Deacon King Kong
“Deacon King Kong is a quintessential New York story. Set in the Brooklyn projects in 1969, a perpetually inebriated deacon called Sportcoat aims a gun at the neighborhood’s main drug dealer in the public plaza and pulls the trigger. Incredibly well-constructed and hilarious at times, McBride’s story entwines a number of storylines that are kickstarted by this central event. The local Italian gangster, the veteran cop, the meddling churchgoers, and the drug pushers all have their own agendas, hopes, and dreams that are affected. And though Sportcoat doesn’t remember his actions and is always under the influence of gut-rot moonshine, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading this. His delightful ineptitude and absence of clarity made this book impossible for me to put down. If you’ve never read McBride before, this is a great introduction.”Stuart McCommon, Novel.
Burning Girls and Other Stories
“This short story collection blew me away. Our protagonists, in true fairytale fashion (but perhaps better than I’ve ever seen it) are pushed by circumstance and historical context and prejudice and sometimes cruelty, into situations where they seem to have no choices left. It’s then that the fantastical elements of the stories come in. Through magic—sometimes ugly and grotesque magic and always with a cost—our characters retain their agency and fight back, even though they rarely win a “happily ever after”. My two favorite stories were, "The Revenant," and “Emma Goldman Takes Tea with the Baba Yaga," but if I let myself choose more than two I'd pick almost all of them as favorites.”Miriasha, Phoenix Books
The Way Back
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A SYDNEY TAYLOR NOTABLE BOOK
Perfect for readers of Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, a sweeping historical fantasy that follows two teens on a journey through the Far Country, a Jewish land of spirits and demons.
For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of... Read more »
The Last Black Unicorn
Grammy Award Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album!
From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.
Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South... Read more »
Lady in the Lake
“I continue to be in awe of Laura Lippman’s ability to write novels that are so much more than mysteries. Lady in the Lake is, of course, a wonderful mystery with twists and turns and surprises —nothing is predictable. But it is also a beautiful character study and a sensitive look at the desire to have a meaningful life and how ambition can be motivating but also blinding. I loved the multiple voices in the novel— Laura’s characters are never perfect and therefore come across as real people with real needs. I have no doubt that Lady in the Lake will be a huge success.”Ann Berlin, The Ivy Bookshop
The Awkward Black Man
Bestselling author Walter Mosley has proven himself a master of narrative tension, both with his extraordinary fiction and gripping writing for television. The Awkward Black Man collects seventeen of Mosley's most accomplished short stories to showcase the full range of his remarkable talent.
Mosley presents distinct characters as they struggle... Read more »
“The intersection of world history and family history, the interplay of memory and imagination, a tangle of humor and grief, and the blurred and shifting line that separates sanity and madness all come into play in this stunning book. In the months before his death, Chabon's grandfather revealed much of his life to his grandson. On that foundation, Chabon has built a novel filled with family stories, World War II episodes -- including an appearance by Wernher von Braun -- an obsession with rocketry, and a vividly realized, against-all-odds love story. While all the characters are richly developed, the narrator's grandfather -- the brave, eccentric, anger-fueled, and deeply loving center of this novel -- will remain with readers forever.”Banna Rubinow, The River's End Bookstore
“No surprise: Forest Dark was worth the wait. Tapping into intellectual and deeply personal moments, the two main characters are ones to identify with even as the circumstances they find themselves in are fantastic. Krauss' reflections about marriage are poignant, and there is a lot to contemplate. At first, I enjoyed having moments when I wasn't reading to think, but toward the end I found myself not being able to put it down.”Kira Wizner, Merritt Books
Dinner at the Center of the Earth
The best work yet from the Pulitzer finalist and best-selling author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges--a political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard.
A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched... Read more »
Death in Her Hands
“While on her daily walk in the woods with her dog, and elderly widow finds a handwritten note on the ground that seems to describe the details of a murder. Without evidence of a body, or any other visible clues to go on, the unreliable and quirky narrator somehow becomes obsessed with the mystery and sets out to solve it. Death in Her Hands is a truly strange and poetic psychological suspense novel and probably nothing like anything you have ever read before! The reading performance by Ann Marie Lee adds a rich layer to the narrator’s voice.”Noelle, Oblong Books
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me
A true (as told to me) story
“Bess Kalb, a writer for many comedy series and Jimmy Kimmel Live, shines in this quirky memoir of her beloved (and opinionated!) grandmother. Told in voice messages which alternately exhort and praise, she relays the love that she and her grandmother Bobby Bell share. In a more unusual style, she tells Bobby’s immigrant story and the fraught relationships with both her mother and daughter as if Bobby is speaking from the grave. It's short and oh so engaging.”Valerie, Blue Willow Bookshop
If you enjoyed The Dutch House, then you’ll love Morningside Heights.
“Whether you want it to or not, loving someone changes you. Joshua Henkin's newest novel, Morningside Heights, is a captivating family story that examines the love between husband and wife, father and child, mother and daughter. When literature professor Spence Robin starts exhibiting signs of early-onset Alzheimer's disease, the impact on his wife, son, and daughter plays out differently for everyone. Henkin is a gifted writer whose nuanced prose is a delight to read.”Rachel, Avid Bookshop
The Color of Love
A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl
Winner of the 2020 Midwest Book Award in Autobiography/Memoir, The Color of Love is an unforgettable memoir about a mixed-race Jewish woman who, after fifteen years of estrangement from her racist great-aunt, helps bring her home when Alzheimer’s strikes.
In 1970, three-day-old Marra B. Gad was adopted by a white Jewish family in Chicago. For her...Read more »
"This listen is for lovers of words, lovers of a great story, and lovers of a great narration. Hillary Huber does a fantastic job capturing this wonderful novel about twin girls, their love for each other, and their eventual rivalry." -- AudioFile Magazine
An enchanting, comic love letter to sibling rivalry and the English language.
New translation by Marion Wiesel
An enduring classic of Holocaust literature, Night offers a personal and unforgettable account of the appalling horrors of Hitler's reign of terror. Through the eyes of 14-year-old Eliezer, we behold the tragic fate of the Jews from the little town of Sighet. Even as they are stuffed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, the townspeople refuse... Read more »
Just One Night
You should sleep with a stranger, her best friend whispered in her ear—and so begins the intense, erotic journey of Kasie Fitzgerald in Book One of the Just One Night series, a blockbuster bestseller and “an uplifting story in which sex is presented both as freedom and as a metaphor for power” (Publishers Weekly).
Kasie Fitzgerald knows who she’s... Read more »
The Plot against America
“This alternate history masterpiece imagines what would have happened if Charles Lindbergh won the presidential election in 1940 instead of Roosevelt. After the passing of Philip Roth, pay homage to this great writer by reading his work.”Karen, Parnassus Books
Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father's spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer-mom, Miriam. But when Eliza sweeps her school and district spelling... Read more »
Pulitzer Prize finalist Cynthia Ozick's fiction has been awarded multiple O. Henry Prizes. In Foreign Bodies, Ozick crafts a remarkable retelling of Henry James' The Ambassadors-deftly using its plot, yet boldly infusing the novel with an all new place, time, and meaning. It's 1952, and middle-aged Bea Nightingale reluctantly agrees to fly to... Read more »
A Love Story
In this stunning debut novel, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together—free of worldly...Read more »