Emily's Staff Picks

ISBN: 9780061233326
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - September 10th, 2013

Sometimes when the city has got me down and I feel overwhelmed by concrete and people, I go back to this book, a beautiful meditation on Dillard's time living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Dillard has an eye for the small details (I never thought a writer could make waking up covered in the bloody paw prints of her cat sound beautiful, but she does somehow. Trust me.) all while never ignoring the vast and awe inspiring aspects of the natural world. A wonderful read to take you out of your concrete doldrums.

By Jane Bowles, Claire Messud (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780062283122
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - February 25th, 2014

A fantastic new edition of a classic. Bowles' two serious ladies follow a twisty path of debauchery in an attempt to answer the question: what kind of life do I want to lead? A book for misfits and dreamers. Plus it was Tennessee Williams favorite book!

By Marguerite Duras, Barbara Bray (Translator), Maxine Hong Kingston (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780375700521
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - September 8th, 1998

Don’t let the thinness of this book deceive you. Duras writes with a beautiful sparseness that is unlike any other writer I have ever read. She is able to capture that fragmented feeling of memory without sacrificing the readability of the story. It is a book that still haunts me.

ISBN: 9780984469383
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dorothy a Publishing Project - November 2013

What impresses me about Cain’s writing is her ability to say so much in such small and quiet spaces. Her stories are very short, some only two – three pages, and yet she writes in a way that feels so expansive and uncontainable. They are the type of stories that would collapse in on themselves if allowed to continue for longer, and that, I think, is what gives them so much power. In a world of endless opportunities to share our every unfiltered thought it is refreshing to see someone doing more with less. And doing it well.

ISBN: 9780316085250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - January 29th, 1999

Jo Ann Beard writes essays that will knock your socks off, essays that startled me with their depth and beauty while never whitewashing the horrors that life can throw at you. This book is a must have if only for the essay "The Fourth State of Matter." It is by no exaggeration one of the best essays of the last century. You will walk away from this book in a daze, drained, elated, knowing that you have just read something truly great.

ISBN: 9780307277299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - March 13th, 2007

In these tales of loss and pleasure, lovers and family, a woman learns to conduct an affair, a child of divorce dances with her mother, and a woman with a terminal illness contemplates her exit. Filled with the sharp humor, emotional acuity, and joyful language Moore has become famous for, these nine glittering tales""marked the introduction of an extravagantly gifted writer.

ISBN: 9781555976316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - January 8th, 2013

I wish I was as good a writer as Susan Steinberg so I could fully communicate just how fantastic this collection is! Steinberg tackles everything from plane crashes to a dying father to late night parties to stolen stereos with emotional depth and stylistic genius. A collection that pushes the boundaries of what fiction can do or be. A must read!

ISBN: 9780316353298
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - October 19th, 1999

It seems so inadequate to call this just a travel book. Blue Highways is a meditation on loneliness, on America, on the kindness of strangers and the coldness of strangers. It's a book for the broken hearted, a siren's call to the open road and the antidote to that strange disease called restlessness. Quite simply it is beautiful and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love it.

ISBN: 9780312428440
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - May 26th, 2009

When I tried to explain this book to someone all I could say was "It's a book about a woman whose blood tries to kill her." They stared at me rather blankly. "But it's amazing!"

Manguso transforms the horrors of a dealing with a rare auto-immune disease into something profound and beautiful and not in a self-help way either but the way that all life is filled with both pain and happiness, sorrow and redemption.