Beth's Picks

Beth has worked as a bookseller since April 2021 and manages our Facebook and Instagram.

Some old favorites not seen below: What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte, Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong, Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder.

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49 Days By Agnes Lee Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781646143757
Availability: Coming Soon! Pre-Order this now and we will contact you on publication date!
Published: Levine Querido - March 5th, 2024

A beautiful debut graphic novel that depicts grief and love in such a poignant way. We follow Kit, a Korean American girl, as she navigates her journey after death and before she crosses over to what comes next. We also see Kit's loved ones left behind try to cope and move through their days. Wonderfully done. (Side note: I may never look at kimchi the same again--it was used so well as a connecting thread through memories that it felt like its own character).


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Wandering Stars: A novel By Tommy Orange Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593318256
Availability: Coming Soon! Pre-Order this now and we will contact you on publication date!
Published: Knopf - February 27th, 2024

I've been yearning for a new Tommy Orange book since reading his incredible debut years ago. His latest does not disappoint. Wandering Stars serves as a prequel and sequel to There There, focusing on the Bear Shield-Red Feather family over multiple generations. Orange tackles issues like generational trauma, addiction, family, and identity, and still ends on a hopeful note. If you're in want of a book with beautiful writing and compelling characters who will stay with you well beyond the last page, don't pass this one up!


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Against Erasure: A Photographic Memory of Palestine Before the Nakba By Teresa Aranguren (Editor), Sandra Barrilaro (Editor), Mohammed El-Kurd (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Teresa Aranguren (Editor), Sandra Barrilaro (Editor), Mohammed El-Kurd (Foreword by)
$39.95
ISBN: 9781642599800
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Haymarket Books - February 20th, 2024

A powerful testament to the rich history of Palestinians and their continued resistance and resilience as a people. This collection of photos taken between 1898 and 1946 show a history that many of us in the West (self included) have not been exposed to. Images of lush orange groves, groups of boy scouts, girls dressed up for First Communion, families vacationing in the countryside, women processing olives, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches. Then, the images start to look familiar: families pushing belongings in strollers as they are forced to flee their homes, people scouring rubble that was once a house, rows and rows of tents at a refugee camp. A heartbreaking and important book.


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The Racc Pack By Stephanie Cooke, Whitney Gardner (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Stephanie Cooke, Whitney Gardner (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9781665914932
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - January 23rd, 2024

In this fun graphic novel, we follow a trio of raccoon siblings (okay, so one is a brainy opossum in denial) team up with a house cat for an epic heist of a dumpster filled with enough food to feed them all winter. They work together to outwit the mean, critter-hating CEO of the fancy grocery store that owns the dumpster, and it is quite the caper! Cooke and Gardner have crafted a clever and funny story that includes some non-preachy teaching moments on food waste and gentrification alongside some great laugh-out-loud scenes (there's a moment with a skunk that is sheer perfection) while casting oft-misunderstood animals as the story's heroes. A delightful read!


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The Goodbye Cat By Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translated by) Cover Image
By Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593815700
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Berkley - October 10th, 2023

If you love cats and books that make you cry, this one is a winner! Not *every* story will make you cry (you'll laugh, too), but each one captures so well the myriad important ways cats become intertwined with our lives. I especially enjoyed the moments we get to understand the cat's perspective. A sweet, beautiful book.


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The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel By James McBride Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780593422946
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Riverhead Books - August 8th, 2023

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is the kind of book you can't put down but hate to see end, it's so beautifully done. Set in the 1930s, we get to know some of the people of Chicken Hill, a poor neighborhood in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, that has a mix of immigrant, Black, and Jewish residents. When the state tries to institutionalize a young deaf Black boy in a hellish facility, the community members from these different groups come together and try their best to protect him. McBride captures so well the beauty of community and the incredible ripple effects of one person's act of kindness. This book deserves all the awards. Read it; you'll be better for it.

**My 2023 book of the year**


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Starling House: A Reese's Book Club Pick By Alix E. Harrow Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250799050
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Tor Books - October 3rd, 2023

Alix Harrow has given us another stunner of a book with STARLING HOUSE. This contemporary Southern Gothic fairy tale set in a rural Kentucky town plagued by curses and tall tales is everything you need when you're in the mood for a spooky atmospheric read. We have troubled lonely characters you can't help but root for, shadowy monsters rising out of the mist, a sentient house filled with secrets, critiques of unfettered capitalism and environmental injustice, a feisty cat, and plenty more to love, all brought together in Harrow's signature beautiful prose. This book pulls you in and doesn't let go, so enjoy the ride!


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Earthdivers, Vol. 1: Kill Columbus By Stephen Graham Jones, Davide Gianfelice (Illustrator), Joana Lafuente (Colorist), Rafael Albuquerque (Cover design or artwork by) Cover Image
By Stephen Graham Jones, Davide Gianfelice (Illustrator), Joana Lafuente (Colorist), Rafael Albuquerque (Cover design or artwork by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9798887240459
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: IDW Publishing - September 19th, 2023

In a dystopian future, a group of Indigenous friends discover a way to time travel and decide the best way to use this is to travel back and kill Christopher Columbus before he sets sail and "discovers" America. Things don't go according to plan. The storytelling and impressive (and bloody!) illustrations make for a wild and fascinating ride, one I'm excited to continue when Volume 2 comes out.


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Roaming By Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki Cover Image
$34.95
ISBN: 9781770464339
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - September 12th, 2023

Roaming captures so well the beauty and heartache of shifting dynamics in friendships in young adulthood. Taking place over a few days, we follow longtime friends Dani and Zoe, along with Dani's classmate Fiona, explore NYC on their first college spring break trip. A wonderful coming-of-age graphic novel that had me feeling a blend of nostalgia and empathy for the people we were when younger. Everyone will find something here that resonates.


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A Walk in the Woods By Nikki Grimes, Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator), Brian Pinkney (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Nikki Grimes, Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator), Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823449651
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Neal Porter Books - September 12th, 2023

This story and its achingly beautiful illustrations give me goosebumps with every read. In it, a boy follows a map, left by his recently deceased father, to find an incredible treasure that helps him reconnect with nature and his dad. Art imitates life as the book's original illustrator, Jerry Pinkney, died before completing his work. His son Brian added watercolor to his dad's line drawings to make stunning visuals. "Can you smile and cry at the same time?" the boy asks on the last page. This book is proof you can.


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Are You Mad at Me? By Tyler Feder, Cody Feder, Tyler Feder (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tyler Feder, Cody Feder, Tyler Feder (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593615669
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Rocky Pond Books - September 5th, 2023

I love this book! We follow Opal, a nervous ostrich, as she deals with a case of The Noodles while on an important errand to pick up a special tart for her family's annual soirée. I felt a real kinship with Opal as she worriedly asked each friend she saw on her journey if they were mad at her; who knew an ostrich could be so relatable?! Sweetly and beautifully illustrated in springy colors, this book addresses living with anxiety in a realistic, smart, and fun way. A great book that shows kids (and reminds adults!) that even when anxious, we can still be brave.


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Thornhedge By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250244093
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Tor Books - August 15th, 2023

A new take on Sleeping Beauty that subverts expectations and delights all the way through. Thornhedge is a sweet, fantastical tale with the perfect blend of dark, magical, and touching that Kingfisher has mastered. Our main character, Toadling, will make you laugh and puncture your heart, and I would gladly read more of her adventures.


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Dear Mothman: A Novel By Robin Gow Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419764400
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 21st, 2023

Finding comfort in communing with cryptids might seem an unusual way to handle grief, but it's this exercise--leaving letters for Mothman--that helps Noah, a young trans boy, begin to process the loss of his best friend. Dear Mothman is a tenderhearted and lyrical tale about friendship, grief, and what it's like to feel different. A beautiful and hopeful tale that leaves you feeling less alone.


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A Living Remedy: A Memoir By Nicole Chung Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780063031616
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Ecco - April 4th, 2023

This unflinching memoir about family, inequality, and grief broke my heart open multiple times. In sharing about her struggles to provide care to her ill parents from the other side of the country, Chung shines a light on the failures of our healthcare system and obliterates the myth that illness and death are equalizers. As beautiful as it is heart-wrenching, A Living Remedy is an incredible book that will stay with you long after reading.


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We All Want Impossible Things: A Novel By Catherine Newman Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780063230897
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: Harper - November 8th, 2022

**My 2022 book of the year**

This book captures the messy truth and strange mix of mundane and profound at the end of life better than anything I’ve ever read. I adored it. Newman perfectly shows how harrowing and beautiful and weird it is to be present with someone you love as they are dying. I laughed as much as I cried and had to immediately call the Edi to my Ash when I finished reading. This is presently my top contender for book of the year, and I can’t imagine any book moving me as much as this one did anytime soon.  

P.S. Before I became a bookseller, I both volunteered at a comfort care home for people in hospice and worked as a palliative & hospice social worker, so when I say that this book is accurate that comes from experience.


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What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat By Aubrey Gordon Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780807014776
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Beacon Press - November 16th, 2021

Aubrey Gordon has been writing powerful essays about her experience as a fat person under the pseudonym Your Fat Friend for several years. Now, she stands out with this work that effectively weaves research with personal storytelling and cultural critique. Gordon shares about the hostility she faces in moving through the world in a fat body while also highlighting the many ways anti-fat bias shows up in our society, from denial of healthcare to legal discrimination, and plenty more. This book will challenge you and cause you to examine your own internalized bias, and you'll be all the better for it.

 


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