Check this list to see the latest staff recommendations. You will see that we have diverse interests and styles, and together we present our view of the best books to read now.
For more recommendations from your favorite booksellers, check this link.
Two women from different generations and cultures bond over a shared restaurant space. One side is a trendy new barbeque spot and the other an iconic neighborhood bakery. Each has a hidden secret from her past that required her to recreate herself. When love appears in their carefully-controlled lives, can they open to romance again? A trigger warning – at the heart of the book is a chilling sexual assault for one of the women, with additional trauma and devastating repercussions from the fall-out. Written before the recent post-Roe decision of the Supreme Court, these incidents were based on true cases of women who experienced what is described in this novel. Wiggs is a master at creating strong, relatable characters and unexpected plot twists. This is a powerful story of romance gone astray, bravery, endurance, and ultimately, kindness and second chances. A unimaginable and unforgettable novel. ~Jane
Following Walter Isaacson’s seminal book charting the Steve Jobs’ era, NYT reporter Tripp Mickle does that splendid effort proud with this fascinating book about Apple, After Steve. That Tim Cook, an Alabama native who obsessed over expenses and the supply chain was chosen by Jobs—the unsparing visionary—to lead Apple somehow worked brilliantly, as Cook led iPhone to unpatrolled superiority over all its competitors. Yet without Jobs’ alter ego, Jony Ive, continuing to have a free hand in dictating the look and feel of everything Apple—without regard to costs—Mickle artfully makes clear it wouldn’t have worked. Cook was content in his studio apartment with a chair or two and Ive had the aesthetically offensive bathroom faucets in his Gulfstream jet torn out. A match on paper seemingly made in hell made billions instead. ~Dave
The cover is gorgeous and the words inside are even more amazing! The details of language, experience, and metaphor in this collection are stunning, touching on different facets of Tayi Tibble’s life as a Māori woman in New Zealand. From indigenous stories to coming-of-age struggles to pop culture highlights like Twilight and the Kardashians, this book of poetry reads like a work of art for brown, millennial women who are trying to find their place in this world. ~Lily
The perfect entry point for people new to Murata, this is my favorite of her works translated to English so far. A master of mixing the macabre with the sweet, her short stories will leave you asking questions like, is it weird to a make a table out of human femurs? Should you leave your boyfriend because you're in love with your curtains? Is cannibalism really that bad if everyone is doing it? In Life Ceremony every bit of the bizarreness that characterizes a Murata book is tempered by beauty and kindness. This woman is brilliant. ~Cappy
Ten years earlier, serial con artist Meg put young Kat in a situation that ended her investigative journalism career. Now Meg is suddenly back in town, this time targeting a rising California politician. Kat, now stuck writing web-content articles, plans her revenge. The two women meet, and for reasons pertinent to both their schemes, become friends. Meg soon suspects Kat is after her. Kat is sure Meg is the hacker who is causing havoc with her financial accounts. Yet, they need each other if their plans are to succeed. Who is conning who? Who is telling the truth? Which is the villain? With plot twists, crises and gas-lighting that come from all angles, you won’t be able to put the book down. And yes, author Julie Clark delivers a very satisfying ending that resolves everything – for the moment. (I see a sequel here). A perfect summer read! ~Jim
Ray McMillan is a prodigy. He has a gift and a dream to be a world-class violinist, but growing up Black in rural North Carolina has limited his opportunities. His mother wants him to get a job, he can’t afford lessons, and his training is limited to his public-school orchestra. When he discovers that his family fiddle is a priceless Stradivarius, all his dreams suddenly seem within reach. But on the eve of the renowned and cutthroat Tchaikovsky Competition the violin is stolen, a ransom note left in its place. Ray must not only reclaim his precious violin but also prove to himself—and the world—that no matter the outcome, there has always been a truly great musician within him. Ray is the ultimate underdog, and you’ll find yourself rooting for him as you turn every page! ~Susan
This is a book about broken hearts and a broken world, but also about a woman whose drive to love is equaled only by her drive to escape. In an eerie near-future where humans have caused innumerable extinctions, Franny Stone joins a fishing crew in the Far North and cajoles them into sailing to the other end of the world in search of the last Arctic Terns on Earth. What she finds, or doesn't, collides with the past she's worked so hard to elude. Migrations is a powerful book about survival (or not) and a cautionary tale about what we've done to the planet despite all the warning signs. ~Rafe
Through a series of stories that actually happened to Lacey between 1980 and 2020, these sisters are here to remind us that not just micro-aggressions but macro-aggressions against Black women, and Black people in general, are alive and well. Laugh-out-loud funny, Ruffin and Lamar absolutely nail the magic trick of using humor as a tool to teach and talk about one of the most difficult aspects in our society: racism. This book is bursting with love and heartbreak, and I laughed and learned the whole way through. ~Cappy
Why did I pick up Cascadia Revealed? Maybe it was because I was watching Stranger Things and channeling my inner nerd, but more likely I was in my annual dumbstruck-at-nature phase as our soggy Spring unfurled, and sound and flower and awakening smells exploded each time I walked out the door. Daniel Mathews' guide to plants, animals, and geology of the PNW mountains provides a great armchair education, and a list of wondrous natural habitats to explore this summer (and in each season). Plan on toting this volume along to figure out what you are seeing in your back yard! ~Victoria, Bookseller Emeritus
What? Practical, feasible solutions exist to solve our most intractable societal problems? Author Rowan Hooper identifies often surprisingly simple proposals and programs currently in place that experts believe will end poverty, vastly reduce disease, stabilize the climate, and empower women, among other achievements. Finding the money isn’t the holdup; the US Government found $2.2 trillion to fund the initial covid-19 relief package within days. What we lack are leaders with imagination (and, well, leadership traits) and a populace willing to invest in our, and our children’s, future. Rowan sets forth the proposals and programs in language that is easy to comprehend and backs up his assertions with citations to actual evidence. It’s a fascinating and uplifting read that shows we have real solutions available now. ~Jim
American Gods gets a lot more attention (which, fair – it’s wonderful) but Anansi Boys is a sweeter, scarier, lonesomer story. It is epic, but in a more close-to-home way. As always, Neil Gaiman is a master of the not-quite-real-or-is-it, and this winding tale of Charlie Nancy, Charlie's mysterious brother, and their dead (?) deity of a father, engages on every level. ~Rafe