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Staff Picks

A Devil Comes to Town by Paolo Maurensig

Recommended by Libby V: I feel like I will never read another book as good as this one. It was truly masterfully written. Not to mention that Anne Milano Appel did a phenomenal job translating this work from Italian to English. Everything about this book is artfully done and I honestly cannot recommend it enough.

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Dan Brewster
Recursion by Blake Crouch

Recommended by Riley F & Chloe N: R: This book is scary and thrilling and fun! I immediately knew it was going to be my next staff pick because it is WILD! I didn’t want to put it down.

C: It’s rare to find books that truly challenge and disturb your perspective, but this book THOROUGHLY delivers. Helena and Barry were such dynamic protagonists and I appreciated the switches in perspective between the two.

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Dan Brewster
Red Ultramarine by Manuele Fior

Recommended by Daniel K: This Greco-Faustian tale about architects and obsession is itself a labyrinth, disorienting and full of strange tricks (in a good way!) This book of contrasts and parallels is drawn in only two colors, which themselves are important in telling the story, making clea visually that which is left uncertain in the text. Striking in form and creative in content, this is ultimately a story of how love can both save and doom.

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Dan Brewster
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

Recommended by Dan B: Simply put, this is a masterpiece. Some of my favorite writing in along time. This is really one story in three parts. The reader follows a mother as she attempts to find her daughter in a world seemingly hell-bent on killing her. It’s also so much more—stunning allegory, writing of the highest craftsmanship, characters you can believe in. One of my all-time favorites.

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Dan Brewster
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

Recommended by Marjorie P: There are a number of reasons that I recommend this book of essays, beginning with #96 followed by #61, #20, #71, and #8. These short essays, ranging from paragraphs to pages, were indeed full of delightful, but also thoughtful, insightful, and…

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Prologue Bookshop Staff
Sissy by Jacob Tobia

Recommended by Libby V: Wow, wow, WOW! This book is stunning! And it is so refreshing to read a book about gender authored by someone who is not cisgender nor fits into the gender binary. Jacob Tobia is one of the best writers I have ever encountered. They…

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Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares

Recommended by Marjorie P: My summer travels to Brownsville, Texas with my mother to visit relatives were present when reading this novel. Raspa stands + molcahetes were the visuals from a time when crossing the border into Matamoros was so easy. Cásares presents the visual of a time that we are now living. The suffering endured by la gente on both sides of the border during these increasingly stressful times, while a fictional account…

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Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Recommended by Daniel K: Arguably one of Pynchon’s most accessible novels, Inherent Vice is, not unlike the era it is set in, a story about many things. A pot-addled PI tries to navigate a changing America, surrounded by charming and diverse characters and surreal scenes that could only happen in the ‘70s. This darkly comic mystery is great for mystery-lovers looking for a change of pace.

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The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

Recommended by Chloe N: A very insightful, empathetic portrait of living with schizoaffective disorder. Wang unpacks a great deal in a short set of essays, and she does so with great intelligence and craft. Not only do you get your DSM-5 definitions, but a variety of personal anecdotes and pop culture references that add to the complexity and understanding of the issue.

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The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

Recommended Dan B: This is a campus novel turned on its head! This book was a very fast read, made faster by the fact that you won’t want to put it down! What would you do if you feared your significant other was getting involved in a cult? Read this to find out what not to do. Tense, quick, and complex, with multiple narrators and a lot going on. Recommended!

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Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Recommended by Libby V: Talk about deep, meaningful writing! Emezi has such talent, and it is important to promote it since so few books by non-gender-conforming people get the spotlight. This was the first book I chose for the LGBTQ+ book club here and it proved to be a deep fountain of emotions and intellectual discussion.

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Biloxi by Mary Miller

Recommended by Marjorie P: If you enjoy southern writers (think Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor) and stories of second chances, then you will savor your time spent with Mary Miller’s characters in her latest novel, Biloxi. A story that looks at the season in one’s life where the past should no longer be regretted and there is still time to make amends and live out a good life. When Louis McDonald Jr. connects with his daughter…

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Tacky Goblin by T. Sean Steele

Recommended by Daniel K: Inventive, funny, and grotesque, Tacky Goblin follows a young man and his sister as they struggle to find their way in a familiar, but increasingly inexplicable world. A coming-of-age story for a younger generation unable to succeed the way their parents did. Think Catcher in the Rye, but way weirder and slightly less whiny.

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Any Other Place by Michael Croley

Recommended by Dan B: This debut short story collection, by local author Michael Croley. is filled with emotion about the ties we have to places. We often have such complicated relationships to our hometowns and places our family is, and stories focusing on those relationships are sure to resonate with many of us. Most of the stories are set in Kentucky or Ohio…

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Death in Ten Minutes by Fern Riddell

Recommended by Daniel K: This fluently written and compelling account of a nearly forgotten figure in the women’s suffrage movement does a fantastic job of capturing the complex and passionate Kitty Marion. An artist, thinker, and revolutionary, Marion’s radical actions captured everyone’s attention and empowered every woman on the planet.

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