Cole

Cole gravitates toward the weird, liminal, and mythical with a smattering of fantasy or sci-fi mixed in. He reads lots of short stories, and he's got a soft spot for monster stories - especially sea monsters! 

 

 

 

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The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality By Amanda Montell Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668007976
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Atria/One Signal Publishers - April 9th, 2024

Drawing on her past works, Amanda Montell is able to condense nearly all of our cognitive shortcomings into several essays. The gist? Humans have evolved to be great overanalyzers but—since we’re no longer hunting for prey in the wilderness—most of our cognitive biases now hinder our days instead of help them. Reading her books is like chatting with a friend who happens to be a genius; there’s personal anecdotes intertwined with history and science, and each claim is subsequently backed up by cited research (rather than “I saw it on TikTok”). 
If you or anyone you love has ever called a celebrity “Mother,” this is required reading. 

 


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We Loved It All: A Memory of Life By Lydia Millet Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781324073659
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2024

Millet is able to view the world for all its nonsensical exuberance, beauty, and intricacies, and makes you realize just how fantastic our planet is. Her curiosity is immeasurable and the way she links motherhood, climate change, and her love of the natural world is breathtaking. If you speak to plants and animals like an equal other - read this book. If you are confused and saddened by the loss of our planet's biodiversity - read this book. If you are looking for a light in the dark - read this book. 


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Land of Milk and Honey: A Novel By C Pam Zhang Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593538241
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 26th, 2023

 

Exceptional. Never before have I read anything so strikingly and sumptuous.

A smog eliminates 98% of earth's biodiversity, and our narrator finds herself in hire of an enigmatic billionaire building a new Eden, quite literally, above it all. 

This story is delicately layered; notes harmonizing and amplifying, becoming something far more satisfying than the sum of its parts. Each chapter, each page, is poetic and impactful. 

Reminds me of “Never Let Me Go,” “Station Eleven,” and “Rouge.” 


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The Book of Love: A Novel By Kelly Link Cover Image
$31.00
ISBN: 9780812996586
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Random House - February 13th, 2024

Kelly Link absolutely smashing it out of the park with her first novel. The town of Lovesend is just like any other small coastal town: brimming with uncanny weirdness and hungry, old gods who dress in alligator skin boots and neon tracksuits. Gut-wrenching loss coupled with heart-tugging depictions of all forms of love had me cheering for the success of each and every loveable weirdo in this tale. 


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North Woods: A Novel By Daniel Mason Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593597033
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Random House - September 19th, 2023


If you've ever inhabited a space and wondered about the lives of those that came before, this is the book for you. An eerie and absolutely captivating look at the lives of many generations of creatures, human and otherwise, that inhabit a small patch of woods in New England. This story is reminiscent of both Cloud Atlas and East of Eden, and has all the makings of a classic. It is a meditative masterpiece, perfect for any season.


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Okpsyche By Anya Johanna Deniro Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781618732088
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Small Beer Press - September 12th, 2023

A tense, sparkling novel about a trans mother set in an uncomfortably close soft-apocalypse. Out of the spotlight (and occasionally illuminated): reality blips, secret societies intervening on behalf of trans people across the globe, environmental disasters outsourced to the Midwest. This novel is equal parts hurt and beauty.


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The Beast You Are: Stories By Paul Tremblay Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063069961
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow - July 11th, 2023

This is an interesting read - it’s not quite horror, not quite literary fantasy, not quite science fiction. However, it is fun!

There are a few short vignettes, some spine-tingling monster madness, and an interesting long-form epic poem about the intertwined fates of a dog, a cat, a village, and a beast.


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Elder Race By Adrian Tchaikovsky Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250768728
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Tordotcom - November 16th, 2021

Short and wonderful.

This book sits just over 200 pages, but has more story-per-chapter than books thrice it's size. A dual POV story that flips entertainingly between hard sci-fi, and hard fantasy is a hard thing to accomplish for any author, made more impressive by it's single sitting size. It tackles themes of depression, loss of community, and the challenges of communication, all without straying from the story.

Tchaikovsky has several novellas, and this is a great entry into his shorter works. 


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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Vintage International) By Patrick Suskind Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375725845
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Vintage - February 13th, 2001

Equal parts engrossing, vile, and beautiful. A perfect mashup of horror, thriller, and literary masterpiece centered around a psychopathic perfumer on a journey to create the most perfect smell. This book is grimy and sinister, yet remains reflective and perfectly balanced - just like a well- made perfume. 


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Bunny: A Novel By Mona Awad Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525559757
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Penguin Books - June 9th, 2020

Bubblegum pink horror. Cuddly, soft bunnies with dead eyes and sharp fangs. Too long group hugs, too much pink tulle, too much hate tucked behind every word of affirmation. Every character in this novel is unhinged and unabashed. 

I loved it!


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The Library at Mount Char: A Novel By Scott Hawkins Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553418620
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Crown - March 15th, 2016

Genuinely such a wild ride. Never before had I been equally as confused as I was entertained by a novel.

This book is the perfect introduction to "the weird” and is a fresh take on the 'group of special people living in a house together' subgenre. Part fantasy, part crime thriller, part humor, with a splash of lighthearted romance and mythological elements all dumped into a blender and blitzed beyond recognition. I read this in one sitting and loved every minute of it.

 


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Piranesi By Susanna Clarke Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781635577808
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 28th, 2021

Mystical, mythical, masterful - this very well might be my favorite read published in the last few decades.

Incredibly satisfying and deeply captivating with such a unique setting that is as much a character as any other. It is genuinely a wonderful book.


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Stories of Your Life and Others By Ted Chiang Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781101972120
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Vintage - June 14th, 2016

Amazing.

One of the best collections of short stories I have read across any genre, and by far my favorite in the sci-fi genre. Don't let the genre tag dissuade you, this is highly accessible and exciting without being bogged down by hard science. It’s philosophical and intriguing, with themes of religion and ascendance tying it all together.

Both collections by Ted Chiang are extraordinary, and this is easily one of my favorite reads from the past few years.


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People from My Neighborhood: Stories By Hiromi Kawakami, Ted Goossen (Translated by) Cover Image
By Hiromi Kawakami, Ted Goossen (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781593767112
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Soft Skull - November 30th, 2021

Surreal and perfectly human. 

6 small stories that highlight and celebrate all the strange intricacies surrounding the interactions we have in our communities – good and bad.

 


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Mrs. Caliban By Rachel Ingalls, Rivka Galchen (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Rachel Ingalls, Rivka Galchen (Introduction by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811226691
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: New Directions - November 28th, 2017

I love this book!!

On the surface, this is a mashup of a pulpy B-movie and a lighthearted, goofy love story. Underneath, there is so much more: this novella effortlessly describes the pain of love and the hoops we jump through to form meaningful connections.


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The Forgotten Beasts of Eld By Patricia A. McKillip, Gail Carriger (Preface by) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616962777
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Tachyon Publications - September 19th, 2017

Such a special book.

A classic in the genre, this book tells the story of Sybel, the daughter of a powerful mage who grows up alongside a menagerie of mythical beasts. We've got all the classics: a golden-eyed black swan, a boar who knows "all riddles but one," an ancient lion, a treasure-loving dragon, a panther that practices witchcraft, a wise old falcon, and... a black mist with five floating eyes described as the incarnation of the fear men die of??? Like I said, the classics.

Aside from the beasts, this is one of the greatest pure fantasy books of all time. It's rich, comforting, and full of descriptions reminiscent of an old tapestry in the firelight. You catch glimpses of the story through the flash of the fire as shadows dance across the pages. 


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Stranger Things Happen: Stories By Kelly Link Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781931520003
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Small Beer Press - July 1st, 2001

Bizarrely beautiful. The most intriguing and thought-provoking collection I’ve come across; Kelly Link reminds me of Ray Bradbury with her mastery of the slow-burn oddity. 


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Between Two Fires By Christopher Buehlman Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9798662731349
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Independently Published - October 2nd, 2012

Biblically accurate and horrifying depictions of Heaven, Hell, and everything in between. 

A medieval, darkly religious, creepy, demon-haunted world with grungy, flawed characters. The story employs some well-worn archetypes: the disgraced knight, the drunken priest, and the savior child. Though the tropes are worn, they are worn smooth and fit comfortably among the jagged backdrop of a plague-battered 14th century. 

A bleak and harrowing journey with a deeply satisfying ending, punctuated with some really unnerving scenes that will sit with me forever. 


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The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World By Michael Pollan Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780375760396
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 28th, 2002

A mind-altering book.

This is my favorite non-fiction, so much so that I gift it to anyone with even a remote interest in plants, humans, or good writing. This book changed how I view the world, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. 


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The Buried Giant (Vintage International) By Kazuo Ishiguro Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307455796
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Vintage - January 5th, 2016

A mysterious, reflective Arturian fable about the power of time and memory, and what happens when we lose both.

Everything that Kazuo Ishiguro has written is worth reading, but this is a standout to me. A slowly burning, emotional spin on the old knight's tale where the details are doled out bit-by-bit to keep you curious at every step.

At its core, this book is a sad adult fairytale. 


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Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism By Amanda Montell Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780062993151
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Harper - June 15th, 2021

Fascinating & Freaky! 

Written by a linguist, this book dives into the phrasing used by cults both behind the scenes and upfront. For better or worse, you'll be hyper-aware of word choices on social media campaigns and ads we see daily. Yes, Peloton is a cult! I knew it! 


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Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language By Amanda Montell Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062868886
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - June 2nd, 2020

Amanda Montell is so talented. I love when a book is equally as infuriating as it is illuminating. This book looks at language, and how it shaped the minds of those that speak it. Learn how & why most women are great communicators, why gossip is great, the power of "y'all," and how we can all learn how to speak more gooder for the benefit of our shared future. 


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The Honey Month By Amal El-Mohtar Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781907881008
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Papaveria Press - August 5th, 2010

Mesmerizing! 

From the poet and co-author of "This Is How You Lose The Time War", this is a collection of tantalizing poems and flash fictions that are inspired by El-Mohtar's tasting of 28 unique honeys gifted to her by a beekeeper friend. It is part food writing, poetry, art book, and fantasy, and remains one of the most interesting things I have ever read. 


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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1) By Dan Simmons Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399178610
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: Del Rey - August 15th, 2017

 Canterbury Tales in space, plus much more!

This book is mythical and lush, and is absolutely one of the most memorable series of stories of all time. 7 people and their distinctly differently styled stories that are all pulled - inevitably – toward a shared end.

I am genuinely shocked this hasn’t been made into a 7 episode miniseries, because it has all the cinematic makings of one.


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The Navigating Fox By Christopher Rowe Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250804501
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Tordotcom - September 26th, 2023

A masterclass in world-building; each detail is doled out just enough to keep you on your toes. Talking animals demolishing bureaucracy journeying to the literal gates of hell? I'm in! This reminds me so much of a Ghibli movie. 


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The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781536223361
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Candlewick - July 11th, 2023

An odd little adventure! Reminds me of "Over the Garden Wall." Gorgeous illustrations. For those that find comfort in the spooky. 


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Ten-Word Tiny Tales: To Inspire and Unsettle (Ten Word Tiny Tales) By Joseph Coelho, Various (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Joseph Coelho, Various (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781536231359
Availability: Available - On our shelves now
Published: Candlewick - September 12th, 2023

 A pleasantly creepy collection of micro-stories that will ignite & inspire anyone's imagination. Here's my favorite: "The fisherman's catch is full of astronaut suits and skeletons." 


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Titus Groan By Mervyn Peake, Anthony Burgess (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Mervyn Peake, Anthony Burgess (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781585679072
Availability: Available to order - Usually arrives at our store in 1-5 days
Published: The Overlook Press - June 26th, 2007

A forgotten classic from 1946 - absolutely overflowing with atmosphere, and gorgeously gregarious in its descriptions of setting & character. I love stories where the space is just as much of a character as any other, and this book checks that box 100 times over.  Part Dickens, Tim Burton, with a splash of Tolkein. Genuinely, a spectacular book.