Chemistry by Weike Wang
Weike Wang’s unnamed narrator is navigating an existential crisis. Well into her work toward a PhD in Chemistry, she questions her drive, despite the field being the lens through which she views the world; a relationship with a man who’s just too nice falls victim to her self-sabotage; and an identity formed by the limbo of a first-generation upbringing leaves her unable to digest her relationships with her family members or define her true interests. While none of this may sound like particularly new territory, Weike Wang’s prose is so funny and smart, and her narrator is utterly endearing. She perfectly characterizes the moment of questioning “What am I good at?” vs “What do I like?” and “Is there an intersection?” that every young person experiences, and the self-flagellation that follows the inevitable question, “Well, do I deserve any of it, anyway?” You can soon find copies of Chemistry on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
One Day by David Nicholls
Dexter and Emma met on July 15th 1988, on the night they both graduated college. And so begins a love story like you’ve never experienced, where you only see what happens on July 15th of each year. Some years they spend together. Some years they talk long distance. And some years they don’t speak at all. But they always care about each other. Maybe one day they’ll actually come together. A beautiful tale that feels natural and will cause some laughs, you’ll be happy to experience One Day. You can find copies of One Day on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Classics often fall prey to assumption. Assumptions of a dry plot, traditional characters, excessive prose, or the worst offense of all the fallacy that “If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all.” Far From the Madding Crowd has a love triangle that swings both ways, a fire-breathing feminist with a thing for leather, making out over dead bodies, unmentionable acts with goats, and a Christmas party that ends with a gruesome murder. Far From the Madding Crowd is far from conventional and populated with characters that may be be a blast at parties but you definitely shouldn’t bring home to your mother. You can find copies of Far From the Madding Crowd on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Arbitrary Stupid Goal by Tamara Shopsin
I’m just finishing up Tamara Shopsin’s Arbitrary Stupid Goal, a hilarious and heartfelt memoir about growing up in Greenwich Village and working in her parents’ restaurant/convenience store. Written in almost a stanza form. lyrical and poetic, a really comforting read in a strange way that seems almost impossible to have happened but almost assuredly did … it will be on the shelves in mid July. You can soon find copies of Arbitrary Stupid Goal on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists by Andy J. Miller
Creativity is rarely easy, and when the muses aren’t smiling it’s an uphill struggle of sweat and tears. Sometimes you just need a beautiful book full of creative solutions and some helpful upbeat reassurance from people who really get it. Sometimes you just really need a Creative Pep Talk. I love that this collection of incredibly talented artists shares a typographic poster and a few inspiring words to get those gears turning again –this book is gorgeous and I can’t stop looking through it — I need this at my desk! You can find copies of Creative Pep Talk on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.