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Archive for the 'Staff Pick' Category

Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac

Underneath this unlikely story of Sasquatch hunters, unicorns, ape-mothers, sea monsters, ghosts, and lifelong curses is a commentary on the important things in life: love, family, and forgiveness. Regret, childhood trauma, and obsession come into Shields's focus, and her resulting tale is amusing, with a chunk of bittersweet poignancy thrown in the mix.

After Birth

After Birth is a great little novel. In it we meet Ari, a new mother hellbent on befriending a new neighbor, Mina, a writer and former member of a feminist punk band. Ari's complicated relationships with the women in her life — particularly her late mother — have stayed with me long after reading this novel. It is a must-read in a world that so often ignores the darker, more complicated aspects of motherhood and womanhood.

Girl at the Lion D’Or

A complex and moving account of an anguished extramarital affair, The Girl at the Lion d'Or is impeccably written. The main characters have real depth, and it's easy to see their pain, confusion, and conflicting emotions. Excellent.

All the Light We Cannot See

I recommend reading this on the coast, in the bath, at your desk, in bed, with your legs tucked up under you in the sun. I do not recommend reading it on the bus. Because whatever part you're reading on the bus will be the part that makes you cry. But do read it. It's a marvel.

The Argonauts

A seamless blend of memoir and cultural commentary, Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is, among many other things, a book about relentless introspection and transformation, about confronting one's own truths and biases and finding meaning in collisions big and small. Nelson explores the course of her relationship with the transgender artist Harry Dodge, along with their attempts to get pregnant, her experiences with academia, and her roles as mother and stepmother. Told in brief, loaded sections and referencing everything from gender theorists to parenting books to philosophers, The Argonauts is a book that is best read slowly; there is much to savor in this urgent, fiercely intelligent work.

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

Kean's latest achievement, lauded as his best yet, is a book about neuroscience, but don't let that intimidate you. Anyone who enjoys reading popular science books will appreciate the easy-to-understand explanations and wonderfully engaging stories that highlight the history of this field.

The Stars Never Rise

The Unified Church is in full control of everyone's lives within the city's walls, including Nina, who must rescue her sister from demons. But can she depend on her new friend Finn and his group of rebels? The first book of a unique dystopian series, The Stars Never Rise is promising — and thrilling.

Ninja Bunny

"Rule 1: a super awesome ninja must always work alone." But what happens when a super awesome ninja meets up with a super huge, ferocious bear? With sweet, whimsical drawings, Ninja Bunny is a super fun, action-packed story about determination and friendship.

Love Me Back

Merritt Tierce's debut, the story of a woman on a path of self-destruction, is told in raw prose that is vivid, terrible, and beautiful. While it is not for the fainthearted or the easily offended, everyone else should read this book.

A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

It's no surprise that this striking, emotionally charged novel won countless awards last year. Using fractured language betraying the narrator's mental state, McBride deftly relates the story of a girl growing up in a hostile home where everyone must grapple with a pervading cancer, both literally and metaphorically.

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