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Staff Picks

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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The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Recommended by Libby V:

This book has turned vegetarians into omnivores and omnivores into vegetarians. I’ve been a vegetarian for 10+ years and this book reaffirmed that decision for me, but it’s full of purely objective information. It covers the full spectrum of possibilities of where out food can come from ad changed by eating habits from unhealthy, processed food healthy, local food-eating vegetarian. Changed my life.

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Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Recommended by Marjorie P: I have entered my short story phase of reading and it has been a true delight. All of the characters in the eleven stories in this wonderful book bring you into their world of family ties and friendships. You feel the spirit of the Latino culture through triumphs and tragedies SURVIVE.

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How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr

Recommended by Dan B: Do you think of the United States as an empire? Why not? This book will change your perception of this country, our overseas territories, and the way we view our history. Learn why the founding father didn’t like Daniel Boone, about America’s longest war before Afghanistan, the origin of the brand name “Sony,” and the impact of race on our territorial acquisitions…

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I'm Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya

Recommended by Libby: Vivek Shraya has quickly become one of my favorite authors. And this book is the perfect length. There is no superfluous writing, Shraya writes in a concise, powerful manner, sending her points home…

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Dan Brewster
Lot by Bryan Washington

Recommended by Marjorie: The connection between the 13 short stories in this collection is family, community, sadness, and pain. Washington develops his characters well. They leave an impression that stays with us even…

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Dan Brewster