Staff Recommendations

A listing of staff proclivities, recommended by both past and present bookstore and publishing employees. Check back for new recommendations each month as we bring you the best of what we're reading or have read. Browse by title, author or staff member!



  Andy
  |  Caitlyn
  |  Cassie
  |  Chris C.
  |  Don
  |  Elaine
  |  Erin
  |  Garrett
  |  Greg
  |  Ivy
  |  Jared
  |  Joey
  |  Lawrence
  |  Linda
  |  Michael
  |  Nancy
  |  Paul
  |  Peter
  |  Ryan
  |  Scott
  |  Stacey
  |  Vanessa

   
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    sort list by title | publication date


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The Third Hotel
A Novel
Laura van den Berg
Laura Van Den Berg's haunting exploration of the dislocating loneliness of grief is focused and intensified by the twin lenses of horror and feminist philosophy. The result manages the delicate feat of being both unsettling and deeply moving. -- Recommended by Christopher, City Lights Booksellers
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The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish
A Novel
Gender and power dynamics spasm and ripple out of control in the most intimate spaces and, simultaneously, in a broader American context, framed by the 1960's student movements and the New York art scene of the 1990's. --Recommended by Ivy
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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
Essays
Alexander Chee's essays have a dark radiance to them, and are among the best examples of sensuality as a mode of intelligence I’ve found. Highly recommended. —Recommended by Vanessa
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Kolyma Stories
Translated by Don Rayfield
Daunting in size, yes, but these stories are short, and read like brutal Russian parables. But they aren't. They're based on his 17 years of suffering under the abysmal conditions of the gulag—THIS BOOK IS ICE COLD! -- Recommended by Jared
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Large Animals
Stories
Like telling a joke at a funeral. Like getting the spins in a friend's car. Like losing a limb but gaining some costume-shop wings. —Recommended by Ivy
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The Last Werewolf
A Novel
Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but otherwise in the pink of health. The nonstop sex and exercise he's still getting probably contribute to that, as does his diet: unusual amounts of flesh and blood (at least some from friends and relatives). Jake, of course, is a werewolf, and with the death of his colleague...
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The Mirror Thief
A Novel
Seay's debut novel is a true delight, a big, beautiful cabinet of wonders that is by turns an ominous modern thriller, a supernatural mystery, and an enchanting historical adventure story." Set in three cities in three eras.—Recommended by Andy
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My Favorite Thing is Monsters
A young girl befriends monsters, real and imagined, in this unhinged and singular coming-of-age story. —Recommended by Stacey
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Perfect Hair
Gender, sex, & love(?) presented as spectacular sequential art. This beautiful debut troubles the line between pleasant human interaction & detachment. Feels like floating above your body in a movie about yourself dreaming(?). —Recommended by Jared, City Lights Books
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There There
Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking—Tommy Orange's first novel is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen, and it introduces a brilliant new author at the start of a major career. --Recommended by Paul, City Lights Booksellers
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The Queue
A Novel
Basma Abdel Aziz
In a surreal, but familiar, vision of modern day Egypt, a centralized authority known as 'the Gate' has risen to power in the aftermath of the 'Disgraceful Events,' a failed popular uprising. Citizens are required to obtain permission from the Gate in order to take care of even the most basic of their daily affairs, yet the Gate never opens...
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The Woman in the Dunes
A Novel
Kobo Abe
If you've seen the 1964 Teshigahara film you've already experienced Abe's brilliance (he wrote the screenplay as well). If you haven't, read this first. The haunting story of a vacationing entomologist trapped in a sand-pit with an enigmatic woman, while the villagers mock his predicament, stands on its own...
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An Unnecessary Woman
A Novel
Rabih Alameddine
One of the Middle East's most celebrated voices, Rabih Alameddine follows his international bestseller, The Hakawati, with an enchanting story of a book-loving, obsessive, seventy-two-year-old "unnecessary" woman. Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced...
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War by Candlelight
Stories
Daniel Alarcón
Something is happening. Wars, both national and internal, are being waged in jungles, across borders, in the streets of Lima, in the intimacy of New York apartments. War by Candlelight is an exquisite collection of stories that carry the reader from...

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