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May Staff Picks!

"I am too easily swayed by every story I hear, or see, or witness, especially the tragic ones," she said. "I think this is going to be the story of my life. I'm going to be the girl who is too easily swayed by other people's stories." --Edwidge Danticat, Everything Inside: Stories

May staff picks are up in store and selling fast! We hope some of our picks catch your eyes as well!

Recommended by Alisa

Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous

The headline for this book would read “Local Man Gets Taste of his Own Medicine, Can’t Handle it Even a Little Bit”. This is a quick read for people who like their books intense and their narrators toxic. The main character isn’t likable nor is he meant to be, which makes his comeuppance all the more satisfying. 

Recommended by Anna

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

A quiet apocalyptic story of a college town with a sleeping virus that triggers life altering dreams. A twisted take on A Midsummer Night's Dream, for fans of Station Eleven and The Leftovers

Recommended by John

Pilgrim Bells: Poems by Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar's authorial voice is clear and compelling. His poetry illustrates a mystical journey across the Midwest, one which tasks the reader and author with confronting alcoholism and addiction, Islamophobia and racism, language and heritage. 

Recommended by Jordan

Whoever Steals This Book, Vol. 1 by Nowaki Fukamidori

Descended from a long line of book collectors, Mifuyu is surrounded by books in every aspect of her life. Her great-grandfather established the famous Mikura Hall, a library in the heart of town, and even the townspeople are all avid readers. There's just one problem: she hates books! But when a thief triggers an ancient curse, she's left with no choice but to reclaim the stolen books herself by entering the very stories she despises! 

Recommended by Kris

Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa and Yoshihiro Tatsumi

This incredible collection of Akutagawa's short stories starts off humorous and strange, with numerous characters with giant noses and getting into strange situations, then darkening into semi-autobiographical stories reflecting the author's state of mind. Murakami's insightful introduction puts Akutagawa's life into perspective, and how his experiences affected his one-of-a-kind storytelling. 

Recommended by Llalan

Cool for America: Stories by Andrew Martin 

"The pursuit of unavailable women was the closest I could get to a life's passion." So says my favorite character in this collection of stories about young-ish people still thinking perhaps they need to find themselves, maybe. Maybe they already have.  


Recommended by Author's Corner*

It Will Have Been So Beautiful by Amanda Shaw 

"Energetic, deploying a rich vernacular and music, the poems in It Will Have Been So Beautiful sing even, or perhaps especially, in the midst of the most challenge or difficulty.”–Nathan McClain, author of Previously Owned

*The Inner Loop's Author's Corner supports local authors' independently published books by spotlighting them across all our programming and through community collaborations.

Recommended by Patrick

Silverview by John Le Carree

Set in a lazy seaside town, John le Carré final espionage thriller utilizes a dual-perspective narrative: a businessman-turned-bookseller befriends a local with a shrouded past; meanwhile, a British spook embarks upon a cat-and-mouse chase to uncover a Cold War-era leak.

Recommended by Sara

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

Truly one for literally anyone who enjoys a good story. Think Alice in Wonderland, if Alice were a young Indo-Kush boy with the most important mission of all: to save story-telling forever. Learn where stories and UFOs come from (the story moon – its inhabitants like to visit Earth for the good snacks!). Would make a great summer read aloud for the whole family! 

Recommended by Seth

Hadji Murad by Leo Tolstoy

This is the story of a simple man who out of loyalty finds himself in the middle of a bloody war between the Russian Tsar and the Muslim khans.  For survival and revenge he sometimes fights for one side, sometimes for another. Tolstoy’s final work is a thrilling story of adventure and tragedy. 

Recommended by Seth

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

What goes into looking at a painting? This classic work analyzes the ideologies (from property relations to the male gaze) that influence what we see in a work of art. 

Recommended by Llalan

Losing Music: A Memoir of Art, Pain, and Transformation by John Cotter  

This is billed as a disability memoir, but it's much more than that. It's about music, writing, creating, and the fear of losing the ability to take part in life. Most of all, it's a love story between two artists struggling against inevitable loss through intimacy and creativity.  

Recommended by Kris

Mushrooms: An Illustrated Field Guide by Niko Summers and Jared Lee

Tag yourself; I'm the Common Ink Cap! 

Recommended by Jordan

Your Shadow Half Remains by Sunny Moraine

The Last of Us meets Bird Box in Sunny Moraine's Your Shadow Half Remains, a post-apocalyptic tale where eye contact causes people to spiral into a deadly, violent rage. 

Recommended by John

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

A wonderfully odd voyage across our solar system that can only be explained by Vonnegut's own words, “I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.”  

Recommended by Anna

Father of the Rain by Lily King

A vivid and painful story of the deterioration of a family. Absorbing and honest to the end, King once again reminds us of what it means to be human. 

Recommended by Andrew

Everything Inside: Stories by Edwidge Danticat 

This collection of eight short stories by famed Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat focus on the lives of Haitian people living across the Caribbean, and are connected by their interest in loss and the search for identity.  

Recommended by Alisa

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

The elegance of this book crept up on me gradually. Quoyle, described as a “big, damp loaf of a man”, is one of the many unremarkable and desperate characters that populate this story. At first glance mundanity seems to be all there is to them, but beauty sprouts up in their lives in unexpected and moving ways.

Interested in buying? Check out the list here!