Staff Picks (List)

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A Light Most Hateful

Hailey Piper

Three years after running away from home, Olivia is stuck with a dead-end job in nowhere town Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania. At least she has her best friend, Sunflower.

Olivia figures she’ll die in Chapel Hill, if not from boredom, then the summer night storm which crashes into town with a mind-bending monster in tow.

If Olivia’s going to escape Chapel Hill and someday reconcile with her parents, she’ll need to dodge residents enslaved by the storm’s otherworldly powers and find Sunflower.

But as the night strains friendships and reality itself, Olivia suspects the storm, and its monster, may have its eyes on Sunflower and everything she loves.

Including Olivia.

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Vampire Weekend

Mike Chen

Being a vampire is far from glamorous...but it can be pretty punk rock.

Everything you've heard about vampires is a lie. They can't fly. No murders allowed (the community hates that). And turning into a bat? Completely ridiculous. In fact, vampire life is really just a lot of blood bags and night jobs. For Louise Chao, it's also lonely, since she swore off family ages ago.

At least she's gone to decades of punk rock shows. And if she can join a band of her own (while keeping her...situation under wraps), maybe she'll finally feel like she belongs, too.

Then a long-lost teenage relative shows up at her door. Whether it's Ian's love of music or his bad attitude, for the first time in ages, Louise feels a connection.

But as Ian uncovers Louise's true identity, things get dangerous--especially when he asks her for the ultimate favor. One that goes beyond just family...one that might just change everything vampires know about life and death forever.
 

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The Madman's Gallery

Edward Brooke-Hitching

Brought to light from the depths of libraries, museums, dealers, and galleries around the world, these forgotten artistic treasures include portraits of oddballs such as the British explorer with a penchant for riding crocodiles, and the Italian monk who levitated so often he's recognized as the patron saint of airplane passengers. Discover impossible medieval land yachts, floating churches, and eagle-powered airships. Encounter dog-headed holy men, armies of German giants, 18th-century stuntmen, human chessboards, screaming ghost heads, and more marvels of the human imagination. A captivating odditorium of obscure and engaging characters and works, each expertly brought to life by historian and curator of the strange Edward Brooke-Hitching, here is a richly illustrated and entertaining gallery for lovers of outré art and history.

A GLOBAL SURVEY: Here are European painters who used ground up Egyptian mummies as pigment, examples of the antique Japanese art of Gyotaku (fish stone rubbings) using dried fish as printing plates, a Parisian art hoax featuring paintings actually created by a chimpanzee, and much more.

ODDITIES ABOUND: Depictions of the demon worms believed to cause toothaches carved into human molars: Check. A nude version of the Mona Lisa painted by the "bad boy" apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci: Here it is. The most admiring portrait of a cannibal likely ever produced: Presented in full color.

EXPERT AUTHOR: Edward Brooke-Hitching is a master of taking visually driven deep dives into unusual historical subjects, such as the maps of imaginary geography in The Phantom Atlas or ancient pathways through the stars in The Sky Atlas, imaginative depictions of heavens, hells, and afterworlds in The Devil's Atlas, and the strangest books imaginable in The Madman's Library.

Perfect for:

  • Fans of beautifully illustrated works, art history, and unusual world atlas collections
  • Readers of quirky history such as Schott's Miscellany, Atlas Obscura, and the wildly popular QI series (for which the author is a writer and researcher)
  • Gift for a graduate, teacher, or student of world history, art history, library science, archeology, sociology, or any discipline engaged in the exploration of curiosities and human nature
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Out There Screaming

Jordan Peele

A cop begins seeing huge, blinking eyes where the headlights of cars should be that tell him who to pull over. Two freedom riders take a bus ride that leaves them stranded on a lonely road in Alabama where several unsettling somethings await them. A young girl dives into the depths of the Earth in search of the demon that killed her parents. These are just a few of the worlds of Out There Screaming, Jordan Peele’s anthology of all-new horror stories by Black writers. Featuring an introduction by Peele and an all-star roster of beloved writers and new voices, Out There Screaming is a master class in horror, and—like his spine-chilling films—its stories prey on everything we think we know about our world . . . and redefine what it means to be afraid.
 
Featuring stories by: Erin E. Adams, Violet Allen, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Maurice Broaddus, Chesya Burke, P. Djèlí Clark, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, N. K. Jemisin, Justin C. Key, L. D. Lewis, Nnedi Okorafor, Tochi Onyebuchi, Rebecca Roanhorse, Nicole D. Sconiers, Rion Amilcar Scott, Terence Taylor, and Cadwell Turnbull.

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Dolls of Our Lives

Mary Mahoney

Which American Girl are you?

Are you a Molly (a patriotic overachiever with a flair for drama)? Felicity (the original horse girl)? Kirsten (a cottagecore fan who seems immune to cholera), Samantha (a savior complex in a sailor suit), or Josefina (who dealt with grief by befriending a baby goat)? Have you ever wondered how Britney Spears or Michelle Kwan would answer that question? And why do we care so much which girl we are?

Combining history, travelogue, and memoir, Dolls of Our Lives follows Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney on an unforgettable journey to the past as they delve into the origins of this iconic brand. Continuing the conversations that began on their podcast, they set out to answer the lingering questions that keep them up at night. What did American Girl inventor Pleasant Rowland hope to say to children with these dolls? Was girl power something that could be ordered from a catalogue, described by a magazine, or modeled in the plot lines of books? And how - and why - did this brand shape an entire generation?

Through interviews with a legion of devoted doll lovers, a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg, a place that inspired Pleasant to create American Girl, and an exploration of their own (complicated) fandom, this is a deep dive into one of the 90s most coveted products - the American Girl doll.

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How to ADHD

Jessica McCabe

Forget “try harder.” When your brain works differently, you need to try different.
 
Diagnosed with ADHD at age twelve, Jessica struggled with a brain that she didn’t understand. She lost things constantly, couldn’t finish projects, and felt like she was putting more effort in than everyone around her while falling further and further behind. At thirty-two years old—broke, divorced, and living with her mom—Jessica decided to look more deeply into her ADHD challenges. She reached out to experts, devoured articles, and shared her discoveries on YouTube.
 
In How to ADHD, Jessica reveals the tools that have changed her life while offering an unflinching look at the realities of living with ADHD. The key to navigating a world not built for the neurodivergent brain, she discovered, isn’t to fix or fight against its natural tendencies but to understand and work with them. She explains how ADHD affects everyday life, covering executive function impairments, rejection sensitivity, difficulties with attention regulation, and more. You’ll also find ADHD-specific strategies for adapting your environment, routines, and systems, including:
 
• Boost the signal and decrease the noise. Facilitate focus by putting your goals where you can see them and fighting distractions with distractions.
• Have less stuff to manage. Learn why you have trouble planning and prioritizing, and why doing more starts with doing less.
• Build your “time wisdom.” Work backward when you plan, and track how long it actually takes you to do something.
• Learn about your emotions. Understand how naming your emotions and letting yourself experience them can make them easier to regulate.
 
With quotes from Jessica’s online community, chapter summaries, and reading shortcuts designed for the neurodivergent reader, How to ADHD will help you recognize your strengths and challenges, tackle “bad brain days,” and be kinder to yourself in the process.

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Meadow Falls

Carolyn Brown

Angela Marie has spent all of her thirty-five years on Meadow Falls, the farm that's been in her Texas family for generations. It wasn't her plan. It was an obligation. Now that her parents-less loving kin than strangers-have passed, the whole shebang belongs to Angela. And a legacy she never wanted is hers to uphold.

She can't forsake it now. Her beloved nanny, Mandy, who was always more of a mother, needs a caregiver herself. And Mandy's great-granddaughter, as close to Angela as a sister, has returned to roost. When a handsome veteran arrives seeking work as a farmhand, Angela thinks the future might not be half-bad after all.

But it's the past that proves enlightening. Mandy is revealing secrets Angela never knew about her parents. As the clouds on her family history begin to part, the inheritance feels more like a precious gift, and Meadow Falls more like the home Angela's been looking for her whole life.

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California Bear

Duane Swierczynski

Jack Queen has been exonerated and freed from prison thanks to retired LAPD officer Cato Hightower. But when guilt gnaws at Jack, he admits: "I actually did it." To which Hightower responds: "Yeah, no kidding." You see, the ex-cop has a special job in mind for the ex-con.

THE GIRL DETECTIVE: Fifteen-year-old Matilda Finnerty has been handed a potential death sentence in the form of a leukemia diagnosis. But that's not going to stop her from tackling the most important mystery of her life: Is her father guilty of murder?

GENE JEANIE: Jeanie Hightower mends family trees for a living, but the genealogist is unable to repair her own marriage. And her soon-to-be ex may have entangled her in a scheme that has drawn the bloody wrath of...

THE BEAR: A prolific serial killer who disappeared forty years ago, who is only now emerging from hibernation when the conditions are just right. And this time, the California Bear is not content to hunt in the shadows...

From two-time Edgar nominee Duane Swierczynski, California Bear is clever, moving, and surprising as it takes aim at the true crime industry, Hollywood, justice, and the killers inside us all.

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Where the Dead Sleep

Joshua Moehling

Bill Sanderson--former high school quarterback, husband to Carrie, one-time husband to Sheri, used car salesman, lover of easy money--had a plan. Now, it's Labor Day weekend and Bill's dead in his bed. An early morning call brings Deputy Ben Packard to the scene of a home invasion.

Everyone Packard talks to has a story about Bill, but no one has a clear motive for wanting him dead. The business partner. The ex-wife. The current wife. The high-stakes poker buddies. Any of them--or none of them--could be guilty.

As the investigation begins, tragedy strikes the Sheriff's department, forcing Packard to make a difficult choice about his future: step down as acting Sheriff and pursue the quiet life he came to Sandy Lake in search of, or subject himself to the scrutiny of an election for the full-time role of Sheriff, a job he's not sure he wants.

There's a hidden history to Sandy Lake that Packard, ever the outsider, can't see. Bad blood and old secrets run deep. But an attempt on Packard's life means he's getting uncomfortably close to the dangerous legacy of the quiet Minnesota town. And someone will do anything to keep it hidden.

 

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A Step Past Darkness

Vera Kurian

There's something sinister under the surface of the idyllic, suburban town of Wesley Falls, and it's not just the abandoned coal mine that lies beneath it. The summer of 1995 kicks off with a party in the mine where six high school students witness a horrifying crime that changes the course of their lives.

The six couldn't be more different.
Maddy, a devout member of the local megachurch, Kelly, the bookworm next door, James, a cynical burnout, Casey, a loveable football player, Padma, the shy straight-A student, and Jia, who's starting to see visions she can't explain.

When they realize that they can't trust anyone but each other, they begin to investigate what happened on their own. As tensions escalate in town to a breaking point, the six make a vow of silence, bury all their evidence, and promise to never contact each other again. Their plan works - almost.

Twenty years later, Jia calls them all back to Wesley Falls--Maddy has been murdered, and they are the only ones who can uncover why. But to end things, they have to return to the mine one last time.

 

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Always Remember

Mary Balogh

Left unable to walk by a childhood illness, Lady Jennifer, sister of the Duke of Wilby, has grown up to make a happy place for herself in society. Outgoing and cheerful, she has many friends and enjoys the pleasures of high society—even if she cannot dance at balls or stroll in Hyde Park. She is blessed with a large, loving, and protective family. But she secretly dreams of marriage and children, and of walking—and dancing.

When Ben Ellis comes across Lady Jennifer as she struggles to walk with the aid of primitive crutches, he instantly understands her yearning. He is a fixer. It is often said of him that he never saw a practical problem he did not have to solve. He wants to help her discover independence and motion—driving a carriage, swimming, even walking a different way. But he must be careful. He is the bastard son of the late Earl of Stratton. Though he was raised with the earl’s family, he knows he does not really belong in the world of the ton.

Jennifer is shocked—and intrigued—by Ben’s ideas, and both families are alarmed by the growing friendship and perhaps more that they sense developing between the two. A duke’s sister certainly cannot marry the bastard son of an earl. Except sometimes, love can find a way.

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The Ghost Orchid

Jonathan Kellerman

LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis sees it all the time: Reinvention’s a way of life in a city fueled by fantasy. But try as you might to erase the person you once were, there are those who will never forget the past . . . and who can still find you.

A pool boy enters a secluded Bel Air property and discovers two bodies floating in the bright blue water: Gio Aggiunta, the playboy heir to an Italian shoe empire, and a gorgeous, even wealthier neighbor named Meagin March. A married neighbor.

An illicit affair stoking rage is a perfect motive. But a “double” in this neighborhood of gated estates isn’t something you see every day. The house is untouched. No forced entry, no forensic evidence. The case has “that feeling,” and when that happens, Milo turns to his friend, the brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware.

As Milo and Alex investigate both victims, they discover two troubled pasts. And as they dig deeper, Meagin March’s very identity begins to blur. Who was this glamorous but conflicted woman? Did her past catch up to her? Or did Gio’s family connections create a threat spanning two continents?

Chasing down the answers leads Alex and Milo on an exploration of L.A.’s darkest side as they contend with one of the most shocking cases of their careers and learn that that some secrets are best left buried in the past.

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The Sign of Four Spirits

Vicki Delany

When a psychic fair arrives in West London, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, wants nothing to do with it. But somehow, at the urging of Donald Morris, an enthusiastic Sherlockian, she finds herself talked into attending a séance, along with baker and best friend Jayne Wilson, store assistant, Ashleigh, and former pop star Bunny Leigh.

But to her surprise, Gemma finds herself banned from the séance and shown the door. Curious, she listens in from outside the room. The medium informs a disappointed Donald that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not be able to make it tonight. Then, Gemma hears a voice cut off, a cry for help, a scream. Gemma bursts into the library to see that someone has collapsed on the table--dead. The windows are all locked, and Gemma was guarding the only door. Someone in this room is a murderer. But who?

The game is once again afoot for Gemma Doyle, as she hunts a killer. But, this time, is the killer of flesh and blood or had the medium summoned doom from beyond the veil?

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Womb City

Tlotlo Tsamaase

Nelah seems to have it all: fame, wealth, and a long-awaited daughter growing in a government lab. But, trapped in a loveless marriage to a policeman who uses a microchip to monitor her every move, Nelah’s perfect life is precarious. After a drug-fueled evening culminates in an eerie car accident, Nelah commits a desperate crime and buries the body, daring to hope that she can keep one last secret.

The truth claws its way into Nelah’s life from the grave. 

As the ghost of her victim viciously hunts down the people Nelah holds dear, she is thrust into a race against the clock: in order to save any of her remaining loved ones, Nelah must unravel the political conspiracy her victim was on the verge of exposing—or risk losing everyone. 

Set in a cruel futuristic surveillance state where bodies are a government-issued resource, this harrowing story is a twisty, nail-biting commentary on power, monstrosity, and bodily autonomy. In sickeningly evocative prose, Womb City interrogates how patriarchy pits women against each other as unwitting collaborators in their own oppression. In this devastatingly timely debut novel, acclaimed short fiction writer Tlotlo Tsamaase brings a searing intelligence and Botswana’s cultural sensibility to the question: just how far must a woman go to bring the whole system crashing down?

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Exordia

Seth Dickinson

Anna, I came to Earth tracking a very old story, a story that goes back to the dawn of time. It’s very unlikely that you’ll die right now. It wouldn’t be narratively complete.

Anna Sinjari—refugee, survivor of genocide, disaffected office worker—has a close encounter that reveals universe-threatening stakes. Enter Ssrin, a many-headed serpent alien who is on the run from her own past. Ssrin and Anna are inexorably, dangerously drawn to each other, and their contact reveals universe-threatening stakes.

While humanity reels from disaster, Anna must join a small team of civilians, soldiers, and scientists to investigate a mysterious broadcast and unknowable horror. If they can manage to face their own demons, they just might save the world.

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American Black Widow

Gregg Olsen

Colorado, 1976. When Reverend Mike Fuller and his beautiful wife Sharon arrive in the sleepy town of Rocky Ford, local residents think something's off about the new couple. The God-fearing minister is gruff and cold, while charismatic Sharon has her husband wrapped around her finger.

It isn't long before Sharon is charming her husband's congregation, and finds herself in a tryst with local, married optometrist Perry Nelson. After the affair ends both their marriages, Sharon and Perry tie the knot. But shortly afterwards, Perry disappears. When his body is shockingly discovered the bottom of a canyon, his death is ruled an accident, allowing grieving widow Sharon to claim his substantial life insurance.

Trying to move on from the tragedy, Sharon soon remarries fireman Glenn Harrelson. But when the charred remains of Glenn's body are discovered with two bullet holes in his skull, the police can't help but question if both men dying in such mysterious circumstances is one coincidence too many.

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The Divine Proverb of Streusel

Sara Brunsvold

Shaken by her parents' divorce and discouraged by the growing chasm between herself and her serious boyfriend, Nikki Werner seeks solace at her uncle's farm in a small Missouri hamlet. She'll spend the summer there, picking up the pieces of her shattered present so she can plan a better future. But what awaits her at the ancestral farm is a past she barely knows.

Among her late grandmother's belongings, Nikki finds an old notebook filled with handwritten German recipes and wise sayings pulled from the book of Proverbs. With each recipe she makes, she invites locals to the family table to hear their stories about the town's history, her ancestors--and her estranged father.

What started as a cathartic way to connect to her heritage soon becomes the means through which she learns how the women before her endured--with the help of their cooking prowess. Nikki realizes how delicious streusel with a healthy dollop of faith can serve as a guide to heal wounds of the past.

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Goodbye Girl

James Grippando

A contentious intellectual piracy case leads to an unsolved murder, and Jack Swyteck's client--a pop music icon--is the accused killer.

Piracy costs the movie and music industry billions. No one has been able to stop it. But that won't stop Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck. His latest client, Imani Nichols, is a Grammy-winning popstar whose career has skyrocketed. Despite her success, she's the most underpaid superstar on the planet because of an onerous record contract she signed as a teenager with her now ex-husband Shaky Nichols, who has made himself rich off her royalties.

Preferring to see thieves profit from her music than let her ex-husband pocket one more dime, Imani takes to social media and tells her millions of fans to "go pirate" and download her music illegally. Her hardball tactic leads to scorched-earth litigation, and now she needs Jack's help.

The case takes a deadly turn when salacious allegations of infidelity send Imani and Shaky down a path of mutual assured destruction, each implicating the other in the unsolved murder of Imani's extra-marital lover twelve years ago. Tyler McCormick died of asphyxiation, and his body was found in Biscayne Bay, chained to a piling with the words "goodbye girl" impressed on his chest. Despite their fierce denials, Imani and Shakey are both indicted for murder, leading to a sensational trial that exposes shocking secrets about their failed marriage, their cut-throat business partnership, and Imani's astonishing success.

Yet as Jack discovers, uncovering the truth about the killing and the cryptic "goodbye girl" won't just exonerate or convict his client, her ex, and their music empire. It may shape the future of the entire recording industry.

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The Clinic

Cate Quinn

From the critically acclaimed author of Black Widows comes a thriller set in a remote rehab clinic on the Pacific Northwest coast, in which the death of a woman inside prompts her sister to enter the clinic as a patient in order to find the truth. Perfect for fans of Stacy Willingham and Tarryn Fisher!

Meg works for a casino in LA, catching cheaters and popping a few too many pain pills to cope, following a far different path than her sister Haley, a famous actress. But suddenly reports surface of Haley dying at the remote rehab facility where she had been forced to go to get her addictions under control.

There are whispers of suicide, but Meg can't believe it. She decides that the best way to find out what happened to her sister is to check in herself - to investigate what really happened from the inside.

Battling her own addictions and figuring out the truth will be much more difficult than she imagined, far away from friends, family - and anyone who could help her.

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Only If You're Lucky

Stacy Willingham

Lucy Sharpe is larger than life. Magnetic, addictive. Bold and dangerous. Especially for Margot, who meets Lucy at the end of their freshman year at a liberal arts college in South Carolina. Margot is the shy one, the careful one, always the sidekick and never the center of attention. But when Lucy singles her out at the end of the year, a year Margot spent studying and playing it safe, and asks her to room together, something in Margot can't say no—something daring, or starved, or maybe even envious.

And so Margot finds herself living in an off-campus house with three other girls, Lucy, the ringleader; Sloane, the sarcastic one; and Nicole, the nice one, the three of them opposites but also deeply intertwined. It's a year that finds Margot finally coming out of the shell she's been in since the end of high school, when her best friend Eliza died three weeks after graduation. Margot and Lucy have become the closest of friends, but by the middle of their sophomore year, one of the fraternity boys from the house next door has been brutally murdered... and Lucy Sharpe is missing without a trace.

From the author of A Flicker in the Dark and All the Dangerous Things comes a tantalizing thriller about the nature of friendship and belonging, about loyalty, envy, and betrayal—another gripping novel from an author quickly becoming the gold standard in psychological suspense.

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A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens

Raul Palma

Hugo Contreras’s world in Miami has shrunk. Since his wife died, Hugo’s debt from her medical bills has become insurmountable. He shuffles between his efficiency apartment, La Carreta (his favorite place for a cafecito), and a botanica in a strip mall where he works as the resident babaláwo.
 
One day, Hugo’s nemesis calls. Alexi Ramirez is a debt collector who has been hounding Hugo for years, and Hugo assumes this call is just more of the same. Except this time Alexi is calling because he needs spiritual help. His house is haunted. Alexi proposes a deal: If Hugo can successfully cleanse his home before Noche Buena, Alexi will forgive Hugo’s debt. Hugo reluctantly accepts, but there’s one issue: Despite being a babaláwo, he doesn’t believe in spirits.
 
Hugo plans to do what he’s done with dozens of clients before: use sleight of hand and amateur psychology to convince Alexi the spirits have departed. But when the job turns out to be more than Hugo bargained for, Hugo’s old tricks don’t work. Memories of his past—his childhood in the Bolivian silver mines and a fraught crossing into the United States as a boy—collide with Alexi’s demons in an explosive climax.
 
Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens explores questions of visibility, migration, and what we owe—to ourselves, our families, and our histories.

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The Liberators

E. J. Koh

Daejeon, South Korea. 1980. At twenty-four, Insuk falls in love with her college classmate, Sungho, and with her father's blessing, they marry. But then, as the military dictatorship, martial law, and nationwide protests bring the country precariously to the edge, Insuk's father disappears.

In the wake of his disappearance, Insuk flees to California with Sungho, their son Henry, and Sungho's overbearing mother. Adrift in a new country, Insuk grieves the loss of her past and divided homeland, only to find herself drawn into an illicit affair that sets into motion dramatic events that will echo for generations to come.

Spanning two continents and four generations, E. J. Koh's debut novel exquisitely captures two Korean families forever changed by fateful decisions made in love and war. Extraordinarily beautiful and deeply moving, The Liberators is an elegantly wrought family saga of memory, trauma, and empathy, and a stunning testament to the consequences and fortunes of inheritance.

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Day

Michael Cunningham

April 5, 2019: In a cozy brownstone in Brooklyn, the veneer of domestic bliss is beginning to crack. Dan and Isabel, husband and wife, are slowly drifting apart—and both, it seems, are a little bit in love with Isabel’s younger brother, Robbie. Robbie, wayward soul of the family, who still lives in the attic loft; Robbie, who, trying to get over his most recent boyfriend, is living vicariously through a glamorous avatar online; Robbie, who now has to move out of the house—and whose departure threatens to break the family apart. And then there is Nathan, age ten, taking his first uncertain steps toward independence, while his sister, Violet, five, does her best not to notice the growing rift between her parents.

April 5, 2020: As the world goes into lockdown, the cozy brownstone is starting to feel more like a prison. Violet is terrified of leaving the windows open, obsessed with keeping her family safe. Isabel and Dan communicate mostly in veiled sleights and frustrated sighs. And dear Robbie is stranded in Iceland, alone in a mountain cabin with nothing but his thoughts—and his secret Instagram life—for company.

April 5, 2021: Emerging from the worst of the crisis, the family reckons with a new, very different reality—and with what they’ve learned, what they’ve lost, and how they might go on.

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The Good Part

Sophie Cousens

Is living the life you’ve wished for really a dream come true?

Lucy Young is twenty-six and tired. Tired of fetching coffees for senior TV producers, sick of going on disastrous dates, and done with living in a damp flat with roommates who never buy toilet paper. After another disappointing date, Lucy stumbles upon a wishing machine. Pushing a coin into the slot, Lucy closes her eyes and wishes with all her might: Please, let me skip to the good part of my life.

When she wakes the next morning to a handsome man, a ring on her finger, a high-powered job, and two storybook-perfect children, Lucy can’t believe this is real—especially when she looks in the mirror, and staring back is her own fortysomething face. Has she really skipped ahead like she’s always wanted, or has she simply forgotten a huge chunk of her life? As Lucy begins to embrace new relationships and the perks of maturity, she’ll have to ask herself: Can she go back to her previous life, and if so, can she stand to leave the good part behind?

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Monica

Daniel Clowes

Monica is a series of interconnected narratives that collectively tell the life story -- actually, stories -- of its title character. Clowes calls upon a lifetime of inspiration to create the most complex and personal graphic novel of his distinguished career. Rich with visual detail, an impeccable ear for language and dialogue, and thrilling twists, Monica is a multilayered masterpiece in comics form that alludes to many of the genres that have defined the medium -- war, romance, horror, crime, the supernatural, etc. -- but in a mysterious, uncategorizable, and quintessentially Clowesian way that rewards multiple readings.

Five years in the making, Monica marks the apex of creativity from one of the defining voices of the graphic novel boom over the past quarter-century. A new book from Clowes is always a huge event in comics and literary circles; Monica will be the biggest literary event of 2023.

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Black River Orchard

Chuck Wendig

It’s autumn in the town of Harrow, but something besides the season is changing there.

Because in that town there is an orchard, and in that orchard, seven most unusual trees. And from those trees grows a new sort of apple: strange, beautiful, with skin so red it’s nearly black.

Take a bite of one of these apples, and you will desire only to devour another. And another. You will become stronger. More vital. More yourself, you will believe. But then your appetite for the apples and their peculiar gifts will keep growing—and become darker.

This is what happens when the townsfolk discover the secret of the orchard. Soon it seems that everyone is consumed by an obsession with the magic of the apples . . . and what’s the harm, if it is making them all happier, more confident, more powerful?

Even if something else is buried in the orchard besides the seeds of these extraordinary trees: a bloody history whose roots reach back to the very origins of the town.

But now the leaves are falling. The days grow darker. It’s harvest time, and the town will soon reap what it has sown.

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The Dead Take the A Train

Richard Kadrey

Julie is a coked-up, burnt-out thirty-year-old whose only retirement plan is dying early. She’s been trying to establish herself in the NYC magic scene, and she’ll work the most gruesome gigs, exorcize the nastiest demons, and make deals with the cruelest gods to claw her way to the top. But nothing can prepare her for the toughest job yet: when her best friend, Sarah, shows up at her door in need of help. Keeping Sarah safe becomes top priority.

Julie is desperate for a quick fix to break the dead-end grind and save her friend. But her power grab sets off a deadly chain of events that puts Sarah – and the entire world - directly in the path of annihilation.

The first explosive adventure in the Carrion City Duology, The Dead Take the A Train fuses Cassandra Khaw’s cosmic horror and Richard Kadrey’s gritty fantasy into a full-throttle thrill ride straight into New York’s magical underbelly.

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A Haunting on the Hill

Elizabeth Hand

Open the door . . . .

Holly Sherwin has been a struggling playwright for years, but now, after receiving a grant to develop her play Witching Night, she may finally be close to her big break. All she needs is time and space to bring her vision to life. When she stumbles across Hill House on a weekend getaway upstate, she is immediately taken in by the mansion, nearly hidden outside a remote village. It's enormous, old, and ever-so eerie--the perfect place to develop and rehearse her play.

Despite her own hesitations, Holly's girlfriend, Nisa, agrees to join Holly in renting the house for a month, and soon a troupe of actors, each with ghosts of their own, arrive. Yet as they settle in, the house's peculiarities are made known: strange creatures stalk the grounds, disturbing sounds echo throughout the halls, and time itself seems to shift. All too soon, Holly and her friends find themselves at odds not just with one another, but with the house itself. It seems something has been waiting in Hill House all these years, and it no longer intends to walk alone . . .



 

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And Then She Fell

Alicia Elliott

On the surface, Alice is exactly where she thinks she should be: She’s just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Dawn; her charming husband, Steve—a white academic whose area of study is conveniently her own Mohawk culture—is nothing but supportive; and they’ve moved into a new home in a posh Toronto neighborhood. But Alice could not feel like more of an impostor. She isn’t connecting with her daughter, a struggle made even more difficult by the recent loss of her own mother, and every waking moment is spent hiding her despair from Steve and their ever-watchful neighbors, among whom she’s the sole Indigenous resident. Even when she does have a minute to herself, her perpetual self-doubt hinders the one vestige of her old life she has left: her goal of writing a modern retelling of the Haudenosaunee creation story.

Then, as if all that wasn’t enough, strange things start to happen. She finds herself losing bits of time and hearing voices she can’t explain, all while her neighbors’ passive-aggressive behavior begins to morph into something far more threatening. Though Steve assures her this is all in her head, Alice cannot fight the feeling that something is very, very wrong, and that in her creation story lies the key to her and Dawn’s survival.... She just has to finish it before it’s too late.

Told in Alice’s raw and darkly funny voice, And Then She Fell is an urgent and unflinching exploration of inherited trauma, womanhood, denial, and false allyship, which speeds to an unpredictable—and surreal—climax.

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Bloom

Delilah S. Dawson

Rosemary meets Ash at the farmers’ market. Ash—precise, pretty, and practically perfect—sells bars of soap in delicate pastel colors, sprinkle-spackled cupcakes stacked on scalloped stands, beeswax candles, jelly jars of honey, and glossy green plants.
Ro has never felt this way about another woman; with Ash, she wants to be her and have her in equal measure. But as her obsession with Ash consumes her, she may find she’s not the one doing the devouring…
Told in lush, delectable prose, this is a deliciously dark tale of passion taking an unsavory turn...

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Demon Copperhead

Barbara Kingsolver

From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero's unforgettable journey to maturity

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father's good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens' anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can't imagine leaving behind.

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Lessons in Chemistry

Bonnie Garmus

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

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The Exchange

John Grisham

What became of Mitch and Abby McDeere after they exposed the crimes of Memphis law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke and fled the country? The answer is in The Exchange, the riveting sequel to The Firm, the blockbuster thriller that launched the career of America's favorite storyteller. It is now fifteen years later, and Mitch and Abby are living in Manhattan, where Mitch is a partner at the largest law firm in the world. When a mentor in Rome asks him for a favor that will take him far from home, Mitch finds himself at the center of a sinister plot that has worldwide implications--and once again endangers his colleagues, friends, and family. Mitch has become a master at staying one step ahead of his adversaries, but this time there's nowhere to hide.

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The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

James McBride

In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. Chicken Hill was where Moshe and Chona Ludlow lived when Moshe integrated his theater and where Chona ran the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state came looking for a deaf boy to institutionalize him, it was Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe’s theater and the unofficial leader of the Black community on Chicken Hill, who worked together to keep the boy safe.

As these characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us.

Bringing his masterly storytelling skills and his deep faith in humanity to The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, James McBride has written a novel as compassionate as Deacon King Kong and as inventive as The Good Lord Bird.

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I Will Find You

Harlan Coben

Five years ago, an innocent man began a life sentence for murdering his own son. Today he found out his son is still alive.

David Burroughs was once a devoted father to his three-year-old son Matthew, living a dream life just a short drive away from the working-class suburb where he and his wife, Cheryl, first fell in love--until one fateful night when David woke suddenly to discover Matthew had been murdered while David was asleep just down the hall.

Half a decade later, David's been wrongly accused and convicted of the murder, left to serve out his time in a maximum-security prison--a fate which, grieving and wracked with guilt, David didn't have the will to fight. The world has moved on without him. Then Cheryl's younger sister, Rachel, makes a surprise appearance during visiting hours bearing a strange photograph. It's a vacation shot of a bustling amusement park a friend shared with her, and in the background, just barely in frame, is a boy bearing an eerie resemblance to David's son. Even though it can't be, David just knows: Matthew is still alive.

David plans a harrowing escape, determined to achieve the impossible - save his son, clear his own name, and discover the real story of what happened. But with his life on the line and the FBI following his every move, can David evade capture long enough to reveal the shocking truth?

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A Royal Christmas

Melody Carlson

Adelaide Smith is too busy for fairy tales. She's been working hard to put herself through law school and now that the end is in sight, she's determined to stay focused on her goals. Then she receives a letter notifying her that she has been found through a DNA registry to be a direct descendant of King Maximillian V, the ruler of a small Eastern European principality called Montovia. She's understandably skeptical. This is the stuff of cheesy made-for-TV movies, not real life.

Although the pieces of this surprising family puzzle seem too good to be true, curiosity gets the best of her. At the king's invitation, Adelaide embarks on a Christmas break trip that is chock-full of surprises, including a charming village, an opulent palace, family mysteries, royal jealousies, a handsome young member of Parliament-and the chance at a real fairy tale romance with a happily-ever-after ending.

Spend this Christmas with bestselling author Melody Carlson as she whisks you away to a royal holiday you'll never forget!

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The Things We Cannot Say

Kelly Rimmer

In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It's a decision that will alter her destiny...and it's a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina's tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate.

Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents' farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced...and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.

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The Familiar

Leigh Bardugo

In a shabby house, on a shabby street, in the new capital of Madrid, Luzia Cotado uses scraps of magic to get through her days of endless toil as a scullion. But when her scheming mistress discovers the lump of a servant cowering in the kitchen is actually hiding a talent for little miracles, she demands Luzia use those gifts to better the family's social position.

What begins as simple amusement for the bored nobility takes a perilous turn when Luzia garners the notice of Antonio Pérez, the disgraced secretary to Spain's king. Still reeling from the defeat of his armada, the king is desperate for any advantage in the war against England's heretic queen, and Pérez will stop at nothing to regain the king's favor.

Determined to seize this one chance to better her fortunes, Luzia plunges into a world of seers and alchemists, holy men and hucksters, where the lines between magic, science, and fraud are never certain. But as her notoriety grows, so does the danger that her Jewish blood will doom her to the Inquisition's wrath. She will have to use every bit of her wit and will to survive—even if that means enlisting the help of Guillén Santángel, an embittered immortal familiar whose own secrets could prove deadly for them both.

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Wandering Stars

Tommy Orange

Colorado, 1864. Star, a young survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, is brought to the Fort Marion Prison Castle, where he is forced to learn English and practice Christianity by Richard Henry Pratt, an evangelical prison guard who will go on to found the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, an institution dedicated to the eradication of Native history, culture, and identity. A generation later, Star’s son, Charles, is sent to the school, where he is brutalized by the man who was once his father’s jailer. Under Pratt’s harsh treatment, Charles clings to moments he shares with a young fellow student, Opal Viola, as the two envision a future away from the institutional violence that follows their bloodlines.

Oakland, 2018. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield is barely holding her family together after the shooting that nearly took the life of her nephew Orvil. From the moment he awakens in his hospital bed, Orvil begins compulsively googling school shootings on YouTube. He also becomes emotionally reliant on the prescription medications meant to ease his physical trauma. His younger brother, Lony, suffering from PTSD, is struggling to make sense of the carnage he witnessed at the shooting by secretly cutting himself and enacting blood rituals that he hopes will connect him to his Cheyenne heritage. Opal is equally adrift, experimenting with Ceremony and peyote, searching for a way to heal her wounded family.

Tommy Orange once again delivers a story that is piercing in its poetry, sorrow, and rage and is a devastating indictment of America’s war on its own people.

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