Merril's Picks

Staff Pick Badge
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls Cover Image
ISBN: 9780984213320
Availability: Backordered at least 2 weeks or possibly unavailable.
Published: Starcherone Books - August 16th, 2011

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an
intergalactic cargo delivery person, or the living host for an entire
ant colony? Before I read this book, I didn't think I was, either.
Nutting has an amazing way of writing stories about the implausible
future and alternate present with the deadpan delivery of reciting
today's craziest news headlines. Her stories not only seem possible,
they sound as if they have already happened, and I simply missed hearing
about them. Her diagnosis of humanity is just as complex as our wild
reality: dysfunctional, painful, hopeful, and hilarious.

Staff Pick Badge
Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374280406
Availability: Not Available - Out of Print
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 4th, 2013

I finally understand the kind of rattling joy that readers
must have felt when Virginia Woolf published “A Room of One’s Own”. This book
commands the stage. I was helplessly enthralled. Angel’s self-discovering
manifesto rings so true to itself that it left me asking more questions of
myself than of the author. Whether a page had five or fifty words on it, I was
caught between the need to sit and digest the flood of new thoughts, or read
on, taken aback and fascinated. Be patient with where the book leads you. The
premise wasn’t what I originally thought it was, but by the end, I realized
that Angel’s writing blossomed into something resplendently profound.




/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;

Staff Pick Badge
Ten White Geese: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143122678
Availability: Unavailable.
Published: Penguin Books - February 26th, 2013

If Ernest Hemingway and Kate Chopin were avid Emily Dickinson
fans and wrote a book, this would be the product. Bakker is as eloquent as he
is linguistically economical. I’ve never read a book in which very little “action”
happens, yet I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I experienced
the weight that the past and future impose upon the present, and the few
precious moments in which this heaviness is alleviated. This is a delightfully
haunting novel.

Staff Pick Badge
Dream Work Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871130693
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - January 7th, 1994

As a follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize winner, American Primitive, this collection is slightly lighter in character, but just as weighty and beautifully satisfying. Every time I read Oliver’s poetry, I feel as if she is right there, forcing me to really see something I have already overlooked a thousand times.

Staff Pick Badge
On the Way to Language Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060638597
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: HarperOne - December 16th, 2010

Both linguists and philosophers will find themselves questioning what we all talk about when we talk about language. Through grounding his arguments deep into the core of the nature of language, Heidegger dispels the theoretical intangibility of philosophy. Prepare to be rendered speechless.

Staff Pick Badge
A Gate at the Stairs (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375708466
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - August 24th, 2010

Tassie Keltjin is probably one of the most believable twenty-year-old characters ever written. While remarkably mature and intelligent, Tassie endures the same stumbling moments that everyone experiences at that age. With heart-wrenching sadness, gut-splitting humor, and outstanding metaphors, Moore took me on an unforgettably emotional journey.

Staff Pick Badge
The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060932138
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - July 5th, 2005

In his part melodrama/part self-conscious philosophy, Kundera stacks a pyramid of soapboxes, only to kick it over. I found myself buying into the various intellectual musings and emotional confessions, only to be met with Kundera and his brazen destruction of the fourth wall. By the end, I felt as if I were standing under separate hot and cold faucets.

Staff Pick Badge
Special Topics in Calamity Physics Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143112129
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Books - April 24th, 2007

Rachel, Jason, and Nicole have already recommended this book. If you have not picked up Special Topics yet, now is the time to do so. Despite its size, I breezed through the ups and downs of Blue’s highly intellectual, hilarious, and mysterious life with addicted ease. After reading the last page, I immediately returned to the first chapter.

Staff Pick Badge
Glaciers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935639206
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - January 17th, 2012

This book has one of the most aptly named titles I’ve ever encountered. Like the great natural phenomena, “Glaciers”  is both picturesquely beautiful, and quietly
weighted.  Smith’s character of a young
woman realistically muses upon matters both the frivolous, and the profound. I
found myself identifying  and critiquing her
thoughts as if I were reviewing and old diary of my own.