Sydney's Picks

Home Made Cover Image
By Yvette Van Boven, Oof Verschuren (Photographer)
$31.99
ISBN: 9781584799467
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang - September 1st, 2011

Born in The Netherlands, raised in Ireland, and currently living in France, Yvette Van Boven has no shortage of inspiration for her fantastic books. Each of her three volumes includes straightforward recipes for seasonally-relevant comfort food, party food and drinks, and just about every kind of meal in between. She goes to great length to create step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) to help anyone make their own cider, breads, and canned goods. I live, breathe, and swear by all of her books, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll make next.


Home Made Winter Cover Image
By Yvette Van Boven, Oof Verschuren (Photographer)
$31.50
ISBN: 9781617690044
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang - September 25th, 2012

"Because I'm often headstrong, I've sometimes interpreted classic recipes completely in my own way, and I hope you won't mind. Because I'm often impatient, I've sometimes drawn the recipes because it's faster, and because at times, probably unnecessarily, I worry that you don't think in the same realm as I do, I've also added memories and photos so you get a sense of what I mean.


Home Made Summer Cover Image
$31.50
ISBN: 9781617690150
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang - March 26th, 2013

Home Made and Home Made Winter blew readers away with their stunning packages, delicious recipes, beautiful photos, step-by-step instructions, and hand-drawn artwork throughout. Now, in Home Made Summer, Yvette van Boven takes the same signature approach and presents her absolute favorite recipes for spring and summer.


The Last Days of California Cover Image
$11.95
ISBN: 9780871408419
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 2nd, 2014

Jess, her older
sister, and her parents are traveling from Alabama to California to
witness the rapture and the return of Jesus. Jess, a begrudging
believer and all of fifteen years old is one of the most interesting
narrators I've had the pleasure of hearing from in a good, long time.
The story focuses tightly on Jess's family and their three-day
pilgrimage towards the end of the world, but never for a second did I
want Mary Miller's story to move from them. She writes with such
purpose and such attention to the story as a whole, and I'm very,
very excited for whatever Miller creates next.


Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space Cover Image
By Dominic Walliman, Ben Newman (Illustrator)
$19.20
ISBN: 9781909263079
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Nobrow Press - November 26th, 2013

If you spend your time thinking about space and stars and space travel and cats, then this book will fulfill all of your dreams! Professor Astro Cat takes his readers across the galaxy and teaches them everything they could want to know about space with some of the most exciting space illustrations since HA Rey (who is also really really good).


French Milk Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9781416575344
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Touchstone Books - October 1st, 2008

Flipping through my well-worn copy of French Milk I find myself reading it all over again, compulsively and joyfully. Part mother-daughter memoir, part travelogue, part gastrologue, and all her own drawings, this is writer and artist Lucy Knisley’s account of a month-and-a-half-long trip she and her mother took to Paris during her senior year of college. Smart and snarky and slightly full of its Parisian self, Knisely reigns in distaste for being “young” and the apprehension of becoming “old” familiar to anyone who doesn’t want to admit to having had a quarter-life crisis. Also a very good book for anyone who really likes pictures of food.


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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen Cover Image
By Lucy Knisley, Lucy Knisley (Illustrator)
$14.39
ISBN: 9781596436237
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: First Second - April 2nd, 2013

This second book by artist and writer Lucy Knisley is a memoir about being a child raised by foodies and caterers, as well as a look into the art of being well fed in New York and Chicago (where Knisley grew up, and where she went to college). If you read French Milk and loved it as you ought to, then reading Relish will be another encounter with an old friend, whose artwork has matured and whose storytelling skills have doubled – if you can believe it. If you did not read French Milk then a) you really should, but b) you’ll adore what she creates for you in this newest of food-writing classics.


Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780812980882
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Random House Trade - January 24th, 2012

It’s no secret that I love food and all that goes with it - cooking, baking, photography, and definitely books about all of the above. Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir Blood, Bones & Butter is a great example of everything chefs’ memoirs have to offer. Food is, it seems, inextricably linked to family and the past. Hamilton does an incredibly heartbreaking job of explaining her path from being abandoned by her parents on the family farm - and possibly the world’s worst waitress to boot - to the chef and owner of the highly successful restaurant Prune in New York City’s East Village. Besides being one of the most interesting memoir’s I’ve read, this is also one of the most intimate and thoughtful.


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Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns Cover Image
By Andrea Gibson, Anis Mojgani (Illustrator)
$11.99
ISBN: 9780981521305
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Write Bloody Publishing - June 1st, 2008

Factually speaking, Andrea Gibson is awesome. A spoken word poet by trade, her written work is meant to be heard and seen and sung. This volume is physical and exciting, and I’ll just leave this with a quote:

I’ve never seen a bomb drop.
I’ve never felt hunger.


I’ve also never seen lightning strike

but I know we’ve all heard the thunder


and it doesn’t take a genius to tell something’s burning.


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A Short History of Nearly Everything Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780767908184
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Broadway Books - September 14th, 2004

Behold! A highly readable, interesting, and humorous account of all of
history! Or, nearly all of history, as the title would indicate. This
book will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever paused and contemplated just
how much the human race understands, or how we’ve gotten to where we
are.


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The Working Class Foodies Cookbook: 100 Delicious Seasonal and Organic Recipes for Under $8 Per Person Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781592407538
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Gotham Books - June 4th, 2013

Many things that started on the internet have become books, and Working Class Foodie
is arguably my favorite. My cooking and baking desires almost always
outweigh my monetary restrictions, but cookbook is a gateway to cheap
(and tasty!) eating and living. Lando includes not only recipes but
cheap pantry basics and alternatives, which is awesome for those of us
who’d like to be a bit more self-sustaining that Ritz Crackers and
TopRamen want us to be. Definitely a must-buy for college students and
recent grads.


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Invisible Cities Cover Image
$11.96
ISBN: 9780156453806
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Mariner Books - May 3rd, 1978

Kublai Khan sits down with young Marco Polo – one, as old and melancholy
as his waning empire, the other young and filled with stories of his
travels.  These fantastical tales of fictional cities serve as a guide,
on behalf of Marco Polo for the emperor, to traveling and to noticing,
even when some situations make those things very, very difficult. I read
this in the earliest days of my poetry-writing education, and though
they are not poems as such, the book builds on itself the way the best
volumes of poetry do as well.


Staff Pick Logo
The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook Cover Image
$19.96
ISBN: 9781579654580
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Artisan Publishers - March 6th, 2012

Welcome to Savannah, Georgia: they have bacon-jam empanadas,
peanut-butter-and-jelly bars, and some of the best cupcakes known to man
(sorry, Molly’s). The husband-and-wife team of Cheryl and Griffith Day
have stuffed this book with awesome recipes, and kept the anecdotes to a
minimum - sometimes, recipe stories are fun, but this book is all
business when it comes to accessible and delicious sweet and savory
baked goods.


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The Epicurious Cookbook: More Than 250 of Our Best-Loved Four-Fork Recipes for Weeknights, Weekends & Special Occasions Cover Image
$22.39
ISBN: 9780307984852
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - October 30th, 2012

This is far and away one of the best cookbook investments I’ve made. I
bought this when I was living abroad for half a year and left all my own
cookbooks at home (cooking off a laptop screen is harder than I thought
it would be). In here are some fantastic burger recipes, gluten-free
cake, and my favorite recipes for mussels. This is for beginners and the
most well-trained chef, including both instructions for basics and
traditional fare turned on its head.


Three Tales of My Father's Dragon Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9780679889113
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - November 25th, 1997

Part Alice in Wonderland, part Jungle Book, this series is an underrated classic. Elmer runs away from home to rescue a baby dragon and finds more adventure on his way than he could have anticipated. This is a great series those just starting chapter books, or just anyone who really loves dragons (that’s me).


The Left Hand of Darkness Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780441478125
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ace Books - March 15th, 1987

Ursula K. Le Guin is a giant of science fiction, and this book is probably my favorite of hers. Set on the planet Winter in some kind of not-so-distant future, an ambassador from Earth is sent to negotiate a peace settlement, but finds himself wrapped up in confusing new kinds of people, a disorienting government, all combining to make one of the best science fiction-thrillers I’ve ever read.


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Cover Image
By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
$6.39
ISBN: 9781250010193
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Square Fish - May 8th, 2012

Getting tired with your run-of-the-mill fantasy series? Valente is known for her adult science fiction and fantasy books, and this new series for younger readers is so smart and funny and exciting that I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a new adventure. September definitely ranks up with Alice, Hermione Granger and Lyra Silvertongue as one of my favorite young heroines.


Stardust Cover Image
$12.79
ISBN: 9780061142024
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: William Morrow & Company - August 29th, 2006

This book is a fairytale for those of us who took a break from believing in them. A woman (who is also a star) falls to the sky into a mythical land (in England) and is kidnapped by a young man to impress his true love – all while being hunted by kings and witches and pirates. This story is painfully hilarious, and excellent for a chilly day spent in with a book. Full disclosure: I love everything of Neil Gaiman’s, so if you haven’t read his books, I recommend ALL of them. Yes. All of them. And the graphic novels.


Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

Autobiography is a coming of age story told as poetry dripping with mythology. It’s heartbreaking and generous and unlike most kinds of poetry circulating today. A professor of Classics, Carson raises everyone’s expectations, and exceeds anything you could have expected. Like this:
“His mother saw it mothers are like that
Trust me she said Engineer of his softness
You don’t have to make up your mind right away
Behind her red right cheek Geryon could see
Coil of the hot plate starting to glow.”


Lit Riffs Cover Image
$22.09
ISBN: 9780743470261
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: MTV Books - August 1st, 2006

This anthology is exactly what you want it to be: a fleet of famous writers came together and written short stories based on their favorite songs. Johnathan Lethem, Aimee Bender, JT Leroy and Lester Bangs, amongst others, open up in a way people rarely do – except when trying to talk about their favorite song. I highly recommend this for music and book lovers alike.


Fangirl Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9781250030955
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 10th, 2013

I love this book so much; it’s taken me months to be able to verbalize it for the sake of this staff review. Among the seas of coming-of-age novels, this book shines above as one of the most successful and beautiful coming-of-college stories I’ve ever read. Filled with kind, strange, and broken characters, Fangirl invites us into one small group’s freshman year of college, and what it means to fit in on your own terms, outside the seemingly-endless days of high school, and the permanent arms of your family. This book’s equal is probably only found in Rowell’s other young adult novel, Eleanor and Park.


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Cover Image
$8.79
ISBN: 9781594746031
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Quirk Books - June 4th, 2013

This book is the perfect graduation from middle grade science fiction and fantasy into young adult fantasy – Riggs writes an incredibly intelligent and powerful story for those of us willing to set aside what we think is “reality” just long enough to consider a whole slew of other possibilities. For anyone who has read (or might someday read) Neil Gaiman and his contemporaries, I highly recommend this book – and good news! This is merely the first in a series, so there will be more fantastical kids and strange photographs and parallel universes to come!


All Russians Love Birch Trees Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9781590515846
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Other Press (NY) - January 7th, 2014

I was extremely excited for this book, and thank goodnessit paid off many times over. This an identity story, and a migration story, and a kind of war story. Masha, the main character, feels like both a part of myself and a friend I hope never to have - the kind of heartbreakingly honest embodiment of what a person wants, and what they're hopelessly striving for. All this to say - it's only January 2014, but this is without a doubt one of my favorite books of the year.


To Be or Not to Be Cover Image
$23.16
ISBN: 9780982853740
Availability: Subject to Availability.
Published: Breadpig - September 10th, 2013

Have you ever thought, “man, this Shakespeare guy, his stuff could be way better if there were more jokes and sass and Ophelia kicking butt and Hamlet's dad being silly?” Well you are in luck! This is a Chose Your Own Adventure edition of Hamlet (iambic pentameter not included), and at the end of every “story” is an illustration done by some all of the story endings are illustrated by one of the awesomest cartoonists around – including Kate Beaton and Nicole Stevenson!


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Cover Image
$12.79
ISBN: 9780316013697
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Little, Brown Young Readers - April 1st, 2009

I am aware that some people of a certain age are required to read this book for school, and if you are one of these lucky individuals, then REJOICE because this is one of the most hilarious and interesting and books that you will read. BUT! If you are not required to read this book – you should read it anyway, because Alexie's ability to write books for adults is directly transferred into his young adult literature, and this is not a book to be skipped.