New Staff Picks


The Voyage Out: The Virginia Woolf Library Authorized Edition By Virginia Woolf Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156028059
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Mariner Books Classics - February 3rd, 2003

Woolf's first novel. Much closer to a Victorian novel than the Modernist works she'd later write. Social anxiety and social satire go hand-in-hand. Plus, Clarissa Dalloway makes her first appearance in The Voyage Out (although a less pensive version...).

—Arya R.

God Jr. By Dennis Cooper Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802170118
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - July 21st, 2005

Cooper's God Jr. is a departure from his usual themes (so I'm told and on good authority). A story about grief gets wrenched by Cooper's unique ability to depress a reader. If you know of people who like to read something that will make them cry, I'm the type that likes to be depressed. God Jr. does the job, but it does so with immense skill and warped pathos. That said, it's an easy read, too!

— Jules N.

A Boy in the City By S. Yarberry Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646051786
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - July 26th, 2022

How to put oneself into language, again and again? Aware that "sentences are a medium" felt in the body, on the skin, S. Yarberry charts the ruptures, mis-hearings, and changes of phase that lead through a life of relationships to people, gender, desire, illness, and art. There were so many lines I wanted to pull from the page and carry around with me like charms.

— Abbey F.

Depeche Mode By Serhiy Zhadan, Myroslav Shkandrij (Translator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781909156845
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Glagoslav Publications B.V. - April 5th, 2013

High jinks and explosives from a group of shiftless young adults in Eastern Ukraine’s post-Soviet years. Zhadan’s snapshot of his generation during this unique time, their cynical humor, a lack of control over one’s future, a desire to hold onto the ledge of financial stability by the fingernails, and the fleeting escape to be found in new music, will be relatable to many Western readers.

— Aurora M.

Staff Pick Badge
Passing By Nella Larsen, Emily Bernard (Introduction by), Thadious M. Davis (Notes by) Cover Image
By Nella Larsen, Emily Bernard (Introduction by), Thadious M. Davis (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780142437278
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Penguin Classics - February 4th, 2003

Clare Kendry, born by a black father, lives her life secretly as a white woman, yet pines for stability and community. Irene, who has all the security she's always dreamed of, pines for something more, and after reading this book twice, I'm still not quite sure exactly what. Motherhood, race, class, and desire are all at the heart of this Harlem Renaissance classic.

— Ben R.

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Garden Against Time: In Search of a Common Paradise By Olivia Laing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393882001
Availability: Forthcoming - Available for Pre-Order, Check Format + Release Date
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 25th, 2024

Using her own efforts restoring a history 18th century garden, Laing plants and prunes and waters and shapes the role gardens have played through time. Starting with Eden and meandering through Milton, the transatlantic slave trade, roots of socialism in England, the Blitz and the AIDS crisis with paradisiacal beauty, Laing makes connections that are empathetic and hopeful. Absolutely lush!

— Kathryn H.

Staff Pick Badge
The Denial of Death By Ernest Becker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780684832401
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Free Press - May 8th, 1997

Becker argues that a full accounting and immersion in "the lived truth of the t error of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything," is ultimately necessary in order to live authentically. Despite its somewhat ominous pretext, the book is a call for liberation from the illusions and repressions that, Becker argues, are the fetters that bind humanity.

— Mike Q.

Black Punk Now By Chris L. Terry (Editor), James Spooner Spooner (Editor) Cover Image
By Chris L. Terry (Editor), James Spooner Spooner (Editor)
ISBN: 9781593767457
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Soft Skull - October 31st, 2023

I went into this expecting a history lesson on black punk musicians. What I received was an expertly curated anthology of fiction, nonfiction, and comic stories that explore the marriage between the black experience and punk subcultures from the recent past and modern times. A wide spectrum of voices narrate how punk culture continues to influence identity in the black community.

— Daniel T.

Staff Pick Badge
Big Questions By Anders Nilsen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770460478
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - August 16th, 2011

…Okay, a 600+ page graphic novel is daunting, but I implore you to give this one a shot. What other book ponders what birds think when a plane falls out of the sky? You’ll get that feeling you get when a book lets you in, lets you live in a big new world, lets you unpack a parable that feels timeless and yet wholly original and transcendent, a feeling I haven’t felt since reading Bone as a kid.

— Greg N.

Staff Pick Badge
A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) By Becky Chambers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250236210
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Tordotcom - July 13th, 2021

Unlike everything else I've ever read or staff-picked, "Psalm for the Wild Built" is calming, kind, and cozy. Anxiety level while reading? 0. Panic attacks? 0. Allusions to Marx? Maybe 1!

— Max H.

Is God Is / What to Send Up When It Goes Down By Aleshea Harris Cover Image
ISBN: 9781559369633
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Theatre Communications Group - April 5th, 2022

Aleshea Harris' writing is cinematic, explosive and very Grecian.
Is God Is, a tale of twins' journey out West seeking revenge on the violence brought on to them and their mother, God, by their father.
WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN, is a bold play that summons us to examine the pervasive nature of anti blackness. Calling us to be disrupters!!

— Victoria V.

Staff Pick Badge
Woodworm By Layla Martinez, Sophie Hughes (Translator), Annie McDermott (Translator) Cover Image
By Layla Martinez, Sophie Hughes (Translator), Annie McDermott (Translator)
ISBN: 9781949641592
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Two Lines Press - May 14th, 2024

A short novel describing the horrors of generational trauma, between the living & the dead. Like the daughter & the granddaughter, I found myself trapped in the house alongside them, searching for a way out. I dare you to pick up this book, but before you do, beware of the shadows hiding within the walls.

— Asia F.

Home Farm Cooking By John Pawson, Catherine Pawson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781838661267
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Phaidon Press - April 28th, 2021

A delectable collection of recipes alongside stunning photos that encourage eating seasonally and slowing down to enjoy the simple things in life.

— Katie M.

Nancy and Sluggo's Guide to Life: Comics about Money, Food, and Other Essentials By Ernie Bushmiller, Denis Kitchen (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Ernie Bushmiller, Denis Kitchen (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781681378367
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: New York Review Comics - May 14th, 2024

Nancy is all of us. Well, really we'd all just like to be Nancy. With her sometimes-beau in arm, a bit of piggy bank change, and what I would call the perfect bob, there is just no stopping this comic icon. Sit back and learn a few things about life from America’s most darling rascal.

— Julianne DV.

Life Among the Savages By Shirley Jackson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128045
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Penguin Books - May 5th, 2015

Listen: before being one of our most important horror and mystery writers, Shirley Jackson is—first and foremost—a Sagittarius! So it does not surprise me that this silly book perfectly captures the absurdities of motherhood. As we follow Jackson's attempts at taming the four wild beasts she calls her children, it's her violently sharp wit throughout that may make her the most savage of them all.

— Shalemar C.

Blue Ruin: A novel By Hari Kunzru Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593801376
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Knopf - May 14th, 2024

Kunzru is at the top of his game in this portrait of an artist fallen far from the rising star of his student days - fallen, in fact, entirely off the map. Decades later, living in his car, delivering groceries during lockdown, Jay is confronted by a figure from his past. A moving, thrilling reflection on lost love and lived art, Blue Ruin is the COVID novel you didn't know you'd been waiting for.

— Nick F.

The Getaway (Mulholland Classic) By Jim Thompson, Laura Lippman (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Jim Thompson, Laura Lippman (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780316403979
Availability: Not On Our Shelves - Available to Order
Published: Mulholland Books - August 5th, 2014

Perhaps instead of Mystery, Jim Thompson should be filed under Horror. He’s particularly attuned to the brittleness of the human body, the pervasive influence of the dead. His arid criminal outposts are comparable to the phantasmagoric villages of Juan Rulfo, who’s probably the closest analogue to Thompson’s sneaky abstractions/refractions of noir.

— Patrick P.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) By Raymond Carver Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679723059
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Vintage - June 18th, 1989

Everything and nothing; the everyday and the once-in-a-lifetime; violence and care; creation and mourning. Class and power struggle; anxiety, depression, and madness. And how do we talk about any of this? Is there really any such thing as a short, simple, or minimalist sentence if we're stuck inside of it together? "I love you." That's not simple. It's the whole world. But I love you too.

— Kyle W.

The Artist's Journey: The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning By Shawn Coyne (Editor), Steven Pressfield Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936891542
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Black Irish Entertainment LLC - May 26th, 2018

For anyone who has ever experienced a serious bout of creative block, this book serves as a reminder of who you are as an artist and what it is that you should be focusing on. By framing negative thoughts as "Resistance," Pressfield gives a name to the self-imposed negativity that many artists let stand in their way.

- Nick G.

Patsy: A Novel By Nicole Dennis-Benn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631497896
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Liveright - May 26th, 2020

Is it worse to be an "unfit" mom and stay, or to cut and run without explanation and hope your kid understands one day? Yes. Where do grace for our humanness and accountability for our humanness meet? Somewhere within the pages of Patsy.

-Genay J.