A Selection of Staff Picks From Throughout 2023

As you enter the Washington St. entrance to Literati Bookstore, walking past the notebooks and pens displays, there is a bookcase display featuring staff picks. These books are selected as standouts by staff members every month, titles we want to be sure you don't overlook while you are browsing through the store. This list is culled from titles each Literati employee chose throughout this past year. They are not necessarily 2023 releases, however they represent the wide variety of genre and subjects Literati staff members embrace and are familiar with. If the image includes a white "staff pick" banner, click on that image to read that employee's book review.

Books: 
The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities #1) By N. K. Jemisin Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780316509886
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - July 27th, 2021

N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.

— Ben staff pick

 


The Talented Mr. Ripley By Patricia Highsmith Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393332148
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 17th, 2008

The classic novel that introductions "the smooth confidence man," whose talent for self-invention is as unnerving as ever

— Ben staff pick


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The Last Pomegranate Tree By Bachtyar Ali, Kareem Abdulrahman (Translated by) Cover Image
By Bachtyar Ali, Kareem Abdulrahman (Translated by)
$24.00
ISBN: 9781953861405
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Archipelago - January 24th, 2023

A chronicle of war and an occult story of love between a father and his son from one of Iraq’s most celebrated contemporary writers.

— Brittni staff pick


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Bad Cree: A Novel By Jessica Johns Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780385548694
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - January 10th, 2023

In this horror-laced debut, a young Cree woman’s dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.

— Brittni staff pick


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Grimmish By Michael Winkler Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781552454664
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coach House Books - April 25th, 2023

In this expansive novel, Michael Winkler moves between the present day and American boxer Joe Grim’s 1908–09 tour of Australia, bending genres and histories into a kaleidoscopic investigation of pain, masculinity, and narrative.

— Bryan staff pick


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The Birthday Party By Laurent Mauvignier, Daniel Levin Becker (Translator) Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781945492655
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Transit Books - February 7th, 2023

Weaving seamlessly from one consciousness to the next over the course of a day, French writer Laurent Mauvignier’s The Birthday Party is a deft unraveling of the stories we hide from others and from ourselves, a gripping tale of the violent irruptions of the past into the present.

— Bryan staff pick


I Do Everything I'm Told By Megan Fernandes Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781953534880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - June 20th, 2023

An exploration of disobedience and worship, longing and possessiveness, and nights of wandering cities. Its poems span thousands of miles, as a masterful crown of sonnets starts in Shanghai, then moves through Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Lisbon, Palermo, Paris, and Philadelphia ― with a speaker who travels solo, adventures with strangers, struggles with the parameters of sexuality, and speculates on desire.

— Cassie staff pick


Chilean Poet: A Novel By Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143109204
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 14th, 2023

After a chance encounter at a Santiago nightclub, aspiring poet Gonzalo reunites with his first love, Carla. Though their desire for each other is still intact, much has changed: among other things, Carla now has a six-year-old son, Vicente. Soon the three form a happy sort-of family — a stepfamily, though no such word exists in their language.

— Cassie staff pick


Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles #1) By Anne Rice Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780345409645
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 18th, 1997

“A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth—the education of the vampire.” — Chicago Tribune

— Chloe staff pick


The Bad Seed: A Vintage Movie Classic By William March Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101872659
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 3rd, 2015

The bestselling novel that inspired Mervyn LeRoy’s classic horror film about the little girl who can get away with anything — even murder.

— Chloe staff pick


Beautiful Ruins: A Novel By Jess Walter Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780061928178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 2nd, 2013

The story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 and resurfaces fifty years later in contemporary Hollywood.

— Clare staff pick


The End of Drum-Time: A Novel By Hanna Pylväinen Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250822901
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - January 24th, 2023

An epic love story in the vein of Cold Mountain and The Great Circle, about a young reindeer herder and a minister’s daughter in the nineteenth century Arctic Circle.

— Clare staff pick


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The Violent Bear It Away: A Novel (FSG Classics) By Flannery O'Connor Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374530877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 12th, 2007

First published in 1960, The Violent Bear It Away is a landmark in American literature ― a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Connor's work.

— Clarisse staff pick


Lover Man By Alston Anderson, Kinohi Nishikawa (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Alston Anderson, Kinohi Nishikawa (Afterword by)
$18.00
Email info@literatibookstore.com or call for price
ISBN: 9781946022547
Published: McNally Editions - February 7th, 2023

Stories of loners, outsiders, tricksters, addicts, jazzmen, and drifters in the Jim Crow South — a classic of 1950s Black fiction.

— Clarisse staff pick


A wildly social satire reimagining the mad misadventures of the iconic royal cousins King Ludwig and Empress Sisi.

— David staff pick


Camp!: The Story of the Attitude that Conquered the World By Paul Baker Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781804440322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Footnote Press - September 5th, 2023

Camp has captured the cultural imagination for at least 150 years. The term possibly derives from the French se camper, meaning to pose in a bold, provocative or exaggerated fashion.

— David staff pick


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The Chaperone By M Hendrix Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781728260006
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - June 6th, 2023

"Hendrix's dystopian society is somewhat of a Handmaid's Tale for YA, and offers a dark world with a glimmer of hope." ―  Booklist

—Deb staff pick


Plan A By Deb Caletti Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593485545
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Labyrinth Road - October 3rd, 2023

A sixteen-year-old girl’s road trip across the country to get an abortion becomes a transformative journey of vulnerability, strength, and above all, choice. From the acclaimed author of A Heart in a Body in the World, this is both an achingly tender love story and a bold, badly needed battle cry about bodily autonomy and the experiences that connect us.

— Deb staff pick


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PTSD By Guillaume Singelin Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781626723184
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - February 26th, 2019

An adult fiction graphic novel that grapples with the reality of being a traumatized war veteran who must fend for herself against all odds.

— Gina staff pick

 


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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories By Marina Keegan, Anne Fadiman (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Marina Keegan, Anne Fadiman (Introduction by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781476753911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - April 14th, 2015

Marina Keegan’s posthumous collection of award-winning essays and stories “sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth." O, The Oprah Magazine

— Gina staff pick


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Cold Comfort Farm: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Stella Gibbons, Lynne Truss (Introduction by), Roz Chast (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Stella Gibbons, Lynne Truss (Introduction by), Roz Chast (Illustrator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143039594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - March 28th, 2006

A parody of D. H. Lawrence's and Thomas Hardy's earthy, melodramatic novels. "Very probably the funniest book ever written." The Sunday Times, London

— Gwen staff pick


Dory Fantasmagory: Can't Live Without You By Abby Hanlon Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593615980
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - September 26th, 2023

The popular, ever hilarious Dory Fantasmagory series is back for a sixth adventure, with Dory turning separation anxiety into a ghostly, goofy escapade.

— Gwen staff pick


A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment By Stéphane Hénaut, Jeni Mitchell Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781620975473
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Press - May 28th, 2019

"The complex political, historical, religious and social factors that shaped some of [France's] . . . most iconic dishes and culinary products are explored in a way that will make you rethink every sprinkling of fleur de sel." — The New York Times Book Review

— Hilary staff pick


Will It Be Okay?: A Picture Book By Crescent Dragonwagon, Jessica Love (Illustrator) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781951836504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cameron Kids - September 6th, 2022

Award-winning author Crescent Dragonwagon teams up with award-winning Julián Is a Mermaid illustrator Jessica Love to present a powerful updated edition of a classic picture book that asks a tough question and answers it with humanity, humor, and grace.

— Hilary staff pick


Trust (Pulitzer Prize Winner) By Hernan Diaz Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593420317
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 3rd, 2022

At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, Trust engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.

— Jeanne staff pick


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Such Kindness: A Novel By Andre Dubus, III Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781324000464
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 6th, 2023

A working-class white man takes a terrible fall.

— Jeanne staff pick

 


Dry Humping: A Guide to Dating, Relating, and Hooking Up Without the Booze By TAWNY LARA Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781683693635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - September 19th, 2023

A lighthearted, cheeky, and judgment-free handbook from sober sexpert Tawny Lara on how to have better sex, better dates, and better partnerships  — without relying on alcohol.

— Katy staff pick


Thankful By Elaine Vickers, Samantha Cotterill (Illustrator) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534477346
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - September 7th, 2021

Diorama illustrations bring to life this “wonderfully evocative” (BookPage) lullaby of a picture book about celebrating everyday things that make life wonderful.

— Katy staff pick


Chlorine: A Novel By Jade Song Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063257603
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - March 28th, 2023

A debut novel that blurs the line between a literary coming-of-age narrative and a dark unsettling horror tale, told from an adult perspective on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a society that puts pressure on young women and their bodies. A powerful, relevant novel of immigration, sapphic longing, and fierce, defiant becoming.

— Lillie staff pick


Bittersweet in the Hollow By Kate Pearsall Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593531020
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - October 10th, 2023

In this dark and enthralling YA, four sisters with unusual talents investigate a mysterious disappearance in their secluded Appalachian town.

— Lillie staff pick


Holly By Stephen King Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781668016138
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 5th, 2023

Holly Gibney, one of Stephen King’s most compelling and ingeniously resourceful characters, returns in this thrilling novel to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a midwestern town.

— Mandy staff pick


Godshot By Chelsea Bieker Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646220557
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Catapult - March 30th, 2021

“Drawn in brilliant, bizarre detail — baptism in warm soda, wisdom from romance novels — Lacey's twin crises of faith and femininity tangle powerfully. Fiercely written and endlessly readable, a novel like this is a godsend. A–.” — Mary Sollosi, Entertainment Weekly

— Mandy staff pick


Golden Ax (Penguin Poets) By Rio Cortez Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143137139
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 30th, 2022

“Outstanding . . . the poetry in these pages is intelligent, lyrical, as invested in the past as the present and future with witty nods to pop culture.” Roxane Gay

— Matthew staff pick


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Master (Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry) By Simon Shieh, Terrance Hayes (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Simon Shieh, Terrance Hayes (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781956046212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarabande Books - September 12th, 2023

Master follows the speaker's struggle with masculinity from a martial arts school in upstate New York to a boxing academy in Beijing.

— Matthew staff pick


The Will to Battle: Book 3 of Terra Ignota By Ada Palmer Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765378057
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - January 22nd, 2019

The Will to Battle is the third book of John W. Campbell Award winner Ada Palmer's Terra Ignota series, a political science fiction epic of extraordinary audacity.

— Mehdi staff pick


Too Like the Lightning: Book One of Terra Ignota By Ada Palmer Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9780765378019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - January 24th, 2017

Ada Palmer's 2017 Compton Crook Award-winning political science fiction, Too Like the Lightning, ventures into a human future of extraordinary originality.

— Mehdi staff pick


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To Shape a Dragon's Breath: The First Book of Nampeshiweisit By Moniquill Blackgoose Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593498286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - May 9th, 2023

“An early contender for the best fantasy novel of 2023.” — The Washington Post
“A very entertaining and fun read, full of lovable characters and intricate, original world-building.”—NPR

— Molly staff pick


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The Hour of the Star By Clarice Lispector, Benjamin Moser (Translated by), Colm Tóibín (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Clarice Lispector, Benjamin Moser (Translated by), Colm Tóibín (Introduction by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780811219495
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - November 9th, 2011

A new edition of Clarice Lispector’s final masterpiece, with an introduction by Colm Tóibín.

— Molly staff pick


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Legendborn (The Legendborn Cycle #1) By Tracy Deonn Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781534441613
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - February 1st, 2022

Filled with mystery and a rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy reinvents the King Arthur legend and “braids together Southern folk traditions and Black Girl Magic into a searing modern tale of grief, power, and self-discovery.” — Dhonielle Clayton

— Nia staff pick

 


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Daughter of Smoke & Bone By Laini Taylor Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316459181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - December 1st, 2020

The first book in the New York Times bestselling epic fantasy trilogy.

— Nia staff pick


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Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Series #1) By Jeff VanderMeer Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374104092
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: FSG Originals - February 4th, 2014

The Southern Reach Trilogy begins with Annihilation, the Nebula Award-winning novel that "reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world" — Kim Stanley Robinson

— Quill staff pick


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This Is How You Lose the Time War By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

From award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone comes a romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future.

— Quill staff pick


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Uprooted: A Novel By Naomi Novik Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780804179058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - March 1st, 2016

From award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone comes an enthralling, romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future.

— Sabina staff pick


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His Majesty's Dragon: Book One of the Temeraire By Naomi Novik Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593359549
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - October 19th, 2021

In the first novel of the New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, a rare bond is formed between a young man and a dragon, and together they must battle in the Napoleonic Wars.

— Sabine staff pick


Lost & Found: Reflections on Grief, Gratitude, and Happiness By Kathryn Schulz Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780525512486
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - November 22nd, 2022

A “profound and beautiful” (Marilynne Robinson) account of joy and sorrow from one of the great writers of our time." — The New Yorker

— Sam staff pick


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Kidnapped (Puffin Classics) By Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexander McCall Smith (Introduction by) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780141326023
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - June 11th, 2009

Robert Louis Stevenson's action adventure novel with an introduction by Alexander McCall Smith.

— Sam staff pick


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Lies We Sing to the Sea By Sarah Underwood Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063234475
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - March 7th, 2023

A legendary YA debut, this dazzling sapphic fantasy inspired by Greek mythology will captivate fans of Circe and The Song of Achilles.

— Shannon A staff pick


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Winter Solstice: An Essay By Nina Maclaughlin Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781574232578
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Sparrow Press - November 21st, 2023

A celebration and meditation on the season for drinking hot chocolate, spotting a wreath on a neighbor’s door, experiencing the change in light of shorter days. All aspects of Winter, from the meteorological to the mythological, are captured in this essay, told in wise and luminous prose that pushes back the dark.

— Shannon A staff pick


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Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women By Anna Francese Gass Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780062844224
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - April 23rd, 2019

Born in Italy, Anna Francese Gass came to the United States as a young child and grew up eating her mother’s Italian cooking. But when this professional cook realized she did not know how to make her family’s beloved meatballs — a recipe that existed only in her mother’s memory — Anna embarked on a project to record and preserve her mother’s recipes for generations to come.

— Shannon Rae staff pick


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The Myth of Sisyphus (Vintage International) By Albert Camus Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525564454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - November 6th, 2018

Influenced by works such as Don Juan and the novels of Kafka, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide — the question of living or not living in a universe devoid of order or meaning. With lyric eloquence, Albert Camus brilliantly presents a crucial exposition of existentialist thought.

—Shannon Rae staff pick


You or Someone You Love: Reflections from an Abortion Doula By Hannah Matthews Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781668005255
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - May 2nd, 2023

An eye-opening, transformative, and actionable journey through radical and compassionate community abortion care and support work: what it looks like, how each and every one of us can practice and incorporate it into our daily lives, and what we can imagine and build together in a post-Roe v. Wade United States.

— Skye staff pick


House of Cotton: A Novel By Monica Brashears Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250851918
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - April 4th, 2023

An enchanting Black Southern gothic debut, perfect for readers of Mexican Gothic"Fresh, haunting...In her roller-coaster ride of a gothic debut novel, Monica Brashears upends expectations at every turn." ― The New York Times

— Skye staff pick


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Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game By Craig Calcaterra Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781953368232
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Belt Publishing - April 5th, 2022

A fundamental reevaluation of how to be a sports fan by an acclaimed baseball writer. With his characteristic wit and piercing commentary, Calcaterra argues that fans have more power than they realize to change how their teams behave.

— Tom staff pick


Zingerman's Bakehouse Celebrate Every Day: A Year's Worth of Favorite Recipes for Festive Occasions, Big and Small By Amy Emberling, Lindsay-Jean Hard, Lee Vedder, Corynn Coscia, EE Berger (By (photographer)) Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781797216577
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - October 3rd, 2023

In this visually rich cookbook from the beloved Zingerman's Bakehouse, here's the full gamut of recipes to mark life events, seasonal holidays, and celebrations, from birthdays and weddings to tailgating, Passover, Mardi Gras, Pi Day, and more!

— Tom staff pick


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Return to Valetto: A Novel By Dominic Smith Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374607685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 13th, 2023

From the bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith’s Return to Valetto tells of a nearly abandoned Italian village, the family that stayed, and long-buried secrets from World War II.

— Vick staff pick


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The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club) By Abraham Verghese Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780802162175
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - May 2nd, 2023

A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.

— Vick staff pick


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The Surrender Theory: Poems By Caitlin Conlon Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781771682619
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Central Avenue Publishing - February 22nd, 2022

Through pages of truisms and poems, this debut collection from Caitlin Conlon explores the boundaries of our most poignant and human emotions. Deeply personal yet universal, The Surrender Theory speaks to anyone who has put their heart out into the world and hoped with everything in them that it would come home unscathed.

— Wroxy staff pick


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What Kind of Woman: Poems By Kate Baer Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780063008427
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - November 10th, 2020

A stunning and honest debut poetry collection about the beauty and hardships of being a woman in the world today, and the many roles we play — mother, partner, and friend. "If you want your breath to catch and your heart to stop, turn to Kate Baer."-- Joanna Goddard

— Wroxy staff pick