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Brightfellow
A Novel
A humid, shining, feverish gem. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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The Vanishing Princess
Stories
Jenny Diski
Strange, sneaky, sexy, smart. Snap it up. —Recommended by Vanessa
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Goodbye, Vitamin
Rachel Khong
You can devour this book in a sitting or two, and then return to like a condensed memory of sweetness—our first ice cream, maybe, or fresh cherries in July. —Recommended by Vanessa
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The Leopard
A Novel
Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Starts off like a pleasurable, tipsy picnic in the hot sun; like so many picnics, the mood sours into gorgeous despair. A novel to savor with wine in hand. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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Her Body and Other Parties
Stories
Carmen Maria Machado
Every story in Carmen Maria Machado's "Her Body and Other Parties" unfolds with the creepy languor of a Kubrick film. Machado seduces you with devilishly great prose only to deliver the coup de grace of terror like a stiletto to the throat. —Recommended by Vanessa & Paul
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Bluets
Maggie Nelson
A perfect collection of fragments; a chronicle of an obsession that will obsess you, too. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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His Dark Materials
The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
Philip Pullman
Has that quality shared by all great books, in that it reveals new things about itself and you with every re-read. As a bonus, it will also make you cry like a baby each time (or is that just me?) —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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Love Me Back
A Novel
Merritt Tierce
This novel is not perfect, but it is one of the few contemporary works of fiction that have lodged in my brain and poked at my softer parts once finished. It's cold, bitter work to get through this, but Tierce is a writer I'll be watching. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books