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Archive for the 'Staff Pick' Category


Loitering, Charles D'Ambrosio's new collection of essays, feels like a confession — a secret you aren't supposed to share but are unable to keep to yourself. He writes with such an urgent immediacy that the words seem to vibrate, unable to be contained by page or cover.


Much like his wispy, smoke-filled covers, Eduardo Halfon's writing has an ephemeral quality that is both wondrous and intriguing. In Monastery, the same mysterious narrator as in Halfon's previous work, The Polish Boxer, returns to lead us once again on nomadic travels through time and place.


Lush and Lovecraftian writing sends one into this otherworldly experience. An awesome beginning to the Southern Reach Trilogy!

Girl With All the Gifts

Do not read any reviews of this book. Just read it. And read it now. (The less you know from the start, the better the read.)

I loved Melanie! She loves books and reading and learning. She is really smart. This book is so enjoyable and is one of the best books I've read this summer!

The Paying Guests

I could not put down this tender, haunting, harrowing novel — I read it by campfire light, I read it walking down the street, I read it in bed till my eyes wouldn't stay open. Waters creates a world with her precise observation of atmosphere, emotion, and gesture; her characters live. The Paying Guests is taut with the kind of romance that makes you miss being a teenager and a Gothic suspense that will make the shadows in your room pulse with something sinister. A thrilling, total experience.

1 Page at a Time

Equal parts inspirational tool, diary, and space occupier for your tote bag (seriously, you'll want to carry this rad little book everywhere). Some pages may require you to reflect, some may ask you to get to know yourself a little better, and others may just ask you to draw slices of pizza. This book is truly made for everyone, but I especially found it a great distraction when things in life feel just a bit too heavy. Full of whimsy, wit, and cute doodles 1 Page at a Time may just be my favorite book of the year. It certainly is the most unique.

Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage

About as introspective as a novel can be, Murakami's latest spends its entirety inside the somewhat sad mind of its protagonist. Damaged by a betrayal he cannot comprehend, Tsukuru is a man wholly undone by his closest friends. After years of loneliness, and only after stumbling into a new relationship with a woman who insists on his complete presence, Tsukuru realizes he must unravel his tangled past. Hoping for a new life of connections and companionship, Tsukuru tracks down his former friends and is, perhaps, a bit more kind than they deserve. Murakami writes with crisp, clear prose, and his characters feel wonderfully alive. A detailed character study, "Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage" is delicately done; a lovely read. 

Dogs in Cars

What's better during a long and boring commute than seeing a canine with his head out the window, the breeze in his floppy ears, squinting against the wind with a big, goofy smile on his face? Lara Jo Regan documents the pure and simple joy of riding in cars with furry companions. It will make you want to stick your head out of a moving vehicle yourself (not advised)!

The Portlandia Cookbook

I'd assumed that buying The Portlandia Cookbook for its recipes would be like reading Playboy for the articles, but Brownstein and Armisen's latest book is the real thing: a collection of delicious, inventive recipes inspired by local restaurants and seasoned with a perfect blend of the gentle satire and city love that's made Portlandia a hit.


Chef Brock is a storyteller. His tales take the form of recipes deeply steeped in the American South. The Southern cuisine in Heritage is honest and proud, based in history and a back-to-the-roots approach. Whether diner fare, Sunday supper, or neighborhood seafood boil, these thoughtfully conceived recipes have a glorious stick-to-your-ribs goodness.

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