Rachel W. Staff Picks


 

Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780812997668
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - August 4th, 2015

Different incarnations of Shirley Jackson lurk throughout each uncanny story, thoughtful essay, craft lecture, and quotidian grocery list in this collection of found manuscripts--co-edited with obvious care by Jackson's children. Use the satin red ribbon to jump between the refractions of Jackson, a master of suspense who explored the subtle horrors of American life with acerbic wit.

-- Rachel


The Wherewithal: A Novel in Verse Cover Image
$18.65
ISBN: 9780393351446
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 3rd, 2015


This novel-in-verse follows one man from a childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland to adolescence in Chicago to broken adulthood in Zodiac-era San Francisco. But instead of telling it straight, his life story is shredded, flayed, and tossed in the air. The horrors—a tragic accident, draft-dodging, the massacre in Jedwabne—mingle with the humor—certifiably insane coworkers, life-saving typos, drama of philosophy departments. The non-linear storytelling is as vital as the poetry. The Wherewithal is Perseus’s shield, allowing us to face unfathomable darkness without losing sight of our humanity.

-- Rachel


Uprooted Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780804179034
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Del Rey Books - May 19th, 2015

Rooted in Polish folklore, this novel upends fairytales and stars a heroine who is wholly her own. Seventeen-year-old Agnieszka's journey has shades of the familiar (Grimm and Austen come to mind) but her voice is compelling and original. You won't want to leave this fully-realized fantastical world where empathy and identity -- not princes or gold -- are the true treasures.

-- Rachel


The Memory Painter: A Novel of Love and Reincarnation Cover Image
$28.60
ISBN: 9781250053039
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - April 28th, 2015

This perfect summer read has the heart of "Cloud Atlas" and the pacing of "The DaVinci Code." Each chapter becomes a puzzle box leading you through a centuries-spanning mystery and romance through reincarnation. But the true heart of this book lies in the imaginative and historically riveting visions of life in Ancient Greece, 1980s Boston, feudal Japan, and Viking voyages. Though a light read, the many layers will leave you guessing and mesmerized up until the final act.

-- Rachel


After Birth Cover Image
$25.30
ISBN: 9780544273733
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - February 17th, 2015

Terrible title. Incredible novel. The writing is electric, the characters equal parts dazzling and damaged, the content purely original. There is not artifice here—just verve. You may get whiplash from the swerves between righteous anger and gallows humor; you may even drown in the choppy waves of feminism; but you will not be able to stop reading. I haven’t been this transfixed by a writer in years.

-- Rachel


Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307949424
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - April 8th, 2014

I usually pop Prozac like Pez when people talk about extinction and climate change, but this book was a revelation. Newitz breaks down complex scientific issues in a conversational and thought-provoking way. Also, instead of fear-mongering or existential angst, she highlights humanity's resilience and our penchant for creativity and kindness. (What other species would make sure animals boarded the ark, too?) Perfect book to read for education and inspiration.

-- Rachel


Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780374261177
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Fsg Originals - November 18th, 2014

Binge read Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy in one gorgeous volume. Go from the atmospheric, Hitchcockian first novel (Annihilation) to the second’s spy vs. spy showdown (Authority) to an ending that connects all the plots like constellations (Acceptance). You won’t want to leave Area X after starting this swampy sci-fi series—and Area X might not leave you.

-- Rachel