spring - STAFF PICKS

Ah, spring. Or, as it's known here in Los Angeles, pre-summer. Pick up one of our latest staff picks if you're in need of extra assistance to combat allergy blues.  

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THERESA’s Picks

BOYS & SEX

by Peggy Orenstein

Even at its most painful parts, an extremely readable book that explores the tumultuous relationship young men have with love, romance, and sex. This is an eye-opening book that reveals the many ways young men are ill-prepared to be be more caring, intelligent, and just plain better lovers (to others, and theirselves). 

UNCANNY VALLEY

by Anna Weiner

When a liberal arts major escapes her dead end publishing job into the whirlwind world of tech, she finds herself surrounding by conformity, masculinity, and a whole lot of money. A memoir about selling out in Silicon Valley. Quintessentially millennial.

DON'T LOOK NOW

by Daphne du Maurier

Don't Look Now is a collection of du Maurier's most terrifying and masterful tales. Less scary and more dreadful, these stories will leave you in a cold sweat. This collection includes The Birds, which inspired Alfred Hitchcock's iconic film. 

THE MAN THEY WANTED ME TO BE

by Jared Yates Sexton

White, male, bearded, and dressed like a lumberjack, Sexton outwardly looks like the South's picture-perfect macho man. But this memoir is about being trapped by those very stereotypes and how a childhood of abuse, bullying and being told to 'man-up' can lead men to destroy theirselves–and others. 

 

DANIEL’s Picks

Green Lantern: InterGalactic Lawmen
by Grant Morrison & Liam Sharp

Grant Morrison brings his multi-versal talents to this highly anticipated G.L. series. More Lensman than superhero, we find Hal Jordan back on the galactic patrol beat as a great  conspiracy threatens not only his sector but THE VERY FABRIC OF REALITY!!! Great fun.

THE PECULIAR PIG
by Joy Steverwald

What do you get when a pen full of piglets discover a puppy in their midst one morning? One of the most adorable stories of acceptance and differences I have ever laid my eyes on. My soul left my head because of how cute it was. Don't worry. It went back in my skull  for this review.

Complete Stories
by Clarice Lispector

Feverish, Hallucinatory, Reality bending...Then when I felt better, I read this wonderful collection of Brazil's most celebrated surrealist writer. Her eyes did me in. Literary magic in the vein of Borges. No, there is no one like her. True original.

STONE JUNCTION
by Jim Dodge

An alchemical Once and Future King meets the  darkside of 1970s trucker America. It was this book that inspired me to learn the tarot and the secret school. One helluva read. 

 

xixi’s Picks

SILVER SURFER: BLACK

by Donny Cates and Tradd Moore

Dan lent me this series as it was coming out in issues, and I was totally blown away (and also dying waiting for the new one each week). This perfectly contained story is now collected in one big, beautiful book. I could cry...

SUCH A FUN AGE

by Kiley Reid

A creepy but somewhat tender portrayal of white racial obsession. Gripping (I couldn't put it down!) and very unsettling..

Trouble is What i do

by Walter Mosley
 

The prose in this newest Leonid McGill mystery is so amusingly suave. The characters are tropey in the best ways. It's a good time.

THE DEER CAMP

by Dean Kuipers

A loving memoir about woodsy masculinity, family estrangement, and the healing powers of nature.

 

liz’s Picks

INTERIOR CHINATOWN
by Charles Yu

Are we in the mind of a tv show in Chinatown?

In the minds of white racists?

In the mind of Kung Fu Guy?

In the mind of an ambitious Asian American?

No doubt in the mind of Charles Yu!

Pay attention, the wackiness blankets profundity.

DJINN PATROL ON THE PURPLE LINE
by Deepa Anappara
 

Three 9 year old would be detectives – “The Djinn Patrol” - from a basti (Indian slum) doing their best to solve the mystery of the disappearance of their schoolmates. They are two boys, one girl, two Hindus, one Muslim who live across the wall from the Weathy in their skyscrapers.

This book is worth reading just because it’s so remarkable that Deepa Anappara is able to capture the voices of three charismatic nine year olds in the midst of utter chaos. Brilliant!

GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER
by Bernadine Evaristo
 

Such a pleasure this book is.

I can’t say it better than Bernardine Evaristo’s dedication:

“For the sisters & the sistas & the sistahs & the sistren & the women & the womxn & the wimmin & the womyn & our brethren & our bredrin & our brothers & our bruvs & our men & our mandem & the LGBTQI+ members of the human family.”

Impossible not to enjoy this book.

 

RACHEL’s Picks

ONE DAY

by Gene Weingarten

Think nothing happened on a random (picked from a hat) December day in 1986? You're wrong. EVERYTHING HAPPENED. There were murders, fires, a helicopter crash, a parade, a heart transplant, someone even stole a controversial weather vane. 

THE LAST PALACE

by Norman Eisen
 

A fascinating saga of Prague's 20th century triumphs and tumults. Learn all about the famous (and infamous) residents of the Petschek Villa, from Otto Petschek, the coal baron who built the EXTRA extravagant estate, to Shirley Temple Black (Miss Good Ship Lollipop herself!) who was the US Ambassador during the Velvet Revolution. 

NANCY

by Olivia Jaimes

I have many funny pages favorites - Peanuts, Krazy Kat, Mary Worth, and now NANCY. Ernie Bushmiller's iconic comic has been reinvigorated by Olivia Jaimes (the strip's first female cartoonist in its 80+ year history). New Nancy is super hilarious and very relatable. All she wants to do is eat, be incredibly lazy, and open Christmas presents early. SAME. Make sure to check out the infamous "Sluggo is Lit" strip. 

 

JOHN'S Picks

UNTIL THE END OF TIME
by Brian Greene

The super smart Columbia professor continues to educate the layman on the mysteries of the cosmos. In this outing he expands his scientific quest to include the mysteries of time, consciousness and the human experience.

DUNE
by Frank Herbert

Revisit a classic and take a Master Class in universe building.  Not just a fun and absorbing adventure epic, Dune explores timeless themes of environmentalism, politics, religion and metaphysics. Plus: there are five sequels and a new movie version opening later this year.

A WARNING
by Anonymous

In the growing canon of Trump outrage books, A Warning holds a special place. IS this the work of a grave whistleblower or a complicit coward.  You will spend hours trying to guess he identity of the author. (I have a few guesses)

 

Willa's Picks

AnNE OF GREEN GABLES 
by L. M. Montgomery

As a big fan of Anne With An E, I began reading the source material. Even though it's technically a "kids' book," I still thoroughly enjoyed the writing. It's full of feminism, new vocabulary words, and ideas ahead of its time. 

flowers for Algernon
by Daniel Keyes

This book is a real tear-jerker. Keye's writing is extremely effective at illustrating Charlie's journey and his relationship with Algernon. 

NOTHING TO SEE HERE
by Kevin Wilson

I haven't finished this book yet, but so far it is absolutely hilarious, and I hear there's a scene about Dolly Parton coming up. It is also a great way of addressing anxiety in kids. 

 

WillIAM's Picks

THE LEOPARD
by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Aptly named, written as it is in a languid prose that belies its cutting observations on the last remnants of Sicilian aristocracy. Historical fiction with more than its share of modern meaning.

THE EMIGRANTS
by W. G. Sebald

A hybrid work, personal and ancestral memory illuminated by gorgeous prose. There's a sorrow here all the more profound by the beauty in which it is conveyed.

MOON WOKE ME UP NINE TIMES
by Basho

Each of these haikus is like a tap on the head, a gentle yet firm reminder of the act of being alive. Keep on your bedside table, take as a tonic each night against the noise of the day.

BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF
by Marlon James

Now in paperback, this fantastical story is not for the faint-hearted. Yes, there's blood and violence a plenty here, but this is a bloody and violent world James has created, which makes the humanity found in this book all the more remarkable.

*Cartoons designed by the one and only xixi edelsbrunner. (except liz's.)

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