Staff Pick

If Ling Ma’s debut novel seems at all familiar, she’s carefully calibrated that feeling: it’s an apocalypse novel that could be happening right now. (It’s not for nothing that it’s actually set in the recent past.) The “fevered” zombies’ routines are commonplace: setting dinner tables, folding shirts, wandering name-brand stores, but with the added benefit of quicker-than-average bodily decay. It’s funny except when it’s horrifying; it’s horrifying except when it’s oddly comforting. That ambivalent tonal mixture is just one piece of what makes Ma’s writing so unique and captivating. Severance rushes forward on information overflow—on the ins and outs of collector’s edition Bible production, on the lives of Chinese immigrants in late-80s Utah, and on the name brands we all know and love-hate—because if that rush stopped, would we all fall into zombified oblivion too?

Severance: A Novel Cover Image
By Ling Ma
ISBN: 9780374261597
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 14th, 2018

Staff Pick

Andromeda Romano-Lax’s Plum Rains skillfully combines speculative sci-fi, historical fiction and an unconventional romance into something emotionally satisfying and hopeful. In Japan’s near future, where artificial Intelligence is replacing human health care aides, nurse Angelica’s livelihood is at risk. A prototype healthcare AI, nicknamed “Hiro”, threatens to push out Angelica while it forms a bond with her client, an unhappy centenarian named Sakoyo. Hiro’s presence brings Sayoko’s repressed memories back to the surface, and then each character must struggle to reconcile the past, learn to trust, and pursue future happiness as each sees it. This book is a joy that defies genre and should just be shelved under “terrific book”. 

Plum Rains Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616959012
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Soho Press - June 5th, 2018

Staff Pick

The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley is dark and gorgeous and absolutely devastating.  It is a retelling of Beowulf that hits you hard whether you know every line or have never read the original. It is a beautiful fable about war, trauma, and what it means to keep those you love safe, a book as deep and layered as the mere within it.

The Mere Wife: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374208431
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: MCD - July 17th, 2018