This month’s staff recommendations offer weird and wild reads. We found them enjoyable and enlightening.
Blue Sky Kingdom by Bruce Kirkby
Douglas & McIntyre
Recounted with wit and humility, Blue Sky Kingdom is an engaging travel memoir as well as a thoughtful exploration of modern distraction, the loss of ancient wisdom, and the challenges and rewards of intercultural friendships.
The New Wilderness by Diane Cook
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2020
At once a blazing lament of our contempt for nature and a deeply humane portrayal of motherhood and what it means to be human, The New Wilderness is an extraordinary novel from a one-of-a-kind literary force.
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.
Pew by Catherine Lacy
In a small, unnamed town in the American South, a church congregation arrives for a service and finds a figure asleep on a pew. The person is genderless and racially ambiguous and refuses to speak. One family takes in the strange visitor and nicknames them Pew.
If Then by Jill Lepore
The Simulmatics Corporation, launched during the Cold War, mined data, targeted voters, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge. Jill Lepore, best-selling author of These Truths, came across the company’s papers in MIT’s archives and set out to tell this forgotten history, the long-lost backstory to the methods, and the arrogance, of Silicon Valley.
Just us by Claudia Rankine
Sometimes wry, often vulnerable, and always prescient, Just Us is Rankine’s most intimate work, less interested in being right than in being true, being together.
How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE
An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home.
Fresh Water for Flowers by Valérie Perrin
Valérie Perrin has given readers an intimately told story that tugs on the heartstrings about a woman who believes obstinately in happiness, despite it all.
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction—a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Pamela Dorman Books
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club.