New titles in both fiction and non-fiction, recommended by our staff.
Colson Whitehead knows how to take your emotions and shake them up. I found myself unable to breathe during most of The Nickel Boys because of his ability to build suspense. The atrocities committed in the book on the boys in the reform school shock the soul, yet at the same time we are still seeing the same unfair punishments being leveled at black people in prisons all over the United States. Whitehead illustrates this parallel with the brutal truth: The United States has a racist past and present. One would hope we could see ourselves out of a future of the same. - Karena
The re-release of this book is a wonderful thing, we are lucky to have it back in the collective unconscious. If The Little Mermaid 2 met Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace it might look something like this. But this is better, because it’s real. It’s a story of unrequited love, and madness, and war, and mermaids, and all the ways a small town can shape a big life. It’s a story of the ocean, and its unwavering loyalty to itself. And it’s a story of family, of the ways we mark and are marked by our kin. I will be recommending this book to the people I love for a very long time.
In her stirring debut novel, Lila Savage explores the complexity of human connection through Ella, a young caregiver who begins work with a brain injured woman and her devoted husband, joining their household and to an extent their struggles, an act that will have repercussions on all of her relationships. The intimacy and honesty laid bare is an unexpected privilege – reading rarely feels so worthwhile. At one point, Ella says that she wants to be “ferocious in her kindness,” and this is exactly what Savage has been with her writing, by bringing subtle, beautiful, intense light to the human relationship in its most tender and demanding state.
"This lovely and lyrical novel circles around a village tavern along the Thames after the mysterious happenings of a stormy night. An ensemble of unique characters reckon with the impossible, the power of storytelling, and the complexities of family in this warm feel-good tale. Brilliant use of folklore." - Clara
"A good Western is all in the telling, and Jessilyn Harney, the young woman at the heart of Larison’s new novel has a voice made for stories. Newly orphaned, she disguises herself as a boy and sets off to find her outlaw brother, to bring him home, reclaim their father’s land and reclaim her sense of family. There are delightfully new threads in this riveting Western yarn, but the adventuring and seeking remain the same, song-like and enjoyable to the end." - Melinda
"Edgar award winner Megan Abbott is wonderful at portraying doomed female friendships with the sizzling tension usually reserved for forbidden romances. This claustrophobic psychological thriller examines the way a dark secret between two old high school friends re-emerges when they reunite as adults, threatening to tip them both into insanity. Just like the high school friend your mother didn’t approve of, this book will shock you, make you cackle, and get under your skin." - Ilana
"How is this possible? How could a book about a woman who chooses to sleep a whole year away be so engrossing, so propulsive, that I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. Moshfegh’s narrator follows in the footsteps of The Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield and The Bell Jar’s Esther Greenwood, skewering the phonies of New York and modern consumer culture armed with nothing but her own apathy and acerbic wit. Well, that and an arsenal of prescription sleep aids." - Jess
"I found a refracted reflection of myself in the lives of the four 20-something musicians at the center of Aja Gabel’s debut novel, The Ensemble. The alienation, hedonism, love, loss, and beautiful music in their lives is depicted with such ferocity that Gabel’s romantic yet sardonic prose began to whirl around in my head during the day’s quiet moments. If you liked Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere or Nell Zink’s Nicotine, you will like The Ensemble." - Gabe
"Picking up a novel by Kate Atkinson always feels like running into a long-lost best friend. My brain just clicks with hers, and soon I’m 100 pages in and marveling at her ability to twist between absurd humor and piercing empathy in mere sentences. PI Jackson Brodie is my favorite of her characters, and I couldn’t be happier to see Atkinson return to his world, and to see if just this once he might catch a break (I doubt it)." - Kat
"Sharks are one of the world’s oldest living species, but climate change threatens their continued existence. Misrepresented and misunderstood, sharks play pivotal roles in our ocean ecosystems. McKeevor travels the world talking to experts to learn what our oceans would be like without sharks, and why that would be a very dire outcome indeed." - Jade
"Our hero’s parents are taken from him at a young age by a mysterious natural phenomenon: ball lightning. The quest to understand this becomes his obsession from which not even the specters of his past can dissuade him. Meanwhile he must choose what price he is willing to pay for the knowledge, pitting science against military. Cixin Liu is a master of weaving real science into his fiction, and the mysteries he leaves unexplained are, shall we say, haunting." - Jax
"I love a good gothic! This book plays with old gothic tropes and psychological thrills in ways that twist me into jittery, ecstatic knots. This tale of a murderous seamstress combines venemous evil and feminine domesticity in a way that will delight Sarah Waters fans and anyone who likes creepy, Victorian chills.." - Clara
"The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series is the stuff of dreams. I’ve read this book twice now (it came out in Spanish in 2016) and the character, drama, and wry humor still entrance me. Reading/remembering the earlier books is not required to enjoy this story, set amongst the political intrigues and maneuverings of Franco’s Spain. Secret agent Alicia Gris is a compelling Alice in Wonderland at the center of the plot." - Clara
"B.A. Shapiro’s novels (The Art Forger, The Muralist) make me fall in love with art. In her writing the canvas is only one side of a multilayered story about art, artists, and the events that make history. In The Collector’s Apprentice, her characters are chameleons, shedding identities as they revolve around the magnetic works of post-Impressionist mavericks like Matisse and Picasso. Death, scandal, romance, and mystery drive the twists and turns of this thrilling novel that I absolutely could not put down." - Clara