Monthly Bookseller's Choice

Every month, we select a book that we love so much that we feel confident guaranteeing that you'll love it too, so much so that we'll give you your money back if you don't. Peruse this list if you're trying to remember one you missed or are looking for more recommendations like it. You can also see previous months by clicking here.

 

Staff Pick Badge
Still Born By Guadalupe Nettel, Rosalind Harvey (Translated by) Cover Image
By Guadalupe Nettel, Rosalind Harvey (Translated by)
$26.99
ISBN: 9781639730032
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - August 8th, 2023

September 2023 Bookseller's Choice

"I've loved Nettel's work since reading her short story collection Natural Histories and have read everything of hers since. Last summer, I was too impatient to wait for the English release of Still Born, so I went to the library to check out the original Spanish edition. After reading it, I knew I would revisit the book once Rosalind Harvey's translation hit the shelves.

Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, Still Born builds a nuanced portrait of two friends who embrace or reject the motherhood in various ways. Many narratives on motherhood fail to acknowledge ambivalence toward it, but Nettel's straighforward prose captures that emotion and interrogates the assumptions and expectations surrounding caretaking.

Both tender and philosophical, Still Born is a read for fans of Valeria Luiselli, Shelia Heti, and Rachel Cusk."- Katie


Staff Pick Badge
Daddy Boy By Emerson Whitney Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781952119521
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: McSweeney's - June 27th, 2023

July 2023 Bookseller's Choice

The hook for Emerson Whitney's Daddy Boy is unbeatable: a submissive ends his long-term relationship with his Domme wife and finds himself fulfilling a lifelong dream of storm chasing.

But that's just the set up. What follows is a deep (read:insightful, funny, feeling, cerebral, emapthetic) topography of memory. Whitney charts us through the present, to his childhood and adolescence of self-sufficiency, through his most formative romantic relationship, and back again, criss-crossing his life's map like chasing storms through Tornado Alley.

We ride along with Whitney as he writes this memoir, seeing both what he sees and what he is seeking. So much of this books is about trying to connect to those around you, to find yourself reflected in them, to try to be the right reflection. It's about surrendering to something more powerful than we are, and the fire of possession that takes over our brains when we try to capture that something, the ocean in a coffee cup. It's about trying to articulate feelings beyond the capability of words, and coming to terms with language's failure.

Whitney's book spoke so much to me as a queer person, and I think it will speak to anyone who has had to forge their own path, chased shadows of love, obsessed over the nice, or said "yes" to themselves.
-GAB Bookseller Kar


Staff Pick Badge
Small Fires: An Epic in the Kitchen By REBECCA MAY JOHNSON Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781911590484
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Pushkin Press - June 6th, 2023

June 2023 Bookseller's Choice

This book is a hot splatter of intellect that stains the brain with its rhythms. Rebecca May Johnson is a true talent and I can't wait to see what she does next.
-GAB Bookseller Vanessa


Staff Pick Badge
Shy: A Novel By Max Porter Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781644452295
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Graywolf Press - May 2nd, 2023

May 2023 Bookseller's Choice

"Max Porter has perfected the art of containing multitudes within deceptively slender books. SHY is a prismatic, intense exploration of pain; formally innovative, unsparing in its story, and toeing the line between merciless and merciful towards its stream-of-consciousness narrator. An experience and an experiment, not to be missed."- GAB Bookseller Vanessa


Staff Pick Badge
Y/N: A Novel By Esther Yi Cover Image
$26.00
Temporarily Unavailable
ISBN: 9781662601538
Published: Astra House - March 21st, 2023

April 2023 Bookseller's Choice

"Unlike anything I've ever read...brilliant and unnerving; brimming with intellect but seriously DERANGED; a portrait of a person who uses their brains for all the wrong reasons; whose thoughts are a fractal crackup poisoned by the Internet but shimmering with sickly sheen. For your smartest, weirdest friend, who's probably you." -GAB Bookseller Vanessa


Staff Pick Badge
Birnam Wood: A Novel By Eleanor Catton Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374110338
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships from warehouse in several days.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 7th, 2023

March 2022 Bookseller's Choice

"Set in New Zealand, this gripping novel explores tensions among a tech billionaire American, a clueless landowner, an aspiring journalist, and a group of idealist trying to turn unused land into vegetable gardens. It's grounded in fully realized characters, but the plot pulls the reader through various twists and surprises. With themes of class, surveillance, nature, and the human desire to just fit in, Birnam Wood is the best novel I've read in several years."- GAB Co-Owner Pete


Staff Pick Badge
After Sappho: A Novel By Selby Wynn Schwartz Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781324092315
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships from warehouse in several days.
Published: Liveright - January 24th, 2023

February 2023 Bookseller's Choice

"A luminous interweaving of biographical vignettes, liming the lives of a cadre of remarkable women. Spanning the Belle Epoch in Italy, France, and England (with side trips to Greece.), the narrative culminaters inevitably with the publication of Virginia's Woolf's Orlando, in 1928. The Fragments of Sappho supplies the connecting thread to various narratives. This is the kind of book which makes you want to read a whole lot more books." - GAB Bookseller Spiros


Staff Pick Badge
Stay True: A Memoir By Hua Hsu Cover Image
By Hua Hsu
$26.00
ISBN: 9780385547772
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships from warehouse in several days.
Published: Doubleday - September 27th, 2022

Green Apple Bookseller's Choice Book of the Year 2022


Staff Pick Badge
Confessions with Keith By Pauline Holdstock Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771964975
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Biblioasis - October 25th, 2022

November 2022 Bookseller's Choice


Staff Pick Badge
It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror By Joe Vallese (Editor), Carmen Maria Machado (Contribution by), Bruce Owens Grimm (Contribution by) Cover Image
By Joe Vallese (Editor), Carmen Maria Machado (Contribution by), Bruce Owens Grimm (Contribution by)
$25.95
ISBN: 9781952177798
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Feminist Press - October 4th, 2022

October 2022 Bookseller's Choice

"Could there be a more perfect choice for October? This put into words all my queer love for horror. I need everyone to read this so we can have a fun Halloween bookclub party. Even if you're not queer or the biggest horror fan, these essays are so personal and captivating. Every essay in this is worth a read but this collection is worth the buy for Carmen Maria Machado's love letter to "Jennifer's Body" alone. If you are interested in love letters and essays trying to understand what exactly is so captivating about this genre to people who are at best, underrepresented and at worst, completely insulted. If you like campiness, scary stories and queer analysis: PLEASE READ THIS."- GAB Bookseller Olivia


Staff Pick Badge
Bliss Montage: Stories By Ling Ma Cover Image
By Ling Ma
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374293512
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships from warehouse in several days.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 13th, 2022

September 2022

"Mindblowing...a total trip...masterfully done!"-GAB Bookseller Vanessa

"Chilling and unnerving."- GAB Bookseller Eileen

"An out of body experience" - Friend of GAB Charlie

"Prophetic, 5 stars"- GAB Bookseller Zoe


The Rabbit Hutch: A Novel (National Book Award Winner) By Tess Gunty Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593467879
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Vintage - June 27th, 2023

August 2022

The Rabbit Hutch comes together like one of those many-layered cakes
held together by spun sugar and cream, an architectural marvel whose
effortless appeal disguises its structural soundness and the
intelligence Tess Gunty brings to her characterizations. Mysticism,
middle-American malaise, midcentury Hollywood: all these converge in a
fashion at once surprising and just right. Gunty's fearlessness with
form and her unflinching depiction of life gone off the rails (and
into heavenly [carnal?] oneness with Jesus? Maybe?) would be
impressive from any writer, let alone a debut. Pick this up and, like
Blandine, exit your body, if only for a little while.


Self-Portrait with Ghost: Short Stories By Meng Jin Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063160729
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Mariner Books - July 4th, 2023

July 2022

Meng Jin's new story collection takes us to the in-between: past and present, this country to another, this world and the next (and the next). It defies logic in that it is perfectly logical to be moving through time and space like this, as if traveling on a synapse of the brain. Each story is so satisfying in its unexpected end. The satisfaction itself is unexpected in its origin, coming by way of characters' humor, grief, nostalgia, and candor. Whether we are on another plane or trapped in the "privilege of reality", Jin does what all great writers do: she makes art for our times that will resonate for another future. —Kar 


You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel By Akwaeke Emezi Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982188719
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Washington Square Press - June 13th, 2023

June 2022

Emezi has crafted a relentless story driven by stunning characters who attempt to rebuild their lives after having suffered great tragedies.  Five years after the death of her husband, Feyi thinks she might be ready for dating again. Still struggling with the distance of her past and having no assurance for the future, she becomes wrapped up in deep feelings and an adventure with no clear answers. 

Love is never where you expect and sometimes, you might be the one who has to make the choice to live. I swear this book makes the blue sky brighter and the sun's shine warmer. Have fun!

 

- ZOE


Staff Pick Badge
All the Secrets of the World By Steve Almond Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781638930686
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Zando - March 21st, 2023

May 2022

Almond’s first novel (after a bunch of non-fiction and story collections) is just good old-fashioned plot-driven storytelling. Worlds collide when 13-year-old Lorena, daughter of an undocumented immigrant living in Sacramento, gets invited to work on a school project at the home of blonde, wealthy Jenny Stallworth.  Lorena catches the eye of Jenny’s father Marcus, who seems to be struggling with boundary issues.  Then Marcus mysteriously disappears and is thought to have been murdered.  Into this mix Almond tosses a large cast of characters all with secrets of their own: Lorena’s troubled gangster wannabe brother, an ambitious FBI agent, Jack Mormons, corrupt police and a broken criminal justice system. Oh, and Nancy Reagan and her astrologer.-kpr


Staff Pick Badge
Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel By Claire Kohda Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063140899
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: HarperVia - April 4th, 2023

 

April 2022

Do you like puppets? Pig blood? Pretentious art? How about alienation, desperate loneliness, and insatiable urges? Are your hands always cold? 

Do you experience hunger like a vise around your brain until you can no longer think of anything but food and you’re ready to snap the neck of the nearest person but not to eat—no—not to eat, definitely not to eat them, just a normal, everyday craving for bl—I mean, lunch...you ever feel hungry?

If you said yes to any of these questions, you may be interested in Woman, Eating, by Claire Kohda, available from Green Apple Books for the low low price of $26.99!

-Vanessa


Staff Pick Badge
Pure Colour: A Novel By Sheila Heti Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250863041
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Picador - April 25th, 2023

February 2022

I wish I could commit every page of this novel to memory. A philosophical and lively rumination about life, death, and our place in the universe. Our narrator, Mira, embarks on a spiritual journey to learn that no matter can ever be created or destroyed. Heti tethers us to reality in touchstone moments, but the passages of existential thought are evocative and poetic, the kind of writing that nourishes the spirit.  --Kar 


Joan Is Okay: A Novel By Weike Wang Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525563952
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 7th, 2023

Green Apple book of the month: January 2022

This short novel explores some compelling issues beneath the surface of sparse prose: identity, family, loyalty. But it's also a sharp portrait, wryly rendered, of a 30-something Chinese-American doctor who faces loss, solitude, and, in her ICU, Covid.  Joan's a quirky narrator, which makes for an interesting slice-of-life novel. 

-- Pete


Small Things Like These By Claire Keegan Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802158741
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Grove Press - November 30th, 2021

December 2021 -- Bill Furlong runs a coal delivery service, and is doing better than many of his neighbors in his small, economically struggling rural town in Ireland in the 1980s. But one cold December afternoon, while making a delivery to the local Magdalene Convent, he discovers a young girl locked in the coal bin. The sisters put on a good front that this was an unfortunate accident, but Furlong knows something isn’t right. His wife and other townspeople urge him not to make trouble as the local Catholic diocese holds powerful sway over the town, but he can’t let it go. The story of the Magdalene Laundries is one of Ireland’s great dark stains, and this beautiful little book brings that story home in a beautiful, heartbreaking way. -KPR


Orwell's Roses By Rebecca Solnit Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593083376
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Penguin Books - October 18th, 2022

November 2021 — Using George Orwell's lifelong passion for gardening and the outdoors as a thouchstone, Rebecca Solnit explores how life's rooted and immediate pleasures inform and sustain activism and art in unquantifiable and thrilling ways.   - E.H.


Staff Pick Badge
Light From Uncommon Stars By Ryka Aoki Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250789082
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Tor Books - July 26th, 2022

October 2021

Take a crew of space alien refugees running a donut shop, a trans girl violin prodigy, and a music teacher who has made a deal with the devil. Add a Monterey Park setting, a cup of sensory details, a spoonful of sadness, a spoonful of sugar, a dash of own voices representation and a violin named eggplant. Then you’ll end up with this unique blend of fantasy, science fiction and reality, unlike anything else I’ve ever read.   --Will


The Archer By Shruti Swamy Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781643752549
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Algonquin Books - August 9th, 2022

September 2021

Shruti Swamy's A House is a Body is one of my favorite story collections, and her debut novel, The Archer, did not disappoint. Like an oil painting over a pencil sketch, the novel builds slowly and fills out with bursts of color and sensory detail. Not only is Vidya's story compelling, but it is told masterfully. Swamy captures the particular thrill and trouble of becoming singularly focused on an art: the life it jolts us with and the blinders it affixes. I loved this book. --Kar 


Staff Pick Badge
Edge Case: A Novel By YZ Chin Cover Image
By YZ Chin
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063030695
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Ecco - May 3rd, 2022

August 2021


Build Your House Around My Body: A Novel By Violet Kupersmith Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780812983487
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 5th, 2022

July 2021

This is the perfect, engulfing novel that is meant to be read during the summer over long hours, in hot and sticky weather. Like Allende did for Chile in The House of the Spirits, Kupersmith writes a sweeping, suspenseful novel that draws from decades of Vietnamese history and folklore. It slowly unfurls a mystery, and we, the reader, get to piece it together page by page. It was an experience of a book, delightfully unsettling and beautifully composed. --Kar


Rainbow Milk: A Novel By Paul Mendez Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593313077
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Anchor - May 31st, 2022

June 2021

Paul Mendez's writing is dazzling. Rainbow Milk is nothing short of cinematic. Incredibly sensory, with vibrant flowers and rich feelings cast against a dreary London. The characters are so deeply felt, empathetic, and made full they could walk off the page. This is an important work of what it means to be masculine, what it means to be an immigrant, what it means to be in a culture. We're lucky to have this new addition to the canon of queer coming-of-age stories. 
- kar 


Crying in H Mart: A Memoir By Michelle Zauner Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984898951
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Vintage - March 28th, 2023

May 2021

Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast tells her story of returning home to take care of her mother during cancer treatment as an adult, after leaving as an angry and difficult teenager. It's a story of love and grief, anger, heartache,  food, and identity.  Crying in H Mart makes you wish you were still small, sitting in a warm kitchen while someone you love cooks you a hot meal.  Zauner unflinchingly gives us a story of the brutal reality of watching someone you love suffer, softened by the ribbons of deep, fierce maternal love. Anyone who has ever experienced love or loss will feel Zauner’s story heavy in their soul.


The Night Always Comes: A Novel By Willy Vlautin Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063035096
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Harper Perennial - May 17th, 2022

April 2021

Willy Vlautin's milieu is telling the stories of ordinary people facing extraordinary hardship. His characters are always rendered with great sympathy and a big heart. In The Night Always Comes, we meet Lynette as her world is crumbling around her. She has worked hard, battled many setbacks, righted her life and is working towards the goal of owning a home when the rug gets pulled out from under her. Rather than crumple, she sets off to claim what she feels is hers, by any means necessary.  Seriously.  This is the story of a good person pushed to extremes by the brutalities of gentrification and the American Dream. - kpr


Edie Richter Is Not Alone By Rebecca Handler Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781951213459
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Unnamed Press - October 4th, 2022

March 2021

Edie Richter is turning to fog. Edie Richter is longing to feel. Edie Richter is carrying a secret that is eating her up. Edie Richter is going to burst. 

Edie Richter is expertly paced. Edie Richter is keenly observant. Edie Richter is bitingly funny. Edie Richter is a well of empathy. Edie Richter is transporting. Edie Richter is an exceptional read. - Kar


Fake Accounts: A Novel By Lauren Oyler Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646221240
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships from warehouse in several days.
Published: Catapult - February 8th, 2022

February 2021

A darkly funny take on the residue from the Trump era, including the pleasures of lying and the comfort found in conspiracy theories.  After our narrator learns her boyfriend has a secret life as an online right-wing crank, she decamps for Berlin where she tries on new personalities of her own among strangers.  For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh and Zadie Smith, and those in doomed relationships with their phones. Oyler is the best literary critic of her generation and now one of its best novelists, too. - Benjy


A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life By George Saunders Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781984856036
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 12th, 2022

January 2021

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is refreshing, warm, and educational in the best sense of the word. For me, the best non-fiction books—like the best teachers—open your eyes in an engaging way, with personality and passion. And as Saunders takes us through six short stories by Russian masters, we learn to read differently; we slow down; we feel his passion; and we ask questions. Any reader will enjoy this time spent back in school with a smart, kind teacher.


Memorial: A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel) By Bryan Washington Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593087282
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Riverhead Books - October 26th, 2021

November 2020

Benson and Mike have been together for four years, but now they're mired in silence and resentment, and find their lives spinning in different directions as each grapples with a father they barely know.  Washington manages not only to salvage the great American theme of Fathers & Sons, but also to make something new and beautiful out of it.  Both protagonists are painted in precise and unromantic prose as they struggle apart from one another.  Neither Benson nor Mike is the bad guy, even though they're both guilty of causing cracks in their relationship.  The story never favors either of them, it simply acknowledges their achingly human faults as they come to terms with their fathers and the life they've built together." —Mikayla


Homeland Elegies: A Novel By Ayad Akhtar Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316496414
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Back Bay Books - May 25th, 2021

October 2020

"Homeland Elegies is the best book so far to grapple with the cause and effects of the current administration and political climate. There are more than a few uncomfortable moments in Homeland Elegies. There are also moments where I disagreed with the author/narrator. And there are moments of revelation; such as the narrator's visit to Pakistan, the country his parents immigrated from. Watching first and second generation immigrants grapple with what each perceives to be the American dream (and they are always going to be different visions) is what makes Homeland Elegies leave a lasting impression - unlike the flash flood of other books on this administration." - Martin.


What Makes the Monkey Dance: The Life And Music Of Chuck Prophet And Green On Red By Stevie Simkin Cover Image
$22.95
Temporarily Unavailable
ISBN: 9781911036616
Published: Jawbone Press - August 18th, 2020

September 2020

This could be subtitled How the West was Won. Chuck Prophet is an sf legend via Nixon's Whittier and Los Angeles' Americana punk scene. The creator of many great records with Green On Red and his own solo work, the man has 6 degrees of separation with everyone who is anyone in the business.

Read the book, hear the music - the rest is history.

fs


Staff Pick Badge
Luster: A Novel By Raven Leilani Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250798671
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Picador - June 8th, 2021

August 2020

Leilani’s debut novel about a black 20-something women navigating her way through a white couple’s marriage is addled, rattled, and incredibly lucid.  Each meandering sentence is like a frayed nerve being stretched to its end.  You can’t help but rush to the end of the words with the same anxiousness and fervor felt by the narrator.  This is a stream of consciousness narrative for the digital age of online dating and the gig economy.  But even though the setting is up to the minute modern, Leilani is examining old, tangled themes of human connection, racial and economic disparity, and maybe even love.

“I have said goodbye enough times to know that departure has a way of gilding what are, at best, slow quotidian deaths, but still each time I think of everything I will lose.”


Unearth [The Flowers] By Thea Matthews Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780999889510
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships from warehouse in several days.
(This book cannot be returned nor exchanged.)
Published: Red Light Lit Press - June 20th, 2020

July 2020

"Thea Matthews' debut collection is as stunning as it is powerful. A deeply-rooted work of the spirit, Matthews' poems are both resistant and resilient. It unearths and re-earths us, moving the reader in a way that's nearly cosmic. What a pleasure to share time with a voice like Thea Matthews'."—Kar