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Staff Fiction Favorites

A rotating selection of some of our staff's favorite titles. New reviews added quarterly.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Kushner’s new novel is, in a word, devastating. It opens as the main character, Romy Hall, is on her way to prison to serve a life sentence for murder. Kushner writes so convincingly, with such compassion for people struggling to survive in modern California’s darkest corners, you’d think she has personally lived the life of her main character—and every other character in the book. - Rico

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The Mars Room: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476756554
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scribner - May 1st, 2018

Rock Candy Mountain V1 by Kyle Starks

This comic is completely bonkers and has everything you could want: old-timey hobos, hobo slang, tramps, bums, magical maps, sidekicks, regular kicks, and a heavy dose of hilarity that doesn't quit. It's like O Brother, Where Art Thou? meets Deadly Class. On trains. Trust me—it’s amazing. - Kelly

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Rock Candy Mountain Volume 1 Cover Image
By Kyle Starks, Kyle Starks (Artist), Chris Schweizer (Artist)
ISBN: 9781534303171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - October 3rd, 2017

Hot Mess by Emily Belden

I love a good hot mess and this was one in the best way possible. It feels so realistic you might think it’s actually a biography. I know people like Belden’s main character Allie (but I’m not naming names). The adulting that she has to do to cover for her trash fire of a boyfriend is astounding and exhausting. This would make an excellent movie. - Karena

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Hot Mess Cover Image
ISBN: 9781525811418
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Graydon House - March 20th, 2018

Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine

What are the fleeting memories and traumas that shape us? Adrian Tomine follows this question through a collection of tragicomic stories that reflect the humanity in characters that are both flawed and lovable. From the first page to the last, Tomine had me enthralled with both his minimal artwork and poignant prose. - Gabe

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Killing and Dying Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770463097
Availability: Backordered
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - February 6th, 2018

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Come for the murder mystery, stay for the queer women and a vividly painted portrait of San Francisco in 1876. San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake feels like a fascinating foreign country, offering a setting different from any historical fiction I've read before. I adored the twists and turns through tenements and languages, music and time. - Clara

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Frog Music Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316324670
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - February 24th, 2015

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Myfanwy Thomas wakes up with no memories, but with her pockets full of letters explaining that she is an agent of the Checquy, a Supernatural Secret Service. Someone in the Checquy is trying to kill her and dismantle the agency, and Myfanwy must discover the traitor before time runs out. An exciting, often laugh-out-loud book full of monsters, mayhem, and slime! - Sara

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The Rook: A Novel (The Rook Files #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316098809
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - October 16th, 2012

Last Stories by William Trevor

Like Thomas Hardy or Alice Munro, two writers he is often compared to, Trevor could convey an entire life—its triumphs and sorrows—in a few deft sentences. When he died in 2016 the world lost one of its great artists. Each of the stories collected here, the last he ever wrote, makes clear the open-hearted, almost painful, compassion he felt for his characters. - Rico

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Last Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525558101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - May 15th, 2018

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

I have really liked the romances written by this duo of writers (who write under the single pseudonym Christina Lauren), so when I saw they were trying contemporary fiction I was willing to try it out. I usually side-eye books with constant flashbacks, but this was done so effortlessly (and charmingly) I actually looked forward to the flashbacks. - Karena

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Love and Other Words Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501128011
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - April 10th, 2018

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

LaValle has written a modern-day fairytale that entrances as it draws you into the unique rhythms of a young family in New York. Apollo, a "book man" who hunts for the big find in boxes of used books, is our window into the old, uncanny forces hovering beneath the surface of the new millennium. This horror fantasy packs a big punch! One of my favorite books! - Clara

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The Changeling: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812985870
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - March 6th, 2018

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Is there anything Margaret Atwood can’t do? Part sci-fi, part romance, part mystery, part social commentary, and part historical fiction, The Blind Assassin is a heartbreaking page-turner. It’s also a matryoshka doll of sorts; there’s a story within a story within a story, and somehow all three merge together with a twist that’s both surprising and extremely satisfying. - Jessica

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The Blind Assassin: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385720953
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - August 28th, 2001


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