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
  |  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 | author | publication date


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Black Swans
Stories
Eve Babitz
"He was not remote, elevated, or windy enough for me; by God, I liked my men humiliating or at least impossible to get to..." Eve Babitz is full of such delights. Come for the gossip, stay for the sentences. —Recommended by Vanessa & Cassie
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America is Not the Heart
A Novel
Elaine Castillo
An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. —Recommended by Paul
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Daphne
A Novel
Will Boast
A San Francisco novel unlike any other, perfectly suited for this city's current epoch. —Recommended by Caitlyn
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The Changeling
Victor LaValle
When Apollo Kagwa's father disappeared, all he left his son were strange recurring dreams and a box of books stamped with the word IMPROBABILIA. Now Apollo is a father himself—and as he and his wife, Emma, are settling into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll.
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The Idiot
Elif Batuman
The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary.
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Fever Dream
Samanta Schweblin
Sickness devours our narrator as she retraces the steps that led her to this strange hospital bed. Never has a title been more apt to describe a scalding and blurry reading experience, the idea of memory twisted and tangled throughout. —Recommended by Cassie
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The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share. —Recommended by Scott & Paul
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Transit
A Novel
Rachel Cusk
The book you didn't know you needed. This very moment. Allow yourself to be swept up in the many transits of life.—Recommended by Cassie
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Houses of Ravicka
Renee Gladman
From a foremost literary imagination; the reader (re)enters the strange city-state of Ravicka—follows the city's only comptroller as they examine the strange topography and architecture of the city. Truly something else.—Recommended by Jared
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The Vanishing Princess
Stories
Jenny Diski
Strange, sneaky, sexy, smart. Snap it up. —Recommended by Vanessa
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Christodora
A Novel
Tim Murphy
A captivating portrait of how ambition, compulsion, and trauma form and re-form the lives of us all, Christodora is a closely observed panoramic novel that powerfully evokes the danger, chaos, and wonder of New York City—and the strange and moving ways in which its dwellers' lives can intersect. —Recommended by Paul
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Pachinko
min-jin lee
A generational-historical epic in the grand tradition, lovingly drawn and flawlessly executed. Don't be fooled by its size—before you know it, you'll be slowly flipping the final pages, willing them to multiply. Recommended by Erin, City Lights Books
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Lucky Boy
a novel
Shanthi Sekaran
A prescient novel, the Bay Area's Shanthi Sekaran's Lucky Boy is the one book I'd require someone to read to the president (because, ya know . . . ) before he says or tweets one more horrifying thing about immigration policy in the U.S. —Recommended by Stacey
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Difficult Women
Stories
Roxane Gay
"Roxane Gay does not mince words or shy away from investigating the power dynamics of sex. An outstanding collection of stories including 'The Sacrifice of Darkness,' the perfect companion to Ray Bradbury's classic 'All Summer in a Day.'" —Recommended by Stacey

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