All loca­tions will be closed Wednes­day, June 19 in hon­or of the June­teenth holiday.

May Staff Picks

We’re back, with five titles our staff have been lov­ing late­ly! Into sneak­ers? Mer­maids? The com­plex­i­ties of divorc­ing art from its artist? We’ve got all of that and more this month. Sim­ply click on a book to place a hold request.

Want even more recs? Check out our What We’re Read­ing page, or com­plete a short form and we’ll email you a list of per­son­al­ized recommendations.

Mon­sters: A Fan’s Dilem­ma by Claire Dederer

Ally says:

One of my favorite books that I have read late­ly is Mon­sters: A Fan’s Dilem­ma by Claire Ded­er­er. This mem­oir and cul­tur­al cri­tique explores an idea I think many of us grap­ple with: How do we engage with art we love when we don’t love the per­son who cre­at­ed it? Are there degrees of offens­es? Can we sep­a­rate the art from the artist, and should we? Ded­er­er blends her per­son­al expe­ri­ences – grap­pling with mon­sters” she loves and her own demons – with thor­ough research. She enters the con­ver­sa­tion from a place of curios­i­ty, being hon­est and open about her con­flict­ing emo­tions, and offers an impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion to this ongo­ing debate.”

The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo

Nora says:

This is a thrilling tale of the super­nat­ur­al: A venge­ful fox spir­it pur­sues a mur­der­er, while an aging detec­tive with a spe­cial gift traces the chaos in her wake. But Yangsze Choo weaves a deep­er sto­ry through her mas­tery of mag­ic real­ism, and the char­ac­ter of the fox wife res­onates to me with the fullest expres­sion of what it means to be a human in this ani­mal world. Through­out The Fox Wife, I was remind­ed of Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese’: There is grief, and there is repen­tance, but above all there is the world con­tin­u­ing on, call­ing to the soft ani­mal of your body only to live again, and love.”

The Lone­ly Hearts Book Club by Lucy Gilmore

Mia says:

What do Anne of Green Gables, The Remains of the Day, and The Joy Luck Club have in com­mon? They are all read by the Lone­ly Hearts Book Club. I could­n’t help but fall in love with all the mem­bers of the group, from the dis­placed librar­i­an to the cur­mud­geon­ly patron who antag­o­nizes her and every­one in between. This is a book with heart – you will laugh a lit­tle and cry a lit­tle and when you come to the end, you might just want to form your own book club.”

A His­to­ry of Bas­ket­ball in Fif­teen Sneak­ers by Russ Bengtson

Glen­da says:

In this must-read his­to­ry, Bengt­son uses the shoes worn by the game’s famous play­ers to explore the rich his­to­ry of bas­ket­ball. He starts with the icon­ic Con­verse worn by Chuck Tay­lor – shoes that were not ide­al for play­ing bas­ket­ball – before mov­ing on to greats such as Clyde Fra­zier and Michael Jor­dan, who saved Nike. In addi­tion to names like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Steph Cur­ry, Bengt­son even spot­lights female play­ers such as Sheryl Swoops and her impact on the game.”

Chlo­rine by Jade Song

Mary says:

I’ve always been fas­ci­nat­ed by mer­maids, so I had to pick up this book about some­one who feels the same… but to the point of dan­ger­ous obses­sion. I felt so ten­der­ly toward the main char­ac­ter, a young Chi­nese-Amer­i­can star swim­mer who expe­ri­ences the hor­ror of being a girl in this world in so many ways. Her desire to dis­ap­pear into the water, to become un-human, free of pain, and of oth­er peo­ple’s expec­ta­tions is both heart­break­ing and relat­able. This is a dark and dis­turb­ing com­ing-of-age tale, but also a tran­scen­dent one – this book has stuck with me for a long time.”