Callie has been a bookseller for 13 years.
Reviews & Recommendations
I can't stop reading and rereading Carl Phillips's poems. They are so carefully considered, but always restlessly turning on a question, relentlessly looking to reveal, move deeper, grab hold of the unreachable with language so that it can be wrestled with before it slips away. The questions he asks in his poems linger in my head for weeks at a time even when I'm not reading him. Then the War is a great entry point to Phillips's oeuvre, gathering his latest work with a generous selection from past books.
Brilliant and ruthless and daring. I tore through Traitor with equal parts exhilaration and horror. At once a page-turning political fantasy full of delicious scheming and intrigue, and a grand tragedy about the unbearable and unforgivable horrors wrought by empire. Baru is not a book I would recommend to everyone sight unseen, but if you think it might be your cup of tea (dark and bleak, burning with rage and grief, will break your heart and leave you with complicated feelings) then my recommendation is ardent.
It is really very hard to imagine a more perfect translator for Snijders's stories than Lydia Davis, herself such an enthusiast of the very short story. Snijders's stories are lovely and delightful, often blurring fact and fiction, always brief but distinctly unhurried. Postcards and snapshots sent from Snijders's desk as he dwells on nature and memory and literature and life.
(This book cannot be returned.)
Memory, like a dog, pulls at the leash. It wants to roll in the flower beds, it wants to dig in its heels, it wants to jump the fence to chase some glimpse of joy. Orange is a delightfully playful book, a multilinear narrative poem that formally indulges in distraction as much as attention as it meanders backwards and forwards and across through the course of grief.
I've cried several times over how much I care about Murderbot. All Systems Red is more of a "start it before bed and then stay up until 5 in the morning finishing it" sci-fi thriller than a tear-jerker, but it's Murderbot's unique point of view that makes this book (and the rest of the series!) as wonderful as it is and had me hooked from the first sentence. A bot-human hybrid owned by a company and treated as a tool, Murderbot copes like the rest of us (through humor, deflection, and binge-watching) but its struggle with anxiety and with the alienation that comes with being seen as less than human is often made more difficult by being shot at. Highly recommend.
Ostensibly a charmingly personal encyclopedia about the fictional television show Little Blue, Hazel Jane Plante's debut novel is an incandescent love letter to trans friendship. A tender TV-and-karaoke-soaked heartbreaker that delights in pop culture. By the end I was as smitten with Little Blue and its colorful characters as Vivian was, and I fell in love with Vivian herself from the first page. I cried reading this book on the train, at home, in the breakroom (four times), and at the laundromat where I finished it. Yes, that is a positive endorsement (obvs). Smart, soft, sad, and sexy. A novel about loss that overflows with love on every single page.
An expertly written and passionate memoir about love and the hungering emptiness of its absence—about how we find ourselves and lose ourselves in both states. Relentless in her searching for understanding, Febos never hesitates to explore to find the insight she's looking for, and never flinches from the personal even as she delves into her own sexuality, attraction, addiction, and the darker sides of our selves and our histories. Febos writes with such startling candor and perception that I couldn't help but find myself revealed at times alongside her.
Gideon the Ninth is absolutely ridiculous in all the best ways. Gideon is science fiction steeped in high fantasy, dressed like a goth, who just crawled out of a tomb flanked by skeletons making rude hand gestures. Darkly and irreverently hilarious. Unafraid to get physically or emotionally bloody. Muir sets up a big cast of fantastic loveable and love-to-hateable characters in her game of necromantic intrigue--a necromancer and cavalier pair from each of eight houses vie for the blessing of the Emperor--and knocks the whole bewitchingly macabre ball of bones right out of the park.