Things You Should Know About

Staff Pick: A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

by Connie

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

by Scott

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: Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

by Steph

The first in a series, this is an addictively gritty dystopian sci-fi noir that's short enough to read in one go. The perfect endcap to your summer reading list.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender

by Alison

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: Rats by Robert Sullivan

by Kayla

Robert Sullivan spent a year sitting in a New York alley observing rats every night so that you don't have to. The resulting book weaves a forgotten history of the city together with plenty of gross-out rat facts to impress your friends. A great way to get to know your neighbors!

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Season of the Witch

by Olivia

If you were someone who sat in their basement playing with your ouiji board and listening to the Beatle’s White Album backwards, this book is for you.

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From the publisher:

This epic cultural and historical odyssey unearths the full influence of occult traditions on rock and roll -- from the Beatles to Black Sabbath -- and shows how the marriage between mysticism and music changed our world.

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Staff Pick: Hard Rain Falling

by Jake

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

by Steph

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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Staff Pick: The 33 1/3 Series

by CK

One album, one book-length essay: what’s between the covers, though, might be anything from a detailed musical analysis to a coming-of-age memoir; from a political history of the music scene to a work of fiction. (The sheer variety is what I love about this series.) Whether you’re into punk, funk, metal, hard rock, yacht rock, krautrock, alt-country, dance music, or jazz fusion, there’s something here for every type of music geek. Bloomsbury, $14.95

 

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

by Kramerbooks

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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