Staff Picks August 2017

annihilation seven brief lessons legacy of ashes complete stories speedboat I, Etcetera
the lottery bonjour tristesse faces in the crowd      

Annihilation
by Jeff Vandermeer

This short novel has such a thick, ominous sense of atmosphere that it almost creeps off the pages in a musky fog. A little bit of Bradbury, a little more of Lovecraft, and a lot of something new that evades comparison. —Sean

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
by Carlo Rovelli

Direct and elegant. Gain a better understanding of the fundamental laws that govern our universe. Maybe if you memorize them you’ll get special powers or something. —Sean

Legacy of Ashes
by Tim Weiner

This book is a comprehensive chronicle of the achievements and foibles of the CIA since its origin as the OSS in the early 21st century. —Joe

Complete Stories
by Clarice Lispector

Lispector writes in a way that allows you to feel as if you know her characters intimately, to comfortably exist in the space she has created for them, and to feel every emotion and thought they have, in just a few short lines. Feelings that only intensify as you continue to read. —Lacey

Speedboat
by Renata Adler

Adler forces you to look at your surroundings with new eyes, question those seemingly insignificant meetings with strangers, and explore your curiosity as she grants glimpses into the special oddities of her life. Adler disregards the rules of the novel with unexpected ease as she takes you on a journey through the ’70s. —Lacey

I,etcetera
by Susan Sontag

The amount of praise given to “Against Interpretation” and “Regarding the Pain of Others” should be given to I, etcetera as well. A unique collection of short stories. This is a wonderful introduction to Sontag if you are unfamiliar with her work. —Lacey

The Lottery & Other Stories
by Shirley Jackson

Reading the stories of Shirley Jackson is like being dragged by the wrists through a nightmare that when it ends leaves you shocked and wanting more. —Lacey

Bonjour Tristesse
by Francoise Sagan

At first airy and light-hearted, Bonjour Tristesse quickly becomes full of heartache and horror, darkened by frivolity and selfishness. —Lacey

Faces in the Crowd
by Valeria Luiselli

This is one of the mind-bendiest books I’ve ever read. Using wonderful language, Luiselli makes the reader question every passage. —Jon