Staff Selections

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir

Sherman Alexie

"The most incredible book I’ve read in years.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll fall in love with Alexie’s brain.  78 essays and 78 poems – one for each year of his later mother Lillian Alexie’s life – become a grief song honoring her memory."

City of Thieves

David Benioff

"Before he became the show-runner for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Benioff wrote two damned fine novels.  City of Thieves is an absolute page-turner.  If you’re looking for something so compelling the pages turn themselves, this is your tipple.  Also good for fans of historical fiction."

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel

Amy Hempel

"“Sister has her eye on the fellow from the post office.  When you buy a sheet of stamps from him, he rubs the gluey side of the sheet across his hair.  He says that the oil from human hair will keep the stamps from sticking to one another in your purse.  It’s a handy tip, and a gesture you want to remember when you go to lick a stamp.”   That’s from Murder, and everything Hempel writes is just that clever and fun.  She’s criminally under read for the level of her talent, so feel special about your taste by adding her work.
"

NOS4A2

Joe Hill

"Maybe you like horror thrillers, but when was the last time a book genuinely scared you?  Take a ride with Charlie Manx to Christmas Town, dear reader, and you’ll no longer trust the landscape inside your head."

Ghostwritten

David Mitchell

"David Mitchell is the Hattori Hanzo of novelists; his novels are so perfect you don’t compare them to other novelist’s work, you compare them to every other David Mitchell novel.  Everyone has their favorite but mine is his first; read it and welcome to fandom."

American Born Chinese

Gene Luen Yang

"If you are from any Diaspora, then this book will sing to you.  From trying to reconcile who you are with the images of your people on TV, to distancing yourself from more recent immigrants to try and fit in, to navigating your traditions and the modern world, Yang’s work is spot on.  I will be buried with this book."

The Good Daughters

Joyce Maynard

"I’ve never been disappointed by a Maynard book; how many authors can you say that about?  Over the course of several decades, Maynard weaves together the lives of two New Hampshire women born on the same day.  Beguiling, page-turning, and just damned satisfying.
"

Stitches

David Small

"When someone says they “don’t like graphic novels,” I lay David Small’s memoir on them.  His had tumors removed at a young age, tumors caused his physician father’s obsession with  x-rays, and the resulting scars run more than skin deep.  More like a short film than a novel, and one you’ll never forget."

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert

"Not a how-to or a list of tasks to spark your creativity, but an inspirational self-help memoir that will change how you think about being creative.   Like the best guidebooks to a new place, you can explore the parts that interest you and leave the rest to someone else.
"

Bad Feminist

Roxane Gay

"Easily my favorite writer (if you’re asking today), Gay navigates from fiction to nonfiction with a virtuoso command of language and understanding of human nature.  You can do no wrong with any of her work, but I picked her essay collection Bad Feminist because it feels like it’s important at the moment.  Every essay is a knockout."

Little Tree

"Breathtaking illustrations. Readers of all ages will love this gentle picture book. The only thing constant in life is change, and Little Tree helps us to learn not to be afraid of change, but to let go… to move on."

Mother Bruce

Ryan T. Higgins

"An amazing book, fun to read out loud. Mother Bruce is a grumpy bear we all love! Parents will relate to Mother Bruce’s challenges and kids will laugh."

Lucky Broken Girl

Ruth Behar

"A powerful story of perseverance, hope and forgiveness. This book is full of teachable moments. Should be required reading for every middle school student."

Unwind

Neal Shusterman

"Neal Shusterman at his best. If you like reading dystopia, you will love reading Unwind. Once I started reading, I could not stop until I completed the book, wow!  Read it with a friend, and let the conversations begin. "

Factotum

Charles Bukowski

"Bukowski - patron saint of degenerate eloquence, of drunken poets, of misogynist romanticism - is majestically rude in this spew-stained opus about his semi-fictional alter ego, Henry Chinaski. This book is wonderful and vicious and visceral and real."

Lonesome Dove

Larry McMurtry

"McMurtry's epic starts off as the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana and grows in to a tale of friendship and human individualism, of loss and triumph, of the beauty and brutality and sorrow of the old American West. It is the greatest Western ever written and it will break your heart."

Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates

Tom Robbins

"Robbins is at his best in this hilarious, depraved tale of Agent Switters, a man of high tastes, base appetites, and a love for Finnegan's wake that, at times. passes understanding. "PEOPLE OF ZE WORLD RELAX!""

The Deep Blue Good-By: A Travis McGee Novel

John D. MacDonald

"As the first of 21 novels, this book introduces Travis McGee, sleuth, salvage expert, and professional beach bum taking cases to pay for the retirement retirement he enjoys taking in installments. This detective series, set in South Florida, is one of the great pieces of modern Crime Noire and one of the best series told under the Florida Sun."

His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick MacRae (Man Booker Prize Finalist 2016)

Graeme Burnet

"In the Autumn of 1869, calm, sensitive and intelligent Roderick Macrae brutally murders his neighbors. The 'why' depends entirely on a local psychiatrist, and a defense lawyer's ability to prove him insane. Given the horrific details of the murders, how will they prove him not to be a calculated, cold-blooded monster bent on revenge?"

The North Water

Ian McGuire

"If 'shady' can spin a yarn, look no further than a very shady Yorkshire Whaling ship, expedition-bound, awash in filth, danger and degradation, en route to the Arctic. On board, a shady Irish ex-Army surgeon with a questionable past, and a viciously evil harpooner out for blood. If you can get beyond the foul and offensive language, it is a riveting tale of survival and struggle."

Restless

William Boyd

"A wonderfully addictive book that catapults the author into the realms of Graham Green and John Le Carre. A gripping and smart spy thriller told in the shadows by a woman far too independent to marry, and way too intelligent for her own good."

Stoner

John Williams

"Tells the tale of William Stoner, a mid-western farm boy seduced by English Literature, who becomes a second-rate college lecturer. In his marriage to an exquisite malcontent who makes his life a lonely hell, his career is destroyed by office politics. Subtle, moving, luminous and deeply-tender, this book deserves the title of a classic."

The World of Yesterday

Stefan Zweig

"Completed in 1942, the day before his suicide, this memoir is Zweig's final cri de coeur. A heartbreaking historical document of Europe between the wars and an inspiring account of a life dedicated to the arts and overwhelmed by nostalgia. One of the finest memoirs I’ve ever read."

The Snow Leopard

Peter Matthiessen

"In 1973, Peter Matthiessen travels to the Himalayas in search of the elusive Snow Leopard. What follows is a spiritual journey and a travelogue unlike any I’ve read before. A masterpiece of nature writing."

The Invention of Nature

Andrea Wulf

"The life and work of Alexander von Humboldt, considered the world’s first naturalist. In fact, his writing was a major influence on Darwin and inspired him to volunteer on the voyage on the HMS Beagle. A fascinating blend of biography, philosophy and science."

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

"Allow me to offer fair warning….This book is depressing, harrowing, and heartbreaking on so many levels. It is also a beautiful, brilliantly written, epic ode to lifelong love and friendship. Not a day passes that I don’t think of Harold, Willem, and Jude."

Exit West

"With a nod toward magical realism, Exit West presents the moving story of Saeed and Nadia, and in the process gives us heartbreaking insight into the plight of political refugees. This novel is full of humanity and I dare anyone finishing it not to feel compelled to raise a voice in support of solving the crisis of people fleeing the chaos now plaguing the world."

The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story

"A gorgeous, moving meditation on how we contemplate death. Edwidge illuminates the common experience of the loss of a mother with her own insights, the dignity with which her mother faced her own mortality, and with wisdom from some of our great writers writing about end of life. I found this compelling and intimate, as I do with everything written by Edwidge Danticat."

4 3 2 1

"I celebrate whenever there’s something new by Paul Auster. I wasn't prepared, though, for just how awed and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand new novel. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that’s the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece."

Drunks: An American History

"Chris Finan’s new history is an eye opening, humanistic account of those millions of Americans who have struggled, are now struggling or who are in long-term recovery from the effects of alcoholism. He colorfully presents the journey that’s been taken to where we are now, finally able to recognize alcoholism as a treatable disease and not a moral failure. By giving us this sweeping, entertaining narrative, covering the social history of alcoholism from the seventeenth century to today, Chris Finan’s Drunk fills a hole in our understanding of the flip side to the glitz and glamour of alcohol, a side so pernicious that its ill effects have been an integral part of the social history of the United States since its founding."

El Manual del Estilista

Irma Martínez

"Irma Martínez, reconocida como una de las mujeres latinas más influyentes en Estados Unidos, nos cuenta su trayectoria profesional en este libro dedicado no sólo a los estilistas, sino al público en general, amante de la moda y el estilo."

Nicaragua, June 1978-July 1979

"Originally published in 1981, this book is a seminal contribution to the literature of concerned photojournalism. An extraordinary narrative of a nation in turmoil starting with a chilling evocation of the Somoza regime to the triumph of the Sandinista revolution in 1979. "

Preso pero libre

"Auto-biografía del líder venezolano, preso político y preso de consciencia, escrita desde la cárcel militar de Ramo Verde"

Tacopedia

"This book is an encyclopedic tribute to the Mexican taco culture. It explores one of Mexico's most popular culinary traditions"

Eileen

Ottessa Moshfegh

"This is the kind of book with the kind of characters which is perfect for our age. Smart, fierce, honest. Not for a nice read, but for an experience not soon forgotten."

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

Michael Lewis

"Yes, I too, would read the phone book if it was written by M.Lewis. Not only a great good read, but will inform about 2 wonderful science writers. A double pleasure.

"

Who Watcheth

" The latest suspense novel from a genuinely great swede. Her inspector Irene Huss is a delight. For anyone who likes to be surprised."

The Ghosts of Birds

Eliot Weinberger

"Well, what else can be said for this writer? He's maddeningly astute, carefully irreverent and not always fun to read. Buy it, keep in on your bedside table cause it cannot be absorbed in 1 sitting."

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Erik Larson

"The true story of the sinking of the ill fated Lusitania, is almost anti-climactic compared to the study Larson pursues about the lives of the passengers, the ships captain and the U-boat commander that ultimately sank the passenger liner, hastening the US’s entry into WWI. Reads like a murder mystery."

One Summer: America, 1927

Bill Bryson

"An impeccably researched study of the United States, and indeed the world’s, major and minor events, all taking place in a six month period in 1927. Lindbergh, anarchists, Babe Ruth and Wall Street, Mid-west flooding and the seeds of the depression. Insightful, especially compared to what came after."

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi

"It took me 3 tries to get through this heartbreaking memoir of a brilliant surgeon felled at the height of his career by the very disease he treated in others. Tough to absorb, but uplifting in the end. The work ultimately being completed and compiled by his loving wife and family. "

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

Michael Finkel

"In 1986, 20 year old Christopher Knight, desiring to escape modern life, disappeared into the harsh Maine woods near his home. He did not stay anonymous for long. In order to stay alive, he stole what he needed to survive from the cabins scattered around the small idyllic summer vacation lake where he had made his camp in the woods not 50 yards away. Becoming a local legend to residents because of his stealth and daring, and an embarrassment to the police, who could not seem to apprehend him, the young man lived through many seasons as The Hermit of North Pond. When he was finally caught, 27 years later, he was charged with thousands of felonies, and put under psychiatric evaluation. The brilliant telling of this story by Michael Finkel reads like fiction, but as the author interviewed the reluctant Knight, and tried to understand his life and motives, a fascinating story emerged. Giving new meaning to the term “getting away from it all”, one cannot help but put themselves in Knight’s boots, wondering how they would, or even could, ever survive having voluntarily put themselves into such a position. I read it in one sitting. I see matt Damon in the role of Knight in the sure to be made film."

Harry Potter

J.K Rowling

"This series showed all of us how your life's beginnings do not have to define you. It redefined "childrens' literature" and made adults all over the world take notice. Not to mention that it is possibly the only book (series) in history that can say 4 million people were reading it at the same time, on the same day!

"

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

"One of my top 5 & one of the most iconic and need-to-be-read titles of the 20th Century. Though only
320 pages long, it defines an entire generation's senses of honor and injustice better than just about any book in history. "Miss Jean Lousie, stand up. Your father's passin'."

"

Interview with the Vampire

Anne Rice

"Came out in 1976 and redefined the vampire character. It gave us one of the
first sympathetic, 3-dimensional portraits of not just killer beasts but of the tortured souls they once were. And, more importantly, they didn't sparkle!
"

All The Light We Cannot See

"Perhaps one of the best war novels every written. Nearly 4 years in hardcover, and the Carnegie and Pulitzer honors for Literature. Truly a masterpiece!"