Books & Gifts

Staff Reviews

What's on Your Staff Rec Shelf? Vol. 3

What's on Your Staff Rec Shelf? Vol. 3

Believe it or not, our staff loves to read! They also get to decide what books we have on our shelves for you to buy. Every single book in our store was hand-picked by an employee—get to know their tastes by checking out what’s on everyone’s staff rec shelf right now!





Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (General Fiction)

“FIVE STARS. A perfectly woven and plotted view into suburban discontent. Characters you truly care about and want things to work out for—but that’s just not how life goes, is it?”

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Business & Economics)

“Will change your life, I promise.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay (Young Adult Fiction)

“‘Turn to page 394.’ No but really, look at the Marauder’s Map on page 148!”



Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez (Young Adult Fiction)

“Imagine growing up in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo regime. Told from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl as she sees her world change very quickly. Not a biography but based on many events that did occur to friends and family of the author.”

The Evil Garden by Edward Gorey (Children’s)

“I love Edward Gorey’s detailed and whimsical drawings and his unique storytelling style. A darkly humorous story about an exotic and fascinating garden in which nothing is as it seems.”

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry (General Fiction)

“What do a privileged 12-year-old girl and a middle-aged widowed concierge have in common? Besides living in the same building, they have a similar secret. The person others expect to see is not the true self they keep locked away. More profound life truths in this book than in War and Peace—and a much easier read!”



There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker (Poetry)

“Punch-in-the-gut poems about what it means to be a black woman in contemporary American culture. Full of political and pop culture references—a must read!”

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh (General Fiction)

“Set in pre-9/11 New York City but ‘tuned to a hyper-contemporary frequency.’ A strange, strange read but such a good one! I’m a new fan of Moshfegh and I’m already absolutely HOOKED by the way she writes female characters.”

Hillary, Made Up by Marianne Kunkel (Poetry/Local)

“A very smart and bold look at Hillary Clinton’s public life, the standards of appearance she’s been held to, and why those standards just plain don’t work.”



By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz (Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy)

“The book focuses on a trio who have all been attacked by a doctor and are now on the run from people who want to kill them. While on the run, they all develop supernatural powers. Who doesn’t love a book with this much suspense?”

It by Stephen King (Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy)



All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (General Fiction)

“It was the first time we had sort of articulated our major problem. She wanted to die and I wanted her to live and we were enemies who loved each other.”



Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson (Humor)

Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele (Intersectional Studies)



Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (General Fiction)

“Homer’s Iliad tells the story of the Trojan war, the mighty conflict between a prince and a king, and the painful death of a lover. But before the war, Achilles was just a prince with a best friend that would do anything for him. This is the story of Patroclus and Achilles’ growth, loss, and love. I cried during the happy parts!”

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (Kids)

“I first encountered this series when I was 12 and it sparked a love for Greek mythology that has lasted into my college career. Heart-pounding, heartfelt, and clever, Percy’s adventures entertain and inspire from childhood into adulthood.”



We Stand on Guard by Brian K. Vaugh (Graphic Novel)

“This work, by one of the biggest names in comics, puts us in Canada years after the U.S. invasion! Vivid story, real characters.”

Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (Environment)

“An ecologist of the first order and father of American wilderness areas. Beautiful, timely science and art.”

Beside You at the Stoplight by Marjorie Saiser (Poetry/Local)

“This Nebraska poet shines in this (and all her other!) work. Tender, moving, and real.”



The game ICECOOL2

The game Hanabi

The Lost Queen of Crocker County by Elizabeth Leknes (General Fiction)



Prairie Chicken Little by Jackie Mims Hopkins (Children’s)

“The illustrations are masterfully done by Henry Cole, a frequent presenter at Plum Creek Literacy Festival. The story is a hoot with lots of expression and rhyming words to promote language development.”



Herding Hemingway’s Cats by Kat Arney (Science & Medicine)

“Want to know what’s happening in the world of genetics without reading dry papers? This book is for you! Full of fun analogies and cutting edge info, Kat Arney brings you up to speed with overcomplicating it.”

Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales (Science & Medicine)



We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (Young Adult Fiction)

“The asteroid may or may not destroy the earth. These last three months may or may not by the end. All they know for sure is that they will be filled with drama, crime, passion, and one huge prison breakout. Plus, what better way to celebrate the potential end of the world than a massive party?!”



The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus & A Life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell (Philosophy)

“Montaigne will ask of you what parts of life really matter most. Friends? Food? Sex? God? Camus, another French thinker, cuts to the most important question we can ever ask: why should I continue to live? Try reading them together!”



Some Very Interesting Cats Perhaps You Weren’t Aware Of by Doogie Horner (Humor)

“I’m back again with another cat book! The art in this book is SO, SO CUTE! This is a great, light-hearted, and funny read for all the cat folks out there. You might find yourself relating to these cats, too.”



Is Gender Fluid? A Primer for the 21st Century by Sally Hines (Intersectional Studies)

All Black Cats Are Not Alike by Amy Goldwasser and Peter Arkle (Humor)



The Roundhouse by Louise Erdrich (General Fiction)

“The 13-year-old narrator comes of age and is taught hard ‘lessons’ about masculinity during his investigation into his mother’s sexual assault when the official investigation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Heart-wrenching prose alongside emotionless court documents—it’s brilliant.”

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (World Religions)

Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Children’s)



Dear America by Jose Antonio Vargas (Biography)

“EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!!! Vargas’s story is one of many undocumented citizens in the US, stories that are seldom shared. His story shed light onto many aspects of immigration that I never knew. The book goes beyond the hot topic of immigration and into his journey creating a new family in America after leaving his behind in the Philippines.”

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown (Business & Economics)



Brand by Hand: Blisters, Calluses, and Clients: A Life in Design by Jon Contino (Art)

The King in the Golden Mask by Marcel Schwob (Performing Arts)



Forward by Abby Wambach (Sports & Recreation)

Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling by BikeSnobNYC and Christopher Koelle (Sports & Recreation)



Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (Classics)