Staff Picks
What our booksellers are reading and loving when they're not at the store. Featured in our e-mail newsletter.

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Amber's Pick: Aliens and Anorexia by Chris Kraus. At this point, I'm going to read everything Chris Kraus has ever written. An amazing meditation on what it means to be a filmmaker, a philosopher, a sadomasochist. What it means to be a woman. She possesses intelligence and insight that I simply can't get enough of. 

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Julie's Pick: We Were Witches by Ariel Gore. Kind and good and smart and fierce and left me in positive tears and includes a phenomenal reading list. This novel recreates the tale of Ariel's life on the West Coast as a single mother and a queer woman discovering her identity. It spins literary tropes all around into one magical narrative full of heart and the power of resistance. We need more stories like this. (I read this in tandem with Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body which Ariel mentions in We Were Witches. If you haven't read Winterson yet, do it. Right now. It's a gorgeous gift you'll be giving yourself.)

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Ashley's Pick: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This book was NONSTOP. It was one of the most fun and exciting books I read in the last year, and it is really quality sci fi. The science is awesome, and almost plausible, yet outlandish enough to seem almost close to magic. Particle physics, y'all. Multiverse. Quantum! Mechanics! Plus a wild freaking mystery/love story and a crazy plot twist! I really hope more sci fi like this follows. 

Ward's Pick: Reign of the Fallen by Richmond author Sarah Glenn Marsh. This book is totally off-genre for me (Young Adult Fantasy), but I"m so glad I ventured into new territory because I totally loved it! Odessa, also known as Sparrow for her ability to fly through the Deadlands, is a master necromancer who is pitted against a mysterious evil force after her boyfriend and and teachers are killed by powerful Shade. Her struggle is compromised by grief, addiction to a prescription drug, a collapsing government (sounds familiar), but this teenage necromancer proves strong and compassionate enough to triumph. Available for purchase on January 23rd or pre-order before for a 10% discount.

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Claire's Pick: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor is an unsettling, hypnotic read. Tudor’s debut novel is the story of a gang of childhood friends who discover a murder, and how that summer changes their lives. She weaves the story between 1986 and 2016 seamlessly, and does a great job of capturing the spirit of childhood friendship. While there’s no supernatural element to the story, I definitely got Stranger Things vibes from the way Tudor tells her tale.