Cindy's Recs

 

These are Cindy's most recent recs. To see her earlier recs, click here

 

 

Staff Pick Badge
The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316509848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - March 24th, 2020

Jemisin once again proves she's a genuine rock star with this fantasy quite unlike any other. New York City is under attack by an awakening force. The presence of this unseen danger has changed five people into avatars for each borough - all necessary to protect the prime avatar, presently missing, that represents NYC as a whole. Each of the five must come to terms with their newfound identity, inexorably bound to the unique identity of each borough, and find each other to save their city. The terrible force that's destroying New York can also take human form, and the resulting battles personify the struggles all great cities must face to survive. Her understanding of NYC in all its raw, diverse power grounds Jemisin's imagination and creativity, and this novel, the first in a planned trilogy, creates a world that is at once recognizable and new.

-Cindy


The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593765934
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soft Skull Press - March 3rd, 2020

The stories in this collection overflow with raw energy and visceral imagery. Cult favorite Sam Pink introduces strivers, deadbeats, dishwashers and, yes, an ice-cream man. His characters are alternately grotesque and heroic as they hustle to survive, and while some make it, others don't. His writing is often funny and always poetic as he explores the spectrum of hope to hopelessness. Hunter Thompson would recognize the people in these stories, and Pink's similarly gonzo view of life is on full display. Fans of Pink's writing will be delighted with a new offering, and those new to his work will understand what the fuss is about.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Four by Four Cover Image
By Sara Mesa, Katie Whittemore (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781948830140
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Open Letter - May 5th, 2020

Four by Four examines freedom vs. subjugation until the question itself, hauntingly, proves to be based on a fallacy. Wybrany College, a boarding school where wealthy parents send their teenagers to avoid urban violence, has dark undercurrents of threat. In Part One Celia, a poor scholarship student, wishes she were back in the city where she actually feels safer. Ignacio, a bullied boy, accepts his nonstop abuse as his due. Part Two switches gears as a substitute teacher arrives at Wybrany and unpacks the menace that’s present. Part Three is the shortest and most devastating, coalescing disparate evidence from the previous sections. As one professor says, "One escapes the external evils, certainly, but monsters are generated inside these walls." This is a linguistically precise, stylistically spare and emotionally devastating look at the corrosive effect of abuse and power imbalance.

-Cindy


Pre-Order Now Badge
Morningside Heights: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524748357
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Pantheon - June 15th, 2021

When Pru Steiner, fresh out of Yale, marries Spence Robin, her slightly older (and somewhat famous) English professor, she has no crystal ball to tell her that thirty years later she will be a caretaker to this once-vibrant intellectual, now weakened by early- onset dementia. Morningside Heights tells the story of Pru navigating the uncharted waters of a marriage now defined by illness. Their daughter Sarah is away in medical school, while Spence's son Arlo, from his first marriage, runs a bio-tech start-up and may offer the key to his father's health. Finally, and confusingly, there is Walter, a man who makes Pru feel like she's part of the world again.  Henkin presents a clear-eyed and ultimately affectionate story of the ties that bind families together.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
The Last Taxi Driver Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781947793392
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - March 3rd, 2020

Gentry, Mississippi cab driver Lou Bishoff is a student of Buddhism with rage issues and a failed university professor who recites Shakespeare to keep his mind off the addicts in his backseat. Although he's driven so long he thinks he's losing his mind, he nonetheless tries to "come up with theories that make life fair, but of course it isn't." Lou frequently interjects pointed commentary while driving. "Don't take selfies at red lights," he warns. "It makes you look like a superfreak and is so dispiriting for others to behold it shatters their view of God and humanity and makes them desire an alien invasion." This is a gonzo ride full of dark humor, philosophical insights and shrewd observations about the plight of luckless people in the United States. 

-Cindy


Pre-Order Now Badge
Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250209221
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 21st, 2020

 

Chris Frantz, drummer for Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, opens up about life with Tina Weymouth, his spouse and musical partner. This zippy memoir explains how Frantz, studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design in the early 1970s, meets fellow students Weymouth and David Byrne. This trio forms the seminal band Talking Heads, with Byrne as front man and Weymouth on bass. The next decade is a whirlwind: as Talking Heads (with the addition of Jerry Harrison) become an international sensation Frantz and Weymouth marry, starting a lifetime of collaboration with punk and pop musical legends. . Frantz has a terrific memory for people and places, and while this is generally an affectionate story he doesn't shy from giving his point of view on, among other things, his relationship with the enigmatic Byrne. Queue up the extensive musical catalogue from these two bands to accompany this delightful read!

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Ship of Fates Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781941360316
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lanternfish Press - April 21st, 2020

A young woman listens as Mei, an ancient lighthouse keeper, combines the legend of "Maker of Gold Mountain" with her tragic life story. The legend begins in China in 1000 BC, where Mei, betrothed to a foreigner, steals her dowry gold and rides a whale across the sea to a rocky coast with a welcoming bay. There she throws the gold into rivers and hills "where no gold was before, nor was ever meant to be." Although she's free, she's also cursed. She must keep fires going until she recovers every nugget she stole. In 1849, Mei still lives in San Francisco. She's collected an unimaginable amount of gold in her lighthouse, but it's still not enough. Desperate to be free, she entraps another young woman, only to see this selfish act backfire. Desire, deceit and regret come together in this spellbinding mixture of legend and heartbreak.

-Cindy


Pre-Order Now Badge
The Disaster Tourist Cover Image
By Yun Ko-Eun, Lizzie Buehler (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781640094161
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - August 4th, 2020

Yona puts together "disaster tours" for Jungle, creating vacations to devastated sites around the world. After she becomes the target of sexual harassment at work Jungle, rather than fire the offender, offers her, as compensation, paid time off to go on a disaster tour of her own. Yona agrees, and heads to Mui, an island that has supposedly been devastated by a sinkhole. But when she arrives she realizes the sinkhole isn't much to look at and the resort owner, with Jungle, is determined to create another catastrophe to bring back tourists. Yona must decide whether company loyalty is more important than Mui, and its people, that she's grown to love. This compact, assured novel, with themes of authority and submission, incorporates elements of mystery and surrealism with a touch of humor thrown in. If your book club is looking for international literature, here is the perfect choice!

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
These Ghosts Are Family: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982117436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 3rd, 2020

 

This debut novel takes place in multiple locations, from 1820s Jamaica to 2020 Brooklyn, and follows an extended Jamaican family who struggle to rise above poverty and racism while dealing with the effects of betrayal. The novel opens in 2005, introducing Stanford Solomon, an elderly Harlem resident. Decades earlier, while working in London, he took his dead co-worker's name, Abel Paisley, to escape his family in Jamaica. His deception is his secret, and Abel decides, as his health fails, to gather his extended double family in order to tell his story. Episodes and people in Abel's life, both dead and alive, unfold in multiple voices and over vast swaths of time. The reader is engaged in piecing together the puzzle of a family that doesn't know how or if they all fit together 

-Cindy


Pre-Order Now Badge
The City of Good Death Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781632062529
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Restless Books - February 23rd, 2021

Pramesh runs the most desirable death hostel in Kashi, India, the holiest of cities alongside the Ganges River. He calmly oversees a revolving door of families with their dying loved ones as well as an assortment of priests and others needed to carry out the rituals of death. However, his respected position in the community is challenged when his estranged cousin, Sagar, dies nearby without the proper rituals and begins haunting the hostel, interfering with the peaceful deaths of others. How and why Sagar came to be near Pramesh, and how to restore the equilibrium of the hostel, forces Pramesh to face his complicated past. This character-rich, atmospheric novel, winner of the 2018 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, is a delightful mix of humor, heartbreak, and insight.

-Cindy


The Book of Longings: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525429760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - April 21st, 2020

Monk Kidd imagines that Jesus Christ had a wife, Ana, who doesn't actually appear in history but provides illuminating context for the historical life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. Before she marries Jesus, Ana lives with her wealthy Jewish family in Sepphoris. Marrying into a poor family introduces the harsh realities of Jewish life under Roman rule. Jesus' preaching takes him away for months at a time, allowing Ana an independence that other women don't have. Ana's longing for agency is as passionate as Jesus' longing for a relationship with God, and as he faces crucifixion, she vows to be with him. Monk Kidd mixes historical and fictional characters, giving an engrossing portrayal of life during the Christian New Testament era. Christians and non-Christians alike will appreciate the well-developed characters and carefully researched settings. 

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Bluebeard's First Wife Cover Image
By Seong-Nan Ha, Janet Hong (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781948830171
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Open Letter - June 16th, 2020

Seong-Nan probes life's uncertainties and absurdities in her newest and perhaps most assured short story collection. Here are women and men operating under rigid societal expectations, struggling to remain in control of their fate. In the title story a couple loses their child to a horrific school fire, and subsequently loses focus for everything else in life. In another story kites, white shirts, and a deadbeat husband coalesce into a statement about opportunity lost. Exploring the spectrums between constraint and freedom, paranoia and apathy, these eleven stories are miniature worlds that will elicit pangs of recognition for the universal human experience. Do yourself a favor and read this excellent translated work from an award-winning Korean writer!

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris Cover Image
By Marc Petitjean, Adriana Hunter (Translated by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781590519905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press - April 9th, 2020

Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo travels to Paris in 1939 for her first and only trip to Europe. Overshadowed by her famous husband, Diego Rivera, and devastated due to his affair with her sister, she undertakes the trip to mount an exhibit of her own work, on her own terms. Her time in France is a whirlwind of famous people who find her larger-than-life personality intoxicating. She also enters into a brief, passionate affair with Michel Petitjean, a young gallery representative. Author Marc, Michel's son, hopes to learn more about his father as he researches Kahlo's visit and uncovers letters and documents that breath life into their relationship. Numerous photographs add to the narrative, including "The Heart", an extraordinary painting she gave to Michel as she left Paris, and him, for good. This slim book, humanizing Kahlo underneath her mythical status, is a little jewel.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Amnesty: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982127244
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - February 18th, 2020

 

Danny, an undocumented worker in Sydney, Australia, realizes he has information about a murder that by all rights should be reported to the police. Over the course of a day he bargains with himself and conducts imaginary negotiations for asylum in exchange for helping the police with their investigation. Danny entered Australia legally as a student four years ago but dropped out of college and overstayed his visa. After four years, he’s convinced himself that he can live in Sydney indefinitely. When he hears that a body discovered by a riverbed is Radha, one of his former employers, he suspects her lover is responsible. Danny has to decide if his responsibility to the rule of law is more powerful than his need to remain invisible. Gentle humor and compassion mark this immigrant story with a twist. 

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Anyone: A Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062890634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - December 3rd, 2019

A scientist's experiment gone wrong leads to a technology, called "flash," that changes the world. Scientist Gabby White discovers a process that allows one person's consciousness to take over the body of another. 25 years later, when flash is ubiquitous, an enigmatic woman with a motive to subvert the technology is running for her life. Annami, a brilliant technology worker with a hidden past, is planning to undermine the owner of the flash network, NeOnet Global. Annami is "one of the few people who knew the truth behind the lie of the world, and the only one who seemed to want to make it right." When the money she needs to complete her plan is stolen, her fury propels her to take revenge on the perpetrators even as she continues the scheme to cripple NeOnet. Annami, both detective and enforcer, could be the next futuristic female heroine.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Naked Came the Florida Man: A Novel (Serge Storms #23) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062796004
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - January 7th, 2020

The 23rd Serge Storms novel serves up hilarious anarchy as usual! This time Serge, driving his gold '69 Plymouth Satellite, makes an improbable tour of Florida cemeteries with his perpetually stoned sidekick, Coleman. Serge says, "Nobody could ever write a better job description for me: Florida, no appointments, and a tank of gas." Serge has an aversion to what he considers unethical behavior, as well as a propensity to stick his nose in other people’s business, leading to antics that manage to be sociopathic and funny all at once. The most puzzling mystery they encounter - rumors of a monster haunting an abandoned sugar field - leads to small-town rodeos, high school football and, yes, a crazy Florida Man. The satisfying conclusion, where bad guys lose and good guys win, is a hallmark of the series. 

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Small Days and Nights: A Novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781324005230
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 21st, 2020

 

Grace Marisola returns to her childhood home in India after her mother's death to find that she's acquired both a secret house and an unknown older sister. Her mother secretly owned a house on isolated property near the sea in Madras, and this is where she hoped one day to retire with her oldest daughter, Lucia, who was born with Down syndrome and was moved to a residential facility as an infant. Her mother left no information behind, and Grace can barely process this news. Nevertheless, she believes that bringing Lucia to the Madras house, and living together as sisters and adults, will be a way for her to throw off the apathy that so far has marked her life. Yet the challenges of being a single woman in rural India and in caring for a disabled adult are more than she anticipated. 

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Navigate Your Stars Cover Image
By Jesmyn Ward, Gina Triplett (Illustrator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781982131326
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - April 7th, 2020

Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward offers a stirring message of encouragement and empowerment in this lovely, slim volume of text and imagery. Navigate Your Stars is her electric 2018 commencement address at Tulane University finally in book form. Her own story of hard work and heartbreak before achieving success is grounded in the reality of frequent obstacles, while at the same time unapologetically hopeful. Her inspiring message of the importance of personal resiliency and the power of family bonds will be encouraging for graduates, job seekers, and anyone who is embarking on a new path or who simply needs affirmation that striving for a dream is worthwhile.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing (A Zofia Turbotynska Mystery) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780358161462
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - March 17th, 2020

Zofia Turbotynska is bored. As the wife of a professor in Cracow in 1893, she has certain gender and social expectations that she is at pains to exceed. She's also smart, energetic and, honestly, a busybody with no place to turn for intellectual stimulation. So when multiple residents of a local nursing home are found dead, Zofia is sure a murderer is on the premises and throws herself into investigating. Even though the local police department dismisses her discoveries, and her husband is blissfully clueless about what she does during the day, Zofia eagerly channels her intelligence and affinity for gossip into sleuthing. Set within the captivating atmosphere of Polish bourgeois society in the 1890s, this is an altogether entertaining and original whodunit. If Miss Marple were 40 years younger you'd have some idea of Zofia's determination and charm. This is the first of what are hopefully many Zofia Turbotynska mysteries!

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
The Second Sleep: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525656692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - November 19th, 2019

In 1468, London priest Christopher Fairfax arrives in rural Axford, where the parish priest, Thomas Lacey, recently died. Fairfax plans to deliver the eulogy and leave, but soon realizes that Lacey may have been murdered. Fairfax knows England's history: in the distant past an apocalypse occurred, and the Church now holds complete authority over the country. Lacey, in a shockingly heretical act, owned books published before the apocalypse, and he may have been murdered because of the material he collected. Fairfax stays in Axford, both because he's obsessed with the forbidden information he's uncovering and also because he's attracted to a young widow. Her fiancé is a headstrong and brawny, the opposite of Fairfax, but becomes an indispensable factor in uncovering the unimaginable past. The Second Sleep is an audacious, genre-bending novel.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Odsburg Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781947845084
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ooligan Press - October 29th, 2019

Welcome to the small town of Odsburg, Wash., where mountain lions live in basements and a couple is so hungry they eat themselves, literally, out of house and home. Odsburg  is narrated by the only "socio-anthropo-lingui-lore-ologist" in existence, Wallace Jenkins-Ross. In transcripts of field recordings, candy wrappers and letters found in books, the surreal landscape of Odsburg takes shape and its inhabitants become whole. Ben Jemison sees people and objects as if they're burning, and believes that this isn't a disability but a metamorphosis. The "Existentialists In-Dependence Recovery and Support Group" credo says, in part, "I reach out for whatever stable surfaces might help to keep me upright and moving forward in a world...where everything seems so crumbly and chimeric and questionable." Odsburg, like Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor's little desert town of Night Vale, shows, through philosophical musing and existential uncertainty, the shared humanity and essential goodness of disparate people.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
Trinity Sight Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781538556726
Availability: Backordered
Published: Blackstone Publishing - October 1st, 2019

Lyrical language and indigenous traditions elevate a typical dystopian road trip into something more nuanced. The story opens with hints of societal breakdowns caused by climate change. Archeologist Calliope Santiago is driving in New Mexico when long-dormant volcanoes erupt. Along with burning buildings, unbelievably, almost everyone disappears. Calliope, pregnant with twins, can't find her family. She and two surviving neighbors set out to search for their kin. Ghosts, dreams and murderous mythical creatures stalk the small group. None of it makes sense to Calliope, who doesn't believe in the Christian Rapture story but, as one indigenous survivor tells her, "The white man's bible is only one end-of-the world myth." This is an original, emotional story written by a master of imaginative language.

-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062889003
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - March 24th, 2020

If a faceless old woman lives in your home, never seen but injecting an almost imperceptible sense of unease into your life, you're probably a resident of the little desert town of Night Vale. In the newest story from the creators of the wildly popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, the Faceless Old Woman recounts her story before she arrived in Night Vale. She had a blissful childhood in the Mediterranean hundred of years ago, but after tragedy struck she turned to a life of lawlessness and danger. When a trusted friend betrayed her, she vowed revenge--and this is what she's still seeking, centuries later, and Night Vale holds the key to her scheme. Certainly, listeners of the podcast will be delighted with this story, but readers who enjoyed Alice Isn't Dead and anyone looking for highly original adventure with a touch of the surreal will enjoy it as well.

-Cindy


Upcoming Events

No upcoming events available