Meet Torrin, our Adult Book Buyer and one of our Booksellers. Torrin loves beautiful haunting prose and vivid settings across genres.
Melissa Broder has always been vulnerable in the writing that she has shared with the world, and this may be her most vulnerable work yet. Our main character grapples with depression, grief, caregiving and existential doom all while surviving the dangers of the Death Valley desert.
Readers who have come to love Melissa Broder's wacky and humorous writing, will find that in this novel as well. With a magical cactus portal and personified rocks, this may somehow still be her most somber novel to date. She sets the tone perfectly from the first page.
Sometimes we get lost, and we have to find the strength to find our way back. This is an unforgettable and inspiring novel of survival in many forms.
A tender and soft agony. It's a beautifully written coming of age story about a young Iranian American boy growing up in the 90s. It's about belonging, longing, brotherhood, and overcoming trauma. A glowing debut.
This is Mona Awad’s most assured work yet. As I was reading, I felt completely swept away and unmoored, but I could feel that Mona Awad was in complete control and was taking me where I needed to go. I’d follow her anywhere she dreams up.
This is a novel tackling some daunting topics—grief, beauty culture, delusion, identity, and family trauma. These themes are expertly woven into a thrilling and surreal story following Belle, a woman who doesn’t realize how lost she is until she’s forced to confront her complicated grief and long-buried memories.
Tilt your face towards the sun, close your eyes, press on your eyelids, and let the black and rouge pulsate.
Also, the cover designer got this one perfect.
This book is hilarious, messy, and moving. The balance of humor and trauma is so carefully done. Plus, there are so many cute animals in this book. This book is taking the world by storm, and you can't help but want to chase it to its end.
Kevin Wilson returns with this wonderful coming-of-age story about the power of art, connection, secrets, and friendship. Frankie and Zeke didn’t really mean to cause nationwide panic with an anonymous and ambiguous art piece they created one summer, but it kind of spiraled out of their control. No one besides them knows who is responsible for this artwork, and it’s a secret that threatens to tear them apart as they grow older and the story resurfaces. You’ll have no choice but to keep turning the pages to see how it all unfolds. Kevin Wilson balances humor, heart, and suspense expertly in all of his writing, and after I’ve finished one of his books I feel my faith in humanity restored once more. His books are just so special to me.
Looking Glass Sounds feels like a memory of childhood vacations spent by the sea, hazy and not quite in focus. You can feel the memory, but you can’t articulate it. Catriona Ward takes the reader on a journey into creepy caves and dark depths with this mind bending coming-of-age horror story. I lived for the atmosphere of this book.
I love a book that takes place in the modern world with a slight sci-fi bent. This story is wrapped in reality television shenanigans before it becomes a deceptively powerful meditation on grief, depression, and and the effort it takes to make a life worth living on a dying planet.
This was a wonderful debut. I was wrapped up in the world of the story and all its soft and then hard-hitting moments. This novel is a lightning bolt burned into my vision.
Ripe is red hot, blazing as fast as a comet.
Every sentence keeps the tone in perfect place. This is a novel of workplace and existential dread, paralleled perfectly. I loved all the discussion about space, black holes, quantum physics, universe theories, etc. It’s something that I love to think about in general, and so it was nice to see that written down in a modern book. I’ve actively searched for these concepts in sci-fi, but I haven’t found a book that hits this same way as this one does. Although this was not a dystopian novel, it felt like it—it’s an extremely accurate record of how we are living.
“This vacation would crush us in its grip until the very end.” I've been looking for a beachside book to daze me in the same way that "The Lost Daughter" by Elena Ferrante did, and this novel came very close. I ached with the character and his internal struggles. There's so much to hide at that age.
Maryse Meijer is my favorite short story writer. These stories exist in the horror realm, but are as if they are taking place on the outskirts of the main action, where the everyday horror can come through in subtle ways. I was captivated.
This memoir made me feel like I was a part of a family that I would never be ready to let go of. So many tender moments around family, first relationships, queer identity and the prospects of finding lasting love. I laughed and cried.
This book is Eve Babitz’s masterpiece. Her writing is romantic yet real, and absolutely enchanting. My heart beats faster any time I enter Eve’s world.
Open Throat is a perfect book. This book explores parental neglect, expectations, existentialism, loss, and the climate crisis all told through the throat of a gentle, queer mountain lion. This a new, original and captivating commentary on ellay and modern life. Absolutely brilliant.
I really loved this gentle depiction of men caught up in a violent world. This is a perfect novel for anyone in their 20s feeling adrift. The atmosphere was beautiful, and the relationships between the characters were so perfectly heartfelt. For fans of Sally Rooney and Writers & Lovers, this is a refreshing portrayal of modern masculinity.
Daphne knows she’s self-sabotaging, but she can’t help it. Frequently, she’ll stop her narration to tell us that everything she just said was a lie. This is a literary thriller full of malaise, chaos, mysterious crimes and the daunting dating world.
"We weren't like this when we were little." This line left me feeling chilled. It perfectly captured the terrifying atmosphere conjured in this story. Our characters grappled with changing circumstances, changing bodies, and dangerous desires. The most unsettling aspect of this story was not knowing what these girls were truly capable of. Monica Ojeda had me trapped between her teeth, and I was ready to be crushed.
This novel felt like taking a walk through endless dusk. An attempt to clear your head and catch your breath. A portrait of the drift patterns of two people once consumed by each other.
A cinematic and quietly eerie haunted house story. Nature encroaches. New rooms appear. What you just saw might not be there when you look back over your shoulder.
What if your life’s dream suddenly came true, but you had to share it with the person you’ve tried your best to forget? This eerie and atmospheric novel is full of twists, turns, and toxic female relationships. This writing retreat is anything but relaxing.
Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. Claire Dederer aptly asks questions and ruminates on separating the art from the artist (or monster) from many different angles. I especially loved the exploration of what it means to be a fan and caught up in parasocial relationships. Between clever analysis and examination, there are beautiful moments of memoir and glimpses of life in the Pacific Northwest.
If you were a Tumblr kid, I think you should read this book. These existential millennial-doom-filled stories are pithy, absurd, and completely entertaining.
Hanya's most impressive writing yet was the masterpiece I was terrified to read, and the masterpiece I knew it would be. Hanya startles the reader with an eerie sense of recognition and compassion.
This novel feels like an accomplishment—for Catherine Lacey as an author and for the world the readers live through over the course of this biography. Catherine Lacey convinced me of the reality of X as a mysterious and controversial multi-media artist. The more I read, the less I felt like I even knew who X was, and I was always hoping to find out just a bit more, to have some of my “whys” answered. What I found the most fascinating was the alternate history of the United States and the well-known artists / celebrities that make appearances within this text in fictional forms. Clever, creative, and captivating.
This is a dark literary drama that is perfect for anyone who loves to read about strained family dynamics. I really appreciated the gay coming-of-age aspect to this story and the strong sibling bonds, both things I can really relate to and love to read about. The conversations around mental health were so tenderly explored.
Our Share of Night is a book that feels less like a book and more like some sort of unrecovered memory, some trauma buried deep. The unique format and creative construction conjure a truly expansive and immersive experience. I felt the darkness descend on me mentally and physically while reading it. It’s not a book I’ll be able to forget even if I wanted to. I will hold these characters close to my chest.
Really appreciated the queerness represented in this book as well!!
Basically the California parallel world version of Donna Tartt's The Secret History. This book consumed me. It thrummed with a pulse that accelerated my own. Los Angeles is coping with cults and serial killers, while a cast of privileged high schoolers are dealing with a new and suspicious arrival during their senior year. The illusion of golden youth, this book was perfectly nostalgic. Hot and hazy and hallucinatory.
Tiffany McDaniel has written yet another beautiful, unforgettable, haunting novel. I felt as if I lived alongside these characters--through the changing of the seasons, the disappearances and the deaths, the beautiful and the savage sides of life. These characters, as with every character created by Tiffany McDaniel, will stay with me for a long time.
Nevada is an incredible novel. I fell in love with the protagonist, Maria. She feels like an extremely real character, and she lets you know exactly how it feels to be a trans woman in her world—the good, the bad and the ugly. This book gives insight into the experience before transitioning and after transitioning. I was laughing and learning so much throughout the entire book. Highly recommend.
A twisty, haunting, and atmospheric PNW thriller perfect for fans of The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo. Would you be brave enough to interview a woman accused of murdering her entire family in her cliffside spooky mansion?
From the first sentence, the consuming chaos commences, and it does not relent. Elena Ferrante is a master at immersing her readers into the minds of her characters. I didn’t read this book, I lived this book.
Aesthetica is a book I could not put down or look away from. This novel considers questions of appearances, beauty, fame and internet influencer culture. But it’s much more than that as it dives into consent, grief, regret and strength. The slight speculative element was the perfect addition to this novel. By the end I was moved to tears, which happens so rarely for me.
I fell in love with short stories this year, and it has been a delight. Bliss Montage is the highly anticipated release by Ling Ma after the success of her novel Severance. In this collection, Ling Ma adds a slightly speculative bent to the world we live in, and she completely captured me with her cutting prose and imaginative mind– from a woman sharing her home with all of her 99 ex boyfriends to a drug that can turn you invisible. This collection explores what we all desire–connection. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Motherthing will get under your skin. It’s the perfect book for spooky season. This story will resonate with anyone trying to exorcize emotional damage and start fresh on your own terms.
Julia Armfield is the master of the subtly ominous tone. This collection of short stories made me fall in love with the form. I’ll read anything she writes.
This book is fascinating and obsessive. It made me feel ugly and wonder if I’m actually the problem. For fans of Sally Rooney.
Once again I’ve fallen for Moshfegh’s macabre magic—almost "like a religious conversion.” Moshfegh explores her darkest material yet including the depths of human depravity and the power of religion on the psyche. I was equally mesmerized and horrified.
This book is chilling and incredibly powerful. This will leave you spechless but lost in thought. This is an essay on the harmful colonialism of the British Empire disguised as a beautifully written novel.
All I can say is that Sayaka Murata's mind is extraordinary and fascinating (if slightly terrifying). She weaves universal topics such as loneliness, belonging, and meaning into bizarre and absurd scenarios that, by the end, present a convincing reality . I'll read anything she releases.
This book captured me from the first page. This is a perfectly paced and plotted tale of a woman processing what it means to find herself in adulthood after her children have grown. This book transports you to an Italian coastal town as the layers and events unravel. You’ll want to start from the beginning as soon as you reach the end.
A fever theater dream for lovers of Shakespeare and stores that border the surreal. Miranda Fitch, a theater teacher is struggling with chronic pain and battling a mutiny of students determined to put on their own production. For Miranda, ALL IS NOT WELL, but the show must go on. Equally hilarious and horrifying.
You may know Ashley Flowers from her popular podcast Crime Junkie. On that podcast, Ashley tells true crime stories with so much heart and detail. She brings her wonderful storytelling skillset to her own new novel—full of emotion and surprises.
This book has some of the most gorgeous writing that I have ever encountered. The beauty of the prose softens the blow of the devastating emotions. This is an account of the complexities of what love might look like in a relationship amid some mental health turmoil. How can we do what’s best for our partner while looking out for ourselves too? This book would appeal to fans of A Little Life.
If you've ever wanted to run away from your life, you might want to consider getting a job on a cruise ship and refusing to return home for five years like Ingrid in this book. This book is humorous while also tackling heavy topics like addiction and depression. Claustrophobic and consuming.
This book is breathtaking and atmospheric. I'm captivated by Julia Armfield's creation of tone throughout her books. This one explores the depths of a changing relationship as well as the depths of the literal sea. Beautifully unsettling.
Sally Rooney has a way of writing things that are so ordinary with such beauty. I really appreciate the philosophical musings that she included in this book. It gives it more of a sense of maturity as the four main characters go about their daily lives, figuring out what beauty means to them. So much to think about.
You know those sitcoms that you can watch on repeat from start to finish? The characters start to feel like your friends. Sometimes you wish you could step foot into their world for just a minute. What would happen if you actually tried that? Read this and found out.
Ryan O’Connell has created a novel that has been missing from the publishing industry for too long. This novel follows the story of Elliot, a gay man with cerebral palsy who’s trying to find his way in LA as he navigates an impending life crisis. I loved cheering him on through all of the awkward situations he managed to get himself in. This celebration of modern gay life is hilarious, melancholy, and endearing all at once. For fans of Melissa Broder and Kristen Arnett.
I’m struggling to come up with the right words to describe this book. It’s incredibly dark and intensely intimate—a confession you aren’t sure you want to hear. But it doesn’t ask for your sympathy. This is the first book in years to keep me up all night reading because I needed to know how it ended. And the prose is golden!
Real Life is a remarkably vulnerable story, each sentence more brutal and beautiful than the last. Let yourself sink into and linger in these emotionally charged scenes. Please listen to Wallace’s quiet voice.
Hot Milk is a perfectly hazy and vaguely strange summer read. This book effortlessly captures the confusion of early adulthood--denying and then indulging your desires. Complex character dynamics and beautifully composed sentences.
Taylor Jenkins Reid has done it again. And I'm a little bit convinced that this author is hiding the fact that she might also be a professional tennis player. I felt like I was there with Carrie on the courts surrounded by the anticipation of the crowd. Taylor Jenkins Reid always manages to put her characters through situations where you aren't sure how you want the ending to go. This one was particularly satisfying.
Set inside a tiny MFA writing program in a suspiciously dark and mysterious New England town, Bunny dazzles the reader with beautifully intense prose and observations. Bunny is stuck in my brain forever, and I now have an affinity for group hugs. If you're a fan of the movie Mean Girls but want an element of fantastical horror, this is the perfect book for you, Bunny. Bunny loves this book, and Bunny thinks you will too.
"And meanwhile, the night was old and you were beautiful." No one can write LA the way that Eve Babitz can. She makes even the darkest and dirtiest corners sparkle and shine. I immmediately want to roadtrip to LA anytime I read her books.
This book took me by surprise with its wonderfully woven timelines. It was urgent, compelling, and so satisfying to see the story unfold. The structure of the multiple timelines and POVs were perfectly paced, and even now I don’t think that I could choose a favorite. This book made me thankful for rain and felt like some sort of environmental manifesto. This cinematic story will take you all over the world, through and past the clouds, into deep space. I would recommend this to any fans of The Overstory by Richard Powers.
I'll keep this review short & sweet: this is the perfect beach read for the mentally ill who can laugh at themselves.
This short novel will unsettle you and call you out in ways you weren't expecting. You'll want to know more, but maybe that's not what's best for us, after all.
This book hit my brain in all the right ways: the multiple timelines, discussions of simulation theory, and the tying together some of the threads from Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel. This book covers a lot of ground and at least three centuries of time. I loved getting to spend time on this fictional Moon colony. Her best to date.
Sad girl vampire just wants to be a foodie. This is the modern millennial feminist take on the vamprie story. This was funny and thought-provoking, making me thankful for the simple pleasure of eating human food.
Half cringe-worthy critique on our absurd Twitter culture. You'll be reminded of memes you can't believe you ever laughed at, at one point in your life. Half heartwrenching glimpse into a private life. You'll laugh. You'll cry.
Set in 1997, this is a beautifully melancholy story of a young author sorting through loss, loneliness, and love, as she writes her debut novel. I love this story because it is familiar, and it is real life. We're all carrying the weight of living around with us, hoping to find ways to feel lighter. This book makes me feel lighter.
Ottessa Moshfegh is a master at creating vivid settings with mysterious main characters. In this novel, set in the middle of a harsh New England Christmas season, we meet Eileen, a woman currently working at a prison who spends her days daydreaming and taking care of her father. Eileen dreams of getting away and starting her life over in the big city, but when she meets Rebecca, Eileen’s life of minor crimes slides into something icy and darker.
This book is basically the French Winter version of Call Me By Your Name. Phillippe Besson crafts a beautiful and heartbreaking tale of a first romance that lingers for a lifetime, and Molly Ringwald renders the prose gorgeously in her first translation. This story is part coming-of-age, part romance, and part tragedy as we watch the main character change and grow and become who he’s meant to be. This startling intimate book is one I revisit each winter for its subtle touch of warmth.
This novel is genre-bending and told so beautifully. Full of Cherokee foklore and haunting scenes. This family saga will move you and educate you. I loved getting POVs from the various family members and seeing how they converge.
Taking a year off of life to hibernate your way to the best version of yourself is very tempting some days, but I can't necessarily recommend the absurd and hilarious methods in this book. I've never been more invested, intrigued, disgusted, and stressed out by a character who just finds creative new ways to sleep. The last page of this book changed my worldview.
This book comforted me in more ways than words can express. This book feels like being cold but then wrapped tightly in a cozy blanket hug. Our author shares stories from her personal life from her journeys to Stonehenge to the reindeer in Northern Norway and beyond. Grab your favorite hot beverage of choice and snuggle up with this beautiful book.
On the days when the world feels chaotic and my thoughts spiral out of control, this book serves as my security blanket. John Green uses this story as a way to speak about how it feels to live everyday with mental illness. Touching, mysterious, and beautiful.
John Green has a special way of being able to teach his readers about some obscure historic and scientific corners of our world while also sharing personal heart-warming (and sometimes heart-wrenching) accounts from his own life. This is a special record of humanity's place in this world. I give this book 5 stars.
This book was the most beautiful supercut of a life, of a marriage, questions about the universe and all the ways life takes unexpected turns. I’m so lucky to have been able to get a little glimpse of these lives.
Donna Tartt is a master of the dark academia aesthetic, and this book rightfully earns its claim as a modern classic. This book tells the story of an exclusive group of classics students at a New England university that murder one of their own and leave him buried in the snow during a harsh Vermont winter. Watch this wicked group unravel.
This book makes me want to take a walk through a misty forest in perpetual pale blue dusk, feeling every emotion humans can detect.
This book is an attempt to understand and process an unnameable and indecipherable grief. A grief that comes when your favorite author dies young and whose words will forever haunt you, leaving you begging for more that you'll never receive, thinking about "what could have been." I found myself wanting to join the "Death Girls" in their pseudoreligious candle-lit vigils and their attempt to hide in the shade of trees on the bright green lawns of their university.
This is Brandon Sanderson at his best and most accessible for any reader. If you're looking to jump into epic fantasy, but you're a bit intimidated, this book will drag you in with its incredible world building and limited/unique magic system built with consequences. You'll want to root for this ragtag group of characters as they attempt to pull off an impossible heist. Vin, our incredible heroine, will take you along for a ride among the mysterious mists and the sparkling court life, a bright spot in this dark world, as she discovers the powers she was born with. There's a combat scene I have not been able to quit thinking about since I read this book over a year ago, my jaw actually dropped. Please read this book and talk to me about it.
Charlie, a student starting freshman year of high school, is a character that is so vivid I feel the need to reach into the pages and wrap him in a tight hug as he navigates a confusing time in life. I love the way he sees the world with innocence and an oppenness to love and to learn. I am drawn to this book every year as summer transitions into fall and school starts back again.
I mean...who wouldn't want to completely uproot their life, move to the middle of nowhere Tennessee and babysit two kids that spontaneously burst into flames at the request of their ex-best friend who betrayed them in high school??? I'm not kidding..the kids do actually burst into flames. This is an unforgettable and heartwarming story of finding belonging in the most unexpected of places. A story about grief. A story of sacrifice and love that I hope to revisit every summer.
This thriller is perfect for readers who love to read about books/bookstores. In this novel, a bookseller is under suspicion when the FBI notices that a supposed serial killer has started to use this bookseller's blog post about his favorite thrillers and the "Eight Perfect Murders" that have been fictionally pulled off in the past as a "how to get away with murder guide".... now it feels a little weird to be recommending this as a bookseller myself....
This fictional novel about an Old Hollywood Icon will make you wish that you could watch Evelyn Hugo in all her fictional films. She is a completely captivating woman, and she has an important story to tell on her terms, and she just might reveal some of her deepest secrets in the process. This novel gives you an inside look at all the glamour and the trauma that comes along with international celebrity.
If you're looking for a book that gives you the feeling you get when you listen to "Ribs" by Lorde, it's this one. It's also perfect for anyone (especially highschoolers) questioning what's next in life. Is there a perfect path for everyone? The friendships in this book make my heart melt.
One of the most beautifully written memoirs I have ever read. I'm forever inspired by the way that Patti Smith opens herself to the world and the paths she stumbles upon. This is a story only she could tell, and it's one of sacrifice, love, and the dreams that New York City requires of its young artists.
I did not stop smiling or giggling to myself the entire time I read this book. Talia Hibbert manages to create such lovable and relatable characters that are all dealing with everyday struggles that aren't always explored in romance novels. Talia knows how to write STEAMY scenes unlike any other. You'll fall in love with all of the Brown sisters (and their love interests too).
This book is endless summer and childhood adventures as it dives deep into its Deep South setting. I personally believe this book has Donna Tartt's best-written character throughout all of her gorgeous novels, and I think she shares a few secrets and a bit of herself through the protragonist of this story, Harriet, a precocious young girl determined to find her brother's killer.
This is a horror book that will pull you in and won't let you go until long after you finish it. This story has so much heart, empathy and compassion. Not to mention a quirky POV from a very religious cat named Olivia. If you're new to the horror genre, this is a good place to start.
Stephen Graham Jones sheds light and darkness on the Native American experience in this moving horror novel. As you read the book, you'll discover just how clever and eerie the title of this book is. This is a story of guilt, revenge, and how our pasts affect us years down the road. This book asks you to assess the damage our decisions can cause. Can forgiveness be shared?
This dark academia novel earns its place beside Donna Tartt's The Secret History. This book is filled with sexual tension and intrigue with a Shakespeare flair for the drama of it all.