These books are loved by 3 or more of our booksellers!
If you’re looking for a despicable narrator, you’ve found the right book! Normally you root for the protagonist, right? Want the best for them and hope they succeed? Not this one. There were so many times just I wanted to reach into the book and smack her. She holds you hostage with her lies and deceit and you almost start to feel guilty for not being able to stop her. Still, she had me so wrapped up in her fabrications that when something negative happened to her and I started to feel bad, I had to remind myself that she totally deserves it!
It’s a frustrating read in the best possible way— a thrilling page-turner to be devoured over a weekend. And it sheds a lot of light on the inner workings of the publishing industry and the destructive power of social media. Kuang is a literary force to be reckoned with.
This is not your typical love story, and by no means is it a romance novel. It’s about two childhood friends that reunite in adulthood to create art together: video games.
Sam and Sadie care deeply for each other, but there’s never been any intimacy between them. Together, they begin to create stunning digital worlds and tell stories that will live on forever— stories that can be restarted with the click of a button.
The book is so human— it’s funny, heartbreaking, and real. The relationships aren’t perfect, the characters are broken in different ways; it’s about life, work, art, lovers, and friends, and we LOVED it! You don’t have to like video games to fall in love with this story, but you might appreciate it that much more. It’s so well-written and wonderful and you should just start reading it already!!
First, let me get this out of my system: HOT DAMN, Tony Doerr knows how to tell a story!! This is one of my new favorite books. Ever.
Ok, now for some substance: this is a wonderful book that revolves around an ancient text. More specifically, it’s about how this ancient text, Cloud Cuckoo Land, withstands the test of time and connects Doerr's characters over the course of thousands of years and around the world, from rural Idaho to Constantinople to an interplanetary spaceship. It's a story about love, loss, resilience, and hope— it is pulsing with life and emotion. The book itself is a commentary on the power of storytelling, but most of all, it is a love letter to the keepers and guardians of the written word.
Doerr does a masterful job of immersing us in his locations and showing us the heart and soul of his characters. The way he weaves his storylines together is almost frustrating it’s so good. All The Light We Cannot See has some serious competition for his best work yet.
Ok, you might not think now is a great time to read another climate-disaster/pandemic book, but hear me out. Poignant, dreamy, and compassionate, this is one of my most anticipated books of 2021. Nagamatsu paints a picture of a dystopian future with interstellar spaceships searching for new home planets, a euthanasia theme park for the terminally ill, and, um...a scientific research pig that develops the capacity for human speech. But what makes the novel so special is the way he portrays how connected we are in the universe, and how we persevere in the face of tragedy. Fans of Cloud Cuckoo Land and Station Eleven will love this one! -Alden
This is the perfect moment to read a book that will break your heart with the hopelessness of the human race, then build it back together with a bulwark of love. It's all about the people, the relationships, the cosmic splendor of creation and connection. It's really something special and I've gotten extremely corny describing it and that's just going to have to be okay. <3 –Stef
Erin: Sea of Tranquility made me an Emily St. John Mandel superfan. I had always meant to read Station Eleven, but never got around to it- now I'mreading that and anything else I can find! The world(s) Mandel creates here are vivid- somehow both unique and familiar at the same time. The narration is sharp and witty, while the story breaks your heart a little before it lovingly resolves.
Alden: Emily strikes again! Fer sentences will stop you in your tracks with their stylish profundity. Together they form a wonderfully accessible story of time travel, art, and love- this is one to be re-read
Stef: Moon colonies good; earth pandemic bad.
You might have heard the news story that promoted Whitehead to write this book—preparing a lot of land for sale, the state of Florida came across a field of unmarked graves. They were the bodies of boys who died at the hands of a reform school that closed in 2011. Whitehead’s book looks primarily, at one young Black boy, Elwood Curtis, who was sent to the school after being picked up hitchhiking. His story will break your heart and infuriate you.
Not only is this book terribly relevant and important, highlighting a forgotten story in our bloody American history, but it is also a master class in writing plot—when you finish it, you will wonder how long you knew what was really going on, realizing that the devastating twist at the end wasn’t a total surprise after all. It’s a thing to behold but not remotely the most compelling thing about the book—the story, the characters, these young innocent boys, will enter your heart and they won’t ever leave.
For those of you who have waited patiently for a new Donna Tartt novel, it is here, and it’s a masterpiece. I loved all 770+ pages of Theo Decker’s life journey from New York to Las Vegas to Holland.
A wonderful cast of colorful characters invite us into Theo’s journey from the museum where he, in confusion after a bombing there, takes the painting of the Goldfinch. Then it becomes a question of what to do with it.
Compelling, beautifully written, character driven.
A poignant novel about Japanese “picture brides” who came to the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century to marry Japanese bachelors. They were drawn here by photos showing these men as young, handsome, and well dressed. When the girls arrived (and many were very young), they were met by older men, worn down, not handsome, poorly dressed. The marriages were often terrible, the girls treated almost as beasts or objects, having babies every 18 months, made to work very hard in the fields, often sexually abused by the American landowners. Told in a collective voice, “We,” the effect is powerful. Short, with no wasted words, this novel is a searing indictment of a bad time in our history.
A sci-fi epic set within the bounds of our solar system, Leviathan Wakes is the first novel of the Expanse series. Set against the backdrop of growing tensions between the major powers of Earth, Mars and the Asteroid Belt, it explores Humanity’s adolescent years of space travel.
The unprovoked destruction of a civilian ship by an unknown, but highly advanced, stealth ship plunges the system into war. The executive officer of the destroyed ship, along with a small crew of survivors seek answers but are caught in the middle of the growing conflict. Meanwhile,
Detective Miller, an aging security officer on a major Belt station, searches for the wayward daughter of a powerful family.
With believable technology and an incredibly detailed universe, Corey crafts an engaging and dynamic first volume of what promises to be an excellent series. Great characters and stellar writing bring the solar system to life, from the scattered stations of the Belt to the slopes of Olympus Mons.
This book is absolutely spectacular. It’s definitely a contender for best book of the year. I’ve never read a contemporary slave narrative that so powerfully captured the slave experience--both in the breadth of details and in the gut punch of the emotions. It’s such an important book for this reason alone--we as a country need to be constantly reminded of what we did during slavery. We can’t ever get complacent or move on. It’s too big of a deal. That said, this book is not a polemic or morally didactic--it’s an intense page turner, a beautiful character study of a complex woman, Cora, and some of the best prose I’ve ever read. Don’t be turned off by the literal railroad either--I was a bit hesitant at first, but I found a way that it made sense to me as a device. Come talk to me after you’ve read it and we can compare notes!
Morgenstern has created a compelling, complete world with The Night Circus. From the lovely, intricate graphics inside to the interspersed circus attraction descriptions, reading this book was like parting the curtains of a tent at the circus and entering. Every detail of the clothing, food, and attractions are perfectly described and the love story between the magicians is simply mythic. The plot is unspooled from two points in the story decades apart and as the dates get closer together, the feeling that something explosive is going to happen is truly palpable. Cinematic, unique, memorable.
Great for anyone who needs a little wonder in their life or for those who know that true love is always magical.
While many novels feel like perfect worlds to escape into, Sally Rooney writes of real life, of friends discussing romance, friendship, sex, and the state of the world, while they try, fail, and try again to figure out what this life means for them. Do the small beautiful moments add up to more than the hardships? Will they figure out how to navigate this difficult world, and find it beautiful after all?
Rooney creates wonderFully complex and real characters, all so different you are likely to find yourself reflected in one of them and, with them, wonder, what beautiful parts of the world you see.