STAFF PICKS

We love talking about books! Check out our favorites for this season or—better yet—buy them!

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THERESA’s Picks

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DANCING at the pity party

by Tyler Feder

A graphic memoir about a young woman who lost her mother to cancer. Did I read most of this while crying in the bath? Yes. A wonder of compassionate storytelling for anyone who loves the graphic form.

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kim jiyoung,

born 1982

by Cho Nam-ju

A best-selling hit in South Korea which spurred a new era of feminism. This book almost feels less like a novel and more a written documentary of an average woman’s life—and how its horrors feel frighteningly normal.

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WINTERING

by Katherine May

The perfect book for anyone feeling worn out, torn down or just plain gloomy. Author Katherine May uses her own winter-of-the-soul to show us how to embrace our darkest times and use them to prepare for spring.

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hello, habits

by Fumio Sasaki

Besides having the most gorgeous and soothing cover, Sasaki’s much-awaited Hello Habits is both a meditation on the nature of habits and a how-to guide to mastering them. A bite-sized book to nibble on before bed. 

 

DANIEL’s Picks

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A GUIDE TO THE GOOD LIFE
by Grant Morrison & Liam Sharp

This is a how-to guide to applying the philosophical tenets of Stoicism to your own life. It honestly reads like a manual to replacing the self-inflicted worry and strife in your life with tranquility and acceptance. I’ve begun to practice some of the techniques in my own life and can vouch for their efficacy!

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REMINA
by Junji Ito​

Horror mangaka Junji Ito takes it to the next level -- a cosmic level! Earth is threatened by no less than  rouge planet; or is a young girl to blame, a girl who shares a name with this frightening entity? Read on to find out!

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KINDRED, FLEDGLING, Collected Stories
by Octavia E. Butler

Butler is a Chevalier’s favorite, and this new addition to the Modern Library of America series collects all her short stories with the addition of two of her novels. Butler was a Southern California-born writer of science fiction par excellence. Her stories broke the mold by featuring complex Black female characters; as she said herself, “I wrote myself in.” Get acquainted with this pioneer of the genre today.

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A DICTIONARY OF SYMBOLS
by Juan Eduardo Cirlot

Originally published in 1958, this book was the culmination of a lifelong obsession with symbols. Eduardo Cirlot was a poet, an art critic, and a champion of modern art.  Translated for the first time into English, this is both a reference book and meditation on the human condition.

 

william’s Picks

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BREASTS AND EGGS

by Mieko Kawakami

One of Murakami’s favorite books of 2020 is one of mine, and every single person I’ve recommended the book to agrees. I laughed out loud; I shed a tear or two. We’ll see if any debut novels from 2021 are able to knock this from its perch, but it’s a high bar set.

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A PRIMER FOR forgetting

by Lewis Hyde
 

When I finished this book, I wanted to start over again. The nature of forgetting, from the personal to the political, is studied with a deft intellect, as inspired by Greek myth as it is the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee. The most thought-provoking book I’ve read so far in 2021.

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the copenhagen trilogy

by Tove Ditlevsen

Come join me on the bandwagon; I’ve got a seat saved for you. I’ve heard Ditlevsen described as a female Knausgaard. With apologies to Knausheads everywhere, I think it’s more likely Karl is a male Ditlevsen. Beautiful and devastating alike; a genius rediscovered.

Sports is hell

by Ben Passmore

The best take on American culture I’ve seen in a good while. Sharp, witty, and wholly relevant, its violence rendered in gorgeous peachy pastels, this is a graphic novel I read front-and-back three times in one sitting.

 

MYKAYLA’s Picks

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solutions and problems
by Allie Brosh

I laughed, I cried, I laughed-cried. This book is a power sequel to her first, exploring the humor that is in our sadness and grief. This book is cathartic and is guaranteed to make you feel in some sort of way.  

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THe constant rabbit
by Jasper Fforde
 

This book is a Monty Python sketch on  crack. A perfect bit of satire that hits in all the right places (the footnotes alone makes this book a gem!). This book has everything a quirky read needs, a terrifying villain, an unlikely hero, and a good look into how uncomfortable our species is with change and those that are different.   

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drive your plow over the bones of the dead
by Olga Tokarczuk
 

I wish there was a “Good for Her” genre in fiction cause this book would definitely be a perfect example. The protagonist is in a league of her own, an elderly astrologist living in the middle of the wilds of Poland all by herself must fend for herself as her neighbors are gruesomely murdered one by one. This book is so fun and thrilling. A must read!   

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THE invisible life of addie larue 
by V.E. Schwab
 

This is my “not so guilty, guilty pleasure” read of 2020. It’s everything you want to curl up with in a book! A terrible curse, immortality, and a faustian love triangle to boot it has everything you need — except caffeine, which is why a cup of tea goes perfectly with this selection.

 

MILES’s Picks

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Axiomatic

by Maria Tumarkin

Think nothing happened on a random Full disclosure: If you want something pleasantly uplifting, this may not be the book for you. Tumarkin’s book takes a look at trauma, both personal and collective, and blends elements of reporting, memoir and philosophy into one of the most arresting books I’ve read. Fans of Maggie Nelson will find much to admire here.

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Another country

by James Baldwin

A novel completely committed to representing the world as it is. Contains a gloriously intricate romantic web, very tangled. Baldwin can write anything—city streets, fluid sexuality, self-hatred, grief—with fury and grace. This is a book to take home and live in for weeks and weeks. 

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Scratched

by Elizabeth Tallent
 

Show up just for the sentences. Tallent came on the scene as a sharp short story writer in the eighties, but then took a two-decade hiatus from writing and publishing. The book is the account of those years, and offers a gorgeous portrait of the artist as a young woman.

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valerie

by Sara Stridsberg
 

I picked this book off our shelf on the cover alone, and was stunned to find it to be one of the most delightfully odd books I’ve read. A fictional account of the life of Valerie Solanas, the woman who shot Andy Warhol. There’s no way to adequately describe this novel: it contains transcripts with psychiatrists, feminist manifestos, conversations between Valerie and the book’s narrator, and a desert in Georgia. Even with all this weirdness you will leave this book profoundly moved. 

 

myra'S Picks

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gideon the ninth
by Tamsyn Muir

A lot of people have asked me about the lesbians in space. An 

equal number of people have asked me to shut up about the lesbians in space. In basic terms, this book is about a group of necromancers and their bodyguards vying to serve the emperor of the universe through a series of deathly trials designed to test their skill and stamina. It is absolutely the weirdest, wildest, most brain-bending novel that I have ever encountered, and I desperately need people to read it so I have someone to discuss it with.

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THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB's GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRE
by Grady Hendrix

If you’re looking for a lush, steamy vampire story with lots of romance and intrigue… look elsewhere. If you’re looking for real, terrifying, squirm-in-your-seat HORROR, look no further. Proceed with caution if you have hemophobia, musophobia, entomophobia, or a suspicious neighbor. 

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Dark matter
by Blake Crouch

If you liked the idea of The Midnight Library, but thought to yourself, “gee, 

I wish this gave me more of an existential crisis”, Blake Crouch’s Dark 

Matter might be the book for you. This mind-boggling dive into the world of quantum physics explores the possibility of alternative universes in a unique and harrowing way.

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the house in the cerulean seA
by TJ Klune

Surprised to see a whimsical fantasy on this list of creepy sci-fi? Believe it or not, even heartless ghouls like me need a detox every once in a while. A story about learning to loosen up, accept love, and enjoy life, The House in the Cerulean Sea is a gorgeous, moving story that absolutely warmed my little heart (it’s in the freezer right now, cooling back down). 

 

EMMA'S Picks

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our time is now
by Stacey Abrams

Started reading this around the presidential election and finished reading it the January morning two progressive GA senate races were won - it felt very surreal. Stacey did the damn thing. Abrams delves into the history of voter suppression, the ways conservative lawmakers and a deeply injust, white supremacist system continue to disenfranchise marginalized and minority voters, and some of the ways both citizens and politicians can fight back.

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Women, race, & Class
by Angela Y. Davis

Maybe you read this in college, maybe you didn’t. Either way, you need to read it - even if you consider yourself familiar with the subject, and especially if you’re a middle class white woman (like me). Angela Davis honors this original conception of intersectionality by examining how the feminist movement has largely failed black women, lower class women, lower class black women, and women in general who fall outside of the upper to middle class white women bubble.

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Sister outsider
by Audre Lorde

“What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence.” In this series of essays, Lorde asks the types questions that will knock you right on your ass. Her writing is provocative, courageous and lyrical, and sadly, as relevant today as they were when they were published over thirty five years ago. Truly one of the most brilliant minds of all time.

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Braiding sweetgrass
by Robin Kimmerer

“Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them.

Introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life. Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer.

Never take the first. Never take the last. Take only what you need.

Take only that which is given.

Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever.”

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

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