Fiction

Staff Pick: John Dies at the End by David Wong

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Have you ever wanted to know what a bad acid trip feels like? Great! This is the book for you. It's scary, gross, and kind of terrible. You are going to love it.

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From the publisher:

STOP.

You should not have touched this book with your bare hands.

NO, don’t put it down. It’s too late.

They’re watching you.

My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours.

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Staff Pick: Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

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Kelly Link's subtly dark and mystical short stories will make your day to day life feel slightly more interesting and fantastic than it typically seems. Bits of horror and magic are sprinkled throughout these stories, and Link's voice navigates them with a modern candor that will appeal to literature fans and fantasy readers alike. She is probably a wizard, and the book has a ferret on the cover. You wish that you had a ferret, because it's like if a rat ate a slinky. Reading this book will let NASA take you into outer space without having to undergo any of the training.

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Staff Pick: Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

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Halfway through Max Porter's beautiful, complicated book I wasn't sure if I should be laughing or crying. Both would be appropriate it turns out. So much life is captured on so few pages - it's a marvel.

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

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A beautifully written, brief, very rich, yet spare account of a man’s life in a small village in Austria during the first half of the 20th century. Strong, tender, but unsentimental; a very special reading experience.

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

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It’s really a fantastic time warp kinda thing. You’re a child. Lindbergh = Trump parallels throughout, and NAZIS somehow feature in both. It’s good, perhaps his last best novel.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender

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These short stories are fantastically beautiful and bonkers. Bender will challenge what you know about magical realism.

Trust me. She is a masterful chronicler of the human condition.  You gotta pick up this book.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Hard Rain Falling

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Hard-bitten and hard-boiled, but tender too. Young men adrift and searching for meaning in 1960’s Portland, Oregon and Northern California. A nice blend of literary and genre fiction.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

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You might be thinking that the last thing we need is yet another retelling of a classic novel, but bear with me. In this delightfully bloody retooling of Jane Eyre, our titular heroine becomes a serial killer - the kind who only kills the most sinister of bad guys! From her idyllic country home to a Trunchbull-worthy boarding school and on to grisly London, Faye has created a thoroughly modern (and yet innately Victorian) Jane whom we can all root for. GO JANE!

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From the publisher:

"Reader, I murdered him."

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Post Script!: The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

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The story behind Luiselli's novel is almost as compelling as the work itself. The novel began as a commissioned work for an art gallery owned by a juice company outside of Mexico City. Luiselli's work was to be included in the catalog of an exhibition and she chose to write a novel in installments. The installments were then read and discussed by the juice factory workers, and in turn Luiselli incorporated their feedback into her narrative. This shared work became the story of Gustavo "Highway" Sánchez, a wheeler-dealer auctioneer.

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Post Script!: Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín

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Colm Tóibín is turning up everywhere: stage (The Testament of Mary), screen (Brooklyn), and of course, where we like him best - bound and in your hands. Nora Webster is set in rural Ireland in the 1960s where a middle-aged woman has just lost her husband. Not about grief but about life. Poignant and real.

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