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Sunday Staff Picks: May 17th

Writers and Lovers by Lily King Writers and Lovers is Lily King’s latest book after the success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel, Euphoria. Her new novel follows 31-year-old Casey Peabody who copes with her mother’s sudden passing, heartbreak, and pursuing a writing career while drowning in debt. King’s first-person narration gives us a direct gaze into Casey’s thoughts which reveals her constant uncertainties and very real anxieties. Despite all that seems to be going badly for her, Casey never ceases to point out the humor and absurdity in everything. Writers and Lovers is full of little truisms delivered…

Sunday Staff Picks: May 10th

Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell is not the book you’re expecting—but unquestionably the book we all need during the seismic shift of COVID-19. Throughout, you follow the conversational meditations of this worried yet apprehensively optimistic author as he goes through the same mental loops I’ve felt…

Sunday Staff Picks: May 3rd

Temporary by Hilary Leichter “I have a shorthand kind of career,” confesses the protagonist of Temporary, Hilary Leichter’s zippy debut novel. This confession is true, as it turns out, in a delightfully unconventional way. A temp at “an uptown pleasure dome of powdered women in sensible shoes,” Leichter’s unnamed protagonist is sent out to fulfill…

Finding What is Lost in C. J. Tudor’s The Other People

The Other People / C J Tudor / Ballantine, 01/20 – $27 (Hardcover) There is something relentlessly engrossing about a mystery. The suspense, the shock, and finally the catharsis when all the pieces come together create a reading gripping experience that cannot be found elsewhere. The Other People, the most recent novel from C. J.…

Sunday Staff Picks: April 19th

Sh*t is F*cked Up and Bullsh*t by Malcolm Harris I picked up Sh*t is F*cked Up and Bullsh*t for fairly obvious reasons. Released less than two months ago — let’s call it the Before Times — Marxist journalist Malcom Harris walks readers through the past decade here in America. It’s not a pretty picture. Beginning…

Apocalypse Now: Reading Severance in the Time of Coronavirus

Severance / Ling Ma / Picador, 05/2019 – $17 (Paperback) The routine has become automatic. In the mornings I stand bleary-eyed at the counter and wait for the kettle’s wail. I look at emails for work or articles for class or ads for eco-friendly activewear. It doesn’t matter. There are classes in the afternoon, and…

Sunday Staff Picks: April 5th

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry Quan Barry’s latest novel, set in a Massachusetts coastal town, delivers witches, field hockey, and late 1980s cultural references, all in Barry’s distinctive, irreverent tone. After the team makes a deal with the Devil, in the form of an Emilio Estevez notebook, the Danvers field hockey team inexplicably begins winning game after game, landing them at the state finals. Despite the normal pressures of high school—sexual awakenings and creepy teachers as only the beginning—the girls truly dedicate themselves to bonding as a team. Perhaps dark powers propel them to field hockey stardom,or perhaps…

Arcana, Alive: Anne Serre’s The Fool

The Fool and Other Moral Tales / Anne Serre, trans. by Mark Hutchinson / New Directions, 09/19 – $15 (Paperback) Repulsive, violent, confounding: that’s how I would best describe Anne Serre’s newly translated collection of short stories, The Fool. Yet Serre performs a wild alchemy within the tight confines of the three fabulous tales collected…

Sunday Staff Picks: March 29th

Staten Island Stories by Claire Jimenez In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a group of strangers embark on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, telling stories to pass the time—but the text ends before they reach their destination. The pilgrims become connected by their narratives rather than their geography: and, because we never see the pilgrims reach Canterbury,…

Loneliness and Fiction

I woke up on a Monday with the feelings I get too often: feelings of wrongness and sadness and fear. The ones that tell me I am quite alone because such a feeling is too cruel to be human and therefore, I am the only alien on earth who can feel it at all. I…