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Kevin's Picks

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A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984801203
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 8th, 2022

I can't think of another writer with so many tools at their disposal.  That's one thing, but to be able to use those tools to cut right to the most crucial questions makes Abdurraqib the best writer of our time.  Using memoir, cultural critique, history, and poetry, this book examines what it means to perform whether on stage or in your own personal space.  This is a wild ride that will break your heart, but if you can hold on long enough, Aburraqib can build it back up.

Further suggestions:
"Between the World and Me" - Te-Nehisi Coates

"The Nineties: a Book" - Chuck Klosterman

"How the Word is Passed" - Clint Smith (highly recommended by bookseller Becky)


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Leech By Hiron Ennes Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250811189
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tordotcom - September 27th, 2022

Pre-Order for 09/27/22

It's never too early to start thinking about what you want to read this Halloween!

This book has one of the most fascinating narrators I've ever read: a multi-conscious all-knowing parasite posing as the world's doctors in order to keep its human hosts alive   One such doctor is sent to an old chateau to care for the ills of a decrepit local despot and his family.  This post-post-apocalyptic novel is a ton of fun with plenty of creepy body horror.


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The Hollow Kind: A Novel By Andy Davidson Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374538569
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: MCD - October 11th, 2022

Pre-Order! 10/11/22

It's never too early to start thinking about what you want to read this Halloween.  

Andy Davidson's follow-up to "The Boatman's Daughter" is as dreadful as it is beautiful.  A haunted family history comes to a head when a mother and son inherit a cabin deep in the woods.  Once this book gets going, you're in it, and it gets going right away.


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How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel By Sequoia Nagamatsu Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063072640
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - January 18th, 2022

This book is like a season of "Black Mirror," but instead of technology, the theme is death and grief.  A hybrid between novel/short story collection, this book examines a world ravaged by an ancient virus and climate change.  While it may hit too close to home for some, I found it a compelling way to begin processing some of the grief and change of the last two years.

Further suggestions:
"Station Eleven" - Emily St. John Mandel
"Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" - David Foster Wallace


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This Thing Between Us: A Novel By Gus Moreno Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374539238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - October 12th, 2021

For fans of A24 horror.

A literary page-turner that will keep you up at night -  Full of scenes that are truly creepy -A story of crushing grief and horrifically grisly possession - Dark without being oppressive.  

Further suggestions:
"The Shining" - Stephen King
"House on Haunted Hill" - Shirley Jackson


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My Heart Is a Chainsaw (The Indian Lake Trilogy #1) By Stephen Graham Jones Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982137649
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - March 29th, 2022

Main character Jade is one of my favorite fictional characters in a long time.  She is a reservoir of slasher movie knowledge taking the reader through what feels like a lucid nightmare.  This book is impossible to put down and left me shook at the end.  Graham Jones plays with tropes to create something completely fresh.  It's equal parts classic bloody fun and scathing commentary that will make you question whether the world deserves to burn.

TW: suicide, references to rape


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The Only Good Indians: A Novel By Stephen Graham Jones Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781982136468
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - January 26th, 2021

A gruesome, wild ride that gets in your head and twists it around.  Graham Jones combines classic haunted house and slasher tropes then blindsides his unsuspecting characters with a malevolent force bent on revenge.  It's the stuff of nightmares.


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Reprieve: A Novel By James Han Mattson Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063079915
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - October 5th, 2021

I could not put this book down.  James Han Mattson crafts amazing characters and brings them all together as contestants in a surreal full-contact haunted house gameshow.  Learning how each character came to be part of the team, and how one character ends up dead makes this an elevated literary page-turner addressing important questions of race, sexuality, and desperate American capitalism.

Further suggestions:
"The Sympathizer" - Viet Thanh Nguyen
"A Cosmology of Monsters" - Shaun Hamill


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The Last House on Needless Street By Catriona Ward Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250812629
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Nightfire - September 28th, 2021

A roller-coaster-puzzle-box.  Every character is an unreliable narrator, and every character is absolutely fascinating.  

Further suggestions:
09/27/22 pre-order "Leech" - Hiron Ennes
"The Cabin at the End of the World" - Paul Tremblay


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The Liar's Dictionary: A Novel By Eley Williams Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593311868
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - November 9th, 2021

"An absolute delight from the jump.  With sharp humor like Vonnegut and lovely characters, Williams had me laughing out loud.  This book is for lovers of words, absurdity, and the absurdity of words."

Further suggestions:
"Welcome to the Monkey House" - Kurt Vonnegut


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Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future By Elizabeth Kolbert Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593136287
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - April 5th, 2022

If it helps, just tell yourself you're reading sci-fi. That makes Kolbert your field guide through a chaotic world of looming life-threatening disasters and plucky renegade scientists dreaming up fantastical ways to combat them.  Will our heroes convince the world to take action, or will their efforts lead to further catastrophe?

Further suggestions:
"Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" - Mary Roach


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Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland By Patrick Radden Keefe Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307279286
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - February 25th, 2020

Keefe's fast-paced narrative style makes this a hard book to put down. A heartbreaking look into moral ambiguity, righteousness, and how one's actions are remembered.  

Further suggestions:
"Killers of the Flower Moon" - David Grann
"Race Against Time" - Jerry Mitchell


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Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York By Elon Green Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250833020
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Celadon Books - June 7th, 2022

Green drops you into 80's/90's New York and lets you feel the horror of a brutal yet forgotten serial killer on the loose.  Safe spaces are quickly disappearing.  The media is mostly disinterested in your plight.  And after decades of violence and antagonistic behavior, the police are here to help.  Good luck.


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Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own By Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525575337
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - July 27th, 2021

A look at the changes in James Baldwin's writing and attitudes as the promise of the early civil rights movement failed to break through an entrenched culture of white supremacy serves as an apt analogy for our own times.  


Staff Pick Badge
Barn 8: A Novel By Deb Olin Unferth Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450154
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2020

I absolutely loved this book!  With a breakneck non-linear structure and poetic Melville/Steinbeck-esque musings on mass extinction, hens, fate, and so much more, "Barn8" has something to offer with every sentence.  You'll laugh, cry, and want to grab a drink with the author.

Further suggestions:
"The Rib King" - Ladee Hubbard


Staff Pick Badge
The Boatman's Daughter: A Novel By Andy Davidson Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374538552
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - February 11th, 2020

One of those supernatural-bayou based-atmospheric-literary chillers.  Dark and raw.  Like "House of Leaves" meets "True Detective" season one.  "Sounds creepy and awful," says Secret Garden owner, Christy.  It is!  And I couldn't put it down.

Further suggestions:
"Revelator" - Daryl Gregory