Leah's Picks

Staff Pick Badge
I Must Betray You By Ruta Sepetys Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984836038
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - February 1st, 2022

Sepetys illuminates the real vampires in Romanian history; the tyrannical reign of the Ceau?escus that spanned decades and made Stalin’s actions look mild. This is a history that is so recent (ending in 1989) yet so buried that you’ve probably never heard of it. The regime built on fear will unsettle you as a reader, and carve deep horror into the marrow of your bones. Through this era though, the bravery and strength of young people led to a bloody revolution and ultimate freedom from Romania’s isolating Iron Curtain of communism. It’s a tough read but ultimately full of hope and dreaming while living in a country where your every movement is monitored and no one can be trusted.
 


Staff Pick Badge
Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone By Juli Berwald Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780735211285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - November 6th, 2018

Are you worried about a world jellyfish takeover? I went into this thinking I'd learn some cool jellyfish facts and came out of it confident these amazing ocean dwellers will soon be ruling the planet. This story follows the author's journey to study jellyfish; she consults jellyfish scientists on evolutionary history, learns how to properly eat jellyfish (ew), and explores the endless possibilities these creatures bring to the future of biological research and discovery. She also talks about other monstrous sea creatures, affirming my decision to never step into the ocean again. This book is perfect for fans of The Soul of an Octopus or any science fanatic.


Staff Pick Badge
Extasia By Claire Legrand Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062696632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - February 22nd, 2022

Saint Amity has been taught little about the war that destroyed the world but spared her small village of Haven. Good thing the witches arrive to dissolve her of those illusions and join her in a quest to appeal to the Devil. As the story closely examines indoctrination, belief-systems, and violence, there will be no settling answers within these pages, only a genre-defying dish of Palahniuk-esque disturbing content with a side of chilled blood. Mind. Blown. 


Staff Pick Badge
How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel By Sequoia Nagamatsu Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063072640
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - January 18th, 2022

Reminiscent of The Martian Chronicles, these vignettes of a near future world struggling with a climate plague are prophetically worst case scenario for those of us living today. “Before the pandemic” is a phrase we are all intimately familiar with by now, as are the characters in this story. I just hope we don’t also have to get used to talking pigs, euthanasia amusement parks, or a love story at a forensic body farm….well, who knows, a lot can happen in a few hundred years, maybe that will be the new normal.
 


Staff Pick Badge
Helgoland: Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution By Carlo Rovelli, Erica Segre (Translated by), Simon Carnell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Carlo Rovelli, Erica Segre (Translated by), Simon Carnell (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780593328880
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 25th, 2021

This may be my favorite of Carlo Rovelli’s books so far. I love how he (and the wonderful translator!) makes deep scientific questions feel like more than equations on a page. They are meditations on how we perceive reality and connect with the world, and are approachable for readers both familiar with hard science and those just dipping their toes in.  I found Helgoland in particular, considering it deals with one of the least understood areas of science, incredibly easy to read and understand. I have read a number of books on quantum mechanics but this one was by far the most enjoyable. 


Staff Pick Badge
Orwell's Roses By Rebecca Solnit Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593083369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 19th, 2021

Solnit weaves a social and political history of roses and other flowers across the world with an introspective biography of George Orwell and his lifelong connection with nature—a facet of him and his writing often overlooked. Between these two vastly different topics a policial nature narrative is created. This is will be perfect for readers who enjoy Robert MacFarlane’s nature writing or any of Solnit’s other work.
 


Staff Pick Badge
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History By Tracey Baptiste Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781616209001
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 19th, 2021

This is a great introduction to a plethora of African history; it’s not only about specific people but how these individuals influenced cultures, belief systems, and entire civilizations across thousands of years. A lot of this history has been buried under colonized, western narratives. While this book just scratches the surface, it’s an important stepping stone to reintroducing this lost history not only to kids, but people of all ages. 


Staff Pick Badge
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century By Kirk Wallace Johnson Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781101981634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 23rd, 2019

The victims of this crime are bird feathers. Yep. That’s right. This crime is quite unique because there are no dead bodies, nobody was harmed. And not only will you learn about a heist that involved a suitcase, eBay, and an ego, but the history of feathers in fashion, the inception of fly fishing, and the art of fly tying that’s come out of it. I found this an extremely compelling narrative that connects many subjects from environmentalism to ethics, so there’s something for everyone!


Staff Pick Badge
City of Thieves (Battle Dragons #1) By Alex London Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338716542
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - September 21st, 2021

I am so excited for this new series! City of Thieves will be a great bridge for those kids who finished Wings of Fire but who are still daunted by Eragon. It’s super funny and sharp, set in a creative world I can’t wait to explore more. Additionally, I loved how immersive dragons were in every aspect of Drakopolis, from citizens’ day-to-day activities to aspects of their language. But along with the fun there are more serious themes of justice and equity, and through harrowing dragon battles and terrible encrypted homework assignments Abel learns more about his world (and his siblings!) that he ever imagined existed. 
 


Staff Pick Badge
Under the Whispering Door By TJ Klune Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250217349
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - September 21st, 2021

If Wallace Price was still alive, I would want to meet him. Well, no, I would like to meet the dead Wallace because he’s much nicer that way; a true curmudgeon turned marshmallow as he accepts he’s done in this plane of existence. I wasn’t sure a book about death and grieving was what I needed this year, but upon finishing I can assure you this book is exactly what we all need right now. Klune’s signature quirky characters have that tendency to sneakily sink their hooks into your chest. Before I knew it, I had fallen in love with everyone, especially the ghost dog Apollo. There will likely be a lot of emotions in this reading experience, but it is all beautifully cathartic. Laughter, yes, and some tears. Many quietly profound passages had me pause to reflect and think about my own life and my family. I recommend reading it with a cup of tea and having someone you can hug within reach.


Staff Pick Badge
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World By David Epstein Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780735214507
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 27th, 2021

This book is exactly what I needed as a generalist. Not only does it help validate those who have always been a little bit good at a lot of things, but also those along unconventional education paths. The author looks into the history of learning styles across the globe. Additionally, it explores how in the modern age our formal education system increasingly exemplifies highly focused education and de-emphasizes problem-solving in a broader, interdisciplinary manner—when in fact, that may be the key to solving many problems. The world is full of people learning differently and at different times; it is important to remember there is no wrong way to learn.


Staff Pick Badge
Vespertine By Margaret Rogerson Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534477117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - October 5th, 2021

I think each of Margaret Rogerson's books are better than the previous! Vespertine has it all. The gothic setting lend the events of the story an opressive and mysterious feel throughout the entire novel. Then, we get a magic system that feels simultaneously ancient and unique, only to top it off with a heart-pounding cat-and-mouse chase with morally gray and unreliable characters around every corner. Every time I thought I had things figured out--another plot twist was revealed! Though I loved it all, the snarky revenant was my favorite part and had me cackling along with it. 


Staff Pick Badge
Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales By Soman Chainani, Julia Iredale (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Soman Chainani, Julia Iredale (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062652638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - September 21st, 2021

This collection of fairytales makes for a heart-pounding read as every single one takes an unexpected and creative direction. Decolonizing, inclusve, smashing-the-patriarchy...it's everything I could ever ask for and more. Like the stories on which they're based, the layers of commentary and satire let readers of all ages enjoy it. 


Staff Pick Badge
Empire of the Vampire By Jay Kristoff, Bon Orthwick (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jay Kristoff, Bon Orthwick (Illustrator)
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250245281
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 14th, 2021

In the vein of Name of the Wind, a vampire hunter recounts the fantastical events from his life to his executioner. This epic dystopian fantasy is dark and seductive and includes frightening artwork that brings the story even more alive. The violence! The expletives! The smut! What’s not to love?


Staff Pick Badge
A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) By Becky Chambers Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781250236210
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - July 13th, 2021

Imagine a world with many, many cups of tea. Doesn’t this world sound amazing? Doesn’t it calm you just to think of it? Sibling Dex makes people tea as a way of life, but they are still struggling to find meaning in the world. Just when they think they’re about to figure it out by seeking out the supposedly-extinct cricket song, they stumble upon a wild-built robot, Mosscap. Mosscap exudes childlike wonder and an untainted way of seeing the world. Together, Dex and Mosscap exchange thoughtful commentary about humans, other animals, robots, and the role of social constructs in our lives. Reminiscent of the Alchemist set far in another world; it’s a timeless philosophy lesson driven home with dry wit that only a robot can bring to teatime.
 


Staff Pick Badge
Frankie & Bug By Gayle Forman Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534482531
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - October 12th, 2021

It’s 1987 in Venice, California; skinheads roam the streets, the AIDS crisis is full swing. Now Bug isn’t initially too aware of these big events, she’s just annoyed that her mom cancelled summer. But when a neighbor’s nephew, Frankie, arrives in town (obviously for the sole purpose of hanging out with Bug) they pass days at the beach and tracking down a serial killer: an agreed upon compromise between these two kids’ passions. I loved Bug SO much. Seeing the world through her eyes was a memorable experience. I was reminded that most of our prejudices are externally formed and a child’s view of the world is so beautiful and kind by nature. This book is so heartwarming and tackles large issues with grace and sensitivity. While I have enjoyed Forman’s YA books, I hope she continues to add middle grade to the mix as her talent shined brightly in here. Frankie & Bug is quite special and will be enjoyed by people of all ages. Found families for the win forever and ever. 
 


Staff Pick Badge
All These Bodies By Kendare Blake Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062977168
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - September 21st, 2021

The 1950s setting with a hint of the supernatural makes the string of bloodless murders in this book sound like something you hear on a true crime podcast nowadays. I loved the unreliable narration of events Marie recounts to Michael and the claustrophobic feeling of a small town with an unknown murderer on the loose. If you tend to spook easily: read this book in the daytime.


Staff Pick Badge
This Poison Heart By Kalynn Bayron Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781547603909
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury YA - June 29th, 2021

The contents of this beautiful book include: Magical creatures! mythology! parents who think they are hip! an old mansion with secret rooms! queer love! Black girl magic! A POISONOUS SECRET GARDEN!


Staff Pick Badge
Elatsoe By Darcie Little Badger, Rovina Cai (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Darcie Little Badger, Rovina Cai (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781646140053
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Levine Querido - August 25th, 2020

Ellie is a young Lipan girl who has the power to raise the ghosts of animals, a secret passed down for generations. She is my favorite kind of teenager because she doesn’t automatically believe what adults tell her - which is good because more often than not they are wrong. There is no romance, just lots of wisecracking with the death puns. Overall an adventurous murder-mystery with a fun element of mythology!


Staff Pick Badge
One Last Stop By Casey McQuiston Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250244499
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - June 1st, 2021

McQuiston’s talent glitters once again in a wholly different light than her debut, but remains just as memorable in its own merit. August investigates a la Veronica Mars what exactly is anchoring the mysteriously hot, ever-present, actually-from-the-1970’s, Jane Su to the Q whenever she jumps on. Her new roommates (and co-investigators) are determined to help make August feel like NYC is her meant-to-be home, and are a welcome bunch of fellow queers who wedged themselves into my heart immediately. Many of Jane’s memories are triggered by music; significant songs to her blank-slate past, as well as a way for August and Jane to communicate when they otherwise can’t be together. This electrifying romance-on-the-tracks filled me with nostalgia and a longing to turn the dial of my radio.
 


Staff Pick Badge
An Emotion of Great Delight By Tahereh Mafi Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062972415
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - June 1st, 2021

This is a truly special story. Shadi has endured, and continues to endure, such traumas I could not even begin to imagine experiencing. Yet while I read her story the intensity of each page had me feeling the anger in my chest, the rain pouring on my freezing skin; the pure exhaustion of existing. Mafi has a way of describing feelings and emotions akin to poetry that is as heart wrenching as it is beautiful. 
 


Staff Pick Badge
Alias Grace: A Novel By Margaret Atwood Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385490443
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - October 13th, 1997

Mid 1800s, Canada: Here we follow the life of a woman from her emigration from Ireland, to pending murder charges and an investigation into her sanity. Part historical novel, part murder muystery, Atwood depicts the unreliable narrator like no other.


Staff Pick Badge
A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe #1) By P. Djèlí Clark Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250267689
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Tordotcom - May 11th, 2021

This is the magical, queer, historical steampunk detective story I didn’t realize I needed in my life. Set in an alternative Cairo with lots of shenanigans around every street corner (caused by a variety of creatures), I was immediately immersed in this story. Fatma proves you don’t always have to sacrifice fashion for business, or wit for propriety. Her new partner Hadia is a steely sidekick and I have no doubt she will be the one soon in charge; the two have great banter and open each other’s minds to different ways of being strong. I loved the quick humor overall, awareness of coexisting cultures, and diversity of characters—setting my standards high for this new, niche genre.
 


Staff Pick Badge
Rick By Alex Gino Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338048100
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - April 21st, 2020

This is the perfect book for any young kid who is questioning anything about their sexuality or gender assignment and/or want to know about other kids' experiences of this nature. The story is set in a safe and supportive environment that encourages questions and exploring.


Staff Pick Badge
Tokyo Ever After: A Novel By Emiko Jean Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250766601
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - May 18th, 2021

What would you do if you learned your long-lost father was the Crown Prince of Japan? Izumi's whole suburban-California life gets turned into a modern day fairy tale when she receives this news. Hilarious and heartfelt, this book is a perfect blend of Princess Diaries and Crazy Rich Asians. While figuring out how to reconcile her new identity and extended family, Izumi might even have time for a bit of romance as well--if she can fit it into her time-consuming princess lifestyle that only most people dream of.


Staff Pick Badge
The Wolf and the Woodsman: A Novel By Ava Reid Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062973122
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Harper Voyager - June 8th, 2021

It’s an impressive feat to tell a story that’s both masochistic and romantic at its core. Évike is a tough woman to connect to but as she embarks unwillingly on this long, forested trek, I grew to love her spirit, her grit. She will fight to belong with every breath, all the while struggling with her dual identities and outcast status. This incredible world is fantasy but feels ancient and true. Monsters are everywhere—human and otherwise—be it wolf or woodsman or the gods themselves; fairytale horror at its finest.
 


Staff Pick Badge
Where the Rhythm Takes You By Sarah Dass Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063018525
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 11th, 2021

I absolutely loved this Tobago-set reimagining of Persuasion! (Essentially the OG second-chance story dear to my heart). The story is emotionally rich with wonderful characters all around; Reyna’s tight knit community is clearly brimming with love. I also appreciated the complexity of Reyna’s grief for her mom and burden of the Plumeria hotel. Oh, did I mention the intense sexual tension evident on every single page between her and Aiden, island-boy turned pop star? 
 


Staff Pick Badge
Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice By Yusef Salaam Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538705001
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 18th, 2021

This memoir from one of the Exonerated Five is centered on Yusef's serendipitous journey through the harsh prison system as a young teenager. Here he deepened his understanding of Islam and became a spiritual leader. This proved valuable for both his physical and mental well-being through those years of imprisonment and to this day. His story of false accusation is not unique, but his perspective definitely is. 


Staff Pick Badge
The Martian Chronicles By Ray Bradbury Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062079930
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 11th, 2011

This collection of speculative short stories are chilling in both their unvarnished moral lessons and tendancy to make fiction seem so realistic. Should we really be exploring mars when we still haven't got our shit together here on Earth? Probably not, but it makes for a good story.


Staff Pick Badge
A Dark and Hollow Star (Hollow Star Saga #1) By Ashley Shuttleworth Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534453678
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - February 23rd, 2021

Here's the book for those of us who grew up in the world of the Mortal Instruments and are now searching for something darker, grittier, but with that same comforting feel--the blurry lines between the mortal and faerie realms. The scope of worldbuilding is unparalleled, and it's only just beginning to flesh out, because not only do we meet the fae, but also ancient gods and other creatures of lore across time. But the heart of this book is in the characters. The casually all-queer cast solidifies that everyone deserves to be represented in magical stories and have adventures, and who are not defined by their sexuality or gender. Each of them contributes a different magical background from all corners of the Courts. The fallen deities, ironborn, the troublemakers, the snarky nerds. The world is not prepared for them but like it or not, they're here to shake things up. Holly Black may be the Queen of Faerie but Ashley Shuttleworth has secured their place in the Seelie Court.
 


Staff Pick Badge
Perfect on Paper: A Novel By Sophie Gonzales Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250769787
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - March 9th, 2021

Darcy's specialty is relationships, even if her own are rather disastrous. The insightful relationship advice that Darcy anonymously provides for her classmates read as if she was speaking directly to me. In the process of her advice-giving she is forced to reflect upon her own questionable actions for a myriad of her romantic as well as platonic relationships. Darcy is a wonderfully flawed character that many people will be able to identify with and her queer identity is never used as a plot device. I especially loved the camaraderie and banter between Darcy and her sister, Ainsley, and their support for each other. There’s a nice balance of awkward situations that made me crawl under the covers to escape the secondhand embarrassment, right alongside snarky dialogue that provided some much needed laughter for these strange times. Perfect on Paper is reminiscent of The Half of It with a hearty dose of Dear Abby, creating one of the most endearing queer high school experiences I’ve ever read.


Staff Pick Badge
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex By Nathaniel Philbrick Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780141001821
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 1st, 2001

This harrowing adventure follows the crew of the USS Essex after it is sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. They are drifting in the middle of the ocean for 90 days where they are forced to result to cannibalism! Oh boy do you learn a lot about eating people in this one! Also, these events inspired the classic Moby Dick, but the cannibalism is way cooler. 


Staff Pick Badge
Happily Ever Afters By Elise Bryant Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062982834
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 5th, 2021

Tessa is such an endearing character, her awkwardness spoke to me almost as much as her avoidance strategies and social anxiety. She grows so much throughout the story, I loved seeing her make mistakes and learn from them. Her family is supportive and kind (and still annoying sometimes). It was just so freaking cute I read almost the whole thing in one day. It took the best tropes and turned them into something special, heart-fluttery, inclusive; my heart felt full of freshly baked goods from that boy next door.


Staff Pick Badge
Love in English By Maria E. Andreu Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062996510
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 2nd, 2021

Ana has recently moved from Argentina to the United States, but quickly realizes her years of studying English at school has not prepared her for living in a new country. This #ownvoices debut perfectly captures the feeling of learning a new language—the difficulties, the breakthroughs. (English is such a weird ass language, I cannot even begin to imagine what it’s like to learn.) She makes dear friends to help her fit in, and struggles with how to identify with two worlds while she and her ESL classmates deal with xenophobic attitudes. Ana writes beautiful poetry as a way of expressing emotions she doesn’t have the vocabulary to fulfill yet, and it helps her to understand all the nuances of this new language. But no matter where you’re from or what language you speak, it’s a universal truth...cute boys are endlessly difficult to understand. I loved this book; it’s inclusive, and funny while remaining sincere. I can’t wait to see what the author has next in store. 
 


Staff Pick Badge
Red, White, and Whole By Rajani LaRocca Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063047426
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - February 2nd, 2021

This is a story of belonging: a young girl struggling to fit in America in 1983 while holding onto her Indian heritage. It’s also a story of grief: a young girl recalling Indian folklore to help her deal with her mother’s illness and processing her grief. Told in quiet/soft but powerful verse, I could tase the sharp burst of mustard seeds on my tongue when Reha cooked with her parents and hear the scratch of pen on paper as her mom scribed aerogrammes to her family in her home country. Reha is brave but not without fear, the core of heroism. Seeing her strength and growth through these trials inspired me. 
 


Staff Pick Badge
Fireborne (THE AURELIAN CYCLE #1) By Rosaria Munda Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780525518235
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 29th, 2020

Finally! Another book featuring dragon riders with a world-building scope that rivals Eragon. Alongside recreational competitions and mid-air battles, a rebellion is brewing and alliances are shifting. Also, a dash of romance may be in the mix! I can't wait for the sequel.


Staff Pick Badge
The Frozen Crown: A Novel (Warrior Witch Duology #1) By Greta Kelly Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062956958
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Harper Voyager - January 12th, 2021

Princess Askia enters the neighboring country’s court life with the purpose of negotiating an army in order to save her kingdom. ?But she’s a princess brought up with sword fighting more than political games and is only beginning to understand her own forbidden, secret status as a witch. There’s a slow burn plot, filled with world- and relationship-building. But when I reached the second half it I realized how invested I was in the characters, became surprised at the audacity of the twists suddenly coming from every direction; blood is shed at the most inconvenient of times. The Frozen Crown be a great next read for fans of Queen of the Tearling and Graceling. I am so thankful I won’t have to wait too long for the other half of this duology because that cliffhanger was quite a doozy for my emotions.
 


Staff Pick Badge
The Roommate (The Shameless Series #1) By Rosie Danan Cover Image
$16.00
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780593101605
Published: Berkley - September 15th, 2020

Are you tired of swiping left? Being stood up? Are you generally done interacting with potential romantic partners? Listen up: you can just live out the rest of your days reading a shit ton of romance books, living vicariously through other people’s meet-cutes and great sex, and all with a guaranteed happy ending to boot. The Roommate is unique to the romance genre and set the bar high going forward. Never have I read a romance novel as focused on emphasizing and empowering female pleasure. The day is finally here for the most sexy, endearing, validating, orgasm-filled book to ever enter your dreams and bookshelf. Josh and Clara validate and respect each other’s wildly different lifestyles; there’s a deep sense of mutual appreciation. If they were real people, they’d literally change the country’s skittish handling of sex education. Read it, learn from it, and share the love. 


Staff Pick Badge
Hush: A Novel (The Hush Series #1) By Dylan Farrow Cover Image
$18.99
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781250235909
Published: Wednesday Books - October 6th, 2020

Shae lives in a world where there is no written word and too much silence. For wherever words appear the deadly disease Blot is spread, leaving death and madness in its wake. When Shae’s mother is murdered—a forbidden and dangerous term— she is thrown into a conspiracy tangled in the very fabric of her reality. Hush invites you into a world that is a fantasy and yet all too tangibly possible. Censorship of knowledge is wielded as a form of control and power held in the hands of very few. Shae is told over and over how she is too emotional and imagining things, the type of gaslighting that too often happens to women in any world. I admired Shae’s intense emotions and her determination to find the truth, with no help at any turn. But I shouldn’t say any more lest the Blot catch wind of this account and we become lost in the clutches of insanity.


Staff Pick Badge
Other Words for Home By Jasmine Warga Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747808
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 28th, 2019

A heartwarming story in verse about a young girl's experience as a Syrian refugee adjusting to life in the US. She has to learn a new life separated from her dad and brother in a new country that holds many prejudices against her. But thankfully Jude's vibrant spirit shines through at every difficult situation she faces.


Staff Pick Badge
The Ruin: A Novel (A Cormac Reilly Mystery #1) By Dervla McTiernan Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143133124
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - July 3rd, 2018

In the ever-drizzling city of Galway, Ireland, two murders take place twenty years apart. The police are acting strangely and the survivors are demanding action. Are they even working on the same side? I was told this book is for fans of Tana French, a description I first raised my eyebrow at in disbelief, but it became clear from the first chapter there was never a more accurate statement. McTiernan is able to convey intense emotion in a concise manner, letting you put the pieces together without ever spelling it out directly. This creates an escalating pace and an intimate relationship between the reader and characters. The story is oppressive, gloomy, yet endearing. It is the cozy cup of tea by the fire, as well as the storm raging outside. I cannot wait for more Detective Cormac Reilly books. 


Staff Pick Badge
Ties That Tether By Jane Igharo Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593101940
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Berkley - September 29th, 2020

Azere is tired of her mother setting her up with 'good' Nigerian men. As a Nigerian woman who has spent most of her adult life in Canada, she's already torn on how to both fit in and embrace her heritage in her daily life. This situation only gets more complicated after an unexpected one-night stand with Rafael, exactly the kind of man her mother would disapprove of. Though their relationship takes an unexpectedly serious turn, Azere remains cautious and reserved because her entire upbringing has been tied to her culture, and falling in love with a Spaniard like Rafael could alienate her from her entire family. Azere struggles with compromising her Nigerian heritage and traditions in order to be with someone who makes her happy. These struggles necessitate very difficult conversations with loved ones both new and old, and her efforts to communicate--or lack thereof--felt very authentic and relatable. Ties That Tether is an impressive debut that digs deep emotional roots while still maintaining that fairytale charm we all want in our happily ever after.


Staff Pick Badge
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances By Neil Gaiman Cover Image
$16.99
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780062330321
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 27th, 2015

My favorite story, The Thing About Cassandra, has stuck with me some five years later. You can always rely on Neil Gaiman to disturb and unsettle any normal-seeming situation.


Staff Pick Badge
Cemetery Boys By Aiden Thomas Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250250469
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Swoon Reads - September 1st, 2020

Día de los Muertos approaches, and with it the initiation ceremony for new brujos in Yadriel’s community. But in a sprit-release gone wrong, Yadriel and his cousin Maritza, the one-of-a-kind vegan bruja, find themselves in the company of a spirit who’s much more annoyed than they expected. Yet it’s finally Yadriel’s chance to prove himself as a true brujo to his family. This #ownvoices novel is much funnier than you’d first think going in. Julian, the troublesome spirit, had me stifling chuckles and he and Yadriel have sparking chemistry right away. Yadriel’s journey toward acceptance by his deeply traditional Latinx family is not easy, but you’ll be rooting for him the entire way. Cemetery Boys entwines many real social justice issues with enchanting folklore in a charming and memorable way; this book is a real gem and an instant YA classic.
 


Staff Pick Badge
North and South By Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell Cover Image
$10.95
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780486479521
Published: Dover Publications - June 13th, 2012

There was a time when I finally finished all of Jane Austen’s books (twice) and I suddenly didn’t know where to turn next. I loved reading about dances, and witty banter, and most importantly, Society with a capital S. After getting stuck in a long reading rut, I stumbled upon North and South, and despite the lack of dances, I found beautiful writing, memorable friendships, and a fair amount of tempestuous romance. This book is more political and industrial than my Austen-norm, but it was just the right book for my fix. I found myself sucked into the troubling world of cotton factories, and unjust class prejudices. Margaret Hale has now become one of my favorite heroines. She’s pulled out of her comfortable country lifestyle and thrown into this busy working environment, and we are reminded that there are two sides to every story.


Staff Pick Badge
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) By Maggie Stiefvater Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545424936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 30th, 2013

Blue has been told her whole life that she will kill her true love. Coming from a family of psychics, she’s always accepted the fact, but didn’t really find it a problem until she meets the "raven boys." Rich students from the ivy-track high school nearby, each of the four boys is mysterious and quirky in their own way. Right from the first page, you get the feeling there's something bigger going on in the town of Henrietta, Virginia. Blue is a great main character and easy to relate to. She is splendidly odd, has a cool ability, and strives to be eccentric. Another great character, Gansey's enthusiasm for his quest to find Glendower is energetic and powerful. The excitement is contagious; I could just picture the light in his eyes every time he talked about the legend! The story moves well and there isn't a single lagging moment. 


Staff Pick Badge
You Had Me at Hola: A Novel By Alexis Daria Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062959928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - August 4th, 2020

Ay, mi CORAZÓN. Telenovela stars Jasmine and Ashton take the stage in this swoony but empowering novel. Jasmine is determined for this new show to launch her career forward. After a humiliating tabloid breakup she is full of badass jefa moves. Ashton, a puertorriqueño introvert full of secrets, may just be the comfort she needs and er, well they’re costars: we know those stage kisses are on the horizon. I loved this book so much! The author has pulled from her own culture and boisterous family and it reads with a full heart and many laughs.


Staff Pick Badge
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385341004
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 5th, 2009

Staff Pick Badge
Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) By Ann Leckie Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316246620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - October 1st, 2013

Even after seeing it win five of the biggest fantasy book awards last year, I’m not sure why I hesitated to start this book. Maybe that was precisely it. With so many stars, my expectations were set incredibly high; it was too daunting. But when I finally got around to reading the summary and learned what the plot was about, and that the main character is a spaceship…I picked it up the next day. I haven’t felt this empathetic toward an AI since watching Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation throughout my childhood. Justice of Toren One Esk’s history and plotting of revenge spanning over a thousand years is just plain exciting to experience. So hailing all hardcore sci-fi fans, here’s the erudite, complex novel with a narrative of avant-garde gender usage a la Ursula le Guin we’ve all been waiting for. And now I’m left scrambling for the next one.


Staff Pick Badge
The Likeness: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad #2) By Tana French Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143115625
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 26th, 2009

Staff Pick Badge
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania By Erik Larson Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307408877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - March 22nd, 2016

I absolutely loved this book. It was my intro to Erik Larson's work and now I need to go read everything else he's ever written. I listened to the audiobook on Libro.fm, which was excellent. He makes learning history actually interesting, and toward the end where it's finally telling about the sinking of the ship, I had chills the whole time. I spent a lot of my childhood on luxury liners, and the way he so matter-of-factly states everything that happens in the sinking, pulling from the passenger's accounts, it feels real even a hundred years later.


Staff Pick Badge
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) By Maggie Stiefvater Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545424936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 30th, 2013

Blue has been told her whole life that she will kill her true love. Coming from a family of psychics, she’s always accepted the fact, but didn’t really find it a problem until she meets the "raven boys." Rich students from the ivy-track high school nearby, each of the four boys is mysterious and quirky in their own way. Right from the first page, you get the feeling there's something bigger going on in the town of Henrietta, Virginia. Blue is a great main character and easy to relate to. She is splendidly odd, has a cool ability, and strives to be eccentric. Another great character, Gansey's enthusiasm for his quest to find Glendower is energetic and powerful. The excitement is contagious; I could just picture the light in his eyes every time he talked about the legend! The story moves well and there isn't a single lagging moment. 


Staff Pick Badge
You Had Me at Hola: A Novel By Alexis Daria Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062959928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - August 4th, 2020

Ay, mi CORAZÓN. Telenovela stars Jasmine and Ashton take the stage in this swoony but empowering novel. Jasmine is determined for this new show to launch her career forward. After a humiliating tabloid breakup she is full of badass jefa moves. Ashton, a puertorriqueño introvert full of secrets, may just be the comfort she needs and er, well they’re costars: we know those stage kisses are on the horizon. I loved this book so much! The author has pulled from her own culture and boisterous family and it reads with a full heart and many laughs.


Staff Pick Badge
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385341004
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 5th, 2009

Staff Pick Badge
Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel By Casey McQuiston Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250316776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 14th, 2019

I absolutely loved every second of this book! Yes, there is twue wuve which is amazeballs and adorable and had me giggling, but of course, because this lush, romantic affair is between the First Son and the Prince of England...there's going to be some politics involved. Their relationship, the international logistics, everything was all so maturely handled and emotionally raw that I had all the feels. I have more lines and passages stickied in this book any other because there are so many hilarious and witty conversations. If you find yourself losing hope in romance and true love, pick this up and your dreams will be restored. 


Staff Pick Badge
Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) By Ann Leckie Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316246620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - October 1st, 2013

Even after seeing it win five of the biggest fantasy book awards last year, I’m not sure why I hesitated to start this book. Maybe that was precisely it. With so many stars, my expectations were set incredibly high; it was too daunting. But when I finally got around to reading the summary and learned what the plot was about, and that the main character is a spaceship…I picked it up the next day. I haven’t felt this empathetic toward an AI since watching Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation throughout my childhood. Justice of Toren One Esk’s history and plotting of revenge spanning over a thousand years is just plain exciting to experience. So hailing all hardcore sci-fi fans, here’s the erudite, complex novel with a narrative of avant-garde gender usage a la Ursula le Guin we’ve all been waiting for. And now I’m left scrambling for the next one.


Staff Pick Badge
The Likeness: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad #2) By Tana French Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143115625
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 26th, 2009

Staff Pick Badge
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania By Erik Larson Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307408877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - March 22nd, 2016

I absolutely loved this book. It was my intro to Erik Larson's work and now I need to go read everything else he's ever written. I listened to the audiobook on Libro.fm, which was excellent. He makes learning history actually interesting, and toward the end where it's finally telling about the sinking of the ship, I had chills the whole time. I spent a lot of my childhood on luxury liners, and the way he so matter-of-factly states everything that happens in the sinking, pulling from the passenger's accounts, it feels real even a hundred years later.