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Staff Picks
Recommended by: Jennifer
Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and Other Stories
Mantel, Hilary
"Sharply divergent from the historical fiction that twice garnered Mantel the Man Booker, these contemporary stories are shockingly vivid and delightfully edgy. They'll make your head spin (off)." —Jennifer

From one of Britain’s most accomplished, acclaimed, and garlanded writers, Hilary Mantel delivers a brilliant collection of contemporary short stories that demonstrate what modern England has become

In The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Mantel’s trademark gifts of ... (more)

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Recommended by: Erin
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Murakami, Haruki & Philip Gabriel, trans.
"This is a ghost story, a tale of a man haunted by lost friends and the echoes of the past. It is a love story, in which the lovers are kept apart by their own selves. Murakami deftly infuses daily life with myth and mystery, weaves dreams with reality. The narrative pulls you in and along with a force that is calm, yet gripping, and difficult to escape." —Erin

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the long-awaited new novel—a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan—from the award-winning, internationally best-selling author Haruki Murakami.

Here he gives us the remarkable s... (more)

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Recommended by: Stephen
Deep Dark Down: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
Tobar, Héctor
"In the traditional beliefs of Carlos Mamani’s Ayamara people, a spirit near death will walk at night. After two weeks trapped in the San José mine his spirit wanders too—in lucid dreams provoked by hunger. It is in details like this that Héctor Tobar’s reporting shines: his account of 33 miners devoured by a mountain only to be disgorged into a media spectacle is marked by an empathic restraint that accords these flawed men the dignity that is theirs by right, not as heroes, but as laborers, victims, and survivors." —Stephen

The exclusive, official story of the survival, faith, and family of Chile’s thirty-three trapped miners

When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine day... (more)

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Recommended by: Emily B.
Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number
Livio, Mario
"A light romp through the history of math revolving around the golden ratio. Interesting, informative, and doesn't require you actually know math." —Emily B.

Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887...This curious mathematical relatio... (more)

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Recommended by: Eva
Infinite Jest: A Novel
Wallace, David Foster
"You attain the goal and realize the shocking realization that attaining the goal does not complete or redeem you, does not make everything for your life 'OK', as you are, in the culture, educated to assume it will do this, the goal. And then you face this fact that what you had thought would have the meaning does not have the meaning when you get it, and you are impaled by shock." —David Foster Wallace, from the book.

... (more)

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Recommended by: Alyssa
Loitering: New and Collected Essays
D'Ambrosio, Charles
"In these essays, D’Ambrosio addresses subjects as varied as a Pentecostal Halloween “Hell House,” pre-fab housing, whaling, and Mary Kay Letourneau. The essays also contend with his troubled family history, approaching personal topics at surprising angles and juxtaposing his family’s various painful legacies with unexpected and resonant cultural touchstones. D’Ambrosio’s prose is eloquent and muscular but unpretentious. He acknowledges that essays are 'questions on the page, there for everyone to see… a forum for self-doubt.'" —Alyssa

Charles D’Ambrosio’s essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have pressed it upon their friends, students, and colleagues, only to find themselves begging for their copy’s saf... (more)

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Recommended by: Heather
Question of God: C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life
Nicholi, Armand M.
"Although the term debate used in the subtitle may not be the most fitting, what Nicholi brings is an unprecedented “compare and contrast” of two great minds of the 19th and 20th centuries. Because of the incredibly opposed opinions of Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis, an intriguing study emerges, based upon a class Nicholi has taught at Harvard for more than 25 years. By not only examining the thinkers’ theories but also their lives, Nicholi demonstrates to what degree Lewis and Freud trusted putting their ideas into practice. We don’t often encounter any work comparing the two men, due to their differing fields of expertise, but thankfully Nicholi has done it, and done it well." —Heather

Throughout the ages, many of the world's greatest thinkers have wrestled with the concept of -- and belief in -- God. It may seem unlikely that any new arguments or insights could be raised, but the twentieth century managed to produce two brilliant men with two diametrically opposed views about the... (more)

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Recommended by: Dorothea
Six Drawing Lessons
Kentridge, William
"I don't know if there are six lessons in drawing in this incredible book. But there are countless lessons in seeing and by extension in experiencing and interpreting the world and ourselves in it. There are many lessons, too, in understanding the relation between seeing, knowledge, power, and violence. An eloquent and beautiful treatise on all that art can teach us, whether we make it or simply pay attention to it." —Dorothea

Over the last three decades, the visual artist William Kentridge has garnered international acclaim for his work across media including drawing, film, sculpture, printmaking, and theater. Rendered in stark contrasts of black and white, his images reflect his native South Africa and, like endlessl... (more)

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Recommended by: Claire
Turtle Diary
Hoban, Russell
"Though he is well known for his wonderful children's literature and picture books, you might be surprised to know Russell Hoban wrote marvelous and haunting novels for adults, too. Plus, with the NYRB stamp of approval, you really can't go wrong." —Claire

Life in a city can be atomizing, isolating. And it certainly is for William G. and Neaera H., the strangers at the center of Russell Hoban’s surprisingly heartwarming novel Turtle Diary. William, a clerk at a used-book store, lives in a rooming house after a divorce that has left him without ... (more)

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Recommended by: Alex
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Semple, Maria
“That's right,' she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be.” Semple’s satirical novel about life in Seattle for Bernadette Fox and a family trip to Antarctica is anything but boring. —Alex

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette ... (more)

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