Things You Should Know About

Staff Pick: Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

by Melissa

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: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

by Sarah R.

There are knights, dragons, ray-guns, and lines like: “unhand that science!” What more could you ask for? Nimona opens with simple yet funny chapters about a shapeshifting girl with aspirations of villainy and gradually escalates (in both art and story) into a sweeping narrative exploring corruption, identity, betrayal, and forgiveness. Dedicated “To all the Monster girls,” and featuring a titular character who is both monster and girl (or perhaps neither) Nimona is a poignant must-read for all ages.

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From the publisher: 

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

by Sarah

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: Miles by Miles Davis and Quincey Troupe

by Allison

If you are reading this book because of Miles' troubles you'll find plenty, but more than anything this book is about a passion for music that will make you want to pick up an instrument and start to play.

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis

by David M.

Angela Davis tells it like it is! She explores the ideologies of security, oppression, and freedom. This is a must read for any aspiring activist!

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From the publisher: 

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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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