Chris's Staff Picks
Cicely Tyson has bestowed upon us one last gift before her passing, and has once again immaculately shown us the depths and complexities of human life. Widely renowned for her work in the entertainment industry, Ms. Tyson spares no expense in this memoir, baring her soul in a way that will leave readers utterly entranced by her life and her work.
In an amazing debut, John Paul Brammer shares his journey from rural Oklahoma, to a successful columnist and as the "Chicano Carrie Bradshaw" of New York City. Immaculately written, John Paul does an amazing job at capturing what it is like to grow up both Queer and Latinx, and relates worthwhile advice through heartfelt anecdotes. Heartwarming and hilarious, this is a must read for anyone who wants to cry, laugh, or both at the same time!
Ashley Ford's first memoir is nothing short of an instant classic! Equal parts heartbreaking and inspirational, Ford beautifully details how she was able to grow up and thrive in spite of the abuse she faced at the hands of those around her and in the absence of her father who was imprisoned for most of her life. Each page is wonderfully written and will prove to be a challenge to put down once you've started!
Please trust me when I say that this memoir will be one of the best memoirs you have ever read! Simply exquisite, Michelle Zauner combines her love of H Mart and Korean food with the feelings of loss and grief she had following her mother's untimely passing. It's never easy losing someone who you cared for so deeply in your life, but Michelle knows how to take the sting out just a little bit (and makes you incredibly hungry while reading with her detailed descriptions of Korean food)!
A direct sequel to Nguyen's "The Sympathizer", The Committed follows our beloved, unnamed narrator to France where he and his brother encounter the brutal reality of living as Vietnamese refugees within the city of Paris. Weaving the story with elements of crime noir, politics, and colonialism, this book remains "committed" to keeping you on your toes while you read it!
This book is a must-read for anyone who considers themself a book or history buff! Based on the real-life American Library in Paris, The Paris Library focuses on the lives of two women, one from Paris and the other from rural Montana and how their shared love for literature gets them through the harder parts of life.
An insightful how-to guide, this is a must read for anyone who is looking to learn more about individuals who use they/them pronouns and how you can be a better ally to those who use them!
Kazuo Ishiguro blends real world concerns about technology and society with amazing storytelling to tell us about the life of Klara, an "Artificial Friend", who longs to love and be loved. Throughout the book we accompany Klara as she navigates what it truly means to be human and to feel emotion for the first time. An amazing read for anyone interested in technology and wanting to feel moved!
As powerful as it is vulnerable, Rebecca Carroll invites us into her world as she navigates how love is love regardless of whether it comes from biological or chosen family.
Simply beautiful, James Baldwin has written an amazing story about two lovers, torn apart by the system who go on a journey that will have you feeling incredibly emotional with each page. This is a must read for anyone interested in James Baldwin's work and feel super emotional by the end.
This collection of cocktail recipes is definitely a must have for Pride! All of the recipes are based off of LGBT icons and are super easy to follow with pretty tasty results! This is also a great recipe collection for anyone who wants to brush up on their bartending skills!
Probably one of my favorite books I have ever read, this autobiography of one of the most polarizing figures in history is incredibly detailed and has unfortunately shown us how litte things have changed in the nation, and how much work is left before real change can even happen. Inspring and heartbreaking at the same time, this book is an absolute must read for everyone!
Pablo Neruda is simply one of the most amazing poets to have ever picked up a pen, and this collection of poems proves that. With each poem in this collection, Neruda finds a way to find the beauty of everyday items we would never look twice at, and turns everyday experiences into beautiful memories.
A must-read for film buffs everywhere, this memoir not only tells us about the author's life in eloquent detail, but also how an amazing decade for film shaped his relationship with his mom and how those films continue to impact us to this day.
Where some history books are a bit harder and a bit more difficult to read, this book finds a way to entrap and enthrall you in the history of one of the world's most unique islands. At first glance, it might not seem like the history of such a place would be interesting, but Egill Bjarnasson's descriptions of ancient and contemporary Icelandic history are so fascinating that this book will be hard to put down once you've started.
One hundred ghost stories might seem a little spooky at first, but this collection of stories range from simply sad, to an incredibly meaningful look at the concept of death, and what it ultimately means to live a life.
Edgar Allan Poe takes us on a hauntingly beautiful exploration of the human psyche as he tells us the stories of love gone awry, a guilty conscious, and more in this spectacular collection of his work. A great read for anyone interested in exploring the darker sides of love and life.
Although not an author by nature, Mariah Carey's skills with a pen should never be underestimated. Having written a record number of #1 singles and being the only artist in history to have a #1 in 4 different decades, Mariah Carey's life is quite the rollercoaster, and this memoir does an amazing job at giving her legacy the justice that it so righteously deserves.
This book is an amazing start if you want to begin a journey of self-reflection and healing. Oprah and Bruce Perry do an amazing job at not only explaining how events in our past (both traumatic and seemingly insignificant) can have the greatest impact on how we live our lives in the present, but they also make the conversation about trauma psychology extremely accessible for everyone who wants to learn more or simply want to heal from their past.
Where do I even begin with this masterpiece?! This Queer thriller will leave you wanting more and more with each word that PJ Vernon writes. Bath Haus follows a man named Oliver as he attempts to rebuild his life in Washington DC following a childhood marred by abuse, drug addiction, and homophobia. As Oliver finds stability and normalcy within his relationship with a handsome doctor by the name of Nathan, a singular mistake begins to unravel the stability that Oliver has craved for so long.
Monogamous? Polyamorous? In an open relationship? Queer? Straight? Single? Partnered? Then this might be the right book for you! An amazing guide to love and intimacy, this a must read for anyone looking to learn how to strengthen their relationships by navigating boundaries, communication, and trust. Filled to the brim with all sorts of information about human sexuality, this is a book that I think everyone would benefit from reading and learning from.
Written by Anthony Bourdain's longtime assistant and confidante, Laurie Woolever, this book gives us an unprecedented look into the icon's life through incredibly insightful interviews with friends, collaborators, and family. As detailed as it is eyeopening, this biography will leave you with a newfound appreciation for a person whose work inspired millions of people around the world.
To be quite honest, I have never felt hungrier and watered more at the mouth while reading a book in my life until I read this! Having authored a few cookbooks and starred in amazing films, Stanley Tucci knows exactly how to combine storytelling with cooking and this autobiography shows it. Deserving of a Michelin star in my humble opinion, Stanley Tucci will have you at the grocery store in a frenzy looking for the ingredients needed to craft such delicious food as what he grew up with!
This book will destroy you, but in a good, heartwarming kind of way! Torrey Peters follows the lives of Reese, Ames, and Katrina as they navigate transitioning, detransitioning, parenthood, and their places in world where rigid gender norms are the standard. By using parenthood as a means to explore one's own gender identity, Torrey Peters dives deep into creating a story that is as chaotic and emotional as it is rich and beautiful.
A compilation of essays and stories, Price of the Ticket proves that James Baldwin is one of the greatest authors to have graced the Earth. This collection of nonfiction by James Baldwin is not only an amazing introduction to his work, but is also incredibly demonstrative of how James Baldwin was able to creatively describe the chaos and inequality that he and so many others faced and continue to face.
From our headphones to our movie screens, Aaliyah was truly "One in a Million", and Kathy Iandoli goes to great legnths in this book to prove that. While many have tried and "tried again" to capture the true essence of Aaliyah's pioneering music, Kathy Iandoli frames Aaliyah and her life in a way that pays respect to and gives much deserved credit to Aaliyah's legacy. A must read for any fan of Aaliyah, this book goes beyond the tabloids and straight to the core of what makes Aaliyah a legend.
An anthology of Queer comics created by and for Queer people, this is an amazing collection of comics that range from teaching Queer history, laughing at gender norms, and to imagining of what a Queer utopia could look like. As beautiful and vibrant as the Queer community itself, these comics will have you hooked after the first few pages!