Staff Recommendations


Greg

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

An brilliant un-put-downable sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale that follows three women trying to topple the corrupt authoritarian nation of Gilead in the former United States.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

A smart new fantasy series with some serious badass ladies trying to bring down an empire.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

A fresh take on the zombie apocalypse featuring the biting prose of a modern American master.


Daniel

 

Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs by Dennis McKenna (ed)

The defining scholarly publication on past and current research with psychotropic plant substances for medicinal, theraputic and spiritual uses.

 

Hannah

Juliet the Maniac by Juliet Escoria

This story is raw and unique. The brutality of her writing style lends itself perfectly with her iteration of her teenaged self, one that we can all relate to.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Loneliness knows no age. Eleanor is a quiet, awkward and socially inept. Someone we often know but have little motivation to get to know. This peek into her world will break your heart, and will have you rooting for her and Raymond to not change her, but to get her comfortable in the outside world. 


 

Adam

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

A wonderful dark fantasy tale I could not put down. Perfect for an evening in by the fire. A young man meets his tenant in the forest and is thrust into the forest’s supernatural perils. I only wish there was more of it.

The Martian by Andy Weir

A Robinson Crusoe for the space age and an uplifting read. A marooned astronaut uses his ingenuity to survive as an extraterrestrial.

Fighting the Flying Circus by Eddie Rickenbacker

A wild ride from the early days of military aviation, fraught with danger and excitement the likes of which are hard to imagine from the inside of a pressurized cabin.


Valerie

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

A well woven layered story with a touch of mystery that also sheds light on the sacrifices, some voluntary, some involuntary, of “ordinary” people in England during and after WW II. A fluid and mesmerizing read.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Vuong juxtaposes a sublime poetic style with raw story detail permitting the reader to see the most intimate aspects of the narrator’s childhood and adolescence. The novel received a full page write up in the NYT Book Review.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

True story - a slice of American history ! Mysterious murders on an oil rich Indian reservation. Learn bits about the Native American Indian experience and culture, the fledgling FBI, Hoover, and the Wild West !!


Christine

Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro

Adapted from the hit movie by director Guillermo Del Toro, and Inkheart author Cornelia Funke comes a brilliant dark fairy tale featuring a brave but naive young girl who gets more adventure than she intended for.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Saga is like nothing I’ve ever read before. A space opera encircling a forbidden romance with a cast of some of the most original characters you’ve ever seen (ie. a cat that is also a human lie-detector). Saga is a fun heartfelt journey that explores themes of love, family in friendship. 

Seed to Harvest by Octavia E. Butler

A game changer for women in he Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, everyone should read Octavia Butler at least once. This collection of her Patternmaster series begins with two deities alone and unfolds through time as they build a society of enhanced beings just like them. 


David

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

Almost a biography of America itself: complements the oracular intensity of Douglass’ iconic autobiographical narratives with grand historical vision demanded by the story of possibly the greatest American life.

Witcraft by Jonathen Ree

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horation, than are dreamt of in your Philosophie.”  From Shakespeare’s Hamlet, through George Eliot rethinking Ethics in fiction, to Wittgenstein scribbling aphorisms in a WW1 prison camp, this masterpiece shows Philosophy learning to speak English, in the voices of poets, clerics, politicians, scientists, novelists and “the usual suspects” otherwise known as philosophers!

Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton

“Art has the power to extend our capacities . . . enabling us to become better versions of ourselves.” Exactly why Plato wanted rulers to learn music!  Alain de Botton focuses on painting, so read this book to make Picasso, Vermeer and Rembrandt your personal (soul-) trainers!


Victoria

Supermarket by Bobby Hall

Bobby Hall, A.K.A. LOGIC debuts his first novel and it’s a wild one.Take a trip down the rabbit hole of a writer who can’t seem to finish a book for the life of him. After all seems lost following Flynn’s girlfriend leaving him out of frustration, he gets a job at the local supermarket. This was supposed to change everything for him,  a fresh start, a way to finish his book based on the eclectic employees of the store but, as with all good page turners, everything is definitely not as it seems. 


Cherry by Nico Walker

Nico Walker knocks this novel out of the park, writing this FROM jail with no writing experience, only the unceasing motivation from a publisher to have him write a book about his life and reason for being in jail. Raw and REAL, Nico writes about being an addict in the throws of the opioid epidemic, the banks he robbed for drug money, the IED explosives he managed to survive being an Iraqi medic, and the adjustment period of re-entering and settling into society again. 



Joanna

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

A quietly profound, human narrative that beautifully captures the immigrant experience in 20th-century New York City. Irish novelist Colm Toibin deftly ensnares readers in the story of young Eilis Lacey as she struggles to slip free from the tug of her past and find a home in the unfamiliar.


Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

An unforgettable novel-in-stories set against the stark beauty of coastal Maine and anchored by an insightful and unflinchingly acerbic protagonist, retired teacher Olive Kitteridge. Sure to leave an indelible imprint on readers.

Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt

A deeply affecting memoir that tackles grief with candor and wit and a reverence for what matters. Rosenblatt finds the words for an unspeakable loss. 



Kai

 

Red Notice by Bill Browder

 Riveting, true account of an investor’s search for wealth in post-Soviet Russia. After he hits the jackpot, the prison yard hijinks ensue to the delight of the oligarchs who divest him or his interest in the most gangster manner.     


The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

An engrossing exploration of fragile masculinity through the sexually charged life of a bumbling womanizer and his lovers. Placed in the historical context of post-war/ post-soviet eastern europe, Kundera incites the reader to investigate the responsibilities that weight them to this life.