th, 2015

    One of the most gloriously angry  -- and just plain glorious -- novels I've ever read, After Birth left me breathless and madly impressed. Ari is a tired, lonely new mother whose life with baby is not the one she was sold; Mina is the very pregnant former riot grrl who moves in down the street. Their friendship is complicated, messy, honest, fierce; the story Albert weaves around them is equally intense. I rarely like to make promises about how you'll think or feel after a novel, but I'm pretty sure few people could read this and look at motherhood the same way. (Molly)


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    Get in Trouble: Stories Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780804179683
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Random House - February 3rd, 2015

    Kelly Link's stories are like dreams I get to revisit, to experience over and over again. One is about superheroes and sidekicks and people who meet on the internet; another is about a family taking shape, and the people you used to be; a third is about astronauts scaring the crap out of each other with creepy stories. Each one creates a perfect world, a slightly off-kilter diorama where the peculiar is the everyday, and the things that should be normal are anything but. All this imagination, and her sentences are perfect, too. (Molly)


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    Seconds Cover Image
    $26.00
    ISBN: 9780345529374
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Ballantine Books - July 15th, 2014

    What if you had a chance to do something over -- and over, and over, and over? Katie is a young chef with a great job and a dream of opening her own place. But when everything goes wrong at once, a strange girl appears to her in the middle of the night, along with a magic mushroom and instructions: write down a mistake, eat the mushroom, and wake up to a changed world. Easy peasy, right? In vivid, gorgeous art, O'Malley tells a funny, familiar story about wish-fulfillment, hard work, and accepting that you can't get everything right the first time. (Molly)


    Glory O'Brien's History of the Future Cover Image
    $18.00
    ISBN: 9780316222723
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 14th, 2014

    Glory O'Brien's best friend lives on a commune, her dad never leaves the couch, and all she has left of her mom are memories, an interest in photography, and a basement darkroom. High school is coming to an end, but Glory's future doesn't look like much -- until a spontaneous decision results, unexpectedly, in Glory gaining the ability to see people's pasts and futures. King's novel slips easily between Glory's ordinary yet trying life and her terrifying visions, which she records, hoping to stop a horrible future only she can see. Unabashedly feminist, wickedly smart, and painfully on the money about small-town teenage life and friendships, Glory O'Brien is a brilliant and beautiful novel that we can't recommend highly enough. (Molly and Katelyn)


    The Wrenchies Cover Image
    By Farel Dalrymple, Farel Dalrymple (Illustrator)
    $19.99
    ISBN: 9781596434219
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: First Second - July 15th, 2014

    Neither Farel Dalrymple's art nor his stories go in straight lines -- they follow something more like the logic of dreams, where everything is connected, but it takes you a while to figure out how. The Wrenchies takes place in a disconcerting sideways world, where fierce children fight the monsters of adulthood, and everything connects to a boy and a comic book. There's so much going on here that it will take more than one reading to find all the details, but on first reading, this beautiful, unsettling book left me strangely wistful, and entirely looking forward to whatever Dalrymple does next. (Molly)


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    The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique Cover Image
    By Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Martha Holmberg (With), Alanna Hale (Photographer)
    $30.00
    ISBN: 9781452113845
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Chronicle Books - June 3rd, 2014

    I know just enough about cocktails to be dangerous (in a good way -- or so I like to think). Much of that is due to the influence of Jeffrey Morgenthaler, who used to tend bar at my hometown local. This isn't your typical recipe book (though there are a few recipes), but an exploration of techniques that will class up your homemade libations. When anyone this good behind the bar shares his considerable knowledge, it's a treat. (Molly)


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    Euphoria Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780802122551
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - June 3rd, 2014

    If you're tired of the heat, Euphoria might make you feel a little better, for it's much hotter -- and there are way more bugs -- in 1930s New Guinea, where the brilliant, intuitive anthropologist Nell Stone and her temperamental Australian husband, Fen, are looking for a new tribe to study. They find the Tam, and they also find Andrew Bankson, a fellow scientist who is so unlike Nell and Fen that he fills a strange space in their lives. Though darkness looms from the very first page, Euphoria is a vibrant, taut, and beautifully written depiction of conflicting and complementary passions. (Molly)


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    Dirty Wings (Metamorphoses Trilogy #2) Cover Image
    $19.99
    ISBN: 9781250049384
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: St. Martin's Griffin - July 15th, 2014

    Maia and Cass are among the unlikeliest of friends: a dissatisfied, rule-following pianist and a clever and rebellious street kid. Something like fate brings them together, and the bond they form is as close -- maybe closer -- that that between Aurora and the unnamed narrator in McCarry's previous book, All Our Pretty Songs. Readers of that book will recognize Cass and Maia, but Dirty Wings stands alone just fine: it's a fierce, smart, and magical story about friendship and love and music and letting go and finding your place in the world. (Molly & Jenn)


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    The Girl with All the Gifts Cover Image
    $32.99
    ISBN: 9780316278157
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Orbit - June 10th, 2014

    In a spare bunker, a little girl named Melanie and her classmates live strange lives. They're taken to class in restraints, bathed in weird chemicals, and fed nasty things. It's a lonesome, sterile life, one brightened only by the presence of kind teacher Miss Justineau. When the outside world intrudes, Melanie, her sergeant keeper, her teacher, and a laser-focused scientist wind up on a road trip across an England ravaged by biological change. Why it happened, what it means for humanity, and why Melanie is so peculiar -- Carey teases out the answers to these questions and more. But if you get "spoiled" for this one, don't stress; it's the kind of book you can read happily (and quickly, and while being totally creeped out) whether or not you already know certain things about the premise. (Molly)


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    Infinite Sky Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9781481406581
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - May 20th, 2014

    When a family of travelers sets up camp on property owned by Iris's family, everyone responds differently: Her dad is angry, her brother has his own trouble to deal with, and Iris can't stop sneaking peeks out the window, wondering about lives that look so different than her own. The friendship she strikes up with the traveler boy, Trick, quickly grows complex, transforming Iris's summer into a defining season. Debut YA novelist Flood perfectly captures the pangs and stresses and glories of growing up in a small country town, weaving grace and growth into a story that tell you, from the first page, that things aren't all going to end well. It's a heartbreaker. (Molly)


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    All the Birds, Singing Cover Image
    $24.95
    ISBN: 9780307907769
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Pantheon Books - April 15th, 2014

    Evie Wyld's novel is impossibly balanced -- gorgeous and graceful, dark and taut, it tells the story of Jake, a young woman who's chosen a solitary life on a cold English island. Gradually, in twined narratives of past and present, Wyld explores the questions Jake's situation raises: Why is she there, alone, with a dog and a herd of sheep? What's picking off her sheep, one by one? What brought her there, and what did she leave behind? Wyld is as good at Jake's reluctant, slow-moving connection to other people as she is at depicting the kind of solitude that's sometimes necessary to process, to rebuild, and to heal. I read All the Birds, Singing in two sittings; it's the kind of book that just won't let you go. (Molly)


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    Boy, Snow, Bird Cover Image
    $27.95
    ISBN: 9781594631399
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Riverhead Books - March 6th, 2014

    Helen Oyeyemi can do no wrong. Her last book, Mr. Fox, was a twisty, unsettling riff on "Bluebeard." This one is "Snow White" -- sort of. It's really so much more than that. Boy, Snow, Bird reinvents the wicked stepmother, finds the anger in the perfect daughter, and explores a thorny tangle of identity, love, race, and perception. Oyeyemi writes like no one else, but she's absolutely an heir to the brilliant Angela Carter. Bravo. (Molly)


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    The Free: A Novel Cover Image
    $14.99
    ISBN: 9780062276742
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Harper Perennial - February 4th, 2014

    The Free is full of Vlautin's boundless compassion for ordinary people facing intensely difficult times. Its characters rotate around Leroy Kervin, an Iraq vet who spends most of the book unconscious, dreaming a parallel version of his life. Vlautin's story is concerned with the cost of war, the cost of health care, the cost of just plain living -- and the toll all these things take on people who are always one step behind. I've wanted every one of Vlautin's novels to be his breakout, especially the boy-and-his-horse story Lean on Pete, but this profoundly, heartbreakingly American story might be the one that makes the world sit up and take notice. (Molly)


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    Dept. of Speculation Cover Image
    $22.95
    ISBN: 9780385350815
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 28th, 2014

    This tiny jewel of a book is pensive, heartbreaking, glorious and deftly, impeccably pieced together. Our narrator, known only as the wife, makes her way through endless everyday challenges: a crying baby, a shaky marriage, the never-ending task of reconciling the person you thought you'd be with the person it seems you actually are. Ovid, Rilke, Kafka, astronauts, I Can Has Cheezburger -- the things woven into her observations and consolations are familiar, but Offill’s brief, poignant snippets of a life are anything but ordinary. This little book is hard to explain and impossible to put down; at about 175 pages, you can devour it in one cold night. (Molly)


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    The Color Master Cover Image
    $25.95
    ISBN: 9780385534895
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Doubleday Books - August 13th, 2013

    If I had my way, there would be a new Aimee Bender book every year (if not even more often). The details of her gorgeously written stories are often surreal -- in one, a girl travels with her sister to learn how to mend a wounded tiger; in the title story, an apprentice works to dye cloth the precise color of the moon -- but the feelings they evoke are bittersweet and familiar.


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    The Real Boy Cover Image
    By Anne Ursu, Erin McGuire (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780062015075
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Walden Pond Press - September 24th, 2013

    Strange happenings force Oscar, a magician's assistant, out of his safe cellar room and into a world where children are falling terribly ill, and something big and scary is leaving a path of destruction through gardens and towns. People are a mystery to Oscar, but plants and herbs and cats are not - and those skills will turn out to be more useful than he expected. Fans of William Alexander's Goblin Secrets might look next to Ursu's magical tale. (Molly)


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    Fangirl Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9781250030955
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 10th, 2013

    Rainbow Rowell's second YA novel this year is just as wonderful as her first (Eleanor and Park). The most striking thing about Fangirl, which follows fanfic junkie Cather as she goes off to college, is the perfect way Rowell captures a time of endless, tumultuous change. New people, new situations, new friendships, maybe new relationships -- all crowd Cath's time at the computer, where she writes popular Simon Snow fanfic (think Harry Potter, but, well, not). Rowell's enthusiasm for fandom is as boundless as her sense of humor -- and this book, like her last, has a really, really big heart. (Molly)


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    The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two Cover Image
    By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9781250023506
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Feiwel & Friends - October 1st, 2013

    It seems impossible that Valente's Fairyland books just keep getting better, given how utterly magically the series began, but that's exactly what they do. In the third installment, September gets a new outfit and a new ride, is labeled a criminal, and goes in search of a Yeti who is purportedly causing trouble on the moon. But this is Fairyland, where things are almost never what they seem. Valente packs so much insight and heart into these slim, swift little volumes that finishing each book is a little heartbreaking -- and yes, this one made me cry.


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    Heroines (Semiotext(e) Active Agents) Cover Image
    $17.95
    ISBN: 9781584351146
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Semiotext(e) - October 5th, 2012

    You don't have to know a thing about the Modernists to be fascinated -- and infuriated -- by Zambreno's compelling account of the women who lived and worked alongside them -- to much less acclaim.Part memoir, part history, part manifesto, part inspiring reading list (to think I'd never read Jean Rhys before!), Heroines is the book I want to press into the hands of every writing woman I know. I'll keep this one by my desk, to refer to its dog-eared pages when I need something to keep me going


    Staff Pick Logo
    Monsters & Legends: Cyclops, Krakens, Mermaids and Other Imaginary Creatures That Really Existed! Cover Image
    By Davide Cali, Gabriella Giandelli (Illustrator)
    $19.95
    ISBN: 9781909263031
    Availability: Backordered
    Published: Nobrow Press - July 2nd, 2013

    The endpapers of this oversized picture book immediately caught my eye -- quirky yellow-and-black drawings of creatures that never were. The rest of the book is just as endearing: It's a playful encyclopedia of imaginary (or misidentified) beings from the familiar (mermaids, werewolves) to the adorably ridiculous (the splintercat, which smashes its head into trees to get at delicious sap). A little bit creepy and a lot of fun, Monsters and Legends has an old-fashioned feel that makes it seem like a book you should have had as a child.


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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? (Molly & Jenn)


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    September Girls Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780061255632
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Harper Teen - May 21st, 2013

    Nothing about Bennett Madison's sun-soaked story it as it seems -- not the small town where its narrator, Sam, spends his summer; not the Girls, mysterious and blonde, who are all drawn to Sam; not the things that are strange about the Girls, like why they name themselves things like Nalgene and watch game shows whenever they aren't working. Sleekly subversive and quietly brilliant, September Girls does entirely new things with an old myth, transforming a story you might think you know into a beautiful YA novel that slips effortlessly between genres. (Molly)


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    Lexicon Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9781594205385
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Penguin Press - June 18th, 2013

    This one sits in a particular place between The Flame Alphabet and Snow Crash -- a fun-smart-affecting-thoughtful-absurdly-enjoyable thriller in which language's power as a weapon and a tool is massively heightened in the hands of "poets" who hone their scary skills in a special school (of course). Barry neatly combines a love story, a globe-trotting adventure, and nifty ideas about identity, love, and the compelling power of the right words. (Molly)


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    The Engagements Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9780307958716
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 11th, 2013

    Do you have an immediate response to the cover of this book? Do you associate something -- weddings, love, advertising, conflict -- with that diamond? If so, chalk it up (at least in part) to one of the characters in Sullivan's multi-strand novel: Frances Gerety, the copywriter who coined the phrase "A diamond is forever." Deftly and gently, Sullivan weaves together research and fiction, crossing decades as she links four disparate couples with one diamond ring. (Molly)


    Staff Pick Logo
    Uses for Boys Cover Image
    $10.99
    ISBN: 9781250007117
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Griffin - January 15th, 2013

    Scheidt's YA novel about one young woman's journey stumbling toward adulthood broke my heart in the strangest ways. Anna's voice is dreamy and incisive at the same time, and her story is never pat or cautionary, just honest, difficult, and hopeful. (The YA Not? book group will be discussing Uses for Boys in August.) (Molly)


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    Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to
    By David Wondrich, Dale DeGroff (Foreword by)
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780399532870
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Perigee Books - November 6th, 2007

    Take a deep breath before rattling off the subtitle of David Wondrich's detailed, jaunty guide to the classic cocktail: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. No idea who Jerry Thomas was? No worries; Wondrich will tell you, while packing the tale with history, curiosities, anecdotes -- and a lot of recipes, each of which has its own story. (Molly)


    Staff Pick Logo
    Mr. Fox Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9781594486180
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Riverhead Books - November 6th, 2012

    Oyeyemi's latest novel is a twisty, slippery little game between Mr. Fox, a novelist, and his muse, Mary Foxe, who challenges Mr. Fox's treatment of his female characters. Their argument plays out as a series of stories that are as compelling as they are elusive. Mr. Fox is excellent for book group discussions; we had at least as many theories as we had group attendees! (Molly)


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    Again! Cover Image
    By Emily Gravett, Emily Gravett (Illustrator)
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9781442452312
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 16th, 2013

    The little dragon in Emily Gravett's clever new picture book is hardly the only child to want to hear a story more than once -- but when a dragon gets demanding, the consequences can be downright fiery. This story starts on the endpapers and continues all the way to the back cover, and the meta-charms don't stop there; you can follow the story-within-a-story as it changes, and then peel off the jacket to reveal that the book you're holding is the same one the little dragon is so desperate to hear. Everything about this book is just right, down to the smallest detail. Again! (Molly)


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    The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table Cover Image
    $18.00
    ISBN: 9781439171967
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Scribner Book Company - October 2nd, 2012

    I have a weakness for books about how and why we eat the way we do, so Tracie McMillan's investigation into three major stops along the American food chain -- California farms, Walmart, and Applebee's -- was right up my alley. But it's a great investigative tale even if you're not a sucker for The Omnivore's Dilemma and Salt Sugar Fat. McMillan's first-person experience is told with a journalist's skill for detail and research, and reveals as much about middle-class assumptions as it does about the cracked system that provides America with so much food and so little pay. (Molly)


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    A Tale for the Time Being Cover Image
    $28.95
    ISBN: 9780670026630
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Viking - March 12th, 2013

    In Ruth Ozeki's new novel, a writer named Ruth finds, on a cold Canadian beach, a parcel containing a watch, some letters, and a journal. As she reads the journal, growing obsessed with the young woman who wrote it, Ozeki's book shifts, so we read along with Ruth. The journal belongs to Nao, a Japanese girl who in turn is interested in the life of her grandmother, a Buddhist nun. Ozeki knits her two tales together with unexpected threads: quantum mechanics, Schrodinger's Cat, Buddhist practices, cultural divides, the internet, and the reader are all pieces of the whole. A Tale for the Time Being is both lonely and comforting, and very aptly named. It's a story that could only be written now, but it's a bridge between times. (Molly)


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    The Scorpio Races Cover Image
    $10.99
    ISBN: 9780545224918
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - April 1st, 2013

    While waiting impatiently for Stiefvater's sequel to The Raven Boys, I'm making my way through her backlist. The Scorpio Races centers on a an annual horse race that's like nothing I've ever imagined: the islanders of Thisby race sea horses, carnivorous brutes that come from the ocean but are wickedly fast on land. Stiefvater weaves the stories of two orphaned riders, the mythology of the horses, and the isolated chill of the island into a book I really couldn't put down. Equal parts introspective and exciting, it hovers in that magical place between fantasy and reality, past and present. (Molly)


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    Happy Punks 1 2 3 (Wee Rebel) Cover Image
    $15.95
    ISBN: 9781933149677
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Manic D Press - April 16th, 2013

    Maybe I'm technically a little too old for counting books, but I LOVE this one, in which 10 happy punks make flyers, go thrift shopping, spike their hair, talk about bands, and play a loud show. Sure, you're most likely to give this to the punk-rock parents among your friends, but the bright, detailed illustrations are meant to charm kids, who can follow green-haired musicians, blue dogs, and a cranky elephant (among others!) through the pages. These punks know how to have a good day. (Molly)


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    Eleanor & Park Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9781250012579
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 26th, 2013

    Rowell's pitch-perfect YA novel -- our first pick for the new YA Not? book group -- is a heartbreaker. Writing from the alternating perspectives of her two main characters, Rowell lingers on the tiny moments that feel enormous, charting the cautious connection that builds between unpopular Eleanor and accepted Park. Their home lives are as much a study in contrasts as their standings on the social ladder of high school, and both feel incredibly real. Mix tapes and comic books are key in Eleanor and Park's relationship, but the pop culture is icing, not the focus -- that stays on these two teens, the gentle, rocky way they fall for each other, and the circumstances that disrupt their lives. (Molly)


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    The Summer Prince Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780545417792
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - March 1st, 2013

    A vivid, engrossing YA that takes place in a future version of Brazil, where the unusual governing body requires a queen -- and a sacrificial king. June, a young artist, is trying to make her mark and win the coveted Queen's Award. She finds in the new Summer King -- a charismatic young man named Enki, who comes from the lowest tiers of her society -- a kindred soul, a fellow artist and collaborator. Their projects, like Johnson's book, fuse beauty and politics into something beautiful and affecting. (Molly)


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    Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us Cover Image
    $28.00
    ISBN: 9781400069804
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Random House - February 26th, 2013

    Michael Moss's new book is full of terrifying, fascinating information about how processed food is made, and with what. The wizards behind the food science curtain are wicked smart and sometimes worried about the things they make, but their overlords answer to Wall Street, not the concerned consumer. Pretty much guaranteed to put you off snack foods -- at least for a while. (Molly)


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    Code Name Verity Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9781423152194
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Disney-Hyperion - May 15th, 2012

    Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor-winning YA is narrated by a young spy who's writing down her story in order to buy herself time with her Nazi captors. Her tale is full of English planes, secret locations, and the details of life in wartime -- but Wein centers this heartbreaking, gorgeous story on the connection between the captive spy and the pilot who is her best friend. Verity is so carefully pieced together, I may have to read it again just to see how precisely Wein sets out each breadcrumb of plot and character. (Molly)


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    The Beautiful Indifference: Stories Cover Image
    $14.99
    ISBN: 9780062208453
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Harper Perennial - January 29th, 2013

    Eerie, elegant stories from the author of the equally excellent feminist dystopia Daughters of the North. The last story in particular will stay with you -- maybe longer than you want it to. (Molly)


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    Drinking with Men: A Memoir Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9781594487118
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Riverhead Books - January 24th, 2013

    Reading Rosie Schaap's memoir is like going bar-hopping across the country with the best possible friend -- the one who knows the bartenders, knows the vibe of each bar, and knows how to ease you, her companion, into each new circle of friends, acquaintances and strangers with whom you never thought you'd bond. Drinking With Men isn't about drinking so much as it's about the particular kind of socializing that comes from being a regular, from belonging to a place, even if only for a time. Read it in your favorite pub, next to a pint of really good beer. (Molly)


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    Daughter of Smoke & Bone Cover Image
    $12.99
    ISBN: 9780316133999
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 5th, 2012

    Taylor won me over a few years ago with the exquisite (but awkwardly titled) Lips Touch: Three Times, a trio of unusual stories about kisses and their repercussions. Daughter of Smoke and Bone beautifully displays her skill with carefully laced plots, worldbuilding that spins on the smallest details, and characters you hate to leave behind. Our heroine, Karou, has peacock-turquoise hair, exceptional artistic skill, and a secret life that she carefully hides from her art-school friends. These secrets become impossible to hide when a longstanding war from another world breaks into our own. Taylor spins magic, romance, violence, belief, and family into one of the best young adult series currently running. (Molly)


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    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Cover Image
    $25.00
    ISBN: 9780374214913
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - October 2nd, 2012

    Smart, entertaining geekery is the defining feature of Robin Sloan's novel, which follows newbie bookstore clerk Clay Jannon as he begins to realize that something is entirely, fascinatingly weird about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Like Neal Stephenson with a lighter, less info-obsessed touch, Sloan crosses genres and mentalities, and he spins a story that appeals to both sides of the modern story-lover's brain: the side that loves technology, and the side that still probably has a thing for dusty old books and the bizarre secrets they can hold. (Molly)


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    Goblin Secrets Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9781442427266
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - March 6th, 2012

    This dreamy, magical, National Book Award-winning middle grade fantasy is about a town where acting is strictly forbidden -- except, sort of, for goblins. Rownie, an orphan, is tired of being an errand boy for the witch Graba, who commands a small host of lost children. When a goblin troupe appears, Rownie is drawn to their illicit craft, their masks, and the allure of being on stage. Maybe the goblins can help him find his brother, Rowan, who was an actor; maybe they can help Rownie free himself from Graba. Goblin Secrets, for all its magic, is an elusive, internal story, the kind that you feel your way through rather than the kind you puzzle out -- but it has more staying power than you might initially expect. (Molly)


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    The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9780545424929
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Scholastic Press - September 18th, 2012

    I'm still a little incoherent about how much I love Maggie Steifvater's new novel, which pairs Blue Sargent, the daughter of a psychic, with a quartet of sharply drawn private-school boys, each holding a secret or two. Each character is so exact, I could almost hear their voices as I read (and I definitely wanted to go exploring the Virginia countryside with them). Stiefvater combines familiar elements -- mystery, ghost story, adventure, nervous teen attraction -- for a twisty, spooky read that never quite plays out as you expect. The Raven Boys is my new favorite YA in a year full of excellent YA novels. (Molly)


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    The Brides of Rollrock Island Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780375869198
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2012

    Lanagan follows Tender Morsels with an equally brilliant and unnerving book about an island where, over a short span of time, all the men succumb to the lure of "sea-wives," willowy, beautiful women who were once seals. Lanagan switches elegantly between generations and perspectives, weaving together the history of the witch who transforms the seals, the men who pay her for her services, and the children whose worlds are reshaped by their fathers' greed and desire. (Molly)


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    The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There Cover Image
    By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780312649623
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Feiwel & Friends - October 2nd, 2012

    September, after much longing and hoping, makes her way back to Valente's brilliantly imagined Fairyland -- but all is not well. Halloween, the queen of the underworld, has been stealing the shadows of Fairyland's residents, taking them down for an endless revel. And Halloween is no ordinary queen; she's September's own shadow. Perfectly autumnal and full of astonishing detail and imagery, this Girl story is as magical as the first (maybe even more so!). (Molly)


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    The Amazing Hamweenie Cover Image
    By Patty Bowman, Patty Bowman (Illustrator)
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780399256882
    Availability: Special Order: Please email for availability
    Published: Philomel Books - October 11th, 2012

    If you've ever had a cat, you probably know how they can act like life is just SO difficult (being fed, getting ear scritches, sleeping all day...). The Amazing Hamweenie dreams of grandeur and stardom, but is endlessly -- and charmingly -- thwarted by his life in a New York apartment with a tea-party throwing, cat-washing little girl. By about the third page, I was reading this one aloud; the tone is just right, and the illustrations are gorgeous, detailed fun. (Molly)


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    More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself Cover Image
    $14.00
    ISBN: 9781938073052
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: McSweeney's - August 21st, 2012

    My only complaint about Hornby's collections, which pull together his columns for The Believer, is that they are never long enough. The columns are ostensibly about the books Hornby buys and reads in a month, but they're really about life, the universe and everything - football, family, vacations, aging, writing and more, all so witty and wry that I wind up wishing I could talk about all these things with Hornby, down at some very British pub. (Molly)


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    Seraphina Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780375866562
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 10th, 2012

    Between Bitterblue and Railsea, I already thought this was an amazing year for YA fantasy--and now Seraphina makes it even better. Musically gifted, smart, compassionate, and wary, Seraphina keeps to herself as the assistant music mistress at the court of Goredd--but she carefully guards a secret about her parentage, even as she becomes entangled in the complexities of human-dragon political intrigue. Hartman's worldbuilding is gloriously vivid, her heroine wonderfully complex, and her story so compelling, I may have cursed when I got to the end and realized I have to wait for the sequel. (Molly)


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    Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir Cover Image
    $19.00
    ISBN: 9781590515402
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Other Press (NY) - July 10th, 2012

    It's hard to talk about this memoir--it's so intimate, so honest, so specific, so self-observant, that trying to describe how I felt while reading it feels like giving up some very personal information about myself. The voice of the title is her psychiatrist, who dies suddenly, leaving Forrest and his other patients bereft; the other man in the book is her ex, an actor whose presence in the story earned it plenty of the wrong kind of attention. It's not who he is; it's how they are. The highs and lows of Forrest's journey land in different spots, maybe, than those of many other lives, but the story reads like a quest in which the goal isn't treasure or glory, but calm and a certain kind of strength. (Molly)


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    Bitterblue Cover Image
    $19.99
    ISBN: 9780803734739
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Dial Books - May 1st, 2012

    We have a shelftalker for this book - signed by me, Stephanie, and Jenn - that says simply "ALL THE HEARTS. This is sooooo good!" First I didn't think Cashore could top Graceling (to which Bitterblue is the sequel); then I didn't think she could top Fire, the companion novel to both. But she did, and then some. Bitterblue is about a young queen in a magical realm, and everything about it is entirely recognizable: the relationships, difficult and wonderful and complicated; the politics; the collective grief of a country that's slowly recovering from its previous, terrible ruler; and the experience of a girl who's determined to be the queen her country needs, even if that means doing all the hard things. Also there are codes and ciphers and wonderful books and magical statues and midnight adventures over the rooftops. And one very cranky cat. (Molly)


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    Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780803735651
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Dial Books - June 14th, 2012

    Squid and Octopus have awesome hats, friendly disagreements about socks vs. mittens, big adventures, and interesting dreams. Super-imaginative and full of wee sea creatures that comment on the action (the starfish have a soup party), Squid and Octopus is unbelievably charming, and my favorite picture book of the summer. (Molly)


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    Chime Cover Image
    $8.99
    ISBN: 9780142420928
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Speak - April 12th, 2012

    I love this book so much that I gave my copy away. I was that sure my friend needed it. Billingsley writes these beautiful, folktale-infused stories about places that feel familiar and true, like they almost existed between some magical then and the industrial now. Chime is a glorious, dark tale about the power of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and how some stories, if you repeat them too often, become true. (Molly)


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    The Chaos Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9781416954880
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - April 17th, 2012

    Hopkinson's Midnight Robber changed the way I read science fiction. She makes the world bigger, and her writing is so precisely descriptive that when I think of her books, I see the settings, not the pages. The Chaos, her first young adult novel, is a glorious mix of Russian and Jamaican folklore, crazily inventive imagery and the coming of age story of Scotch, whose path through adolescence gets really complicated when a supernatural force turns Toronto into a mishmash of dreams and nightmares come to life. (Molly)


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    Fray: Future Slayer Cover Image
    By Joss Whedon, Various (Illustrator)
    $19.99
    ISBN: 9781569717516
    Availability: Hard to Find
    Published: Dark Horse Books - December 9th, 2003

    Maybe I've just got Whedon on the brain (perhaps due to his rise from "Joss Whedon, cultish Buffy creator," to "Joss Whedon, director of enormous summer blockbusters"). Maybe you've picked up the Buffy Season 8 (or 9!) comics, but haven't gotten around to Fray, Whedon's tale about a tough, sassy (of course) slayer whose existence in a futuristic Manhattan could hardly be more different from Buffy's. Buffy fans might recognize a certain weapon of Melaka Fray's, though... (Molly)


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    Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter Cover Image
    $16.95
    ISBN: 9780307474315
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Vintage - June 14th, 2011

    Once upon a time, I stopped obsessively playing The Legend of Zelda long enough to read Tom Bissell's very personal, highly entertaining take on why video games are not necessarily a waste of time (complete with field trips to talk to some of the people who make them). I think this book should be subtitled "Why Video Games Matter to Me," because it's so specific to Bissell's experience, but that's exactly what makes it great. (Molly)


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    Palimpsest Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780553385762
    Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
    Published: Spectra Books - February 24th, 2009

    Until the magical The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, this was my favorite Valente, and I suspect it of being unfairly overlooked. Palimpsest is a magical city, but you can only get there by sleeping with someone who's already been - and each visitor winds up in a different place, depending on the map-shaped tattoo that appears on her skin. Dreamy, eerie and bittersweet, Palimpsest is like a year's worth of dreams shaped into one magical novel. (Molly)


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    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years #1) Cover Image
    $16.00
    ISBN: 9780060987107
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - November 28th, 2000

    Sam Raimi may have three witches in his silly Oz: The Great and Powerful, but none of them are Elphaba. Gregory Maguire's magical novel has been overshadowed by its musical adaptation, but it's an entirely different beast -- darker, more complex and ambiguous. The first time I saw the cover, I had warring reactions: It's so gorgeous! But you do not mess about with Oz! (Fan fiction wasn't quite so widely known back then, OK?) As it turns out, you can mess about with Oz -- if you do it as well as Maguire, who recreates Oz with political strife, class divisions, and a Witch who maybe isn't all that wicked. Elphaba is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I love her story to bits. (Molly)