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Staff Fiction Favorites

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

Orange World by Karen Russell

A new mom breastfeeds the devil. Lady thieves dance with ghosts. A school boy falls in love with a 2,000-year-old bog mummy. Every story in Karen Russell's new book thrills me. The close cooperation of the mundane and the fantastic feeds a witty, insightful perspective on humans and our inner worlds.  - Clara

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Orange World and Other Stories Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525656135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 14th, 2019

Rivers by Michael Farris Smith

Perfect for fans of Cormac McCarthy and Paolo Bacigalupi, this gripping, atmospheric, and sparsely beautiful sci-fi novel imagines a near-future Mississippi Gulf Coast ravaged by climate change. The narrative Smith constructs is a bleak one, but this novel features outstanding worldbuilding, fine details, and deeply human characters. - Stuart

Rivers: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451699432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 9th, 2014

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

A novel in the form of recommendation letters? Sounds like a literary stunt but Schumacher absolutely nails it. While maintaining the book’s formal conceit, she perfectly blends satire and genuine human emotion, offering a hilarious commentary on modern academia through one professor’s tired pen and fading sanity. I unreservedly recommend (!) this book. - Rico

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Dear Committee Members Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780345807335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - June 23rd, 2015

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

People calls this book a “Pride & Prejudice-like send-up”, and that’s what this is: Kevin Kwan has channeled Jane Austen to write a witty, satirical rom-com told from an American-Born Chinese traversing the rarified (and often ridiculous) air of the upper echelons of Kwan’s native Singapore. Pick this up for the love story, pick it up for the drama, the incredible side characters, or just the crazy richness – this book is guaranteed to transport and entertain. - Jocelyn

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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345803788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - May 20th, 2014

Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone

I want to be Vivian Liao when I grow up. Tech genius, revolutionary subversive and chosen by a god, she is at the center of a whirlwind adventure across the galaxy to save space, time and autonomy. I loved the unique, brash characters running around in Gladstone's magic and computer-science-based world. So fun! - Clara

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Empress of Forever: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780765395818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - June 18th, 2019

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

A tattoo artist and budding CEO, haunted by their shared past, are given a second change – at love, but more importantly at their own lives. I was pulled in from the start to this taut tale of redemption, betrayal, sex, and romance. With complex characters, sizzling tension, juicy drama, and intricate tattoos (and desert) I finished this book fully satisfied – but ready for Alisha Rai’s next installment. - Jocelyn

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Hate to Want You: Forbidden Hearts Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062566737
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - July 25th, 2017

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang is one of the best modern speculative fiction writers, and his writing encompasses the breadth of the human experience. The stories in this collection are subtle, introspective, and incredibly smart, and Chiang masterfully explores themes of science, theology, fate, heartbreak, and love. I can’t recommend this highly enough for fans of literary science fiction. - Stuart

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Exhalation: Stories Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781101947883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates

Katie moves from Ohio to help her aunt and uncle start a bakery only to find out that her aunt's gaggle of biddies is actually a coven! Katie, the coven, and various animal familiars must band together to solve a murder that happens on the bakery's opening day, with Katie's uncle as the prime suspect! - J Gallo

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Brownies and Broomsticks: A Magical Bakery Mystery Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780451236630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 1st, 2012

The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris

A kaleidoscope of colors permeates this creative coming of age story.  Jason, age 13, has synesthesia and face blindness. He sees colors instead of hearing sounds. He can only identify people by the color of their voice and the clothes they wear. When police discover the body of his neighbor, Jason believes he may have been witness to a murder. This is a fascinating and unique mystery. - Trey

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The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781501187902
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - February 5th, 2019

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough delighted me and broke me and did it all over again. A Jazz-age alternate world of queer spy-vs-spy shenanigans and cat-and-mouse politics, featuring the rise of a conservative facist government in a diverse and throbbingly alive world. Possibly a little too real in our current real-world, but author Lara Elena Donnelly kept me hoping against reason for the characters, even as she broke me down. Fair warning: you will immediately need to pick up the sequel. - Jocelyn

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Amberlough: Book 1 in the Amberlough Dossier Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780765383822
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - February 13th, 2018

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