Josh H. Staff Picks


 

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Maurice: A Novel By E. M. Forster Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393310320
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 17th, 2005

I cannot quite emphasize my surprise at a book written in the early Twentieth Century portraying a gay experience I relate to, emphasize with, and even long for. Thoroughly lovely and addicting.


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A Woman's Battles and Transformations By Édouard Louis, Tash Aw (Translated by) Cover Image
By Édouard Louis, Tash Aw (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780374606749
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 16th, 2022

A familiar form from Louis, but damn can he do it. If you've read his previous short memoirs, you're familiar with some of this content, only now zoomed in on his mother. As if listening to a touching story from an older relative, the, short chapters admit to faults and submit to the regret.


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My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609450786
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2012

The vastness of story contained in (mostly) such a small piece of a city is incredible. Structurally perfect and completely character driven. You won't be able to not finish the quartet and you certainly won't be able to forget it. 


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Lapvona: A Novel By Ottessa Moshfegh Cover Image
$27.00
Not Available
ISBN: 9780593300268
Published: Penguin Press - June 21st, 2022

Disgusting, despicable, vile, but so, so delicious.


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This Is Your Mind on Plants By Michael Pollan Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593296929
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - July 19th, 2022

A really fascinating read where I learned it's way too easy to make opium tea, where I ~almost~ got scared of coffee, and it really expanded my interest in cactus and psychedelics


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Coffeeland: One Man's Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug By Augustine Sedgewick Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780143110743
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - April 6th, 2021

"I'm really not a big nonfiction reader, but this one felt different. Personally, I'm very into nonfiction about Botany (in fact, my suggested further reading is Michael Pollan's latest book This is Your Mind on Plants) and this book had enough to keep me turning the page. Spanning bewteen the biology of a coffee plant to the capitalist foundations of the bean and how it became indepensible to billions of people a day, Coffeeland is just incredibly enlightneing (and also infuriating)." - From Josh's Book Culture Selects letter, August 2021 Nonfiction Paperback


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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants By Robin Wall Kimmerer Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781571313560
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Milkweed Editions - August 11th, 2015

A term I don’t use lightly in regards to books (because I genuinely despise it) is “required reading.” However, I don’t believe there is a single book that contains so much wisdom, mythology, or science regarding our natural world. With essays that genuinely left me in tears of hope or utterly furious in despair, this book must be read and reckoned with.


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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants By Robin Wall Kimmerer Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781571311771
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Milkweed Editions - October 13th, 2020

A term I don’t use lightly in regards to books (because I genuinely despise it) is “required reading.” However, I don’t believe there is a single book that contains so much wisdom, mythology, or science regarding our natural world. With essays that genuinely left me in tears of hope or utterly furious in despair, this book must be read and reckoned with.


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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525562047
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

Intimate and touching and very unique. There is nothing quite like it.


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Time Is a Mother By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593300237
Availability: Not In Stock - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - April 5th, 2022

Intense and full of memories. Whether the memories belong to you or not, you feel them as if they were and the poems will carry you. Breathless and visceral, you’ll want to take your time with this beautiful collection of poetry.


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This Is Your Mind on Plants By Michael Pollan Cover Image
$28.00
Not Available
ISBN: 9780593296905
Published: Penguin Press - July 6th, 2021

A really fascinating read where I learned it's way too easy to make opium tea, where I ~almost~ got scared of coffee, and it really expanded my interest in cactus and psychedelics


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Brideshead Revisited (75th Anniversary Edition) By Evelyn Waugh Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780316242103
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Back Bay Books - November 3rd, 2020

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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification By Thomas J. Elpel Cover Image
$36.00
ISBN: 9781892784353
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: HOPS Press - May 15th, 2013

While 'in a day' is a stretch, this is a really fantastic plant identification guide! If you, like me, found yourself obsessed with plants over the course of the lockdown last year, this will definitely add fuel to your fire.


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The Parting Gift: A Novel By Evan Fallenberg Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781635420029
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Other Press - June 2nd, 2020

For lovers of Call Me By Your Name. This book is pretty steamy in all the best ways, and the style is strikingly similar to Aciman's with a suffocating close narrative with the main character, full of romantic mind games.


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Second Nature: A Gardener's Education By Michael Pollan Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802140111
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Grove Press - August 12th, 2003

Drawing from ecology, history, religion, literature, and philosophy, Second Nature is the perfect companion to anyone remotely interested in gardening or nature.


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This Will Make It Taste Good: A New Path to Simple Cooking By Vivian Howard Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780316381123
Availability: Not In Stock - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Voracious - October 20th, 2020

I've never really picked up a cookbook and found myself reading everything inside (and we all know that's probably the most annoying part of online recipe searching) but the authenticity and honesty Vivian Howard puts into everything she does makes it completely readable and even a page turner. If you aren't familiar with her PBS show A Chef's Life, I urge you to watch it for the same reason. Much like her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots, this one features insanely delicious looking (and tasting, the couple that I've made already) recipes staying true family traditions and the uniqueness of Eastern North Carolina cuisine.


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Elegy for the Undead: A Novella By Matthew Vesely Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781941360453
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Lanternfish Press - October 13th, 2020

It's almost like a cute (and a little scary) gay back story to The Walking Dead that I always wanted. IDK I just appreciated it.


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An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris By Georges Perec, Marc Lowenthal (Translator) Cover Image
By Georges Perec, Marc Lowenthal (Translator)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780984115525
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Wakefield Press - September 30th, 2010

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Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer By John Glynn Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538746660
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 5th, 2020

A super pleasant memoir of a transformative summer in Montauk that will surely make you feel warm.


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Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer By John Glynn Cover Image
$27.00
Not Available
ISBN: 9781538746653
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 14th, 2019

A super pleasant memoir of a transformative summer in Montauk that will surely make you feel warm.


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My Year of Rest and Relaxation By Ottessa Moshfegh Cover Image
$26.00
Not Available
ISBN: 9780525522119
Published: Penguin Press - July 10th, 2018

This book! It's just so incredible and so perfect. I can't believe it even exists. It plays into all of your absurdist desires, and then some. I can't stop thinking about it. 


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My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel By Ottessa Moshfegh Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525522133
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - June 25th, 2019

This book! It's just so incredible and so perfect. I can't believe it even exists. It plays into all of your absurdist desires, and then some. I can't stop thinking about it. 


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The Flick (Tcg Edition) By Annie Baker Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781559364584
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Theatre Communications Group - September 30th, 2014

I never expected to enjoy this play as much as I did. The genius it takes to make a play about the monotnous functions of a movie theater feels so good. Equal parts intimate, lonely, and warming, The Flick is a great example of perfect story telling


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Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel By Casey McQuiston Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250316776
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 14th, 2019

Simple plot summary: a romance plot between the First Son of the United States and the Prince of Wales. You know, this book did its job perfectly. It’s sappy, witty, and hilarious. A cheeky parallel universe that, honestly, we’d all love right now.


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Who Killed My Father By Edouard Louis, Lorin Stein (Translated by) Cover Image
By Edouard Louis, Lorin Stein (Translated by)
$15.95
Not Available
ISBN: 9780811228503
Published: New Directions - March 26th, 2019

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Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize): A Novel (The Arthur Less Books #1) By Andrew Sean Greer Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316316132
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Back Bay Books - May 22nd, 2018

Please just read this amazingly clever and insanely funny novel.


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Enigma Variations: A Novel By André Aciman Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250159977
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Picador - January 9th, 2018

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The End of Eddy: A Novel By Édouard Louis, Michael Lucey (Translated by) Cover Image
By Édouard Louis, Michael Lucey (Translated by)
$17.00
Not Available
ISBN: 9781250181992
Published: Picador - May 1st, 2018

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The Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel By John Boyne Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781524760793
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Hogarth - March 6th, 2018

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Hide By Matthew Griffin Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781632863409
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - June 12th, 2018

At a time where their love is a threat to their lives, Wendell and Frank disappear to a solitary home in rural Eastern North Carolina cutting off the outside world. Sixty years later their confinement is put to the test, and both are confronted with their sacrifices and devotion to one another. Seriously one of the most underrated books of all time, this touching novel is unforgettable.


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Call Me by Your Name: A Novel By André Aciman Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250169440
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Picador - October 3rd, 2017

With the addicting writing style that so deeply and almost exclusively represents Elio’s thoughts, the Italian Riviera setting that really warms you to the core, and the most powerful and gut-punching romance I have ever encountered in literature.


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Edinburgh By Alexander Chee Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780544916128
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Mariner Books - November 1st, 2016

An eerie story of human resilience that constantly teetered between intense reality and complete surrealism. I loved every sentence of this novel that depicts the ugly and makes it beautiful.


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Oryx and Crake (The MaddAddam Trilogy #1) By Margaret Atwood Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385721677
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Anchor - March 30th, 2004

Next to Station Eleven, this is the best dystopian novel featuring a world annihilating plague. Oryx and Crake is a bit cooler because it takes place in this terrifying future that doesn't seem too far away from us. A book that leaves you asking questions to the very end and doesn't disappoint.


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Here Comes the Sun: A Novel By Nicole Dennis-Benn Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631492945
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Liveright - June 6th, 2017

An excellent book focusing on poverty, environmental racism, modern day colonialism, and homophobia stigmas, but like... in a novel.


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Night Sky with Exit Wounds By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781556594953
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 5th, 2016

Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Raw. Hypnotizing. Engrossing. Amazing


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Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series) By Ross Gay Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780822963318
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: University of Pittsburgh Press - January 7th, 2015

A really fascinating and beautiful book of poetry that celebrates queer bodies and really defines their differences to non-queer people. It's just absolutely beautiful, descriptive, heartbreaking and yet heartwarming.


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Station Eleven: A Novel (National Book Award Finalist) By Emily St. John Mandel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780804172448
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2015

While this is a post-apocalyptic book, it's insanely warm and life-fulfilling. It has been some years since reading and this short novel has always stuck with me.


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Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South By Vivian Howard Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9780316381109
Availability: Not In Stock - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 4th, 2016

A cookbook organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level and created from her acclaimed restaurant Chef and the Farmer, Deep Run Roots features pure beauty in two hard covers. Each chapter starts with the story of how that ingredient relates to Howard's life and how she has come to love it in her cooking and it's attachment to Eastern North Carolina cuisine. This is simply one of those beautiful things that doesn't come around very often and when it does, it tends to not be appreciated. Please appreciate this storybook and cookbook as much as I do-- Deep Run Roots imparts the true tale of Southern food: rooted in family and tradition, yet calling out to the rest of the world.


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Other Voices, Other Rooms (Vintage International) By Truman Capote Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780679745648
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - February 1st, 1994

This book is certainly not for everyone, but it is very special and launched Capote's career (for better or for worse).


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The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780671027346
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: MTV Books - February 1st, 1999

Introverted teenagers unite! This beautiful little book written as letters from our beloved Charlie will take you on such a ride. It's incredible how many emotions this book will force you to feel in just 213 tiny-book pages. You'll smile, you'll gasp, you'll bawl your heart out. This book is my favorite realistic YA book and I just don't think that will ever change.


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The Blind Assassin: A Novel By Margaret Atwood Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780385720953
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Anchor - August 28th, 2001

A slow moving but absolutely beautiful novel full of passion, desire, and extraordinary frivolity.


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Call Me by Your Name: A Novel By André Aciman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780312426781
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Picador - January 22nd, 2008

With the addicting writing style that so deeply and almost exclusively represents Elio’s thoughts, the Italian Riviera setting that really warms you to the core, and the most powerful and gut-punching romance I have ever encountered in literature.


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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) By Donna Tartt Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780316055444
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Back Bay Books - April 7th, 2015

A perfect and absolutely beautiful representation of a Dickensian Bildungsroman. 


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A Single Man: A Novel (Picador Modern Classics) By Christopher Isherwood Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374533878
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 11th, 2013

Equal parts tender, erotic, and devastating but worth the quick read.


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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) By Donna Tartt Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781400031702
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - April 13th, 2004

A perfect novel. That's all.