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Staff Pick

Little Liar

Little Liar

Albom, Mitch
$26.99

An instant New York Times Bestseller

Beloved bestselling author Mitch Albom returns with a powerful novel of hope and forgiveness that moves from a coastal Greek city during WWII to America in the golden age of Hollywood, as the intertwined lives of three young survivors are forever changed by the perils of deception and the grace of redemption.

Eleven-year-old Nico Krispis has never told a lie. His schoolmate, Fannie, loves him because of it. Nico's older brother Sebastian resents him for both these facts. When their young lives are torn apart during the war, it will take them decades to find each other again.

Nico's innocence and goodness is used against his tightly knit community when a German officer barters Nico's reputation for honesty into a promise to save his loved ones. When Nico realizes the consequences of the betrayal, he can never tell the truth again. He will spend the rest of this life changing names, changing locations and identities, desperate to find a way to forgiveness--for himself and from the people he loves most.

Albom's extraordinary storytelling is at its powerful best in his first novel to confront the destruction that lying can wreak both on the world stage as well as on the individual lives that get caught up in it. As The Stranger in the Lifeboat spoke to belief, The Little Liar speaks to hope, in a breathless page-turner that will break your heart open and fill it with the power of the human spirit and the goodness that lies within us all.

Narrated by the voice of Truth itself, The Little Liar is a timeless story about the power of love to ultimately redeem us, no matter how deeply we blame ourselves for our mistakes.

Doug says: Val handed me this book when she finished, "You will like this one." After the last page I'm comfortable saying, this is my choice for novel of the year! 

Absolutely true Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Alexie, Sherman
$16.99
Love Marriage

Love Marriage

Ali, Monica
$18.00
Named a Best Book of 2022 So Far by The New Yorker!

"Cultural clashes, political satire, Oedipal conflicts, elegant prose--they're all here in this romp of a book." --Oprah Daily

A Phenomenal Book Club Pick and a New York Times Book Review Group Text Selection, Love Marriage is a glorious moving novel from Booker Prize shortlisted Monica Ali, who has "an inborn generosity that cannot be learned" (The New York Times Book Review).

In present-day London, Yasmin Ghorami is twenty-six, in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father), and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe.

As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities, and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin's relationship and that of her parents, a "love marriage," according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life.

A gloriously acute observer of class, sexual mores, and the mysteries of the human heart, Monica Ali has written a "riveting" (BookPage, starred review) social comedy and a moving, revelatory story of two cultures, two families, and two people trying to understand one another that's "sure to please Ali's fans and win some new ones" (Publishers Weekly).

Love Marriage

Love Marriage

Ali, Monica
$27.99
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker!

"Cultural clashes, political satire, Oedipal conflicts, elegant prose--they're all here in this romp of a book." --Oprah Daily

A Phenomenal Book Club Pick and a New York Times Book Review Group Text Selection, Love Marriage is a glorious moving novel from Booker Prize shortlisted Monica Ali, who has "an inborn generosity that cannot be learned" (The New York Times Book Review).

In present-day London, Yasmin Ghorami is twenty-six, in training to be a doctor (like her Indian-born father), and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe.

As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities, and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin's relationship and that of her parents, a "love marriage," according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life.

A gloriously acute observer of class, sexual mores, and the mysteries of the human heart, Monica Ali has written a "riveting" (BookPage, starred review) social comedy and a moving, revelatory story of two cultures, two families, and two people trying to understand one another that's "sure to please Ali's fans and win some new ones" (Publishers Weekly).

Roxanne says: An excellent relationship fiction book centered on a pre-med student on the doctor fast track. The main character Yasmin begins to questions her career path and relationship.  Was she pressured by her doctor father or is this really her true calling?  Is her relationship with another doctor simply something that appears model perfect or does it really meet her needs?

Apropos of Nothing

Apropos of Nothing

Allen, Woody
$30.00
The Long-Awaited, Enormously Entertaining Memoir by One of the Great Artists of Our Time--Now a New York Times, USA Today,
Los Angeles Times
, and Publisher's Weekly
Bestseller.

In this candid and often hilarious memoir, the celebrated director, comedian, writer, and actor offers a comprehensive, personal look at his tumultuous life. Beginning with his Brooklyn childhood and his stint as a writer for the Sid Caesar variety show in the early days of television, working alongside comedy greats, Allen tells of his difficult early days doing standup before he achieved recognition and success. With his unique storytelling pizzazz, he recounts his departure into moviemaking, with such slapstick comedies as Take the Money and Run, and revisits his entire, sixty-year-long, and enormously productive career as a writer and director, from his classics Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Annie and Her Sisters to his most recent films, including Midnight in Paris. Along the way, he discusses his marriages, his romances and famous friendships, his jazz playing, and his books and plays. We learn about his demons, his mistakes, his successes, and those he loved, worked with, and learned from in equal measure.

This is a hugely entertaining, deeply honest, rich and brilliant self-portrait of a celebrated artist who is ranked among the greatest filmmakers of our time.

Roxanne says: Our world is round as should our ability to look at an issue. This is a witty love letter to NYC and writing, with the addition of Farrow vs. Allen facts to which anyone with a heart (and the previously mentioned world view) to child advocacy should be open to at least ponder.

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

Anonymous
$15.99
One of the New York Times' 20 Books to Read in 2020

"A tonic . . . Splendid . . . A respite . . . A summer cocktail of a book."

--Washington Post

"Unforgettable . . . Behind her brilliantly witty and uplifting message is a remarkable vulnerability and candor that reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles--and that we can, against all odds, get through them."--Lori Gottlieb, New York Times best-selling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Part memoir and part joyful romp through the fields of imagination, the story behind a beloved pseudonymous Twitter account reveals how a writer deep in grief rebuilt a life worth living.

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is two stories: that of the reclusive real-life writer who created a fictional character out of loneliness and thin air, and that of the magical Duchess Goldblatt herself, a bright light in the darkness of social media. Fans around the world are drawn to Her Grace's voice, her wit, her life-affirming love for all humanity, and the fun and friendship of the community that's sprung up around her.

@DuchessGoldblat (81 year-old literary icon, author of An Axe to Grind) brought people together in her name: in bookstores, museums, concerts, and coffee shops, and along the way, brought real friends home--foremost among them, Lyle Lovett.

"The only way to be reliably sure that the hero gets the girl at the end of the story is to be both the hero and the girl yourself." -- Duchess Goldblatt

Nora says: A funny, moving, delightful account of the creation of a fictional online character.  Duchess Goldblatt is a favorite of the literary and publishing world, plus Lyle Lovett! A fun romp, surprisingly philosophical and humane. 

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life (and Comedy)

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life (and Comedy)

Apatow, Judd
$18.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE A.V. CLUB - Includes new interviews!

From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years--including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Harold Ramis, Seth Rogen, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.

Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club--just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island--a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).

Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd--and he's still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.

Sick in the Head
gathers Apatow's most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime's worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.

Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow's gift to comedy nerds everywhere.

Praise for Sick in the Head

"I can't stop reading it. . . . I don't want this book to end."--Jimmy Fallon

"An essential for any comedy geek."--Entertainment Weekly

"Fascinating . . . a collection of interviews with many of the great figures of comedy in the latter half of the twentieth century."--The Washington Post

"Open this book anywhere, and you're bound to find some interesting nugget from someone who has had you in stitches many, many times."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal."--The New Yorker

"Fascinating and revelatory."--Chicago Tribune

"Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book."--Will Ferrell

Roxanne says: A must read for any comedy aficionado or anyone brave enough to try stand-up! Apatow interviews all the greats: Seinfeld, Shandling, etc.

Travelling Cat Chronicles

Travelling Cat Chronicles

Arikawa, Hiro
$24.00
A book that "speak[s] volumes about our need for connection--human, feline or otherwise" (The San Francisco Chronicle), The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice that shows how the smallest things can provide the greatest joy--the perfect gift for cat lovers and travellers!

We take journeys to explore exotic new places and to return to the comforts of home, to visit old acquaintances and to make new friends. But the most important journey is the one that shows us how to follow our hearts...

An instant international bestseller and indie bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles has charmed readers around the world. With simple yet descriptive prose, this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru's longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe...

With his crooked tail--a sign of good fortune--and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. And as they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.

On New York Post's Required Reading List

Andrea says: A quiet ode to friendship, solitude and kindness. The characters are very human and humane and the animals chime in. For anyone who has loved a pet.

Transcription

Transcription

Atkinson, Kate
$16.99
A dramatic story of WWII espionage, betrayal, and loyalty, by the #1 bestselling author of Life After Life

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit, and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.

Melanie says: MI5 agent and later turned BBC producer finds enemies she’d made have reappeared. For Anglophiles, fans of espionage, and comical witty language.

I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home

I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home

Attenberg, Jami
$27.99

Named a Best Book of the Year by: Time * New Yorker * Sunday Times (UK)

From New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg comes a dazzling memoir about unlocking and embracing her creativity--and how it saved her life.

In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Jami Attenberg--described as a "master of modern fiction" (Entertainment Weekly) and the "poet laureate of difficult families" (Kirkus Reviews)--reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one's ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it?

As the daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg was drawn to a life on the road. Frustrated by quotidian jobs and hungry for inspiration and fresh experiences, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually on travels around the globe. Through it all she grapples with questions of mortality, otherworldliness, and what we leave behind.

It is during these adventures that she begins to reflect on the experiences of her youth--the trauma, the challenges, the risks she has taken. Driving across America on self-funded book tours, sometimes crashing on couches when she was broke, she keeps writing: in researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, she grows as an artist and increasingly learns to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself.

Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one's way home--emotionally, artistically, and physically--and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.

Roxanne says: Attenberg, approaching fifty, takes us through a good portion of her life via travels to Italy, Hong Kong, and New York.  Akin to Rachel Cusk, Attenberg uses her travel  fore guideposts to reflect on her wounds and victories.  What results is a poignant, no nonsense assessment of freedom  and her own evolutionary value system.