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Staff Picks

Want to know what our booksellers read? Here are some of our handpicked recommendations.


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In the Dream House

- by Carmen M. Machado

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A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties.

In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming.

And it's that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope--haunted houses, erotica, bildungsroman--in which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations about the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.

Machado's dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, Star Trek and Disney villains, fairy tales, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

- by Andrea Lawlor

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"In these irreverent pages, a shapeshifter gets a crash course in gender and sexuality by inhabiting both sides of the binary and arriving precisely somewhere in the middle." --O, The Oprah Magazine

"HOT" (Maggie Nelson) o "TIGHT" (Eileen Myles) o "DEEP" (Michelle Tea)

It's 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul's also got a secret: he's a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Paul transforms his body and his gender at will as he crossed the country--a journey and adventure through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure.

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is a riotous, razor-sharp bildungsroman whose hero/ine wends his/her way through a world gutted by loss, pulsing with music, and opening into an array of intimacy and connections.

Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall

- by Suzette Mayr

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Dr. Edith Vane, scholar of English literature, is contentedly ensconced at the University of Inivea. Her dissertation on pioneer housewife memoirist Beulah Crump-Withers is about to be published, and her job's finally safe, if she only can fill out her AAO properly. She's a little anxious, but a new floral blouse and her therapist's repeated assurance that she is the architect of her own life should fix that. All should be well, really. Except for her broken washing machine, her fickle new girlfriend, her missing friend Coral, her backstabbing fellow professors, a cutthroat new dean - and the fact that the sentient and malevolent Crawley Hall has decided it wants them all out, and the hall and its hellish hares will stop at nothing to get rid of them.

Mexican Gothic

- by Silvi Moreno-garcia

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o "It's Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird."--The Guardian
 
IN DEVELOPMENT AS A HULU ORIGINAL LIMITED SERIES PRODUCED BY KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS o WINNER OF THE LOCUS AWARD o  NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD o NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker o Vanity Fair o NPR o The Washington Post o Tordotcom o Marie Claire o Vox o Mashable o Men's Health o Library Journal o Book Riot o LibraryReads
 
An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes "a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror" (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She's not sure what she will find--her cousin's husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She's a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she's also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin's new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi's dreams with visions of blood and doom.
 
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family's youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family's past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family's once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 
 
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

"It's as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic."--The Washington Post

"Mexican Gothic is the perfect summer horror read, and marks Moreno-Garcia with her hypnotic and engaging prose as one of the genre's most exciting talents."--Nerdist

"A period thriller as rich in suspense as it is in lush '50s atmosphere."--Entertainment Weekly

This Is How You Lose the Time War

- by Amal El-mohtar

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HUGO AWARD WINNER: BEST NOVELLA

NEBULA AND LOCUS AWARDS WINNER: BEST NOVELLA

"[An] exquisitely crafted tale...Part epistolary romance, part mind-blowing science fiction adventure, this dazzling story unfolds bit by bit, revealing layers of meaning as it plays with cause and effect, wildly imaginative technologies, and increasingly intricate wordplay...This short novel warrants multiple readings to fully unlock its complexities." --Publishers Weekly (starred review).

From award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone comes an enthralling, romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future.

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandment finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.

Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, becomes something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean the death of each of them. There's still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win. That's how war works, right?

Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.

The Pisces

- by Melissa Broder

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LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

"Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic - there is nothing like The Pisces. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it." --Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter 

 
Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika's home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety -- not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound's easy affection.
 
Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy's understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.

The Man Who Saw Everything

- by Deborah Levy

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Longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize
Shortlisted for the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize
Finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction

An electrifying and audacious novel about beauty, envy, and carelessness by Deborah Levy, two-time Man Booker Prize finalist.


It is 1988 and Saul Adler, a narcissistic young historian, has been invited to Communist East Berlin to do research; in exchange, he must publish a favorable essay about the German Democratic Republic. As a gift for his translator's sister, a Beatles fanatic who will be his host, Saul's girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing in the crosswalk on Abbey Road, an homage to the famous album cover. As he waits for her to arrive, he is grazed by an oncoming car, which changes the trajectory of his life--and this story of good intentions and reckless actions.

The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly. It greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love, previous and current incarnations of Europe, conscious and unconscious transgressions, and real and imagined betrayals, while investigating the cyclic nature of history and its reinvention by people in power. Here, Levy traverses the vast reaches of the human imagination while artfully blurring sexual and political binaries--feminine and masculine, East and West, past and present--to reveal the full spectrum of our world.

The Memory Collectors

- by Kim Neville

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Perfect for fans of The Scent Keeper and The Keeper of Lost Things, an atmospheric and enchanting debut novel about two women haunted by buried secrets but bound by a shared gift and the power the past holds over our lives.

Ev has a mysterious ability, one that she feels is more a curse than a gift. She can feel the emotions people leave behind on objects and believes that most of them need to be handled extremely carefully, and--if at all possible--destroyed. The harmless ones she sells at Vancouver's Chinatown Night Market to scrape together a living, but even that fills her with trepidation. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Harriet hoards thousands of these treasures and is starting to make her neighbors sick as the overabundance of heightened emotions start seeping through her apartment walls.

When the two women meet, Harriet knows that Ev is the only person who can help her make something truly spectacular of her collection. A museum of memory that not only feels warm and inviting but can heal the emotional wounds many people unknowingly carry around. They only know of one other person like them, and they fear the dark effects these objects had on him. Together, they help each other to develop and control their gift, so that what happened to him never happens again. But unbeknownst to them, the same darkness is wrapping itself around another, dragging them down a path that already destroyed Ev's family once, and threatens to annihilate what little she has left.

The Memory Collectors casts the everyday in a new light, speaking volumes to the hold that our past has over us--contained, at times, in seemingly innocuous objects--and uncovering a truth that both women have tried hard to bury with their pasts: not all magpies collect shiny things--sometimes they gather darkness.

Barely Functional Adult

- by Meichi Ng

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"Funny, introspective, and touching. . . . The lessons Meichi gently shares with us through delightful stories are full of wisdom for people at any life stage who need a reminder they're not alone." --Mari Andrew, author of Am I There Yet?


From the creator of Barely Functional Adult, a painfully relatable webcomic with over 130k followers on Instagram, comes a never-before-seen collection of incriminating short stories about exes, murder, friendship, therapy, anxiety, Hufflepuff, sucking at things, freaking out about things, calming down momentarily, melodrama, wrinkles, pettiness, and other wonderful delights.

Wielding her trademark balance of artful humor, levity, and heartbreaking introspection, Meichi Ng's indisputably relatable collection of short stories holds a mirror to our past, present, and future selves. Featuring a swaddled Barely Functional Adult as its protagonist who says all the things we think but dare not say, this book is equal parts humorous and heartbreaking as it spans a spectrum of topics from imposter syndrome, therapy, friendships, first loves, letting go of exes, to just trying to find your purpose in the world. Prepare to excitedly shove this book in your friend's face with little decorum as you shout, "THIS IS SO US!"

In this beautiful, four-color collection compiled completely of never-before-seen content, Meichi perfectly captures the best and worst of us in every short story, allowing us to weep with pleasure at our own fallibility. Hilarious, relatable, and heart-wrenchingly honest, Barely Functional Adult will have you laughing and crying in the same breath, while taking solace in the fact that we're anything but alone in this world.

My Dark Vanessa

- by Kate E. Russell

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 


"[An] exceedingly complex, inventive, resourceful examination of harm and power." --The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice

"A lightning rod . . . brilliantly crafted."--The Washington Post

A most anticipated book by The New York Times USA Today o Entertainment Weekly Marie Claire o Elle Harper's Bazaar Bustle o Newsweek o New York Post o Esquire o  Real Simple o The Sunday Times o The Guardian  Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager--and who professed to worship only her--may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa's present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

The Authenticity Project

- by Clare Pooley

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Globe and Mail bestseller
Toronto Star bestseller
Washington Post "FEEL-GOOD BOOK guaranteed to lift your spirits"


"I loved The Authenticity Project. It's a clever, uplifting book that entertains and makes you think."--Sophie Kinsella, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love


Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It's run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves--and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica's Café.

The Authenticity Project's cast of characters--including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends-is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self forward--and finding out that it's not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.

The Authenticity Project is just the tonic for our times that readers are clamoring for--and one they will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.

The Very Nice Box

- by Eve Gleichman

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"Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman are linguistic magicians, and their sparkling debut manages to expose the hollowness of well-being jargon while exploring, with tender care and precision, how we dare to move on after unspeakable loss . . . [They have] constructed a mirrored fun house, one that leads us down different paths, each masterfully tied up at the end, yet reflecting and refracting our own quirky selves."
--New York Times Book Review


"A very funny debut -- and perhaps the most original office satire of the year."
--Washington Post

For fans of Elinor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Severance: an offbeat, wryly funny debut novel that follows an eccentric product engineer who works for a hip furniture company where sweeping corporate change lands her under the purview of a startlingly charismatic boss who seems determined to get close to her at all costs . . .

Ava Simon designs storage boxes for STÄDA, a slick Brooklyn-based furniture company. She's hard-working, obsessive, and heartbroken from a tragedy that killed her girlfriend and upended her life. It's been years since she's let anyone in.

But when Ava's new boss--the young and magnetic Mat Putnam--offers Ava a ride home one afternoon, an unlikely relationship blossoms. Ava remembers how rewarding it can be to open up--and, despite her instincts, she becomes enamored. But Mat isn't who he claims to be, and the romance takes a sharp turn.

The Very Nice Box is a funny, suspenseful debut--with a shocking twist. It's at once a send-up of male entitlement and a big-hearted account of grief, friendship, and trust.

The Return

- by Rachel Harrison

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A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

Julie is missing, and no one believes she will ever return--except Elise. Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and feels it in her bones that her best friend is out there and that one day Julie will come back. She's right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she's been or what happened to her. 

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, the women decide to reunite at a remote inn. But the second Elise sees Julie, she knows something is wrong--she's emaciated, with sallow skin and odd appetites. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back. But then who--or what--is she?

The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home

- by Joseph Fink

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"A chilling ghost story. . . . A decades long, globe-spanning saga of adventure, betrayal, love, and fate [about] one of Welcome to Night Vale's most enigmatic and terrifying characters. . . How these stories converge and how the narrator becomes immortal are merciless in their ingenuity and immensely satisfying. . . . A funny, terrifying, and unpredictable slice of Night Vale's macabre history." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

From the New York Times bestselling authors of Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours! and the creators of the hit podcast, comes a haunting novel set in the world of Night Vale and beyond.

In the town of Night Vale, there's a faceless old woman who secretly lives in everyone's home, but no one knows how she got there or where she came from...until now. Told in a series of eerie flashbacks, the story of The Faceless Old Woman goes back centuries to reveal an initially blissful and then tragic childhood on a Mediterranean Estate in the early nineteenth century, her rise in the criminal underworld of Europe, a nautical adventure with a mysterious organization of smugglers, her plot for revenge on the ones who betrayed her, and ultimately her death and its aftermath, as her spirit travels the world for decades until settling in modern-day Night Vale.

Interspersed throughout is a present-day story in Night Vale, as The Faceless Old Woman guides, haunts, and sabotages a man named Craig. In the end, her current day dealings with Craig and her swashbuckling history in nineteenth century Europe will come together in the most unexpected and horrifying way.

Part The Haunting of Hill House, part The Count of Monte Cristo, The Faceless Old Woman Who Lives in Your Home is a lively tale of loyalty, betrayal, and revenge, that will have you looking around the corners of your own home...just in case.

Split Tooth

- by Tanya Tagaq

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Longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Shortlisted for the 2019 Amazon First Novel Award
Shortlisted for the 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
Winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Prose in English
Winner of the 2018 Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design - Prose Fiction
Longlisted for the 2019 Sunburst Award

From the internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer who has dazzled and enthralled the world with music it had never heard before, a fierce, tender, heartbreaking story unlike anything you've ever read.


Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them.

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us.

When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this.

Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals, and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.

Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine readers will never forget.

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