Staff Picks - 2018 Adults Holiday

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Staff Picks 2018 Holiday Catalog (4.8MB)
The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons: A Semi-serious A-to-Z ArchiveThe New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons: A Semi-serious A-to-Z Archive by David Remnick. The similar collection from fourteen years ago is now inadequate. Hundreds of new cartoons spanning nearly ten decades are included in this newly conceived two-volume, slipcased edition in an encyclopedic format (P is for Pianos, U is for Unicorns...) From sidesplitting to smirk-inducing to head-scratching. ~ Stan Hynds
The Lost WordsThe Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris (illus). This book is a treasure that we need to hand on to future generations with great care and urgency. We are losing our wild places and our wildlife, and now even the words that name them. When Macfarlane discovered that the Oxford junior dictionary intended to leave out some nature words and replace them with tech words, he set out to reintroduce them via his poems. Brought to life by the most beautiful illustrations, this is a spell book for modern life. ~ Becky Doherty
Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex RossMarvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross by Alex Ross. A collection of the master comic artist Alex Ross artwork designing Marvel characters. But also, the story of a young Alex’s drive to draw and wear his superhero passion; includes fun photos and artworks from his childhood that show his progression. Great gift book for a Marvel fan. ~ Ben Parker
Beastie Boys BookBeastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond. A love letter to fans from the remaining two Beasties. This hardcover tome traces the band's revolutionary path from punk dirtbags to Buddhist hip-hop icons. Numerous guest articles, full color photographs and incredible insight make this a must for any fan. ~ Chris Linendoll
Home Made ChristmasHome Made Christmas by Yvette Van Boven. Anyone who would advise, "make sure the dog has been walked extensively on the day of the party", in a preparation list for an entertainment book, gets-it. European food writer, chef & columnist, Yvette Van Boven has published a gorgeous holiday cookbook designed to take the angst out of party prep. Beautifully photographed and laced with lots of good advice, you'll want to give this to someone who absolutely adores the holidays and will invite you later to experience the inspiring recipes throughout. ~ Nancy Scheemaker
Matty Matheson: A CookbookMatty Matheson: A Cookbook by Matty Matheson. The VICE cook brings his fans into his kitchen and his larger-than-life personality bursts off the page. Matheson is one of the coolest guys in the cooking game, and this book is a treat for everyone who's ever wanted to have fun in the kitchen! Try a Bologna Bowl! ~ Chris Linendoll
Everyday Dorie: The Way I CookEveryday Dorie: The Way I Cook by Dorie Greenspan. In need of a little comfort and inspiration? Step into Dorie's kitchen. Her newest collection of recipes is a colorful, cheerful invitation to share in her home cooking. It's the type of cookbook begging to be creased, grease-splattered, and well-loved. A perfect gift , for both yourself and your favorite cooking buddy. ~ Cathy Taylor
The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics DrawingsThe Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings by Leonard Cohen. This collection is sure to satisfy fans and draw intrigue from those who may only know Cohen's name. Although the lyrics here are familiar and catchy it is indeed the material from his notebooks that is the real attraction. there's an intimacy in these verses generally found in the secrecy of journals or diaries where one anticipates the author's heart and soul inked in blood, and after reading this book I feel quite close to a man I've never actually met, and never will. If this is one of the main attempts of art then Mr. Cohen has achieved it here, even if unintentionally. ~ Alex Bell
Monument: Poems New and SelectedMonument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey. This collection from two-time US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer winner combines older work and a selection of new poems. A poet of mixed race, she consistently tackles racism, identity, and the African-American experience in poems informed by historical and artistic subjects including the Louisiana Native Guard and poems inspired by early twentieth century photographs of mixed race prostitutes in New Orleans. ~ Dafydd Wood
BerlinBerlin by Jason Lutes. Over twenty years in the making, Jason Lutes panoramic epic of Berlin in the '20s and '30s is one of the great graphic novels. Artists, musicians, Nazis, socialists and ordinary people rub shoulders, hop beds and clash on the streets in an unruly pageant with shades of Otto Dix and Fritz Lang. Looming over it all is the city, its monuments and tenements startlingly realized in Lutes' precise line. Read it and be left breathless. ~ Charles Bottomley
Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & YouGmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda. What a treat! Miranda has been tweeting daily motivations for himself and others for years, and now we have a collection of the best, in a beauty of a book. Jonny Sun provides the most lovely illustrations to match, so that the finished book is a total gem. Do yourself a favor, get this book now, and let it’s beacon of light and positivity guide your way. ~ Becky Doherty
Crown: The Complete Second SeasonCrown: The Complete Second Season (DVD, Blu-Ray) The elegant, Emmy-winning Netflix series about the life of Elizabeth II continues. As the Queen struggles with her marriage, the growing chasm in the relationship with her sister, and the strictures imposed on the monarchy, momentous events are taking place in the world, including the Suez crisis and the assassination of JFK. Claire Foy’s understated performance humanizes an almost mythical figure. ~ Alden Graves
Wanderer (Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive) - Cat Power - Vinyl LPWanderer by Cat Power - Vinyl LP by Chan Marshall's first album in six years, Wanderer, is a spare record of not much else besides her plaintive guitar and sultry, rasping voice. there are killer songs: "Stay" a magical, transformed cover of Rihanna; the anthem (if anthems can be this warm) “Woman” with Lana Del Rey; the harrowing and scary "Black" and "You Get" classic Grade A Cat Power ~ Dafydd Wood
The Travelling Cat ChroniclesThe Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. Moving tale, told in part by a plucky cat, of a final trip in a silver van through picturesque Japan. The cat's owner is visiting old friends, and as the journey's true purpose is subtly revealed, the bond between man, cat, and reader beautifully, and unforgettably, deepens. ~ Mike Hare
Night Train: New and Selected StoriesNight Train: New and Selected Stories by Thom Jones. This is a very badly behaved book. It's horny, kinda drunk, pilled up and looking for a fight. But Jones' tall tales overflow with the humor and idealism that marks him as a quintessentially American author. He brawls with topics from the Vietnam War to cancer in a fearless manner. The boozy prose can leave the reader hungover, but his on-the-make, luckless characters are nearly impossible to drink away. ~ Charles Bottomley
Friday BlackFriday Black by Nana Kwame & Adjei-Brenyah. You are going to hear a lot about Adjei-Brenyah, so why not get introduced to him now? This short story collection is one of the year's most confident, funny and daring debuts, utilizing fantasy in the manner of George Saunders to examine the failings of contemporary America. From school shootings to the misery of McJobs, Adjei-Brenyah handles the hottest of hot button topics with a fearless sense of satire. ~ Charles Bottomley
Scribe: A NovelScribe: A Novel by Alyson Hagy. This is the kind of book you can imagine yourself savoring curled up next to a warm fire while the wind whistles outside. A woman living alone in a land ravaged by war and disease strikes a bargain with a handsome stranger to write and deliver a letter that he hopes will partially atone for his lawless, dissolute past. Scribe is a compact, hypnotically readable novel, seemingly culled from folklore and mysticism, that could serve as a model for how vital the element of story is to any work of fiction. ~ Alden Graves
Once Upon a River: A NovelOnce Upon a River: A Novel by Diane Setterfield. There is a tavern on the Thames that is known for its storytelling. People come from far and wide to tell, and be told, stories until one night a stranger staggers in with a child in his arms. The child appears to be drowned, but is she? Who is this child and this stranger? The stories that are told about this night will mesmerize and amaze you, and keep you turning the pages to find out more. ~ Percy Sutton
Marilla of Green Gables: A NovelMarilla of Green Gables: A Novel by Sarah McCoy. Step back into the world of Avonlea and Green Gables! I was thrilled to my bones to learn the story of Marilla and her beautiful tapestry of love, loss, and regret. The book completely captured my heart and Marilla emerged as a three dimensional character. I was transported right back to Prince Edward Island. A pitch perfect love letter to Anne. ~ Martha Cornwell
Bitter OrangeBitter Orange by Claire Fuller. Claire Fuller certainly proves her ability to charm and captivate readers in her newest novel, Bitter Orange. But this novel also scared me to death. You know as you wade in that something is terribly, horribly awry This lurking sensation emerges and retreats throughout, seemingly like a main character - ever present, but never solid. You just can't put your finger on it. Until the end. I never anticipated such an ending. Whoa!! ~ Nancy Scheemaker
Little: A NovelLittle: A Novel by Edward Carey. I cannot begin to say how much I loved this brilliant and creative re-imagining of Anna Marie Groshotz’s (known to all as Madame Tussaud) life. Carey’s soaring use of language, peppered with exquisite illustrations, draws the reader into the sometimes humorous, sometimes macabre, always interesting 18th century France on the cusp of revolution. At times heartbreaking, at times uplifting, the reader will not be able to put this book down, nor ever forget the extraordinary “Little” Marie or any of the other characters populating this novel. My favorite book of 2018. ~ Tambra Johnson Reap
A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the VanderbiltsA Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler. The story is based on the life of Alva Smith Vanderbilt. Alva is presented as a complicated figure, both fearful of her family's lost fortune and her future, and rebellious against the rules of propriety. While it is fiction based on history, the lifestyle of the 1% of that time is like fantasy. The realities of their extremely privileged lives had costs but it was all a marvel to read about. A well-written, absorbing look at a distant time and social stratum. ~ Heather Bellanca
Lethal WhiteLethal White by Robert Galbraith. My favorite of the series so far! A man comes into Cormoran Strike’s detective agency with a tale of child murder and a backyard burial 20 years earlier. Though this witness is far from reliable, Strike can't get the case out of his head, even after being hired by another client, a minister of Parliament, to investigate blackmail. the more he digs, the more political backstabbing he reveals and the more he is sure that the two cases are linked. ~ Leah Moore
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No GoodAn Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten. I hope that I am as feisty, but perhaps not as murderous, as Maud when I am in my 80s! This marvelous collection of dark yet hysterically funny short stories by the famed Swedish crime author, are about a curmudgeonly senior and how she deals with the problems in her life. It is just what one needs to curl up with (along with a strong cup of tea) at bedtime. You will love it! ~ Tambra Johnson Reap
The Witch Elm: A NovelThe Witch Elm: A Novel by Tana French. The author at her very best! Her ability to draw you into a world is tremendous, yet seemingly eftortless. The writing never feels overdone and the story flows from the page beautifully, with characters so fully formed that you are completely invested in their lives. They truly begin to feel like family and friends, so much so that when you realize there is a killer in their midst, the shock you feel is real. This book is a treat waiting to be devoured. ~ Becky Doherty
The Sisters of the Winter WoodThe Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner. A beautifully written book about the eternal struggle for equality and respect for others. This novel brings in folklore, mysticism, and epic storytelling. It focuses on two sisters who, though very different from each other, share the bond of true love and how their love brings everyone together. Drawing inspiration from Ukrainian history and mythology, and Rossetti’s Goblin Market, Rossner has written a gem. ~ Becky Doherty
Vita Nostra: A NovelVita Nostra: A Novel by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko. A dark, compelling Russian fantasy with obvious comparisons to Harry Potter or The Magicians except it takes its own gritty approach to this territory. Sasha and her classmates are chosen, willing or not, to attend the Institute of Special Technologies and failure has it own dire consequences for their friends and family. I found myself drawn in by the original magic system; leave your wands and your reality at home. ~ Ben Parker
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The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate TrophyThe Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams. This deftly wrought book almost defies a category. While it is a book of Paleontology this book reads like an old fashioned "Who Dunnit" but throw in international espionage, Mongolian History and a solid dose of psychology and you've got a great read. If you liked Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon this is for you. I love this book. ~ Maeve Noonan
How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen AnimalsHow to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery & Rebecca Green (illus). Whimsical illustrations accompany this heartfelt collection of essays on understanding the world by way of the author’s connections with the animals she has known. I find myself returning to this collection often in quiet moments, seeing clearer how my interactions with animals in my own life have affected my perceptions. The author shows us that there is truly a personality and a soul in all beings. A beautiful gift for someone who loves and has been loved by animals. ~ Tambra Johnson Reap
American Dialogue: The Founders and UsAmerican Dialogue: The Founders and Us by Joseph J. Ellis. Our hallowed founders, including Washington and Jefferson, wore no halos. They struggled mightily with huge problems, including inequality, racism, and militarism, and beset by contradictions and inconsistencies, frequently failed to find solutions. Ellis molds their noble efforts into a contemporary dialogue to aid our endless quest to form a more perfect union. ~ Mike Hare
Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American GiantsHeirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants by H. W. Brands. Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Calhoun dominated Congress from the War of 1812 through the years before the Civil War. They were respectful but wary of each other: fighting over international relations, the Federal Bank, annexation of Texas, and Indian policy, while each tried, and failed, to be elected president. By the end, their relationship fractured, as did the country, when they failed to reconcile the ideal of a democratic republic with the peculiar institution of slavery. ~ Mike Hare
The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968 by George Howe Colt. Undefeated Harvard hosted undefeated Yale at the end of a year of political assassinations, race riots, escalation of war, and the election of Richard Nixon. What happened on the football field, in its glorious improbability, provided an affirmation of sport's outlet for tension and conflict, and the benefit of playing the game. ~ Mike Hare
Leadership: In Turbulent TimesLeadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin. A fantastic combination of history, storytelling and the revelation of the very human travails of some of our nation's best leaders. The book bounces between the lives of four presidents–Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson–to illustrate the leadership qualities they possessed and the paths that led them to the presidency. They all faced major obstacles, depression, and turbulent times, but were able to summon their best selves at crucial moments in our nation's history. Eminently readable and interesting. ~ Chris Morrow
The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He CreatedThe Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created by Jane Leavy. Babe Ruth belted 714 Big League home runs, while his gargantuan personality and appetites captivated the media-drenched, baseball-crazed 1920s. Jane Leavy socks her own four-bagger by revealing the athlete whose field of play extended far beyond the diamond, and the abandoned boy who became the Babe. ~ Mike Hare
Coming of Age: My Journey to the EightiesComing of Age: My Journey to the Eighties by Madeleine May Kunin. Madeleine Kunin has led a fascinating life and she gives us the broad strokes of her many illustrious careers, including as Vermont’s four-term governor, in her new memoir. From the untouched jacket portrait of her beautiful 85 year old self, to her eloquent, alternately humorous and movingly sad musings about transitioning into old age, this book reflects an honesty and self acceptance of aging that is an inspiration. A rich bonus are her beautifully descriptive poems that enhance her innermost thoughts. ~ Barbara Morrow