Haley P. Staff Picks


 

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Dinner at the Center of the Earth Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524732738
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Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 5th, 2017

Deft, clever, engrossing prose is the first and most obvious of this novel's many virtues. While reading, I frequently encountered sentences so ingeniously woven that I looked up expecting the people around me to be equally astonished. The characters here are funny and flawed; you can't help but feel the humanity in even the most monstrous among them. Absolutely excellent.

-- Haley


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The Sisters Chase Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780544960077
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Published: Houghton Mifflin - June 27th, 2017

Don't come between the Mary and Hannah (aka Bunny) Chase. In the wake of a terrible accident, all they have is each other. But that suits Mary just fine. Over the course of this tightly wound and engrossing novel, we come-- slowly, but inevitably-- to learn the lengths to which fierce, raven-haired Mary would go for Bunny. Author Sarah Healy has created a novel so cleverly threaded that it can feel like you're being dared not to flinch. In the tradition of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, The Sisters Chase has a pull like gravity, and is absolutely not to be missed.

-- Haley


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To the Bright Edge of the World Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316242837
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Published: Back Bay Books - August 29th, 2017

At its core, To the Bright Edge of the World is a love story. But to call it simply that is a great disservice to what author Eowyn Ivey has accomplished. Loosely based on a real-life excursion into uncharted Alaskan territory in the 1880s, this novel is also a thoroughly-researched historical piece, a travelogue, a tale of the travails of motherhood, an exploration of the interaction between colonial forces and native cultures, and at times even borders on myth and fable. The Alaskan wilderness and its native people are rendered vividly-- it's no wonder, considering Ivey is was raised there. The cast of characters will endear you, their travels will rouse you, and the fierce and sometimes brutal heart at the center of this masterful novel will move you.

-- Haley


All the Crooked Saints Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545930802
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Scholastic Press - October 10th, 2017

I'm going to be blunt with you. I don't think there's another writer out there who is half as smart and inventive and lyrical and talented as Maggie Stiefvater. If she wrote manuals for power tools I would read them cover to cover. All the Crooked Saints, her latest, is a beautiful and clever story about (among other things) miracles, fate, owls, and radios. Stiefvater's knack for describing the improbable and the mundane with equal grace is on full display, and reading it is borderline painful because each page brings you closer to the end of the book.

-- Haley


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The Wanderers Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399574634
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 14th, 2017

Yoshi, Sergei, and Helen are on track to be the first people to go to Mars. But first they must pretend to go to Mars, in a seventeen-month-long simulation. What follows is both scientific-- cosmic, even-- and deeply human. Howrey dips effortlessly into the minds of the astronauts, their family members, and the people running the simulation, without any loss of authenticity or grace. Beautifully written, by turns funny and poignant, this debut is perfect for fans of The Martian, and, miraculously, also for people who tried to read The Martian but thought it was too dense!

-- Haley


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We Are Okay Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525425892
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Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - February 14th, 2017

Some books are spells. It's as simple as that. Their pull is irresistible. They weave and roost and bloom inside you. Reading them is like a deep dive, like a deep breath. In We Are Okay, Nina LaCour has crafted something enchanting. I read it in one sitting, rooted to the spot, unable to look away. Under its spell. It's a story of love, of loneliness, of secrets, of grief. Grief so big it holds all those other things inside it. At is center is Marin, a girl in mourning, and her intense relationship with her best friend Mabel. The story moves lightly from past to present and back again, revealing hearts broken and healed, relationships tested and transformed. An undeniable, gorgeous, and moving read. Dive in!

-- Haley


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Arcadia Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101970836
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Published: Vintage - January 10th, 2017

The best literature can make the world shift under your feet: rich landscapes and fascinating characters whose trials and triumphs feel monumental. Arcadia takes this gift a step further and molds the very fabric of our reality, pushing the limits of scope, time, and space. (Fans of David Mitchell's multilayered worlds will be duly impressed.) In the same stroke, Iain Pears honors Britain's great literary tradition, and the virtues of the human spirit. If it sounds daunting, it is. But it's well worth the work. At it's core, Arcadia is a deeply human story, and humanity is what drives and sustains its epic expanse.

-- Haley


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Scythe Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781442472426
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Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 22nd, 2016

In a literary world oversaturated with dystopian futures, National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman offers up a delightfully biting and fresh utopian alternative: a world where technology has solved all of humanity's problems, including mortality. Only Scythes-- specialized, righteous, impartial assassins-- decide who dies. They are meant to be beyond corruption, above reproach. But our two heroes, while training as Scythe's apprentices, learn the reality is a distant cry from such moral heights. Scythe is harrowing, subtle, and thoroughly unputdownable.

-- Haley


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The Bear and the Nightingale Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101885932
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Published: Del Rey Books - January 10th, 2017

Medieval Russia. A small, tight-knit village, bound at its center by our heroine, Vasya, and her unfailingly loyal family. Little do they know they will find themselves in a vicious battle between old ways and new when a venerated priest arrives whose intentions may not be as clear as he imagines them to be. Vasya will have to fight for her people, people who don't even know they need saving. What results is an exquisitely written, deeply felt story of magic, love, betrayal, power, and family that is not to be missed. It's been a long time since I loved a debut novel as much as I love The Bear and the Nightingale.

-- Haley


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Vicious Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780765335357
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Published: Tor Books - January 20th, 2015

In the past, two college-aged best friends discover the strange link between near-death experiences and superhuman powers. In the present, the two are mortal enemies, each bent on tracking down and destroying the other. Uncovering how they got from one to the other is a gritty, violent, expertly paced thrill-ride. You won't be able to put this one down.

-- Haley


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The Black Maria Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781942683025
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Published: BOA Editions - April 12th, 2016

Aracelis Girmay was the first contemporary poet I ever fell in love with, and in her newest collection she reaffirms that love tenfold. No one's sight is more generous or precise than Girmay's, be it turned inward to the workings of her own heart or outward to the suffering of others across continents and through time. At once historical testimony, multi-level persona piece, personal excavation, and sharp social commentary, The Black Maria weaves together centuries of seemingly disparate kinds of pain, joy, loss, and love with effortless grace. The result is an undeniably vital and panoramic view of the trials and triumphs of being alive.

-- Haley


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All American Boys Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481463331
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Published: Atheneum Books - September 29th, 2015

In twenty years, there will be countless volumes written about the Black Lives Matter movement and this volatile and revolutionary period of American history. But you don't have to wait nearly that long to start reading and bearing witness: miraculously, All-American Boys already exists. Equally miraculous are the extreme grace and humanity the book's co-authors bring to what is otherwise a harrowing coming of age tale steeped in police brutality, racism, and white privilege. To call this a work of fiction is to deny its unflinching and at times almost unbearable honesty. I can confidently say this is one of the most urgent, timely, and rewarding books you will read this year.

-- Haley


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Labyrinth Lost Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492620945
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Published: Sourcebooks Fire - September 6th, 2016

Everyone always says life is about the journey, not the destination. But I think Zoraida Cordova would argue that both can be pretty awesome. Not only is every step of this journey - from Brooklyn to the underworld (aka Los Lagos) and back again- brimming with lush detail, wild twists and turns, and witchy goodness, but the realizations and resolutions our heroes come to are heartfelt and satisfying. Family, heritage, love, power, and sacrifice all have their part to play in this breathtaking whirlwind of a book.

-- Haley


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The Raven Boys Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545424936
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Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 30th, 2013

Psychics, curses, sleeping Welsh Kings, ghosts, baby ravens, and orange Cameros. What more could you want? This is not just a story about a girl and the four boys that change her life forever. It's a story about the strange, magnetic, and vicious bonds that hold people together. It's a story about pride, and love, and the inexplicable way that the past and the future bend into one another. It's a story about magic-- in it's best and worst forms. Stiefvater is a writer of extreme humanity, humor, and skill. Her stories weave from funny to heartwrenching to terrifying in an instant. All you have to do is hold on.

-- Haley


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The School for Good and Evil Cover Image
By Soman Chainani, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780062104908
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Published: HarperCollins - April 15th, 2014

Unlikely best friends Sophie and Agatha have the bonds of their friendship pushed to the limit when they are kidnapped and enrolled into the School for Good Evil. There's just one problem- Sophie is positive she's been sorted into the wrong school. Oh, and the girls may just be arch-enemies set to destroy one another in their own fairytale! The most honorable thing about Chainani's work in this series is the care he takes to explore all the nuances, difficulties, and joys possible in every kind of female friendship. That's something that young girls desperately need to read. It's clearly a priority for him, which makes him a priority for me!

-- Haley


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Dept. of Speculation Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780345806871
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Published: Vintage Books - October 7th, 2014

A sharp, odd little flare of a book that sticks with you for far longer than it takes to read it. The prose is so crisp and vivid, chopped into these intense vignettes, that it almost verges on long-form poetry. The idea of what it means to be a wife, a mother, and an artist are explored baldly and without mercy. The result is fascinating and relentless. The best thing I can say about this book is that the absolute second I finished it, I turned it over and immediately started reading it again. I was just so desperate to understand how it worked. It still eludes me, but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this wonderfully toothy sliver of a novel.

-- Haley


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Archivist Wasp Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781618730978
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Published: Big Mouth House - May 5th, 2015

Wasp, our fierce and stubborn heroine, just wants to stay alive. It's easier said than done. If the girls who want to take her position as archivist (at once ghost hunter and historical curator) don't kill her for it, starvation might. Or one of the ghosts she's been tasked with capturing, studying, and killing. That is, until the strongest ghost any archivist has ever seen comes to Wasp asking for help. What happens next is at once harrowing, mythical, and deliciously strange. In a literary world overfull of postapocalyptic fiction (it's Katniss Everdeen's world, we're just living in it) Archivist Wasp renewed my faith in just how captivating, beguiling, and redemptive the genre can be.

-- Haley


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What the Living Do: Poems Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393318869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 1999

This is one of those books that almost makes me angry because I didn't write it. I have never encountered a more tightly-constructed sequence of poems. Each one flows so seamlessly, so inexorably and relentlessly into the next that they demand to be devoured in a single sitting. The grief explored here is so potent and crucial, it's impossible to look away. This book is an event. I keep coming back to it again and again, in awe.

-- Haley


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How to Breathe Underwater Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781400034369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - April 12th, 2005

I might be biased, because Julie Orringer is from my hometown where a story from this collection is set, but this is probably my favorite short story collection of all time. The stories have a single through-thread; each inhabits a moment where a character is submerged underwater, or feels like they are. It's a compelling arc, tying together stories that otherwise inhabit wildly different places and lives, ranging from wrenching to funny to deeply chilling. It's wonderful how many styles and voices Orringer slips into and fleshes out for the reader to explore. If this book was a lake, I'd sink to the bottom and never come back up.

-- Haley