Book List, Staff Picks

Last Minute Holiday Gifts Staff Picks!

Still need the perfect gift for someone? Check out our latest staff picks!

No One Asked for This by Cazzie David

Cazzie is a good writer, and definitely funny in a early comedic way – she says she’s more like her dad than mom and the resemblance is obvious. I could overwhelmingly relate to her relationship with her sister and appreciated how the lighter essays still had some deeper resonating themes – despite her claim of not having lived long before writing, she is a keen observer of human nature and writes unabashedly about mental health.

From writer Cazzie David comes a series of acerbic, darkly funny essays about misanthropy, social media, anxiety, relationships, and growing up in a wildly eccentric family.
For Cazzie David, the world is one big trap door leading to death and despair and social phobia. From shame spirals caused by hookups to panic attacks about being alive and everyone else having to be alive too, David chronicles her life’s most chaotic moments with wit, bleak humor, and a mega-dose of self-awareness.
In No One Asked for This, David provides readers with a singular but ultimately relatable tour through her mind, as she explores existential anxiety, family dynamics, and the utterly modern dilemma of having your breakup displayed on the Internet. With pitch-black humor resonant of her father, comedy legend Larry David, and topics that speak uniquely to generational malaise, No One Asked for This is the perfect companion for when you don’t really want a companion.

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Philips

This is one of those stories you just want to read aloud because the words are so well-written. Each word draws you deeper and deeper into the story of Bethany, Ebenezer, and the Beast until the real world fades away and only their world remains. THE BEAST AND THE BETHANY is a fantastical, funny adventure, a tale of friendship, and feels like being dunked into a Charles Dickens novel. A hilarious, enjoyable, and heartwarming read.

Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl in this riotously funny, deliciously macabre, and highly illustrated tale of a hungry beast, a vain immortal man, and a not-so-charming little girl who doesn’t know she’s about to be eaten.
Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years. How, you may wonder? Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.
But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he’d like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.
The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She’s certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn’t have to be gobbled up after all. Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more…friend-worthy?

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I am back to reading romance, as seems to be my thing each winter! This book has been loved by many and I wanted to jump on the hype train, and I am so glad I did! I adore Chloe and Red so much, and their banter was spectacular. Red is one of my favorite love interests of all time, he was just soft and lovely. I cannot wait to read the books featuring the other sisters, because they were hilarious to read about in this book!

A witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new thingsperfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang!
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

  • Enjoy a drunken night out.
  • Ride a motorcycle.
  • Go camping.
  • Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
  • Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
  • And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

The Emissary by Yoko Tawada

Set in a time where a disaster left the elderly practically immortal and the children extremely frail, The Emissary provokes wonder and reflection about what we consider normal and what we could consider normal by having Yoshiro share his thoughts and experiences as he and his great grandson navigate this post-apocalyptic life. The plot takes a turn that I think I would have preferred it didn’t take, but, in my opinion, this book is worth the read for the perspective that it gives you.

Yoko Tawada’s new novel is a breathtakingly light-hearted meditation on mortality and fully displays what Rivka Galchen has called her “brilliant, shimmering, magnificent strangeness.”
Japan, after suffering from a massive irreparable disaster, cuts itself off from the world. Children are so weak they can barely stand or walk: the only people with any get-go are the elderly. Mumei lives with his grandfather Yoshiro, who worries about him constantly. They carry on a day-to-day routine in what could be viewed as a post-Fukushima time, with all the children born ancient—frail and gray-haired, yet incredibly compassionate and wise. Mumei may be enfeebled and feverish, but he is a beacon of hope, full of wit and free of self-pity and pessimism. Yoshiro concentrates on nourishing Mumei, a strangely wonderful boy who offers “the beauty of the time that is yet to come.”
A delightful, irrepressibly funny book, The Emissary is filled with light. Yoko Tawada, deftly turning inside-out “the curse,” defies gravity and creates a playful joyous novel out of a dystopian one, with a legerdemain uniquely her own.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Khalid, a teenage king, marries a different bride each night only to have them killed the next morning. When Shahrzad’s best friend dies as a result, she chooses to become the next bride to seek revenge. Determined to stay alive, Shahrzad finds out that there is more to Khalid than she thought. From poetic writing to a strong female heroine and an “enemies to lovers” romance, this book will captivate you in every way!

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

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