Meet Torrin, one of our new booksellers. Torrin loves beautiful prose and vivid settings across all genres. Torrin especially loves dark academia and stories portraying the laughably complex modern millennial struggle of every day life.
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.
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 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.
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....
A brutally beautiful depiction of a mother/son relationship. This book pairs perfectly with crisp leaves and coolness in the air. You'll live through every vivid scene and ache with these characters that feel all too real.
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?
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 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.