Devon D. Staff Picks

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

These stories reach in and grab you by the bones. In turns sexy, vibrant, raw, and weird, it's hard to believe so immaculate a collection is a debut. As lyrical as Angela Carter, as unnerving as Kelly Link, Carmen Maria Machado has instantly become one of my favorite authors.


Excellent Women Cover Image
By Barbara Pym, A. N. Wilson (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143104872
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - January 1st, 2007

Reading Barbara Pym is like drinking a cup of warm tea in a window seat, even if you're actually jammed on a crowded subway platform watching the third train in a row bypass your station. Her bittersweet observational humor is always spot-on and makes you laugh in that way reserved for things that are just so trueExcellentWomen is considered the best of Pym's novels, but please, don't make me choose!


The Nakano Thrift Shop Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609453992
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Europa Editions - June 6th, 2017

Kawakami gives us a slice of Japanese suburban life, away from the crowds and chaos of Tokyo. Quietly humorous, The Nakano Thrift Shop is ultimately about transitions in life and the relationships which transcend them.


Gods, Graves & Scholars: The Story of Archaeology Cover Image
$11.96
ISBN: 9780394743196
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - July 12th, 1986

Embrace your inner-Indiana Jones and dive into this rich, compelling book. Ceram tells the history of Western archaeology through the lives of its pioneers. From the academic gentleman-adventurer, to the conquering general, these pages are full of unforgettable characters, as well as some of history's greatest discoveries.
--Devon


Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernusse to Streuselkuchen Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781607748250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 18th, 2016

Say what you will about French patisserie, I think German baked goods are king, and this book contains all the crown jewels. A recent publication, yet every culinarily-minded person I know already swears by this book.


The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Cover Image
By Angela Carter, Kelly Link (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143107613
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - May 26th, 2015

 

Sensuous, dark and decadent, these stories are so gorgeously written, I want to wrap myself up inside them. Carter reaches into the wellspring of European folklore and drags her characters, kicking and screaming, into the almost-but-not-quite modern world.

--Devon


Before the Feast Cover Image
By Sasa Stanisic, Anthea Bell (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Tin House Books - June 14th, 2016

The Irish Examiner called Stanisic "offensively gifted" and I agree. His writing is unfairly clever. His tone is so hypnotic, I found myself thinking in the language of the novel. Reminiscent of Gogol, endlessly devourable.

--Devon


Scented Gardens for the Blind Cover Image
$14.25
ISBN: 9780807609859
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: George Braziller - September 1st, 1980

Frame is one of those authors whose popularity ebbs and flows, but her talent is constant. I love the way she plays with language, perception, and perspective in Scented Gardens, which tells the story of three family members robbed of their senses in more ways than one. Full of memorable characters, allegories, and imaginary insect friends, this book is like nothing you've read before.

--Devon


Lolly Willowes: Or the Loving Huntsman Cover Image
By Sylvia Townsend Warner, Alison Lurie (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780940322165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New York Review of Books - September 30th, 1999

Declared an old maid before she's thirty, Laura "Lolly" Willowes longs to escape her overbearing family to forge a life for herself, even if she ends up a witch in the process. Independent women, sumptuous nature writing, and the occasional pact with the devil, what more could you want?

--Devon


What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594634642
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Riverhead Books - March 7th, 2017

This collection of 9 interconnected short stories explore lives intersected by secrets kept under lock and key--literally and otherwise.  In what you might call her signature style, Oyeyemi enfuses a fairy-tale-like quality into contemporary settings. Echoes of Borges, Nabokov, and the Brother's Grimm throughout as a pop star is plagued by demons after a YouTube scandal, married psychologists experiment with turning each other into ghosts, and an old woman in a red cape has a fateful encounter with a "wolf". I particularly enjoyed the diversity represented in the characters--nearly every story features a queer character or a person of color--breathing some new life into the European-style fable.
 
With five novels under her belt at 31, it's no wonder Oyeyemi was named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists (2013). Don't forget to check out Andrea's review of Oyeyemi's Mr. Fox.
 
--Devon


Larose Cover Image
$8.98
ISBN: 9780062277022
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper - May 10th, 2016

In LaRose Erdrich does what she does best, creating a multi-generational portrait of a family with careful attention paid to nearly every person mentioned; there are no side characters here, only finely sketched individuals who are part of a whole. Reading this book feels a lot like becoming part of that family.  It also contains perhaps the most riveting depiction of a high school volleyball game ever to come into print. 
 
--Devon


An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807057834
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Beacon Press - August 11th, 2015

Writer, historian and activist, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz gives U.S. history a much-needed retelling. Starting with a portrait of the native nations before colonialism, Dunbar-Ortiz charts the impact of U.S. nation-building on the peoples and cultures who were already here. She brings to light often-downplayed individual and systemic violence against Indigenous peoples over the last 400 years and highlights those who have fought to maintain sovereignty and preserve their culture in the face of it all.  With engaging prose, Dunbar-Ortiz may have invented the first history textbook that's a page-turner to boot. Required reading for sure.


Geek Love Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375713347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - June 11th, 2002

This book is a wild ride. Dunn means the word 'geek' here in its original sense--yes, as in the person who bites heads off of chickens at the circus--as she paints a family portrait of the Binewskis, carnival-owners and performers. There's conjoined twins; Arturo, the meglomaniacal Aqua Boy; Oly, the hunchback dwarf with a golden voice; and Chick, the seemingly 'normal' child. The San Francisco Chronicle called it "A Fellini movie in ink" and I agree. Riveting, shocking and so, so good. 


Our Spoons Came from Woolworths Cover Image
By Barbara Comyns, Emily Gould (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590178966
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New York Review of Books - November 10th, 2015

So engrossing it caused me to miss my subway stop.  Twice.  Wryly funny, yet heart-wrenching.  The phrase 'rediscovered genius' gets bandied about a lot, but with this book, I feel Comyns earns the title.

--Devon


The Bone People Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140089226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - October 7th, 1986

The Bone People is so many things I almost don't have words to explain it. Startling, almost fragmented prose weaves together the story of three fractured souls; each character isolated, yet increasingly bound to the others, like the islands of Hulme's native New Zealand. It's no wonder this sprawling, beautiful novel won Hulme the Booker prize.

--Devon


The Jailing of Cecelia Capture Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780826310033
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: University of New Mexico Press - July 1st, 1987

In this semi-autobiographical novel, Janet Campbell Hale explores the struggle for identity and purpose at the intersection of Native American and white American cultures.  On the evening of her 30th birthday, the eponymous Cecelia finds herself in jail for DUI. There, she reflects on the course of her life from her childhood on reservations in rural Idaho and Washington, teenage motherhood, and marriage to her demeaning white husband, to her eventual enrollment in law school--a lifelong goal that now seems soured by previous hardships. Hale's prose is cool, almost detached, which allows her to describe the best and worst moments in Cecelia's life unabashed, without feeling sensationalist. A very raw, unflinching look at a Native American woman's experience that feels as poignant and necessary today as 30 years ago.

--Devon


The God of Small Things Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812979657
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Random House Trade - December 16th, 2008

Part-mystery, part-political drama, The God of Small Things tells the story of twins living in southern India in the late 1960's and the tragedies that tear their family apart.  Roy's prose is rich and playful, making for a truly cinematic novel that conjures up vivid images and leaves you with wonderful musings like, "there are no black cats, only black cat-shaped holes in the universe."

--Devon


The Haunting of Hill House Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143039983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - December 1st, 2006

A classic of the horror genre, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House is a slow-churning kettle of thrills. Her prose is intoxicating and the characters are rich and delightful.  I was surprised by just how funny this book was.  Like Hill House itself, the story telling convinces you to let your gaurd down with a playful, comedy-of-manners sort of prose that stands in sharp contrast to the sinister twists and turns that will get your heart racing!

--Devon


Lumberjanes Beware the Kitten Holy: Vol. 1 Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781608866878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Boom Box - April 7th, 2015

When they signed up to be Lumberjanes, the girls probably thought they'd spend the summer weaving baskets and rowing canoes around picturesque lakes. They probably did not expect to be running from were-bears and fighting supernatural beasties! Riddles, mazes, velociraptors, the Lumberjanes face them all (more or less) fearlessly with each other's help. Winner of the 2015 Eisner awards for Best New Series and Best Publication for Teens, Lumberjanes is a fun series that's full of diverse female characters and great for all ages.

--Devon


Honor Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143125044
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - February 25th, 2014

What leads a boy to murder his own mother? Can two souls share a single destiny? These are some of the questions central to Elif Shafak's novel, Honor. Shafak, who is Turkey's most-read female author, constructs this heartbreaking portrait of a family so completely, that the book feels much longer than it is in the best possible since. Spanning across cultures and time, Honor fits the scope of an epic into a slim volume, and left me excited to explore more of Shafak's works.

-- Devon


Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781607069454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Image Comics - April 8th, 2014

The Rat Queens are a brash group of lady adventurers. A hipster dwarf, an atheist cleric, a rockabilly Elven mage, and a hippy Smidgen thief walk into a bar, down some ale, and take on the forces of evil in this bawdy, grown-up play on the fantasy genre. Gory, hilarious, and definitely NOT for kids!

-- Devon


My Backyard Jungle: The Adventures of an Urban Wildlife Lover Who Turned His Yard Into Habitat and Learned to Live with It Cover Image
$18.40
ISBN: 9780300205664
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - April 29th, 2014

After certifying his suburban backyard as a wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, James Barilla learned that life with wild creatures is not always a peaceable kingdom. Faced with squirrels stealing his garden crops and opossums invading his crawl space, Barilla set out across the globe to see how humans and animals share the urban landscapes we both call home.  From monkeys in India and marmosets in Brazil, to black bears in Massachusetts and the squirrels in our yards, this book provides a wonderfully in-depth look at the limits of coexistence.  Barilla's prose is both authoritative and friendly--you immediately get the sense he's a man who knows his stuff, but at the same time the book is approachable for anyone, regardless of their academic background.

-- Devon


Saga Volume 4 Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781632150776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Image Comics - December 23rd, 2014

Saga continues! Star-crossed alien lovers struggle to raise a toddler while on the lam; a Robot Prince with amnesia tries to remember what he's searching for; stuff blows up and relationships fall apart. This genre-bending series from an Eisner Award winning author/illustrator duo is gritty, touching, and hilarious all at once.

-- Devon


We Need New Names Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316230841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Back Bay Books - May 20th, 2014

Some books you know right away you love, and some you come to love over time. This book is both – Bulawayo’s prose is immediately arresting and her characters and literary voice stays with you long after you’ve finished. Remarkable read!

-- Devon


Atmospheric Disturbances Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780312428433
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Picador USA - April 28th, 2009

Totally engrossing and heart wrenching, this book is the perfect blend of page-turning mystery and thought-provoking literature. When a man’s wife goes missing, leaving a doppelganger in her place, he searches high and low to unravel the mystery – from the farthest reaches of Pategonia to just down the street at Hungarian Pastry Shop.

-- Devon


The Days of Abandonment Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
$15.00
ISBN: 9781933372006
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Europa Editions - September 1st, 2005

I've been hit with 'Ferrante Fever' ever since I started reading her Neopolitan series in the fall of 2014.  Ferrante is an elegant writer who has a masterful ability to capture those fleeting everyday thoughts in just the right way.  In Days of Abandonment Ferrante's prose shines even more intensely--it's raw, at times terrifying, and emotionally charged.  After her husband leaves her, Olga struggles to reestablish the life she's put on hold to become a wife and mother.  Fighting against regret, the agony of love and life lost, and the summer heat, she must relearn how to take care of her children, and more importantly, herself.

-- Devon


The Shelf: From LEQ to LES Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780374261207
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - May 13th, 2014

Looking to free herself from the tyranny of book reviews and course syllabi, literary critic Phyllis Rose set out on a unique literary experiment: to read a whole shelf of books from the New York Society Library. Everything: good, bad and otherwise.  The result is The Shelf: From LEQ to LES, a chronicle of her journey as well as an exploration of the hows and whys some authors become part of our literary cannon and others fade into obscurity.  Packed with great insights and written with a great deal of warmth and wit, The Shelf feels like a thought-provoking discussion with Rose--you can almost picture the two of you deep in conversation over a hot beverage.

-- Devon


The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild Cover Image
$30.99
ISBN: 9780316178525
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 17th, 2013

Did you know that squirrels communicate with tail twitches? Or that most of the bird species you see in an average day aren't native to North America? In her book, Haupt reforges the medieval bestiary for the modern age, taking readers into the lives of some of our most common furry and feathered city-dwelling neighbors. Drawing on history and folklore in addition to tracking techniques and observation, The Urban Bestiaryhighlights the often invisible ways humans and animals impact each other's lives in the ever-growing urban jungle. Haupt has a great passion for wildlife that shines through her writing; thanks to this book I'll always have a warm feeling towards opossums and a great curiosity about pigeons.

-- Devon


The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780307595652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 30th, 2012

Deb Perelman is such a delight. A self-taught home cook and photographer, she's funny, passionate, and as a New Yorker herself she understands the trials of cooking in a shoebox-sized kitchen. I've been following her blog of the same name for years, and this beautiful cookbook is everything I hoped a book from her would be.

Favorite Recipe: Apple Cider Caramels - They're so easy to make, taste sublime, and never fail to impress come holiday time.

-- Devon


Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781452106144
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - June 4th, 2013

As a former Bostonian who frequented Flour Cafe, maybe I'm biased when I say it's home to the greatest sandwiches, but, seriously, this place makes great sandwiches--and now you can, too! Joanne Chang's recipes take simple, wholesome ingredients and make magic. In college, we used to read her cookbooks to each other like bedtime stories; even if we didn't, I'd still dream about her Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Favorite Recipe: Roast Lamb with Tomato Chutney and Rosemary Goat Cheese Sandwich - I have literally walked a mile in the snow for this sandwich. Tender lamb, sweet chutney, and tangy goat cheese. Need I say more?


The Tucci Cookbook: Family, Friends and Food Cover Image
By Stanley Tucci, Francesco Tonelli (Photographer)
$38.50
ISBN: 9781451661255
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - October 9th, 2012

Yes, Stanley Tucci the actor, that Stanley Tucci. Actor or not, this man knows his Italian food. Nothing against actors, in fact, I got this as a birthday present a number of years ago precisely because I enjoy Tucci's acting so much, but I had no idea this book would be the treasure trove it is. Drawing on several generations of his family's most cherished recipes, this is a book is all about making Italian dishes the old-fashioned way: everything, everything homemade with lots of love and olive oil.

Favorite Recipe: Drum of Ziti - It's pasta inside of pasta inside of pasta. Pasta-ception! This book also contains my go-to recipe for homemade pizza dough: only a few ingredients and just the right amount of rise.


Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781607746218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 14th, 2014

Culinary super star Yotam Ottolenghi has done it again: made me love vegetables. What can I say? I'm a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore. But Ottolenghi's fresh take on vegetarian cuisine never fails to prove me wrong. This highly anticipated sequel to his first book, Plenty, shows yet again how to elevate veggies from side dish to main attraction. Whether you're vegetarian or not, you've got to give his recipes a try.

Favorite Recipe: Butternut Squash with Buckwheat Polenta and Tempura Lemon - The creamy polenta marries well with the savory-sweet squash, with an added kick from the crispy lemon. Make it weeknight-friendly and swap the fancy fried lemon for a squirt of lemon juice instead.


Vile Bodies Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316216340
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Back Bay Books - December 11th, 2012

A hilarious satire of the faults and follies of Britain's Lost Generation delivered with Waugh's signature wit.  Failing writer Adam Fenwick-Symes and his on-again/off-again, wealthy fiancee, Nina, flow from country homes and auto races to parties, mingling London's decadent, if aimless, youth (aka Bright Young Things). Guaranteed to make you giggle in public.

--Devon


The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553380965
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spectra Books - May 2nd, 2000

A thief in future Shanghai swipes a high tech learning primer meant for a nobleman's daughter and inadvertently sets a revolution in motion. This steam-punk-inspired sci-fi novel is part political thriller, part coming of age tale and a whole lot of fun. Stephanson anticipates some ipad/ebook technology and explores the impact of learning and access to information on a young mind.
 
--Devon


Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780195163360
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - May 1st, 2001

 
If, like me, you love staring at the dioramas at AMNH, especially the older, more sun-faded ones, this book is for you. An engaging look at natural history museums and their changing place in our culture. From two-headed snakes in jars in a cabinet of curiosities to the modern institutions of research and education and every phase in between.  Great read for those interested in history of science, museology and taxidermy.
 
--Devon


China in Ten Words Cover Image
By Yu Hua, Allan H. Barr (Translator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307739797
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - August 21st, 2012

Each focused on a particular word, these essays explore the changing landscape in China from the Cultural Revolution, to the perplexing capitalist/communist hybrid of today. Yu Hua's writing is funny, personal, and touching; this book reads more like a chat with a fascinating friend than a stogy cultural history. The chapter on "Reading" is worth the price of admission alone.

--Devon


We Have Always Lived in the Castle Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Introduction by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143039976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - October 31st, 2006

A country mansion, an acquitted murderess, her uncle, her sister, and townsfolk that hate them all: these are the ingredients for Shirley Jackson's classic tale of isolation and deception. It will leave you wondering who the real villains are.

--Devon


Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littin Cover Image
By Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Francisco Goldman (Preface by), Asa Zatz (Translator)
$14.00
ISBN: 9781590173404
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New York Review of Books - July 6th, 2010

In 1985, exiled filmmaker, Miguel Littin, returned to his native Chile disguised as a Uruguayan businessman to see (and secretly film) how the country had changed under the iron-rule of Pinochet. Littin's story, wonderfully rendered here by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is part political thriller, part homage to his homeland, and all stranger than fiction.


Owls Do Cry Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781619028401
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - December 13th, 2016

Frame is a master lyricist and the inner lives of her characters are rich beyond measure. I am so excited to see this book back in print after far too long--a real classic!


Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780451495112
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Hogarth Press - February 21st, 2017

These stories are not for the faint of heart--they are dark, sometimes violent, sometimes grotesque, and deeply unnerving. This is Mariana Enriquez's first work to be translated into English and it will leave you wanting more.

Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson, HP Lovecraft, and Silvina Ocampo. 


White Is for Witching Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594633072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Riverhead Books - February 4th, 2014

For three generations the Silver family has lived in their seaside mansion full of hidden passageways and dark secrets. And for three generations the Silver women have been plagued by supernatural powers. But it's the year 2010--the house is being turned into a Bed-and-Breakfast and Miranda Silver is just trying to navigate college, nevermind otherworldly magic. A modern take on the Gothic genre, written by Oyeyemi, who might just be the master of the contemporary fairy tale.